When a leader lets you down …
I have had a few conversations with people over the recent exposure of Ravi Zacharias double life. I have one friend who was devastated by the revelation as he truly looked up to the man as a hero. Lots of questions begin to go through your mind. ‘Was Zacharias a Christian? If so, how could he do such heinous acts? Are my current church leaders trustworthy? Is Christianity even real or is it make-believe?’ The accuser begins to use such doubts and questions to weaken our faith. It is one of his favorite ploys to use the fallen nature of mankind to make you doubt the redeeming power and transformation of the gospel.
Along with many of my fellow church members, I also had to go through the struggle of seeing one of my mentors and friends commit a moral failing. It shook me to my core. Thoughts like ‘surely not him!’ or ‘If he can’t endure, who of us can?’ These thoughts plagued me for months. But the Lord used that time to draw me to Jesus. My hope is not in any mortal man. Nor is even in my own ability to keep myself saved or pure. My hope is in Jesus Christ alone. I had to repent of the idolatry I had made of my friend. And I came to trust in my all-sufficient Savior all the more.
A help article for me was written by Gavin Ortlund back in 2015. You can find it here:
The only idea I would add to Ortlund’s thoughts is when one comes to embrace his four principles, also pray for the victims of the failed leader. Particularly those who not only had their trust broken, but were preyed upon and abused. These victims will need a special measure of God’s grace to see that Christ is still trustworthy, despite a poor messenger.