Letter to a Popular, High Profile Preacher (Part 1)

by | Nov 25, 2021 | 12 comments

John Macarthur claims that Ravi Zacharias never ever quotes scripture. Hardly a difficult claim to disprove but this is no light matter. On the one hand, Macarthur stands against one rumoured sin but happily, and publicly, indulges in another. Is this ok?

Here is the first part of my letter to him.


Dear John Macarthur,

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” – Romans 1:1.

Established and Steadfast

I commend you for standing up for the faith. In a time when politics have so infiltrated many so-called Christian gatherings and brought many to their knees, you have resisted and remained focused on the greater calling.

It is with great disappointment, however, that I feel the need to write this as I expected far more wisdom and discernment from you. This I write not to call you to account nor to encourage anyone to hate you. Simply because you have decided to go public with your judgements regarding a man with whom you “interacted with a number of times through the years”, these are your own words, that is why I feel the necessity to go public in my response so that those who heard you will know the truth regarding the claims you made.

This is not a letter to convince you of anything but to have you reconsider the claims that you have made against Ravi Zacharias.

I have this against you

I refer you back to a sitting you had with a few gentlemen in March of 2021. In it you make the claim that Ravi Zacharias, and I quote, “never ever ever quotes the scriptures. Never!

For reference, I am speaking of the following video John MacArthur questions Ravi Zacharias salvation – Must Watch! – YouTube at minute 5:10.

This is false. It is a blatant lie.

You’re not satisfied with that, however. You continue.

The dead giveaway“, you say, “is that the word of God is God’s sanctifying tool and it just wasn’t part of his life. That, to me, was a dead giveway.Minute 5:23

“Never ever ever quotes the scriptures”

First of all, to know whether the Ravi never ever quotes scripture you would have to provide every minute of Ravi’s life and show that, in fact, he truly “never ever ever” quoted scripture. On the other hand, I merely need to show you one occasion. If in this occasion he quotes scripture, your claim becomes false.

Worse, I am willing to go so far as to say, being someone who has listened to Ravi’s sermons over and over and over again, that not only does he quote scriptue on occasion but he quotes scripture throughout his sermons, in ever sermon, and to every crowd.

Second of all, Ravi Zacharias didn’t only speak to a Christian audience. In most public occasions, Ravi spoke to Atheist and Anti-Theist crowds who disregard scripture as a reliable source of evidence. Still, that never stopped him from quoting scripture to them.

The Dead Giveaway

Third of all, if not quoting scripture is, to you, a dead giveaway of someone’s lack of repentance or faithfulness, will the opposite be true too, that seeing that scripture was in fact a huge part of someone’s life be, to you, a dead giveaway that the person in question was indeed a man of God? You don’t seem to give Ravi Zacharias that respect here.

Always always Quotes the Scriptures

See the following video: A Fish Out Of Water – YouTube. You don’t have to search much, just watch 40 seconds. Ravi speaks about Jonah and does so from the book of Jonah. I pick this because it just so happens to be the first, alphabetically, of many talks that I have of the man.

Ok, so that was a sermon. Of course one would quote scriptue in a sermon, right?

Let’s look at an interview that Ravi had with Dave Rubin in 2019, How My Crisis Can Help You Find Meaning In Your Life | Ravi Zacharias | SPIRITUALITY | Rubin Report – YouTube. Watch 2 minutes of this, past the introduction. Ravi quotes scripture in the very first answer to the very first question he is asked. In case someone holds me to that, the first remarks that Ravi makes are not a response to a question, they are simply comments on Dave Rubin’s intro. The first question he is asked is regarding, “Christian Apologist” and what it means.

Now, I can give you a list of over 120 talks that Ravi made. These are only 120 that I have records of. In every one of those he quotes scripture throughout his talk. As I said above, I only need to mention one, and I call your lie. In this letter, I have pointed out two occasions and I am ready to give you a list of over 120 more.

Does that standard apply to you too?

You claim that Ravi Zacharias was unrepentant of his sins. I will delve into this deeper in part 2 of my letter, but may I ask you, are you repentant of lying about Ravi Zacharias? Would you be willing to publicly apologise the same way you publicly judged?

After all, you do make the claim also that for a “high profile preacher” to sin in one certain way, they have to be living a life of sin in many other categories, minute 2:42. You wouldn’t want that said of you too, would you? The scriptures do put adultery, murder, lying and gossiping in one boat, right? If you hate one, you must hate the others too.

12 Comments

  1. Matt

    Hi brother. I found your article interesting, however I think you may have missed the point of John’s comment. He actually mentioned that he, “interacted with him [Ravi] a number of times through the years at various conferences”, just before he says that Ravi never quoted the scripture. I noticed that you even quoted this statement from John in your article, however, I don’t think you made the link between this and his subsequent statement about Ravi never quoting scripture. I think it is obvious that Ravi has quoted scripture before in his life, which you correctly pointed out in the link to one of his videos. But I don’t think this was John’s point. Do you think that this statement from John that “he interacted with him a number of times through the years and at various conferences” has relevance to his subsequent statement about Ravi “never quoting scripture”? Do you think it could be that he meant that Ravi never quoted scripture on the times that John interacted with him? Could he simply be referring to his personal experience at the particular conferences that he attended with the man, since he specifically referenced his interactions with him over the years? Is it inconceivable that on the occasions that John attended the conferences with Ravi, that Ravi spoke on things that were more philosophical than scriptural? I’ll leave it with you, brother.
    Blessings in Christ.

    Reply
    • RZIam Admin

      Hi Matt, thank you for reading the article and for your comment. I appreciate the kindness with which you bring forth your opinion. Of course, John Macarthur makes the two statements together, you are correct about that. However, there are two reasons why I don’t believe he meant to tie the two together in the way you have understood it. The first is because of how he continues, and I mention this in the article. Macarthur says, “the word of God is God’s sanctifying tool and it just wasn’t part of [Ravi’s] life. That, to me, was a dead giveway.” This was a clear indication that he meant that the scripture were never “ever” part of Ravi’s life — no exception. The second reason is because John Macarthur has attended conferences with Ravi Zacharias where they have both spoken. Take for example September 2018, the Getty Worship Conference. John Macarthur and Ravi Zacharias were both asked to speak there. John knows full well that Ravi quoted scripture there. He chooses to deny it in order to throw Ravi under the bus and clean his hands from having any association with him. I hope that clarifies why I have come to this conclusion. Happy to hear your thoughts further, brother. God bless you.

      Reply
  2. Peter

    Well said and very good points. I appreciate you bringing this out.

    Reply
  3. Erin Plourde-Bragg

    The devil quotes scripture. The point is he abused his power under God’s Eyes. Protect and defend all you want. Those women were the victims. NOT Ravi.

    Reply
    • RZIam Admin

      Hi Erin. Thank you for your thoughts and I agree with you that yes, even the devil quotes scripture. This does not make anyone innocent. I will ask, though, could please point out to me where in this entire article I called Ravi a victim or where I defended any wrong action? I completely understand and commend you for your anger against evil sin. I stand with you wholeheartedly on that. This article did not, at all, seek to claim innocence but to point out the hypocrisy of others who are using this opportunity to justify their lives by pointing to sins, or supposed sins, of others. I hope that clears things up for you. I look forward to reading your feedback on my upcoming articles too. God bless your zealous heart.

      Reply
    • Pebbles in the shoe

      Adult women – victims? Married women – victims? Victims of a weak 70+ year old man? Cmon.

      Only God knows what Ravi did, what I do, what anyone does.
      “God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time for every matter and for every work. (Ecclesiastes 3:17)

      But these adult (married) women – victims??

      Reply
  4. Anne

    Evidence points to the distinct possibility that Ravi is innocent of the charges laid at his door; laid, I might point out, well after the man is dead and buried and cannot defend himself. His son and wife have done their own investigation, and have seen evidence that the investigators definitely lied about at least some of their “findings,” and quite possibly all.

    Reply
    • RZIam Admin

      Whether he is innocent or not, I think, at this point, is besides the point. Since when was it OK for the Church to make it their business to condemn a dead man? Since when was it OK for preachers to use the pulpit to discuss the alleged sins of people who were never even part of their congregation?

      Reply
  5. Pebbles in the Shoe

    Today’s era is of Cancel culture. Cancelling everyone. So the attempts to cancel Ravi is no surprise.

    “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:23)

    “as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; “ (Romans 3:10, ESV)

    Ravi Zacharias has not taught anything wrong. I have heard him live twice. He quoted the scripture both times.

    “The truths that Ravi Zacharias preached in his books and speeches are exactly that: truth, grounded in Scripture and the nature of God.” (quoted from Got Questions website).

    “Believers ought to condemn the sins of Ravi Zacharias—yet it would be irrational to hold every word he wrote or spoke in contempt.” (quoted from Got Questions website). But isn’t that that the truth about every human, every teacher?

    “Many who made great strides for godly truth also suffered from their fallible sin nature: notably men like Moses, Noah, David, Peter, and post-biblical figures such as Luther and Calvin. Modern readers rarely think of Luther, Calvin, or more recent writers such as Tolkien and C. S. Lewis as persons so much as categories. In time, and at best, the speeches and writings of Ravi Zacharias may retain value,…” (quoted from Got Questions website).

    If Ravi is ever at fault, RZIM is at much bigger fault.

    I will remember Ravi all days of my remaining life. I learnt defending the faith by watching his videos, listening to his speeches and reading his books.

    Reply
    • RZIam Admin

      Thank you for sharing all of that. I didn’t read the article from Got Questions although I usually trust their writers.

      Reply
    • Terri

      Thank you! Great analogy! I have listened
      to Ravi on many occasions and read his books and have been encouraged, nurtured and brought closer to our Savior. There is no way that I could believe that Ravi could have committed these heinous acts. That being said, we are not to condemn. He is in God’s hands and I for one am thankful to have been touched by his ministry

      Reply

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