Christian Leaders Behaving Badly
Posted: February 25, 2021
Why should anyone embrace their faith?…
Ravi Zacharias, the popular Christian faith defender, was exposed posthumously as a sexual predator. This sex scandal has created international turmoil. If Christian leaders are hypocrites, why should anyone give their beliefs a serious look?
Sadly, the faith landscape is littered with fallen leaders, from to the affairs of , , , and countless others.
Disclosure: I knew Ravi professionally, though not well. I appreciated his communication skills, but did not always agree with his content or presentation manner. I remain grateful for his kind, personal condolences and encouragement after my first wife left me. I was unaware of his sexual misconduct until the news broke. And, of course, I'm deeply concerned for his victims.
Sexual predator's handbook
Parts of the responsibly written investigative
Though RZIM's board now has issued a of contrition, it appears some senior leaders resisted corporate transparency as the scandal unfolded. Internal whistleblowers may be among the real heroes in this story.
For instance, RZIM public relations manager and spokesperson Ruth Malhotra wrote a
So, should we reject a belief system because its leaders misbehave?
Feet of clay
Personally, I abandoned devotion to superstars – secular or Christian – long ago. Too many feet of clay. Following reasonable leaders, yes. Unquestioning fealty, no. Jeremiah, an ancient Jewish prophet,
I decided it's not just faith, but the object of faith that's important. If I swallow two white tablets to treat my headache, I'm placing faith in those tablets. If they are aspirin, they might work. If I grab roach poison by mistake, I could get sick.
I would suggest that Jesus is a worthy object of faith. Peter, one of his closest friends,
As a skeptic, I learned that many support Jesus' claims to deity, notably his . That plus his character are why I chose to follow him. But I still have unresolved matters.
When I see God, items on my long list of questions for him will include a heartbreaking and unwanted
Yet in Jesus’ , death, and resurrection, I’ve seen enough to believe that, as one of his early followers , "God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love [him].”
Should Ravi's – or other Christian leaders' – moral flaws dissuade one from trusting Jesus? My vote is to evaluate Jesus, while mourning and confronting his misbehaving followers. Some have that RZIM's leadership culture welcomed tough questions about Jesus, but not about Ravi. For the organization to regain its integrity, that ethos must now change.
Copyright © 2021 Rusty Wright
Search all articles byRusty Wright is an author and lecturer who has spoken on six continents. He holds Bachelor of Science (psychology) and Master of Theology degrees from Duke and Oxford universities, respectively. www.RustyWright.com • E-mail the author (moc.loa@thgirwytsur*) • Author's website (personal or primary**)
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