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February 19, 2021 7:00 pm
At speaking events and on his daily radio program, Zacharias was known for being an intelligent and articulate Christian “apologist”—one who provides answers to the philosophical, moral, and existential challenges to Christianity. He was highly respected personally and professionally.
As is typical with nearly all high-profile ministry leaders, especially ones in ministry for 40 years, Zacharias absorbed a couple publicized accusations—one about exaggerating his educational credentials and the other a few years ago regarding a Canadian woman sending him sexual text messages. The latter was explained away as an extortion attempt...
The Zacharias the man who answered life's deepest questions leaves us wondering about the biggest one that is a topical discuss today right here on the Christian worldview radio program for the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. I'm David Wheaton, the host in our website is the Christian worldview.or thank you for joining us today in the Christian worldview.
As we discussed, there really almost hard to believe scandal involving the well-known Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias in order to get into that little later in the program. But before we do. I just want to finish the topic. We did last week on Christian nationalism. Last week we discussed this new pejorative this this kind of negative characterization of evangelicals today, linking them or including in this this category being Christian nationals is also a term that has a very negative connotation for sure everyone on the left. But even those within Christianity as well because some held Christian flags and crosses at the Trump rally in Washington DC on January 6 that turned into a riot or are mainly at the US Capitol. The conclusion now being pushed by mainstream media and politicians and religious leaders in the left is that Christian nationalists are homegrown terrorists threatening our democracy and inelastic to read this article I will read the whole thing on this read a paragraph or two here from the Minneapolis Star Tribune titled capital siege puts spotlight on Christian nationalists. The article goes on to say the movement is biggest in the South and Midwest stronger in rural than urban America. They found and listen to this key beliefs include political conservatism. The inerrancy of the Bible that the nation is on the brink of moral decay that millions of people in this country believe that an apparently now to the definition of the left your Christian nationalists if you believe those things about your political conservative and inerrancy of Scripture and the nation being in the brink of moral decay article goes on last paragraph year. These views are commonly held by an here's the link is to millions of people commonly held by evangelical Christians, to varying degrees. What sets ardent Christian nationalists apart his belief that God created the United States as a Christian nation that US laws must reflect their version of Christian values and the government has no right to interfere with their religious liberties we played. Also last week. This podcast called quick to listen, by the publication Christianity today, which is a very I would say non-Orthodox Christian organization. Now the guest on the program that will give me hearing from his name is Paul Miller he's a professor of the practice of international affairs at Georgetown University, and notably, a research fellow with the ethics and religious liberty commission. We've talked about them before the ER LC. This is the political advocacy organization for the Southern Baptist convention led by Russell Moore and he's made some very controversial statements being very anti-Trump so this is where Paul Miller this person who working to hear from today in the program.
He's coming from that particular organization. So let's get first of that soundbite were Paul Miller talks about this issue of Christian nationalism and what the church needs to do about it. So I think today I think churches I think the white churches to the Donnelly water led by white leaders recognize the threat of Christian nationalism and they want to do something, but a centimeter adopt a different understanding of war and added an additional understanding of the church's mission.
They are in the business of the radicalization.
He says it so matter-of-factly that the church should be in the business of the radicalization as if these are Islamic terrorists trying to destroy the land again, 77, 70% of 75 evangelicals are supporters or commoners of this ideology that tens of millions of people in the churches job you did. I know some people out there that you sent to churches John churches preaches the gospel well. The church must always confront false teaching and we now have full teaching in our midst in the school of Christian nationals. So if you don't believe, like Paul Miller. If you're part of the 70 million people in this country. He does referenced who believe that Christianity should have a place in the public square. You're advancing false teaching is also the churches job because we have to confront sin in their people were taking the name of Christ, and they were involved in public sin by by engaging in riots and even political violence and bringing the gospel.
It is disrepute. Talk about painting with a broad brush. The man just said that if you are part of the 70 million Americans who think that Christianity has an important part in this country.
You need to be de-radicalized that you need to stop being part of this false gospel. I don't think any biblical Christian would say that it's the gospel that Christian values need to be integrated into government, but certainly Christians would say it's a good thing. It's a God honoring thing. When leaders and governments respect and revere God in their leadership and their laws. If you had asked me a month ago how I would define Christian nationalism. I would've my mind would've gotten to something like dominion is a more re-constructionism or the new apostolic Reformation and I looked online a web cycle Christian century had some definitions of those particular terms that I just use and they say the term dominion is and was popularized in the 1990s by scholars and journalists who applied it to conservative Christian seeking political power derived from the book of Genesis, in which God tells Adam and Eve to have dominion over the earth and its animals. Dominion is him generally describes the belief that Christians are biblically mandated to control all earthly institutions until the second coming of Jesus. Experts identify two main schools of dominion is him Christian reconstructionists, who believe biblical law, including stoning as punishment for adultery and other transgressions should replace secular law and the new apostolic Reformation, the NAR, which advocates for Christians to quote reclaim the seven mountains of culture, government, religion, media, family, business, education and arts and entertainment.
So basically what they believe is the true Christian nationals of, say, believe they have a mandate to Christianize the US and the world which will eventually usher in the return of Christ. No, I believe this is wrong theology, especially as it relates to the great commission.
Christians are called to make disciples of Jesus Christ not to make Christian nations so they're off on their their their great commission if there also off on their eschatology that somehow they're going to Christianize the world and and pave the way for the return of Christ. Only after the world is been Christianize will will Christ return and again I don't see that anywhere in Scripture and some may even be radical. As a mentioned in that paragraph seeking for like an Old Testament style law and old order and in punishment for wrongdoing again.
That's what my mind would've gone to a month ago when I would've thought about Christian nationalism. Those who are really strident and wanting to impose Christianity and the laws of our country, but I certainly don't know what the people who had Christian banners are holding crosses in Washington believe you know how many there were of them, or whether any of them actually breached the capital but again it was all being used to broad brush into to group together as many people as possible who supported Troutman evangelicals did that to try to marginalize them and shame them in trying to slander them by saying oh you just want to set up a theocracy in this country. So I went to got questions.org which I think gives a very often a very balanced perspective, these one-page explanations of various questions that they receive. I think they've answered hundreds of thousands of questions on their website and I read their article on Christian nationalism. Christians are obligated to individually submit to the will of God. Romans 12 one and to support one another along those lines. In practice, this means advocating for government actions consistent with a Christian worldview. I think it's a very good point.
That's what we want we want government action to be consistent with a Christian worldview. It includes defying government commands to commit sin that were the apostle said no we will not stop preaching about Christ, we must obey God rather than men at the same time the article goes on to say a believer's primary mission is not earthly, let alone political. In fact, the main descriptor for a Christian's relationship to government is submission is from Romans 13, not domination perspective, such as Christian dominion is him or kingdom now theology rightly invite accusations of Christian nationalism.
Those perspectives are not reflected in Scripture. So the giving kind of a balance approach are that there should be a Christian worldview in government. That's a good thing. It's a God honoring thing. I don't see the the biblical commission for taking dominion over government and over the seven institutions that the new apostolic Reformation sees but that being said, Christianity also shouldn't be excluded or marginalized as is being attempted today because of the the phony charge of separation and church of state and the founders never believe that this is just become a favorite libel of the left to be able to achieve and gather more political power me if anything, secular humanism, which is the the worldview of the left. That's a religion in itself. They love to force their godless religious values down the throats of everyone. So what they're accusing Christians of doing these Christian nationalists there actually doing far more mean the threat to this country from Christian nationals.
These you want to consider more radical groups of them will want to take over America, it's nothing compared to the fact that those in the left with their secular humanism actually have taken over America and so is you.
You look back over American history, it would be very hard to not say that earlier Americans are founders were Christian nationalists.
They certainly believed in God, and they wanted Christianity, at least the principles of Christianity to be a part of this nation this last Sunday in church.
The pastor actually read a quote from Abraham Lincoln back in 1863 mystery part of it you'll see just how freely Abraham Lincoln talked about God and faith in Christian principles just in this this one little quote he said in an insomuch as we know that by his divine law nations, like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world, may we not justly fear that the awful calamity of Civil War, which now Desilets, the land may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national Reformation as a whole people. Imagine a politician her president saying that sentence today. He goes on to say, we have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity we have grown in numbers wealth and power as no other nation is ever grown, but we have forgotten God this is Abraham Lincoln. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own intoxicated with unbroken success. We become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us that was Abraham Lincoln the president back in 1863 during the Civil War.
So whatever we talk about Christian nationalism today. Let's remember that those founders before us very freely talked about who God was and he is the need to honor him in our country and Paul Miller this man who was interviewed on the Christian today podcast said as much from the time Europeans stepped foot on North American chores they thought of the polity. They were really here in religious terms, said to some extent it's always been part of the kind of the European Christianity was important here.
Look at the conversion of Christendom, so to speak is blending of sacred and secular identities to create a unified quality that makes sense of the universe.
So yes, you can find chakras and are in history where something like this is always here some Americans during the founding thought that America was the quote new Israel, where they said that they wrote that way and I thought of the revolution was a step forward in building the kingdom of God is much more the case during the Civil War, which was this righteous crusade against an evil slave power by what was that they use that sense of self-righteousness to construct a form of American nationalism that was highly Christian mystic and highly self-righteousness was helpful to get Steve is always groundwater. I find it kind of ironic that some man in the year 2021, is criticizing the founders for integrating their their beliefs and faith in the founding of this great nation as if it's it was still in the water as if they were imbibing something that was sort of toxic you have to look at this and think white now would we rather have the views of these founders in earlier Americans influencing country the way it was back then. Despite the fact that there was slavery and part of this country. Of course I was a big blind spot of America or would you rather have the values being jammed down our throats today. The secular values of radical abortion. Transgender is him homosexuality big government, a globalism would rather have this or would you rather have the worldview of the past. Why notes when I think Christian should prefer. How is it changed for the past hundred years.
As America has grown less Christian and less white it is put the weight conservative Christian population on the defensive. And so here we feel like the world against us were shrinking our power restricting our influences shrinking all of the other forces in the world. Non-Christian and foreign influences are now controlling our country and taking it away from us that some Christian nationalists in the last thing you 40 years. They tend to believe the Christians are under attack and are being persecuted and that leans toward the worldview that is a lot of fear and a lot of us versus them dichotomy forcibly under control or steering events against excellent union paranoia and that's I think out today's Christian nationalism is different than past generations, and why it doesn't bleed over notes of the conspiracy theory stuff as well. Can you believe that Christianity today. These are professing Christian saying these things that basically that if you sense that the the country becoming not even sense if you know if you just watch it with your own eyes.
The countries become so secularized and so leftist and socialistic. If you sense a problem there that you believe in conspiracy theories you your based on fear and oh by the way, always race is is injected into it. You basically just because you're white, afraid of being taken over by people who aren't white Christian worldview. David Wheaton returns in just a moment the new year has brought new features to the Christian worldview radio program first good news for those who don't have an affiliate station in their area and those who subscribe to a free podcast, the latest program will now be firstname.lastname@example.org VR podcast feed at 8 AM central time on Saturdays.
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That's one AAA 646-2233 or visiting the Christian worldview.org there is an abundance of Christian resources available at the reality is that many of them even some of the most popular nightly sound and strong faith. But there's only one printing the key aim of the Christian worldview is to identify and offer resources that are biblically faithful and deep in your walk with God in our online store have a wide range of resources from all ages, adult and children's books and DVDs, Bibles and devotionals, unique gifts and more so browse our store and Christian worldview.org and find enriching resources for yourself, family, friends, small church can also order by calling toll-free, one AAA 646-2233. That's one AAA 646-2233 or visit the Christian worldview.org welcome back to the Christian worldview sure to visit our website Christian.org you can subscribe to a free weekly email an annual print newsletter resources for adults and children and support the ministry. Now back to today's program with host David Wheaton. So when we say in summary to this topic of Christian nationalism.
I think Christians can be much more pragmatic, politically while being very principled, theologically and spiritually. In other words, Christians can vote for whether even an unbeliever or a Christian who does not sound doctrinally who will advocate for Christian values in the public square weathers the right to life or their morality based on the Bible, or the principle of work incentive to work law and order and those kinds of things perfect example of this is Trump versus Biden we have a two-party system in this country and Donald Trump is no model of a born-again Christian. Okay, we know that we discussed this many times on the program, but the policies that she advocates for versus the policies that Joe Biden and the Democratic Party advocate for are like night and day. The Democratic Party advocates for almost nearly everything that opposes God and his word while Donald Trump imparted Republican Party are no not the party of God are not the Christian party but the relative difference is just gigantic. So Thursday the pragmatic aspect of it. Now of course you can vote third-party to but the reality is we live in a a two-party system is is not about who's perfect about who's better, more closely approximate a biblical worldview for government and in the answer that question is not even close anymore. So when it comes to though the theological and spiritual issues and partnerships that we join hands with, especially in the church and the family then Christians need to be very principled and precise about who we will link arms with and support theologically and doctrinally so this is the point of why we been talking about this topic of Christian nationalism last week, and then finishing this week is so that the left is gonna dismiss Christian beliefs as crazy and false in conspiracy theories in leading to riots at the capital that was the cause of it there to cherry pick extreme examples of those who want to impose or take dominion over government and then group them with regular just conservative Christians, and that people can be shamed if you supported Donald Trump he's a white supremacist, and if anyone acts up in that group. That's why there's thousands of troops in the capital and there's Joe Biden saying this is the biggest threat to America's domestic terrorists of those who are the kind that started the capital riot. This is a typical game plan was done with the Jews in Germany had to bring up the whole example of Hitler.
That's what it does. You demonize the Jews in Germany to the cause of all the problems it was done with Christians in the Roman Empire and Nero burned Roman and blamed Christians all the persecution that followed.
So we've emphasized this topic just for Christians to know.
Be alert, be advised that this is nothing new were Christians are being slandered in demonize a certain way because it often leads to a very bad and it leads to persecution. Okay, so now that the transition to the topic of the day which is Ravi Zacharias and the.
The topic is going to be framed around this.
The subtitle of the man who answered life's deepest questions leaves us wondering about the biggest question you don't, Ravi Zacharias. He was one of the most well-known evangelical Christians in the world. He spoke all over the world and he led the Ravi Zacharias International ministries its RZ IM for short, which is a nonprofit parachurch organization based in Atlanta with satellite offices around the world and back in 2015 they had upwards of $25 million in annual revenue. This is a very big organization at speaking events, and on his daily radio program. Zacharias was known for being an intelligent and articulate. Christian apologist and apologist is one who provides answers to the philosophical, moral and existential challenges that people make against Christianity, and he was highly respected, personally and professionally as is typical with nearly all high profile ministry leaders, especially ones in ministry for 40 years, Zacharias absorbed a couple publicized accusations over that time in ministry one about exaggerating his educational credentials in the other.
A few years ago regarding a Canadian woman who apparently had been accused him of exchanging sexual text messages.
This latter accusation was explained away as an attempt at extortion on Ravi Zacharias. Now fast forward to last year and people all over the world were praying for the fact that Ravi Zacharias a come down with a rare form of cancer and they mourned his death a eulogize rabbit Ravi Zacharias after he died of cancer in May 2020, but what no one was prepared for were the allegations and then confirmation by investigators that Zacharias had been involved sexually with women all over the world. Even up to a few months before his death, and so today in the program are going to discuss some of the challenging questions related to the man who was known for answering life's deepest questions that one of the first questions we need to discuss this, should we even be discussing this. Some Christians will say this is why you're to talking about this. This is negative. Your judging him well were certainly not discussing this to judge Ravi Zacharias were no judge. God is the ultimate judge. We certainly don't discuss this to put him down set to put ourselves up so we go and do it with an attitude knowing that we are frail like build the rest of the men and women. The world may affect this with first Corinthians 10 says for I do not want you to be unaware. Paul writes to the Corinthian church that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea, and all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and the sea, and all ate the same spiritual food and all drank the same spiritual drink, for they were drinking from a spiritual rock which followed them in the rock was Christ. Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well pleased, for they were laid low in the wilderness. Another word Paul saying here that look our forefathers. They were led out of Egypt they were baptized in the Moses. The ate the same spiritual food.
They had the same spiritual drink. But God was not pleased with all of them, for they they went their own way. Just like we can go our own way and you then you he writes in verse six he says now these things happened as examples for us so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved sorta learn a lesson here from what happened in the Exodus with the Jews who walked away from God. Verse seven do not be idolaters as some of them were as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink and stood up to play. That was when Moses went to get the 10 Commandments they corrupted themselves says in verse eight.
Never let us act in morally of some of them did and 23,000 fell in one day is up as a result of God's judgment nor let us try the Lord to some of them did and were destroyed by the serpents nor grumble as some of them did and were destroyed by the destroyer. The sale these things here because there's an aspect that we should fear don't do what they did because if you do this going to be consequences. Fear God's judgment.
Now these things. Verse 11 happened to them as an example and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the earth have come in.
Here's a key verse therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall in that sentence right there is what we need to have emblazoned on the front of our minds we think about the life in the fall of Ravi Zacharias. Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not falls.
If you think you might Ravi Zacharias is a tell you what happened you think will that would never happen to me. Let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall and then this the passage ends in verse 13 here that were to read no temptation. This is the encouragement.
This is the hope no temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.
That's from first Corinthians 10 verses one through 13. So to get back to the question, should we be discussing this sordid affair of Ravi Zacharias in the car. The answers absolutely yes mafic I think we should be discussing it far and wide.
The Bible frequently describes those who have fallen. Even amongst his most notable characters. There was Noah good great no other than the man of faith who built the ark for 100 years on never rained well all of a sudden you see no upper trade is getting drunk and sleeping with his daughters and having children with him or Abraham lying about Sarah being his wife. The great great patriarch is shown as a liar and and afraid of these other leaders and of course there's King David, a man after God's own heart is shown as being not a man after God's own heart all the time, but as an adulterer and are in a murderer and it took a while for him to repent of it until he was confronted or in the New Testament. The apostle Peter that the first mentioned among the. The apostles is the one who betrayed Christ three times as Christ was arrested and brought before the religious authorities before his crucifixion. So the Bible describes these sordid affairs of some of its most notable characters in Scripture.
What usually happens in situations like this is that churches and Christians quickly sweep these things under the rug is think about the situation. Ravi Zacharias and lovingly told you what happened yet, but many of you already know about it.
How much have you heard this talked about aside for may be reading something on Facebook or something on the Internet has been mentioned in your church has a been addressed on the radio, maybe to a certain degree, but the reality is, people are going to know about this but then they're going to move on because it's uncomfortable to talk about or they don't want to be deemed as a judge mental but I really do believe because Scripture gives examples of the fallen describes these things in detail that we should be discussing it because what of what it does to us.
It increases our fear of the Lord. Look at all these passages of Scripture. It talks about the fear of the Lord. Proverbs 16 six by the fear of the Lord one keeps away from evil.
So if you have a fear of God. This, in all our reverence, a literal fear of offending the one who created you, and the consequences that she's going to bring in your life for offending and for sinning against him. The Bible says that keeps you away from evil and Christians, we should want to be stay away from evil. Proverbs 37 do not be wise in your own eyes, fear the Lord and turn away from evil. Another one in Proverbs 19, the fear of the Lord leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied untouched by evil. So the recurring theme in just these three verses is this, that if you fear the Lord, that's gonna keep you away from evil and sin. So that's really why it's important to discuss things like this so we can hear about this and we can fear God greatly, so that we don't so we turn away from evil people need to fear offending God in this way as we talk about Ravi Zacharias today. We need the fear that the shame and the disgraced metal and is brought upon him and his family and those in his ministry and in all the Christians around the world that have maybe looked up to him and the disappointment he's brought to them, but ultimately the shame and disgrace that he brought on the name of Jesus Christ, so we need to discuss it because we need to also know how to overcome these kinds of temptations that Ravi Zacharias succumbed to so who is Ravi Zacharias. For those of you who may not know who he is and is going to read a few paragraphs of Wikipedia does gives a general idea of his biography and what his life was like Ravi Zacharias was born in 1946 and died as a mentioned last year in May 2020. He was an Indian born Canadian-American Christian apologist who founded the Ravi Zacharias international ministry.
He was involved in Christian apologetics for a period spanning more than 40 years and he was the author of more than 30 books on Christianity.
Zacharias was the founder and chairman of the board of RZ.
I am in host of the radio programs let my people think and just thinking you probably heard those on Christian radio. The been on the year for many many years. He was a lifelong minister of the Christian and missionary alliance at the CMA the mission by the way of the 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. So they're trying to impact those who are leaders in culture through answering the philosophical and intellectual challenges to Christianity and show that there is credibility to the gospel and to the Bible the revenue of the last I could find online a lease for the organization of RZ IM was nearly $26 million for this ministry back in 2015.
It has a 100% charity rating at least of the year that I looked at so this was not a small, this is very large Christian organization.
It's a very very big number nearly $26 million and don't know what it was.
Most recently Beth what it was in 2015, Zacharias was born in 1946 in Madras, India. His family was Anglican, but he was a court skeptic. He said until the age of 17 when he tried to commit suicide by swallowing poison while he was in the hospital a local Christian worker brought him a Bible and told his mother to read to him from John chapter 14, which contains Jesus words to Thomas the apostle. Zacharias said it was John 14 verse 19 that touched him as the defining paradigm quote because I live, you also will live unquote and that he thought quote. This may be my only hope a new way of living life as defined by the author of life unquote night. You never know on Wikipedia and whether these are exactly accurate culture with the way he said it, but I think there's an important distinction to make here that Christianity, becoming a Christian is really not a about a new way of living. It's not a way to live. It's a God to know and to worship and that's a very key distinction is not about just doing all these certain acts or deeds of being a Christian is not even thinking like a Christian and living like a Christian like we say in our model think biblically live accordingly. That's has to do with the Christian worldview, but ultimately being a born-again Christian is about knowing and loving and worshiping and obeying God.
It's a relationship with our Creator. Christian worldview returns in just a moment. David we hear host of the Christian worldview for over 15 years.
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She committed his life to Christ praying that quote Jesus if you are the one who gives life as it is meant to be. I wanted please get me out of this hospital bed well and I promise I will leave no stone unturned in my pursuit of truth. Unquote now again that's a really nice sentiment, but again we we don't come to Christ by saying Jesus. If you are the one who gives life as it is meant to be. I wanted we come to saying I believe that you are the one who gives life and we don't make deals as becoming if you get me out of this hospital bed shears will give back to you know, we come to Christ with with nothing just believing in who we use that he's a son of God, that our works are suppose a good works can in no way earn salvation and we come and say I surrender my life.
I believe who you are and what you did for me in the cross he paid the penalty I deserve to pay for my sin and I commit to following you, as Lord going out the Wikipedia article and in 1966 Zacharias immigrated with his family to Canada, earning his undergraduate degree from the Ontario Bible college in 1972, which is now called Tyndale University and his Masters of Divinity degree from Trinity International University, 1976. He spent the summer of 1971 in South Vietnam where he evangelized US soldiers as well as imprisoned Vietcong members. After graduating from Ontario Bible college in Canada. He began an itinerant ministry with the Christian and missionary alliance in Canada in May 1972 Ravi Zacharias married Margaret or Margie Reynolds, whom he met at his church's youth group. They had showed three children Sarah Nathan and Naomi in 1983, Zacharias spoke in Amsterdam at the Billy Graham evangelistic Association's first international conference for itinerant evangelists after Amsterdam. Zacharias spent the summer evangelizing in India, where he continued to see the need for apologetic ministry both to lead people to Christ and to train Christian leaders.
He is a very extensive background speaking all over the world. In August 1984 RZ IM was found in the rat, Ravi Zacharias national ministries was founded in Toronto, Canada to pursue his calling as quote a classical evangelist in the arena of the intellectually resistant unquote today. Its headquarters are located in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia, Zacharias attracted media attention when in 2004, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints LDS church opened its signature pulpit at the Salt Lake Tabernacle to him. This is the Mormon church for a series of messages. Zacharias delivered a sermon on who is the truth.
Defending Jesus Christ is the way the truth and the life to some set 7000 laypersons and scholars from both Mormonism and Protestant camps in an initial Terry move toward more open dialogue between Mormons and Christians actually remember that particular and there is controversy as the as the Wikipedia column mentions here so some evangelicals criticize Zacharias's decision not to use this opportunity to speak to them but the Mormon Tabernacle to directly address the deep and foundational differences between the traditional Christian faith and that of the teachings of the LDS church. I remember that particular time.
I think he was probably one of the most tender top 10 or top 15 or 20 most while I recognize evangelicals in the world just a couple more paragraphs here from this Wikipedia bio on him. Zachariah has represented the evangelical community had occasion such as the National Day of prayer in Washington DC. The annual prayer breakfast of the United Nations and the African Union prayer breakfast in Mozambique and was named honorary chairman of the 2008 National Day of prayer task force. He has also participated in the ecumenical together 2016 meetings in July 2016 which Pope Francis addressed describing the event as a valiant effort. Just as an aside here.
I never like to see this trying to make ecumenical outreach with those of a false religion.
The Roman Catholic Church very ill advised does not end up well is confusing to those as to what is the actual gospel confuses the gospel. He also signed in 2019. The ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan declaration. Remember that we covered on the program, affirming with the different branches of Christianity, the Orthodox Church Roman Catholic Church in evangelicals as they came together to stand for the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage is the union of a husband and a wife, and the freedom of religion all things that biblical Christians would agree with but we don't need to join hands with those who are teaching false biblical doctrines to do so. Zacharias argued that a coherent worldview must be able to satisfactorily answer four questions that of origin meaning in life. Morality and destiny, and he hit on those topics. In many, many of his messages he heard them on the radio.
He spoke to those things a lot the meaning of life origin where he came from, what morality is an destiny after we die. He said that while every major religion makes exclusive claims about truth. The Christian faith is unique in its ability to answer all four of these questions is Zacharias a style of apologetics focus predominantly on Christian answers to life's great exit stencil questions with defense of God. So I went online and I wasn't a big listener to Ravi Zacharias over the years, although you did hear him and when I was in the car and listening to the radio and so for the Nick I may have heard them speaking person once but I wasn't a close follower of his. So I went online to YouTube and just pulled up one of the examples of him preaching just to give you an example, an idea of just how much of a skilled and compelling communicator. She was an interesting enough in this particular soundbite. He talks about how the sacrifice of Christ is unique to all religions gospel story is unique in its salvation narrative. There is snow on the worldview that brings you to a Savior/Redeemer, the grace of God. Only the Judeo-Christian worldview points to that so many says you shall not test the ability of God alone goes to get some money and on his knees. He is battling this out want to the companionship of his disciples and never got it. They were so tired and fatigued. It couldn't stay up and pray, and finally when they let them know story began to unfold totally. If there is any other way but not my will but yours be done. Beauty of the gospel is on that cross noticeable quickness some time ago by leading preacher in the land and I don't like to take its people, but I'm taking it out of in the book is called your best life now, so I ran to see what it is that people find so attractive in this speaking you go to page after page after page does not a single mention of the cross. You cannot have your best life. Without the crucifixion of Jesus Christ providing for your redemption in your summation it's a very powerful message that he just gave there, and I think it shows just what kind of speaker he was. He was compelling.
He wasn't a humorist up there occasionally little bits of humor, but she spoke with a lot of authority and passion. As you could hear and that particular message that he gave just the last paragraph of this bio on him on Wikipedia in March 2020 as last year. Zacharias was diagnosed with a malignant and rare cancer in his spine and on 19 May 2020 so literally only about two months later, she died at his home in Atlanta at the age of 74. Following his death, a number of high profile Christians posted messages online detailing Zacharias's influence upon them.
White House press secretary Kaylee McInerney as well as US VP Mike pence expressed their sympathies for Zacharias following his death.
So that's who Ravi Zacharias was and so now the next question is will what went wrong and this is really where the story takes a very sordid turn.
You can find this many places online. Christianity today has several articles on the exposure of the allegations, the investigation of Ravi Zacharias. You can read them there. It's all over the Internet you can find it by the Wikipedia gives more of a matter of fact, just overview of what took place and I think it's good enough for our purposes today just to read their summary of what went wrong and says Zacharias has been accused of exaggerating his academic qualifications and multiple sources accuse Zacharias of serious sexual misconduct, including rape on February 9, 2021, Miller and Martin, the law firm hired by his own ministry RZ.
I am to look into these matters look into these allegations confirmed their veracity.
I think it's important to note here that these are just allegations. These have been investigated.
This is public knowledge. We are not bringing up something here that is merely hearsay. This is been investigated may affect the. The ministry itself has confirmed these allegations, as is true before we get into that of the sexual aspect of it.
The academic credential controversy was something that been brought up a long time ago in an earlier edition of his biography and some of the his books and in and in and about section. Zacharias claimed that he study at the University of Cambridge in England and is a professor at the University of Oxford in multiple speaking engagements. He said that he had taken class in quantum mechanics under John Paul Kinghorn and while a visiting scholar at University of Cambridge. He had heard Stephen Hawking lecture and saw him struggle between agnosticism and theism. Ravi Zacharias often claim through his books and preaching that he was invited to be a visiting scholar at University of Cambridge and while at Cambridge. She focused her studies on romantic writers and moralist philosophers now again that it was completely denied by the University of Cambridge, the University Cambridge said they denied that Zacharias had ever ever enrolled or studied at the University and also University of Oxford denied Zacharias having held any academic positions at their university hat which is really truly astounding. These are two of the most notable academic institutions in the world and Ravi Zacharias and intimated that he was soon involved with them and speaking at them and that apparently he hadn't been in.
This is something that had been a controversy. Many, many years ago so there were there were some question there as to why he was claiming this and there is something to do with lives him claiming to be the was called Dr. Zacharias PC been awarded some honorary degrees in the ministry sort of explain that away is saying well in India when you're given honorary degrees, you can assume those titles in American civil different.
Anyway, he ended up dropping the Dr. title in time, so there were some there was some controversy accusations about him credentialing himself as as having higher academic credentials and he actually did but that's not were gonna talk about today. What were to get in today was that the shock which occurred at the end of his life that was brought out even after his death. Wikipedia goes on to say that Canadian Lori and Thompson and her husband sent a demand letter to Zacharias requiring him to pay $5 million in exchange for them refraining from filing a lawsuit that would've accused Zacharias of impropriety involving an exchange of text messages between Lori and Thompson in Zacharias. She had texted nude photos of herself to Ravi Zacharias. In response, Zacharias filed a RICO lawsuit against Thompson accusing a couple.
She and her husband of trying to extort money from him. The case was settled in November 2017 with the nondisclosure agreement and NDA. It's called were going to have to leave it there for the day.
But you're going to take up this topic in part two next week because there's a lot more to say to learn about the situation with Robbie Zacharias. Also, next week going to be getting into the example of Joseph and how he overcame the temptation of sexual morality because there are lessons in that story from Genesis 39, every single one of us. So thank you for joining us today in the Christian worldview.
Pray for the family of Ravi Zacharias and all the women other people all this really terrible situation and print the name of Jesus Christ above all can be lifted up.
We never want to sully his name until next weekend. Think biblically live accordingly and stand firm.
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