People have been asking about the credentials of Ravi Zacharias for several years resulting in little to no response. The recent allegations of sexting brought about a quick public response after emails and text messages between Mr. Zacharias and a woman were made public on The Spiritual Sounding Board.
I have on occasion listened to the daily radio/podcasts program Just Thinking with Ravi Zacharias over several years. I’ve recently had my 8th and 9th grade sons listening to it too. Just Thinking reaches the “questioner” and the “thinker” through knowledgeable answers. Ravi Zacharias strives to remove cultural and intellectual obstacles in order to present an unobstructed view of Christ. I believe he has one of the most brilliant minds of our time. He has been known for years as a man of grace, wisdom, logic and boldness.
When I read the published email responses between Mr. Zacharias and the woman in question my heart sank. I do not want any impropriety to be true!
Is it possible? Yes, anything is possible…for any of us. We are all sinners—made from dust.
To my knowledge, Ravi Zacharias has not denied the emails were from him. He only denies the intent behind them. He insists the woman purposefully set out to extort money from him which I believe is completely possible. There are people intent on destroying Christians and/or their ministries. There are also people pursuing financial gain.
On the other hand, it could be as the writer of The Spiritual Sounding Board questioned regarding the mode of operation when men go looking for their next sexual quest. Was this woman being groomed for someone else’s sexual gratification?
Here are my questions about the case if it was all one-sided: Why did Mr. Zacharias respond to her first correspondence? Why did he respond to other correspondence? Why, when she told him in an email, which I have read, that she was going to tell her husband what she had done and beg his forgiveness, did Ravi ask, “Are you going to tell him it’s me?” Why did he ask her to refrain from telling her husband until he, Ravi, was able to discuss the matter with her? Why did Mr. Zacharias tell her? “If you betray me here, I will have no option but to bid this world goodbye, I promise.”
‘Betray’ implies exposing information that no one else knows; revealing secrets; being disloyal, giving evidence. If he had said, “I will not allow myself or my ministry to be treated this way. This is a matter for the police. If you want to say anything else to me it will have to said through our attorneys,” he wouldn’t have people guessing as to what is truth and what is false. The mention of suicide also concerns me. It is straight from the toolbox of an abuser. It’s how they maintain power over another person. I’m not saying Mr. Zacharias is an abuser, but the comment does cause concern.
I believe it would be wise on the part of the RZIM board to seek help from professional, Christ-centered counselors Patrick Doyle or Leslie Vernick for their perspective on this entire situation. Either of these counselors could quickly get to the truth and impart logic, wisdom, and application to bring forth healing. Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (Grace.net) provides third party investigations to find truth.
As someone who ministers to women on the receiving end of unfaithfulness and abuse I can say I’ve heard about every spin imaginable from husbands caught participating in something they shouldn’t have been doing. Denial, justification, spiritualizing, minimizing, rationalizing, blaming, believing their own rhetoric, lying. Unfaithful people can lie so much they can’t keep their lies straight. Abusers are different from someone caught in unfaithfulness for the first time. An abuser believes every word that comes out of their own mouth. That’s why they are so convincing.
UPDATE DECEMBER 8, 2017: The original post on The Spiritual Sounding Board has been removed at the request of the woman involved in the case so you can no longer read the written correspondence that went back and forth between her and Ravi Zacharias.
Christianity Today published a response. You may read the response here...Ravi Zacharias Responds to Sexting Allegations, Credentials Critique
Ravi Zacharias: Statement on my Federal Lawsuit: Facebook post
Article by Ministry Watch: Empowering Donors to Christian Ministries: Ravi Zacharias Faces Critics…an article to balance the Christianity Today article.
18 thoughts on “Ravi Zacharias Responds”
“He insists the woman purposefully set out to extort money from him which I believe is completely possible. There are people intent on destroying Christians and/or their ministries. There are also people pursuing financial gain.”
That is what Ravi said. When you dig a little deeper your find out that he has also slandered the couple by making them out to be serial extortionists. But the facts are much different.
You not an extortionist when you are a victim of spiritual abuse seeking damages.
I agree with your statement.
Imagine being falsely accused of something as serious as threatening suicide in order to suppress an online affair you (a professional Minister) were having with a married woman.
Would you sue her and then settle on terms that prevent you forever from defending yourself?
Ravi did. And now, conveniently, he cannot answer questions about the suicide emails.
By the way, today I noticed on the Wayback Machine (saves websites from decades ago) that for years Ravi claimed at his website that he was “a Visiting Professor” at Oxford. The University and the Hall were he was supposedly a “visiting professor” both have stated in writing that he never held a formal position with them. He withdrew these in the summer of 2015 when he learned he was being investigated.
Another Ravi Zacharias lie exposed. This is not good. There have been soooo many, and the institutional church seems not to care.
Hi. Two days ago I circulated a video of Robbie Zacharias address and his fellow Christians at the CS Lewis Institute. During his discussion on the need for “leaders with integrity” Ravi said “I am now a professor at Oxford.”
The video went viral and yesterday Ravi issued a statement that he was never a professor at Oxford.
But Ravi has made the Oxford professor claim for years, including at his own website bio.
Feel free to contact his ministry at firstname.lastname@example.org for confirmation. Or just google RZ lies about Oxford.
Sad. And just the tip of the iceberg. Thank you for caring about integrity.
Thanks. I saw his ‘apology’ earlier this week. I believe, as you do, that his ministry needs to remove him from leadership.
So sorry. Typos. I meant “Ravi Zacharias” and email@example.com
Betrayal means trust had to first be established. Wouldn’t he be implying he trusted her and now she is betraying him? How did he ever trust her if she started the entire thing with inappropriate messages and he blocked her. Blocking her would mean he didn’t trust her. When something doesn’t make sense there is likely a lie mixed in somewhere or everywhere.
I think the email issues boil down to the following:
1. Why did Ravi threaten suicide if this was just an extortion case?
2. Why does he accuse Lori of betraying him in the email?
3. Why does Ravi ask Lori if she was going to reveal his name to her husband?
4. Why did he not report to the RZIM board when he started receiving the nude picture from Lori? Why did he continue to engage Lori for quite sometime (as he himself admits) till the demand for 5 million?
5. Why did Ravi settle out of court if this was indeed a case of extortion?
6. Why has he nor RZIM denied anything from the emails? (guess it must be because its true).
Why did the person he supposedly blocked keep getting through to him?
You can block someone on your cell phone and still receive their texts and photos. Your phone doesn’t notify you that you have received any type of communication from that person but if you still have their number in your phone you can find the communication under ‘Contacts’. So…even if he blocked her, he didn’t remove her contact info. from his phone. If someone was harassing me you can bet I would remove their contact info. AND block them.
I would also report it to the police.
All these questions seem to have logical answers; especially in light of those who have experienced cases like this in the past. If…it’s like cases I have seen in the past and present, excellent liars have ways of talking their way out of anything. Sometimes people on the outside looking in can see it, but rarely can those closest to the person see it or believe it. I’m not sure why church members have such a difficult time believing a leader can be capable of such things. I desperately want it to not be true yet I think it is true. I have found that people in authority positions often go after victims who have had problems at other churches, or with other people, so if the truth ever comes out- no one will ever believe them because it ‘looks’ like they have a history of this problem. Especially if the perpetrator spins the victim’s history out of context.
Please email me if you would like a more complete set of emails between Ravi and Ms. Thompson. firstname.lastname@example.org. (I am not authorized to post them, but I can share them with interested people.) They show that Ravi has lied fairly extensively about the extent of this relationship. For instance, while he told the court that he cut off all contact the emails show him not doing so.
Thanks for your work on thus subject.
Hi, when a prominent theology prof calls the great apologist Ravi Zacharias “The Lying Apologist” in writing, it is time for Christians to take notice. Ravi has fooled us for toooo long.
This just out last night. Ugly but important.
Steve, thank you for the link. I hope your book brings about a new investigation, followed by action, by RZIM leadership.
Thank you. Merry Christmas to you and I hope you have a peaceful 2019.
Funy, four months after Ravi paid Ms. T and her husband for silence HarperCollins Christian Publishing signed a new book deal with God’s “great apologist.”
The Christian publishing world cares little for integrity.
Steve, I’m sorry for somehow missing your comment in May. I know all about Ravi’s book deal. I continue to hope that this story and others about him gain more traction.