A Note from the Editors on the Ravi Zacharias Investigation
Why we report bad news about leaders—even after they have passed away.
Christianity Today is motivated by a deep love for the church. That love is sometimes painful, especially when it means reporting evidence of harmful behavior by ministry leaders. These allegations are hard for us to publish, and they can be hard to read. Over the years, some readers have wondered why we publish evidence of wrongdoing by ministry leaders otherwise doing good in the world. Other readers, who support investigative reporting in general, think it should be aimed outside our particular Christian community. But our commitment to seeking truth transcends our commitment to tribe. And by reporting the truth, we care for our community.
Love compels us to love those hurt by ministry leaders—not just the immediate victims, but countless others who see the fallout from leaders’ sin and abuse and wonder if Christians really care. Deep love for the church also compels us to love erring ministry leaders. They often need disclosure to lead them to repentance.
Our love drives us to investigate allegations—or to continue our investigations—even when an accused leader is deceased. Sin’s devastation persists long after a ministry leader dies. Should we ask victims to carry the burden, trauma, and shame of their experiences alone in the dark? No. Neither a ministry leader’s good deeds nor his death should silence his victims. And people who sin need the grace that comes with the light. Death precludes the opportunity for a sinner’s repentance, but not the opportunity for a victim’s restoration and freedom.
The whole church needs that light, as painful as it can be. Christianity Today doesn’t undertake the long and expensive work of investigating accusations …
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July 29, 2021
July 29, 2021