Ravi Zacharias

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ReverendThom
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Ravi Zacharias

Post by ReverendThom » Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:43 pm

Well the full report is out and it's pretty disturbing. Not only did he have inappropriate relationships via messaging, he also molested several women, and reportedly raped at least one woman.

https://chvnradio.com/articles/rzim-rel ... -zacharias

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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by mont974x4 » Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:49 pm

It’s very sad to hear.

Did any of this come out before his death?


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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by JMG » Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:51 pm

None of us are immune to these dangers. Unchecked sin will eat any man alive. That said, I never thought Ravi would have been this guy. Accountability is so important for us all.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by DepartedLight » Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:09 pm

:signofcross:
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by jruegg » Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:10 pm

This sucks. For all involved.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by ReverendThom » Thu Feb 11, 2021 9:35 pm

mont974x4 wrote:It’s very sad to hear.

Did any of this come out before his death?


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Yes, a few different times, which were all brushed aside by the ministry and the denomination that held his credentials. Ravi actually sued a woman and threatened to kill himself if she came forward. She wound up locked in a nondisclosure agreement which she broke on Monday.



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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by Fainn » Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:49 pm

My wife and I won't even be alone with someone of the opposite sex unless its a blood relative.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by AFRS » Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:53 am

ReverendThom wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 8:43 pm
Well the full report is out and it's pretty disturbing. Not only did he have inappropriate relationships via messaging, he also molested several women, and reportedly raped at least one woman.

https://chvnradio.com/articles/rzim-rel ... -zacharias
By the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses. The report is scant on details other than an independent source was hired to investigate. If this is true, it's very sad, another black eye for Christendom.

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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by Jester » Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:19 am

I am very skeptical of the whole situation. He and the ministry stood shoulder to shoulder in life and were able to refute accusations. Then he died and Sam Allberry came out swinging, "Believe all women." Every accusations was immediately counted as true. Even the ones where it was just one women and Ravi, no other witnesses and Ravi is dead.

I was hook line and sinker on the whole thing until I read an article last month where I found it was Sam Allberry who "broke" the whole story.
Inside RZIM, Staff Push Leaders to Take Responsibility for Scandal
Staff members start to speak out
According to RZIM’s initial response to CT’s reporting, “the family and ministry teammates of Ravi Zacharias”—a group that includes a few hundred speakers and staff members in more than a dozen offices around the world—knew the allegations weren’t true based on their personal experiences with Zacharias.

At an online all-staff meeting in mid-October, however, RZIM speaker Sam Allberry, who officiated at Zacharias’s graveside service, asked why “ministry teammates” had been included in the official denial. They had not been consulted before leadership crafted the unsigned statement denying the claims.

“Why are you putting words in my mouth?” said Allberry, according to people who attended the meeting. “Frankly, I believe these women and find their allegations to be credible.”

Others at RZIM—from people who keep the Atlanta headquarters running to top-level apologists—also started to speak out, persuaded by the reporting in CT and World magazine that the accusations were serious and credible.
Did he believe these women in good faith working a high paying position at RZIM? Did he believe these women as he officiated the graveside service of this serial rapist? I can't under good faith believe the man who would protect a rapist in life just to piss on his grave in death in order to run, the soon to be renamed, SAIM.

I am not a huge Ravi fan. Ive listened to hours of his lectures and I have never heard a man so smart contradict his own theology soo much. Ravi also at some point thought it be a great idea to hire Sam Allberry.

All that to say, I am skeptical, I think it is fully possible that Ravi did what he is accused of. I just think it is very convenient for Sam to take the accusers side after years of knowing about the accusations and still taking paychecks. The real believer of these women would have been working at a different ministry and would have been more outspoken before officiating his "friends" funeral.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by tuttle » Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:44 am

I learned a long time ago that even very sinful men can be vehicles for articulate, profound, Gospel-centered, truth. It's not standard procedure but God's truth can shine through.

I've learned a thing or two from Ravi's teaching whenever I caught him on the radio.

I don't know if the allegations are true. I too have some questions of much of this coming out after his death, and I didn't realize Sam Allbery was part of his ministry, much less one of the drivers of supporting the allegations. I don't think that gets Ravi off the hook, but it does allow for some reasonable skepticism for folks not involved.

Regardless of his guilt or innocence, I'm sure his family is going through some kind of hell right now.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by durangopipe » Fri Feb 12, 2021 12:18 pm

The investigation was done at the request of the ministry by an outside legal firm. A huge black eye for the faith, and a deep, deep wish of all that it were not true. But the report is thorough and credible, the evidence is overwhelming and the ministry is likely damaged now beyond repair, but the ministry did the right thing.

This matter did not suddenly appear after Zacharias’s death. Troubling reports had been appearing for years before his passing.

Pastors are in a position not entirely unlike the one that therapists often find themselves in - the relationship between pastors and parishioners is prone to transference. In Zacharias’s case, there seems to have been more than transference involved. The report appears to support the claim that he was a years-long sexual predator.

Fame and power exaggerate the problem. And as many have already mentioned, none of us is immune to temptation.

It is all horrifically sad.

For those who are wanting more information, I found the following hurtful, but helpful. Yes, it’s the New York Times, but I know the author and she is a sincere, devout Christian. I’m certain that she found no joy in having to cover this story.


Ravi Zacharias, Influential Evangelist, Is Accused of Sexual Abuse in Scathing Report

An investigation found credible evidence of sexual misconduct spanning many years. Several massage therapists made accusations against Mr. Zacharias, who died last spring.

Feb. 11, 2021

After initially denying accounts of his misconduct, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries announced that an investigation had found credible evidence of sexual misconduct spanning many years and multiple continents.

The announcement was the result of an investigation by a Southeastern law firm, Miller & Martin, which RZIM hired in October to investigate accounts of sexual misconduct by Mr. Zacharias.

“We believe not only the women who made their allegations public but also additional women who had not previously made public allegations against Ravi but whose identities and stories were uncovered during the investigation,” the ministry’s board of directors said in a statement accompanying the report. “We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse.”

When Mr. Zacharias died of cancer in May at age 74, he was one of the most revered evangelists in the United States. Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke at his memorial service in Atlanta, calling him “a man of faith who could rightly handle the word of truth like few others in our time” and comparing him to Billy Graham and C.S. Lewis.

Though the report adds shocking new details, accounts of Mr. Zacharias’s sexual misconduct had arisen in recent years. In 2017, he settled a lawsuit with a Canadian couple whom he had accused of attempting to extort him over intimate text messages he had exchanged with the wife.

Then last fall, several months after Mr. Zacharias’s death, the magazine Christianity Today reported on allegations that Mr. Zacharias had groped and masturbated in front of several women who worked at two day spas he co-owned near his ministry’s headquarters in Alpharetta, Ga. After initially denying those claims, RZIM acknowledged in December that an interim report from Miller & Martin confirmed that he had engaged in “sexual misconduct.”

The full report paints a stark portrait of that misconduct. The law firm interviewed more than a dozen massage therapists who treated Mr. Zacharias. Five of them reported that he had touched or rubbed them inappropriately, and four said he would touch his own genitals or ask them to touch him. Eight said he would either start the massage completely nude or remove the draping sheets during the treatment.

One massage therapist “reported details of many encounters over a period of years that she described as rape,” the report says. She said Mr. Zacharias talked with her about topics including her faith and her finances, and she came to think of him as a “father figure.” After he arranged for his ministry to provide her with financial support, however, he demanded sex, according to the report. Mr. Zacharias, it says, “warned her not ever to speak out against him or she would be responsible for the ‘millions of souls’ whose salvation would be lost if his reputation was damaged.”

The law firm also found a pattern of intimate text and email-based relationships with women. In reviewing his electronic devices, they found the phone numbers of more than 200 massage therapists and more than 200 selfies, some of them nudes, from much younger women. Mr. Zacharias also used the nonprofit ministry to financially support some of his long-term therapists. The report also reveals that he owned two apartments in Bangkok, where he spent 256 days between 2010 and 2014. One of his massage therapists stayed in the other apartment.

Mr. Zacharias said in 2017 that in 45 years of marriage, “I have never engaged in any inappropriate behavior of any kind.”

The report is a devastating blow for the reputation of a man who was for decades a widely admired evangelical leader. Born in Chennai, India, and boasting impressive academic credentials, he had a reputation among many evangelicals as a worldly and winsome intellectual. His ministry’s motto is “Helping the thinker believe. Helping the believer think.”

Mr. Zacharias specialized in apologetics, a tradition that focuses on making logical appeals for the truth of the Christian faith, and equipping evangelicals to engage non-believers in conversations about faith.

“People in the pews in evangelical churches, when they think of a Christian intellectual, they would have thought of Ravi Zacharias,” said John Fea, a historian at evangelical Messiah College. “He had an immense influence on the way rank-and-file American evangelicals thought about how to defend their faith.”

He also built RZIM, which by the time of his death employed more than 100 full-time speakers around the world. The ministry appealed to Christian donors who saw Mr. Zacharias as the rare evangelist who could reach atheists and intellectuals in the academy, corporate boardrooms and other elite spaces. As his health failed last spring, public tributes poured in from high-profile fans including the football and baseball player Tim Tebow and the Christian rap artist Lecrae.

As it turned out, Mr. Zacharias’s academic reputation was built in part on exaggerations. Though he often called himself a “professor” or “research fellow” at the University of Oxford, for example, he had only a loose honorary affiliation with a Christian college there. He had similarly inflated his relationship with the University of Cambridge. And though he used the title “Dr. Zacharias” in many contexts, including in his 2006 memoir, “Walking From East to West,” his only doctorates were honorary, as RZIM conceded in 2017.

The first accusations about Mr. Zacharias’s sexual misconduct emerged around the same time as his résumé started to crumble.

In 2014, Mr. Zacharias met a Canadian couple, Brad and Lori Anne Thompson, at a fund-raising luncheon in Ontario. They stayed in touch, and eventually Mr. Zacharias invited Ms. Thompson to correspond privately on BlackBerry Messenger. The evangelist was 30 years older than Ms. Thompson, and she saw him as a “spiritual father,” she has said. After she confided in him about her history of abuse and trauma, she has said, Mr. Zacharias began soliciting sexually explicit messages.

When Ms. Thompson told Mr. Zacharias that she needed to tell her husband about their relationship, Mr. Zacharias threatened suicide, according to leaked emails first published by the blogger Julie Anne Smith.

After a lawyer for the Thompsons approached Mr. Zacharias privately in 2017, he sued the couple, portraying them publicly as serial extortionists and saying that Ms. Thompson had sent him the explicit messages against his will. The suit ended in private mediation, and all parties signed a nondisclosure agreement.

RZIM’s board expressed regret on Thursday for its response to Ms. Thompson’s allegations. “It is with profound grief that we recognize that because we did not believe the Thompsons and both privately and publicly perpetuated a false narrative, they were slandered for years and their suffering was greatly prolonged and intensified,” it said in the statement accompanying the report.

Mr. Zacharias co-owned two day spas near RZIM headquarters between 2004 and 2015, an unusual venture for an evangelist but one he made no attempt to hide. At the grand opening of Jivan Wellness at a strip mall in 2009, speakers included the comedian Jeff Foxworthy; Sonny Perdue, then the governor of Georgia; and the pastor Johnny Hunt, who was the president of the Southern Baptist Convention at the time.

Several months after Mr. Zacharias’s death last year, Christianity Today published new reporting about his behavior at the spas, which he frequently visited for massages.

Those allegations left Mr. Zacharias’s global ministry in chaos. Initially, the organization denied the women’s accounts. Sarah Davis, its chief executive and Mr. Zacharias’s daughter, sent an email to the staff that said she was “confident” the accusations were not true, according to internal emails acquired by The New York Times. The organization told Christianity Today that the claims “do not in any way comport with the man we knew for decades.”

Leading up to the report’s release on Thursday, current and former employees described feeling disillusioned by the organization’s past denials, and by what they described as attempts to discourage them from even researching the accusations against Mr. Zacharias.

For some, the disillusionment was compounded because it involved a ministry that invited tough questions, and prided itself on pursuing the truth. “RZIM welcomed doubts about Jesus Christ but refused questions about Ravi Zacharias,” said Daniel Gilman, a former speaker in the organization’s Canadian office.

In its statement on Thursday, RZIM’s board said it was “seeking the Lord’s will regarding the future of this ministry.”

Ruth Graham is a national correspondent covering religion, faith and values. She previously reported on religion for Slate. @publicroad

A version of this article appears in print on Feb. 12, 2021, Section A, Page 19 of the New York edition with the headline: Sexual Misconduct by Influential Evangelist Is Disclosed in Graphic Report. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe


And this from Christianity Today which had been reporting on the troubling story for years:
L Ravi Zacharias Hid Hundreds of Pictures of Women, Abuse During Massages, and a Rape Allegation
His ministry, preparing to downsize in the wake of a new investigation, expresses regret for “misplaced trust” in a leader who used his esteem to conceal his sexual misconduct.

Daniel Silliman and Kate ShellnuttFebruary 11, 2021 04:29 PM
Ravi Zacharias Hid Hundreds of Pictures of Women, Abuse During Massages, and a Rape Allegation
A four-month investigation found the late Ravi Zacharias leveraged his reputation as a world-famous Christian apologist to abuse massage therapists in the United States and abroad over more than a decade while the ministry led by his family members and loyal allies failed to hold him accountable.

Current Issue
He used his need for massage and frequent overseas travel to hide his abusive behavior, luring victims by building trust through spiritual conversations and offering funds straight from his ministry.

A 12-page report released Thursday by Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) confirms abuse by Zacharias at day spas he owned in Atlanta and uncovers five additional victims in the US, as well as evidence of sexual abuse in Thailand, India, and Malaysia.

Even a limited review of Zacharias’s old devices revealed contacts for more than 200 massage therapists in the US and Asia and hundreds of images of young women, including some that showed the women naked. Zacharias solicited and received photos until a few months before his death in May 2020 at age 74.

Zacharias used tens of thousands of dollars of ministry funds dedicated to a “humanitarian effort” to pay four massage therapists, providing them housing, schooling, and monthly support for extended periods of time, according to investigators.

One woman told the investigators that “after he arranged for the ministry to provide her with financial support, he required sex from her.” She called it rape.

She said Zacharias “made her pray with him to thank God for the ‘opportunity’ they both received” and, as with other victims, “called her his ‘reward’ for living a life of service to God,” the report says. Zacharias warned the woman—a fellow believer—if she ever spoke out against him, she would be responsible for millions of souls lost when his reputation was damaged.

The findings, alongside details revealed over months of internal reckoning at RZIM, challenge the picture many have had of Zacharias.

When he died in May, he was praised for his faithful witness, his commitment to the truth, and his personal integrity. Now it is clear that, offstage, the man so long admired by Christians around the world abused numerous women and manipulated those around him to turn a blind eye.

Miller & Martin attorneys Lynsey Barron and William Eiselstein, hired by RZIM to investigate, interviewed 50 witnesses and examined phones Zacharias used from 2014 to 2018. In the end, the lawyers said “we are confident that we uncovered sufficient evidence to conclude that Mr. Zacharias engaged in sexual misconduct,” though the investigation was not exhaustive.


The RZIM board released a statement alongside the investigation expressing regret and taking some responsibility:

“Ravi engaged in a series of extensive measures to conceal his behavior from his family, colleagues, and friends. However, we also recognize that in situations of prolonged abuse, there often exist significant structural, policy, and cultural problems. ... We were trusted by our staff, our donors, and the public to mentor, oversee, and ensure the accountability of Ravi Zacharias, and in this we have failed.”

RZIM hired Miller & Martin after a September 2020 Christianity Today report on allegations of abuse by three women who worked at Zacharias’s spas. Initially, the ministry leadership stated it did not believe the women. Today that has changed.

“We believe not only the women who made their allegations public but also additional women who had not previously made public allegations against Ravi but whose identities and stories were uncovered during the investigation,” the statement said.

In a span of eight months, RZIM has gone from having to reimagine the work of its global ministry following the death of its renowned namesake to having to restructure entirely, as Christians inside and outside the organization lost trust in its longtime leader.

Multiple speakers and RZIM staff members left the ministry during the course of the investigation, concerned about top officials’ initial response to the allegations. RZIM’s Canadian branch suspended fundraising efforts and donation collection through April, while the UK-based Zacharias Trust is threatening to split if RZIM does not apologize to victims and institute major reforms. (Update: The day after the report was released the UK board voted unanimously to seperate from RZIM and choose a new name.)

Even before the report’s release on Thursday evening, RZIM leadership had shifted to reduce the involvement of the Zacharias family. Margie Zacharias, Ravi’s widow, resigned from the board and the ministry in January, while her daughter Sarah Davis stepped down as board chair but remains CEO.

Staff members inside RZIM say the ministry—the largest apologetics organization in the world—plans to dramatically downsize to as few as 10 US apologists and a few international speakers, supported by a small staff.

Investigation limited by NDA

In addition to confirming previous reports of abuse at Zacharias’s spas, the new report corroborated four-year-old allegations by Lori Anne Thompson, the Canadian woman who says Zacharias manipulated her into sending him sexually explicit texts and photos. Her case was the first sexual scandal related to Zacharias to go public, and it inspired other victims to come forward.

Zacharias had sued Thompson in 2017, claiming that her lawyer’s letter to the RZIM board alleging sexual abuse was actually an elaborate attempt at extortion. The board wrote on Thursday that “we believe Lori Anne Thompson has told the truth about the nature of her relationship with Ravi Zacharias.”

Investigators interviewed other witnesses who “recounted similar conduct” as Thompson’s allegations and found a six-year-long pattern of text messaging with other women before and after her.

Yet Thompson and her husband, Brad, were unable to participate in the recent investigation themselves. The late apologist’s estate refused investigators’ requests to lift a nondisclosure agreement (NDA) to allow the Thompsons to speak about what happened. Their attorney, Basyle Tchividjian, told investigators that with everything that has come to light, the fact that the Thompsons are still bound by an NDA is “reprehensible.”

Davis wrote in a ministry-wide email that RZIM “asked for a modification to the NDA for the purpose of the investigation,” but the organization has no authority over the estate, which is controlled by her mother, Margie Zacharias. The estate also refused to have Zacharias’s personal attorneys hand over any evidence collected from his devices at the time, leaving a gap in the record examined by Miller & Martin.

According to the investigative report, however, Zacharias continued soliciting sexual images of women as he settled the case with the Thompsons, defended himself publicly, and assured the RZIM leadership and staff he did nothing wrong and there was no need to investigate.

“While he told his staff that his real mistake in the Thompson matter was not alerting someone that he was receiving photographs of another woman, we have no indication that he ever went to RZIM management or its Board on the more than 200 occasions he received photographs of women during and after the Thompson matter,” the report says.


In fact, one day after Zacharias publicly stated in 2017 that he had learned a “difficult and painful lesson” over his communication with Lori Anne Thompson, he received more photographs from another woman, investigators found. That woman went on to send him nude pictures as well.

One thing did change, though. After the Thompson case, the investigators noticed that Zacharias did a better job of deleting his messages in ways that could not be detected or uncovered.

In its statement released with the report, the RZIM board acknowledged the failure and apologized to Lori Anne Thompson.

“We were wrong,” the statement says. “It is with profound grief that we recognize that because we did not believe the Thompsons and both privately and publicly perpetuated a false narrative, they were slandered for years and their suffering was greatly prolonged and intensified. This leaves us heartbroken and ashamed.”

‘He was able to hide his misconduct in plain sight’

Much of the abuse uncovered by investigators took place around massage, which Zacharias relied on to treat a chronic back injury. He regularly traveled with a personal masseuse and criticized a fellow RZIM staff member who questioned the “appearance of impropriety” for doing so.

While the report did not interview sources abroad, investigators uncovered evidence that Zacharias routinely met massage therapists when he traveled.

“He would often arrange for massage treatments in his hotel room when he was likely alone,” the report said. “According to his text messages, at times he would meet the therapists in the hotel lobby and at other times he would direct them to come straight to his room.”

In Bangkok, he owned two apartments in the early 2010s, sharing a building with one of his massage therapists, the investigators found. The notes app on his phone included Thai and Mandarin translations of phrases like “I’d like to have a beautiful memory with you,” “little bit further,” and “your lips are especially beautiful.”

The massage therapists and the women pictured in Zacharias’s phone albums were decades younger than him, many in their 20s.

The investigation did not find any evidence that RZIM leadership or staff knew about Zacharias’s sexual misconduct. It also shows the ministry provided little to no accountability for its namesake and founder.

“Because his need for massage treatments was well known and accepted, he was able to hide his misconduct in plain sight,” the report says.

Zacharias spoke about the importance of “physical safeguards” to “protect my integrity,” but the Miller & Martin report notes that “As the architect of those ‘physical safeguards,’ Mr. Zacharias well knew how to elude them.”

The investigation confirmed that Zacharias lied about not being alone with a woman other than his wife or daughters. He also maintained multiple phones at all times, kept them on a different wireless plan than RZIM, and never used the wireless network at the office. Zacharias said this was for security, but it ensured his communication could not be monitored.

The RZIM board’s statement acknowledges that it has “fallen gravely short” and expresses regret “that we allowed our misplaced trust in Ravi to result in him having less oversight and accountability than would have been wise and loving.”

Each example in the report contrasts with the public witness of a leader—and a ministry—known for preaching integrity and truth.

“Those of you who have seen me in public have no idea what I’m like in private,” Zacharias told his supporters in a talk he gave about a year before he died, in a recording shared with CT. “God does. God does. And I encourage you today to make that commitment and say, ‘I’m going to be the man in private who will receive the divine accolade, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’”

Many who looked up to Zacharias as a mentor, model, and spiritual father have been trying to grapple with the new information, their feelings of betrayal, and questions about their own responsibility.

“I feel disappointed in myself and others who could have pushed harder against the tides of submissive loyalty to demand better answers earlier, as there is no part of the evangelical creed that honours cowardice or sacrifices conscience,” Dan Paterson, the former head of RZIM in Australia, wrote on Facebook Wednesday night.

“I feel a profound sense of the fear of the Lord, knowing that one day I too will give an account, where like the RZ report, everything done under the shroud of darkness will be made known. Jesus comes to restore justice through judgment. Oh, how I wish Ravi repented here!”

Changes coming to RZIM

The board (whose names are not publicly available) and leadership have been planning for a reckoning since investigators’ interim report in December prepared RZIM to expect the worst.

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Going into the process in September 2020, the ministry’s official stance was that the allegations couldn’t be true but that it would conduct an investigation to clear Zacharias’s name. At first, RZIM hired the firm of one of the lawyers who sued the Thompsons. Several people inside the ministry said vice president Abdu Murray suggested enlisting a “rough” ex-cop to track down the accusers and uncover information the ministry could use to discredit them.

RZIM changed course and hired Miller & Martin in early October, after several speakers said they found the allegations credible and demanded the ministry do a real and reputable investigation.

“I believe each of us bear a degree of responsibility for what we’ve all been blind to, what we’ve unwittingly enabled, what we’ve not spoken against, and what we’ve allowed to go on and continue,” Sam Allberry, one of the speakers, told colleagues in the UK.

As CT previously reported, fights over complicity and accountability roiled the ministry for months as the investigation continued. At the start of the new year, RZIM was bracing for a split.

Davis informed staff that some global offices may decide to separate from RZIM and become independent, national organizations. Currently, each office has its own articles of incorporation or national charter as a charity and is associated with the US-based ministry through an “affiliate agreement.” This has allowed RZIM to function as a single global ministry.

“We have been able to operate as one organization in practice for over 35 years, however, in a time of crisis such as ours, this has caused some of our boards to need to exercise decisions separate from the HQ and International Board in order to make what they feel are the best decisions for their entity,” Davis wrote.

Some senior apologists in RZIM think national separation is the only way to preserve parts of the ministry that are doing good work.

John Lennox, a Northern Irish mathematician and apologist who famously debated Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and other “new atheists,” has urged the UK branch of RZIM to separate. Lennox withdrew from all association with RZIM the day after CT reported the spa allegations, but told British apologists he would happily work with them if they were to form an independent organization.

“The current allegations are of such a serious nature that I cannot be involved in any ongoing activity in the name of RZIM,” Lennox wrote in a statement to the UK and US boards. “In my view, a renaming of the organisation and fundamental restructuring of the organisation and board needs to be done and done very quickly, if the potential of the marvelous young team of apologists is to be retained in any collective sense.”

Other national boards are also in the process of disentangling themselves from the US headquarters, according to multiple sources inside the ministry. The Canadian board said in a statement that “It is clear that this ministry cannot be built on previous structures” but “must be built on new approaches and relationships.”

The Canadian apologetics ministry also laid off four team members, including Daniel Gilman, a speaker who decided he believed the women who accused Zacharias of sexual abuse and vocally challenged RZIM leadership to acknowledge complicity. Gilman told CT he was deeply concerned the ministry he loved would choose to rebrand but not repent.

Gilman’s severance package included an NDA, which would bar him from “any action that could reasonably be anticipated to cause harm to the reputation” of or “negatively reflect” on RZIM. Gilman protested and the NDA was replaced with an agreement to keep donor information confidential.

Many more layoffs are expected soon. RZIM employees told CT that they expect the international ministry, which once boasted 100 speakers and 250 staff members nationwide, will be reduced to a fraction of that. Davis told staff that layoffs will be announced in the weeks after the Miller & Martin report is released.

“This is a very difficult decision necessary only because of the situation we find ourselves in,” she wrote. “We are profoundly sorry for this.”

After the staff reductions and national splits, the team that remains will likely be some of the speakers who were closest to Zacharias and have well-established relationships with major donors. People inside RZIM expect the core to include speakers Michael Ramsden, Abdu Murray, and Vince Vitale, led by Davis.

Davis stepped down as chair of the board, handing the reins over to Chris Blattner, a retired energy company executive and major donor from Minnesota. During the crisis, however, Davis has taken on more of the day-to-day management of RZIM, personally putting her name to all internal and external communication.


The RZIM board stated Thursday that “In light of the findings of the investigation and the ongoing evaluation, we are seeking the Lord’s will regarding the future of this ministry … We will be spending focused time praying and fasting as we discern how God is leading, and we will speak to this in the near future.”

RZIM announced it is bringing in victims advocate Rachael Denhollander to educate the board and leadership on sexual abuse and advise them on best practices going forward. The ministry has also hired a management consulting firm to evaluate “structures, culture, policies, processes, finances, and practices” and propose reforms.

Answered prayer

The secret of Zacharias’s abuse started to unravel the day of his funeral in May 2020. One of the massage therapists he groped, masturbated in front of, and asked for sexually explicit images watched in shock as the apologist was honored and celebrated on a livestream. Famous people, including Vice President Mike Pence and Christian football star Tim Tebow, spoke of Zacharias in glowing terms.

Has no one come forward? she thought. No one?

She worried about other women who might be out there, hurting. She prayed that something would happen.

The woman googled “Ravi Zacharias sex scandal” and found the blog RaviWatch, run by Steve Baughman, an atheist who had been tracking and reporting on Zacharias’s “fishy claims” since 2015. Baughman blogged on Zacharias’s false statements about academic credentials, the sexting allegations, and the subsequent lawsuit. When the woman read about what happened to Lori Anne Thompson, she recognized what had happened to that woman was what had happened to her.

As far as she could tell, this atheist blogger was the only one who cared that Zacharias had sexually abused people and gotten away with it. She reached out to Baughman and then eventually spoke to Christianity Today about Zacharias’s spas, the women who worked there, and the abuse that happened behind closed doors.

The woman from the spas told CT she didn’t expect anything from RZIM. Not an acknowledgement. Certainly not an apology. A multimillion-dollar ministry built in one man’s name and on his reputation would never admit the truth of his secrets, she thought.

She only spoke out because she wanted other women—women hurt by Zacharias, and women victimized by other famous and celebrated Christians—to know the truth. She wanted them to know that they weren’t alone.

This week, she believes God answered her prayer.

“I think it happened in God’s perfect time,” she said. “It’s in his time; it’s in his way. The Lord is doing this, and what will be left over is what God wants to be left over.”
We need to prayerfully consider our individual responses to this. I don’t believe that either denial or attempting to sweep it under the rug will help any of us as individuals or The Church.
The majority is always wrong; the minority is rarely right.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by coco » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:07 pm

If Allberry knew about rape and sat on the information until Zacharias died, Allberry deserves to be punished.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by ReverendThom » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:11 pm

What Durango said.

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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by coco » Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:12 pm

Fainn wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:49 pm
My wife and I won't even be alone with someone of the opposite sex unless its a blood relative.
I understand why you would want to protect yourselves from this one form of gossip.

I also think that it is sad that most Christian ministers feel like they have to protect themselves in this way. Christians shouldn't have to adopt a Muslim cultural standard to feel safe from gossiping wolves in the church.
There are many terrible attributes of the lowly cob. Not the least of them is that it makes you look like a doof.

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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by Stanley76 » Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:57 pm

coco wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:12 pm
Fainn wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:49 pm
My wife and I won't even be alone with someone of the opposite sex unless its a blood relative.
I understand why you would want to protect yourselves from this one form of gossip.

I also think that it is sad that most Christian ministers feel like they have to protect themselves in this way. Christians shouldn't have to adopt a Muslim cultural standard to feel safe from gossiping wolves in the church.
It's not just Christian ministers who feel this way now days and it's not just gossip that men have deal with today. It's any man who is in a position of authority of any type. Some allegations are undoubtedly true and there are certainly men who use their positions to prey on women (and in some cases other men or children) but the jezebel spirit is rampaging now days. I'm glad I'm retired from law enforcement and if I was still on the job I damn sure would be firing up that body cam every time I had to interact with a woman alone.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by Fainn » Fri Feb 12, 2021 5:58 pm

coco wrote:
Fri Feb 12, 2021 1:12 pm
Fainn wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:49 pm
My wife and I won't even be alone with someone of the opposite sex unless its a blood relative.
I understand why you would want to protect yourselves from this one form of gossip.

I also think that it is sad that most Christian ministers feel like they have to protect themselves in this way. Christians shouldn't have to adopt a Muslim cultural standard to feel safe from gossiping wolves in the church.
Its not just against gossip. My parents got divorced because my dad ran around on my mom.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by Cobster » Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:57 pm

Like what my pastor says: Were all siners I'm no differrent then you guys. These days sin is all around us, we have tv and internet etc. At my church I had to coin the phrase "keep your Victoria secret!" We had a worship team of one girl and 5 older men. I actually had to stand up on my own and tell the pastor and his wife ban leggings in the worship team she was driving the men nutts!!! In ny the local calvary chapple churches were split in half over a pastor having sex with his secratary it was 20 years ago but the damage altho catastraphic was eventually healed.

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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by Adam Z » Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:39 pm

The local non-denominational megachurch that I was formerly a member of for a decade had Ravi come there as the keynote speaker for some kind of conference a couple years ago. I saw that the church recently made a public apology (?!?!?) for having invited him there, and they said that they were deleting all audio/video recordings of Ravi speaking at this conference from the church website.

Look - I'm not defending Ravi Zacharias, but this seems like overreach on the part of the church IMO, and this really became a TTCMA. If there wasn't anything unsound about what RZ had to say at the conference, then let it stand. Surely if RZ were still alive he shouldn't be invited back as he has disqualified himself from public ministry, however this doesn't mean that there is no truth to anything that RZ ever spoke/wrote/preached nor does it mean that everything he taught needs to be deleted. Truths previously spoken by someone who was mired in egregious sin don't cease to be truth on account of the sin being made public.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by FredS » Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:00 pm

Adam Z wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:39 pm
The local non-denominational megachurch that I was formerly a member of for a decade had Ravi come there as the keynote speaker for some kind of conference a couple years ago. I saw that the church recently made a public apology (?!?!?) for having invited him there, and they said that they were deleting all audio/video recordings of Ravi speaking at this conference from the church website.

Look - I'm not defending Ravi Zacharias, but this seems like overreach on the part of the church IMO, and this really became a TTCMA. If there wasn't anything unsound about what RZ had to say at the conference, then let it stand. Surely if RZ were still alive he shouldn't be invited back as he has disqualified himself from public ministry, however this doesn't mean that there is no truth to anything that RZ ever spoke/wrote/preached nor does it mean that everything he taught needs to be deleted. Truths previously spoken by someone who was mired in egregious sin don't cease to be truth on account of the sin being made public.
Ask yourself whether leaving Zacharias' videos on their website has a greater potential to harm the Church or to convert non-believers. I'm quite sure their leadership did that math before making their decision.

You and I have had this discussion at least twice before - "speaking the truth" is not all there is to Christianity. In fact, it can be, and often is, code for covering horrible abuses or harm caused by the speaker whether he addresses an auditorium full of people or the sinner next door. Ever heard anyone say "People don't care what you know until the know that you care"?

I've never followed Zacharias' ministry. Perhaps he was not responsible for caring for the flock and the importance of his work was strictly in his apologetics - that is, precisely, showing how much he knew in an effort to convince folks of Christs reality. If that is true, it seems like he was remarkably successful. But I wouldn't trumpet that success while ignoring any harm he may have caused. That harm should absolutely tarnish his success, and how he is regarded going forward.
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Re: Ravi Zacharias

Post by Adam Z » Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:20 pm

FredS wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:00 pm

Ask yourself whether leaving Zacharias' videos on their website has a greater potential to harm the Church or to convert non-believers. I'm quite sure their leadership did that math before making their decision.

You and I have had this discussion at least twice before - "speaking the truth" is not all there is to Christianity. In fact, it can be, and often is, code for covering horrible abuses or harm caused by the speaker whether he addresses an auditorium full of people or the sinner next door. Ever heard anyone say "People don't care what you know until the know that you care"?

I've never followed Zacharias' ministry. Perhaps he was not responsible for caring for the flock and the importance of his work was strictly in his apologetics - that is, precisely, showing how much he knew in an effort to convince folks of Christs reality. If that is true, it seems like he was remarkably successful. But I wouldn't trumpet that success while ignoring any harm he may have caused. That harm should absolutely tarnish his success, and how he is regarded going forward.
Given some thought on this after reading your response - I think you're right on all points. I've reconsidered my previously stated opinion on the removing of RZ's lecture.

I had a brief Proverbs 27:6a moment reading that second paragraph. Yet again I needed this reminder, and I sincerely thank you for it :pipe3:
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