“Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. But there is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.”
I never met you, Mr. Zacharias, but I did at least twice listen to one of your messages and a debate. Not often, as I must admit I was not too familiar with you. I did not subscribe to any of your publications. Nor did I ever read any of your books. But people I know well sure admired the way you communicated your faith. The way you “sat in the dock” and defended the faith – our faith – so eloquently and forcefully. I might say, Ravi, that I heard in you perhaps a combination of Francis Schaeffer and C.S. Lewis.
There was a strength there. An understanding. Some might even consider it an anointing. You were convicted of what you believed, and you were able to clearly, and it seemed in love, communicate the heart of the Gospel. You were familiar with the Word of God. It was apparent that you were well acquainted with Holy Spirit, for no man can understand the depths of the Scriptures without Holy Spirit.
Ravi, Your love for Jesus Christ seemed real. Unshakeable. Strong. Deep. I appreciated the way you handled yourself. I respected you. I “wished” that I could be so vocal and convincing.
The platform God gave you to “go into all the world” was truly impressive. The way you, like Paul, stood before the most learned folk in the world, the most virulent, the most antagonistic, and verse by verse, line by line, challenged them all to consider the claims of Christ, is something the entire Christian community should celebrate.
And then, Ravi, God called you home. I have no doubt (I think) that you, in this moment that I write, dwell in the very presence of Him who you proclaimed as Savior and Lord. And that the blood of Christ has proven to be just what you preached it was. A “Saving Blood.” A blood that redeems both you and I from our sins, and our sin. A blood that is at the heart of our plea, “But that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou bidst me come to Thee, I come!”
So here we are, Ravi, left here on our sojourn a few more days. You’ve gone on, we remain. And now we – the world – the Christian community – Ravi Zacharias Ministries – a significant number of particular women – and your family – have to deal with what you left behind.
I am not pointing fingers at you, Ravi. I know all too well my own failures. I have “things hidden” like many of us. I may not be “chief of sinners” but I have my share. I have hurt people. I may yet hurt more. It seems inevitable that while we live in this “earthsuit” that we will fail. We will try to cover up. We will lie. We will deceive.
Maybe I should concentrate and worry about my own stuff, Ravi, instead of wondering about yours. And I do, actually. I am concerned about what I am going to leave behind. I am concerned about my reputation. I am concerned about my “honor.” I am concerned about whether or not my Father will one day say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter in the joy of My presence.” I am concerned whether my own family – children – grandchildren – realm of friends – circle of fellow believers – will remember that my life counted for something. Whether it was successful, you might say. Whether or not I was faithful.
Ravi, I sure do not pretend to know what level of consciousness one has in heaven. Are you able to reflect on your time on earth? Are you even aware of “the book of your life?” Can you even know in any way what your life on earth left as you went beyond the veil?
So maybe you do not know that the past few days have revealed some horrible things about your time here. Maybe horrible is the wrong word. Appalling. Sick. Disgusting. And I use these words alongside the praise I wrote earlier.
You knew the Scriptures better than I do. So I know that you could quote Jeremiah 17.9
“The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick (wicked); Who can understand it?
I have no proof at hand, but I would guess that you quoted this on many occasions. And it is so true. Without the indwelling Spirit, we are continually evil. And even then, with the indwelling of the Spirit, it seems that we struggle to continually “do right” wouldn’t you say, Ravi?
If I am aware of so many other prominent brothers and sisters who have “fallen” I am sure that you were as well. Swaggart, Bakker, Tilton, Haggard, McDonald. The list is long. And now, Ravi, your name has been added. The difference is, you are not here to face your accusers or the consequences. Someone else must do that for you.
So I am thinking, Ravi, that if you had a message to convey to your accusers, what would it be? What would you say to your family? Your children? Your wife? Your trusted associates? “I’m sorry?” “Forgive me?”
And what would you say to the rest of us? To me? “Do as I have said, and not as I have done?” “Control your heart better?”
It was painful for me to read about your “secret closet.” It was painful for me to read about your “deeds done in darkness” being “shouted from the housetops.”
It is indeed a fearful thought – this Scripture. To know that those things I thought were so well buried, so carefully concealed will one day be exposed. In your case, the exposure came after your “graduation.” In my case, who knows? Sometimes the revelation comes while we yet live.
So maybe for you personally, Ravi, you do not have to physically deal with it. Maybe that is in some grotesque way, a blessing. But it seems to me that it is, in my way of thinking, a curse. You don’t have to stand in the dock, or debate, or testify, or preach about your failures. You don’t have to deal with the earth-side of this tragedy. Many others will have to do that for you. And that is in itself a tragedy. It seems to me that we should at least have to face our own music.
But that was not God’s plan for you, nor your family and ministry. So I yield to the Father.
So, at the very least, Ravi, for me, I have been reminded once again of the desperate condition of my heart. And I have been reminded once again of my desperate need to walk in the light, to live as if before an audience of One, and to yield second by second to the presence and power of Holy Spirit in hopes that I can truly be a man that “is holy as He is holy” (1Peter 1.16)
And, finally, my prayer, Ravi, that you have spurred me to renew, is this:
“Lord, who may dwell in Your sanctuary? Who may live on Your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart
and has no slander on his tongue and casts no slur on his fellowman…” (Psalm 15.1-3)
Heading toward home, Ravi.