Ravi Zacharias: “Some…Conduct…Is More Serious”

Three years ago, I had a sinking feeling about Ravi Zacharias. I blogged about it then.

At that time, I believed he had a serious problem. As I looked at the public details, this didn’t smell right.

Then, in 2019, Julie Anne Smith broke a story of 16-year-old Shirley Steward, who was pregnant with Ravi’s brother (Ramesh). Ravi counseled her to have an abortion, even made the arrangements.

I was convinced that the evangelical world would explode, as no one would tolerate that, not even from Ravi.

I was wrong. No major Christian media outlet covered the story. Not one Big Evangelical leader called out Ravi Zacharias.

In March 2020, he was diagnosed with cancer. Many of us reached out to him, calling him to repent and apologize and drop the NDA and make things right. We were ridiculed.

When he died in May, he was lauded by none other than Vice President Mike Pence.

In September, however, several massage therapists–who worked at spas that RZ had founded and co-owned–came forward and credibly accused him of sexually assaulting them. Their allegations had corroboration.

In addition, details in the Lori Anne Thompson case surfaced, details that corroborated her and discredited Ravi’s narrative. Julie Roys reported those. Part 1 and Part 2.

This time, Christianity Today covered the spa story.

At this point, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) commissioned a law firm (Miller & Martin) to investigate sexual misconduct.

On December 23, as several apologists with RZIM had apologized to Lori Anne and called RZIM to come clean, RZIM released an interim report from Miller & Martin that stated (emphasis added):

While some of the massage therapists we have tried to interview are not willing to share their experiences with us, many have spoken candidly and with great detail. Combining those interviews with our review of documents and electronic data, we have found significant, credible evidence that Mr. Zacharias engaged in sexual misconduct over the course of many years. Some of that misconduct is consistent with and corroborative of that which is reported in the news recently, and some of the conduct we have uncovered is more serious.

There is no pretty way to spin this.

Three years ago, I said Ravi had some ‘splainin’ to do. I had a feeling that the whole settlement with Lori Anne had been engineered to cover the truth.

When Julie Anne broke the forced abortion story, I thought he was done. The story was credible; the receipts were there; combined with the academic/vitae fraud, surely major evangelical leaders were going to call him to account.

When I revisited his public statement in his settlement–and did Image Repair Analysis on it–I found a LOT of Image Repair, which is a high indicator that he was lying.

No one was listening.

Now that the spa workers have been corroborated by a law firm–and now that the law firm has found even worse offenses, we are learning the truth about Ravi Zacharias.

I am thankful that the truth is being laid bare now. I am thankful for the sake of Shirley Steward and her child, for Lori Anne and Brad Thompson, for the spa workers, and for any other victims who suffered at the hands of Ravi Zacharias.

All of their lives matter.

5 thoughts on “Ravi Zacharias: “Some…Conduct…Is More Serious”

  1. Happy New Year, Amir.

    At this point in time I don’t see how RZIM can carry on any longer considering the scandals involving Ravi Zacharias. While the board awaits the final report, they should begin planning to shut down the ministry and set aside money to compensate his victims. Whether they will do the right thing, of course, remains to be seen. The fact that RZIM acknowledged the interim report’s findings indicates they are, at the very least, no longer publicly denying the allegations.

    On a larger scale, modern evangelicalism is in serious trouble. I far too often see the “exvangelical” label or hashtag used in posts and discussions, with a large percentage of “exvangelicals” stating that they no longer consider themselves Christians. Joshua Harris, it seems, is far from alone there days. At the same time, I don’t believe modern evangelicalism needs a new marketing campaign to rebrand itself. They need to repent and start putting on the character of Jesus Christ. Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad idea to see the modern megachurch go the way of the Dodo bird.

    • Modern evangelicalism is very much in trouble. Theologically, it is very shallow; culturally, most camps are reactionary and have been for the better part of the last century.

      The Church in the entire West–the evangelical sector in particular–is long overdue for repentance.

      RZIM is hosed. The problem is not just the sins of Ravi; nor is it the fact that RZIM bears his namesake. If this was just about RZ himself, RZIM would be salvageable.

      Oh noes, the problem is that they covered for Ravi Zacharias. They dismissed Baughman when he pointed out the credentials/vitae fraud. They turned and looked the other way with the sexting scandal and the settlement. When Julie Anne Smith broke the forced abortion story–which had plenty of receipts–they didn’t even respond.

      Big Evangelical never confronted Ravi. Christianity Today gave RZ a forum to run his mouth and trash his victim while hiding behind the NDA when he was asked about the suicide email. No major Christian media held him to account. None of the big fish–Mohler, Chandler, Piper, Keller, Challies, DeYoung–held his feet to the fire. 7 months after his settlement with Lori Anne, THE SBC INVITED HIM TO SPEAK AT THEIR 2018 CONVENTION.

      The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability never asked any hard questions about RZIM or the settlement; nor did they demand more transparency when in fact RZIM’s board composition has been secret for years.

      Think about it: most evangelical leaders will talk a great talk about the sanctity of life, but NOT ONE OF THEM CALLED RAVI OUT OVER THE FORCED ABORTION. To date, not one major Christian media outlet has called attention to that case.

          • Let us pray for it. I think that those phonies have got themselves into those positions not be accidental.

            Just like Russell Moore have revealed his true colors and have somehow become President of the SBC. Speaks of some shenanigans going on behind the scenes.

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