As evangelical leaders trip over each other in a mad dash to condemn Ravi Zacharias, the disappointment is palpable and the surprise at such an unexpected turn of events bleeds deep into every op-ed they write. There is shock, disgust, and dismay. Well-known Christian leaders from well-known Christian ministries are asking themselves one question, as they stand on the cultural battlefield in shellshocked disbelief – dazed at such a betrayal that they never saw coming: how on earth could this have happened?
They do this as they furiously condemn the indefensible, yet they were never there in the thick of the battle. If anything, they can be likened to the victorious soldiers walking the battlefield after a hard-fought war, taking their bayonets and sticking them into any wounded enemy lying in heaps on the ground, men and women who have already been crushed and exposed.
Rachael Denhollander, who will be helping the investigation and the setting right of RZIM, wrote about this phenomena on Twitter:
For every leader who has written a blog post, tweeted, commented on, the steps being taken by RZIM, how good they are, how important the truth is, or how to prevent this, please hear the grief you are compounding: You have written about how God and right these steps are, but not until they were already taken. Not until the facade was removed.
You did not lift your voice to cry for the truth you now applaud. That fell on the shoulders of the victims. The women. You applaud the independent investigation, but never pressed for it when it needed to be done.
When your voice was desperately needed in 2017 and all the years that followed, you were silent.
That’s true. But some of us weren’t.
We have been pursuing justice and rattling this cage before this was a blip on their radar, as Pulpit & Pen, and then later on as Protestia. We’ve been on Ravi Zacharias’ case for three years now, when in 2018 we published his emails showing that he threatened to kill himself if Lori Anne Thompson told her husband about their interactions, which Ravi claimed were innocent and pure as the driven snow.
In fact, we were the first news organization to break the story of the abuse of the Spa workers, which kick-started all this back on September 9th, nearly 3 weeks before Christianity Today or anyone else did their piece and gave it national attention.
We likewise wrote about Zacharias multiple times in 2019, and 2020, asking why no one else was covering this. We wrote the following three years ago:
What’s of more significance is that few Christian publications have written about the adultery of one of the most – if not the most – prominent Christian apologists in the world. When the Christian Press has covered the topic, they have done so only in the most shallow of ways, mostly refusing to publish the evidence and allowing Zacharias or his ministry to dismiss the concerns without any moderately tough questions asked.
Consequently, they crucified us for it. Here is a small sampling of the vitriol and anger that was sent our way.
Because we were saying it three years before anyone else was, we were labeled “divisive.” We were declared to be one stirring up discord, attacking a paragon of saintliness and virtue. Commenters ripped us up and down, decrying us as mean-spirited and liars. Bloggers condemned us and said this is more of the same slander, that we’re always going after good people, even great people, for the smallest things.
“Ravi is a great man and apologist. How dare you attack his character. How unloving can you get? Don’t you have anything better to do? You’re wasting your time. Typical Pulpit & Pen – always taking shots at everyone,” and on and on.
We called it three years ago because we saw it three years ago when few people did and when no one was talking about it.
In the same vein, we’ve criticized rapper Lecrae before it was cool, seeing an obvious trajectory as he was being unfaithful and unfruitful in the little things. We raised our hand back in 2016 and all the years since then when he was still gladly frolicking in reformed circles and being given praise for his maturity, humility, and theological astuteness.
What a change 5 years brings. Nowadays, he’s giving fundraising concerts at the rallies of pro-abortion Democrat senators, helping to get out the vote and win them the election. He said the Democrats are on the “right side of history” and are actually the pro-life ones. A few months ago he was sputtering like a fool when asked whether homosexuality is a sin or not, unwilling to say it, all the while embracing woke ideologies.
He is fully compromised, a sell-out, and pretty much everyone sees it and will acknowledge it.
But being right in 2021 doesn’t help our reputation in 2017 when we were getting beat up for questioning Lecrae’s discernment and theological direction when he endorsed the anti-trinitarian and blasphemous book The Shack. Or in 2018 when we were being yelled at by fanboys for asking why he was praising and promoting pro-abortion Democrat Stacey Abrams. Or in 2019 when he was making racialist and Cultural Marxist comments about Kanye and Christianity. Or in 2020 when he made shocking comments on whether or not Christians ought to go to church.
And again with Carl Lentz and Hillsong NYC. We’ve been writing about them since 2015, and were called meddlesome lovers of quarrel and strife. All until he went and had several affairs. Vindicated in the end, but maligned in the interim.
How about SBC, TGC, ERLC, Lifeway, well-known preachers like JD Greear, Albert Mohler, Karen Swallow Prior, John Piper, Jen Hatmaker, Thabiti Anyabwile, Matt Chandler, or Tim Keller?
Pick your poison.
Who here believes the SBC is gaining credibility as they become more and more united in mission and purpose? Who doesn’t think the Gospel Coalition writers have sold the gospel out for pennies on the dollar?
Who believes that J. D. Greear has become more conservative and less susceptible to wokeness and the influence of BLM? That the SBC has become more complementarian and more intolerant towards women preachers?
That Tim Keller has become more coherent? That Piper has become less charismatic and less likely to partner up with charismatic whackadoodles at some busted Christine Caine-headlining conference?
We’ve been pointing out problems with these characters for years, explaining why they are deeply compromised and only becoming moreso, seeing it and saying it before anyone else did. More and more people are seeing it now, and many more will do likewise in the future. Until it reaches critical mass, however, we’re just a slander-factory needing to be blown up.
Pointing out the progressive trajectory got us tarred and feathered, all for the sin of calling a devil a devil while the rest of the world saw them as a saint.
So for some, our reputation is in the toilet. Some people hate us and will have nothing to do with us. We’ve been banned from several pages, such as the Reformed Pub, where any article linked there will get removed and the person who posted it kicked out. Or in the r/reformed and r/christianity subreddits, which have likewise banned anyone from quoting us or linking our article, even as we frequently break news stories and provide information no one else has.
There’s a lot of people who see the work we do and absolutely despise it and us, and make it their mission to bring us down. We can even write about something benign like the sins of transgenderism, and like clockwork they’ll report our posts, seeking us get us cancelled and off the internet. Even being associated with us can be toxic, whereby speaking approvingly of what we do will likely garner a cringe and a cold stare.
This pushback is one of the reasons we’re so grateful for our patrons and supporters. While many people hate us and wish we’d close up shop, they love us.
They understand the importance of the mission, that we are willing to name names and call them out before the well-known evangelical leaders will. We operate in a niche where we’re years ahead of everybody else, and we serve our local churches through this gifting. There’s almost nobody else who does this on the level that we do, and we praise God for their sacrifices that let us do it.
Furthermore, their support lets our website function as a repository and archive, reporting stories and highlighting compromises of note that no one else will, as a gift to other Christians wanting to know what to think about this person or that.
In this case, with thousands of articles written over the last decade, there aren’t many names that you can’t plug in and see whether or not they’ve been faithful of fraudulent, or where a Facebook status or a revealing tweet might otherwise be lost if we didn’t screenshot it and comment on it for posterity.
Charles Spurgeon said it best. “Discernment is not knowing the difference between right and wrong. It is knowing the difference between right and almost right.”
We see the “almost right,” and we tell the world why it’s wrong before they realize it.
Ravi Zacharias is just one example of that.
A CALL TO ACTION
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