One year after Ravi Zacharias: Resolving the debate on whether to discount his messages on account of the scandals

I’m still suffering from the pain

All of us are suffering from the pain. But tell me, which has been more painful for you, the pain of the victims or the pain from the disappointment?

I don’t know, my friend. You know how I hate to call out anyone. I always feel unqualified because I’m always at the mercy of God. I prefer to show mercy because that’s what I hope to receive, and pray I get in my hour of need

I knew you would always jump to the side of mercy. You didn’t become a fan of Ravi overnight but give some considerable thought to the victims and ask yourself what kind of mercy would suffice for them in their condition

Please don’t get me wrong. I feel the pain of the victims and continue to pray for their healing and restoration in all areas affected, directly and indirectly. Seriously, I feel their pain.

You’re sure you do? Then why that argument with your neighbour about whether or not to discount his messages on account of the scandals?

Please, please my friend. This subject is such a tender one. I want us to be careful. We must endeavour to be properly guided by our comments

And how do you propose we go about it? What are your suggested parameters to guide our comments on whether or not to discount Ravi’s messages on account of the scandals?

I have a few ideas. First of all, the messages do not belong to Ravi. It is true he presented them very eloquently and compellingly but he did not create the messages. He added his flair and style but the substance and core of the messages had been in humanity long before he was born. They pre-dated him. On that basis, they cannot be discounted.

You’re sure about that? I saw one of my favorite teachers (who used to be great Ravi fan by the way) gather and dump all the books authored by Ravi, in his trash basket.

I saw the same video and felt like doing the same thing. The beloved brother felt he could let out some of his pain by thrashing books he had bought with his hard-earned money. At that point, he didn’t mind if he threw away the baby and the bath water. Speaking of water, are you aware that water is a motif for the bible?

I am

You asked me about some guidelines to guide our comments?

Yes, I did. And you have provided one

Here are a few others. Jesus asked listeners to consider the Pharisees. He urged the listeners to keep the instructions from the Pharisees but not live the way they do. That is, he said to his listeners to do what the Pharisees say but not copy their actions. Why do you think he offered that advice?

Because the Pharisees said the right things but practiced the opposite

So, what the Pharisees taught was right but their example was wrong, right? And the people were encouraged to follow the message, not the teacher, right?

I guess

Here is another reason we should not clamour to discount Ravi’s messages on account of the scandals. Do you remember Apostle Paul’s letter to the church at Phillipi in which he mentioned that different persons preached Christ out of different motives?

I think so

Recall that in the passage, Apostle wrote that some persons preached Christ out of envy, while others preached him out of love. If you like, you could even expand the scope as to why people preach Christ. But consider how Paul rounded off that thought – whatever the motive for preaching Christ, He was being preached at the end of the day.

You’re not saying Ravi preached Christ for other reasons apart from love of God?

That’s not what I’m saying; I’m simply providing you reasons why you should not clamour to discount his messages because of the scandal

Ok.

Why do you think Paul did not worry himself about the motives of those persons preaching Christ since Christ was being preached anyways?

The preaching of Christ (also known as the gospel) is the power of God to save says Romans 1:16

Wow! Who taught you that?

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