Disillusionment & Hope: Recovering from the Ravi Zacharias International Ministries scandal

Hi friends,

If you feel like there is no light at the end of your tunnel, and if you wonder if you will never get better, I hear you.

I gave this talk for you.

I’m grateful to the RESTORE community for supporting me through this message.


Thank you for being courageous enough to stand up for truth. If we were trying to please men, we would not be servants of Christ (Gal 1:10). Your story brings hope for those hurt in a Christian community, that things can change, that our trust in God, His word and His people can return to full health. It leads me to be more attentive to those who are not in positions of power as it is their voices that are often missed. Thank you for sharing the process of healing and how our past doesn’t need to define our future.


Thanks for this. Hearing your story is so much more impactful than just reading it. Hearing the honest highs and lows of your journey inspires hope for others on similar journeys. My mind went to the journey I’ve been on in evaluating the false teachings I’ve had to re-evaluate. When some of the foundation stones of your faith are shaken it can be traumatic and we need to give ourselves permission and time to recover. Hopefully we can come to see God’s gracious hand at work because he is the one doing the shaking (Heb 12:26-28).


I can’t even imagine the depth of betrayal you felt; I think we ALL felt betrayed by this man that we looked up to. Know, though, that I am praying for you continually.

You are not alone in your heartbreak. As you grieve the loss of your friend and mentor, as you grieve the loss of your job and worry about the myriad details of life, as you feel derailed by the knowledge that the person you respected didn’t DESERVE your respect, know that the majority of us who knew of him, watched his teachings, and learned about growing our faith by his sermons, feel that same loss, sadness, and anger. Please know that YOU are not tainted by your association with him - at least by those of us who have gotten to know you and your heart for Jesus.

My prayers are with you as you heal from your many losses. Grieve the man you thought you knew and let God take the rest. We, your Christian “siblings”, love you.

May the peace of Christ surround you,


Hi @lakshmi, @chris, and @cathi,

Thank you for taking the time to listen and share such encouraging responses. It is uncomfortable to be so vulnerable, but to know that it helped others makes it worth it. I appreciate each of you.


Hello Carson,
I stumbled across your video, as I occasionally listen to Julie’s podcast. When everything broke on Ravi I had just finished my first online course from RZIM and had planned on taking several more and loved it. I had learned a lot from him and his team (including you).

So your video though painful to watch, was cathartic to me, as this scandal has been one of many things that has caused me great frustration in my Christian walk. I feel like I keep running into situations large and small where I see people who I thought were strong Christians simply do the easy thing and justify it to themselves.

I was deeply hurt to see some of the people who I respected at RZIM simply barely apologize when they couldn’t lie about Ravi any longer, and it was as if other Christian organizations simply shrugged and acted like we should all move on. It hasn’t made me leave the faith, but I certainly find myself praying the kinds of prayers you talked about in your video. These days I feel like I just want to hide in a hole (sometimes with God, sometimes without God because I can’t rectify all this evil with a God who cares) because I don’t understand what the point of it all is, if everyone is so perpetually broken.

On paper I know God loves us and all this evil is nothing in light of eternity. But is sure feels incredibly awful. And I often wonder how a loving God could stand it.

So thank you for being so vulnerable.


It’s very disillusioning! All the talk about integrity, character, servant leadership, the fruits of the Spirit… and then a shrug.

Yea. I hear you. It’s a struggle. I appreciate you being open about how it affects you. It helps me (and will help others) feel less alone. Even if there isn’t a tidy answer for it.

I wish I could say something to make it all better. But… thanks for sharing your heart too.


Hello @Carson and @patrickg,

I have also felt the disillusionment you’re feeling, and a long time ago, I let that feeling, or rather MY OWN FEAR, that God didn’t care pull me away from Him. There are still times when I question why some things happen, but I no longer question the depth of His care. God created us to worship Him, but He also gives us the freedom to choose our own path. God doesn’t PREVENT disobedience, but He does DESIRE obedience. He chooses to allow humans to be humans- created beings with a mind- and He allows us the freedom to choose our own paths.

It’s easy to look at the things that happen in life as if they touch- or have the power to touch- our own lives, even when they don’t SPECIFICALLY do so (as in this case). For example, O.J. Simpson was a greatly admired public figure that many people looked up to. When his wife and her friend were murdered, people all over the world watched the trial- and the outcome of that trial is STILL controversial. It didn’t affect me, but I still believe that he murdered them. Whether he did or didn’t has no direct bearing on my life, and the deed was done more than 15 years ago, but I’ll still argue with you if you tell me he DIDN’T kill them. Are my feelings about OJ much different than my feelings about what Ravi did? Neither event affected me PERSONALLY, yet I feel betrayed by both (to one extent or another).

Ravi was a powerful speaker who led countless souls to the Father. How many might never have turned to Christ without having heard Ravi speak? Which would have been the greater good: for Ravi to have never been a public speaker or pastor, or for things to happen the way they did? My personal feeling is that God chose to allow things to happen the way He did because THIS was the greater good.

I don’t claim to know a whole lot about, well … anything really, but I do know that God cares DEEPLY about His children. I pray that you don’t let your confusion or doubts, which are entirely of Satan, pull you away from the single BIGGEST truth of your life: God LOVES you.

I’m praying for you. May the peace of our Lord be with you.

Your sister- in- Christ, Cathi

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