I continue to consider and process the Ravi Zacharias scandal. The major issue with Ravi Zacharias, as I understand and perceive it, is that he thought too highly of himself. This is a serious danger for all great men, especially for men of God, because the poison of thinking too highly of ourselves can taint and distort our own thinking to our ruin and to the damage of those around us.
My determination that Ravi Zacharias thought too highly of himself comes from one of the stories told by one of his victims. He warned her after exerting his influence over her in a sexual encounter that she must not tell anyone because disclosure of their tryst would endanger millions of souls – as if their salvation rested on him.
Yes, Ravi Zacharias may have planted or watered the seeds of the gospel in many people, but salvation is the gift of God. People are saved by responding to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, however that prompting comes. We may plant and water, but God does the real work, and God causes the increase.
No man is indispensable to God. Though every man be a liar, God’s is true. His word goes out and does not come back void. We dare not think God’s work depends on us to such a degree that we must hide our own sin and manipulate other people in the process.
In light of the Ravi Zacharias scandal, my thinking, reading and meditating has led me to consider the dangers gifted people face due to their “greatness”. These were the same dangers the disciples faced as Jesus mentored them to be his representatives to the world.
The close relationship of the disciples to Jesus and the importance of their roles in God’s plan must have been intoxicating. It led them to argue between them who would be considered the greatest. These arguments broke out multiple times over the course of the disciples’ time with Jesus, and they tell us something about the dangers of greatness and our appropriate response to the temptation to desire greatness.Continue reading “Ravi Zacharias: The Poison of the Allure of Greatness and the Antidote of Self-Giving Service”