The First Stone
Over the past month or so I have been shocked and saddened to learn of Ravi Zacharias’ secret life. Evidently he was guilty of serial sexual indiscretions, and these were later compounded by untruthful denials. The facts slowly emerged after his death last year
I was a great admirer of Ravi. I considered him to be the most erudite and persuasive Christian apologist I have ever heard. I will always treasure his messages.
Ravi’s sins do not erase his life’s work in the service of our Savior. He was a great Christian teacher; but he had his weaknesses, just as we all do, and he succumbed to the severe temptations that come to the famous. I do not excuse his conduct. Nor is it my place to condemn him. Men like Ravi are subject to adulation, and it is very easy to cross boundaries in social relationships. As Henry Kissinger was quoted as saying, “Power (or fame) is the ultimate aphrodisiac.” Fortunately for me, I never had to face up to that sort of pressure.
Billy Graham and his team recognized the danger from money and sex very early in his ministry, and they took measures to protect themselves. They set up a very strict fiscal accounting system that became a model for other Christian organizations. As for sex, Billy Graham would never allow himself to be alone in the company of any woman but his wife and daughters. This was probably due in equal parts to his distrust of himself, the woman, and appearances.
Those who deny God seem to rejoice in seeing a Christian fall. They cry hypocrite! But I think that accusation is wrong. I am convinced that Ravi was sincere in his love for the Lord; but he was imperfect, and the flesh is weak. Indeed, all of us are sinners and fall short of being the persons God wants us to be.
God is just. He will judge Ravi rightly.