Important New Video about Apologist Ravi Zacharias: Alleged False Credentials, Lawsuit, Online Relationship with Married Woman

“The Case Against Ravi Zacharias”, lawsuit, falsified credentials, RZIM


Ravi Zacharias, sex scandal, falsified credentials, lawsuit

Twitter photo

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School deadlines prohibit me from making a longer post, but this video is important. I suspect things will be shaking up in the near future with regard to well-known apologist, Ravi Zacharias.

Attorney, banjo player, atheist, and blogger, Steve Baughman has been following Ravi Zacharias’ story for a while, appealing to Christian leaders to take a look at his (Steve’s) findings, to no avail. It appears that Ravi Zacharias has misled people about his credentials.

Not only that, a lawsuit filed by Ravi Zacharias, against a woman with whom he had an online relationship. was settled out of court. This relationship went on for some time (and included nude pictures), and should leave us all with questions.

Why did he fail to tell his board about this relationship? Why has he not come clean on his credentials? Why did he settle the lawsuit rather than go through the court process?

I spoke with Steve Baughman today. While he readily admits he is an atheist, I can find no other reason that he has investigated Zacharias, written about him, and made videos, other than his disgust that a man who claims to be a godly leader is instead misleading the multitudes by puffing up his credentials. It’s just not cool to be a fraud.

There is a problem when we Christians cannot police our own camp, and a self-proclaimed atheist needs to point it out to us. Hello!!! The world is watching!

Here is Steve’s video. Take a look and see what you think.

 

 

I never know if Word Press is really going to embed my videos, so here is the link in case it doesn’t work. https://youtu.be/w0X0YzHISnY

 

 

 

123 comments on “Important New Video about Apologist Ravi Zacharias: Alleged False Credentials, Lawsuit, Online Relationship with Married Woman

  1. When I linked Steve’s article to my Facebook page, some friends immediately asked if I had researched into Steve’s claims. In turn, I asked if they read his article.
    In my opinion the article was very factual, had plenty of footnotes, and explained each inflated claim in detail.
    For years, I’ve read RZ’s books, watched him on YouTube, and just listened to his radio program with my kids a week ago. This breaks my heart!
    It doesn’t matter to me that an atheist broke the story. There wouldn’t be a story if RZ hadn’t inflated – LIED – about his academic credentials.
    Let’s keep the focus on RZ’s actions.
    Thanks, Julie Anne, for blogging on this!

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I agree, Sandra. It makes no difference who delivers the message, our responsibility is to check for ourselves. It’s discouraging to me, too. A month or so ago, my own pastor quoted Ravi, and I cringed inside because I knew of this situation. Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I wonder why a lawyer would send a letter which fits the definition of “extortion.” Seems like he should know better than that. Still, the story is heartbreaking, of a woman being preyed upon and then the destruction of several lives. The trouble is that, according to the legal documents posted online, due to the extortion attempt, Zacharias now has a basis to say that he was the one being preyed upon.

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  4. Nyssa, I’m puzzled by the defendant’s lawyer’s letter, too. I don’t know anything about that, but I think we’ll be hearing more before too long. And it’s not the woman who needs to worry.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As I skim through Zacharias’ legal filing, he seems to have put together a plausible story. So I don’t know what’s really going on: Did he prey on this person, or was it a conspiracy against him?

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  6. It’s an attorney’s job to paint a picture that has a plausible story. However, because we do not have a whole picture, and the case has been settled, we won’t hear from the victim.

    However, I did hear from the victim long before the lawsuit. I saw documentation and heard her personal testimony. When she told me the story, it was very clear that Ravi Zacharias groomed her. This was no conspiracy. Her husband highly respected Ravi Zacharias. She wouldn’t knowingly do something to someone her husband respected. I believe this victim.

    The reason she spoke out to me was because she was concerned that he might do this again and she didn’t want any other women to get hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Jules, …WOW, but not surprised relative to what’s going on in so-called “Evangelical Christianity” today..given all this foolishness, WHY would anyone believe ANYTHING these people have to say concerning the Gospel? I mean, this behavior screams practical atheism; at the same time, these hucksters stay at it for the $$$, that’s it, it’s the $$$, I’m so tired of hearing “we’re ALL sinners” and this kind of stuff; it is true but it’s becoming apparent that this lines is used as a cover by the sycophant followers because “____________ done so much good”…blah, blah, blah… Yes, my head is spinning and I’m spewing green stuff from my innermost being…I’m just so tired of things like this from so many directions. I’ll stop now…

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  8. Sadly, I’m no longer surprised by any famous “Christian” leader being exposed as a phony and liar these days. Dark times.

    The perks of fame, elitism, unearned respect, influence and control over others, not to mention the vast flows of easy contribution money and materialism… a perfect set-up for those that lust after these things and have no conscience about conning and manipulating people to fulfill their desires.

    When did the humble church become instead a movement lead by wealthy, adulated super-leaders who operate far removed from the real church of ordinary people of faith? If the money simply stopped flowing to these fake ministries, most of the phonies would pack up and go elsewhere. If we stopped idolizing these fake teachers, ALL of them would dry up and blow away.

    This expose of Ravi Z. is well done and documentation is provided. I played it again a second time at 0.25 speed, and turned off the audio so that I could see the documentation a little better.

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  9. I’m sad to say that I’m not surprised, either. Too much competition between ministries seeking funds, too much limelight, too much at stake once you’re found to be a liar/predator/embezzler. I continue to love Jesus, and look for churches where there is more humble service to the community than self-aggrandizement.

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  10. Sadly, I’m no longer surprised by any famous “Christian” leader being exposed as a phony and liar these days. Dark times.

    At this point, someone being ‘famous’, having a big following, and definitely a large salary are reasons to be suspicious!

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  11. Important New Video about Apologist Ravi Zacharias: Alleged False Credentials, Lawsuit, Online Relationship with Married Woman

    Given the Christian Leaders exposed on this and other watchblogs:
    Fake credentials, Honey on the side, SO WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

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  12. I couldn’t help but notice that among the Jesus Bible contributors, along with Ravi, (Honorary) PhD there was John Piper, PhD. Although that was technically inaccurate (It’s a DTh, or ThD and I haven’t looked at it in 43 years) I did indeed earn a real doctorate from a real institution. But you won’t catch me calling myself or having others call me Dr John. I have indeed referred to PhD’s as “stupid” and the “gobs and gobs” of wrong stuff you have to read to get one as “junk”. That being said, my dissertation “Love Your Enemies” was likely better stuff than 98.6% of the gobs and gobs of wrong junk I’ve churned out in the subsequent 43 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. It’s really shocking. I saw some of his videos at church and thought he had a really good approach to questioning the foundations of his opponents’ arguments.

    I can see why he would be tempted to fake his credentials because I think it gets his foot in the door at institutions that would never offer a stage to someone who is just an MDiv or whatever. Where I used to work there was a huge crackdown on academic credentials when it was discovered that one of the vice presidents hadn’t even graduated from college. They set up a room where we were required to bring in our diplomas for consultants to check that we hadn’t lied. It was a circus.

    I still have a modicum of respect for him because it doesn’t sound from the video that the relationship was abusive. Inappropriate, yes. I hope that he does the right thing and comes forward with the truth instead of trying to cover it all up to save his empire.

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  14. My own expectation for anyone who has any sort of voice is high. I do not buy into “everyone sins” BS. Is it not Paul who says we are to move on to perfection? Trying to move forward in maturity not going backwards.

    Ravi’s actions speak of someone not saved or someone newly saved who is still trying to move forward in understanding the fundamental elements of the transformation of salvation. Not a seasoned mature follower of Christ working on the minute , fine tuning sins the Holy Spirit reveals to us . Convictions should be getting more detailed as we move on to becoming more like Christ.

    Lying about ones credentials, sexual imorality are such base sins and to me and it reflects that his inner walk never grew into the fullness of Christ.
    So was he ever convicted? Was he ever saved? Did he just find an avenue to make money? Did he find an avenue to build his intellectual ego ? Because he certainly didnt build up his morality being a Christian did he?

    Personally I dont think he ” fell into sin” I dont think he ever got out of it in the first place. These are well intentioned sins. Lying about the credentials was a ploy to move forward in his career. And from a wealth standpoint he has been successful.

    So who is he really serving? You cant serve God and money. Clearly we can see he wasnt serving God based on his sin, and efforts to hide his sin, and his bank account seems to be reflective of who he serves as there is more weight on that side of the scale.
    This is a no brainer to me, he has rotten fruit, and his tree is diseased.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Also, I’m not sure what to think about the board. I read a bunch of the Bill Gothard/IBLP stuff and to my untrained legal eye, it seems like there is a special category of non-profits where it is something like a sole proprietorship. So, IBLP was essentially a vehicle for Gothard to do ministry under his own name and the board seemingly served at his discretion.

    Having served on a ministry board, I was shocked at how much the unspoken tone was cheerleading the ministry and not holding them accountable. I think how they act at the inflection point is very telling. They can either protect the truth, or protect their empire. In this case, it seems that the empire is more important than the truth.

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  16. @pink cherry blossoms “This is a no brainer to me, he has rotten fruit, and his tree is diseased.”

    King David did this and worse, yet he was a “man after God’s own heart” and listed in Hebrews as one of the heroes of faith. I think we have to wait and see if the Holy Spirit works in Ravi’s heart to convict him of this wrong direction and we see fruit bearing repentance. Right now, I feel we’re at the point where Nathan tells David “You are the man!” I’m concerned because the evidence showing that he’s deleted the evidence on his website about the Ph.D. claim makes me think that he has chosen to dig deeper into his sin, but there is still time for him to come forward.

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  17. “Ravi’s actions speak of someone not saved”
    Dropping my Piper schtick– the real Piper asked “Why do PhDs in Theology Commit Adultery”. His answer: “They don’t know God.”
    Really he needs to add to the question as “Why do PhDs, fake PhDs, Pastors, and Fake Pastors commit Unbiblical Knowing, Texting, Sexting, Groping, Spanking, and Inappropriate Relationships?” They don’t know God. They’ve become fond of the adultery alternatives because actually having a traditional affair involving romance, love notes, candlelight dinners, and traditional bedroom activities with the secret admirer is a career killer. But they figure they can bounce back from anything else.

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  18. King David did this and worse, yet he was a “man after God’s own heart” and listed in Hebrews as one of the heroes of faith.

    Mark, I’m sure you mean well but I’m starting to get a twitch when people do things like this in ministries and anybody mentions David…However,

    Right now, I feel we’re at the point where Nathan tells David “You are the man!”

    This may be true. And how people respond tells you quite a lot. Did he immediately repent or did he lie some more?

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Speaking of, when women have any kind of ‘moral failure’ they never get compared to and excused because of David. It’s straight to Jezebel with them!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. @mark

    Just a quote here from Zac Poonen.

    (((King Saul knew that he had sinned; but he wanted to confess his sin privately to Samuel. He told Samuel, “I have sinned; but please honour me now before the elders of my people and before Israel” (1 Sam.15:30). King David also sinned – far more seriously than Saul; but he wrote a psalm and acknowledged his sin publicly (Psalm 51).

    Jesus told the Pharisees that their greatest sin was that they sought to justify themselves before men (Luke 16:15). God hates this sin more than any other. There is very little hope for a backslider who wants to justify himself before men.

    God’s word to sinners has always been: “Only acknowledge your sin” (Jer.3:13).)))

    People acknowledge sin but then move right back into place like nothing ever happened. But do they acknowledge it and take ownership? Or do they blame something, someone, or the devil? As in the case of Josh Duggar who said satan built a fortress in his heart. Only after he got caught and it became a media circus?

    Ravi, has had a lot of chances to come forward, right his wrongs and take ownership. Will he do it now because he is getting caught and a media storm ensues? Then he has to do it to serve and save his empire he has built for himself. It will appears to repent to save his reputation. And most adoring Christians will believe it and put him back up on the pedestal , like they always do.

    Look, I’m no theologian or apologetics prof. But i undersrand the Lord’s conviction of sin. I understand right and wrong. I understand a hard heart who doesnt listen to conviction from the HS because I have one.

    For Ravi to be like David I think he should have come forward long ago, not waiting until he was caught or a media frenzy.
    The NT always telling us to watch, discern, and look for false teaching, wolves.
    MATT 7:15-20
    Ravi has groomed, been sexually inappropriate, and tried to hide it by his actions and has not publically come forward by his own convictions of the HS and confessed his sin. Nope. Hes going full steam ahead.

    A bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit. He is dripping fruit of deception off his branches. Buds of sexual imorality have blossomed into full on fruit of sexual sin with a woman whom he apparently groomed. What fruit is that?
    Exploitation? Manipulation? Sexual Abuse? That is all fruit that has been polinated and grown to fruition from HIS tree.
    “Thus by their fruit you will recognize them.”
    Every tree that bears bad fruit must be cur down and thrown into the fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. What about Sandy Patti?

    Did people compare her to David?? All I remember is a friend in high school telling me about it and how she was so devastated and I was like, why? She is a total stranger!

    [I’m not saying people can’t have an affair and still be a Christian. That’s a complicated question. But women never seem to be excused in such a blasé fashion in this culture…]

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I’m sick of the doctrine called “hyper-grace.” Once you ask Jesus into your heart you can live in a way that makes Satan proud, do whatever feels good, and sin like a trooper. Then God still has to let you into Heaven. Ain’t justification by faith grand?

    Read 1 Corinthians about the young man sleeping with his step-mom. The Apostle Paul wasn’t pleased with the way the immature Christians were joking about the matter. Ah, hyper-grace! 😛

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  23. Yeah, you’re right Mark, how many Pastors having abused female parishioners, raped kids, or trying to force female parishioners and we didn’t defend them as “men after God’s own heart”, how silly of us. You are trying to engage the “well he’s done so much good” argument, this “wait and see” attitude is really “let’s wait and see if any bad out weighs the good he’s done” attitude. Wow, wait a minute, I should lie about MY credentials because who knows, maybe I could get a better job that I would otherwise have no chance at…WAIT! WAIT! BETTER! I’ll just LIE to demonstrate the GRACE OF GOD better! Yeah, that’s it, I will LIE because it would get me my foot into doors that would embarrass me AND Christ when they find out that I LIED to get my foot in the door…..are ya feel’n me?

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  24. @Rachel (Part Two)

    “Read 1 Corinthians about the young man sleeping with his step-mom. The Apostle Paul wasn’t pleased with the way the immature Christians were joking about the matter. Ah, hyper-grace! 😛

    But, but WAIT! He could have gotten his foot in the door of the local Male-Whore Mongers Union 101 with credentials like THAT! Ya know, we better wait until “all the evidence is in” before we condemn the guy, I mean really…I could go on with the absurdity, the point is, TELLING a lie is still a LIE, LIVING the lie leads to MORE lies and before you know it, you’re grooming a married woman for your own sinful pleasure.

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  25. Christian Apologists are often the smart ones that struggling, despairing Christians like me look to: he’s smart, he makes sense, and he convinced that the New Testament eye-witness accounts are true. That’s comforting to see when one wonders if the whole Christian Faith is BS.

    So, to see prolonged deceit like this from a foremost Christian apologist is especially disappointing.

    I’ve already come to think that many popular Christian apologists are amazingly bad (think Frank Turek or Ray Comfort). I had thought RZ was one of the better ones. What a shame.

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Yes, and in 2 Corinthians, the thought is that it is the very same man who Paul is pleading for the church to restore to fellowship.

    Michael, I’m not sure what you’re saying. I watched the video and it is not condemning Ravi of abuse, molestation or even “adultery”. So, why are you asking me to lump him in with my condemnation of those who abuse, rape or molest?

    I learned about this today, so I don’t know, besides the accusations on the video, how long Ravi has had to come clean. I’m not trying to defend him, and I’m not calling him a man after God’s own heart. I’m saying that if these accusations have just come to light, that we give him a chance. I would say that if David were in church ministry, part of his repentance would be stepping down permanently from that ministry, which I think is also appropriate in Ravi’s case. He should step down.

    I’ve honestly struggled with this with a lot of Christians in my life. I grew up in an emotionally abusive family. Are my mom, my dad, my brothers, wolves because they bought into an abusive spiritual system? I left an abusive church. Is my former pastor a wolf? My former elders? Fellow congregants who parroted the same emotional and spiritual abuse that came from the leaders? Those are people who have shown a pattern of abuse. What about the kid who punched me in the face in middle school? Is he destined for Hell?

    Lea, sorry that bringing up David conjured up those memories. My point was not that we should forgive and restore “God’s man”. I’m saying that we should be careful to label him a wolf or judge him not a Christian. I’m not saying put him back on the pedestal. If he wants his ministry to continue, it needs to be without him. He needs to publicly repent and let his board find a suitable replacement.

    Rachel, completely agree – I think the church often gives hyper-grace to the “project” people, and hyper-grace to the leaders, but reserves strict judgment to the rest. I’ve been avoiding reading Paul lately because he’s used a lot in abusive churches, but I found in re-reading his letters that while Corinthians seems to be a strong case against hyper-grace, so Galatians seems to be a strong case against legalism. So, the solution to hyper-grace isn’t to immediately jump to the opposite extreme.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Lea, sorry that bringing up David conjured up those memories. My point was not that we should forgive and restore “God’s man”. I’m saying that we should be careful to label him a wolf or judge him not a Christian.

    I am very careful about judging people not a Christian, but oh that David comparison gets throw around so so frequently. Irritating. You could as easily compare all these guys with every terrible, horrible no-good bible figure who was never ‘redeemed’ or sorry or anything.

    I would not be careful to label someone who takes advantage a wolf though. Did you lie and cheat in order to get money, power, sex? You are a wolf. Period. A wolf hurts the flock. That is an apt comparison.

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  28. Mark: “So the solution to hyper-grace is not to jump in the opposite direction.”

    I agree. We humans are bad about jumping from one sinful extreme to another.

    That said, we are more in danger of hyper-grace now than legalism in many churches. (Westboro Baptists, some extreme complementarians and other radical fringe movements aside.) Just like we’re more apt to become libertines and hedonists rather than self-righteous prudes in our current culture.

    C.S. Lewis addresses this in The Screwtape Letters. Screwtape, the demon mentoring young Wormwood, tells him how the boys in the back office (propoganda demons) work to promote some attitude to a ridiculous extreme. Right now we are obsessed with “tolerance” and “not judging” when we need to be concerned about righteous living and discernment.

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  29. Having grown up in legalism, I’m more sensitive to that than to hyper-grace.

    Lea, I think I get it, but there seem to be strong differences between saying that someone abused and someone is an abuser. For example, “A Cry for Justice” would say that “abuser” is a term reserved for someone who shows a pattern of abuse, and they would call that synonymous with “wolf”. A sheep biting another sheep doesn’t make it a wolf. It may be mistakenly doing the bidding of a wolf. Wolves are very, very skilled at turning the sheep against each other, in my experience, in a way that really can’t be traced back to them as easily. Just like Gothard and his brother used unwitting accomplices to isolate the women he was grooming.

    As I said, I’m struggling with this definitionally because there are people like my dad, who, as far as I could tell tried to live out his faith with integrity, yet, he bought into an authoritarian and emotionally abusive theological system (the one that is pervasive in Evangelical churches today) that caused me a lot of harm. But… he also submitted himself to the same sort of emotional abuse by his authorities in church and church ministry.

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  30. I’m probably in the minority here. Unfortunately many Christian leaders have not distinguished their Honorary vs Earned Doctorates. Many. I was heartened when RZ did make the corrections to his bio and website, however I don’t know how long that process took.

    Re: the criticism of Ravi’s M.Div from Trinity University. which formerly was Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS). It is a respectable degree from an Accredited, respectable school. Because MDivs do take Greek and Hebrew language classes for these “professional” degrees, this criticism seems a bit harsh.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I see what you’re saying mark but I think you’re overthinking. Relationships that last for years are a patten? If you have made enough money from church things to get rich (and you haven’t given most of it away) you are showing pattern. Most abuse is a pattern. Idk. I see no need to minimize. Saying someone is a wolf doesn’t mean they can’t change, but I’m not assuming the best when I’ve seen the worst.

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  32. Well you just can’t trust anyone anymore. I did like quoting him and liked some of his books too. Oh well, back to the Bible.

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  33. “Unfortunately many Christian leaders have not distinguished their Honorary vs Earned Doctorates.”

    I’ve not heard of any accredited institution awarding an honorary Ph.D. The school I went to would typically confer a “Doctor of Letters” as an honorary degree to noteworthy commencement speakers.

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  34. Should say that statement is akin to “Unfortunately many medical doctors have not distinguished between honorary or earned doctorates.”

    Having a lot of academic experience…. honorary doctorates are a joke. Colleges hand them out to noteworthy people who are willing to speak at graduation ceremonies. I can’t imagine someone who received an honorary degree then trying to pass that as real academic credentials. It’s a complete insult to those who actually did the work of researching and advancing their field and defending that work in front of academic peers.

    Here’s an example statement from WVU: “Honorary degrees are not Ph.D.s, nor do they entitle the recipient to the same professional privileges as individuals who have earned degrees. … Honorary degree recipients are properly addressed as “doctor” in correspondence from the university that awarded the honorary degree and in conversation on that campus. But honorary degree recipients should not refer to themselves as “doctor”, nor should they use the title on business cards or in correspondence.”

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  35. I grew up being raped by church pastors and deacons. My mother said she was a Christian but sent me out to get abused by men. To this day she still goes to church. Still claims Christianity. She is still manipulative. My mother has never apologized to me. Never even acknowledged what she did to me. Neither has any of those men who were deacons, moderators and a pastor.
    That pastor is still praised to this day for being an incredible pastor even though he is dead.
    All of them are wolves.
    There comes a time when we are responsible for our own walk with God. We are accountable for seeking and finding. We are accountable for what we sit under and who we let speak into our lives. If any of those things we listen to or believe are counter to the message of the Gospel it is on us to figure it out.

    I could have stayed under abuse, under false doctrine from a wing nut church, or stayed under the pastor who raped me. Even today, i am constantly sifting through people who are standing in authority with a Bible in hand. Checking the fruit, trying to see what goes on in their churches. In their ministries.
    I spent years under a false teacher and there were things that alarmed me. I chose to stay because it appeared Godly, or like God was moving. But eventually, things didnt add up. And i finally listened to my conscience and left. I am glad i did because some of my previous friends are so lost in deception i cant even fathom they believe what they believe.
    Scripture is clear not to be swayed by every wind of doctrine that blows our way.
    I really believe those warnings in scripture need to be applied all the time. They were put there for a reason.
    So to be clear each one of us is responsible for what we choose to believe. It is my belief that if we choose to seek him and follow him with a really humble heart he will lead us into truth.
    Most people i have known would not leave a church for all sorts of reasons. One friend said she didnt come for the teaching but for the social aspect. Some go because they are esteemed and would lose that if they left. Some people have hard hearts and dont leave because they are stubborn and think they are right. Some stay because they have influence or a “calling”. And my daughters old boyfriend’s mother went to a church that didnt convict her of sin. She didnt like a certain church because it made her feel convicted. That lady was a viscious wolf.
    Obviously, my mother stays because she gets something out of it. But shes a wolf. 100%
    I am not saying at all leaving abuse, or wrong doctrine is easy. Its a spiderweb of torment at times. False doctrine really messes with you. Abuse can be devastating beyond measure.
    When i think back to my friends , and an aquaintance who died recently believing the craziest stuff ever , i turn to scripture where it says in Romans 1:18-32 it starts off saying God shows all his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people Who SUPPRESS THE TRUTH in unrighteousness. They know God because he has made it obvious to them. Then it list sins which are a consequence of suppressing the truth. Paul lists all the ways God reveals himself through creation , conscience,the word and his son .But instead of obeying the truth they suppress it.they pushed it down and didnt let it have an effect on them.
    Because it asks us to change, its inconvemient, it asks us to worship someone other than ourselves.
    It can be done with all truth , or parts we dont like. If we reject the truth God will blind us so vs we dont see the truth. Vs 19, 20 ,21. You become futile in your thoughts.
    Vs26 for this reason God gave them up, over to a debase mind.
    1. God reveals himself, 2. we reject or suppress that revelation, vs 28 they did not like to retain God in their knowledge.3. God gives them over to a reprobate mind so they dont understand anything. Paul says this 3x in romans.
    Psalm 81:11 but my people would not head my voice, and Israel would not hear my voice so i gave them over to their own stubborn heart to walk in their own council. Isaiah 6: 8-10
    Matt 13:14-17
    The sermon which this is taken from is on sermonindex Anton Bosch. HEARING GOD.

    Its about how we dont want to hear the truth but filter out things we dont like.

    Anyway the reason I got into that is a poster above was questioning his parent salvation because they were in an abusive church , under abusive doctrine.
    Its a great sermon and addresses pharisees and howcome tgey cant see the truth. It also addresses us on how we filter out stuff.
    My mother has sat in church for 42 yrs filtering out the truth. How do i know? Because she has never ever pursued me to acknowledge or apologise what she did.
    Is she saved? I highly doubt it.
    She and many others are like her. They are wolves dressed as sheep. I dont mind calling out leaders who are blatant wolves.
    Is Ravi a wolf? Well in my opinion he is suppressing the truth, he’s lying. He’s grooming and leading a woman astray, and trying to cover it up.

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  36. I believe you. I don’t think the abuse I suffered holds a candle to that. Mine was mostly systemic and not personal in the way yours was. That’s why I struggle with saying that those who are blind to abuse in an abusive system are abusers. I was just as much a participant in that system as those who I would now have to call wolves. It wasn’t until it escalated and became more personal that God opened my eyes and that started a journey where I learned more and more how abusive the systems were.

    But… I don’t think that my salvation came when my eyes were opened to the abusive system. I don’t think I had to be converted away from being complementarian before God would accept me.

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  37. Julie Anne, you read something the woman wrote that I haven’t. I’m curious why you call her a victim. Did Ravi blackmail or threaten her for nude selfies? And what is the difference between grooming and artful seduction?

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  38. Good questions, Rachel. I have been privy to more information from the source. And that information has led me to the conclusion that she is a victim. Grooming has to do with a person with power or a position of trust over another person. Ravi is a powerful person and I believe he used his position to coerce her to send nude selfies. Keep in mind that if you have read the lawsuit, you have only read Ravi’s narrative – what he wants you to think. There are two sides. I believe the victim.

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  39. I read the response. Seems like he’d rather go down in flames than admit that the claims are true. I also noticed that the RZIM website has some clause that says that the content of his bio cannot be copied or edited without their express permission.

    It upsets me as someone who grew up with a great respect for academia that this sort of dishonesty would be tolerated at the expense of more than a millennium of tradition. I’m sure the same people would scoff at a Bachelors’ degree in “women’s studies” yet, here they show their true colors by allowing a man to demand the title of Dr. without having done the academic work necessary to earn it.

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  40. I haven’t read his narrative either. Just watched the video you provided. If he lied about his credentials it does hurt his credibility in other areas.

    Sigh. I always liked Ravi Zacharias.

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  41. And what is the difference between grooming and artful seduction?

    I don’t know the specifics of this situation. I would argue that a man who seduces a woman in order to use her is not a good man. Men like this…they lie. They aren’t honest.

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  42. If he lied about his credentials it does hurt his credibility in other areas.

    Really?????

    I disagree. That isn’t to say every word he speaks is a lie, of course. But it does show a certain mercenary outlook on life.

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  43. Lea, I am not defending Ravi’s character. But seducing while sinful implies an adulterous liaison–sin between equals. Just because a man makes me a luscious offer of carnal delights does not force me to accept it. Grooming implies victimization Not all adulterers are victims obviously–and this includes many women..Rape by brute force or drugging, threats, or tricking a woman into a fake wedding are obviously one-sided as far as guilt goes.

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  44. Wow Julie Anne! You must have hit a nerve. Just read the RZIM Facebook post about false internet accusations, etc., etc…
    I felt sick while reading all the people who support him, who say it doesn’t matter, that are praying for him against satan’s attacks…. 🤢
    I wrote a couple of comments as well (and took screenshots if they disappear).

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  45. Good for you, Sandra. When people are so devoted to someone that they lose basic critical thinking skills, I get concerned.

    The reason RZIM issued a statement like that is most likely because he doesn’t have the credentials. If he did have them, the proper response would be to say, “here they are.” And show them. This is basic. Very basic.

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  46. Sandra, I don’t support liars, it makes all the difference in the world, and I am praying for Zacharias to repent. I feel sadder than if he had died. 😦 But I can’t defend that man!

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  47. The belief that it is a “satanic attack” just makes my skin crawl. It seems anytime some Christian is caught doing anything bad, that is the first response.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Exactly, PCB, as if they forgot that we are all sinners and make bad choices. Giving Satan the credit is simply blame shifting. It takes the focus off the person who sinned and gets them off the hook. Ugh!

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  49. I have seen Ravi Z on TV a time or two.

    I don’t defend any of his immoral behavior or dishonesty. Having said that.

    How would the atheist guy behind that Ravi Watch site feel if, say, a non-atheist tried to somehow discredit atheism by establishing a “Richard Dawkins Watch” site, pointing out whatever lapses of conduct that Dawkins was capable of?

    Ironically, one of a few things driving me away from the Christian faith is this very Ravi like issue of Christians and faulty orthopraxy. They will spout all the right things but not try to live up to it.

    However, I’m intellectually honest enough to say that doesn’t necessarily disprove the Gospels, or the trustworthiness of the Bible, and so on.

    My view is, all the Bible (and Jesus) may very well be true, but what good is any of that since it / they has not transformed people’s lives, since we see so many who profess to believe in it (or to believe in Jesus), yet still get caught out having affairs, lying about things, etc etc etc?

    Anyway. Even if Ravi Z is a lying hound dog, that in and of itself does not disprove any and every argument he’s made against atheist or for Christianity or theism.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Richard Dawkins, the diva drama queen. Said nasty stuff to an airline attendant. Announced pregnant women have a moral duty to abort babies with Down’s Syndrome. Don’t be like Richard Dawkins. Join our church. 🙂

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  51. Hi Daisy,

    Here’s an about page about Steve’s agenda in covering Ravi Zacharias -> http://www.raviwatch.com/about/

    You mentioned here:

    Anyway. Even if Ravi Z is a lying hound dog, that in and of itself does not disprove any and every argument he’s made against atheist or for Christianity or theism.

    I think perhaps it is a possibility Steve might agree with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Just because a man makes me a luscious offer of carnal delights does not force me to accept it.

    Ah, but you are missing something here. It’s not the ‘come have sex with me’ that draws you in. That’s pretty easy to brush off. It’s the I love you. I care about you. Tell me about your day. Etc. That’s where they get you.

    Grooming implies victimization.

    I don’t know whether I like the term grooming for adult sexual relationships or not. I’m torn on it. But seduction that includes lies can be deeply painful. It’s all in what is said and what is presented and what is the truth. As I said, I don’t know about this situation but I’ve seen this type of man before.

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  53. The term “victim” originated with Julie Anne. But she knows more than I do so I don’t feel qualified to argue her. Not all adult sexual relationships involve grooming–just abusive ones. (From what I hear Fifty Shades of Gray and even Twilight involve “heroes” grooming ingenues.)

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  54. About a Satanic attack: generally Satan knocks at the spiritual door. The person “under attack” opens the door wide and cheerfully buys everything the evil one has and asks for catalogs!

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  55. This post has gotten me to thinking about the subject of grooming. My personal belief based on life experience is that abusive grooming is very real. It is done for the sole benefit of the groomer, to achieve his/her lusts and goals. It does not benefit the victim in the long run, but rather destroys them. But the groomer doesn’t want the victim to know that.

    It is possible for a groomer to exert a most powerful and cunning control over another person’s mind and heart. This is done through many avenues, including complex deceit, repetitive false memes about love, loyalty, the future, etc., baiting and entrapment over a long period of time.

    Groomers can lead or brain-wash others to do things that go completely against their own (the victim’s) conscience and original values. Given enough access and time, a groomer can strip the victim of their sanity, dignity, integrity and even life.

    The Lord fully knows each person and situation, and He is full of wrath against the wicked who lead others to stumble or sin. He knows intimately the extent to which a victim had the ability and knowledge to resist. In a lot of cases, that ability is very near or actually zero.

    It’s my hope that victims who have been deceived into doing things that they regret, that they find peace and healing.

    Liked by 2 people

  56. This is done through many avenues, including complex deceit, repetitive false memes about love, loyalty, the future, etc., baiting and entrapment over a long period of time.

    Yes! I think people don’t realize always how hard it can be to tell the real thing from the fake thing. Easy in hindsight, when you know the truth. Difficult in the moment, when your emotions are involved.

    It’s my hope that victims who have been deceived into doing things that they regret, that they find peace and healing.

    I hope so too.

    I want to say something about intentions…I know there is that ‘road to hell’ expression, but I do believe intent matters. If you enter into a thing with an intent to use someone or deceive, that is different than if you only wish to love and receive love but have made an error. Maybe that can help in forgiving yourself.

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  57. @Daisy, I think that it’s different. Not that I watch either, but I don’t think people watch 19 Kids and Counting and Keeping up with the Kardashians for the same reasons. What I see with the Duggars is that they are projecting an image of a wholesome family that is an example to other families. A life that is worth living. The Kardashians seem to be about providing entertainment value and not necessarily an example for us all to follow.

    In the same way, when we look at Christian leaders. They are or should be saying, “follow me as I follow Christ” Their lives should exemplify who they are following. Dawkins never said that. Dawkins isn’t saying I’m a wonderful moral person. He’s just saying that he can’t find a compelling intellectual argument for God and he is making intellectual arguments against God.

    I think Paul talks about leadership qualifications for that reason. We shouldn’t be afraid to reject a so-called Christian leader who is caught in sin like this. We don’t necessarily say that person is a wolf, but we know that person no longer meets the qualifications of a Christian leader.

    Re: Satanic attack. I think the real Satanic attack is not in the form of the truth coming out, but in the form of doubling down on falsehood. I don’t get why we are so addicted to living a lie that we would reject an uncomfortable truth.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. JA commented: “Nyssa, I’m puzzled by the defendant’s lawyer’s letter, too.’
    You know, I was all jumping on the bandwagon to lump Mr (not, apparently, Dr) Zacharias in with all the scoundrels who use their positions as spiritual leaders to abuse men, women, and children. UNTIL I read Mr Bryant’s letter. Now I’m leaning the other direction. Looks like a gambit by an ambulance-chasing shyster for an easy payday. I mean– what honest lawyer (and I know some DO exist) would send a letter like that? Please send a certified check for 5 biggies and we promise to go away all quiet like. It’s more like something you’d get from the king of Nigeria.
    Did CON’s lawyer send you a letter like that when they were looking for a paltry 500k? And then there’s the settlement. You tweeted, “I wonder what funds Ravi Zacharias used for the settlement?”
    Well– no funds whatsoever, of course. He sued them. The only possible settlement would have to look something like “We agree to drop our lawsuit and you agree to cease and desist making accusations against our client and pay our legal expenses.”
    Imagine you’d decided to settle with CON. Would not something like this have been what his lawyers would have asked?

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  59. Pingback: Linkathon! - PhoenixPreacher

  60. Mark I think you nailed it with this statement. “I think Paul talks about leadership qualifications for that reason. We shouldn’t be afraid to reject a so-called Christian leader who is caught in sin like this. We don’t necessarily say that person is a wolf, but we know that person no longer meets the qualifications of a Christian leader”

    We have no problem calling out and rejecting others in leadership such as teachers, bosses, or celebrity icons, but come hell or high water if he is in a christian ministry we will defend that man til the day we both die .
    There is so much in scripture about how elders are to be, and specific sins listed and yet, it all gets shoved under the rug when one gets caught doing them.

    Personally, even if Ravi has said some great things, I won’t reccommend him to any one, because he has obviously failed in some very fundamental no no’s.
    If any Joe blow, I know lies to me about dumb stuff, I write him off because his lying has taught me he doesn’t value the truth.
    There are all kinds of lying. Lying by ommission is just as bad as telling an out right lie, because its pure deception. Embellishment of the truth is still lying.

    We teach our children not to lie from the earliest moment they can do it. This is not news to Ravi. He knows what he has done. It’s on the 10 commandments for Pete’s sake. It should be taken as seriously as any other sin.
    For me if someone is willing to lie it tells me a lot about their moral compass. Why did he lie? Obviously he loves and values himself so much it was worth the lie, he has ambition to succeed , to be noticed, to be honored, emulated , talked about etc. For me I Wonder why he needed to be elevated so much that it was worth lying about his credentials? PRIDE. I’m smart, I have something to say, listen to me.

    And as a side note, people seem to forget altogether what happened to Ananias and Sapphira, for not disclosing the whole truth. Lying by ommission. It’s deception.
    It didn’t go well for the both of them. And yet, people just flip the page and don’t even read or take note of how agregious that sin is for them both to have been struck dead.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. Mark, I had a psychotic break at age 9, because I was forced to cover for abusers at church. Even to the point of dishonesty. I had always been taught lying was a sin. Because of the “split” in what was real and what we said I almost lost touch with reality for a long time.

    Never been molested though.

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  62. @PCB, “For me I Wonder why he needed to be elevated so much that it was worth lying about his credentials? PRIDE. I’m smart, I have something to say, listen to me.”

    Yes, I think that’s the root. He wants to be heard and expand his audience. He’s smart, so what is the harm in inflating the credentials a bit so people think the accomplishments match the brilliance? I’m sure he could have been all that, but it would have taken him time and money and hard work, which was seemingly at odds with his vision.

    I grew up with a very ‘romantic’ view of education. A degree wasn’t something to be obtained with the minimal amount of effort, but merely a representation of an accomplishment. The real point of the education was having that time to learn. I didn’t even get amazing grades, because learning was often at odds with the demands of a professor. Like… what is the point of memorizing 10 equations when I can look them up in a book? Isn’t it more important that I know how to use them? I was really annoyed by the students who obsessed about what was on the test and just how much work they had to do to make a B or A.

    At the same time, I know really brilliant people who have little more than a high school education, or someone with a Masters’ degree who was more brilliant than the swarm of Ph.D’s around him. But… they didn’t lie about it.

    @Rachel, I can’t believe what evil things are done to kids in the name of Christ. I was never asked to cover up abuse, but there were a few abusive episodes I experienced where I knew if I went to the church it would be turned back on me. Later, I did test the waters and it confirmed my suspicions.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. @PCB, “For me I Wonder why he needed to be elevated so much that it was worth lying about his credentials? PRIDE. I’m smart, I have something to say, listen to me.”

    It could be insecurity rather than pride. If you are secure in yourself, why lie?

    Or it could be a simple means to an end. I want job/position X, so I lie about Y.

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  64. Oh, my sources tell me there was indeed a settlement to the victim. Most definitely.

    I’ve had to separate her attorney’s demand letter out of this. I know her story. And I’ve read the narrative presented by RZ’s attorney. Very little matches between the two.

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  65. Once Zacharias was confronted about the bogus credentials, there should be only 2 options:

    1) Show the credentials, and it will stop immediately. (That’s not happening.)

    2) Admit the credentials were false. (That’s also not happening.)

    What is happening:
    -Blame messenger
    -Steve Baughman is an atheist, no wonder he’s causing trouble
    -Satan is just trying to attack RZ and his good name
    -RZ is being persecuted because of all of his good work.
    -RZ would never do something like that. I believe RZ and trust him.
    -RZ must be doing something right if he’s being attacked.

    All of the above is just noise – noise from people who are not using critical thinking skills. Either he is credentialed or he is not. All of the “noise” is irrelevant.

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Okay, maybe I’m different, but I was pretty insecure. I got into a dual-degree masters’ program. When I first met my engineering advisor in his office, he said, “I have to let you know that we’re not sure why you were admitted. There was something messed up with the application process, but here we are.” I was completely floored by that. A year or so later, we met to discuss my thesis and he said, “Ah… one of my REAL engineering students” (I was admitted to the engineering department, not the less difficult major like many of my classmates). I said. “I thought my admission was a mistake.” He said, “Oh heavens no! That’s just something I say to all my advisees to see their reaction.”

    So, there I was in grad school for a year with this thought in my mind that I wasn’t quite good enough to make the cut. Talk about insecurity. But still… never tempted to inflate my credentials, on the other hand, I was never really in fear of being denied opportunities because of a lack of academic credentials.

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  67. I thought I wanted to be a manager until I got to observe co-workers that were promoted to be first-level managers. They’re in meetings all day and still have a job to do, which they usually take home every night. They only get a real vacation if their boss is also on vacation because they get work calls/texts/e-mails 24/7. More zeroes does not make a life like that worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  68. Too many men are selling themselves instead of the Word of God.
    Books, CD’s, DVD’s, conferences, etc.
    I was guilty of this for years.
    Wanting to hear what these respected men had to say about the word of God.
    I only watch and listen to one man now who has been teaching small groups for over 60 years. No stories, no jokes, just the Word of God in humility.

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  69. JA
    You mention credentials. Dr Billy Graham has an honorary Doctorate from a Catholic institution. He has never been under scrutiny. Just sayin 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  70. @JulieAnne:

    Oh, my sources tell me there was indeed a settlement to the victim. Most definitely.

    With the usual attached gag order?
    No sign, no money.

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  71. Hannah, Billy Graham doesn’t pretend his doctorate is something it isn’t and seldom gets called DOCTOR. There’s nothing wrong with honorary doctorates or just graduating high school. Shakespeare never went beyond the 8th grade.

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  72. Rachel

    I should have made my intent more clear.
    The point was that most don’t even know the Doctorate was from a Catholic institution, and that his crusades were funded by local archdioces.
    At his crusades. there were local Catholic priests behind the scenes to encourage all who walked forward to go to their local Catholic church.

    One of the reasons I would suspect they awarded him the doctorate.
    IMO, if he didn’t put in the schooling, he shouldn’t get a doctorate.
    What do you mean that there’s nothing wrong with honorary doctorates or graduating High school??

    I think I had several older Graham books where he listed himself as Dr.
    A doctorate is awarded for many years of study in a particular field, not to be given lightly.

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  73. Honorary degrees are awarded for outstanding achievement in a field. Langston Hughes had one for his body of literature.Often they are called Bachelors or Doctorate of Letters. Even ordinary degrees often allow for clepping or substituting life experience for college courses.

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  74. Hannah, “At his crusades. there were local Catholic priests behind the scenes to encourage all who walked forward to go to their local Catholic church.”

    It wasn’t just Catholic churches. When the crusade came to town, they asked the local churches to participate because they wanted people who answered the altar call to get plugged into local churches. My pastor at that time asked for volunteers to attend the meeting and come down to meet with new converts. It was ages ago, so the memory is very hazy.

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  75. Rachel- A TRUE doctorate degree is at least 4 years beyond a Bachelors and is the highest level of degree attained in a field.
    My doctorate took me 10 years

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  76. Mark- Don’t want to go off topic. There’s much information about the RCC early involvement and continued involvement in Graham crusades. His son even spoke about it several years back. That it was the best thing his father did, (involvement with them).

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  77. It certainly is superior to a Doctorate of Letters. If awarded one I would always clarify that it was only an “honorary degree.” The point I was making is in theory the recipient earns it by working unusually hard in their field. Oprah has an honorary Bachelors.

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  78. Hannah, there has been a lot of debate historically about what a doctorate means. For example, JD and MD were historically at the level of a masters degree, like an MDiv, but because it took so long to complete, there was a lot of whining and that led to essentially degree inflation. However, an MD is not a “terminal degree”.

    But, on the other hand, the idea of awarding a doctorate or masters came not primarily from academic study, but in honoring someone who had contributed significantly to the advancement of the field. So, for example, my masters’ thesis was an application of different theories in my fields and was accepted as such, but if I had presented that as a dissertation for a doctorate, it would not meet that level of scrutiny since it had not expanded the field in some novel way.

    So, then there are these weird circumstances… What do you do with someone who has obviously advanced the field yet does not have the academic credentials? For example, Thomas Edison or Nikola Tesla. Historically, colleges have conferred degrees upon these people who have demonstrated the depth of understanding and field expansion of a Ph.D. that don’t hold the academic weight of a Ph.D., but do mark a significant contribution to the field. But, given degree inflation… in my experience, colleges give out honorary doctorates like they’re nothing these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  79. JA- I tried twice to post a link to a blog where they listed all the well known TV Pastors who have bogus doctorates and PHD’s. It won’t go through.

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  80. Re

    In the same way, when we look at Christian leaders. They are or should be saying, “follow me as I follow Christ” Their lives should exemplify who they are following. Dawkins never said that. Dawkins isn’t saying I’m a wonderful moral person. He’s just saying that he can’t find a compelling intellectual argument for God and he is making intellectual arguments against God.

    I’d expect a person identifying as Christian to abide by certain morals, too, but… I’m talking about separating truth claims from behavior.

    If Ravi Z. says that two plus two equals four, does that become a false statement because he’s behaved inappropriately?

    If Richard Dawkins says that all zebras are pink and Earth’s sky is green with purple clouds, should I go along with that and agree with him and say he’s correct because he’s not claiming moral superiority?

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  81. Hannah, if you copy and paste the link, don’t worry about any html. If it doesn’t become a hyperlink, I will fix it. (But might be delayed. Singing tonight with my choirs. )

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  82. Pingback: Wednesday Link List | Thinking Out Loud

  83. Pingback: *Mr.* Ravi Zacharias Adds Pizzazz to His Bio and the Christian Industrial Complex Imposes the Cone of Silence | The Wartburg Watch 2017

  84. I read Throckmorton’s piece on Ravi’s credentials. I have been aware of this for some time, and it bothers me whenever Ravi does his apologetic spiel about seeking truth.

    I could actually do the same thing, by coincidence, as I think Ravi is doing. I started teacher training in Oxford, and by the time I started it it the college had been taken over by the university. I could seek to impress by saying ‘when I was at Oxford University’. Would I be lying? Not really, I was in a college affiliated to the university.

    But the impression that I had done an undergraduate course there, meaning I’m a bit of a genius, which is how most people would see it if you claimed to have ‘studied at an Oxford college’, would be false.

    The sad thing to me about this aspect is I so appreciate Ravi’s demeanour when he fields objections to the Christian faith. It is precisely the opposite to say John MacArthur, who I think does more harm than good by his harsh attitude, even if you agree with the gist of what he is saying.

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  85. Daisy – I have jousted with many a British atheist on the subject of religion, and many of them find Dawkins an embarrassment. They nickname him Prof. Dorkins!

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  86. Ravi Zachariah is a GREAT Christian teacher. I just love him. When I listen to him, he keeps me grounded in the Lord God Jesus Christ, he needs no defense and is as legit and real as they come! God has chosen this man and God never makes mistakes, God IS IN CONTROL. Ravi must be offending someone to be so attacked. It is expected. They attacked Jesus too and Jesus said, they attacked me they will attack you too. You are NOT greater than ME, but be of good cheer, I Jesus have overcome. Ravi, Jesus BLess you and Keep you, Jesus is there with you always.

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  87. Many of Ravi’s arguments for the existence of God hold true even if Ravi proves a scoundrel. More importantly, I am a Christian, not a Zacharian. Christ Jesus and His holy character saves me. Jesus cannot tell a lie.

    A good friend has always been devoted to Benny Hinn. When he was under scrutiny for tax fraud my friend defended him and got angry at those who disparaged Hinn. I gently reminded Vernon that Jesus was in control and He was perfect and holy no matter how Hinn or anyone else behaved.

    mkmfrommnandwi, I will be greatly relieved and happy if what you say is true and these are a bunch of lies. God is indeed in control. I’m not happy at the thought that Ravi Zacharias did such things and would rather believe him the victim of malicious slander. Let’s both pray that truth and justice prevail. No matter what.

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  88. Not many Attorney’s require people to call them “doctor” so and so. Although I’ve known one or two who were teaching in a University setting and insisted their students refer to them with that title, after all, they hold a Juris Doctor degree. Interestingly, most physicians are used to being called “doctor,” so and so, though they hold the equivalent counterpart in to the JD, the MD, Medical Doctor, or D.O., Doctor of Osteopathy. The M.Div. Ravi holds is likely 90-120 credit hours of graduate school, which puts his terminal degree in the same realm as many JD, MD, or PhD programs. Would Ravi’s critics be satisfied if he had a D.Min as opposed to his M.Div plus Honorary Doctorates? Maybe RZIM isn’t perfect, maybe Ravi could over emphasize in a PR campaign that he holds several honorary doctorates, no PhD’s, and a at least one terminal degree (that I know of, presuming I’m correct in thinking the MDIv is terminal). Maybe that would be confusing to most people in his audience. Maybe it would just be easier to let people think of him as “Dr.” Zacharias, as someone wise, and well-trained. Having worked around PR, and event booking in the past, I would say that many agents, managers, and other industry people would use the term doctor to apply to the various degrees including those earned and honorary. Where does savvy marketing become malicious? When is it wise for evangelists to be innocent as doves? When does it open up new doors to be as wise as a serpent? Of course the makers of hells bells didn’t even want you to use drums in your congregation.

    As far as settling a case outside of court, wouldn’t most people trying to follow the new testament teachings attempt to settle outside of court? Why did the accuser settle?

    Lastly, I think this section of the legal filings from Ravi’s side widens the perspective appropriately:

    Prior to their current scheme, on at least one other occasion, the [defendants} have sought a sum of money from an individual whose employment
    related to espousing Christian faith. Specifically, in 2008, Mr. [redacted] filed a lawsuit against a pastor and a church, seeking damages based on allegations that the pastor used his religious position to coerce Mr.[redacted] into making certain ill-advised loans and investments.
    On information and belief, the 2008 lawsuit was dismissed in 2010 after the parties entered into a settlement.
    On information and belief, sometime after the settlement, the [defendants] began experiencing significant financial distress.
    As part of the current scheme, Defendants decided that evidence depicting an inappropriate relationship (in person, online, or otherwise) between Ms. [redacted] and a prominent, pious individual like Plaintiff (–or Ravi–) would enable them to force the individual to pay an exorbitant sum of money under the threat of the disclosure of such relationship to the individual’s employer, wife, and the public.

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  89. “As far as settling a case outside of court, wouldn’t most people trying to follow the new testament teachings attempt to settle outside of court? Why did the accuser settle?”

    Peter, was Ravi Zacharias following 1 Cor regarding taking believers to court? He is the one who sued the defendants.

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  90. @Peter. I served in an accredited seminary for 11 years, working for 7 different departments in such roles as administrative assistant for field education and doctor of ministry, special projects for the office of the president, procedure manual writer, and course catalogue and faculty manual editor.

    My understanding is that a master’s in theology (whether a MA, MDiv, or ThM) and a thesis is not a terminal degree. A PhD or ThD with dissertation is considered the terminal professional degree (i.e., academic focus) and a DMin with ministry project and extensive report is considered the terminal practitioner degree (i.e., pastoral or practical ministry degree).

    From what I’ve been reading, Mr. Zacharias has been making the specific point that he is not a pastor or clergy member — which is relevant to the issue of whether there was a technical legal issue of “clergy sexual misconduct” involved. His claim not to be clergy seems to negate the idea of a practitioner and his master’s degree is not a DMin anyway. And I would suspect many would consider apologetics and philosophy studies as an academic/professional field within theology, so a PhD or ThD would be in order. He may be well educated in other ways, and a life-long learner, both of which are commendable, but they are not official degrees.

    Perhaps a professor or administrator who has had to complete the accreditation statistics and studies would be able to answer with 100% certainty, but from what I gathered in my work, I can suggest with moderate certainty that there would likely be problems with accreditation requirements if a college or seminary were to make him a regular professor and call him “Dr.” unless he had the appropriate earned doctorate. An accredited seminary must maintain a certain high percentage of professors with doctorates. Where I worked had to deal with that problem several times. Professors either already had an earned doctorate — or were required to fulfill a contractual arrangement to complete it within a specific (and relatively short) timeframe — or would be let go.

    I understand, a professorship is not the world in which Mr. Zacharias is teaching, but there are definitely academia implications given by the term “Dr. Zacharias,” and it lends itself to being misleading.

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  91. As a postscript on what I said about “not a pastor or clergy member,” this is more specifically what the Christianity Today article stated:

    “Zacharias’s lawsuit stated that ‘there was no confidential and/or fiduciary relationship’ between him and the woman, as would exist between a pastor or counselor and a counselee. Lawyers emphasized that Zacharias is not a pastor or counselor, and that RZIM is not a church and does not provide formal counseling or therapy.”

    While that may mean there is no official pastoral role, that does not negate the reality of a differential in authority/power — as a public figure who is a speaker, author, and having been referred to as an expert in apologetics and as “Dr. Zacharias.”

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  92. I defer to what Brad/Futurist wrote regarding the use of “Dr.,” and what is or is not technically terminal and would or would not qualify for accreditation, which is even more complex given that there are various accrediting bodies (regional, subject matter, etc..) with potentially different standards.

    I’m still unclear whether both the M.Div, and D.Min. could be considered terminal, or if the M.Div. was considered that 30 years ago but with the proliferation of additional degrees in so many fields perhaps what is terminal is being stretched out. It’s interesting that the LLB in Canada is the equivalent of the JD in the usa, and that the LLM is probably not considered more terminal than the JD. I wonder if the MD is considered terminal, or technically undergraduate, though its a post bachelor’s degree in a professional school?

    CS Lewis or someone he was referencing talked about how the term “gentleman,” doesn’t mean what it once meant. The term “Dr.” doesn’t mean what it once did, nor does it mean the same thing in the USA as in other places, and particularly it doesn’t mean the same thing to people employed in higher education as to the average american.

    MD’s don’t necessarily hold PhD’s and nobody has a problem calling them “Dr,” but attorneys with a Juris Doctor (JD) aren’t usually called “Dr.” Ravi holds a half dozen Honorary Doctor(ates?), combined with who knows how many credit hours, plus his other earned MDiv. Let the person who is particular about calling their attorney “Dr.” be the one who casts the first stone at Ravi for allowing his marketing to refer to him as Dr., (rather than holder of earned masters but merely Honorary Ds).

    Alternatively, i suppose it would be consistent to be someone who introduces others by their given name, followed by their designation, MBA, DNP…. oh man, my fuzzy little head will probably burst when we have to start referring to the doctor of nurse practitioner in a health care facility as the doctor and the physician who holds a DO, or MD as the doctor as well… since all three are different but the same?… i should probably stop typing now, I’m probably wasting your time 🙂

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  93. I have a problem with Christians who are vocal about being called by their “rightful titles” even if the degrees are legitimate. It seems to go against humility–a Christian virtue (Mark Driscoll notwithstanding.) My dad doesn’t like being called “Reverend.” He goes by Brother Jim or Mr. Nichols.

    The Quakers–at least in the past–did not use ordinary titles. Mr., Miss, Mrs. If you wished to show due courtesy you simply put the first and last name together. John Smith and Mary Brown instead of Mr. Smith or Mrs. Brown.

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  94. Julie Anne, As it relates to settling, I’m suggesting that settling outside of court could be better stewardship and less contentious more in the spirit of avoiding a lawsuit altogether. As to who sued who first, it would appear that the Thompson’s enlisted the services of the Attorney first, I don’t know whether they filed suit first, or merely threatened to do so. In general, both sides should try to work things out without having to go to court, but it appears the Thompsons have been down the road before.

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  95. I don’t know for sure whether M.Div. would be considered terminal 30 years ago, but I don’t think so. My pastor 45 years ago got an M.Div. and then did additional work to get a Th.M. Also, fairly certain that the PhD, ThD, and DMin existed that far back — and maybe some other degrees available at some seminaries, like DPysch.

    If you’re interested in accreditation issues for seminaries in the U.S., you can check the ATS website — Association of Theological Schools. They have the specialist requirements for religious schools. https://www.ats.edu/

    Hope that’s of some help.

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  96. Yes Rachel! In many cultures there are very specific title’s given to each relative, for instance my father’s older brother is labeled with a term different from my father’s younger brother distinguishing as two different types of uncles. At the same time my son is taught to refer to some family friends (who behave like true family) as aunt or uncle. And depending on the setting some people might think it weird if he referred to the non-relative as an aunt or uncle, but inside our homes, its heartwarming, not confusing at all. Likewise, there are probably some places where it is good for an apologist to mention his earned degrees, say in a debate. I guess the whole problem with this issue about Ravi’s credentials is whether Brad/Futurist is correct or not:

    “While that may mean there is no official pastoral role, that does not negate the reality of a differential in authority/power — as a public figure who is a speaker, author, and having been referred to as an expert in apologetics and as “Dr. Zacharias” Brad/Futurist

    “I understand, a professorship is not the world in which Mr. Zacharias is teaching, but there are definitely academia implications given by the term “Dr. Zacharias,” and it lends itself to being misleading.” Brad/Futurist

    I see where Brad is coming from to an extent, but IF there’s a problem in academia for Ravi NOW, then there was a problem in Academia awarding the Degrees at the START to him or anybody else. Shouldn’t the accrediting bodies, and Universities themselves tell (or enforce) that recipients do not water down or muddy the waters by using the term “Dr.?”

    It’s a little surprising to me that there aren’t more academic people defending Dr. Ravi Zacharias right now… I attended one of his lectures at a large state university and remember thinking that he did an amazing job answering the questions of anybody, and did it with humility and gentleness… students lined up with questions, person after person at the microphone… for at least an hour. Seems like he did a role-model job for a professor–but again, it would be nice to see more academic folk defending him.

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  97. I think it’s important to vet degrees (I want to know that the person doing my lobotomy is accredited to do so), but I also think we sometimes put way too much emphasis on them. As a missionary, I worked alongside some very humble people who didn’t trot out their degrees unless asked. They were more interested in serving Christ. I took the same approach-when people there, or now in my current church, want to know why I am so knowledgeable in a certain area (because of service observed), I’ll mention that I’m seminary trained, with a master’s degree. But I don’t major on that. Some of the most gifted people I’ve worked with in Christian ministry circles have the biggest hearts for service and use their gifts in skilled, wise ways. I always want to be one of those people, who I believe will be the most honored in heave. The fact that Ravi needs to have all that stuff listed (check out his bio on Wikipedia) in such detail means his emotional security may be in the wrong place.

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  98. Brad/Futurist– Thanks for the links. Sounds like in his field the term “terminal” should not be applied to an MDIV, If I could go back and edit the initial post, I would say Ravi holds a degree in the credit hour range that is similar to other degrees that have a D. I find it more confusing in professional degrees, I think prior to the advent of the DNP, a master’s in nurse practitioner or maybe even the BSN were terminal? In the legal field, I’ve definitely heard academic folk refer to the JD as terminal, no Masters of Law or higher required (though those people might have been wrong).

    Anyway, you’ve helped clarify for me that this whole discussion of terminal or not, is sort of, well, academic…. Professor on a resume for general purposes is fine, but on a CV for an academic position, you would need associate, or assistant, or what not…

    This reminds me of the office, Assistant Regional Manager, vs Assistant to the Regional Manager…

    Does anybody remember that?

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  99. Linn: It’s not logically required to presume that Ravi is emotionally insecure. I could imagine wikipedia, or an intern updates that page.

    Even you mentioned your degrees in a post on the unimportance of mentioning degrees.

    In fairness to Ravi, maybe churches or organizations who invite Ravi to speak ask the question about his experience, and education… Maybe eventually it becomes more efficient for his representatives to provide a blurb in advance? And even in the case that a Christian speaker used aggressive (dare i say “worldly”) marketing strategies wouldn’t you rather they broke into whatever mission field they were breaking into?
    RZIM has had a significant presence on some hostile campuses like no other similar christian apologetics organization, and I believe to a lessor extent in government settings where I’m sure there’s a lot of grand standing or trotting out of designations and titles, etc…

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  100. If Ravi directed someone to place PhD next to his name on a flyer, we would have an issue.

    If Ravi directed someone to refer to himself as “Dr.” before he was given the honorary degrees, we might have an issue.

    “Dr,” may refer to a bunch of things, including DNP, MD, JD, PhD (earned), or Honorary Doctor of “xyz” (unearned)

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  101. If Steve Baughman questioned RZIM and Ravi Zacharias about the inflated academic credentials about 2-1/2 years ago. and they failed to acknowledge it, or make proper changes, we would have an issue.

    Oh, wait….we have an issue!!!

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  102. Pingback: Ravi Zacharias: Email Threat and Ongoing Lack of Response About Reportedly Inflated Credentials | Spiritual Sounding Board

  103. Pingback: Unravelling Ravi Zacharias’ Recent Revelations of Sexting and Impropriety – Coercion Code – "Dark Times are upon us"

  104. Pingback: Resource Archive and FAQs on the Ravi Zacharias and RZIM Situation | Spiritual Sounding Board

  105. ​New post up at Spiritual Sounding Board: “Resource Archive and FAQs on the Ravi Zacharias and RZIM Situation.” It includes numerous links to primary source documents, plus links to posts with observations, analysis, and interpretations. This was developed in response to what look to be the most frequently asked questions about all the parties involved. So far, concerns addressed include about the prior lawsuit by the couple involved, the current legal documents and follow-up statements by Mr. Zacharias and RZIM, Zacharias family members on the RZIM board of directors and staff employees, Mr. Zacharias’ use of credentials and titles, updating of his biographies and titles, and the impact of the non-disclosure agreement.

    If you’ve got concerns about some of these issues, you will likely find sources to study so you can come to your own informed conclusions.

    https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2017/12/08/resource-archive-and-faqs-on-the-ravi-zacharias-and-rzim-situation/

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