-Pastor Melissa Fain-
To put it bluntly, I think he was a charlatan, propped up by Christians who wanted to hear they are doing the right thing, instead of the truth. He became one of the biggest false prophets in a world where prophecy had died. Before all you non-readers rake me over the coals, just remember the Israelites were constantly turning to Baal and other Gods to get the answers they wanted. The voice of God brought judgement upon Zacharais and you ignored it because the voice was female. Now I’m getting ahead of myself.
This is a story of a master of lies, and an abuser of women. To say anything else would cover over something that has no right to be covered over.
Ravi Zacharias was born in March of 1945, in India. Being new to his readings, I was under the impression he was born Hindu. This is where the deception starts. There was a hesitancy to talk too much about his Anglican upbringing. He allowed the reader/listener to draw their own conclusions unless he was pushed into admitting the truth. I read through Can Man Live Without God, and came away believing he was born Hindu. Did he say he was born Hindu? No. It was a very clever deception, but one that took away some of his power when realized, which was probably why he did it. Once he was fully established as a leader among Christians, it became more appealing to mention his family was Anglican.
(Speaking from personal experience, I don’t share my story as readily online as I could, but pieces of it exist in places. There are people who have heard it, and could vouch for it. There are hints to it in my writing. I’ve also openly expressed why I don’t share it. I know how woundedness wounds others, and it’s out of care for others in my story I refrain.)
Zacharias’, proven a liar, shared his childhood. Because he willfully lied about degrees, and later adult sexual assault, what I’m going to share should be viewed with both a sceptics eyes, and God’s grace.
In 2002, Jesus Among Other Gods was published. In chapter one he recounts a story where he willfully skipped school. He admits to doing this on more than one occasion. This time, he was caught. His father was apparently furious, and rightfully so. Government education in India is available, but private education was/is better. As a parent, I couldn’t imagine how furious I’d be for my child to throw away something so precious as a good education when such a thing was such a precious resource. I’m sure this compounded with the cultural idea that all children should seek a professional degree.
He then suggests that if his mother didn’t step in, his father would have seriously hurt him with the “thrashing” he received. I believe this. I believe this, because it explains so much. This kid was raised by a parent who wanted the best for his child, and didn’t know how to react when his time and money was wasted. This is Zacharias’ trauma, and he doesn’t hide it. He just never wanted to face it.
Speaking from experience, living through childhood trauma my first step to moving on was believing it all happened for a reason, and clinging to the trauma like it was something good. The next step was realizing the opposite. People who move from victimhood to survivor are those who then see how that trauma has kept them from being a whole healthy person, then they seek wholeness. For me, this movement from victim to survivor happened in Seminary. I can name the class, and the feeling of knowing I was mentally headed towards a landscape where I could eventually help others too. Now, I’m on the survivor’s path, and will hopefully be for the rest of my life.
Zacharias never moved past the glorification of his woundedness, and therefore, his woundedness remained his whole life. Not working through woundedness has devastating consequences. Instead of moving from victim to survivor, he moved from victim to abuser. Brokenness breaks- always! His father was trying to get him to do the right thing in the wrong way. It’s ironic that he spent his whole career telling others there was one truth, when his un-worked through brokenness kept his truth buried.
Once you realize this about Zacharias, his writings begin to lose their luster. He was a broken child not wanting to deal with the consequence of being wrong; not seeing the goodness in correction, because his correction was not done correctly.
This is what true Grace looks like. You seek justice, not because you want to burn it all down, but because you want to take out what is broken and restore what can be redeemed. You mourn the death of the abuser. First because there’s a hidden victim in the horror and destruction, and that victim never found healing. Second, because not correctly fixing the problem will destroy lives in the long run. If you do not listen to the lamenting voice of God, the wrath of God will eventually follow. It’s not because God wants to destroy, but God’s creation will always trump our brokenness and ability to subvert that very same creation.
That’s where I’m going to end today. As you can see, I’m trying to make sense of all the information I’ve been digging up, and I also want to process it all. I’ve now written a review on a book, and looked at his early life. I want to delve into his suicide attempt next week and his use of suicide as a source of control as an adult. Thank you for your patience. As I vomit it out here (and that's what this feels like to me), I'm beginning to see how a full length video manifests itself after the fact. I'm beginning to storyboard, so it's actually coming together.