“The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
Those who know your name trust in you, for you,
O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.”
It was released this past week that the allegations against Ravi Zacharias of sexual misconduct and abuse were found to be true (Letter from International Board of Directors of RZIM). It’s a sad reminder of the depravity and brokenness of the world we live in. It really makes you wonder how a man/person of God, with what appears to be such a vibrant and impactful ministry, can have this degree of sin lurking in the darkness. This should remind all of us that just because we are new creations in Christ Jesus does not make us invincible to the schemes and deceptions of Satan.
Unfortunately, sexual assault is all too common. The statistics are depressing; one in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lives. In addition to this, nearly half of all women have suffered other types of sexual violence during their lifetimes, and roughly one-quarter of all men have been similarly victimized. For children, one in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before they turn 18 years old (Statistics About Sexual Violence). With these statistics, it means that it is almost statistically impossible that in our church body and/or in our groups of friends we do not know someone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct or abuse.
So as Christians, how do we respond?
- We Condemn Sin and Sinful Conduct. Regardless of the status of the individual or the apparent Kingdom Fruit they have produced, to violate another person is horrible and not tolerated. Ravi Zacharias was 100% wrong!
- We Pray for Ravi’s Victims. Let us pray for each of the countless victims of Ravi’s actions. Continue to pray for those in your life that you know have been sexually victimized. We know that God brings the miraculous healing that man cannot.
- We Pray for Ravi’s Family. Let us pray for his family as they now have this cloud of shame and guilt over his actions. No doubt they will face a backlash in the name of “justice”.
- We Pray for Protection for God’s Leaders. Please pray for myself, the elders, and all others God has appointed in positions of Kingdom leadership. Sexual depravity is not a unique sin and temptation of Ravi, or the unsaved, or the LGBTQ+ community. It’s every man’s battle. Pray for God’s strength, power, and victory over sexual temptation and sin.
- We Are Open to Minister. If you have been a victim of unwanted sexual actions, whether male or female, and you have not processed through the abuse and received healing, I am here to counsel and help you receive that healing that only God can provide. If you would feel more comfortable speaking with a woman, Rachel is also available. One of her passions and giftings is to be an advocate for women who have been sexually or domestically abused. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to either of us, please find someone you trust and with whom you can open up to. Satan would love nothing more than to keep your trauma hidden, in the dark, and in the shame.
- We Are Open to Confession. Perhaps in your past you have been overly sexually aggressive. Perhaps currently you struggle with temptations of lust and/or pornography (heterosexual or homosexual). There is freedom in confessing your sin(s) one to another, bringing the darkness into the light. I know it’s scary, but in doing so, it’s an act of trusting God with the consequences. We stand at peace with Him (Rom. 8:1). There is no condemnation for those in Christ (Rom. 8:1). I am available for the cleansing that comes through confession, to bear your burdens (Gal. 6:2), and to help you walk in the light.