2017 Article about Ravi Zacharias by Pastor Tim Bayly Aged Well

I’m sure you all have heard the grievous things that have come to light through the investigations into Ravi Zacharias after his death.

I was looking to see if Pastor Tim Bayly had written on Ravi recently, and I found an article from 2017 on him (which, upon reading, I remembered reading back then, and also remembered that at the time it really pushed my hair the wrong way! Boy was I wrong…)

When will we Evangelicals learn to leave parachurch ministries behind (and all they produce, like Ravi)? When will we stop operating outside of God’s design for the Church?


I’ve only followed this enough to know what you are talking about without clicking through the link, but I have been wondering what the fall-out has been with a ministry that was spread across the world. I assume it has been a lot of brand management and damage control with donors. In my dreams, I’d hope that they’d burn it all down: disband all the 501c3’s and give whatever money they have (which is a lot, I can only assume) away. Remove his books from circulation.

It’s a reminder to me that God doesn’t need any of us to accomplish His work. I may, by his grace, have the privilege of participating in His work if I stand fast to the end. But in the end, that’s the highest aspiration I can have: that I was a good and faithful servant.


I’d hope that they’d burn it all down: disband all the 501c3’s and give whatever money they have (which is a lot, I can only assume) away. Remove his books from circulation.

Yes, to preserve any semblance of witness.

the highest aspiration I can have: that I was a good and faithful servant.

Amen, it should sober us, if anything.


The article from Tim from way back when shows that Ravi’s scandal is not news. People knew what was going on. Russ Moore and the rest of them only decided to condemn their fellow celebrity when it was safe to do so.


The problems of “celebrity Christianity”, of which Ravi was an egregious example, are not restricted to para-church ministries. “Rock star pastors” are a disaster waiting to happen.


I still don’t see what you guys saw. Thinking back on all the podcasts I’ve listened too, nothing sticks out.

And I’ve listened to a lot of RZIM media. Starting back in 2010. So much so that I’m familiar with the repeat talks. My listening became a slow trickle about two years ago, only because they started to feel repetitive and other podcasts talked more out current events.

I would say he was formative for me during those years.

And yet I still can’t think of any red flags. I remember being able to hear his watch rattle when he gestured, and thinking that might be a bit decadent. But that’s all I remember.

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I’m not sure that there would necessarily be something that would “stick out”, but I think you may be losing sight of the forest for the trees.

I, too, have read and listened to Ravi and was helped by him, but we have to leave that to the side. I think we have grown so accustomed to celebrity pastors in the Evangelical world that we don’t think with discernment about what all that money and fame does to a man. But we have to remember that all of these men are just like you and me - and what would you be like with that kind of money and freedom to go about and do what you please with relative anonymity? The answer is probably not pretty. It’s not for me.

Just this morning, I read the following from Watson’s little book entitled Heaven Taken By Storm:

How may one do to offer violence to himself in mortifying the flesh?

  1. Withdraw the fuel that may make lust burn. Avoid all temptations. Take heed of that which nourishes sin. He who would suppress the gout or stone, avoids those meats which are noxious. Those who pray that they may not be led into temptation, must not lead themselves into temptation.

But also, the bragging. Constant. False. You could tell it was false bragging long before the atheist exposed it. No man should ever list his accomplishments the way he did. Ever.

This is something I wouldn’t expect younger men who haven’t watched the celebrities up close to know. Which is to say men lacking discernment—is anyone willing to cop to this? Or, on the other hand, men who have grown up among men in constant demand nationally who refused to be celebrities. Men who grew up being warned by their United million mile author/speaker father against the pompous rich braggart ones, that they were “all out to build their kingdoms.” But when Zacharias came here and spoke in Bloomington, it was so obvious. Love,


@ldweeks Pastor Lucas: That’s a good point. Anonymity is a hard temptation to bear. The moment I read he had a “secret phone”, I was heartbroken for him. Every awful thing became possible.

It would most certainly be ugly for me too.

@tbbayly Pastor Tim: That’s just it! I feel like bragging is something I should remember, but clearly don’t. I must have just ignored it.


Oh, in terms of boasting. It’s not restricted to academic qualifications, a la Ravi Zacharias. I have seen and heard it in terms of numbers of souls saved in evangelistic crusades, healing miracles, and - most dangerous of all - “spiritual revelations”. Different settings, same problem.