What the Ravi Zacharias scandal warns us about giving faith leaders too much power

Mar 2, 2021 | Relevant Life

Sadly, it seems like every other day we see news about a prominent Christian leader engaged in a sex scandal. Recently, it has come to light that the late, famed apologist Ravi Zacharias was involved in scandals for years.

A recent investigation has uncovered a significant amount of evidence and accounts suggesting that Zacharias sexually abused, manipulated and possibly even raped multiple victims. 

We take these allegations very seriously and stand with the victims. Right now, it’s not our goal to detail the horrors of these crimes, but we’d like to take a look at the bigger picture and see what we, the church, can collectively do to fight against these types of abuses by men in power.

Power attracts the corrupt

It is possible that power can corrupt, but there are many honest people in positions of power or leadership who, while not perfect, do not abuse their positions to manipulate or take advantage of others. However, while power itself might not corrupt, it does attract the corrupt.

Those who wish to impose their darkest desires on others use positions of power to control, manipulate and silence their victims. Therefore, the church needs to make it impossible for leaders to have this kind of power. 

Faith leaders’ actions need to be transparent. Their supporting staff needs to have a strong voice and a check of power to balance that of the leaders’. 

Most importantly, the church needs to make resources and people available to help for someone dealing with abuse. Many victims are silenced or even subjected to further abuse because there was nowhere to turn for help, or where they did turn refused to take the problem seriously because of image concerns or blind faith in the abuser in question. 

We encourage you to seriously examine your faith community and see what you can do to make it more transparent and to make it easy for abuse victims to find the help and support they need.

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