A Perspective on Ravi Zacharias

In response to the scandal now coming out around Ravi Zacharias, we merely wish to say: It is deeply troubling, heartbreaking, enraging, and sickening at the same time, and for many different reasons. If you know me (RB) then you know I taught martial arts for a long time, and one specific avenue of martial arts in which I heavily focused was self-defense. To the point, I took my own training to people who had worked with law enforcement agencies and specifically looked at violent assaults. We had an acronym for the system we were working within that time, called S.H.A.R.P. This acronym stands for Sexual Harassment, Assault, and Rape Prevention and the people who put the system together had looked through the darkest studies on the Earth. Learning this stuff was not easy, it was inherently edifying at the time of learning, but as I was able to teach men and women how to defend themselves it became much more edifying.

When you start to study the information around sexual harassment, assault, and rape you start to see really what is wrong. First, the victim did nothing wrong! There are so many who, sadly, put the blame on the victim (even when they do so unintentionally) with words like, “Well, if she hadn’t gone there,” “If she hadn’t worn that,” or many other epithets. But, the victims have done nothing wrong! The perpetrator carries all blame, whether they are psychologically sick (needing psycho-therapies), or merely the perpetrator of the vile deed. It is only they who are guilty, the victim bears no guilt nor should be treated as such. This information brings us to the scandal around Ravi Zacharias.

I, as a fellow Christian, will not judge whether or not he was truly saved, that is between him and the Lord God, however, I am totally sickened by his perverse, predatory acts. In my mind, there is a divide, between the speaking, writing, and apologetics work he did and the acts which he committed. However, this is not acceptable. I agree with what many have said: The actions he committed do not make what he said wrong. However, several people I highly respect have put the nail in that particular coffin: He was not the only one to have said what he said. In two thousand years of Church history, this is nearly an impossibility. According to the open letter from Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM) Board and the report they made public (which I highly recommend you read all of it) Ravi Zacharias was not merely a sinner in the typical sense of the word but was a sexual predator. And, barring any further evidence which may come forth, he went to his grave as an unrepentant sexual predator.

The Church has no right to use the materials of such a person. He wrote books on all topics, some of which are hypocritical in light of what has come forth. There is a difference between a repentant sinner and someone who is keeping a secret life. When we look at the lives of believers, they are supposed to marked by one important thing: They don’t reflect the world, but their Lord Christ. This is mentioned several times throughout the Scriptures. Most significantly we see it in Romans. We know God is active in conforming us into the image of His Son (8:28) and we need to continually be active in our transformation (12:2). We also know a believer is washed, regenerated, and renewed (Titus 3:5) at our conversion. The story of Ravi Zacharias shows just how important it is we take these things seriously. Again, I will make no judgments on the man’s status before God, I am not God, I can only look at the fruit which is now so publicly on display. The Church and specifically among Christians should be the safest places for people to be. We have seen, however, how much corruption is within the Church over the past decades. Rich and powerful personalities have fallen consistently. Between Catholic Priests to mega-church pastors, through to televangelists. So, many people have been put in places of power where those under them felt as if they couldn’t speak out.

We need to make the Church a safe place for these people. The Church should be a place where the light shines. All actions should be visible and open to everyone. This doesn’t mean all things, should be completely open. If someone is receiving private counsel form the leadership their privacy and confidence should be kept, but what it does mean is actions are clear. We are to abstain even from the appearance of evil, living quiet and peaceful lives, protecting each other. Sadly, something like this brings reproach upon the name of Jesus, and to His Church. These victims should be able to find their greatest, safest place being in a relationship with God, and by extension within His Body. However, these actions hurt and turn people away instead.

Let us pray we will finally learn from this scandal rather than continuing to perpetuate this problem. It is so important for people to be under Biblical leadership who will be able to admonish and teach, removing the dross and polishing the gold.

These are my broken, rambling thoughts. In whatever you do, or say in regards to this, think it through, before you say it. Bring no harm. There are victims who have been horrendously abused. Take care of them! It was not their fault a sexual predator took advantage of them.

If you are looking for more info, I highly suggest you watch the video of Mike Winger, of BibleThinker.org.

Update Fall 2020

Hello all,

We’re working to have content available for you on our website and on Youtube. Currently, we’ve been having a lot of problems as things go. If you haven’t heard about the fires on the west coast of the United States, well that is where I live and where Believe Better Ministries is headquartered, and this is just the most recent issue to take place in my life.

However, I am thankful for the Lord and how He has taken care of me and my family. During this time I am studying, and working on things. We plan on coming out with a book which is the first five years of Believe Better Ministries. I am also working on a book about my point of view on Theology and (more specifically) Soteriology. This book is called The God Who Cares and it will deal with quite a few things and I hope to clearly point out my point of view. Finally, I’ve been working on a study of Dispensational Methodology (more commonly called Dispensationalism), which will be posted here for all of my audience to read. These things and preaching have been keeping me busy.

Also, we do have a newsletter list, which we sent out an update on that this morning. Please sign up for updates directly in your e-mail. We used this in the past for Kalytero, and plan on using it for this again when Kalytero is relaunched for you to receive this.

Thank you all,
RB

Updates and News – 03/02/2020

Well, I need to apologize for the missing articles from the end of last year, and the beginning of this year. I had them loaded into the website, but had put the date of publication in wrong. I put had put the Christmas Thought for last December in and apparently scheduled it for 25 December, 2020 rather than 2019, the same thing with the New Year’s Thought (except for 2021). This issue is now fixed. They are now up and posted on the website viewable for everyone.

I have some plans for 2020. I don’t want to say what they are yet as I need to get things ordered so I can make sure I follow through with them. I am hoping some of the things I have done in the past may be able to come back. I am praying for the Lord’s leading in all things.

One thing I do want to announce is we are planning on putting a book out of the first five years of Believe Better Ministries. This is going to contain all the articles which have been posted on our website. We are calling it the first five years of Believe Better Ministries because it didn’t become such until 2014. So, this is exciting and we hope you will support the book when it comes out. I can’t believe it’s been five years, but it has. We hope we’ve edified you over the last five years (or more) and hope to continue doing so as we go forward as the Lord has called us.

Stay tuned for news on what we are working on.

RB

New Year’s Thought – 2020

Today’s thought is not merely a New Year’s Thought but a New Decade’s Thought. Most of my day has been given over to thinking over the last decade and looking forward to the next. As I think of this last decade, I see the bounty of the Lord God in my life over this time. I see how the Lord fulfilled so many things and answered so many prayers (even secret prayers)*. My marriage, my daughter, our house, and my being in ministry are the largest ones I think of, but there are really too many to count when it comes right down to it.

The Lord has been so gracious to me. But when I think of this next decade, I’m saddened. I see trends which as I look at the previous two decades started when I was still a child. I see these trends continuing even as I pray over them with tears flowing down my cheeks. The first issue I am thinking of is the preeminence of culture over the preeminence of Scripture in the Body of Christ (the Church). This one is a huge one for me. I love the Word of God. I am in it daily and am continually learning more and more about it.

This trend has brought in so much pain and will bring more. It won’t stop, but I fear it is going to continue to the Lord Jesus’ return. Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: “Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,” (NKJV). This apostasy from the Body will first take place within the Church and this is what we are seeing, and it breaks my heart. We need to stand firm on the Word of God as we come into this third decade of the third millennium.

Now, let us remember how we are to go about this. To be clear truth (which could also be called doctrine) is important! However, love is the primary doctrine. We must make sure we speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15). I want to repeat that: We must make sure we speak the truth in love. Staying silent is not loving someone. Staying silent is allowing someone to run after the lusts of flesh rather than the Spirit. At our assembly, we are in studying through Romans. In Romans 8 we see the difference between someone the mind on the flesh and the mind on the Spirit.

“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-8 ESV) This is what is so important for us to see. Are we focused on our rebellion – our sin? Or are we focused on the Spirit – that is God?

Let us focus on this as we move into the new year and the new decade. May we see a beautiful returning to the Word of God on which we must stand firm. We cannot give up the Word for our culture. If we take the culture over Scripture how soon will it be before we give up Christ as the only way to the Father? Or give up our ability to call people to come to Christ? Let us remember the history of the Church and how in early centuries they found trouble for themselves because they would not say, “Καῖσαρ κύριος” (Caesar is Lord) but instead said, “Ἰησοῦς κύριος” (Jesus is Lord). Can we admit we are submitting ourselves to the Lord Jesus’ will – which is to do the will of the Father – when we bow our knees to the secular culture of the day?

Beloved, speak the truth in love and stand firm on the Bible. Maybe we will see a revival in our day and people returning to God rather than a continued apostasy!

*          To be clear I believe God answers all prayers, but what I mean at this moment is
answered the way in which I asked, or answered in the affirmative.