Ravi Zacharias Scandals

ChristianLibertarian

Puritan Board Freshman
Sexual encounters don’t typically take place with 2 witnesses present. Physical evidence also counts as a “witness”. In at least one of the accusations, there is an email trail establishing guilt, and NDA’s were put in place, which he apparently violated, which is how we now have some public access to the event in question.
I agree we can look at other pieces of evidence, emails, DNA, etc.
 

ChristianLibertarian

Puritan Board Freshman
Because, it seems, there are multiple allegations. Much like Bill Cosby. Go to Ravi's own website; they themselves are validating the truth of the allegations. https://www.rzim.org/page/update-from-rzim-board-allegations-against-ravi-zacharias
Don't forget that law firm represents the interest of the corporate ministry entity and may represent the interests of the ministry's insurance company. It may be wise to question what those interests are and whether it effects the outcome of their report.

I have no personal interest in Ravi Zacharias but I am troubled by the rush to condemn when he is unable to respond. If he's guilty then he's guilty but unless there are emails from him specifically acknowledging sexual misconduct I don't see how we can declare guilt.

I think this issue has broader implications for the church and how it determines guilt when someone is accused. Right now it's popular to simply believe women, as though women couldn't have motivation to be dishonest. In the past women haven't been believed out of hand, as though women are incapable of truth telling. Deut. 19:15 (and other passages in scripture) are dispositive when it's the word of one against another. I fear the church universal is forgetting this.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Sophomore
Don't forget that law firm represents the interest of the corporate ministry entity and may represent the interests of the ministry's insurance company. It may be wise to question what those interests are and whether it effects the outcome of their report.

I have no personal interest in Ravi Zacharias but I am troubled by the rush to condemn when he is unable to respond. If he's guilty then he's guilty but unless there are emails from him specifically acknowledging sexual misconduct I don't see how we can declare guilt.

I think this issue has broader implications for the church and how it determines guilt when someone is accused. Right now it's popular to simply believe women, as though women couldn't have motivation to be dishonest. In the past women haven't been believed out of hand, as though women are incapable of truth telling. Deut. 19:15 (and other passages in scripture) are dispositive when it's the word of one against another. I fear the church universal is forgetting this.
Friend, Ravi's OWN ministry website is saying the evidence is there to believe he is indeed guilty. The same people who initially took the exact opposite stance. This is the reason I'm speaking this way. There is evidence. No one is rushing.

Take a look: https://www.rzim.org/page/update-from-rzim-board-allegations-against-ravi-zacharias

As far as I understand things, you don't need a confession to declare guilt; you need evidence. And sadly it seems the evidence is there.
 
Last edited:

ChristianLibertarian

Puritan Board Freshman
Friend, Ravi's OWN ministry website is saying the evidence is there to believe he is indeed guilty. The same people who initially took the exact opposite stance. This is the reason I'm speaking this way. There is evidence. No one is rushing.

Take a look: https://www.rzim.org/page/update-from-rzim-board-allegations-against-ravi-zacharias

As far as I understand things, you don't need a confession to declare guilt; you need evidence. And sadly it seems the evidence is there.
They're following the advice of counsel in an investigation performed by their or their insurance company's lawyers. My point here is that they're focused not on following scripture but on protecting their financial interests. I had read the link you provided previously and was throughly unimpressed both as an attorney and as a church member. In cases involving ordained elders, the church must be shown the evidence not be told it exists and "just trust us." I have a good idea what counsel is up to, I have no idea why the church is issuing press releases and caving into outside pressure.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Sophomore
They're following the advice of counsel in an investigation performed by their or their insurance company's lawyers. My point here is that they're focused not on following scripture but on protecting their financial interests. I had read the link you provided previously and was throughly unimpressed both as an attorney and as a church member. In cases involving ordained elders, the church must be shown the evidence not be told it exists and "just trust us." I have a good idea what counsel is up to, I have no idea why the church is issuing press releases and caving into outside pressure.
??? okay...

You encouraged to not *jump to conclusions rashly without evidence*...so please don't do that yourself. "they're focused not on following scripture but on protecting their financial interests." That's a pretty bold/rash claim.
 

Eyedoc84

Puritan Board Freshman
They're following the advice of counsel in an investigation performed by their or their insurance company's lawyers. My point here is that they're focused not on following scripture but on protecting their financial interests. I had read the link you provided previously and was throughly unimpressed both as an attorney and as a church member. In cases involving ordained elders, the church must be shown the evidence not be told it exists and "just trust us." I have a good idea what counsel is up to, I have no idea why the church is issuing press releases and caving into outside pressure.
what church?
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
They're following the advice of counsel in an investigation performed by their or their insurance company's lawyers. My point here is that they're focused not on following scripture but on protecting their financial interests. I had read the link you provided previously and was throughly unimpressed both as an attorney and as a church member. In cases involving ordained elders, the church must be shown the evidence not be told it exists and "just trust us." I have a good idea what counsel is up to, I have no idea why the church is issuing press releases and caving into outside pressure.
what church?
Exactly. A parachurch non-profit isn’t a church.
 

Andrew35

Puritan Board Sophomore
Keep in mind, RZIM is currently headed by Ravi's daughter, Sarah Davis (CEO), and his son-in-law. I.e., it is his family that is admitting wrongdoing on his part.

I've read enough on this matter in the past few months to become convinced that at least some of these accusations are true. We're never going to know all the facts, but given what we do know, considering him guilty of sexual misconduct at this point is hardly "rushing to judgment."
 

gjensen

Puritan Board Freshman
Other than fulfilling their moral and legal obligations, RZIM should close their doors. It is time for them to fade into the past.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I do not trust the American accuser. She sent him nudes repeatedly even according to her own account, and then switched to playing the victim. We've seen how deceitful some Western women were who latched onto the #Metoo movement for quick cash. "Believe Women"....ah....no. Not necessarily. Not after they tried to take down a Supreme Court judge.

But even if I do not trust the American woman, there is something more sinister than "sexual misconduct" at work here.... and that is abuse. He arranged visas for 3rd world massage therapists and flew them over then then asked special favors of them. This is exploitation and...technically...human trafficking. Poor 3rd world women are hard pressed to say no to a rich and powerful boss who holds their visas in his hands. These exploited massage therapists should be the focus of the investigation.

RZIM could redeem some of its image by putting the profits of the books towards compensating these massage therapists and perhaps starting an anti-trafficking ministry for cases such as this.
 

ArminianOnceWas

Puritan Board Freshman
I do not trust the American accuser. She sent him nudes repeatedly even according to her own account, and then switched to playing the victim. We've seen how deceitful some Western women were who latched onto the #Metoo movement for quick cash. "Believe Women"....ah....no. Not necessarily. Not after they tried to take down a Supreme Court judge.

But even if I do not trust the American woman, there is something more sinister than "sexual misconduct" at work here.... and that is abuse. He arranged visas for 3rd world massage therapists and flew them over then then asked special favors of them. This is exploitation and...technically...human trafficking. Poor 3rd world women are hard pressed to say no to a rich and powerful boss who holds their visas in his hands. These exploited massage therapists should be the focus of the investigation.

RZIM could redeem some of its image by putting the profits of the books towards compensating these massage therapists and perhaps starting an anti-trafficking ministry for cases such as this.
Your statement not only uncovers some automatic bias but also demonstrates how your skewed view has limited you to a narrow understanding of the circumstance. First, it doesn't matter whether you trust the woman or not. Secondly, the scope is well beyond a single accuser. Third, this is about what Ravi Zacharias has done. Fourth, that he gave a woman who sent him an inappropriate picture a private cell number for him and continued to engage with her after she sent pictures is telling. It's amazing that even his family is no longer in avoidance about this, however, many others seem to be in denial.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Your statement not only uncovers some automatic bias but also demonstrates how your skewed view has limited you to a narrow understanding of the circumstance. First, it doesn't matter whether you trust the woman or not. Secondly, the scope is well beyond a single accuser. Third, this is about what Ravi Zacharias has done. Fourth, that he gave a woman who sent him an inappropriate picture a private cell number for him and continued to engage with her after she sent pictures is telling. It's amazing that even his family is no longer in avoidance about this, however, many others seem to be in denial.
You are funny.
 

Leslie

Puritan Board Junior
I've noticed that when the founder of a "ministry" or any do-gooder organization names the organization with his/her name, it is a red flag for corruption in some form. It tells me "This is all about ____" , whoever that may be. Examples: Ravi Z, Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggert, Clinton foundation, etc. I personally will never give to nor engage with any organization thus named.

Names of dead notable Christians of the past are no problem: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Knox.
 

kodos

Puritan Board Junior
I've noticed that when the founder of a "ministry" or any do-gooder organization names the organization with his/her name, it is a red flag for corruption in some form. It tells me "This is all about ____" , whoever that may be. Examples: Ravi Z, Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggert, Clinton foundation, etc. I personally will never give to nor engage with any organization thus named.

Names of dead notable Christians of the past are no problem: Wycliffe, Tyndale, Luther, Knox.

Amen. I wholeheartedly agree. When a man names an organization after himself, sirens go off in my mind. It strikes me as a distinctly unchristian thing to do. (1 Corinthians 1:13).
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Senior
I've noticed that when the founder of a "ministry" or any do-gooder organization names the organization with his/her name, it is a red flag for corruption in some form. It tells me "This is all about ____" , whoever that may be. Examples: Ravi Z, Billy Graham, Jimmy Swaggert, Clinton foundation, etc. I personally will never give to nor engage with any organization thus named.
You can add to that "Christian" authors who put their faces on the cover of their books.

81wsP2J8F1L.SR160,240_BG243,243,243.jpg
913NlCQDfJL.SR160,240_BG243,243,243.jpg
91kfAaIqXUL.SR160,240_BG243,243,243.jpg
81K34SWTbAL.SR160,240_BG243,243,243.jpg
81ts9ktfUsL.SR160,240_BG243,243,243.jpg
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
“Zacharias’s lawyers claim that the woman’s husband knew all along. “Conspiring together, [the couple] labored relentlessly to foster a relationship with [Zacharias] in hopes of manipulating him into a compromising position,” they alleged in the suit, which states:

As part of the current scheme, [the couple] decided that evidence depicting an inappropriate relationship (in person, online, or otherwise) between [the wife] and a prominent, pious individual like [Zacharias] would enable them to force the individual to pay an exorbitant sum of money under the threat of the disclosure of such relationship to the individual's employer, wife, and the public.
Zacharias’s lawyers noted that the couple previously sued an Ontario pastor and his Christian Reformed church, alleging he had coerced them “into making certain ill-advised loans and investments” and seeking $1 million in damages. Their 2008 lawsuit was dropped; the pastor was temporarily suspended, but his church and denomination ultimately stood by him.

CT called the couple’s attorney for further comment, but did not receive a response.
Zacharias declined to comment to CT on the image of the emails showing the apparent suicide threat, citing the nondisclosure agreement.
Zacharias dropped his lawsuit on November 9. He said Sunday that the couple requested mediation instead of going to trial, and the parties reached a private settlement.
“All communication with both of them has concluded, and the legal matters have been resolved,” said Zacharias. “However, at this time, unfortunately I am legally prevented from answering or even discussing the questions and claims being made by some, other than to say that each side paid for their own legal expenses and no ministry funds were used.”
According to an email Zacharias’s accuser sent to Smith last week, she also was unable to answer further questions about the matter due to the settlement’s confidentiality agreement.
The case follows a landmark year for Zacharias’s ministry. RZIM raised $19 million toward the launch of the Zacharias Institute in 2016, nearly as much as its regular revenue which rose 13 percent to $23.7 million. The new evangelism training center is based in RZIM’s Atlanta-area headquarters.”
 

ChristianLibertarian

Puritan Board Freshman
Here’s some of the words of RZ himself for what it’s worth. I think the spirit of the ‘Pence rule‘ is a good one and should extend across numerous realms and scenarios for all Christian men, including visual temptations online (especially in the realm of p0rnography)....

“I have learned a difficult and painful lesson through this ordeal,”
“I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry. I have acknowledged this to my Lord, my wife, my children, our ministry board, and my colleagues.”
“friendly correspondence”
“unwanted, offensive, sexually explicit language and photographs.”
“began expressing her love for...and then began making sexually suggestive statements““very scanty clothing;”
“Let me state categorically that I never met this woman alone, publicly or privately,”
“The question is not whether I solicited or sent any illicit photos or messages to another woman—I did not, and there is no evidence to the contrary—but rather, whether I should have been a willing participant in any extended communication with a woman not my wife.”
“The answer, I can unequivocally say, is no, and I fully accept responsibility,”
“In all my correspondence with thousands of people in 45 years of ministry, I have never been confronted with a situation such as this, and God and my family and close friends know how grieved I have been.”
“there was no confidential and/or fiduciary relationship”
“If you betray me here, I will have no option but to bid this world goodbye, I promise,” (via email)
“the most dark and accursed day of my life.”
“I now realize that the physical safeguards I have long practiced to protect my integrity should have extended to include digital communications safeguards,”
“I believe—and indeed would counsel others—that the standards of personal conduct are necessarily higher for Christian leaders.”


“In October 2014, I spoke at a conference in Canada. At the conclusion of my talk, I met a couple who expressed an interest in our ministry. The wife asked if I would reach out to her husband because he had questions about the Christian faith. As requested, I followed up by sending an email and a book to him, and invited him to consider attending one of our educational programs at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM).
Some months later, I traveled with my wife and one of our daughters to another part of Canada for a speaking engagement. The couple attended this event and invited my wife and me to dinner at a local restaurant afterwards. That was the second and last time I was ever in the same room with either of them.
Subsequently, she began to contact me via the email address I had used to contact her husband after first meeting them. My responses were usually brief. Then, last year, she shockingly sent me extremely inappropriate pictures of herself unsolicited. I clearly instructed her to stop contacting me in any form; I blocked her messages, and I resolved to terminate all contact with her.
In late 2016, she sent an email informing me she planned to tell her husband about the inappropriate pictures she had sent and to claim that I had solicited them. In April 2017, together they sent me, through an attorney, a letter demanding money. I immediately notified members of my board, and as they advised, I personally engaged legal counsel.
In response to the demand for money, my attorneys filed a publicly available lawsuit under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). The other side requested mediation rather than going to trial. We agreed to mediation and we reached an agreement in November 2017 to resolve the matter and dismiss my lawsuit. All communication with both of them has concluded, and the legal matters have been resolved. However, at this time, unfortunately I am legally prevented from answering or even discussing the questions and claims being made by some, other than to say that each side paid for their own legal expenses and no ministry funds were used.
I have learned a difficult and painful lesson through this ordeal. As a husband, father, grandfather, and leader of a Christian ministry I should not have engaged in ongoing communication with a woman other than my wife. I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry. I have acknowledged this to my Lord, my wife, my children, our ministry board, and my colleagues.
Let me state categorically that I never met this woman alone, publicly or privately. The question is not whether I solicited or sent any illicit photos or messages to another woman—I did not, and there is no evidence to the contrary—but rather, whether I should have been a willing participant in any extended communication with a woman not my wife. The answer, I can unequivocally say, is no, and I fully accept responsibility. In all my correspondence with thousands of people in 45 years of ministry, I have never been confronted with a situation such as this, and God and my family and close friends know how grieved I have been.
In my 45 years of marriage to Margie, I have never engaged in any inappropriate behavior of any kind. I love my wife with all my heart and have been absolutely faithful to her these more than 16,000 days of marriage, and have exercised extreme caution in my daily life and travels, as everyone who knows me is aware. I have long made it my practice not to be alone with a woman other than Margie and our daughters—not in a car, a restaurant, or anywhere else. Upon reflection, I now realize that the physical safeguards I have long practiced to protect my integrity should have extended to include digital communications safeguards. I believe—and indeed would counsel others—that the standards of personal conduct are necessarily higher for Christian leaders.
The Lord rescued me at the age of seventeen, and I promised to leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth. He entrusted me with this calling, it is His; any opportunities I have been given are from Him. My life is not my own, it belongs to God. As long as He gives me life and breath I will serve out this calling He has given me. I am committed to finishing well, using whatever years He grants me to share His love and forgiveness, truth and grace, with people everywhere who are looking for meaning and purpose and hope. I bear no ill will toward anybody. God is the God of healing, and He promises a new day. May that be true by His grace.” https://www.christianitytoday.com/n...ing-extortion-lawsuit-doctorate-bio-rzim.html
It appears Zacharias is an extortion victim rather than someone engaged in sexual misconduct, at least in this circumstance.

Having said that, the notion that a pastor should not have communication with women is preposterous. Putting aside whether Zacharias is a pastor or not, as a general rule it's the job of the pastor and elders to minister to all the people in their congregation, men and women. This idea that men are somehow incapable of communication with women without it turning sexual is incredibly Victorian and not particularly Biblical. A pastor is going to have to shepherd all sorts of women, including women with no Biblical head, women who are having problems with their husband or whose husband isn't a believer or otherwise displaced. The Pence rule, while generally not horrible, can and often is taken to the point of absurdity.
 

Susan777

Puritan Board Sophomore
Anthony, what purpose is served by posting all these things? RZ stands condemned for his actions, and may God have mercy on his soul. But this constant posting about his sins brings no additional light to a tragic situation and borders on titillation.
 

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
It appears Zacharias is an extortion victim rather than someone engaged in sexual misconduct, at least in this circumstance.

Having said that, the notion that a pastor should not have communication with women is preposterous. Putting aside whether Zacharias is a pastor or not, as a general rule it's the job of the pastor and elders to minister to all the people in their congregation, men and women. This idea that men are somehow incapable of communication with women without it turning sexual is incredibly Victorian and not particularly Biblical. A pastor is going to have to shepherd all sorts of women, including women with no Biblical head, women who are having problems with their husband or whose husband isn't a believer or otherwise displaced. The Pence rule, while generally not horrible, can and often is taken to the point of absurdity.
I think the issue is safeguarding against sin and temptation. Not abstaining from situations that may lead to it. I’m not sure the Pence rule strictly applied is the way to go. Which is why I mentioned ‘spirit’ of the Pence rule, to help protect the shepherd and the sheep.
 
Last edited:

A.Joseph

Puritan Board Junior
Anthony, what purpose is served by posting all these things? RZ stands condemned for his actions, and may God have mercy on his soul. But this constant posting about his sins brings no additional light to a tragic situation and borders on titillation.
I actually was trying to be fair to RZ. Ok, so he’s definitely guilty? Of ALL of it?

Was he a predator or a man who merely stumbled and reacted poorly like King David?

It sounds like he never was fully confronted with these things in this life so I was just wondering if he’s guilty on all counts or if some of it was fabrication. Very tragic regardless.
 

JTB.SDG

Puritan Board Sophomore
From what I understand, the investigation and conclusion of guilt has very little, if any, to do with this encounter with this woman back in 2017. It's mostly about Ravi's actions at the spa he owned with massage therapists.
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
I think the issue is safeguarding against sin and temptation. Not abstaining from situations that may lead to it. I’m not sure the Pence rule strictly applied is the way to go. Which is why I mentioned ‘spirit’ of the Pence rule, to help protect the shepherd and the sheep.
The guy had back problems due to a car accident. Getting a massage after hours of travel seems permissible and even an advisable move (better than pills). Even hiring therapists for this is okay. I have had extreme shoulder pain for more than a year, and massage eases it. Kept me away from narcotics for the most part. Pressuring these girls for extra services is not ok, especially as he sponsors their visas and pays their wages. The "sextortion" case may be an evidence of a plot against him, but this example of misusing poor 3rd world employees is clearly contemptible sin and abuse to them. It was predatory behavior towards the weak.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
It appears Zacharias is an extortion victim rather than someone engaged in sexual misconduct, at least in this circumstance.
Why not both? Normally you aren't a victim of blackmail or extortion unless there's something embarrasing that you don't want to get out.
 

ChristianLibertarian

Puritan Board Freshman
Why not both? Normally you aren't a victim of blackmail or extortion unless there's something embarrasing that you don't want to get out.
That isn't necessarily true, especially in the "me too" era where women are to be believed almost without question. It isn't difficult to imagine a woman threatening a wealthy and powerful man by claiming the innocent was in fact sexual harassment. In the case of RZ, she sent him inappropriate pics. All she needs to do is threaten to go public and claim he demanded the pics and otherwise came onto her, harassed her etc. It makes for a good payday when the victim finds the headache of defense more costly than paying someone to go away.

This scenario is total depravity at play, I've seen it play out in the Courts any number of times. It reminds of a story an older attorney told me at my first job. An overzealous plaintiffs attorney asked the wrong doctor at trial "will my client ever be well again?" The doctor deadpanned "only when this case is settled." When money is in play some people will lie, exaggerate and do anything for a payday.
 
Top