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Should We Cancel Ravi Zacharias? Christian Leaders Weigh In

Lori Anne Thompson replied to Brown on Twitter as well, saying, “I disagree with some of Dr. Brown’s thought processes rather vehemently.” By implying that “any of us” could have fallen in the same way Ravi Zacharias did, Brown is “flattening both sin whilst rationalizing sexual predation.” Moreover, the claim that there are many false allegations of abuse, said Thompson, is “Hogwash and unhelpful.”

Other Leaders Weigh In on Pulling Ravi Zacharias Books

VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer and author and pastor Skye Jethani addressed Zacharias’s fall in the most recent episode of their podcast, Holy Post. During the episode, they discussed the question of whether or not to “cancel” Zacharias by pulling all of his material. Like Marlow, Vischer took issue with Christian leaders who have responded by saying, “There but for the grace of God go I” or “That could have been any one of us.” It would be reasonable to make this statement about something like porn addiction, said Vischer. “That’s a scenario where I do think, yeah, ‘There but for the grace of God go I.’ That’s a very common struggle. But abusing women?” 

Jethani agreed. “With Ravi Zacharias, it’s not just a moral failure,” he said. “It’s not that he succumbed to temptation. This was predatory abuse. That’s I think of a different nature and magnitude.” 

This does not mean that what Zacharias said and wrote has no value, said Jethani. He suggested that rather than discontinuing production of Ravi Zacharias’s books entirely, it might be wise to halt production of them for a time until someone can write a “thoughtful introduction” that disclosed what came to light after the apologist died. If we pulled all of his work, said Jethani, we could end up promoting the view that any Christian leader who falls is “automatically erased from the annals of Christian history and thought.”

In a video called, “What Ravi Did and Where We Go From Here,” Mike Winger offered his thoughts on the Zacharias report from his perspective as both a pastor and a certified domestic violence counselor.

In his video, Winger read aloud the entire final report from Miller & Martin, offering comments throughout based on his knowledge of perpetrators of domestic violence. He also shared portions of Lori Anne Thompson’s victim impact statement video

Winger reiterated others’ view that Zacharias’s behavior was in a different category than a normal sexual sin struggle. Women in the report described sexual assaults that grew worse the longer they knew Zacharias, that “evolved over time.” 

“Evolving over time is a predatory behavior of a very patient predator, and that’s what Ravi Zacharias was,” said Winger. “This is methodic, predatory behavior that we see in domestic violence situations…It takes a type of depravity that goes beyond a man who has sexual impulses that he’s not controlling.”

What Zacharias did was so sickening that Winger sees no other option than to stop publication of all his books. The pastor even, in the middle of his video, threw away the four books he owned by Zacharias. “What else is there to do?” he asked. Consider the woman Ravi Zacharias raped as his “reward” for doing God’s work, a woman who was just one of many that he preyed on over many years.

If we continue to promote the apologist’s books, such as the one he wrote about marriage, asked Winger, “What are we doing to these women who are still alive right now that went through this stuff?” The marriage book probably does have helpful content, but, “The reason why we can’t continue to follow the material is because there are ongoing victims, and we need to separate the church from this man’s name.”

Winger also addressed the various objections people are raising against publicly discussing Zacharias’s transgressions. To those who question whether the reports are even true, the pastor noted there are many witnesses to Zacharias’s abuse whose stories corroborate one another. He said, “If I can trust the resurrection of Christ because of the multiple witnesses, I can trust this.”