A short response to the Ravi Zacharias scandal.

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A short response to the Ravi Zacharias scandal.
I won’t add to what has been written regarding the facts that have come out, other than to agree that the late Zacharias’ abuse of women was sinful and hypocritical. I believe the evidence to be incontrovertible. There is much more to say, but others have already done so.
It is not, however, a fatal blow to the Christian faith nor to apologetics, much as that theme will be sung from keyboards around the world. This is for the following reasons:
  1. There is nothing Zacharias taught that had not been taught centuries before by other Christians. The church does not depend upon him, though his failure as a Christian sullies his ministry, his books, his lectures, all of it. But as is the case with nearly all Christians, Zacharias was not an original thinker. He was not breaking new ground. There have been great teachers in the history of the church that were original thinkers. Their rarity and scarceness attest to the inherent danger in originality in theology. I’m thinking of Augustine, Luther, Calvin–men of that calibre. Those who strive to be original thinkers have often proved to seek a name for themselves as creative but are frequently sources of heterodoxy or heresy. I would guess that most of us pastors, teachers, and evangelists are attempting to be faithful re-packagers, not producers of new things. We attempt to bring ancient and establish truth into the era in which we live. While we may seem to bring fresh and new truth it isn’t new if the message is faithful. Newness is in the ear of the listener. So I don’t seek to disparage Zacharias when I say he was not an original thinker. He was successful in translating old truths to the present day, as are thousands of other ministers of the Gospel. This means that none of us is indispensable.
  2. Christ has built His church, and the gates of hell cannot prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). This means that the church is equipped to take offence against Satan. We are not the losers in this scenario. One man failed, and it can be argued that those who should have been confronting him failed as well. But this is not a fatal error for Christ or His church—we are still equipped for battle even if one of the quartermasters defected. Ephesians 5:10-20 has not been removed, and the weapon of warfare, the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, is still effective for all who will take it up.
  3. No one will stand before Christ in judgement and declare himself innocent because of another’s scandal. I once met a man who gave up Christ because of the scandals involving his favourite televangelist, Jimmy Swaggart, in the mid-1980s. This man’s faith was more in Swaggart than in Christ. If you lose Christ because of the actions of another human, you never had Him in the first place.
  4. I think that I would not use Zacharias’ teaching material at all. There is nothing essential in them, although they were once helpful. He was an apologist, and now it will be imagined that the truth he spoke is discredited. I would not give that kind of ammunition to an opponent.
  5. On the other hand, he should not be sent down the memory hole, as though he did not exist or we never heard of him. In his speaking and writing, he was not lying or misleading. It was his life that was the lie. Still, God used him, though he failed and was an abuser, a sinner. Still, his materials should be replaced at places like Ligonier, Logos, etc.
  6. Finally, this brings me to the value of Ravi Zacharias as an apologist, though not as we might expect. We will hear in the next while about the extent of the scandal, how horrible it is, what evil it is and likewise the culpability of those who covered it up.
We will hear much damning evidence, and terms like “evil” and “hypocrite” will be part of every article written. We will certainly hear of the damage he did to women, and to the reputation of the church.
But this leads us to the most important question: “By what standard?” By what standard was Zacharias evil? Christians can and should name sin for what it is, but from an atheistic/materialistic worldview calling Zacharias evil, is absurdly arbitrary. If there is no God, there is no standard. Zacharias was only acting according to the accident that brought him to this place in the universe. This question will, sadly, be his only lasting legacy in apologetics.
So now, more than ever, we must ask, “By what standard was this man’s actions evil?”

When Did YOU Become Radicalized?

We’ve heard a lot about the far-right, its evils, and how it is a radical blight on the Republic (US). Slandrously, many who are not racist or anti-semites (like Black and Jewish conservatives) are lumped in with neo-Nazis as “alt-right.” I am considered such because I believe in the sanctity of human life, the rule of law, that same-sex marriage is a myth and transgenderism is a gnostic heresy. There’s more, but that’s enough to destroy my reputation. In short, I believe as Christians have for 2000 years. My beliefs and morals would not seem off-putting to a Christian from centuries ago, although my spiritual dullness could offend.
Somehow, though, I became a radical without really changing my views on much of anything. I don’t think I was radicalized, but now I’m a religious extremist. The goalposts have been moved.
But the Democrat party has moved to the far left. Republicans have not moved to the right, but the Democrat party has moved far enough left that AOC and her gang is the norm, and Clinton represents the establishment.
The normal Democrat now believes that abortion to the moment of birth is acceptable and a human right; in the future that will be extended to a time after birth.
These (abortion, and euthanasia) are radical positions that share a love of death with the French Revolution, the Nazis, and Communists. The modern Left is enamoured with all three. If you are a Democrat or a New Democrat in Canada, look into it. The ideas of centralization, collectivism, fascism and the ultimate elimination of individual rights and liberties are all present throughout the platform.
But there’s more:
Transgenderism, which is anti-science, has schools, courts, and HR departments in a stranglehold. It has an extreme impact on women, especially young women in school and sports. Women in prison are already victims of men who are transgendered women. The trans-movement allows no questions or dissent.
The Left has rejected marriage as the primary unit of reproduction and nurture. This is very recent, but we are to believe it is progressive, although same-sex marriage is always barren/
The establishment of state-run health rationing in the name of health care. This politicizes health care and priorities are left in the hands of the State, not the medical professionals and their patients.
A radically transformed world in which government has a much greater role in everyday life, from the family, school, church, employment and economic activity, and trade. At the present, and certainly, in the future, no action will be permitted without State approval.
State-approval for speech. Speech-codes, trigger warnings, campus safe-spaces, and censorship.
Inclusiveness that excludes dissent, tolerance that tolerates little.
Critical Race Theory, which creates permanent victims and unredeemable oppressors. One’s group is determined by birth.
So, while most media asks, “When did the right become radicalized?” It might be better to ask, “Democrats, when were you radicalized? Are you even aware of the shift?”
The radicalization of the Left, along with its rise to power in Canada, and now in the US, signals not progress, but the demise of humanity. The 20th century was the bloodiest in human history and progressivism (communism, socialism, fascism) murdered 100,000,000 people, espousing the same principles in Leftist parties today.
Radical indeed.

It’s a Conspiracy! (theory)

Please, Please, Please Don't Mock Conspiracy Theories | WIRED
Why I don’t believe in conspiracy theories and don’t disbelieve them either.
A recent buzzphrase is “conspiracy theory.” If an idea, fact, historical event, opinion, etc., is called a conspiracy theory it is the kiss of death for it being taken seriously. There are many brows furrowed among those who have them when the judgment, “conspiracy theory” is pronounced over an opinion or idea. Most of these judgments are made in a secret trial, however, and it is never completely clear how things are sorted out—what is a conspiracy theory (false) and what is an almost unbelievable fact that turns out to be true.
It also depends upon who wields the label: if the CBC, government spokes-head, or other too-big-to-be-wrong entity declares something is a conspiracy theory, then that’s the end of it. “Shut up!” they explained.
But what happens when a conspiracy theory turns out to be actually true? Let’s say I was very perceptive and in December 2019 I predicted the goings-on in almost every nation on earth in March 2020 (and on to infinity). Would I not be declared a conspiracy theorist? Yet I would be shown to be correct. Of course, March 2020 is the event that has launched a thousand conspiracy theories, and some seem more true than ever, no matter who it is that says otherwise.
When Donald Trump won the election in 2016, it was a matter of hours before the Russian Collusion story began to unfold. As we know, it was likely the most investigated non-event in modern history, and it was debunked. There are those who still believe it, but they really should look at the possibility of Chinese interference in the 2020 election. Even if China didn’t affect the outcome, their happiness at Biden’s win should not be shared by anyone.
So, were those who wanted to unseat Trump (Democrats) falling for a conspiracy theory? Or were the rest of us arrogant to call the whole thing a conspiracy theory? It was certainly ONLY a conspiracy theory until it was shown to be a very real conspiracy, only, not the one advertised!
There was a conspiracy, and that was to overturn the results of a mostly fair election. Those who said, “Hey, this is not true, there was no Russian collusion,” were marked as deniers. As the truth leaked out (such as Congressman Adam Schiff’s non-bombshell inside information), if you claimed there was a true conspiracy, you were labeled a “conspiracy theorist.” Lose-loser-lost.
So, some remarks:
1) Not all conspiracy theories are false, nor are they true. Being unproven does not make them false or true.
2) Conspiracy theories are not false because of their source, nor are they true for the same reason. The Washington Post and New York Times can carry fake news and wild nonsense like the best in yellow journalism.
3) Being called a conspiracy theorist is similar to being called a “racist.” If you are a racist, that is your problem. If you are not, it is the problem of your accuser and they must answer for it on the day of judgment. There is no conspiracy theory union to which you may belong. Be skeptical.
4) Unless you want to be repeatedly embarrassed, don’t use the label so easily against those who have ideas you find unpleasant, or ideas that might cause you to rise to action.
5) Stop with the vague warnings against conspiracy theories, because you do not likely have enough information to use that label.
6) Remember, most politicians and journalists can be sent to hell based upon the 9th commandment alone.
Going forward, I’m going to use the phrase, “unverified opinion” or “unverified event.”
“Unverified Opinionator,” used by an opponent, just makes them sound silly.