On Standing & Falling

Pastor Nate here. Back from blogging exile to once again post on the site. It’s not that I don’t write anything. I write a sermon every week. I write to our church leaders to encourage and grow them frequently, but I don’t post as often here as I should. Today, I just wanted to share a few words that I wrote to our church elders in my weekly briefing to them. When we see the fall of leaders, it is important to take heed. It is a lesson to all of us. Here’s what I wrote to the ACC Elders: 
Today I simply want to encourage your reading and meditation on this one verse from 1 Corinthians 10:12. There Paul writes: “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.”

These haunting words remind me of revelations that have come to light in the past weeks and months regarding a speaker, apologist & evangelist by the name of Ravi Zacharias. Ravi’s writings, talks, debates, radio broadcasts & podcasts have been incredibly helpful to many believers. In fact, the college groups that I have taken to Passion conferences have been able to hear Ravi speak twice, the latest time being last January for Passion 2020. This was just a few months before he passed away from cancer.

In the 9 months since he died, terrible things have come to light about Ravi’s ministry and his sexual sins that have come into the light. You can read many of the details that investigations found in a variety of media outlets. (For examples, check out Christianity Today’s report or The Dispatch). A man who said and wrote incredible things, was (behind the scenes) guilty of saying and doing horrible and deplorable things to women. If you think you stand … take heed.

It is important for us as leaders (and as a church) to take heed that we feed a culture of transparency & accountability, rather than one of assumption, power-plays or duplicity. It is important that you hold me accountable and I hold you accountable. It is important that we ask hard questions. One thing that is abundantly clear from Ravi’s ministry is that there was no accountability structure to hold Mr. Zacharias accountable for his time and habits in the midst of all his travels and schedule.

Some of you are probably thinking “What the heck is he going on about? Does any of this actually affect us at all?” Granted, I wonder that at times too, but not this time. I have seen affairs and sexual abuse wreck churches both bigger and smaller than us. We are not above it.

Take heed if you think you’re standing. Your fall could be around the corner. Ravi’s example reminds me that no leader (or Christian) is above it. Which is why we must be ready. We must support one another. We must be accountable to one another. We must pray for each other. 1 Peter 4:8-9: “Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith …”