"Be sober minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." – 1 Peter 5:8
Apparently I was living with my head in the sand because prior to last Sunday I was totally in the dark regarding revelations of wrongdoing on the part of the now deceased Christian apologist Ravi Zacharias. Since then I have read a number of articles and the gist of them is this: that RZMI (Ravi Zacharias Ministries International) has concluded that the charges of illicit sexual advances and abuses on Ravi's part are credible and likely true. A full investigation is being carried out at the present time but later this month, RZMI has promised to release a full and transparent report. So in the words used around our home, "another one bites the dust."
Let me think about this now…
• There is that tenant that Ruth and I have who has been so turned off to church life because of a pastor who ran off with his wife that he has not since entered a church building.
• Then there was that pastor of that church that was so eager to see Burning Hearts rent their church building so as to help keep the church afloat. He left his wife for another woman and the two of them then moved to Florida leaving the church to fold on its own.
• There was that pastor of that fairly fast growing church in Lancaster city who was found out for his involvement in things that were "worse than adultery" (as it was explained to me; that only left my mind to wandering as I was wondering).
• There was that youth pastor who was found to have tens of thousands of pornographic images on the church's computer. That didn't end well.
• There was…
On and on and on it goes. Some of us remember the days of televangelists like Jimmy Baker and Jimmy Swaggart being exposed, but that seems like long…long before the days of Jerry Falwell, Jr. and his wife.
Sexual lust; sexual temptation; "giving in to the dark side" (thank you, Yoda). When will this end? The truth is, it will not end. For as long as babies are being born, sinners are coming into this world. And with each new generation arises another generation of sinfully minded, sexually immoral human beings. Some are redeemed that make it to the grave uninvolved – at least uninvolved in this area of sin. Both my wife's father and my own father, two ministers of the gospel, made it to the grave or almost to the grave (my dad is still alive, though now a feeble 93) without even a single charge of sexual impropriety being leveled at them. So it can be done. But the truth is it SHOULD be done by us all. So why the high failure rate? Several reasons, I think…
- We live in a sex-crazed world. We are, according to those in marketing, being constantly bombarded with all kinds of "eye candy." This doesn't help.
- The internet has opened up the possibility to explore this "eye candy" anonymously and privately. This also has not helped.
- Many pastors live quite isolated lives with little accountability. Add to that a marriage that may be less than endearing and one has a recipe for disaster.
- These mega-church pastors and/or televangelists are sometimes treated as though they are gods. "Pride leads to destruction and a haughty spirit to a fall" the Bible teaches. Pride – that sense that they actually believe they are special – leads to these pastors' undoing. For "God opposes the proud." As Johnny Cash sang long ago, "Sooner or later, God's gonna cut you down." Ravi died before he was able to be cut down. But now his reputation is in the sewer. Now his family faces the shame alone that he has brought upon them.
Brother…sisters…be careful. Your enemy, your adversary goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Don't let him eat you. Dead or alive, don't let him eat you. For Christ's sake, don't let him take a bite.