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Today’s question: Ravi Zacharias spent 1 million to silence Lori Anne Thompson. Is this right? Excellent question. The person who asked me this question is right on target.
Let us rely on authoritative reports. Finally, Guideposts released this report of their investigation. I gave the link. Follow the link
Many Ravi’s ardent followers wrote angry mails to me. But watch my videos and read Guideposts report. It only confirms what I told you in my videos.
Let us read one paragraph:
“In addition, RZIM’s Executive Committee of its Board of Directors approved the use of almost $1,000,000 of ministry money to pay for Zacharias’s legal battle with Thompson, even to the point of paying for the tax liability on the money Zacharias used to settle the litigation with the Thompsons, thus ensuring that Zacharias himself did not pay a single penny, even though RZIM was not a party to the legal action. Zacharias and RZIM falsely represented to the public and the ministry itself that “no ministry funds were used” in the Thompson litigation.”
There are so many things to unpack here. Ravi Zacharias had an inappropriate online relationship with Lori Anne Thompson. He engaged in an online sexual and emotional relationship with her, which included Zacharias soliciting and receiving nude photos from Thompson. Thompson threatened public disclosure and litigation against Zacharias unless he paid her $5 million. In response, and with the support of the Board of Directors, Zacharias initiated a civil racketeering suit against Thompson and her husband in federal court. The case was ultimately settled without a trial, with the details of the settlement protected by a non-disclosure agreement (the “NDA”) that bound all parties.
- The Bible condemns taking a fellow believer before the Court
- Do not use Lord’s money for personal scandals
- Do not tell lies to protect your reputation
- Do not make a celebrity out of any Christian
Read 1 Corinthians chapter 6, first apostle Paul commands, Do not take believers to court. Ravi violated that basic commandment from Apostle Paul. Do not take believers to court. Confess your sin to your spouse, to your pastor, to Lori Anne Thompson and to the world at large. ‘I sinned against God. I repent of this sin. I am not going to pay anything to anybody in this matter.’ I think Lori sought 5 million compensation because Ravi demanded silence from her. Finally he paid her around $250000. By not following the Word of God, Ravi went on a path that eventually destroyed everything he built in his life. ‘He paid 250000 just for sexting? What about me? He did far worse things to me.’ I am sure, at least some of those women thought like that.
The Bible says, The wages of sin is death. Sin kills marriages. Sin kills families. Sin kills churches. Sin kills ministries. That is God’s word. We cannot make exceptions to God’s Word. They sent Ravi’s legal bills to a board member. All records were kept in a secret file, they gave a personal loan to Ravi, and the personal loan was paid off with a bonus. RZIM accountant wrote to the CEO, ‘“I just pray the ministry is never challenged or brought to account.” That is the abuse of prayer. You never pray that no one can find your sin. Bible says, ‘Your sin will find you out’. RZIM says, let us pray that our sin is not found out. But God brought their sins to light. That is illegal and a complete deception. Let us pray the IRS will look into it.
Then, Guideposts wrote, Zacharias and RZIM falsely represented to the public and the ministry itself that “no ministry funds were used” in the Thompson litigation.”
That is another big lie. Ravi said he paid out of his own pocket. RZIM knew that was a lie but kept quiet about it.
When you are in full time ministry, all your earnings belong to the Lord. You cannot say, this is my personal money. Let me give you an illustration. Let us say, you are in prison for a crime. You decided to write a crime thriller about your crime. You wrote a novel and published it. What happens to the royalties? The government demands a large chunk of your royalties because it is taking care of you in the prison – providing shelter, feeding you, clothing you, giving healthcare etc.
In the same way, if a church or a ministry is taking care of your needs by giving you a full time salary and paying for all your expenses, then a large chunk of your royalties should go to the church or ministry.
Ravi was taking a half a million dollar salary from RZIM. On the top of his salary, all his expenses are paid by RZIM. He was writing his books on trips paid by RZIM. But he did not give any share of his royalties to RZIM. His ministry should pay even for his sins. That is not right.
Then he lied that he used his personal money to settle with Lori while that was not the case. RZIM intentionally kept quiet while knowing that this was false.
The report says,
“RZIM leaders– some of whom were related to Zacharias – accepted his explanations, failed to drill down on contradictions and to pursue additional inquiry, and minimized the interest of individuals at RZIM who sought more information or expressed doubt about Zacharias’s rationalizations.”
So, RZIM not only kept quiet, it also silenced anyone who had questions about Ravi’s behavior. Their faith was questioned, they were described as backstabbers, threatened and insulted.
Then the report says,
“Ultimately, we believe that RZIM’s leadership and cultural weaknesses stem from the devotion and loyalty to Zacharias shown by the ministry’s leaders, directors, employees, and followers.”
That is another biggest flaw in Christendom today: the making of celebrity Christians. We have celebrities in movies, sports and politics. Why not in the church? But that is not biblical.
Neither be ye called masters, for one is your Master, even Christ.
Only Christ should be worshiped. Only Christ is our master. I also took selfies with Ravi, took my friends to his meetings, bought his books etc. You can also go to my website and see all the good things I wrote about him before the scandals. But when I saw sin in his life, I called it out.
Because I take a medical view of people. Every human being gets sickness at some point in their life because, simply because, they have a human body. Every human being is vulnerable to sickness because he or she has a human body. Every human leader is fallible because he or she has a human body.
Sadly, many of Ravi’s followers are still denying the truth. They still refuse to see the sins of their leader. I receive angry mails from these individuals. I feel sorry for them. Only Lord Jesus Christ is perfect.
So, Guideposts did a good thing in publishing this report. Read it, digest it and take precautions in your own life.