I am not surprised when the innate sinfulness of human nature results in a scandal. I am especially not surprised when this happens in the Church, with “the Church” being the collective group of Jesus’ family: Christians. Unfortunately, I am not surprised when Christians, the Church, and everyone else tries to sweep it under the rug and pretend as if no one saw or heard a thing. This, though is unacceptable.
With recent events, including the evidence pointing to the sexual abuse from Ravi Zacharias, we must make his name known. Make his actions known. Make this case known. I am absolutely enraged, disgusted, and in pain over everything that happened. I say his name so you see the brokenness that is in human nature. I say his name so you realize the sin that exists in all of us. There are no excuses for him, for his team, or for anyone who is trying to keep this quiet. I still stand by everything I once said about cancel culture, but also, we cannot hide this situation. He is not the only faith leader who has failed. I promise you that. You already know this and maybe that’s why you’re skeptical about the faith filled with hypocritical, fake, and judgmental people. Trust me, I understand why the idea of giving Jesus a chance isn’t all that appealing.
It breaks my heart more that this story is not known. It breaks my heart that his team put more of their trust in him rather than looking into the evidence. Church, Christians, we need accountability. Yeah, it is awkward and embarrassing for us to admit when our church leaders fail. Yeah, I know the initial thought is, “Oh gosh, dang it! I can’t let people know what happened. What is that going to do to our church and the Christian faith?” We think way too highly of our pastors, evangelists, leaders in the faith. They are not the Messiah, not even in the slightest. Why are we so scared? Hiding it only leads to more pain and distrust. You know this.
Before I continue, let me just say that these are my thoughts. I have no degree in theology. I am not here to preach to you. I’m a college student that reads her Bible occasionally. Because these are my thoughts, I’m not going to include Scripture, but I do encourage you to look into who Jesus actually is. Take the Bible for what it is and not for the misinterpretations that culture has pushed onto you, friend. This is your invitation to seek objective truth. It has led me to find everything about the Christian faith to be true. Where does it lead you?
The Christian faith has never been about putting our trust and our hope in imperfect people. That’s the whole story of the gospel in a nutshell. There’s a reason why God had to send Jesus to die for our sins. There’s a reason as to why we are told that salvation is through believing that Jesus is Lord and not through our good works. There is a reason why we put our trust in the only perfect being, Jesus.
Church, the more we sweep these things under the rug the less we represent Christ in my opinion. If we care more about doing what we can to protect our leaders rather than seek truth, we need to check our hearts. Of course, salvation is through Christ alone. Of course, people can never perfectly represent Jesus. Of course, we emphasize that Jesus is better and all glory to Him. But Christians, to lead people to Christ it often can begin with us and how we share the gospel. We need to be better. The less trustworthy we become, the less we are like Christ. Think about the picture of Jesus that paints for the friend who has never heard the gospel.
Do not put your pastors, leaders, evangelists on a pedestal. They’re not the ones who died for our sins. At the end of the day, they are just as prone to wander, tempted to sin, and are no better than any single one of us.
Maybe I’m crazy but I think the more vocal we are about the brokenness of our leaders (and ourselves), the more people are willing to give Jesus a fair shot. I’m twenty-one and I know nothing about most things, but hear me out. The faith is about Jesus and telling the world that Jesus alone changes everything about the way we go about this life. It’s about Him but sometimes it starts with our inviting nature, loving spirit, and ability to be trusted. And before you take pride over that, you already know that God gets all the glory. Though incredibly defeating to admit when our leaders mess up, hiding the mistakes, sin, and pain does nothing for anyone. Who wants to go to a church that cares more about their ideal façade rather than coming as they are, in their brokenness?
I, being twenty-one years old and imperfect beyond belief, have found that the more vulnerable I am, the more I can show people who Jesus is. I am not the Messiah as John the Baptist would put it. The Christian faith is not about me. Give me maybe four minutes max and surely I will say something that accidentally offends, disappoints, or is just plain stupid. I’m not perfect and you know this. But through that transparency, it’s so much easier to point to Jesus. The less worried I am about pretending to be put together, the more I can share with you why I believe Jesus is Lord even during trials and tribulations. The less I try to be the “cooler version of Jesus” as Francis Chan would put it, the more I can share with you who Jesus is and why He is better. The less I try to cover up the flaws and failures in the Church, the more I can explain why there is a need for a Savior. Church, we need to do better. Step up.
Unfortunately, we cannot go back in time. We cannot prevent the pain, abuse, and trauma that occurred. That absolutely breaks my heart. I read what his victims experienced and it drives me to tears. We cannot undo the damage that has already been done, unfortunately. But Church, we have to take accountability over this and learn from this experience. We have to do better. It’s not about you, your leaders, your church, it is about Jesus. We have to do better. I am begging us, please.
To my friends who have been skeptical about the Christian faith. Maybe you heard about this or you’re reading this now and the imperfect and broken Church is why you’re so against giving Jesus a fair chance. As I said, I can understand that. Even the “best” of us will never be able to perfectly represent a God filled with love, wisdom, goodness, grace, wrath, and justice. I don’t know what you’re going through. I don’t know if you’re here today because life is amazing right now and you see no reason for a God. I don’t know if you’re here today because your life is falling apart and you see no reason for a God if suffering exists. I don’t know your story. This is not about choosing a religion based on what feels best. This is not about telling you to seek Jesus because He will give everything your heart desires; He doesn’t. This is me inviting you to seek truth. I invite you to look at history, science, cosmology, evolution. Truly investigate the cosmological, teleological, and moral law argument. At the end of the day, who cares about anything Jesus did if He is not who He claimed to be? There’s no point. This is your invitation to seek truth. So, I humbly ask you to investigate because if Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life that He claimed to be, it is a beautiful day to give your life to Christ. Come as you are and be saved. You are made worthy, loved fully, and created intentionally by the way. Thank you for reading.
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
5 thoughts on “Swept under the rug.”
It’s the valley in which Christians must journey every waking moment: the pains and flexing and grasping of truth, of growing in faith. And the challenges are immense, but that’s part of faith, isn’t it? This attempt to seek to be perfect — as a good “witness” to those who don’t share our faith, and to honor God’s calling for us to pursue righteousness and holiness — while in the same space, in the same breath, we must allow room for ourselves, and for others, to understand the growth that remains in each of us. The Christian whose alcohol habit took decades to dissipate; the Christian still quick to anger, among many other examples. And sometimes, understanding that growth means accepting deep…DEEP… errors in our ways, and in others’ ways. And that’s often the most tense intersection: identifying where and how to forgive ourselves and others, and how forgiveness manifests in every dynamic of our lives. Thanks for the post, cuz’.
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Unlike you, Kira, I am surprised when sinful behavior expresses itself in the Church. I expect more, I guess, from Christians. I was shocked by Ravi Zacharias’ behavior, but hurt by the way his ministry organization wanted to cover things up, blame victims, say it never happened.
Since I am passionate about writing, I follow writing blogs. About 3 years ago, a couple highly respected blogs, as well as other places, had articles about sexual abuse occurring at Christian writing conferences. Some well-known literary agents and writing teachers were involved. The behavior was going on for years, and directors of some of the conferences knew about it, but chose to look the other way, when booking the perpetrators for conferences, because they wanted to get a lot of registrations. Even now when I write this, it hurts. Most attendees at writing conferences are women who believe they are called by God to write, and they want to do everything they can to develop their gifts. The perpetrators were men. I was shocked by it, but then I thought that anytime there is a place where there is little or no accountability, some people (like the agents and teachers) have authority and influence, and there are people who look up to them, there is a huge potential for abuse, for things happening that never should happen.
As you wrote, the Church needs more accountability, and we need the hearts to always, always keep in mind Who we represent.
Thanks for your good article.
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I agree. Many Christian influencers who were vocal about his death have said nothing about this. I didn’t know much about him. I have one of his books but have never read it. Influencers who grieved his death must also grieve his sin.
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Wow, Kira, this post was right on point. Our pastors, leaders, elders, politicians, and celebrities are not above SIN!! We must hold our Christian leaders accountable just as we are commanded in the Bible. Nothing should be brushed under the rug. Jesus told the people in the temple who were sinning that it was not right in His Father’s house. If he told them, why would we turn a blind eye??? We must remove corruption that is at the top out of our churches. We’re imperfect people and will be until we go Home but until then we must try to live godly lives as much as possible. When we fall short, confess our sins and repent. I pray we will do better in our churches and hold each other accountable no matter how many plaques they have on the wall!
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