The final report on Ravi Zacharias was released this week. You can read the RZIM open letter here as well as the independent investigator’s report at the end of that letter. Wow. I wrote on the intermediate statement in my December 24, 2020 post. Ravi Zacharais was a titan in Christian apologetics. Who wasn’t glad to learn from him that Christianity was a reasonable faith, one that we could understand even though we might not have understood everything Ravi was saying.
Yet the magnitude of his sexual sin was almost more than I wanted to read in the pages of the report. How could this possibly have happened? In my previous post, I touched on this. Sometimes God removes the limits he has on our sin. Have you ever really though about the idea that God limits the amount of sin we commit? Certainly, God limited Satan with Job (Job 1:12, 2:6). We also see a progression of God “giving them up” to their sin in Romans 1. We also see Paul turning over unrepentant believers to Satan (1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Timothy 1:19-20). Apparently, God had given Ravi Zacharias over to his sin to go deeper and deeper and deeper. Assuming Ravi was indeed saved, he is in heaven now; but his flesh was destroyed. Satan certainly must have enjoyed that.
Implications for us.
What does any of this mean for us? Do we simply shake our heads in disgust at yet another Christian leader crumbles in shame? Or do we point our fingers at the smoldering ruins and condemn Ravi for his hypocrisy? Do we then go on our way thinking, “I’ll never let that happen to me!”? I’ve done that. Plenty of times.
It’s time to change my tune. This same sort of thing could happen to ME. Let’s face it, I have plenty of unrepentant sin that I haven’t mortified. I have plenty of worldly regret about it, but I haven’t yet come to the point of hating my sin for righteous reasons. While talk is cheap, I don’t get it done. Frankly, I haven’t come to the appreciation how little I care about the whole topic. The fact that I grieve the Holy Spirit should crush me, but it doesn’t. The idea of downplaying my sin trivializes the work Jesus did for me on the cross, but that doesn’t seen to bother me. My continual sin despite knowing better is like Esau selling his birthright for a bowl of soup. Do I appreciate God’s mercy like that?
Do I run the risk of God turning me over to my sin? Or is all this talk simply the devil “condemning” me? Do I need to rest in Romans 8:1 and not worry about it?
Life as Usual?
Here’s the deal. Part of the reason I left “church as usual” was because nobody changed. The church had as much unresolved sin as the rest of the world. Same with small groups. In these, we at least talked about our sin; in church, we didn’t. But even though we talked about it in the small groups, we never conquered it. Year after year, men would ask for prayer for the same battle with the same sin.
How can I be so sure that my sin will not get away from me? Can I be so sure that one day I won’t end up a 600 pound man? How can my friends be so sure that their pornography addiction won’t one day end up a horrible scandal like that of Ravi Zacharias? Can others be so sure that their wives won’t leave them because they work all the time and neglect their marriage?
Do you see what I mean? Should we not tremble at the revealing of scandal like Ravi Zacharias and beg God for mercy of our own sin? Should we not then resolve to rid ourselves of it, like the bible commands of us?
Father, I pray that this is a wake up call leading to genuine repentance in my own life. Perhaps it is a process, but I ask that you reveal the true nature of my sin so that I may be revolted by it. My sin comes between you and me. I don’t want to become comfortable with it. I want to get beyond it. Amen.
Copyright © 2021 Scott Powers