When news broke about Ravi Zacharias and verified as true, I found it difficult to put into words my thoughts and feelings. Deeply troubling would be one way to describe it. It became so overwhelming and disheartening to read of how he used his spiritual authority to prey on a multitude of women over the course of many years, I had to choose to stop reading anymore of the details.
Frankly, I am deeply troubled to see Christians and ministry leaders empathize with Ravi Zacharias. With fear and trembling I even speak of this matter, as if to think for a moment I am somehow righteous by my own doing. I need God’s grace daily. If I think I am standing firm, Scripture warns, be careful that I don’t fall. We must be alert to the danger of taking any step on a slippery slope of wrong choices.
We all struggle with temptation. I am not immune to the devices of the evil one and the lust of the flesh. While that is true, this abuse should not be seen as normal. Being a sexual predator is not within the normal range of the struggle of sin. For someone to confess that they could be the next Ravi Zacharias, they should immediately withdraw from ministry and seek help.
I am not trying to be harsh here. These actions by this one leader are more than a slip and a fall. We are not speaking of a “slip up” and one being overtaken by sin. In that case, it should be a different response. A response of grace, truth and love. For one who is overtaken by sin, we are to restore that brother or sister (Galatians 6:1).
This kind of abuse of one’s power should not be compared to temptation that is common to us all. We cannot be silent. What about the abused? How does it come across to the victims of his abuse to empathize with Zacharias? Does our well-intentioned and well-versed (pat) answers that empathize with Ravi serve to bring healing to them?
So, while my heart aches hearing this news of a respectable leader, I can’t even find the words to express my concern for the women survivors of the abuse. And what about our Savior’s name being mocked and dragged through the mud. I realize that Jesus is big enough to protect His glory and doesn’t really need us to do that, but it does add a layer of difficulty to our witness.
So, church, take to heart Paul’s words to Timothy, “Watch your life and doctrine closely,” (1 Timothy 4:16). While these God-given words have special relevance to people in leadership, it is a warning for all followers of Christ. Reports like this are a sober reminder to stay close to the Shepherd.
How is your soul? Are you growing? Is God’s Word transforming you? Are you staying in fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ? Are you keeping in step with the Spirit of God? Are you doing something today you said a year ago you would not do?
Let this be an opportunity for a check-up on our own heart. In that way, what was intended for evil can be used for good!
Blessings to you, Pastor Brian
It’s Amazing What Praising Can Do
Link to This Sunday Worship Service
We are now offering two services. The 9 am service, masks will be required to be worn for the entire worship service. The 10:45 am service will continue as is and you may choose to remove masks once you are seated. Masks must be worn while entering and leaving the building as well as during fellowship time.
We will continue to livestream at 10:45 am.
We are doing this on a temporary basis to be considerate and loving of those who would like to attend but prefer stricter guidelines around masks.
Save the Date
Our next business meet will be Thursday March 25th at 7pm with a prayer time at 6:30pm. Please mark this on your calendar and come out for an update on EBC happenings.
Join us for 4 weeks beginning March 7th on Sunday mornings at 9am. This class is for those looking for more information about our church and those considering membership.
EBC Kids will begin on Easter Sunday during 2nd service. Stay tuned for more details!
Upcoming Missions Trip
Are you interested in joining a short-term Mission trip? EBC’s Global Outreach Team is joining with Rick Odess from Missions Door to send a group to El Salvador for church related projects. This would be a 9 day trip in or around August. If you are interested or have questions, please reach out to Mary Beth Letourneau (603-545-7329) or another member of the Global Outreach Team.