Ravi Zacharias
Images of Ravi Zacharias are displayed in the Passion City Church during a memorial service for him in Atlanta on May 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson, File)

After Ravi Zacharias Report, Christians Examine How to Avoid ‘Betrayal Blindness’

By Bob Smietana

Stephen Baughman thought he was done with Ravi Zacharias.

From 2015 to 2020, Baughman, a San Francisco attorney, musician and writer known as the “Banjo Atheist,” had been blogging and posting videos about what he called the “Ravi scam” — a series of scandals involving the famed evangelist and head of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. 

Then Zacharias died in May of 2020.

“I was ready to wash my hands of it,” Baughman said.

Not long after Zacharias’ funeral, however, he got a message from a woman who said she had worked as a massage therapist at a spa the evangelist had co-owned in the Atlanta area. She had reached out to Baughman because she thought he might be the only person who would believe her.

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Zacharias, the spa worker said, had demanded sexual favors from the therapists who worked for him.

“I was floored,” said Baughman, recalling the conversation from the boat he calls home in San Francisco.

After talking to Zacharias’ former business partner and a second spa worker, Baughman posted a video last September about the spas and the alleged abuse that went on there. He also connected the former spa worker with a reporter from Christianity Today, who found other former spa workers with their own stories of abuse and harassment.

That story, published in September 2020, prompted Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, which had long denied any wrongdoing on the part of its founder, to hire a law firm to investigate Zacharias’ conduct. Released last month, the report detailed a long history of deception and misconduct by the late evangelist.

Stephen Baughman
Stephen Baughman (Courtesy photo)

Without that first tip, said Baughman, “Ravi would be on his way to sainthood right now, and we would never know about all those women he abused.”

The revelations, however, have left Baughman and others with questions. How did the late evangelist get away with deceiving people for so long? Why did RZIM, like so many other faith groups, spend so much energy defending him and so little investigating the claims against him?

Most importantly, perhaps, what can Christian groups do to prevent other abusive leaders from gaining or retaining power?

Baughman, for one, thinks organizations need to pay attention to the small things — especially minor, questionable behavior that could be a warning that something bigger is wrong.

That was the case with Zacharias, he argues.

A self-described “cultural Christian who does not believe in God” and part-time student at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, Baughman first began blogging about Zacharias in 2015, after noticing discrepancies in the apologist’s background. Zacharias had long claimed to have studied at Cambridge and, later, to have taught at Oxford. Neither claim was true. His use of the title “Dr. Zacharias” was also questionable — the only doctorates he held were honorary.

In 2015, Baughman said he confronted Zacharias International Ministries about its leader’s credentials. That led to changes in the apologist’s online biography but no admission that lying about his background was wrong or any apology.

Baughman said lying about credentials may seem like a trivial matter. But letting the apologist get away with misleading his followers may have opened the door to more harmful behavior.

Jennifer Freyd, a professor of psychology at the University of Oregon, said that when a trusted leader acts in an inappropriate or abusive way, organizations can often suffer from what she calls “betrayal blindness.”  

Jennifer Freyd
Jennifer Freyd (Courtesy photo)

When someone is significantly mistreated by someone they trust and depend on, she said, they are in a “bind between two needs” — one to preserve the relationship, the other to avoid being mistreated. Those needs are almost impossible to balance, especially if acknowledging the truth could put you at risk.  

To cope with that dilemma, people will also develop betrayal blindness —the inability to see or acknowledge what is right before their eyes. She calls it a “powerful survival technique when information is too dangerous to know.”

Betrayal blindness helps explain why organizations tolerate abusive leaders or harmful work practices and why people will often not speak up. Add religion — which imbues leaders with spiritual authority — and the risk for blind spots becomes even higher.

Freyd advocates for what she calls “institutional courage” to combat betrayal blindness. That can include taking steps to examine workplace culture, she said, and creating ways for people to share their concerns without fear of reprisal.

Freyd, who said she has been watching the RZIM scandal unfold, said that institutions also have to listen to whistleblowers and protect them from reprisals.

Boz Tchividjian, an attorney and founder of GRACE (Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment), agrees.

Boz Tchividjian
Boz Tchividjian (Photo by Christopher Breedlove)

Tchividjian also suggested that board members take a “victim-centric” approach. In his experience, most people who come forward with allegations of abuse are telling the truth. Even if the allegations turn out to be unfounded, how Christian groups treat whistleblowers still matters.

“We want to make sure the person feels welcome and not feel like they are walking into a den of lions,” he said.

Christian leadership is often defined by money and power, said Tchividjian, the grandson of famed evangelist Billy Graham, rather than people who want to live like Jesus. But this system works best for those at the top, said Tchividjian, and there is little incentive to change.

“Those in power have no interest in changing the system,” he said.

Mark DeMoss, a longtime evangelical public relations expert, is no stranger to working with Christian organizations in crisis. DeMoss, who closed down his public relations firm in 2019, worked with the now-defunct Mars Hill megachurch in Seattle and Willow Creek Community Church when pastors Mark Driscoll and Bill Hybels faced allegations of abusive conduct. DeMoss also consulted with RZIM when the group was dealing with allegations against Zacharias.  

He also had a public falling out with Jerry Falwell Jr. and resigned from the board of Liberty University after the school’s then-president endorsed Donald Trump.

DeMoss, who would not discuss any specifics about his work with particular groups, said that his insistence on keeping confidentiality has led at times to accusations that he is a “sin spinner” who is more concerned about protecting his clients than in the truth. He agreed to speak with me about concerns he has about how faith organizations handle allegations of misconduct against their leaders.  

Christian organizations develop blind spots in part because their board directors are drafted for their financial support for the organization’s mission and because they believe in the organization’s leaders and are often their friends.

Their first impulse, when an allegation of misconduct arises, is to defend their friend rather than raise red flags, ask questions or dig deeper into allegations.

Mark DeMoss
Mark DeMoss (Photo courtesy of DeMoss)

“In a lot of organizational cultures, having an inquisitive mind, let alone being a ‘devil’s advocate,’ is often seen as a sign of disloyalty,” he said. “That’s the first and probably the biggest mistake I’ve observed.”

Having a board that supports leadership is important, said DeMoss. But as an officer of the corporation responsible for its values, board members should be prepared to face hard truths and take action. “If you really care about this organization, you need to do whatever you can to protect its reputation and integrity,” DeMoss said.

A cancer survivor, DeMoss compared board members’ diligence to a doctor giving a diagnosis to a patient. The doctor’s job is to tell the truth, he said, even if the news is bad or if they have concerns or warnings.

“A board member has to be able to say, look, this may be my friend, but if my friend keeps acting this way, they are going to be in trouble,” he said. “And worse yet, the organization they lead is going to be in trouble.”

Extending the medical metaphor, leadership consultant Joe Saviak said that a healthy organizational culture can serve as an immune system, preventing misconduct and protecting those who do the right thing. But an unhealthy culture can enable an abuser and punish those who object to misconduct.

Joe Saviak
Joe Saviak. Courtesy photo

“With the wrong culture, employees and those who interact with the organization will rationalize, minimize, deny and support the wrong behavior,” he said. “They are socialized and rewarded into doing so. There is silence and pressure to conform.”

When things go wrong in an unhealthy culture, people become defensive, and organization survival becomes paramount, Saviak said. Those who work in an unhealthy culture convince themselves that everything is fine in order to protect their jobs or simply to avoid the “emotional pain of accepting the truth.”

The board of RZIM, which remains anonymous, has hired Rachael Denhollander, an attorney and advocate, to serve as a consultant and liaison for abuse survivors. The ministry has also hired Guidepost Solutions, a consulting firm, to review RZIM’s culture and operations.

A spokesperson for the organization declined a request for an interview about the group’s future but sent a statement expressing concern for Zacharias’ victims and their own staff.

Baughman believes RZIM still has systemic issues. The whole organization, he said, was built around building Zacharias up and then defending his reputation. 

“For RZIM, Ravi’s reputation was more important than God,” he said. “They were willing to deceive the public to keep him clean. That is in the organizational DNA at RZIM.”

Baughman said he is not particularly antagonistic toward Christians. But he no longer trusts religious institutions. “I don’t have an ax to grind with religion,” he said. “I have an ax to grind with stupidity and corruption.”

Baughman also has some advice for leaders at Christian organizations, based on his reading of the New Testament’s Letter to the Philippians. In the letter’s first chapter, he said, the Apostle Paul argues that a person’s message matters more than their motives. Baughman said an example of that is the reaction he got from followers of Zacharias, who dismissed the allegations and instead accused Baughman of being an “atheist with an agenda.”

“Maybe I was on a mission from Satan,” he said. “But I darn well got my facts right about Ravi Zacharias. And that’s all that really matters.”

Bob SmietanaBob Smietana is a national reporter for Religion News Service.

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62 thoughts on “After Ravi Zacharias Report, Christians Examine How to Avoid ‘Betrayal Blindness’”

    1. I am forever grateful to The Banjo Man. I think I can say I have a wonderful, kind, and honest friend. Thank you.

    2. Agreed. I never would have started investigating Ravi had Steve not sent me a copy of his book with this note & his email address written inside: “Thank you for your investigative work and for caring about integrity in ministry.”

      1. Julie,

        Since Steve is a lawyer in CA, maybe he can do some more digging into GCC/GTY/TMUS. Perhaps do an expose on John MacArhur, Phil Johnson, and the rest. You have already done some of the legwork.

        Just a thought.

      2. Do you truly think an atheist is concerned about JESUS or Kingdom work? Baughman has his own motives: to destroy people’s faith in JESUS’ saving grace and to legitimize his platform. Yes Ravi deceived me. It will probably happen again. So let this be a warning to all of us believers: be careful who you trust. This includes false preachers, journalists, ministries, institutions or satanists. Do not put your faith in man, only in JESUS and HIS word. We all need to look in our own mirror to see how JESUS sees us. As HE told us, leave justice to him, or be prepared to get justice instead of mercy from HIM. I know I don’t want justice. I need mercy every second of every day. Do any of you rejoice thinking that Ravi is in the pit? I pray you all say “no.” Peace and grace to you all.

        1. If Ravi is in the pit, as you say, then I can safely assume RZ wasn’t concerned with Jesus or Kingdom work either while alive. At least Baughman is honest about his religion or lack of and didn’t deceive Christians. I guess we all remember who rebuked Abraham when he lied. The Bible says believers will judge angels. I think that indicates we can righly judge lesser issues here on earth. There is a correct way to judge. If is outlined in our Bible if anyone cares to research it.

          I put my faith in Jesus and I do know many good Christians that I trust as well. They have earned trust. I don’t think it is all or nothing basket. I can walk and chew gum. Maybe not perfectly but well enough to get to my destination.

          To be honest, my rejoicing is rooted in every sinner becoming a saint through the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is worth having a party over!! I pray you rejoice over that too! RZ or RZIM isn’t bringing much rejoicing to my mind or heart really.

          1. A.W. Pink said in his book on The Sovereignty of God that God often uses unregenerate men to preach His Word to call his elect to repentance and then leaves the preacher behind in condemnation. Why does he do this? To show His Sovereignty in election. He picks and chooses whom He wills.

        2. You do understand that if God can use a Yahweh-hating country like Assyria to bring judgement and justice to Israel for its rebellion, idolatry, and sin, he can use an atheist like Steve to bring judgement upon RZIM.

          Has it ever occurred to you that God used Steve as an instrument for his judgement upon RZIM and his enablers.

          For it is time for judgement to begin at the house of God as Peter says in his epistle.

        3. Brian Patrick

          Eric,

          When atheists such as Baughman act more “Christlike” than most professing Christians, we have a problem, and the messenger isn’t one of them, and attacking him won’t fix it. It’s time for us to take a HARD look in the mirror. At this point, it’s abundantly clear that well over half of us is chaff.

        4. This is what the Lord Almighty said, “Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another.
          Zechariah 7:9

          The exercise of justice is a joy for the righteous. But is terror to the workers of iniquity.
          Proverbs 21:15

          If we listened to the Ravi defenders and applied their words in all cases involving “Christians” we would live in anarchy. I wonder what the Ravi defenders would say and do if it were their daughters that were sexually abused?
          And I would certainly trust an atheist with integrity for the facts before I would ever trust Fox News where the dishonest Christian Nationalists run to spread their lies.

        5. Dear Steve Baughman,
          Please be assured that the vast majority of regular readers of The Roys Report do not falsely impute evil motives to your efforts to uncover and publicize true facts. Rather, we are grateful for your efforts and knowledge. We sincerely hope that you will continue in your search for truth wherever it may take you, and we offer you what goodwill and friendship we can.

      3. “Betrayal Blindness” sounds a lot like what we can call Trump Supporters. The very definition of the term sums it up completely. Think about it: “Stop the Steal” (no voter fraud found anywhere that would change the election results), using crude and overtly profane and down right abusive language in rallies and tweets (when he could do them), sleeping with adult movie “stars” and Playboy Bunnies then paying them off not to say anything, keeping the facts of the Coronavirus to himself instead of sharing very valuable info with the country, getting the virus himself and not sharing how sick he really was AND actually getting the vaccine and not informing us (how many lives would have been saved?), continuing to NOT have a “turn the other cheek” attitude when feeling like you’ve been treated wrongly, etc (I could go on ALL DAY…literally)! This CONTINUES to be the man that “we” (Evangelicals) to get behind…really? I wonder how proud Jesus is of him and how he ran our GREAT country in to the ground? Thank God for Joe Biden!

        1. Brian Patrick

          Timmy G,

          100% agree. The “Christian” exaltation of the most morally repugnant human being to occupy the Oval Office in the better part of a century if not longer is the exact same issue as us idolizing filth such as RZ and the MacArthur family mafia.

          1. Brian Patrick

            I don’t support the evil Biden one bit either, but but most of Christianity doesn’t worship Biden, it worships Trump.

        2. Just concerned

          I believe all of you have problems, playing the blame game, some of your comments just show how depraved we are, everyone grow up (spiritually, and emotionally). You are a fallible human being who will never be perfect, does not mean you do not strive to be better its a journey.

  1. lynspirationgmailcom

    This article needs to be required reading for every prospective church board member, Bible college or seminary student, and all regular church attendees. It also provides a fascinating framework from which any pastor with an ounce of integrity and humility could preach a long overdue message for the body of Christ. It is particularly revealing that an atheist unhindered by possible backlash from power brokers in the Christian faith community turns out to be the most courageous person in the room.

  2. Great article, Bob, considering “Ramsey Solutions” isn’t much of a fan! Could it be that Baughman is doing the Lord’s work?

  3. Why not call these folks idol worshipers. That’s what they are. They idolize Ravi because his sermons made them feel good. They’re blind to the word of God which tells us ministers of the Lord are held to a much higher standard than others. The conduct, personal and professional, of ministers must be above reproach. Which is why we’re told not many of us should aspire to be teachers for they will be judged by a much higher standard.

  4. I believe the problem is that “ministries and chuches” are being run like corporations. They are promoting and protecting their brand. That is not in the New Testament. Leaders are making a lot of money in these brand promoting organizations. Where can they go in the real world with their credentials and make 6 figures and more? When one is underskilled and making great money it is easy to see why no one speaks up. It is easy to see how they compromise. I know many Pastors that have earned PHDs and they never go by Dr. They are humble men and women serving the Lord. They are very approachable human beings to all.

    I hope RZIM just closes down but the money is too good to them. They have no other legitament business to go to that will keep them in the lifestyle they are use to. Taking jobs that are a step down doesn’t seem to fit their brand. Can’t ever see them going to a third world country and becoming a missionary.

    1. Kay, Was their “business” (RZIM) legitimate? Maybe they can actually find a better place to be employed than RZIM. Maybe they can find an honest, God centered church this time.

      1. Just concerned

        Actually RZIM was not considered a church, you can be a ministry with the IRS and not be a church.

        1. Actually they put in the paperwork to call themselves a church so they no longer had to file a 990 form. Since churches are exempt from filing an IRS 990 form.

          Kenneth Copeland, Paula White and all the other frauds and grifters do the same thing.

          Get yourself a clue first.

      1. That’s shiny. At least Jayne knew when he was acting stupid.

        Sadly, many hucksters are among the sheep and said hucksters appear to have very sharp, wolfish teeth.

        1. Yup.

          This comment is more for the underlings and not so much the inner circle with the head grifter. The got blinded and stupid for whatever reasons. Some of the will wake and come out of it like Jayne.

  5. After the Ravi debacle I no longer give to Christian organizations, or any organization, that will not be totally transparent with their financials and who serves on the Board. I will not give to any organization that puts friends and family on the Board. People who are “family, or on the payroll, or both” cannot be objective about their leader and as such will have more incentive to squash any critique or dissent, even holy dissent. I have checked every entity I support and if they are not transparent, they no longer receive my support.

    That said, Steve Baughman was use by God to do the work those claiming to be believers would not do. Period.

  6. Steve, so sorry for what you have gone through with all this…

    When the status quo is challenged, we can expect resistance and sabotage by “those in power (who) have no interest in changing the system”.

    We, as the Ekklesia, are going into uncharted territory… we have not gone this way before (Josh 3:4)

    https://www.amazon.com/Canoeing-Mountains-Christian-Leadership-Uncharted/dp/0830841261

    you are not on a mission from satan, and I say that with tears in my eyes, because I have been accused similarly… I have had all kinds of unbelievable things said to me by various pastors, including being accused of not being a believer, that I was disobedient because I was not “obeying my leaders and submitting to their authority”, that I was dishonoring the Bride by helping friends appeal an abuse of power situation and then addressing abuses of power in the institutional church (my denom specifically https://www.crcna.org/news-and-events/news/church-too-how-should-crc-respond-abuse; the following is what I submitted in 2018… I was told over and over again by leaders, not to submit this for all different “reasons”… https://www.crcna.org/sites/default/files/sterk_overture_2.pdf)…

    I love the Kingdom Bride and I prayed asking God, Lord I do not want to dishonor Your Bride, if I am please let me know… and this is what was put on my heart… when those who are suppose to be caring for the Bride, instead abuse and exploit the Bride (ie Ezek 34 behavior), that is what dishonors His Bride… addressing abuse of power honors and helps protect the Bride, the Ekklesia, the people that the leaders are called to serve, not abuse and exploit…

    also, throughout my journey I became more and more aware of the difference between the institutional church (the I Church) and the organic Church (the O Church), the Ekklesia, His Kingdom Church… yes, they are very intertwined these days… but any time we elevate a spiritual institution over the very people God asks us to care for, we are out of alignment with His scriptural principles… and that is sadly most denoms these days as they fight for survival against the ongoing decline… and too many ministries as well…

    somehow, through this all my faith in God has actually grown as I have experienced so many Divine orchestrations from Him leading me in this journey, I have documented pages and pages of those confirmations over the years and His hand is so clear to me… but like you, my trust in religious institutions and the leaders protecting them and themselves has been deeply damaged…

    as my kids say, it would be better if an atheist translated the Greek and Hebrew scriptures, because they would not be as biased as our theologian translators… and I have hope as you are truly seeking the Lord with all your heart!

    1. ps… ironically my denom is the same denom that the Thompsons’ first situation of abuse of power occurred in… I was following that situation back then for my own reasons, and wasn’t aware of the Thompsons at that point… that is another situation hidden behind “executive sessons” and “confidentiality” that needs to be independently investigated and the Thompsons and others vindicated and apologized to! Julie???

      1. I was a Jezebel for reporting a child molester with a history of sexual abuse. I should have “kept it in the church”.
        I am so thankful to hear other Christians say that God is cleaning house.
        What is done in darkness is being brought to the light and not one of us is exempt.

  7. The thing I appreciate about Steve is unlike some Atheist, he has a gentle spirit devoid of rancor or bitterness. He was simply searching for the truth. Thx Steve,

  8. Brian Patrick

    The folks slamming Baughman for his atheism remind me of the reaction that “our” team gave to Mitt Romney when he was the only Republican to vote for impeachment in the first impeachment trial. The world praised Romney far more than we did. Almost without exception, evangelicalism which is supposed to be the salt and light and example to the world denounced Romney as a “traitor” or “evildoer”.

    (I thought Romney was supposed to be loyal to the country and Constitution rather than one particular man, but I digress.)

    My takeaway is that it was shameful and damning that a Mormon man, an adherent of a false religion that believes in and promotes a completely made-up “gospel” that completely distorts who Jesus is, showed more Christian conviction and principle than supposedly real Christians. So, no, I don’t want to see any more stones thrown at Baughman. I think he is upsetting the red tribe because his actions are powerfully convicting against them.

  9. Good article, _except_ that Baughman misrepresented what Paul said about motives, and you didn’t correct him, Julie.
    Here’s the text:

    “Some, to be sure, are preaching Christ even from envy and strife, but some also from goodwill; the latter do it out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition rather than from pure motives, thinking that they are causing me distress in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in this I rejoice.”
    (Philippians 1:15-18, NASB)

    Paul did _not_ say “a person’s message matters more than their motives.”
    He basically said that if there’s bad and good, be thankful for the good.

    1. John Allcott,

      “Paul did _not_ say “a person’s message matters more than their motives.”
      He basically said that if there’s bad and good, be thankful for the good.”

      How about you stop attacking the messenger and start taking the plank out of your eye, buddy.

  10. God regularly utilized non-believers in his plans. He raised up unbelieving Assyrian and Babylonian kings to chastise Israel and Judah. He used a Persian King to facilitate and support the rebuilding of the Jerusalem Temple. Some of the Proverbs reflect observations about the people and world from Egyptian sources. God used Balaam, a man paid to curse Israel, to bless them. Pagan astronomer-astrologer magi were among the first to honor Christ. . Paul was rescued by a non-believing Roman commander at the Temple. Paul also quotes from ancient pagan philosophers and poets on occasion.

    Want to test your success in living out your faith? Ask an unbelieving co-worker or friend. I remember once I was stressed out and laboring over an important decision. I talked to an unbelieving workmate. She said, “I’m an atheist, but since you profess Christianity, you might try praying about it!” Wow, was my spirit humbled.

    We believers have no lock on all truth, all human virtue, or all wisdom. Unbelievers can grasp the truth about reality and the dynamics of human nature. The truth is the truth, no matter who says it. Through natural revelation, moral conscience, reason, training, and trial-and-error experience unbelievers can have important insights into life and truth. What the believer has access to is revealed truth about God and Christ from Scripture, along with the leading of the Spirit. Unbelievers still bear the tarnished, fallen image of God from creation, that image of God still manifests itself in creativity, reason, aesthetic appreciation, humor, emotions, etc.. Unbelievers have no monopoly on blindness. Unbelievers may be blind to God’s grace, but they are not blind to everything. We, too, can be deceived and misled. Think of all the people in the Bible tricked or misled.

    I’ve found all people know something valuable that I don’t. An unbeliever would be foolish to dismiss a believer just because he or she is a believer. A believer is equally foolish to dismiss an unbeliever just because of his or her unbelief. Test things. Trust your deepest instincts. Don’t deny facts. It’s possible to have faith without being gullible. As Ronald Reagan famously said in regard to the Russians, “Trust, but verify.” Good advice. Give people the benefit of the doubt, but check out the facts.

    We all owe Steve Baughman a vote of thanks.

    1. “Trust your deepest instincts.”

      That is VERY unsound advice. Christians should *never* trust themselves, much less their insticts. We must trust God’s word. Getting advice from atheists is not how God wants us to live, our advice must come from godly, mature Christians from our church. Atheists won’t ever lead you towards obedience and sanctification. What does light have to do with darkness?

      Despite having many believers in my extended family, none of them ever shared the gospel with me. I was exposed to the Bible and inadvertently evangelized by an agnostic Christian sympathizer, although that was never her intention. I understood God’s word, repented and was converted. She remained unconverted and we parted ways. I do not listen to her advice or turn to her for help. All I need is in the Bible and in my church.

      1. CRYING FROM THE MOUNTAIN

        Wow Jamila you just contradicted yourself in 2 paragraphs AND you have YOUR very own church ! Wow!
        You actually NEED the SPIRIT OF TRUTH because it doesn’t matter where you are….. YOUR bible and YOUR church have been compromised. WAKE UP!

        1. Crying from the mountain, having read some of your astute comments before, I’m a little shocked at your facetious and sarcastic tone there. I think everyone understands “my church” as meaning the church she attends.
          And if you accuse her of contradicting herself, you need to say HOW she does so.
          I don’t see anything contradictory at all.

  11. This is a great article to help bring awareness (with the hope to prevent) “betrayal blindness” in people’s lives. But are there any resources to help myself and others that have experienced it and the PSTD (for lack of a better term) that comes from the relationship of serving under/with spiritual abuse by men/women in leadership positions in the church.

  12. I believe that Ravi was a True Believer in Christ! No human being can understand the ways of God, the deep things of God apart from a relationship with the illumination of the Holy Spirit. As Paul would say, “The NATURAL MAN (Unregenerated) cannot receive the things of the Spirit because they are Spiritually discerned/appraised”.

    No person that was in tune with the witness of the Holy Spirit could ever deny that Ravi Zacharias had what many, many Christians do not have when it comes to a deeper understanding of theology and the ability to very powerfully defend the historical Christian Faith.

    Now, that being said, some will rightly asked, “why was a man of such great learning not disciplined enough in his private life to “keep his flesh under subject” to use Paul’s words again? My answer is that while I am not a therapist, I believe that Ravi Zacharias suffered from sexual addiction! That is something that we don’t talk much about in the body of Christ, but for those that are familiar with that kind of recovery ministry, you know that it is real, and many Christians who really do love and serve Jesus in sincerity, suffer from that particular addiction like many Christians are addicted to Porn, Alcohol abuse, have homosexual tendencies, are addicted to food, and the list goes on.

    This is NOT to make excuses for Ravi as his deeds are INEXCUSABLE! It is to simply give some sense of the question “WHY?” As great and brilliant as he was, I believe that great man that God used world-wide was in great pain as he knew in his heart of hearts that his duplicitous life was displeasing to God, and even that he would possibly be exposed as Moses words came to bear: “BE SURE YOUR SINS WILL FIND YOU OUT!” And in Ravi’s case, it surely did……even in death, and someday our Sins, while they might not be as egregious as Ravi’s, they are still offensive to a Holy God!

    1. He was full of the spirit of something. I don’t believe it was the Holy One. Extremely intelligent narcissist with a very dark personal agenda.

    2. Anyone who refused to give up his sin should be called to question whether he is a believer in the first place.

    3. Mr. Jesperson

      The acting comes easily and it is nothing new. Just watch the Story of Marjoe on DocumentaryHeaven com, an award winning film almost 50 years old. A good actor can mimic everyone else even though they have no faith. I wish Christians would watch the movie and learn. There are many thousands still doing what Marjoe once did. I hope Julie has watched it. If not it would be great discussion material for a podcast.

        1. Mr. Jesperson

          He never became one, he was born that way. And only God knows how many are doing the same thing for fame and fortune. I suspect that the number is actually very large.

  13. I discovered Steve Baughman on his blog (and later on YouTube) a few years ago and believed him immediately. I concentrated on what he SAID.
    The important thing is to be impartial. Genuine believers are so because we have the Holy Spirit indwelling, the “Spirit of Truth” (John 14:16-17, 14:26, 16:13). We are told countless times in the Bible that God has no favorites i.e is IMPARTIAL. We have God’s Spirit.

    In CONTRAST, the carnal, unregenerate person (even if they identify as “Christian”) is partial by nature: their carnal nature. They haven’t been born of the Spirit and “received the things of the Spirit of God” and don’t “have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:14 & 16). They behave exactly like the world. And so they intuitively protect “their own”. Like in the world, this partiality and self-protection is exacerbated when they group together or feel attacked (siege mentality). Add to that a religious self-righteousness and a (delusional, if they’re carnal) belief that “God’s got their back” and you have a dangerous mix.

    The movie “Spotlight” was based on the true story of the (mostly atheist) group of Boston Globe reporters who experienced serious intimidation and denials in their dogged pursuit of the truth surrounding RCC abuse – which had been covered up by enablers for years.

    Journalists are dedicated to their career which they were usually attracted to because they hate lies. Individual investigators often have everything to gain and nothing to lose.
    Similarly, a regenerate Christian (the only kind: John 1:12-13, Romans 8:9) is 100% satisfied in Christ and has therefore nothing to lose. We tell the Truth and expose evil. We take on Satan.
    The carnal “Christian” in CONTRAST, is focused on self and their comfort in this life. And they are also fully focused, for selfish reasons, on APPEARING “Christ-like”. They will thus NEVER risk their reputation or anything else to expose and speak truth. They fear being exposed themselves. And they are welded to the world.

  14. I’m not convinced. Still don’t know the victims. Still don’t have texts. I being forced to take M and Ms word for it

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