Ravi Zacharias

Leading Christian Scholars & Apologists Call on RZIM Board to Own its Complicity in Ravi Zacharias Scandal

By Julie Roys

Several leading Christian scholars and apologists have issued a public statement, expressing grief over Ravi Zacharias’ “documented sexual misconduct.” And they’re calling on the board of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) to own its complicity in the scandal involving its late founder, and to initiate reforms.

The statement was posted to Facebook by Dr. William Lane Craig, a well-known author and apologist, president of Reasonable Faith, and professor of philosophy at both Houston Baptist University and Talbot School of Theology.

Other signers include:

Mike Austin (Professor of Philosophy, Eastern Kentucky University, and current president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society)

Sarah Enterline (Author; historical apologist)

Gary Habermas (Distinguished Research Professor of Apologetics, Liberty University)

Michael Licona (President, Risen Jesus, Inc., Associate Professor of Theology, Houston Baptist University)

J.P. Moreland (Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University)

Christopher Reese (Editor-in-chief, Worldview Bulletin)

Hugh Ross (Founder and President, Reasons to Believe)

Kathy Ross (Director, Reasons to Believe)

Robert B. Stewart (Professor of Philosophy and Theology, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary)

Jerry L Walls (Professor of Philosophy and Scholar in Residence, Houston Baptist University)

David Wood (Acts 17 Apologetics)

The letter follows information in September that Zacharias was the predator, not the victim, in a 2017 sexting scandal with a Canadian woman, and new allegations that Zacharias had sexually assaulted massage therapists in spas he co-owned. 

An interim report from an investigation commissioned by RZIM found “credible evidence” that Zacharias “engaged in sexual misconduct over many years.”

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The board of RZIM, which reportedly includes Zacharias’ wife and daughter, said it intends to release the full report of the investigation after it is complete.

Below is the full statement posted to Facebook:

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25 thoughts on “Leading Christian Scholars & Apologists Call on RZIM Board to Own its Complicity in Ravi Zacharias Scandal”

      1. manickam gunasekaran

        we neednot shut the organisation. because it was the work of many a real amd true men of God and many true believers have contributed to its establishment which shall no be thrown into gutters.
        Just reform it
        Just rename it
        Just restructure it.
        Let them have new a new board with new by laws and rules to govern.
        Let any one who sin face the ire of the Eternal Judge.
        Let us not forget that WE HAVE A RIGHTEOUS AND ETERNAL JUDGE TO FACE ONE DAY

        1. Repent, go through the process of restitution. God forgives but there are natural and proper consequences to sinful behavior and actions. Shut it down.

          1. I agree with MANICKAM GUNASEKARAN and for the reasons he stated, among others.

            This abrupt “shut it down” camp almost seems like it derives from a spirit of animus rather than anything spiritually-sound.

            If you “shut it down” to an otherwise sincere Christian apologetics organization devoid of Ravi (deceased) and the RZIM board (family members and others), you paint with an overly broad brush, thereby punishing many reliable, independent Christian men and women witnesses and their families who are part of the organization that do not deserve to be part of a systemic purge.

            When I examine the RZIM foundation through its website, for example, what stands out to me (founder and his family, aside), is a solid and dynamic enterprise that likely took tens of thousands of hours or more of thought and execution to create (links). The end result is a platform that functions as a tour de force Christian apologetics witnessing and teaching crusade. Indeed, this is the way most people would have imagined or experienced it prior to the recent reveleations we are responding to. To simply destroy, then, and thereafter require rebuilding of a separate organization from the ground up, makes no sense to me, not if the proper leadership, with pristine BOD, is implemented as a condition of its purification and re-dedication to the Lord above all.

            I’ve said before, and will repeat here, this is not a good occasion to throw out the baby with the bathwater. True, we do NOT need another tainted outreach ministry, and why we discuss this. But, in a World undergoing exponential population growth and under increasingly savage attack by our enemy Satan, “shutting it down” simply throttles the overall outreach engine in reverse.

            https://www.rzim.org/speakers
            https://www.rzim.org/training

        2. The foundation of life in Jesus is love…purity…gentleness. It’s not how much we know…or how well we argue….Holy Spirit can use a donkey to get His point across. If we know all knowledge but don’t have love- we are nothing…..says the Bible.

  1. This was a sober year for believers. So many leaders fallen and it seems like the church is in disarray, not meeting, bickering, sex scandals and sexual abuse, the list goes on and on but you know what, our God still reigns on high. We will survive and maybe even grow closer to Him.

  2. Thanks for bringing these things to light, Julie.
    I was so grieved to learn about Ravi’s misconduct months back. I’m glad to know they’re investigating. I hope they will be transparent and make appropriate changes.

  3. Craig and Zacharias once were classmates under Geisler. Honestly, Craig and other scholars on this list were much more educated and knowledgable and qualified to represent Christian apologetics.

    1. It has been said that God can use a crooked stick to draw a straight line. God raised Ravi for a purpose. Christ is the Author and Finisher of our Faith. Once God was done with Ravi, He took him into His Presence. Ravi’s sin was nailed at the cross. Ravi’s sins are as far as the East are from the West.
      Shut down the ministry.
      Uwe
      (Jude 3)

    2. Not to me. Ravi was one of two or three apologists who could actually speak English and observed the rules of English grammar. I never heard an “Uh” or an incomplete sentence from the man as he would speak for an hour without notes. What Ravi said was true. As for knowledge, show me another Christian apologist who studied physics and had such a depth of understanding of the physical world and the eastern mystics. He had the inside scoop of life in India among Hindus and Buddhists and Muslims. What Ravi said was true, correct, and riveting.

  4. Were any of these people supporters and endorsers of RZ and RZIM after the exposure of his lies about his academic credentials, which happened many years ago? Did any of these still support him after his “non-disclosure” agreement with the Canadian couple, which RZ broke almost immediately by publishing his own denials in CT? If so, they also need to repent.

  5. I would like to know what did Oz Gunnies and John Lennox know? And the many other high and low profile that worked with Ravi.

  6. One of the common denominators with many ministries like RZIM that have experienced controversy and large problems in recent years is that they are often run as “family businesses” with family members on the board, in addition to being paid staff. Until that is fixed, many will not have the necessary accountability for leadership.
    That may be why some ministries convinced the IRS to call them a church so that 990 forms no longer needed to be filed, making is easier to hide the family business aspect of the ministry.

  7. What happened to the accountability of all those who worked around Ravi? Many knew since 2016 that there were all kinds of signs of impropriety going on. God says in Lev.19:17 ” You must not hate your brother in your heart. You must surely reprove your fellow citizen so that you do not incur sin on account of him.”
    They did nothing for years and all these other sins were going on in the meantime. They are guilty too.

  8. Replying to Bob West. No one is doing this to RZIM except Ravi. He did it, along with the RZIM board members & others who knew and hid it. Shut it down. Get new positions and move on.

  9. You want to know why Christ’s body is mocked all over the world, look no further than this disgusting, hideous, UGLY lecher and his wormlike sycophants. Barring a genuine deathbed repentance that I cannot just assume happened, Ravi is enjoying his eternal reward in the Lake as we speak and I can’t say that upsets me.

  10. John Kirkpatrick

    “ I have little doubt that the single greatest obstacle to the impact of the gospel has not been its inability to provide answers, but on our inability to live it out…”
    Ravi Zacharias in
    Beyond Opinion, Living the Faith We Defend
    Page viii

  11. I would like to see an apology by RZIM to the victim and acknowledgement of being co-abusers and slandering her character. I would like to see the organization learn about abuse and make amends to the MANY WOMEN who were in non-consensual abusive relationships were there was an inbalance of power. This is predation pure and simple. It is NOT OK….and we are seeing a great evil. The second evil is the cover up. The third evil is minimizing and trying to save face. NO NO NO.

    This is a time for heart searching, repentance, humility and learning how to love, honor and defend. This is not “merely misconduct” ….this is abuse and predation….the scale, scope and intentionality can not be minimized.

    Thank you Julie Roys for your reporting. Thank you for sharing truth. May all other ministry leaders and orgs learn to not tolerate secret sin, sexual sin and abuse….AT ALL no matter how big a person is…..I hope we can put our arms about the Thompsons and embracing them in healing, fellowship and honor.

    There is healing from spiritual abuse, clergy sexual abuse, and counseling abuse. I am proof- and it does get better….Jesus is different from religion and those who profit from His name. May His sweet healing spirit breathe love and comfort into your souls. In HIs arms- may you find rest and healing.

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