Preface: The following is me processing some of the responses to my recent take on Ravi Zacharias. If you found it triggering, please exercise care in reading this. I’m processing my own errors and problematic reads of the situation, which hopefully will benefit people in a similar place. But it’s my primary wish that I do no further harm, hence this warning.
The TL;DR is that some parts of my take were insufficiently clearly targeted, are problematic, and I’m sorry that that caused harm to some readers. One person spoke up, but I assume I have other harmed friends that did not.
I recently wrote my thoughts about the Ravi Zacharias findings, where basically everything awful he was accused of was true, and it was in some cases even worse. I had a specific audience in mind for that piece, though I don’t think I was explicitly clear about that. I was thinking about people who had received beneficial spiritual formation from the hands of toxic or problematic people and/or organizations. While Zacharias was not a meaningful part of my spiritual formation in any direct way, he probably was through the people he influenced. But for me, it was an arms-length problem.
I can tell you who I was not thinking about directly, and that’s survivors of abuse.
Rachael Denhollander, a well-known survivor who also works with organizations to root out abuse culture, and who is in fact working with RZIM, had this to say about the many thinkpieces being produced:
She goes on in the thread to talk about the Monday morning quarterbacks out there who applaud the right steps being taken but had nothing to say while women were being harmed, or worse, sided with the abuser.
I thought that this was concerning and wondered if my comments would be considered that way. So I quoted her tweet with this: