Ravi Zacharias: Why I Don’t Think His Response at Christianity Today Cleared Things Up

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” ― Napoléon Bonaparte

Warning to friends of Ravi Zacharias: If there is any truth in the alleged suicide threat, please, please, please get him help.

 

Ravi Zacharias responds to Christianity Today.

Yesterday, while Deb and I were at a performance of The Messiah at the incredible Duke Chapel, I received a number of messages alerting me that Ravi Zacharias (well, most likely his attorneys) had responded to his critics.

This post will deal with my response to Ravi Zacharias Responds to Sexting Allegations, Credentials Critique as well as the responses from some atheists and a sufficiently well known and accurately credentialed Christian. All quotes with (CT) will be quoting directly from the CT post.

Why do some Christian leaders and pastors desire to be known as *Doctor?* What in the world is wrong with “just” having a Masters of Divinity from an accredited seminary?

Many Christian pastors and leaders ,who have most influenced my Christian walk, are those who have a Masters of Divinity degree from accredited seminaries. The Deebs have noticed that there are a large number of pastors and leaders who use honorary degrees as an excuse to place *Doctor* in front of their names. Others who do so have received degrees from unaccredited colleges for work that did not include dissertations or research, etc.

I wonder how many of them who use that title know that, behind their backs, knowledgeable people think they are being tacky. Did you know that you can get an honorary degree online for no work and a minimal donation? Google it. Here is one to get you started. Legally Receive an Honorary Doctorate When You Make a Donation.

As such, the honorary doctoral degrees awarded by our institute can be used and displayed worldwide, as long as you follow the guidelines given here. We must also ask that if you are conferred such an award, that you live up to the standards that such a title presumes, such as upholding the values of integrity, morality, and respect and compassion for others.

Real doctorates take work- long hard work over years. To pretend that one has completed such an endeavor is a lie and unbecoming of a Christian. TWW will continue to call out those with pretend doctorates. Let’s bring back the virtue of humility to the office of pastor as well as to Christian leaders.

Why Zacharias’ response to the degree critique is inadequate.

(CT)“In earlier years, ‘Dr.’ did appear before Ravi’s name in some of our materials, including on our website, which is an appropriate and acceptable practice with honorary doctorates,” stated RZIM in its own statement, also issued Sunday. “However, because this practice can be contentious in certain circles, we no longer use it.”

I particularly smiled at the use of the word *evolve in this comment by CT.

Zacharias’s biography has also evolved on other sites, including publisher Penguin/Random House, which within the past week replaced a line that said he “holds three doctorate degrees” with a reference to the honorary doctorates instead.

The statement claimed that Zacharias never *knowingly misled people.”

Neither Ravi Zacharias nor Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has ever knowingly misstated or misrepresented Ravi’s credentials. When it has been brought to our attention that something was stated incorrectly with regard to Ravi’s background, we have made every effort to correct it.

John Stackhouse refutes Zacharias’ statement that *every effort as been made to correct the record.”

Here are Stackhouse’s credentials.

John Stackhouse was educated in history and religious studies at Mount Carmel Bible School in Alberta, Queen’s University in Ontario (B.A., First Class Honours), Wheaton College Graduate School in Illinois (M.A., with Highest Honors), and The University of Chicago (Ph.D.).

Formerly a professor of European history at Northwestern College in Iowa, a professor of religion at the University of Manitoba, and the Sangwoo Youtong Chee Professor of Theology and Culture at Regent College (University of British Columbia), he now serves Crandall University in Moncton, New Brunswick, as the Samuel J. Mikolaski Professor of Religious Studies and Dean of Faculty Development

Stackhouse had this to say in a Facebook post.

I’ve been worried for 20 years about someone finally doing exactly this: calling Ravi Zacharias to account for inflating his academic credentials.

He’s certainly not the only one who has done it, and this article is harsher than it has to be. But just as God has used RZ to bless people in positive ways, may his shortcomings also stand as instruction to the rest of us who, apparently like him and certainly like me, are tempted to make more of ourselves and our little accomplishments than we ought.

In a comments under that post, Stackhouse claims that he had approached RZIM on at least two occasions on the matter. 

And you are somehow missing my testimony that I DID communicate with RZIM, and more than once, about this issue.

Major change to Zacharias’ bio at RZIM as of 12/3/17 AM

I don’t feel like beating a dead horse so please read our outline of the number of false comments on Zacharias’ old bio at *Mr.* Ravi Zacharias Adds Pizzazz to His Bio and the Christian Industrial Complex Imposes the Cone of Silence.

Dee found this claim particularly amusing.

He claimed to have studied *quantum physics* at Cambridge under John Polkinghorne which is not true.

On Friday, I sent an email to MarK DeMoss’s public relations firm which handles RZIM, inquiring specifically about this claim by RZ. I did not get a response.

He has addressed writers of the peace accord in South Africa and military officers at the Lenin Military Academy and the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow.

However, I looked at his bio yesterday morning and found that it had significantly changed. This was at the bottom of the resume. 

As of that posting, a number of former statements appear to have been removed and the bio appears less specific. I noticed that Russia was not listed in the countries in which he has ministered. So that may be the response to my question…I did find it rather interesting that RZIM, on this past weekend was offering a course for business leaders dealing with integrity in the workplace.

Now, lets’ take a look at a few things surrounding this controversy that I believe are important. 

Did Ravi Zacharias flat out admit to the allegations?

No. One thing we like to do at TWW is to show our readers how to analyze statements by churches on websites so they will know what they are getting when they attend such a church.

In this instance, one must read between the lines to get at what is really being said. Remember, this was surely written by lawyers with the goal of protecting Zacharias from potential litigation in the future. With that in mind, read this statement made on CT.

(CT) “I have learned a difficult and painful lesson through this ordeal,” Zacharias said. “I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry. I have acknowledged this to my Lord, my wife, my children, our ministry board, and my colleagues.”

Zacharias appears to be saying that he knows it looks bad but nothing happened on his part. He admits to nothing.

The “I’m from India and that is how we do it there” excuse gets roasted by The Friendly Atheist.

A post over at The Friendly Atheist is the reason why TWW believes in blunt honesty by Christians in the public arena. Zacharias has hurt his witness. You know, those verses about *the light on the hill* stuff. He should not continue to downplay the breadth of his falsehoods and the apparent lack of integrity.

From Ravi Zacharias Lied About His Credentials, and It’s All Your Fault, Zacharias gets called on the carpet for his “I’m from India and that is how we do it there” approach.

A story is being presented that appears to say that the victim tried to extort money from Zacharias just like she and her husband did from another pastor. Did you believe it without checking it? 

Years ago, I was sitting in one of my final women’s Bible studies when a woman claimed that Phil Donahue interviewed some Proctor and Gamble business leaders who claimed they were Satan worshippers and we needed to pray about this. Some of the women agreed.

So, Dee, starting to gather up her pencils to make a quick exit, looked at her and said “Did you hear it? When and on what day? ” She assured me that it was from a *reliable* source. I announced to her and everyone else that Christians shouldn’t lie and that they better be darn glad that a P&G official wasn’t sitting nearby because they were starting to sue people who were passing this story around. I then said Christian shouldn’t pass on nonsense and marched out.

Christians looooove these conspiracy theories and love to pass on information that they didn’t even check out. Folks, your Christian brothers and sisters, even celebrity Christians can lie and act stupid. Thankfully, there are some sharp cookies at TWW who looked into this story. Have you actually read the stuff about what happened at the church long ago? All sorts of people have been commenting on it. In fact, what happened is so interesting that TWW might look into it further because we are doing a long series on biblical counseling and this situation fits into some of that weirdness.

Here is what was claimed in the CT post.

Zacharias’s lawyers noted that the couple previously sued an Ontario pastor and his Christian Reformed church, alleging he had coerced them “into making certain ill-advised loans and investments” and seeking $1 million in damages. Their 2008 lawsuit was dropped; the pastor was temporarily suspended, but his church and denomination ultimately stood by him.

What actually happened? Here is part of a timeline from one of my readers, Charis. The links were provided by a reader who claimed that they proved this couple sued a previous pastor. I bet he didn’t read them as you will see at link and link.

“This is one of many instances of this sort of diagnosis being shared from the pulpit. In some cases the diagnosis’ were for disorders that even trained psychologists contend are very difficult to diagnose with any accuracy.”
2005
“John Visser a director of Essence Communications Ltd. and pastor of Maranatha, announces from the pulpit that low cash flow was making payments on their business loan to the bank impossible and unless something happened within a week or so they would face insolvency”

Which, from the first article – it was referenced that Bradley Thompson was making a $300-500,000 loan to Visser for his personal business. Who wants to place bets that Essence Comm LTD was that business. Oh, but wait…there’s more.

“It is suggested by an Essence executive that $500,000-$600,000 would be needed to pull the company out of trouble.”

But WHY is the Pastor Visser asking for money for his personal business ventures FROM THE PULPIT?! Odd.

And it gets weirder:
“The money collected from the members and their businesses was to be deposited to a separate numbered company using a C.I.B.C. business account. The numbered company was set up by David Visser through his lawyer. All the money collected was supposed to go through the C.I.B.C. account for the protection of the investors. Once the funds were in place, they could be transferred into Essence for paying off the debt. Brad Thompson and Bill Barrett were signing officers for the new numbered company. Only approximately $70,000, of the money collected was given to Brad and Bill to be deposited. The $70,000 that was deposited was eventually invested into Rock Media. The balance of the collected money remains unaccounted for.”

My oh my. Unaccounted for? Will wonders never cease. How about a little cooking of the books? And,hey – where did this new business come from. And WHO’S RUNNING THE CHURCH? There is a church here, right? O, wait, silly me – they voted to run it like a business – CEO and everything a few years back. All documented on this timeline. In fact, a hordes of people left the church because of it if I’m not mistaken.

Then…everything went into bankruptcy and stuff hit the fan. Visser steps down right before Essence declares bankruptcy – after raising more money to shore up Rock Media which is also in financial trouble. Visser’s son takes over Essence. And then:

“In the fall of 2007 the CIBC asks Brad Thompson to close the Rock Media account and bank elsewhere with any accounts relating to the Vissers or their companies. Shortly after this event, Mr. Thompson received a surprise from Hasting County Sheriff’s office. It was a writ of seizure of personal assets for non-payment of government remittance by Rock media. According to Brad he was surprised to find $85,000 in remittances was not submitted to the government for the 6 months Rock Media had been in operation.”

Folks, please do your reading. It is so easy today with Google. Also, please read the links that you send me to make sure they say what you want them to say…

Zacharias and the lawsuit

I am not going to be judge and jury on this one but it is vital to carefully read what is being said and what is not being said. At no point did Zacharias deny that he was texting with the woman. In fact he claimed he would now have to put some safeguards on his social media accounts. That sounds pretty darn clear to me. In other words, he knew things were getting out of hand. Note that he does not say when he stopped it.

(CT) alleged that his “friendly correspondence” with the wife evolved over the course of 2016 to her sending him “unwanted, offensive, sexually explicit language and photographs.”

A few people claimed that RZ sued the couple first so he was leading this lawsuit thing against them. Never forget the first communication involving a lawyer came from the victim.

(CT)  In April 2017, the couple sent a letter through their attorney demanding millions of dollars in exchange for keeping the messages a secret.

After that, Zacharias filed the lawsuit. At this point, he knew that they would proceed so this response was to be expected.

(CT) Last month, Zacharias settled a lawsuit with a Canadian couple he claimed had attempted to extort him over messages he had exchanged with the wife.

The federal lawsuit—which was filed by Zacharias, not the couple—alleged that his “friendly correspondence” with the wife evolved over the course of 2016 to her sending him “unwanted, offensive, sexually explicit language and photographs.” In April 2017, the couple sent a letter through their attorney demanding millions of dollars in exchange for keeping the messages a secret.

Zacharias’ lawyers were obviously concerned that the victim would claim he abused his clergy privilege with the woman or they would not have made the following statement. Make no mistake about this. They were concerned or this would not have been added.

(CT) Zacharias’s lawsuit stated that “there was no confidential and/or fiduciary relationship” between him and the woman, as would exist between a pastor or counselor and a counselee. Lawyers emphasized that Zacharias is not a pastor or counselor, and that RZIM is not a church and does not provide formal counseling or therapy.

There is not, nor will there be, any statement by either party about the specifics of the settlement. Here is my take. Zacharias has lots of money. His lawyers could have brought incredible pressure to bear on this couple. Yet, he chose to settle it. I am going to assume this occurred before either party was subject to being deposed. All of the evidence would have been required to be submitted this point and there were lots and lots of emails. Why would Zacharias settle a frivolous lawsuit that smelled of extortion?

Zacharias claims to have attempted suicide in his past. Maybe there is something to his alleged email threatening to do so.

Here is the claims from Ravi Zacharias Tells His Life Story Including His Conversion In YFC

He grew up in India along with four siblings. Ravi did not do well in school, as he would rather play cricket. Because he often disappointed his father, he was frequently beaten. His sisters convinced him to go to a YFC rally with Sam Wolgemuth as the speaker. Ravi was the only one to walk forward to receive Christ that night. Later, however, Ravi attempted suicide. YFC’s Fred David visited him in the hospital, read Scripture to him, and Ravi left the hospital a transformed 17-year-old. Later he won a preaching contest, got more education, and has written many books on apologetics.

Now use this link to go to the posted emails which appear to say he is threatening suicide.RAVI ZACHARIAS SEX SCANDAL – SUICIDE THREAT EMAILS.

Zacharias has discussed attempting suicide in the past. I never mess with suicide threats. RZIM-if this email was truly sent from Zacharias, he needs help! Get him an expert counselor.

Zacharias is an apologist for the faith and debates atheists but atheists have noted for his false credentials.

One of my distraught readers had this to say:

Bottom line is this entire method of the way you on this website presented this information, including completely unverified information, as if it was true, and judged and sentenced someone without that information is wrong and has nothing to do in any way shape or form with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

As Mr. Tumbleweed said, we are not even called to pull up the tares, lest we pull up the wheat at the same time. You’ve got an entire crew of tare pullers here, and you know what you’re doing? You’re pulling up the wheat with it. Maybe you should consider that.

This is not edifying for anyone’s sake, this is not saving anyone from the pit of hell, this is a complete diversion. I’m bowing out.

God bless you guys.

Steven does not seem to understand that fighting for the truth, even when it is painful, is part of being a Christian and part of our witness to a watching world. Zacharias’ actions in this respect are not saving anyone from the pit of hell. In fact, it hurts all of us. Here is the proof.

Richard Dawkins

Zacharias has debated Richard Dawkins. However, it appears that Dawkins was aware of Zacharias’ false credentials. What do you think that says for RZ’s witness? We are to be known for our love and integrity, not our clever arguments. Notice the date on this tweet-2 years ago! Yet it was ignored by a ministry that claims to take on the atheist world view.

The Friendly Atheist , Hemant Mehta, who actually is a rather friendly fellow.

The Friendly Atheist posted Ravi Zacharias Lied About His Credentials, and It’s All Your Fault. I apologize for the political reference but it is part of the narrative. He calls out Zacharias for his equivocal apology. Folks, is this being a light to the world?

Steven Baughman of Raviwatch, who is also the Friendly Banjo Atheist, is a really friendly guy!

Here is what he has to say about himself. Notice what he says about Zacharias.

My name is Steve Baughman. I am a San Francisco lawyer, musician and some-time-part-time philosophy graduate student. I am an atheist and I have been known to post videos at YouTube as the Friendly Banjo Atheist.

In my studies I have come to see that some of the best philosophers are Christians. Atheists who deny this are either ignorant or blinded by anger. When I find a brilliant and articulate defender of the faith I tend to pay attention. Around early 2015 I happened upon RZ. He was not only articulate but had the Oxford and Cambridge education and multiple doctorate degrees to deserve a fair listen.

Plus, he made an argument about the prophetic inspiration of the Book of Daniel that ruffled my world view. If RZ was right about Daniel, (and his impressive academic credentials made him all the more persuasive to me,) I would need to reconsider my atheism.

It took many hours of reading and contacting Old Testament scholars to see that RZ’s Daniel argument was fundamentally dishonest. Click here to watch my video on the issue.

I wondered why so qualified an academic would resort to bogus tactics of persuasion. I began digging and quickly found that RZ was a pretender. He had no doctorates, not even an academic M.A. He had never been a “visiting scholar at Cambridge University” nor a “Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University.” In fact, without exception, every single impressive academic claim he made about himself was either false or grossly exaggerated.

Parting thoughts: Zacharias demonstrates that he is a risk taker with his bio. He could be a risk taker in his  private life as well.

This is hard for me to say because I have admired Ravi Zacharias in the past.

I am sorry but there is nothing in this statement that makes me believe Zacharias’ account. His bio has been beefed up for years. He did not change his bio even when allegedly confronted about his claims by both Christian academicians and atheists. If he truly cared about the Richard Dawkins of the world, he should have responded and done the right thing 2 years ago.

This man has taken risks on his bio which leads me to believe that he could take risks on social median and risks in his relationship with people. Nothing has been presented that makes me think otherwise and I am not happy about it because I really, really wanted to be proven wrong on this one.

How to be a light on the hill when confronted with your sin.

  • Preach the Gospel. Admit that all of us are sinners, including you, and all of us need the grace of Jesus.
  • Simply say “I’m sorry.” No excuses or caveats. Ask for people to pray for you
  • Be humble, always…
  • Stop pretending you are something that you are not. Be real. Would things have been different if RZ had never said he had a doctorate? What difference did it make? My guess is that he would still be beloved, rich and famous.
  • Truth matters, even when it hurts.
  • Even your most favorite Christian is capable of sinning badly. Accept it.

Let me end with this observation by The Friendly Atheist which mentions Joel Osteen in a positive light for one reason.This is why truth matters.

The strangest thing about his biographical lies, as I’ve written before, is that Zacharias never needed to make anything up! He’s a compelling speaker who shares the Christian myth very effectively. You don’t need a Ph.D. to do that. (I could say the same about Joel Osteen, who talks very openly about how he never attended seminary or went through any formal training to be a preacher.) But that wasn’t good enough for him.

He made things up on his bio for no reason at all. And plenty of people believed him. That should tell you everything you need to know about how seriously to take his commentaries on Christianity.


Comments

Ravi Zacharias: Why I Don’t Think His Response at Christianity Today Cleared Things Up — 251 Comments

  1. Great work! Please please please contact and demand that RZ answer the following question: “Mr. Zacharias, did you or did you not threaten suicide in order to pressure Ms. Thompson not to tell her husband about your relationship with her?”

    Yes or no? Pr@rzim.com and rakzach@gmail.com.

    Let us not get sidetracked by his “Dr. Zacharias” issue. That is the issue is ministry and expensive PR guy wants us to focus on. That’s like worrying about Ted Bundy’s traffic tickets.

    We need to keep the pressure on this gentleman to tell the truth and stop hiding behind lawyers and PR people.

  2. As I continue to think about this whole situation, I get more and more dismayed at how the greater evangelical community is down playing the importance of lying about your degrees/credentials/associations. As an academic for 30 years, this downplaying just demonstrates how corrupt, and ignorant, so many in the evangelical community are. There is no “ controversy” in the academic community of what a honorary vs earned Ph.D. Is. To us, anyone that parades around with a honorary degree, in place of a real PhD is a FRAUD Further, I have personally been the primary Ph.D. Advisory for a number of student that came from India, all who have gone on to very high level jobs. There is NO confusion in their minds the difference between a real Ph.D. and a honoray. In fact, it is insulting to them for CT and RZIM to make this statement.

  3. Um this is typical Ravi “preaching” to the choir so to speak. mao Tse Tung, Stalin, to a lesser degree Hitler. They replaced divine “religion” with state-sponsored religion it was still an appeal to power funny that is what Ravi seems to do now concerning this situation. Will irony never cease?

    https://youtu.be/0218GkAGbnU

  4. In Ravi Zacharias’ court filings his lawyer states that Ravi repeatedly asked Mrs Thompson to stop sending him emails.
    If Ravi Zacharias had or was able to show a single e-mail from himself to that effect (stop emailing me) he would have. He never notified his board at RZIM or anyone from the time he met the Thompsons in 2014 at his conference in Ontario until he was faced with the letter from their lawyer in April 2017 even though he admits the lengthy email/phone relationship with Lori Thompson. (And not her husband)

  5. “I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry. I have acknowledged this to my Lord, my wife, my children, our ministry board, and my colleagues.”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    yeah… i can just see the noble, far away look in his eyes as he says this.

    i think i’m going to be sick.

  6. elastigirl wrote:

    “I failed to exercise wise caution and to protect myself from even the appearance of impropriety, and for that I am profoundly sorry. I have acknowledged this to my Lord, my wife, my children, our ministry board, and my colleagues.”

    Yeah ……. like his only sin was failing to follow the Billy Graham rule???

    I wonder if the woman responded to his suicide threat??? Harumphhhh! I know what my reply would have been, and it wouldn’t have been pleasant.

  7. It’s one thing to call himself Dr everywhere he went, he could have sufficed with saying “sorry, we won’t do that anymore” and left it at that. Personally I would not have a problem with that.

    But it is another thing to claim that he never did this, and that he instructed his staff to stop (they never got the memo it seems), suggesting any instances were a one-off oversight. His protests were so lengthy that he totally forgot to address his outlandish claims in connection to Oxford and Cambridge.

  8. the fact that atheists are (rightly) calling out wrongdoing is bringing out quite the demonstration of elitism in many christians.

    as soon as one of their golden boys is tarnished, the issue becomes not the egregious behavior but rather “the atheists are coming! the atheists are coming!”, as they press the righteous button & look down their long blinking red righteous noses. how convenient!

    gawd, i’m so done with christian culture. i’m tired of the embarrassment. tired of being ashamed of my fellow christians. tired of how my religion is working out.

  9. Steve Baughman wrote:

    Great work! Please please please contact and demand that RZ answer the following question: “Mr. Zacharias, did you or did you not threaten suicide in order to pressure Ms. Thompson not to tell her husband about your relationship with her?”

    Agreed. “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

  10. It is long past time the Christian community calls him out. Shame on Christianity Today for whitewashing him. But sadly the Christian establishment will rush to his defence and call it a spiritual attack. I left a church that supported Kenneth Copeland and Rodney Howard Brown and they refused to watch video evidence of their occult practices and their conning vulnerable people out of their money. I have seen churches sell books by Sovereign Grace Ministries and the leaders refuse to read the news articles about the child abuse lawsuit. I have seen creationists supporting Ken Ham’s Ark encounter and they overlook his unethical (but legal) tax avoidance. And they will continue to support RZ unless he makes a statement supporting gay marriage – then the news will spread across the world in minutes and they will be ranting on about it for years! These celebrities are unaccountable and I am glad I left evangelicalism.

  11. elastigirl wrote:

    gawd, i’m so done with christian culture. i’m tired of the embarrassment. tired of being ashamed of my fellow christians. tired of how my religion is working out.

    You and me both, elastigirl!

  12. I think the problem with the commenters here is that you’re all looking for the perfect church.

    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it – you’ll spoil it.

    Yours sincerely,

    Arnold Smartarse

  13. Arnold Smartarse wrote:

    I think the problem with the commenters here is that you’re all looking for the perfect church.
    What I would say is, if you ever find the perfect church, don’t join it – you’ll spoil it.
    Yours sincerely,
    Arnold Smartarse

    Not a perfect church just perfect congregants, they are not allowed to make mistakes, nor should they be. Funny with all this there is still good news out there.

  14. ION:

    I’ve just started a new job in Edinburgh (“Ednbruh”) and am likely to have less time to read the threads properly. So I’ll probably comment mainly at weekends.

    I’m confident that Wartburgers will have no trouble containing their disappointment.

  15. Divorce Minister wrote:

    How awful this all must be for Ravi’s wife! Don’t forget she is a victim in this [assuming we can trust the emails]

    And his daughter 🙁

    Ministry Watch Nov 27, 2017
    “We subsequently asked RZIM if the ministry’s board of directors, which includes Zacharias’ wife and daughter, had seen copies of the e-mail and text communications sent between Ravi and the alleged extortionists, as this would give us greater confidence the board’s strong backing of him was based on the information and evidence we would like to see, but cannot. RZIM’s response indicated the board has not yet seen the e-mail and text evidence that would support Zacharias’ claims in his court filing but had been “briefed” about it.”

  16. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    ION:

    I’ve just started a new job in Edinburgh (“Ednbruh”) and am likely to have less time to read the threads properly. So I’ll probably comment mainly at weekends.

    I have been following Wwatch off and on for years and i will miss your comments!

  17. From the post:

    ‘Parting thoughts: Zacharias demonstrates that he is a risk taker with his bio. He could be a risk taker in his  private life as well.’

    ‘This man has taken risks on his bio which leads me to believe that he could take risks on social median and risks in his relationship with people. Nothing has been presented that makes me think otherwise and I am not happy about it because I really, really wanted to be proven wrong on this one.’

    ………….

    May I take this opportunity to remind folks that this is what I said about the situation, although I used the paradigm of sin rather than the paradigm of risk taking. I think that he tolerated this sin in his life and that was a pattern such that falling into other sin(s) was something which could be expected. And which I think happened.

    Except, I am not all that torn up about it, because prior to this I knew nothing about RZ except for name recognition. So I do not feel the same disappointment that some of you feel. And also, I think that I perhaps have a different approach to the idea of sin as the better word than when somebody may say risks or mistakes.

    What does bother me is that y’all seem to be unable to see any responsibility in the actions of the female participant in this foofaw. You keep referring to her, when and if you do, as a victim. Why victim? It sounds like you are saying that women are so easily deceived that they are not responsible for their actions. We all know where that Idea comes from, and in other circumstances y’all try to say that women can be trusted with, for example, the office of senior pastor, and then turn around and claim victimization whenever some woman denies responsibility and pleads victimization. This bothers me.

    In this case this couple had plenty of reason from past experience to realize that the business of religion could get you into trouble. At a minimum, she knew that. And still she got into trouble, allegedly behind her husband’s back; until the famous demand letter. You can call that foolishness, or say that women being the weaker sex are easily deceived, or say that she fell into sin just like RZ did. But I just did not and do not see a helpless victim unable to withstand the wiles of somebody online. And now that we know that this couple have been ‘in church’ in the past, just how did she get to the place of stripping off her clothing for pics for some man on line? Are we to understand that she was oblivious to all this? I can’t get to that place in my thinking.

    So why expect much of him but nothing of her? Because he was an evangelist? Where in scripture is one relieved of responsibility to resist sin unless and until one is publicly recognizable? Since when does ‘forgive us our trespasses…’ and ‘lead us not into temptation…’ apply to some people and not others? When we see a diagnosis of some condition which renders people incapable of responsible decision making that is a totally different situation, but in the absence of that where is the admission of anything from her and the admission of actual guilt (as opposed to mistakes were overlooked approach) from him?

    You are a good woman, Dee, but I just have a somewhat different take on situations like this.

  18. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    I assume this is the job you told us about interviewing for not too long ago. Congrats if this is a good thing. I will watch for your weekend comments. Don’t forget us here.

  19. okrapod wrote:

    What does bother me is that y’all seem to be unable to see any responsibility in the actions of the female participant in this foofaw. You keep referring to her, when and if you do, as a victim. Why victim? It sounds like you are saying that women are so easily deceived that they are not responsible for their actions. We all know where that Idea comes from, and in other circumstances y’all try to say that women can be trusted with, for example, the office of senior pastor, and then turn around and claim victimization whenever some woman denies responsibility and pleads victimization. This bothers me.

    What is the y’all stuff about? I have not seen anyone here imply that women are so easily deceived.

  20. Warren Throckmorton has gotten together several of Ravi’s recent videos that show his own senior staff introducing him as Dr Zacharias. I think people with actual doctorates just arent going to let this go.

    The official statement: “Neither Ravi Zacharias nor Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) has ever knowingly misstated or misrepresented Ravi’s credentials.”
    Throckmorton:
    “Just last week I found numerous instance of his own websites referring to him as “Dr. Zacharias.” I have the screen caps of the websites to prove it. Here is just one from April 12, 2017 which I captured last week from the RZIM You Tube account. I intend to pull together more.”

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/warrenthrockmorton/2017/12/03/fact-fiction-ravi-zacharias-allegations-misconduct/#disqus_thread

  21. mot wrote:

    What is the y’all stuff about? I have not seen anyone here imply that women are so easily deceived.

    Please read paragraph 5 again. I said ‘it sounds like…’

  22. @ okrapod:
    One of her emails to Ravi said ‘you took advantage of distraught daughter or you took advantage of me when i was distraught over daughter’. When i read that was when i thought she trult may have been emotionally vulnerable when they first started conversing. Those emails are gone so i cant go re-read them. I could see it being an uneven power/authority manipulation issue if she was under emotional stress, but if not i see what your saying. (Sorry for replying to your comment that was directed at Dee)

  23. elastigirl wrote:

    the fact that atheists are (rightly) calling out wrongdoing is bringing out quite the demonstration of elitism in many christians.
    as soon as one of their golden boys is tarnished, the issue becomes not the egregious behavior but rather “the atheists are coming! the atheists are coming!”, as they press the righteous button & look down their long blinking red righteous noses. how convenient!
    gawd, i’m so done with christian culture. i’m tired of the embarrassment. tired of being ashamed of my fellow christians. tired of how my religion is working out.

    I am too.

  24. This may seem like a naive comment, but if RZ genuinely didn’t want contact with this woman, and was offended/upset/ felt her communications were wrong, why didn’t he just not answer? Or block her number? Or change his?

    Okay, I’m not a famous preacher, but I’ve had conversations over social media which start out as genuine, innocent discussions, and then the person messages me privately, and I don’t like the tone or direction it’s going in. So I block them, or ignore the messages. If they’re being offensive I often try to better explain my position on whatever it was we were talking about. But generally I will just block, decline the friend request, or whatever. If they want information and I don’t want to engage any further, I will usually direct them to an article or blog which explains what I think.

    All of which makes me think Mr Zacharias is not being entirely honest about this.

  25. I wonder as well if Mr Zacharias ever had any trauma therapy? It seems like his father was pretty abusive to him. I don’t mean this in a disparaging way, but if you make a serious enough attempt at suicide that you are in hospital as a teenager, then you have a big problem. And these things don’t just go away over time. I am not speculating about any specific impact that may have had on his life, but I know from personal experience that trauma changes you, often in ways you don’t even realise because you think you’re coping, when actually you are not.

  26. @ sandy c:

    Perhaps that is the case. He should not have been talking to her in the first place and he should have had internet boundaries in place which he now admits. We will see whether he sets up such boundaries or whether that is just talk.

    And also somebody needs to remind women that turning to some man to make it be OK in your life is step one to disaster. I like men, I worked with them all my life, I married one of them and I have a son of whom I am proud, but-‘please let me cry on your shoulder you great big wonderful man’ in woman-speak is on the same level as ‘my wife does not understand me (but you do)’ in man-spead and both those approaches can lead to terrible results. ‘She’, whoever she is, and ‘he’, whoever he is are equally ill advised to head down that road.

  27. if she was supposed to extort him she wasn’t very good at it. If you want to blackmail someone its not very effective to say ‘i sent you compromising photos of myself-give me 5 mil! You’re suposed to get compromising photos of them!
    Seriously though it does show a level of naivety that it was one sided photos, and that to me shows him being more manipulative. Creepy too.

  28. okrapod wrote:

    And also somebody needs to remind women that turning to some man to make it be OK in your life is step one to disaster.

    I dont want to ever victim blame so I am not saying this about Ms Thompson (Dee & Julie spoke to her and both said she was very distraught which makes thinking clearly difficult) but i think that when people give their lives to Jesus they really need to devote significant time to Him so they get a relationship where He is where they turn for that shoulder. I dont know if that is a special gift from God or something so i really dont want to sound judgemental, but i have seen so many christians turn to people for comfort or to famous preachers instead of Jesus and its so very sad because they always get hurt so deeply.

  29. @ sandy c:

    But she did send the photos, and they did ask for money. So at some point somebody smelled money. One can argue when that happened and/or whose idea it was, but we have read the demand letter, and nobody denies the pics.

  30. Steven Baughman of Raviwatch, who is also the Friendly Banjo Atheist, is a really friendly guy!

    really? friendly maybe to those who join his cause but he is clearly antagonistic toward Christians and Christianity, take time to read some of his comments in other blogs, here is one:

    “Y’all need to admit that the “blood of Jesus” is indiscernible from tap water (except in some mystical non-observable sense.)”

  31. okrapod wrote:

    my wife does not understand me (but you do)’ in man-spead and both those approaches can lead to terrible results

    Hehe this reminded me… So this guy was trying his pick-up lines on me shortly after my divorce…
    He ‘can i buy you a drink?’
    Me ‘are you married?’
    He ‘divorced, she didnt understand me and was crabby all the time’
    Me ‘oh sorry bout that, do you have children?’
    He ‘yes three!’
    Me ‘whens the last time you saw them?
    He ‘she never lets me see them!’
    Me ‘do you pay child support?’
    He ‘wull I havent worked for awhile..’
    Me *laughing ‘My ex husband is in a bar somewhere saying the same thing to some woman, go away!’

  32. “Years ago, I was sitting in one of my final women’s Bible studies when a woman claimed that Phil Donahue interviewed some Proctor and Gamble business leaders who claimed they were Satan worshippers and we needed to pray about this. Some of the women agreed.”

    The version I heard years ago about the alleged Satanic logo of P&G was that when asked by Donahue about a possible boycott, the company representative said something like, “there aren’t enough Christians to make a difference”. For this, somebody at the local Assembly of God church was passing around a flyer with this on it, along with a petition to sign and send to Phil Donahue, or Procter and Gamble, I forget which. I wonder if it’s still going around to this day.

  33. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’m confident that Wartburgers will have no trouble containing their disappointment.

    Disappointment? So happy you’ve found work! Hope it is work that brings joy and suitable income! Will miss you here though.

  34. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’ve just started a new job in Edinburgh (“Ednbruh”) and am likely to have less time to read the threads properly.

    C’mon man, get your priorities straight. Blog or job. Really, what’s more important?

    Well, at least we’ll have Arnold Smartarse and Arnold Dumbarse [with an occasional comment from god] to keep things interesting around here.

    Congrats on the job, Nick. I’m going to have to find another source for football news.

  35. ottobord wrote:

    really? friendly maybe to those who join his cause but he is clearly antagonistic toward Christians and Christianity,

    I fear that all of us are a bit like this. It is human nature. Take a look at the responses to sex abuse in the news and who supports who.

    ottobord wrote:

    “Y’all need to admit that the “blood of Jesus” is indiscernible from tap water (except in some mystical non-observable sense.)”

    If he is not a Christian, why would you expect a different observation? That response is reasonable from a person who does not share our faith and I do not find it off putting. In fact, I think such a comment opens the door to dialogue.Christians must always be ready to give a reason for the hope we have.

    So I have a question for you. How would you respond to such a question in a way that honors our faith?

  36. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    There is no “ controversy” in the academic community of what a honorary vs earned Ph.D. Is. To us, anyone that parades around with a honorary degree, in place of a real PhD is a FRAUD

    What makes it even worse when men like RZ play games is that it casts a jaundiced eye on all Christians in academia-including those like yourself who worked long and hard for your degree. Frankly, it makes me mad.

  37. DrMike wrote:

    But it is another thing to claim that he never did this, and that he instructed his staff to stop (they never got the memo it seems), suggesting any instances were a one-off oversight. His protests were so lengthy that he totally forgot to address his outlandish claims in connection to Oxford and Cambridge.

    I totally agree.That is what bothers me the most. It is being downplayed without an apology despite the fact that they were told in the past that his credential were not true. It should have been a warning when even Richard Dawkins pointed this out. I would be ashamed.

  38. Divorce Minister wrote:

    How awful this all must be for Ravi’s wife! Don’t forget she is a victim in this [assuming we can trust the emails].

    Thank you for that important reminder.I just stopped and prayed for her. I wonder how he is at home given the fact that he is not straightforward in public life.

  39. @ ZechZav:
    I agree with everything you said. Sadly, no matter where you turn you will find that mankind is sinful and quite self serving.

  40. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’ve just started a new job in Edinburgh (“Ednbruh”) and am likely to have less time to read the threads properly. So I’ll probably comment mainly at weekends.
    I’m confident that Wartburgers will have no trouble containing their disappointment.

    I have been notified that a missionary in that fair city was approached about my posts on Iain Campbell. It seems the populace has found them interesting. I plan to rev up for a few more posts.

    Congrats on the new job.

  41. sandy c wrote:

    but had been “briefed”

    I’m getting sick and tired of being briefed about all the reports of ministers running around with just their briefs on.

  42. @ okrapod:
    A reader wrote this to me. She wanted me to share it with you if I thought it appropriate. I think it is quite thoughtful so I am going to reprint it here.

    “I understand where she (Okrapod) is coming from, having grown up in fundamentalist churches since the age of 5: Evangelical Friends, then Baptist, then Bible College. I often heard “it takes two to tango.”

    My only reference to Ravi is via one of his books: “Cries of the Heart” and it was very good. I read it during a time in my life when I was more wounded than normal (4yr old with cancer and a psychopath/abusive husband). It was one of MANY books that I read during that season.

    If I were to walk a mile in Lori (and Brad’s) shoes the narrative could look similar to my own. Might they, after experiencing such a horrific case of manipulation, defamation, abandonment (abuse, really) at the hands of their pastor for so many years have stumbled upon some of Ravi’s writings. Maybe they read “Cries of the Heart” or “Why Suffering” or “The Grand Weaver” and been powerfully impacted, or found comfort.

    Perhaps that is why they attended Ravi’s conferences. Perhaps they were profoundly grateful for his ministry in their life and maybe that is why they wished to learn more about his ministry; make a donation. Lori (and Ravi both) make references to Brad having questions about his faith…isn’t that fair? Wouldn’t anyone question their religion after the way Maranatha (Visser) treated them? And the timeline adds up.

    Maybe Ravi was moved by their story at dinner (he references this in his lawsuit/letter). The lawsuit states Ravi’s wife was uncomfortable. That’s understandable. Spiritual abuse IS uncomfortable – if that is what the Thompsons shared that evening.

    A bond between them would be natural, especially on Lori’s end. This couple needed healing after all they went through. Ravi’s book, his ministry likely provided the spiritually healing channel, the balm for their wounds to continue healing. He states he corresponded with them. It wouldn’t be a stretch to guess that he “counseled” them, advised them – and eventually just her as Brad worked through his own healing (or not).

    We see this same dynamic in counseling – even though Ravi states he did not enter a professional therapy arrangement with Lori, does that mean he did not counsel and advise her? His lawsuit indicates that their conversation topics were “to pray, and discuss issues like health and wellbeing” and he asked her to contact him on his personal blackberry.

    Lori (and Brad) is deeply wounded and confused and Ravi is coming from the position of noted author and spiritual figurehead. Ravi may very likely know of Lori’s woundedness as “she opened her life to him”…and if he took advantage of that? Then this case and his actions are even more reprehensible. This is not just pastor grooming a victim of the church. This a counselor grooming a patient.

    These are just my conjectures. My “what ifs.”

  43. Max wrote:

    sandy c wrote:
    but had been “briefed”
    I’m getting sick and tired of being briefed about all the reports of ministers running around with just their briefs on.

    LOL

  44. From the OP
    “How to be a light on the hill when confronted with your sin.

    Preach the Gospel. Admit that all of us are sinners, including you, and all of us need the grace of Jesus.
    Simply say “I’m sorry.” No excuses or caveats. Ask for people to pray for you
    Be humble, always…
    Stop pretending you are something that you are not. Be real. Would things have been different if RZ had never said he had a doctorate? What difference did it make? My guess is that he would still be beloved, rich and famous.
    Truth matters, even when it hurts.
    Even your most favorite Christian is capable of sinning badly. Accept it.

    As I read these bullet points, I thought how challenging these are for narcissists. Then I remembered that the reach of the gospel is such that even narcissists can be redeemed from their sinfully prideful attitudes. This kind of humility may be more difficult for them to achieve, particularly since the Evangelical Bubble is typically accommodating of it, but it is the Holy Spirit that brings about these changes into the image of Christ.

  45. @ Nick Bulbeck:
    Congratulations, Nick. I hope you can find some time for TWW. You seem very capable of bridging the science-theology chasm with (at least some of) your comments.

  46. @ dee:
    I don’t think it’s unloving to request respect of each others belief systems. There can be a productive dialogue with mutual respect and understanding. The blood of Christ is precious to believers and his comment is disrespectful. That behavior is par for the course for someone who doesn’t understand Christian doctrine. But this isn’t Steve’s first rodeo, he’s a former believer, educated and a mature adult. He’s not looking for a dialogue or even a debate. In addition Steve is looking for Christians to partner with him in his crusade against Ravi. I think this is unwise since he clearly has demonstrated that his motives are to hurt Christianty.

  47. @ dee:

    “Y’all need to admit that the “blood of Jesus” is indiscernible from tap water (except in some mystical non-observable sense.)”

    If he is not a Christian, why would you expect a different observation? That response is reasonable from a person who does not share our faith and I do not find it off putting. In fact, I think such a comment opens the door to dialogue.Christians must always be ready to give a reason for the hope we have.

    So I have a question for you. How would you respond to such a question in a way that honors our faith?”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    1. I agree. It’s value is in the mystical non-observable sense. Actually, i think if most christians really thought about it, they would find they are in agreement. It matters not if the word ‘mystical’ is not allowed in the christian lexicon — ‘faith’ is the mystical non-observable.

    2. maybe faith is like a debit card, and “the blood of Jesus” is like the tangible dollars, the gold behind the dollars. the debit card represents the tangible dollars, which we don’t see. even the dollars themselves represent the gold at Fort Knox (in theory) which we don’t see. (at least they’re supposed to!)

    the debit card and the dollars are easily observable in cause and effect — i hand the cashier the card/the dollars, i get a milkshake. nothing really mystical there.

    but look at meditation. less concrete than a card and dollars we touch and handle. yet i think anyone can see the cause and effect there. a person practices, they are more peaceful, less stressed and anxious, and their mental and physical health improves.

    if meditation is viable as cause and effect in the less-than-concrete realm, i think faith practices can also be seen viable as cause and effect. for christians, the blood of jesus makes faith practices possible. a person who prays is also less stressed, anxious, and their mental and physical health improve.

    of course one can practice both meditation and faith and be compromising themselves in other ways (niccotine, food without nutrition, violence, lying, cheating, deceiving, not honoring commitments, using people for gratification). the compromise will interfere with the positive effect of meditation and faith.

    (but maybe i’m still in philosophical kindergarten here)

  48. @ dee:

    Thank you for this information. It certainly sounds like a possibility. I have not read anything he ever wrote nor have I ever heard him speak, and I have no/none/nada exposure to any counseling of any sort affiliated with any religious setting, nor do I know anyone who has. I did have instruction and practice in how to facilitate group therapy while I was a psych resident, which was mostly just to see how people were doing on their meds-and that had nothing at all to do with this sort of thing. So what can I say. It sounds reasonable as to what she says, but I have no way to know whether or not it is reasonable.

    I still don’t see how a bunch of money would solve that, but I have no experience in that aspect either. It looks really bad, though.

    May I add, as I have said before, that on a personal level after my divorce I got involved with a man (not a counselor or pastor) and had to extricate myself from that situation. I repented. I talked plainly and sternly to myself for letting it happen in the first place; and I did not plead emotional issues for an excuse, not even the post divorce thing and all. I got over it and went on–forgiven, if one believes in that sort of thing. Had I chosen to see myself as some sort of victim, in retrospect I think that it would have been a serious error-the choice of a weak rather than a strong way to deal with, yes, sin; at least for me it would have been to choose the easy way out. Others may well experience this sort of thing differently. So I am admittedly biased in favor of repent-whether or not one is also a victim. It seems to me that one would ask oneself how did this happen and how could it have been avoided, and then avoid it in the future, with or without counseling or meds or the ever present urge to justify one’s own behavior or whatever all else might be involved.

    And, no, I do not know where other people should draw that line. In my church we repent communally before receiving the eucharist, we repent liturgically during various seasons of the year, we may go to confession with the priest is we need to, and we repent when we are dying. I see ‘repent’ all through scripture. My experience of ‘repent’ has ben both healing and strengthening and probably would have been so even if I did not think that all that repenting was necessary.

    I hope this foofaw turns out for the greater good for all involved.

  49. @ elastigirl:

    “the blood of jesus”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    as a footnote to previous comment:

    come on, christians (I am one, in practice). be honest, here — it’s a weird concept. it’s horrifying, really. case in point:

    “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins”

    Christians sing this with all manner of heart-felt peaceful wonder and wistfulness. i say, Gross! what’s wrong with many christians that they miss this?

    my feeling is that it’s much better left in the conceptual realm. a life force for a life. that’s enough. instead of throwing the word around so casually, like it’s simply fish oil capsules to improve one’s health and only ignorant fools would have a problem with it.

    and i’m never singing about it again. talk about non-intuitive.

    music should always be intuitive. (although christian music often is not — cramming in too many non-singable words and concepts, with non-musical anti-rhythmic cadences to the words themselves)

    (but that last point is better saved for a back table in a dark corner at an all-night jazz club with candle and bottomless beverages of choice. and cigar. and cheese)

    (i’ll be in the black turtleneck if anyone wants to join me)

  50. @ ottobord:

    i know, and i understand, and have at times felt/believed the same. but it is no less mystical. mystical in a tangible sense (in the same way a debit card is the tangible representation of what we don’t see)

  51. I had never heard of Ravi Zacharias or RZIM before these topics came up on Dr. Throckmorton’s blog. I had no idea there was a 40+ million dollar enterprise doing this kind of work. For perspective with something many of us here are familiar with, that is one fourth of the Southern Baptist’s Lottie Moon (for international missions) goal. This makes me wonder how many of these Evangelical Bubble organizations are out there and where are they generating their funds from.

    BTW: RZIM’s most recent Form 990, 2015, listed 3 officers with the last name Zacharias earning over 100k individually. These three combined for over 670k in combined reportable compensation from the organization and estimated other from the organization or related organizations.

  52. @ dee:
    DEE,

    The Wartburg Watch is a “hole in the wall” for those who need to know what is going on in the dark recesses of Christendom … see Ezekiel 8:6-12.

  53. @ ottobord:
    There is some real irony here. As a faculty member at major secular, state institutions, I was asked to help student groups help sponsor people like RZ, and in one case, RV himself. I have been burned enough ( the agenda of these groups are not what they say) that I do not partner with “evangelical christain groups” either. This whole blow up with RZ furthers my determination to not associate with “evangelical christain groups”…. I value my integrity. As I have been saying, it is Fraud for RZ to be presented to students at major state universities as a “Dr” when it is only honorary. Let him do it all he wants at private Christain schools…… We academics assume that when a person is introduced with a “Dr”, he has a eaned degree. PS… about 1/2 of the grad students in my department are foreign born, and they would assume a “Dr” is earned also. This “culture” stuffon RZIM is BS and insulting to my colleauges.

  54. elastigirl wrote:

    (but that last point is better saved for a back table in a dark corner at an all-night jazz club with candle and bottomless beverages of choice. and cigar. and cheese)
    (i’ll be in the black turtleneck if anyone wants to join me)

    This reminds me of a gospel concert we went to at Christmas time w/in the last few years. One of the musicians made comments about how musicians would play and sing in the nightclubs Saturday night, then change clothes and change a few words to make the same songs ‘Christian’ for church on Sunday morning!

  55. brian wrote:

    Um this is typical Ravi “preaching” to the choir so to speak. mao Tse Tung, Stalin, to a lesser degree Hitler. They replaced divine “religion” with state-sponsored religion it was still an appeal to power funny that is what Ravi seems to do now concerning this situation. Will irony never cease?

    You do know what a ‘red herring’ is right? Because that’s what the guy in the audience used when he brought up ‘subjective’ morality. The argument was never about whether or not morality, because it (morality) has its appeal to theist and atheist alike, with parameters agreed upon by both camps. Morality has always existed on its own as a separate entity. The question has never been whether or not it exists, but rather, whence comes it?

  56. Todd Wilhelm wrote:

    I’m not a fan of Southern Seminary

    Ground-zero for New Calvinism. Most Wartburgers are not fond of Southern Seminary, nor Al Mohler for leading SBC down this road.

  57. okrapod wrote:

    Don’t forget us here.

    That is not going to happen – you are all an integral part of my life! Even though I’ve not met any of you (apart from Lowlandseer, apparently, though we didn’t know one another online at the time).

  58. FW Rez wrote:

    BTW: RZIM’s most recent Form 990, 2015, listed 3 officers with the last name Zacharias earning over 100k individually. These three combined for over 670k in combined reportable compensation from the organization and estimated other from the organization or related organizations.

    Nice salaries. Wonder what the incomes from his books looks like?

  59. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’ve just started a new job in Edinburgh

    Yaaaayyyy. The modelling contract came through, huh? (Oh, go on, tell us what the job is)

  60. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    ION:

    I’ve just started a new job in Edinburgh (“Ednbruh”) and am likely to have less time to read the threads properly. So I’ll probably comment mainly at weekends.

    I’m confident that Wartburgers will have no trouble containing their disappointment.

    Wishing you all the best in ‘Auld Reekie’ Nick.

  61. Max wrote:

    Todd Wilhelm wrote:
    I’m not a fan of Southern Seminary
    Ground-zero for New Calvinism. Most Wartburgers are not fond of Southern Seminary, nor Al Mohler for leading SBC down this road.

    James Petigru Boyce, the founder and first president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was a Calvinist. So it is Renewed Calvinism that characterizes SBTS.

    “James Petigru Boyce (1827–1888) was a Baptist theologian, Calvinist, and seminary professor. Boyce was educated at Brown University under Francis Wayland, whose evangelical sermons contributed to Boyce’s conversion, and at Princeton Theological Seminary under Charles Hodge who led Boyce to appreciate Calvinistic theology. Boyce became a pastor, then a university professor, and finally the founder and first president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he taught theology from 1859 until his death in 1888.”

    http://religion.wikia.com/wiki/James_Petigru_Boyce

  62. mot wrote:

    What is the y’all stuff about? I have not seen anyone here imply that women are so easily deceived.

    Okrapod implied no such thing. She can speak for herself (okrapod), but if ya’ read her comment carefully (my opinion), she only used ‘female deception’ as a rhetorical device to highlight the fact that we can’t have it both ways by trying to absolve the woman of any and all culpability in the ‘affair’.
    I had my own whiskey tango foxtrot moment about this on a previous thread here at TWW.

  63. Muff Potter wrote:

    mot wrote:

    What is the y’all stuff about? I have not seen anyone here imply that women are so easily deceived.

    Okrapod implied no such thing. She can speak for herself (okrapod), but if ya’ read her comment carefully (my opinion), she only used ‘female deception’ as a rhetorical device to highlight the fact that we can’t have it both ways by trying to absolve the woman of any and all culpability in the ‘affair’.
    I had my own whiskey tango foxtrot moment about this on a previous thread here at TWW.

    I found the y’all parts of the comment condescending.

  64. okrapod wrote:

    And also somebody needs to remind women that turning to some man to make it be OK in your life is step one to disaster. I like men, I worked with them all my life, I married one of them and I have a son of whom I am proud, but-‘please let me cry on your shoulder you great big wonderful man’ in woman-speak is on the same level as ‘my wife does not understand me (but you do)’ in man-spead and both those approaches can lead to terrible results. ‘She’, whoever she is, and ‘he’, whoever he is are equally ill advised to head down that road.

    Maybe Ravi and men like him are not following 1 Timothy 5:1-2
    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Timothy%205:1-2

  65. sandy c wrote:

    Seriously though it does show a level of naivety that it was one sided photos, and that to me shows him being more manipulative. Creepy too.

    I would not want to see Ravi Z naked

  66. sandy c wrote:

    that when people give their lives to Jesus they really need to devote significant time to Him so they get a relationship where He is where they turn for that shoulder. I dont know if that is a special gift from God or something so i really dont want to sound judgemental, but i have seen so many christians turn to people for comfort or to famous preachers instead of Jesus and its so very sad because they always get hurt so deeply.

    You should be able to turn to other Christians for support – the Bible actually advises it.

    Please see Chapter / Assumption 7, “If I Have God I Don’t Need People” from this online book by Christian psychiatrists:

    12 ‘Christian’ Beliefs That Can Drive You Crazy: Relief from False Assumptions
    https://books.google.com/books?id=R_sy4bBlUeEC&printsec=frontcover&dq=12+Christian+beliefs+that+can+drive+you+crazy&hl=en&sa=X&ei=bI7NVObPB9LesAT_qIDgBw&ved=0CB8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=12%20Christian%20beliefs%20that%20can%20drive%20you%20crazy&f=false

    I had to get through my mother’s death all alone several years back. It was probably one of the most difficult things I ever had to do.

    The Bible tells Christians to “weep with those who weep,” so yes, I should’ve been able to count on the people (most were Christians) I went to for emotional support.

    They didn’t want to give any emotional support. They preferred to scold, shame, lecture, give unsolicited advice, and so on. I was looking for, and expecting, empathy, encouragement.

    I tried “turning to Jesus” back then, prayed my heart at, read the Bible – got nothing from God. I never felt his presence, nothing.

    Had people loved on me during my time of grief, the grief likely would’ve been cut in half to about two years, but it dragged on for around 4.5 years.

  67. His “apology” is not convincing for a variety of reasons including this – Zacharias’ entire career has been built on the claim that he is a Christian apologist who is also a credible scholar with connections to the most prestigious universities in the world. His misleading claims about his credentials are not a footnote, and it is laughable for him to suggest it; As anyone who has listened to his radio shows/lectures would know, he used to bring up his supposed connections to Oxford and Cambridge and general scholarliness *all the time*.

  68. okrapod wrote:

    and I did not plead emotional issues for an excuse,

    That you don’t feel it was not true for you in your situation does not mean it’s not true for other people in other or even similar situations.

  69. ottobord wrote:

    I don’t think it’s unloving to request respect of each others belief systems

    I don’t know. Imagine the world in which Jesus and the disciples functioned. There was not a whole bunch of respect. In fact, some discussions led to death for some of the followers. Yet in the midst of that culture, the faith flourished. It is up to us to turn the other cheek and to respond in kindness and love when we believe that we are being mocked. I do not believe that Steve was even mocking us. he was asking a legitimate question as a nonbeliever. I find such push back fascinating and find that it challenges me to respond thoughtfully. We are called to be servants, not demanders.

    ottobord wrote:

    In addition Steve is looking for Christians to partner with him in his crusade against Ravi. I think this is unwise since he clearly has demonstrated that his motives are to hurt Christianty.

    To agree with Steve about the truth of what he found is not being his partner. It is agreeing that he has a point. Also, it is not my problem that Ravi appears to have continued his claims even when told by, mark this carefully, Christians. Ravi has been exposed not be an atheist but by his own poor judgement.

    I actually think both you and I should be loving to Steve. There is much to be said for the gifts of long-suffering, love, joy, peace, etc. in the midst of disagreement.

    I happen to like Steve and I am most definitely not naive and I am most definitely a believer.

  70. drstevej wrote:

    James Petigru Boyce, the founder and first president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary was a Calvinist. So it is Renewed Calvinism that characterizes SBTS.

    Yes, as a 60+ year Southern Baptist, I’m well aware of SBC’s Calvinistic roots; SBC was founded by slave-holding Baptist Calvinists in the South. They felt that sovereign God was on their side in the Civil War, until early Confederate victories turned to defeat. Southern Baptists then began to distance themselves from their reformed roots and for 150 years following the Civil War were distinctly non-Calvinist in belief and practice to become one of the greatest soul-winning denominations on the planet … taking the whosoever-will-may-come message around the world. Only in recent years, thanks to an aggressive and militant army of young, restless and reformed commanded by Dr. Mohler, has the denomination turned back the clock and surrendered its denominational gift of evangelism.

  71. @ elastigirl:
    Wow! What an awesome response. I have little to add.

    The Bible is explicit that there are two different worlds-the seen and the unseen. Does the fact that heaven is unseen make it any less real? Think about it this way. Scientists tell us that there are 11 dimensions. Yet we can only perceive three. Does the fact that we can’t see the other dimensions make them any less real?

    I think we have to be careful in saying that the only thing that is real is that which we can see with our own two eyes. However, there are many people who live in that reality.

  72. FW Rez wrote:

    BTW: RZIM’s most recent Form 990, 2015, listed 3 officers with the last name Zacharias earning over 100k individually. These three combined for over 670k in combined reportable compensation from the organization and estimated other from the organization or related organizations.

    Some of us have been discussing this behind the scenes. Alas- My guess is that another post on Zacharias will be forthcoming…

  73. Max wrote:

    The Wartburg Watch is a “hole in the wall”

    One thought: The best pizza up north is found in hole in the wall bars.

  74. @ Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    I loved your response and absolutely and totally agree with you.

    I want you to know that there is some conversation going on behind the scenes and some Christian academicians are chiming in, saying exactly what you are saying. Some of them are really irritated and my guess is that there will be more information forthcoming.

  75. @ Max:

    – The father of modern missions (William Carey) was a baptist and Calvinist (google it).
    – The primary evangelist of the Great Awakening (George Whitefield) was a Calvinist (google it).

  76. dee wrote:

    I think we have to be careful in saying that the only thing that is real is that which we can see with our own two eyes. However, there are many people who live in that reality.

    Your words remind me of an old song “The Unseen Hand”:

    “There is an unseen hand to me
    That leads through ways I cannot see
    While going through this world of woe
    This hand still leads me as I go

    I’m trusting to the unseen hand
    That guides me through this weary land
    And some sweet day I’ll reach that strand
    Still guided by the unseen hand”

    The Christian life is a spiritual existence not bound by flesh and blood.

  77. @ drstevej:
    Steve, I’m not disagreeing with you. All I’m saying is that the SBC life I’ve experienced for 60+ years (my family for 100+ years) has been distinctly non-Calvinist. Southern Baptists opted to leave Calvinism behind as its default theological belief and practice after the Civil War … and remained non-Calvinist for 150 years – a huge home and foreign mission program grew under a non-reformed tent. The majority of mainline Southern Baptists are still non-Calvinist. The soteriology of traditional Southern Baptists and their New Calvinist brethren are distinctly different; “evangelism” has a different slant depending on which theological route you take. With most SBC entities now controlled by New Calvinist leadership, the denomination is now trending toward Calvinism. Time will tell how that works out for SBC.

  78. drstevej wrote:

    The primary evangelist of the Great Awakening (George Whitefield) was a Calvinist (google it).

    George Whitefield lobbied successfully to have slavery introduced to Georgia. Is evangelism has to be weighed in light of that.

  79. @ dee:
    We should….
    the further irony is that in my attending fundy bapist 7-12 grades they drilled into us rigid right/wrong, black/white rules (in practice it was salvation by works, but they would never admit it). Consequently, I value inttegrity which includes exposing ideas that are not the “official” party line. Then, from college on I see first hand how lose with the facts ( dare I say Fraudulent) “evangelical christainity” can be, especially when “winning souls to the lord”. The cognitive dissonance, and the attempt at shaming that the “true blue” fundies and “evangelicals” do to anyone that attempts to blow the whistle on the “lose with facts” people like me just drive us away.
    Now, with the internet I am finding that I am not the only one that feels this way, and I am quite skocked about how deep the corruption, lies, and Fraud is in the “evangelical industrial complex”.

  80. @ ottobord:

    “friendly maybe to those who join his cause but he is clearly antagonistic toward Christians and Christianity, take time to read some of his comments in other blogs, here is one:

    “Y’all need to admit that the “blood of Jesus” is indiscernible from tap water (except in some mystical non-observable sense.)”
    ++++++++++++++++++++++

    in reading here these last few days, i find him simply straightforward, plain-spoken and matter of fact (maybe too many synonyms, there) concerning a shared interest for honesty and transparency.

    i think it is especially egregious to deceive and use people by invoking God — people are especially vulnerable when heaven, hell, God’s favor, disfavor in relation to themselves is concerned. it is taking advantage of this vulnerability in people for self-centered pursuits.

    if the deceiver truly believes in God, the person is using God as well for self-centered purposes.

    i think reasonable people recognize these things, & how especially wrong it is, regardless of their faith or no-faith. Belief in a supreme being and hypocrisy = supreme hypocrisy. aside from how it hurts people, that alone is enough to provoke a reaction on the ethical scale in any reasonable person regardless of their beliefs.

  81. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    drstevej wrote:
    The primary evangelist of the Great Awakening (George Whitefield) was a Calvinist (google it).
    George Whitefield lobbied successfully to have slavery introduced to Georgia. Is evangelism has to be weighed in light of that.

    In the freshman quad of the University of Pennsylvania there are large statues of Ben Franklin and George Whitefield. Why? Do you know?

  82. Carrying this over from other thread-

    I was trying to understand why atheists were the loudest people speaking out against Ravi Zacharias. Several people accused Steve Baughman of ‘attacking’ him and other well known atheists have been very vocal against Ravi also. I think i figured out why atheists particulary have been offended by Ravi….
    I didn’t know anything about Ravi but since looking into his ministry i found that
    Ravi has built his career based on being an intellectual and he’s been publicly challenging athiests for years! I think Ravi targeted them and they are responding as any group that was particulary singled out by a famous evangelist would.
    Rzim has 10 podcasts against atheism, and there are over 20 youtube vids on Ravi vs the atheists, i didnt check ravis vimo channel but would guess theres a bunch there also.

    “The primary mission of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries is to ****reach and challenge those who shape the ideas of a culture**** with the credibility of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Distinctive in its strong evangelistic and apologetic foundation, the ministry of RZIM ****is intended to touch both the heart and the intellect of the thinker and influencers of society***** through the support of the visionary leadership of Ravi Zacharias.”
    http://rzim.org/about/vision/

    I am not defending atheism- just saying if ravi had targeted say planned parenthood or some other particular group- they also would be more outraged to find out he’s been lying about alot of things.

    If your going to portrait yourself as David against Goliath, you should be sure when you go out publicly to fight him that you have the right stones for your slingshot (the Rock of your salvation) and that you can stand in Truth and not have to explain hiding behind falsehood.

  83. Pingback: Linkathon! - PhoenixPreacher UNITED STATES

  84. The story about the P+G label has been around at least since the late 70s. I went overseas for almost a decade, came back, and it was still around. I couldn’t believe it!

  85. Just a brief recap of what the legal papers released show.
    ” The “demand letter” was (if we believe Lori Thompson- which i have no reason not to) written after Lori Thompson, per her email, had told Ravi she was distraught by her sin and was going to confess to her husband. At that point Ravi made suicidal comments, Lori contacted her counseler in fear he would indeed do that, the counseler contacted Ravi to make sure he was safe, Ravi said he was being untruthful in saying he would end his life.
    There are presumably more conversations between Ravi and Lori…
    Lori reached out to Julie Anne, Dee, and apparently another person. Dee recommended Lori contact a lawyer. (I dont know why @Dee said that)
    The letter from Bryant Law Center P.S.C. (the Thompsons attorney) sent to Ravi Zacharias states among other things the info about Ravis threat to end his life if she tells her husband, mentions they have independant confirmation of many discussions with Ravi on that issue. Lawyer says they have copies of many emails and phone logs. Then explains the damage the Thompsons have suffered because of Ravis abuse of his position. He states that Brad Thompson attempted to take his life and is still suicidal, Lori is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress and anxiety,neither can work more than part time, the oldest daughter is devastated. And that Ravis actions have destroyed their marriage and left their home in shambles. And the letter asked for financial compensation.
    Ravis response to this letter was that he briefed his Rzim board, retained 4 lawyers, and filed a lawsuit against the Thompsons which included him saying he was not a minister, charged them with 3 RICO counts, 1 count of invasion of Ravis privacy including by email & text, 1 count of civil conspiracy, and a charge of inflicting emotional distress on Ravi.
    (A little overkill there!)
    Which Ravi voluntarily dismissed on Nov 9 2017
    I wish i could directly copy/ paste from the legal docs but they are PDF format so if you want to check yourself you have to download them from either MinistryWatch.com link to docs in middle of article, or from one of Steve Baughmans http://www.raviwatch.com pages, i think it was “ravi zacharias sex scandal?” link to docs at bottom of page.

  86. Max wrote:

    sandy c wrote:

    but had been “briefed”

    I’m getting sick and tired of being briefed about all the reports of ministers running around with just their briefs on.

    Rofl I am too!

  87. You know, I have real Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science. I probably did more work just doing that than this guy did for his so-called doctorate. And I’m more than content not being called “doctor”. After all, I consider it a perfectly fair trade-off to not to have to be an advisor’s personal slave for several years while he takes all the credit for his research. I can still be competent at my job without the doctorate. Shucks, I can even teach part-time at a university with my Master’s, if grading papers is my thing. I also know people at my job who didn’t need a doctorate to get patents. Competency and expertise and a doctorate do not necessarily go together.

    So this brings me to my point: Why does this guy (and “Dr.” James White, for that matter), feel the need to run around with the title of “doctor”? Is it because they are afraid nobody will listen to them without a doctorate degree? In other words, do they lack confidence in their competency?

    I’m more than happy to listen to someone who can prove their case with competency. I really don’t understand why you need a special title to do so.

  88. okrapod wrote:

    Had I chosen to see myself as some sort of victim, in retrospect I think that it would have been a serious error-the choice of a weak rather than a strong way to deal with, yes, sin; at least for me it would have been to choose the easy way out. Others may well experience this sort of thing differently. So I am admittedly biased in favor of repent-whether or not one is also a victim.

    I would comment on this aside from the Thompson/Ravi issue.
    The Law in the old testament deals with what to do if a man takes a wife and then is unpleased with her and puts her away. The judgement is that he must make financial arrangements that will take care of her for the rest of her life. One scripture said his father must provide for her. There are many similar circumstances addressed in the law in numbers, deut, etc. I think God indeed saw such a thing as the woman being a “victim”, her life was ruined, not much opportunity to remarry or support herself. There was clearly a differential of power and opportunity and reputation. I dont personally think that all the feminism in the world will ever be able to change that totally even though many women are able to work and support themselves nowdays.
    As to your comment “So I am admittedly biased in favor of repent-whether or not one is also a victim.” i think that it can be both. Also even women that arent christian do look at their part in sins like what you described- and ask themselves “how can i avoid putting myself in a position like that again?”

  89. elastigirl wrote:

    “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Immanuel’s veins”

    Christians sing this with all manner of heart-felt peaceful wonder and wistfulness. i say, Gross! what’s wrong with many christians that they miss this?

    my feeling is that it’s much better left in the conceptual realm. a

    Jesus spoke of His body and blood in very literal terms that offended many and many of his disciples stopped walking with Him over that issue. John 6:52-67 Thats why many Christians also speak the way they do and sing songs like that.

  90. Muslin fka Deana Holmes wrote:

    George Whitefield lobbied successfully to have slavery introduced to Georgia. Is evangelism has to be weighed in light of that.

    This makes me wonder if the doctrine of calvin was more about authority over other human beings than following Christ the servant. Seems like it is even today when the tennents of faith have to include submission of someone

  91. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    The cognitive dissonance, and the attempt at shaming that the “true blue” fundies and “evangelicals” do to anyone that attempts to blow the whistle on the “lose with facts” people like me just drive us away.
    Now, with the internet I am finding that I am not the only one that feels this way, and I am quite skocked about how deep the corruption, lies, and Fraud is in the “evangelical industrial complex”.

    This is quite like what a young itenerant preacher from Nazareth faced with the church in His day. 🙂

  92. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    I’m more than happy to listen to someone who can prove their case with competency. I really don’t understand why you need a special title to do so.

    Jesus wasn’t an ‘ordained minister’ didnt have a doctorate and even his skeptics said “how does He have this much wisdom, being an unlearned man?” i think they said it like “?!!!!”

  93. brad/futuristguy wrote:

    That is *very* helpful, thanks for taking the time to do that summary for us, sandy c.

    Lol you’re welcome! My ex husband divorced me but didnt follow the OT law and support me for the rest of my life and his father hates me so i dont have a car or a t.v. and nothing else to do ROFL (its why i post too much here lol sorry)

    🙂

  94. Daisy wrote:

    The Bible tells Christians to “weep with those who weep,” so yes, I should’ve been able to count on the people (most were Christians) I went to for emotional support.

    They didn’t want to give any emotional support. They preferred to scold, shame, lecture, give unsolicited advice, and so on. I was looking for, and expecting, empathy, encouragement.

    I tried “turning to Jesus” back then, prayed my heart at, read the Bible – got nothing from God. I never felt his presence, nothing.

    I can really relate to what you are saying and it is true that the body of Christ has a duty to minister to the hurting in their congregation. I am sorry you had to go through that. My comment was about turning to men/women in a romantic way to supply the love or help in healing. And the danger espescially in women seeking men for comfort and guidance instead of Jesus. Its different if it is in a proffessional setting with a competant counseler, but even then it can lead to an inapropriate relationship/attatchment. Prayer and a support group that is larger than just one person can keep that from happening.
    By the way there are scriptures about times when Gods people pray and they dont get answers right away – its not due to how holy they are or arent either. I have had times like that also .

  95. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    So this brings me to my point: Why does this guy (and “Dr.” James White, for that matter), feel the need to run around with the title of “doctor”? Is it because they are afraid nobody will listen to them without a doctorate degree? In other words, do they lack confidence in their competency?

    Because it opens doors and gives them the aura of authority. A PhD is not necessary but is usually sufficient evidence that someone has put in a lot of hard work, mastered a subject, and contributed something further to the sum total of human knowledge and is therefore worth listening to on that subject. RZ claims or implies he has academic credentials he does not have. These include not just a doctorate but also studying quantum physics under John Polkinghorne [a well known British physicist who became an Anglican priest and has spoken frequently on science and religion]. If Polkinghorne is even aware of Zacharias, he is probably appalled about Zacharias misuse of physics.

    BTW we atheists also have a moderate number of embarrassing figures and those who would excuse them. Notably Richard Carrier who does have a legitimate PhD but has gone off he deep end and then parted with his wife of 20 years after declaring he was polyamorous.

  96. Lowlandseer wrote:

    @ FW Rez:
    There is a fourth who is married and on the list.

    Daughter Sara Zacharias Davis (listed just as Sarah Davis $208,995 for the IRS form) is not married; she kept her husband’s name after a brief marriage and divorce years ago.

    And there’s more:

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/father-son-duo-5-questions-for-nathan-zacharias-76647/

    “Nathan Zacharias….works as senior writer and video producer in the Media Department at RZIM….Nathan works alongside his two older sisters – Sarah Zacharias Davis, who serves as executive director of RZIM, and Naomi, who is vice president and director of Wellspring International (a RZIM outreach) – and his wife, Sarah Parker Zacharias, who serves as a marketing and development associate at Wellspring.”

  97. @ sandy c:

    i see it all as technical. technical explanations.

    i understand it, but i can’t fathom feeling emotional meaning over blood, even Jesus’ blood.

    but it is not a problem if others do. i just don’t want to feel pressured into it. (which no one here is doing)

    i think it’s not a bad idea to be mindful of how weirdly disturbing the imagery can be.

  98. elastigirl wrote:

    i think it’s not a bad idea to be mindful of how weirdly disturbing the imagery can be.

    I have some friends that were traumaticaly abused and they were triggered by things like that. Also i went to a church that talked about it alot but like a noun of christian speak and it was removed from Jesus’ actual dying on the cross for sins, so i see what you mean.

  99. Erp wrote:

    BTW we atheists also have a moderate number of embarrassing figures and those who would excuse them.

    I really appreciate your comment and candor. I believe that way too many christians have gotten into the lure of fame and prestige and trying to fight against people to defend christianity even though the path that Jesus said we must walk is one of peace and humility combined with our deep convictions, and taught us that our battle isnt against flesh and blood. Whenever i have gotten puffed up in others accolades i have felt the temptation to ‘pad my resume’ also. Sadly the biggest difference i have seen between the christian and secular world lately has been the ability to admit their faults. I am going to find the note I used to have on my refridgerator and put it back up there. Something a dear friend told me-
    The 3 hardest words in the english language are “I was wrong.” She told me to practice saying it often.

  100. @ sandy c:

    i’ve endured at least 2 easter services where the main sermon presentation included a medical description in radical detail of Jesus’ tortuous death. i have to block out the memories, it was traumatizing.

    i remember when the movie The Passion of The Christ was the big thing, and churches were buying up tickets to give to people to go watch, even cancelling Sunday church services to go watch. i couldn’t do it.

    i understand enough of what happened and why. spare me the details (I don’t mean you, sandy). my spirituality and faith don’t require it. my appreciation of it all won’t be enhanced by being a witness to the execution.

  101. dee wrote:

    @ Jeffrey J Chalmers:
    I loved your response and absolutely and totally agree with you.
    I want you to know that there is some conversation going on behind the scenes and some Christian academicians are chiming in, saying exactly what you are saying. Some of them are really irritated and my guess is that there will be more information forthcoming.

    “Dr” Ravi Zacharias has been using this designation – or letting others address him in this manner without correcting them – for many years as this introductory note on RZIM (India) in Sep 2001shows although that has been rectified in the last few days.

    https://web.archive.org/web/20010902225905/http://www.rzimindia.org:80/RZIM__India_/rzim__india_.html

  102. elastigirl wrote:

    i’ve endured at least 2 easter services where the main sermon presentation included a medical description in radical detail of Jesus’ tortuous death. i have to block out the memories, it was traumatizing.

    Nobody knows exactly what happened. If you will check “The Passion of the Christ”‘ on Wiki, they tell you up front on what documents the film was based. Then look up “Anne Catherine Emmerich” also on Wiki and they discuss her alleged writings and the controversy about them. Note some of the strong negative language from the historical viewpoint about the poet who wrote down some of her claimed Marian visions.

    In short, there is some information to be had from a medical standpoint which is probably reliable about crucifixion itself, but the details claimed by Emmerich and later incorporated in the film are not verifiable.

  103. okrapod wrote:

    Note some of the strong negative language from the historical viewpoint about the poet who wrote down some of her claimed Marian visions.

    Upon reading that cold, the phrase “claimed Marian visions” brought up a flashing yellow “caution” light.

    In my church (RCC), the traditional Catholic way to flake out is “Mary channeling”. Catholic-based CULTS like the Baysiders and Hill-of-Hopers were almost always started by someone claiming Marian visions, i.e. “Mary Told Me This In Person!”

  104. elastigirl wrote:

    @ sandy c:

    i’ve endured at least 2 easter services where the main sermon presentation included a medical description in radical detail of Jesus’ tortuous death. i have to block out the memories, it was traumatizing.

    i remember when the movie The Passion of The Christ was the big thing, and churches were buying up tickets to give to people to go watch, even cancelling Sunday church services to go watch. i couldn’t do it.

    i understand enough of what happened and why. spare me the details (I don’t mean you, sandy). my spirituality and faith don’t require it. my appreciation of it all won’t be enhanced by being a witness to the execution.

    I used to view the Crucifixion through the lens of divine satisfaction, and at the time Jesus’s suffering struck me as a profound truth — mean as that old system I was under was, and warped as the very perception of the crucifixion was, it afforded at least some light. I think a lot of it depends on personal experience and cultural context, as well as the theological lens through which to look at the suffering of Jesus.

    For instance, if one’s theological perspective is shaped by the idea that God’s justice demands suffering, simply for the sake of punishing sin, then maximal pain becomes the perfect “satisfaction” of that justice, and thus the sermons that go into far greater detail of the crucifixion than the gospel accounts do. It is pretty sick, almost on the level of “Fifty Shades of Gray” kind of stuff depending on who’s giving the sermon; but it is understandable (I do not say “excusable”) given the theology. It makes me a little sick to think about now, but at the time it made (gruesome) sense.

    I used to think along those lines — that it was almost somehow theologically desirable for Jesus to suffer as much as humanly possible in order to perfectly fulfill the just requirement of the law, in a sense of finality — If Jesus suffered the worst punishment imaginable (even if it was from the hand of the Father) and overcame, then nothing is too great for him to overcome. It seems a little warped looking back at it now, but there is a grain of truth in it.

    While I no longer hold the view that Jesus’s suffering was simply designed to satisfy the wrath of God — which idea I have come to see as destructive and, frankly, mistaken — nevertheless the crucifixion is a profound demonstration that Jesus endured the worst and most contemptuous thing we could come up with. Not, mind you, to somehow satisfy the righteous demand of a distant and stainless steel deity, but rather, to show to humanity, to the very ones that willed and designed his suffering, that there is no depth of pain and evil we can invent, that God cannot take into himself and redeem, and beyond our machinations, use to bring about good.

    This view does not look at suffering itself as a “good” thing like the old way does, but rather flips evil on its head — not even the worst pain is too far gone for God to take and turn into something beautiful.

    But no matter how you slice it, it’s a grisly topic. One might even say, a grisly medicine for a grisly wound. But the actual gospel accounts are not as graphic as the way I have heard some pastors present it. I think the problem is that a lot of people focus solely on the pain, as if that was the important part, instead of on the far more startling idea that God submitted himself to human hatred and violence, and drank the full cup of violence that we could throw against him — and his very life swallowed up our very worst, and cancelled it out. That, I think, is what it means when the bible says our “debt” was cancelled.

    For me, this is far more healing than Jesus suffering under the unjust hand of God. Instead, if it was MY wrath that Jesus satisfied, if Jesus can take all my hatred, and nullify it, and cleanse me — I have far more hope in that kind of healing God than in the monster of Calvin.

    That does not at all condone the violence of the cross; but to me it is a source of hope that even our worst is not bad enough that God cannot transform it.

  105. @ FW Rez:
    I am writing down all of these salaries and will show it to some folks. I may tweet it today as well. Let me make sure I have them right. Awesome work! Thank you so much.

    “RZIM’s most recent Form 990, 2015, listed 3 officers with the last name Zacharias earning over 100k individually. These three combined for over 670k in combined reportable compensation from the organization and estimated other from the organization or related organizations.”

    Jerome wrote:

    Daughter Sara Zacharias Davis (listed just as Sarah Davis $208,995 for the IRS form) is not married; she kept her husband’s name after a brief marriage and divorce years ago.

    Jerome wrote:

    Daughter Sara Zacharias Davis (listed just as Sarah Davis $208,995 for the IRS form) is not married; she kept her husband’s name after a brief marriage and divorce years ago.

    And there’s more:
    https://www.christianpost.com/news/father-son-duo-5-questions-for-nathan-zacharias-76647/
    “Nathan Zacharias….works as senior writer and video producer in the Media Department at RZIM….Nathan works alongside his two older sisters – Sarah Zacharias Davis, who serves as executive director of RZIM, and Naomi, who is vice president and director of Wellspring International (a RZIM outreach) – and his wife, Sarah Parker Zacharias, who serves as a marketing and development associate at Wellspring.”

  106. (Also, Dee, this is my first post on the new wi-fi, so if you’re reading this, this should be my IP home for the foreseeable future)

  107. Erp wrote:

    BTW we atheists also have a moderate number of embarrassing figures and those who would excuse them. Notably Richard Carrier who does have a legitimate PhD but has gone off he deep end and then parted with his wife of 20 years after declaring he was polyamorous.

    Richard Carrier is always trotted out as an example of a guy with a doctorate who thinks Jesus is a myth (as in never born, the whole thing was made up out of whole cloth). Even though Carrier has a PhD in history, it’s on the subject of science in antiquity. Bart Ehrman, who publicly describes himself as agnostic, has pointed this out and notes that Carrier is not qualified to assess whether Jesus actually existed. The historians and Biblical scholars who are qualified have unanimously said he existed. Ehrman wrote a whole book about the mythicists in “Did Jesus Exist?” I read it; he was pretty harsh.

    Where this relates to Ravi Zacharias is that Zacharias likes to put himself out there as a critic of certain philosophies, but he doesn’t have the academic credentials to back himself up. His honorary doctorates are just that–honorary.

  108. So many of the comments here sound like speculation, gossip and stone throwing. Whatever RZ’s sins are, the scriptures do not justify many of the comments that are being made. My comment on this is not directed to those here who are not Christians. To those who are Christians, please check yourselves against the written word of God and the Holy Spirit who dwells within you to make sure you are conducting your conversation in a manner worthy of the Lord. Also, please remember that those who are in Christ are related by his blood that was shed for each of us. That means we must give account to the same Lord and Savior. Therefore it matters to Him what we say and how we say it. There is no need to reply to me on this because I am of no account and only a servant like you. But please do check in with the only One who matters. Peace.

  109. @ dee:

    I wonder if there are any situations where an individual would claim to have a fake doctorate, but really doesn’t have a fake doctorate?

    Ken G D.D., Litt.D, L.H.D, Sc.D., LL.D and others.

  110. Steve Baughman wrote:

    “Mr. Zacharias, did you or did you not threaten suicide in order to pressure Ms. Thompson not to tell her husband about your relationship with her?”

    And the follow-up question, “Did you or did you not follow up your promise (not threat) to bid this world goodbye with a plea to meet at lest (sic) once before she told her husband?”
    Any stalking/extortion victim who begged “please please” to meet his predator again would have to be fruitier than a nutcake. Unless the email is a fake, which it’s not.

  111. I’ve read Bart Erhman’s assertion that Jesus existed. Maybe it was just me but I remember that it wasn’t overly convincing. There was a lot of reference to the gospels, which were written about a hundred years after Jesus. As I understand it, the earliest Christian writings are the letters of Paul – at least those that were actually written by him.

    The other non-christian reference to Jesus is the writings of Josephus and I’ve read that there is speculation that was inserted into Josephus’ writings at a later date.

    There is an almost obsessive desire that the Bible must be completely inerrant in all ways. That the whole of a person’s faith rests on that alone.

    From what I’ve seen in my own life, there total veracity of the bible has not converted anyone in and of itself. I’ve mentioned before, my wife’s family background was Buddhist/Muslim – it was Christians themselves, in a church that was welcoming and supportive that convinced them to convert. Bible study came later.

    Guys like Zacharias and others actually damage Christianity when they outright deceive in their apologetics.

    The most egregious example was a sermon on young earth creationism stating the Jupiter’s moon Io’s volcanism is proof positive that the universe is less than 10 000 years old. The presenter stated that you can’t have “volcanoes in the cold of space”.

    By that logic, we shouldn’t have stars or the planet earth either. Io’s volcanic activity is well understood regarding it’s relationship to the gravity of the Jovian system. Those same interactions are why Europa likely has a water ocean under an icy mantle.

    How are you going to convince me that Christianity is a faith of truth when lies are peddled in church? I know they are playing to the house but still, this only drives those who may otherwise have been interested away.

    With a $40 million “ministry” to back these efforts up, the whole enterprise (like so many other religious ones) is exposed for what it is – a payday.

    Whether Ravi explains himself or not, he rides off into the sunset with a bag of cash.

    What an awesome divine plan.

  112. Jerome wrote:

    And there’s more:

    https://www.christianpost.com/news/father-son-duo-5-questions-for-nathan-zacharias-76647/

    “Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, Zacharias has authored numerous best-selling books, hosts radio programs, and teaches apologetics and evangelism at Oxford University.”

    ARGH! Little uneducated me would read this and would think that Ravi Zacharias was a University of Oxford professor!
    And here is another thing-when i worked at a newspaper we actually had to fact check our stories! ‘Christian’ News Media seem to be not journalistic but rather ‘Christian Advertisers’

  113. FW Rez wrote:

    Form 990 for 2015 was the most recent I found. 2016 numbers would be interesting since donations almost doubled.

    Also it would be interesting to see all income from all the various wings of RZIM INTERPRISES. Great work on the financials FW Rez, i hate numbers..

  114. Dave A A wrote:

    with a plea to meet at lest (sic) once before she told her husband?”

    The only reason that we assume they never met in person is because Ravi said so, isnt it? Was there any indication from what we saw from her side of things that it was strictly online and phone? Seems odd for him to have said that if he had only seen her in person in 2014

  115. Divorce Minister wrote:

    How awful this all must be for Ravi’s wife! Don’t forget she is a victim in this [assuming we can trust the emails].

    I’m sure we can trust the emails — if they were fake forgeries of falsehood, that would have been the first thing he said, because– fake forgeries of falsehood are in no way covered by any non-disclosure agreement!
    His wife is likely a victim in this, assuming the ox were not wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and she hath not kept him in, because 150k a year plus perks from said ox (to use an OT example).
    The other victim, lest we forget, is named Brad.

  116. Jack wrote:

    How are you going to convince me that Christianity is a faith of truth when lies are peddled in church? I know they are playing to the house but still, this only drives those who may otherwise have been interested away.

    Absolutely! And the times I try to talk about Jesus around non-believers is always met by ‘why would I want to be like this or that christian’ (who-ever is in the news that week)
    I dont think the bible proves God is true, I think God proves the bible is true.

  117. Dave A A wrote:

    His wife is likely a victim in this, assuming the ox were not wont to push with his horn in time past, and it hath been testified to his owner, and she hath not kept him in, because 150k a year plus perks from said ox (to use an OT example).

    Hahahaha love it!

  118. sandy c wrote:

    Seems odd for him to have said that if he had only seen her in person in 2014

    Don’t recall anything contradicting this, but seems odd anyway. Even if there were no other in-person meetings, there’s email evidence of promise or promises to be together forever.

  119. Dave A A wrote:

    I’m sure we can trust the emails — if they were fake forgeries of falsehood, that would have been the first thing he said, because– fake forgeries of falsehood are in no way covered by any non-disclosure agreement!

    MinistryWatch brought that up with RZIM- had the board actually seen the emails or not. They couldnt get anything from RZIM except that the board had only been ‘briefed’. Thats when MinistryWatch mentioned that Ravi’s wife and daughter were on the board. Very sad that they would be finding this out in the press as he did everything to try and keep it hidden. I cant imagine how his wife feels if he said to her something like ‘i need to hire lawyers because some people are trying to extort me and ruin my wonderful name.’ As a wife in the dark i would have totally supported my husband. As a wife with suspicions i would probably smile and pray and say nothing.

  120. okrapod wrote:

    So why expect much of him but nothing of her?

    I’m with you in a great deal you’ve said about this, Doctor. But the online Christian community, and the world in general, has a right to expect much more of rich and famous spiritual leaders than it does of ordinary civilians who might have gotten mixed up with them.

  121. @ sandy c:
    One item that seems to be greatly glossed over (ie. ignored) is the fact that Ravi requested that Lori contact him using his personal blackberry phone – as stated in HIS lawsuit.

    If he was completely on the up and up (not complicit) why do that? Why move her from emails which are more easily tracked and monitored in RZIM at the organizational level where there are rules and accountability for everyone (including him, quite likely) to a personal device that is probably more difficult to monitor and with him 24/7?

    Here’s one possible reason: because something unhealthy or untoward may have been going on. Or there was something about the relationship/communication with her he did not wish to share/reveal.

  122. Dave A A wrote:

    The other victim, lest we forget, is named Brad.

    Who was manipulated and used by the ‘reformed’ Maranatha church, then reached out to another minister to be betrayed even worse 🙁 its one thing to have your checkbook fleeced but your wife also?! I pray for his faith.

  123. Clockwork Angel wrote:

    Competency and expertise and a doctorate do not necessarily go together.

    Agreed. Advanced credentials are no guarantor of intellectual moxie. I’ve watched a New Hampshire stone mason make the chair of a University Engineering Dept. look silly with his simple and yet elegant method of placing a 70 ton stone obelisk in the upright position.

    Clockwork Angel wrote:

    So this brings me to my point: Why does this guy (and “Dr.” James White, for that matter), feel the need to run around with the title of “doctor”? Is it because they are afraid nobody will listen to them without a doctorate degree? In other words, do they lack confidence in their competency?

    I think it’s psychological more that anything else. The belief that a doctorate will somehow confer an extra level of credibility, can I’m sure, be intoxicating.

    Clockwork Angel wrote:

    I’m more than happy to listen to someone who can prove their case with competency. I really don’t understand why you need a special title to do so.

    Same here. Zacharias hails from a genetic pool that has produced known super-thinkers. It was the Indian Mathematicians of antiquity who gave us our current symbolic system for the integers and the invention of zero. Without which, we’d still be plodding along with Roman Numerals.

    I’m genuinely saddened that Zacharias’ platform has been marred by this whole imbroglio. I’m of the opinion that his work in apologetics stood on its own two feet so to speak, and needed no embellishment.

  124. Max wrote:

    sandy c wrote:
    but had been “briefed”
    I’m getting sick and tired of being briefed about all the reports of ministers running around with just their briefs on.

    Too many great comments on this one, and no “like” button.

  125. Dave A A wrote:

    okrapod wrote:

    So why expect much of him but nothing of her?

    I’m with you in a great deal you’ve said about this, Doctor. But the online Christian community, and the world in general, has a right to expect much more of rich and famous spiritual leaders than it does of ordinary civilians who might have gotten mixed up with them.

    And also she repented- thats what started this whole thing. One of the emails from her counselor when checking to make sure he wasnt a danger to himself stressed that she didnt intend to tell anyone but her husband.

  126. Charis wrote:

    Doctor.

    That is ugly. Stop it. What about ‘okrapod’ is not entirely clear?

    Unlike RZ I am more straightforward.

  127. @ sandy c:
    At least, after getting fleeced of his ewe lamb, he didn’t get set in the forefront of the hottest battle and retired from that he may be smitten and die.

  128. Charis wrote:

    One item that seems to be greatly glossed over (ie. ignored) is the fact that Ravi requested that Lori contact him using his personal blackberry phone – as stated in HIS lawsuit.

    If he was completely on the up and up (not complicit) why do that? Why move her from emails which are more easily tracked and monitored in RZIM at the organizational level where there are rules and accountability for everyone (including him, quite likely) to a personal device that is probably more difficult to monitor and with him 24/7?

    Here’s one possible reason: because something unhealthy or untoward may have been going on. Or there was something about the relationship/communication with her he did not wish to share/reveal.

    Excellent point! If i remember right the lawyer letter also said that when both Lori and Brad met him at the 2014 conference his assistant contacted her requesting her personal email and not Brads.

  129. Dave A A wrote:

    At least, after getting fleeced of his ewe lamb, he didn’t get set in the forefront of the hottest battle and retired from that he may be smitten and die.

    Ah but without a lawyer he might be sitting in a federal penitentiary on RICO Rackateering charges, so maybe the King tried exactly that! Notice the lawsuit wasnt just directed at the wife- how low can he go?

  130. @ sandy c:
    @ okrapod

    Agreed. There can be great value to asking oneself: “How did I end up here and what can I do to avoid it in the future?” And also walking out repentance. Indeed, it has been my experience that moving from asking “Why this?” during catastrophic events to “What can I learn in this?” has been deeply spiritually beneficial and practical.

    As regards the question of equally sharing blame I only have this to ponder: manipulation can be extremely powerful, subtle and evil. I think this is why Pastors, Professors, Coaches, Counselors and others with designated authority can be prosecuted for having sex with adults. Manipulation (especially from a trusted authority figure) can come disguised in multiple tactics and can be incredibly confusing and hard to deter. And master manipulators rarely use a single tactic – usually there are multiple tactics being used simultaneously, thus the fog and confusion intensifies, not to mention whatever emotional connection or trust that may have been built and paid as collateral.

    I don’t say this to absolve or excuse each person’s individual choices. Only to illuminate the environment. Which – as you both have excellently pointed out – exaggerates the need to dig into the question begun at this comment: “What can I learn from this?” and “How might I prevent this from happening in the future?” and “Is there anything I need to repent of in this experience?”

  131. @ okrapod:
    Right– please accept my apologies and from now on it’s simple Okrapod. Know that I hear what you’ve been saying in this case. I’ve still seen no evidence of a predator/victim relationship here.

  132. FW Rez wrote:

    Form 990 for 2015 was the most recent I found. 2016 numbers would be interesting since donations almost doubled.

    It appears that preliminary 2016 data is on the ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) page for RZIM. Because RZIM uses a fiscal year that ends annually on September 30 (as noted on Form 990s), that makes it a bit harder to interpret. Anyway, the total revenue noted on the financial graphic for current period is $47 million.

    http://www.ecfa.org/MemberProfile.aspx?ID=9175

  133. Charis wrote:

    manipulation can be extremely powerful, subtle and evil. I think this is why Pastors, Professors, Coaches, Counselors and others with designated authority can be prosecuted for having sex with adults. Manipulation (especially from a trusted authority figure) can come disguised in multiple tactics and can be incredibly confusing and hard to deter. And master manipulators rarely use a single tactic – usually there are multiple tactics being used simultaneously, thus the fog and confusion intensifies, not to mention whatever emotional connection or trust that may have been built and paid as collateral.

    I read a book about misogynistic behaviour and was astounded at just how many seperate ploys to manipulate and confuse can be used at the same time toward the same person. Its called “Men Who Hate Women & The Women Who Love Them” by Dr. Susan Forward.
    (Gosh i hope she is really a Dr)
    It was very helpful for me because i couldnt understand what was going on and everytime i thought i knew what i should do to be a better wife the rules changed. The complete fog i was in didnt clear up for a long time, especially because of so much scripture being used to guilt and get me to accept things i never would have.

  134. @ Lowlandseer:

    Oops-a-doodle … You already noted that ECFA financial stuff — thanks, Lowlandseer! I’m just catching up with all the links and didn’t read far enough. I’ve been in the process of compiling such resource links and so eventually, those will likely be all in one place at Spiritual Sounding Board, as SSB has done for the Abedini and Tullian Tchividjian situations.

  135. To the moderator:
    After going on almost two hours and thirty-six comments later my comment is still awaiting moderation? Really? Hmmmm.

  136. K Gorski wrote:

    To those who are Christians, please check yourselves against the written word of God and the Holy Spirit who dwells within you to make sure you are conducting your conversation in a manner worthy of the Lord. Also, please remember that those who are in Christ are related by his blood that was shed for each of us. That means we must give account to the same Lord and Savior

    This is the typical response from some Christiansand it is the same nonsense that I have dealt with for years.

    She does not seem to understand that truth is a Christian virtue. Jesus called himself *the truth.* We will all have to stand and make an account as will this person who doesn’t think a Christian misrepresenting himself to the world is important. We ruin our witness to the world when we bury our sins. Being a light upon the hill is to admit our sin, preferably before others call us on it. How different this discussion would be if RZ said something like “I am a sinner. I didn’t tell the truth. I repent for that and then he could go on to explain how the gospel actually works to a watching world.

    Unfortunately, RZ responded just likely old Joe. Are Christians any different?

  137. The Man Who Wasn’t Thursday wrote:

    (Also, Dee, this is my first post on the new wi-fi, so if you’re reading this, this should be my IP home for the foreseeable future)

    OK-keep an eye on things. I approved you and now, unless you trip the spam filter for a word, you should go through. Let me know if you are still being slowed down.

  138. This paragraph is taken from the MinistryWatch link above.

    “While RZIM has stated to us the ministry made no payments in the settlement of the case (presumably any payments made to the alleged extortionists came directly from Ravi Zacharias), they did not answer our question if Zacharias has received any unusual compensation from the ministry recently which may have assisted him in making payments to settle the case.”

  139. Got home early today (in part due to leaving early, itself in part due to a signal failure between Edinburgh and Linlithgow causing bother on the railways) so I’ve had time to catch up.

    Thanks for all of your many kind regards. To supply a bit of detail: I’m working as a “Junior Software Developer” (despite being 49) at Registers of Scotland – it’s part of the Scottish civil service, so my work email now has “dot gov dot uk” in it. It’s a career change, hence the entry-level role, but we’ll see where it goes. It’s not a modelling contract as such, but they did take a fotie for my security pass.

    OldJohnJ wrote:

    You seem very capable of bridging the science-theology chasm with (at least some of) your comments.

    I think I’m Salieri to your Mozart there, OJJ!

    Max wrote:

    How do you pronounce Pittsburgh?

    Well, in accordance with local custom, I’d pronounce it “pits-berg”. We have one or two other -burgh’s here in Scotland and northern England: Sedburgh, Jedburgh, Sumburgh and probably others that don’t spring immediately to mind. They’re all pronounced “-bruh”.

  140. dee wrote:

    I have been notified that a missionary in that fair city [Ednbruh] was approached about my posts on Iain Campbell.

    Now, that is interesting.

  141. dee wrote:

    This is the typical response from some Christiansand it is the same nonsense that I have dealt with for years.
    She does not seem to understand that truth is a Christian virtue. Jesus called himself *the truth.* We will all have to stand and make an account as will this person who doesn’t think a Christian misrepresenting himself to the world is important.

    “If you don’t want to call it God, call it Truth.”
    — Bill (the guy who founded Alcoholics Anonymous)

  142. http://rzim.org/about/international-board-of-directors/

    The “Dr” is finally gone from this page. I guess it takes awhile to scrub deceit from a large website. Ravi isn’t the only one who does this. Here’s another one: http://fbccola.com/staff/. And here’s another mess he’s in: https://baptistnews.com/article/lawsuit-accuses-prominent-church-not-reporting-abuse/#.WihUiWJOmaM

    If you have an earned doctorate these pretenders are clowns to laugh at. Even the D.Min. “Doctors” are a joke.

    What’s not funny is how these guys take their toy titles and uses them to manipulate and rule over the sheep. Romans 14:12

  143. @ drstevej:
    When Jesus told the women at His tomb to go instruct the men where to meet Him, do you think He had to caution them on their manner of addressing them? Maybe He said ‘be sure and be very nervous and apoligetic that I dared ask you to speak to them’

  144. Lowlandseer wrote:

    “While RZIM has stated to us the ministry made no payments in the settlement of the case (presumably any payments made to the alleged extortionists came directly from Ravi Zacharias), they did not answer our question if Zacharias has received any unusual compensation from the ministry recently which may have assisted him in making payments to settle the case.”

    Lol i wonder if there is any Rackateering going on- sometimes people accuse others of what they themselves are doing!

  145. God wrote:

    Whereas I am gentle and humble in heart.

    Best regards,

    Dr. God

    Dear God: thank You that You have never ever manipulated or abused me, and thank You for Your perfect Son that never has either.

  146. K Gorski wrote:

    To the moderator:
    After going on almost two hours and thirty-six comments later my comment is still awaiting moderation? Really? Hmmmm.

    To the commenter:

    I have a life outside the blog and approving blog comments. I care for my sick elderly parents, I have doctors appts for myself, I buy groceries and I am hoofing it back and forth up my very long lawn because my concrete driveway was just dug up and replaced and is drying. I fell flat on my tush today since I have psoriatic arthritis and am dealing with a mononeuritis of my left leg.

    You are a newbie to this blog and your comment reflects that. You are making assumptions that are invalid You should see the negative comments I approve-far more than most of the big boys of certain groups that only approve positive, *god glorifying* comments.

    So, learn something from this. You are making an assumption about me and everyone here while you, of course, are being godly™ when it comes to the issue of RZ. So stop with the silly and uneducated hmmmmmmms.

  147. I am trying to find out where RZ got his honorary doctorates, with no luck. Anyone else know, or know where to look?
    In the academic world, there is some importance associated with issuing institution; however, I and most of my colleauges put less emphasis on which instituion as long as it is from a instituion of decent reputation.
    However, unlike the introductions to RZ that I have watched, my colleagues and I don’t faint when names are dropped such as Qxford, Cambridge, and Harvard. For example, a Ph.D. in my field from University of Delaware has as much “fainting power” as the names that are constantly dropped by RZ. That is another flashing red light with RZ to me…… Scholarship in specialties, which is what a Ph.D. Is about, s associated with specific programs/advisors as much as specific institutions. I could go on and on about this…

  148. @ OldJohnJ:

    Loosely on-topic, you may’ve come across this already; but they’ve discovered a super-massive black hole at a red-shift suggesting that, when God created it 6000 years ago, he created the impression of its being some 13 billion light years away. The indications are that it’s 800 million solar masses, so they’re now working on how it could have formed so early in the history of the universe. It’s still interesting out there.

  149. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    when God created it 6000 years ago, he created the impression of its being some 13 billion light years away.

    I like that!
    1 Cor 1:19-20 “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
    20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”

  150. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    when God created it 6000 years ago, he created the impression of its being some 13 billion light years away.

    If you had posted as God i could have used this one:”Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” lol

  151. sandy c wrote:

    Sitting here wondering and waiting to see what Julie Anne is going to do…

    You and me, both. I’m sitting here realizing I have no homework and no tests, just Christmas musicals to sing at, and my brain cannot figure out what to do next.

    Help – my brain can’t function like this!

  152. Wow. The swiftness with which my comment was attacked and mischaracterized by Dee and the moderator is telling. It would appear that an honest observation of the tone of the blog is unwelcome. So please feel free to delete my comments as they have no place here.

  153. At everybody : has it ever dawned on anyone that maybe perhaps the Wartburg Watch is under attack (ergo spiritual attack)? I have been praying “my blessed heart out” on behalf of this blog/website. I have considered posting my own personal experience with somebody who “was my mirror” only to find out that she was a fake (and her intent proved to be way more evil than my own mind could ever conceive…(anybody on here who either has had that experience personally or is a professional counselor would know what and who I am referring to….)but after what is being posted, I believe that it is way more important to “salvage” this website than anything I might think or feel. Please, Folks, because of all the good work that both Dee and Deb have done, PLEASE, I IMPLORE ALL OF YOU, DO Consider extending any grace, kindness and any other emotion and consideration that you personally would like to receive. These women have done great work at great personal expense (probably more than any of us know or could suspect, because they would probably never tell….). Please remember to pray for their well being, their families’ well being, for the truth to be revealed, for them and their spouses and their kids to be sheltered from evil and for the true victims in this entire situation to be equally sheltered and comforted, along with their families. Please also pray for the perpetrators in the whole situation. One of the most difficult things/thoughts that I have ever had to confront “as a survivor (thank you Dr. Ike if you ever read this) is the concept that everyone of my perpetrators was initially a true victim (ergo “how did they learn to do this to you ? …. because it was done to them first… perhaps one of the dirtiest secrets of the “perpetrator-victim “relationship”.. if that term were to be “acceptable”…) Honestly, I don’t give a flippin’ “dingly dangly doodle’ to quote PBS’s Rolly Polly Olly, but I do know what I went through, experienced and survived, and I also know that Our Lord God Emmanuel “GOD WITH US” loves everyone of us way more than our own mothers and fathers ever could. So shame me for trusting Christus Victor, who became our Kin and is now “kin in heaven”…. Let’s not forget WHO has OUR back. Let’s not forget that “I” don’t have to be right. “I” only have to trust MY GOD, the one who made me, because HE is perfect, and ALL is well because HE is perfect. and HE also made everyone of you who have the courage and guts to read my post. Let’s be obedient to our maker and remember to “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus our High Priest” mighty and powerful to save and rescue each and everyone of us. May the Peace of the Risen Christ be with you all!

  154. @ K Gorski:

    When every page on a ministry’s website is seeking donations from believers, that organization and it’s leaders should be held to the highest scrutiny. When that ministry is seeking to build it’s future on estate giving, people should be aware of the shaky foundation of hyper-inflated credentials of the leader. If there is any hint of impropriety, it should be out in the open. I have always been taught that that have been entrusted with most are the one’s that should held most accountable.

    As for me, am I sometimes too snarky? Yes. Do I repent and try to do better. Yes.

  155. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    @ K Gorski:
    your comments are mild compared to some that are posted here…..

    Shucks i never even got to see a Gorsky comment, even when i scrolled up wasting my data! Gorsky Dude if you came here to insult everyone at least let us see your insults before you leave! Hey, and way to show christian compassion and caring!
    @Dee- you doing ok? Praying for Dee and Deb (who might have make ice packs and fill in lol)

  156. FW Rez wrote:

    When that ministry is seeking to build it’s future on estate giving

    Is RZIM doing that too? ARGH i hate that so much. Lots of ‘christian’ ministries have been scavenging elderly peoples wills and estates. I HATE that.

  157. FW Rez wrote:

    When that ministry is seeking to build it’s future on estate giving, people should be aware of the shaky foundation of hyper-inflated credentials of the leader. If there is any hint of impropriety,

    They probably are being asked to donate to Ravi University! With a personal plaque of recognition from Dr. Ravi himself. ARGH!

  158. Steve wrote:

    What’s not funny is how these guys take their toy titles and uses them to manipulate and rule over the sheep.

    Remember Douggie ESQUIRE?

  159. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Even though Carrier has a PhD in history, it’s on the subject of science in antiquity. Bart Ehrman, who publicly describes himself as agnostic, has pointed this out and notes that Carrier is not qualified to assess whether Jesus actually existed. The historians and Biblical scholars who are qualified have unanimously said he existed.

    Are you sure that is what Ehrman stated? IIRC he actually stated that Carrier was one of the very few mythicists who actually had the necessary background (languages, in depth study of that era of history) to engage in the academic conversation. Having the background doesn’t mean he can’t be wrong. Believing that Jesus never existed can be very alluring for atheists from a Christian background (I know because I’ve felt it). Note this doesn’t mean I accept many of the stories about Jesus in the New Testament (notably the resurrection since it breaks known natural laws).

  160. K Gorski wrote:

    So many of the comments here sound like speculation, gossip and stone throwing.

    I have not had time to read through all the comments to see if what you say has merit but I do take note in the lack your specifics in the allegation. Your type response has been a pattern played out many times over the years from similarly unheard from commenters. Before dropping in to tut-tut everyone present with an attempt to silence criticism of a public figure, one who needs accountability, perchance we could hear something useful. A start would be how to hold leaders accountable when their supporters and colleagues do not.

  161. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    How do you pronounce Pittsburgh?

    Well, in accordance with local custom, I’d pronounce it “pits-berg”. We have one or two other -burgh’s here in Scotland and northern England: Sedburgh, Jedburgh, Sumburgh and probably others that don’t spring immediately to mind. They’re all pronounced “-bruh”.

    Best not to get into how we pronounce some of our other names then, such as…
    Milngavie
    Froickheim
    Ecclefechan

  162. This is a great point. Ravi included several emails in his federal complaint. Why not include all those supposed requests to Ms. T to cease and desist? And why not report it right away to his Board? Answer is obvious. sandy c wrote:

    In Ravi Zacharias’ court filings his lawyer states that Ravi repeatedly asked Mrs Thompson to stop sending him emails.
    If Ravi Zacharias had or was able to show a single e-mail from himself to that effect (stop emailing me) he would have. He never notified his board at RZIM or anyone from the time he met the Thompsons in 2014 at his conference in Ontario until he was faced with the letter from their lawyer in April 2017 even though he admits the lengthy email/phone relationship with Lori Thompson. (And not her husband)

  163. I am not so worried about the whole “Dr. Z” thing. Yes, it is arrogant and misleading. But the real problem is that he vigorously refused to use the word “honorary” by his “doctorates.” I documented this in the video “Lying for Lord or Self.” It got kind of crazy over there at RZ’s ministries, with them adding “honorary” and then taking it down and then adding it.

    Weird, and compelling evidence of consciousness of guilt.

    Tech folks can check Wayback and confirm these shenanigans. And RZ has the nerve to tell us earlier this week in his press release that he never exaggerated his creds.
    brad/futuristguy wrote:

    Mr. Zacharias is a member of their Board of Reference, and it appears his bio there — which does *not* use the title of “Dr.”

  164. Houghton College, Asbury College, Liberty University, and a bunch of others. He talks about it in his bio at http://www.RZIM.org. Jeffrey J Chalmers wrote:

    I am trying to find out where RZ got his honorary doctorates, with no luck. Anyone else know, or know where to look?
    In the academic world, there is some importance associated with issuing institution; however, I and most of my colleauges put less emphasis on which instituion as long as it is from a instituion of decent reputation.
    However, unlike the introductions to RZ that I have watched, my colleagues and I don’t faint when names are dropped such as Qxford, Cambridge, and Harvard. For example, a Ph.D. in my field from University of Delaware has as much “fainting power” as the names that are constantly dropped by RZ. That is another flashing red light with RZ to me…… Scholarship in specialties, which is what a Ph.D. Is about, s associated with specific programs/advisors as much as specific institutions. I could go on and on about this…

  165. Erp wrote:

    Are you sure that is what Ehrman stated? IIRC he actually stated that Carrier was one of the very few mythicists who actually had the necessary background (languages, in depth study of that era of history) to engage in the academic conversation. Having the background doesn’t mean he can’t be wrong.

    Carrier may have the degree but he is probably the least credible voice on the subject.

  166. @ Steve Baughman:

    And RZ has the nerve to tell us earlier this week in his press release that he never exaggerated his creds.

    There are so many obvious lies in his statement that it makes me wonder if he had no legal input at all and wrote it himself. I can’t imagine a lawyer doing such a bad job.

  167. ___

    “The Christian Academic Credential Fraud Goes On?”

    hmmm…

    The Big Audit:“Restoring ‘the truly accredited academic soul’ ™ in a disintegrating 501(c)3 Christian religious culture?”

    huh?

    Q. Is it true that people have been asking him (RZ) to clean up his academic credentials for more than twenty years?

    What?!?

    It has been noted by some that for more than twenty years Ravi Zacharias has been academically challenged and accountable to well, no one, really…

    “I promise I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth.” -Ravi Zacharias

    Sure?

    “Straighten up academically and fly right?” (1)

    What?

    Calling anyone in the Christian ministry/complex to account who demonstrates ‘inflated’ or ‘honorary’ academic credentials —is a plus in and out of the Christian 501(c)3 professional environment.

    TWW: Christian Academic Credential Fraud Watch (CACFW) ?

    Bravo Wartburg! (And others)

    …cool down Ravi, dontcha blow your academic top! (2)

    Dee, If you are waiting for some kinda journalistic muscle from CT, you are sadly mistaken. 😉

    Ravi: “I been facing my demons
    Been shooting for the Christian social stars
    Applause and accolades
    Mistaken for twenty years but still hopeful
    That the social media sky’s is not the limit for academic credential unaccountability
    One can only hope for a free ride…”(3)

    An academic free rider?

    hmmm…

    Could b.

    (sadface)

    Time to unleash ‘The Big Comprehensive Christian Audit’ ™, Perhaps ?

    SKreeeeeeeeeeeeeetch!

    ATB

    Sòpy
    —-
    (1)https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=bmjNIq49398
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fdxVhqncmP4
    (2)https://m.youtube.com/results?q=Dr.%20Ravi%20Zacharias&sm=3
    https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/142-9757090-6414205?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Dr.+Ravi+Zacharias
    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/search/?query=Ravi+Zacharias+&x=4&y=11
    (3) lyrics adapted. Softengine – ‘Free Rider’
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fpvFfvd4AKo

    😉

    – –

  168. Steve Baughman wrote:

    Tech folks can check Wayback and confirm these shenanigans. And RZ has the nerve to tell us earlier this week in his press release that he never exaggerated his creds.

    oceania has always been at peace with Eurasia, comrades.

  169. DrMike wrote:

    There are so many obvious lies in his statement that it makes me wonder if he had no legal input at all and wrote it himself. I can’t imagine a lawyer doing such a bad job.

    At which point, I CAN imagine his attorneys (plural) all facepalming.

  170. Interesting, the affiliations of the authors of the Christianity Today damage control article. One is a member of a Gospel Coalition aligned Christian & Missionary Alliance church (RZ’s denomination). The other is “senior writer for The Gospel Coalition.”

  171. sandy c wrote:

    They probably are being asked to donate to Ravi University! With a personal plaque of recognition from Dr. Ravi himself.

    Including a dog biscuit and pat-pat-pat on the head from the DOCTOR himself?
    (And I don’t mean the Doctor with the Tardis…)

  172. @ Clockwork Angel:
    A little research in preparation and credentials for a professional position might have saved you a bit of effort,
    but it sounds like your present ‘credentials’ are worthless on the current market . . . did you explore professional ‘certifications’ (how to apply for them, maintain them, what it takes to earn one and what fields it covers?)

    Too many ‘mills’ offering ‘real’ but useless ‘diplomas’ which are seen through by the powers that be . . . only the hopeless and helpless who think that the short-cut of a diplomas mill will get them into a profession are vulnerable to these sales gimmicks, and it looks like you have been had.

    Do some homework. Then get some professional advice. Then study at the proper entities for a legitimate degree. And good luck to you. You sound motivated, if not wise in the ways of the diploma mill charlatans.

  173. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Where this relates to Ravi Zacharias is that Zacharias likes to put himself out there as a critic of certain philosophies, but he doesn’t have the academic credentials to back himself up. His honorary doctorates are just that–honorary.

    So does this mean we should also junk Ramanujan’s infinite series algorithm (it’s still the fastest and most accurate one there is) for converging on approximations of pi because he didn’t have advanced academic credentials?

  174. @ sandy c:

    Just to clarify: I don’t doubt that it did form some 13 billion years ago, and took a few hundred million years to form. I think the many mysteries in the physical universe are actually a poor example of God confounding the wisdom of the wise. A better one is the fact that believers with a track record of laying hands on the sick and healing them, more often than not, did not learn this at a reputable seminary.

  175. K Gorski wrote:

    Wow. The swiftness with which my comment was attacked and mischaracterized by Dee and the moderator is telling.

    ROFL! God bless you, Ms Gorski – TWW would be a duller place without your kind.

    Though, if you’ll forgive my unseemly lack of modesty, I think Roger Bombast is a bit funnier.

  176. And then there is the matter that of the writers of NT scripture, the one with the most verifiable ‘credentials’ in the academic system of the Jews of that day is also the one whose writings have been the most disturbing and caused the most conflict and division of all the NT writers: Paul

    Academics is not another idol to worship. A tool? Can be. A hindrance? That too sometimes. Did not some at Athens dismiss Paul as one basically gone mad due to too much learning?

  177. okrapod wrote:

    the one whose writings have been the most disturbing and caused the most conflict and division of all the NT writers: Paul

    That’s because too many church folks read the epistles of Paul with veiled eyes or through a grid to make his words conform to a pet theology.

  178. @ okrapod:
    Paul recognises what he once was and what he did but gave it all up for Christ. What he became and what he then wrote, he did for Christ. The problem has never been with Paul, it has been with those who either don’t like what he wrote or misapply what he wrote. A bit like the Athenians really.

  179. Jerome wrote:

    Interesting, the affiliations of the authors of the Christianity Today damage control article. One is a member of a Gospel Coalition aligned Christian & Missionary Alliance church (RZ’s denomination). The other is “senior writer for The Gospel Coalition.”

    All these crooks said one to another:
    “Crook unto crook o’er the world is Brother”?

  180. Lowlandseer wrote:

    The problem has never been with Paul, it has been with those who either don’t like what he wrote or misapply what he wrote. A bit like the Athenians really.

    If you are saying that ‘only’ the ignorant and unstable’ have a problem with Paul, well, I can’t go that far with you based on ‘only’ if indeed that is what you mean when you say that the problem has never been with Paul.

    Peter did said something to that effect, but he also noted that some of what Paul wrote is ‘difficult to understand’. “16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” KJV

    People here have discussed some of what seem to be difficulties with Paul, and the whole New Perspective On Paul movement within the world of theological academia has addressed some difficulties with grappling with some of Paul’s statements.

    Maybe Peter meant that everybody who struggles with Paul’s difficult passages is indeed ignorant and unstable, but if that is what he meant, and if that is inspired utterance, then we have to think entirely differently of academic research on Paul’s writing by some of our brightest and best–which I suppose is certainly not unheard of to think possible.

    Meanwhile I am certainly ignorant and unstable when dealing with some of what he wrote.

  181. Lowlandseer wrote:

    The problem has never been with Paul, it has been with those who either don’t like what he wrote or misapply what he wrote.

    Amen!!

  182. @ okrapod:

    Sorry, I put Peter’s words in you mouth when you seem to have said the same thing but with different vocabulary. I need to be more careful with that in the future.

  183. I’ve stated before that my husband has a legitimate Ph.D from a nationally known university. He never uses the title. He got it because it was there to get. When he and I were working for the same company, there was another fellow who also had a Ph.D from the same university. He touted that degree like he was royalty or something. He made sure everybody knew about. He wasn’t liked to much. Now I have nothing against using Ph.D in your title if it is legitimate. That is, putting it behind your signature. But maybe it’s because my husband did that (but only if it was actually necessary). Nobody ever calls him Dr. One of my real doctors did, and he told him he preferred not to use the title. That was humbling to me. We need more people like this.

  184. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    I’ve just started a new job in Edinburgh (“Ednbruh”) and am likely to have less time to read the threads properly. So I’ll probably comment mainly at weekends.

    Congrats Nick! I had a feelin’ that a guy of your calibre wouldn’t be unemployed forever. Anyways, this film clip’s for you, and I promise you it has fitba’ on the telly:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PPbVCfAu5E

  185. Sòpwith wrote:

    Time to unleash ‘The Big Comprehensive Christian Audit’ ™, Perhaps ?

    SKreeeeeeeeeeeeeetch!

    Yep!! A man thats dishonest in his resume and his marriage is likely dishonest in his finances also- follow the money

  186. @ Harley:

    “… using Ph.D in your title if it is legitimate. That is, putting it behind your signature. But maybe it’s because my husband did that (but only if it was actually necessary). Nobody ever calls him Dr. One of my real doctors did, and he told him he preferred not to use the title. That was humbling to me. We need more people like this.”
    ++++++++++++

    yes, indeed, we need more people like your husband.

    sometimes it is necessary to mention your (earned) degree. i remember watching CNN many years ago (maybe the OJ trial era?), and a jury specialist was being interviewed. She had a PhD in criminology.

    The interviewer introduced as having a masters. she immediately corrected him. seems to me in order to protect her career it was necessary not to let that error slip by without correcting it.

  187. Muff Potter wrote:

    So does this mean we should also junk Ramanujan’s infinite series algorithm (it’s still the fastest and most accurate one there is) for converging on approximations of pi because he didn’t have advanced academic credentials?

    No, of course not. You failed to note that Ramanujan lived in the late 1800s to the early 1900s when very few people got doctorates in much of anything. Moreover he was from India. The difference between him and Ravi Zacharias is that RZ is living in the late 20th century going into the 21st century, when getting a doctorate is much more common.

    Plus, to be perfectly honest, I don’t even considered RZ to be in the same class as Ramanujan. And, also, I don’t understand Ramanujan’s work. But a math geek friend is all into that stuff, which is the only reason I know his name.

  188. @ Muff Potter:

    The crucial point about Ramanujan’s algorithm is that it can be independently verified by other means (and, as regards its speed, tested against them). This would be true even if Ramanujan were a talking bear from Darkest Peru.

  189. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    @ Muff Potter:

    The crucial point about Ramanujan’s algorithm is that it can be independently verified by other means (and, as regards its speed, tested against them). This would be true even if Ramanujan were a talking bear from Darkest Peru.

    Well, I think the example of the talking bear from Darkest Peru was quite an exceptional specimen to begin with, and if I recall the information in the historical archives (or what’s left of them) correctly, it was exposure to marmalade that ignited that spark of language.

    Perhaps Ramanujan was also exposed to marmalade, endowing upon him the brilliance necessary to come up with the algorithm. If that’s the case, I’ll take marmalade over a Ph.D. any day — not that I have any choice, really. Marmalade is about all I’m likely to earn in the next few years.

    On a serious note, that’s a good point about being independently testable, where the object does not depend on the credibility of the thinker.

  190. @ Nick Bulbeck:

    Of course, the trouble with Ramanujan’s algorithm, and the real reason we should reject it, is that if it were true it would constitute extra-biblical revelation.

  191. Nick Bulbeck wrote:

    This would be true even if Ramanujan were a talking bear from Darkest Peru.

    Indeed so. And to that extent I think that Arnie is correct in what he omits to say but which perhaps can be inferred from his not saying it. People ought rather to be looking for truth. To confuse church on the one hand and truth on the other hand will eventually lead to disappointment.

    Just as people indeed are looking for the perfect ‘church’ and as indeed that is futile, even so they are looking for ‘salvation’ as it were in academics, or politics, or health/ wealth or whatever else comes along. Those things can contribute to well being, or not, and can sometimes facilitate the search for truth, but they are not in themselves sufficient for the totality of human need and they are not the incarnation of any god.

    There are concepts in traditional christianity which are sometimes de-emphasized until it is easy to forget the concepts, like for one thing the idea of what we have done and what we have left undone, and also like the idea of the seen and the unseen. I am stopping right at that point; I need (but do not like) some coffee. It is early here.

  192. @ Lowlandseer:
    He is one of the best-known Christian evangelists in the world. Lol i asked the guy from India that is at my mini market- he’s never heard of him!

  193. “I expect atheist and secularist groups to dig for dirt but what has astonished me is that there are professedly ‘Christian’ groups whose sole purpose seems to be to wallow in the muck. One of the groups gleefully publishing anything they can about Ravi while writing sanctimonious, self-righteous essays even put out a request in public for people to find any ‘information’ (gossip/dirt) they could about me!”

    Bizarre- does that mean Ravi wrote this? It doesnt say ‘about him’ ravi, but about ‘me’ the writer.
    https://theweeflea.com/2017/12/08/ravi-zacharias-allegations-a-christian-response-article-on-premier-christianity/

  194. https://theweeflea.com/2017/12/08/ravi-zacharias-allegations-a-christian-response-article-on-premier-christianity/
    “It’s a straightforward, if often misunderstood and misused command from Christ: “Do not judge or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1).”

    1 Cor 6:2-5 “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

    3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?

    4 If then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church.

    5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?”

    I would say that she did try to deal with it with him alone, then reached out to her church (christian support network) and if Ravi’s ‘church’ would have dealt honestly with it, it would never have gone public.
    I also am wondering about Ravi’s assistant that contacted her on his behalf to get her email phone # contact info. Is this something he does regularly? Didnt he think it odd that Ravi asked him to do this?

  195. Lowlandseer wrote:

    Here is another defence of RZ from the UK. The author runs an apologetics Centre, based on RZIM principles.
    https://theweeflea.com/2017/12/08/ravi-zacharias-allegations-a-christian-response-article-on-premier-christianity/

    I shouldn’t have read that. Now I need blood pressure meds. Don’t judge! Don’t gossip! Keyboard warrior and vigilantes should sit down and shut up and trust in church discipline! (and not entertain accusations against elders (which Ravi is not, of course)). TWW Bad!
    But if one wants to see some really vicious judging, one needs look no further than the RZIM Facebook comments. Potiphar’s Wife! Wicked woman! Ridiculous losers! Enemies! Tools of Satin! (I may have edited that one a bit). Weapon formed against you! I’m surprised I didn’t see Jezebel– but I only skimmed a few.

  196. @ Lowlandseer:
    Pastor Robertson’s main point, translated into Berenstain Bears language, is “Now stop asking questions. Be quiet! Stop stewing! Your father knows what he is doing.” But I have several problems with what he says about the actual situation. One: ‘The bottom line is that we do not know. We may have some knowledge. “There were e-mails” – but e-mails can be faked.”‘
    Of course they can be. BUT we can know, logically, that these particular emails were NOT faked.
    Because if they were, RZIM would have no possible reason NOT to say so. And of course fake emails cannot be included in any non-disclose agreement. Only real emails would be.

  197. New post up at Spiritual Sounding Board: “Resource Archive and FAQs on the Ravi Zacharias and RZIM Situation.” It includes numerous links to primary source documents, plus links to posts with observations, analysis, and interpretations.

    This was developed in response to what look to be the most frequently asked questions about all the parties involved. So far, concerns addressed include about the lawsuits, RZIM board of directors and staff, Mr. Zacharias’ credentials and titles, updating of biographies and titles, and impact of the non-disclosure agreement.

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2017/12/06/resource-archive-and-faqs-on-the-ravi-zacharias-and-rzim-situation/

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