In a series of posts on Instagram over the last two weeks, Ravi Zacharias’ son, Nathan Zacharias, who works for the ministry as a video producer/editor, has come out hard against RZIM, criticizing their methods of investigation and the validity of their findings and suggesting that it’s all made up. These wayward thoughts are encouraged by a plethora of acolytes in the combox, who are enabling him in his beliefs, decrying the whole sordid affair as a lie designed to discredit the man after his death.
Included are a few select portions from a series of posts over the last few weeks. For the full posts, visit here. While fundamentally we can understand how difficult this must be – lose a father and then have him revealed to be a sexual predator, Zacharias betrays a troubling sub-biblical understanding of judgment, repentance, and sanctification.
First, RZIM does not speak for me. They have formed their own opinion. But it does not dictate mine. I do not agree with them for legitimate reasons. I will not, however, debate those differences publicly.
…Regarding some specific individuals who were once my colleagues, how “brave” you are to aggressively take on a man who can’t even defend himself, as well as attack his grieving family who is far more blindsided and hurt by this situation than you can ever be. And how “righteous” you are to think that we must continually pile on our punishment AFTER he has already faced the ultimate judge.
…God chose to spare Dad from all this by calling him home when he did. But how “virtuous” of you to insist that you hand out the relentless punishment and humiliation that God saw no place for in dad’s lifetime.
Even *if* these allegations are true, there is no doubt that God actively blessed my dad and did so right up until he passed. His impact was only getting greater. So what these individuals are saying – along with any person or organization that wants to cancel my dad – is that God was wrong to do so, so we must now correct God’s blessing/mistake by erasing my dad and his voice. To that I say, “That’s a bold strategy, Cotton, let’s see if it pays off for him.”
Finally and most importantly, nothing could change how much I love my dad and miss him. I am still proud to be his son.
Since RZIM just released their report, I’d like to say a few things. Considering what I heard about the investigators’ aggressive behavior towards favorable interviews toward my dad, their rather one-sided interview list, and the fact that RZIM released a verdict of guilt in December without anyone at the ministry actually seeing the evidence, I just don’t exactly have faith in the process or complete accuracy of the information.
…Sometime in December, this became less about the fearless pursuit of truth and accountability, and it became more about the fearful appeasement of the mob and channeling our own hurt through severe judgment.
…The last 6 months, Mom has refrained from speaking out publicly as a wife at RZIM’s request for fear it hurt their public stance, she handed over dad’s devices (it was not RZIM who did that) for examination, and taken other sacrificial steps at their request too. She wasn’t interviewed by the investigators. It would seem getting as much of a full picture of a man would benefit an investigation of areas of weakness, but I guess was outside the scope of the investigation.
…My mom was not given the courtesy of seeing the material and ‘evidence’ first when it was finally presented officially a couple of days ago. Instead, a board of 18 people, senior leadership, and even someone no longer on staff at RZIM got to ask questions and pour over every detail of allegations that didn’t even involve them. Yet my mom, who has more of a right to know every single detail than anyone, was not allowed in. After many persistent requests, she was eventually emailed the report. Something considerably different than hearing it directly from the investigator and being able to ask them direct questions.
…Dad was a human being, a brother, a son, an uncle, a father, a grandfather and a husband. All of which take precedence over “Founder of RZIM.” However it is how his alleged mistakes affected RZIM and only one category of “victim” that seems to have been the focus. But for any family reeling? “We love you and will hug you as we shut the door behind you.”
…He was not RZIM’s and the Christian culture’s commodity to buy when popular and sell out when no longer helpful to them. They were happy to run him into the ground no matter how tired he was or how much pain he was in. Now they’re happy to bury him. As I type this, they’re erasing him from social media.
…Regardless of whether today’s report is right or not, the handling of this has been very hurtful to a family that also had legitimate rights in this process. If these things are true, Dad’s choices absolutely went against his Christian beliefs. And that is deeply painful. But so have RZIM’s choices. And they have added more pain that actually could have been avoided.
We’re approaching close to two months since my mom requested my Dad’s phones back from rzim [sic] so we could examine them. She has requested them repeatedly, and we still don’t have them.
But in August, as we first found out about the allegations, we looked at his phones to check the contact between dad and two of the people involved – Anurag and Vicki. Not having any clue what Dad would (be) accused of months later, we didn’t spend time searching through every part of his phone. Now I wish we had. These pictures are some of the texts from Anurag.
In Anurag’s messages, he speaks about the behavior of Steve Baughman, the man who has driven a lot of this. Anurag refers to Baughman as “SF Man” and “Banjo man” and calls him crazy. The context of additional comments is that Baughman is baselessly attacking my Dad’s character and that my Dad is a good man. But Anurag would later team up with Baughman and say the opposite.
…These are clearly not the words of people who consider my dad to be a predator or a man with a double life.
…Rzim had these messages. Interesting they didn’t make it the report. It mentions details like he didn’t want to use rzim’s [sic] private wifi, so as to shape the narrative, but somehow mentioning that at least two of his accusers behaved in ways that contradict their stories didn’t make the cut.
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