@RaviZacharias was my father-in-law and “Papa” to my children. He was among the most important people in my life. He was a truly good man. Don’t believe anyone who says otherwise.
Today so much of what we ‘learn’ about public figures comes from sources who never knew or barely knew them or have an agenda. Somehow we think we can know about someone from a single headline or article.
But we’ve gotten so terrible, as a society, at recognizing the limitations of what we can know. We hear something that stirs some kind of emotion and we latch onto it and lose all discernment and blindly believe we have understood truth.
We've stopped thinking critically because so many authorities or 'experts' are there to shape our opinions. They don't just report, they try to persuade. And we accommodate them by not thinking for ourselves.
We are ripe for being manipulated. We are embarrassingly vulnerable to fake news. And we gravitate toward scandals that we far too easily believe.
And for some weird reason we seem to want to see people fall. Maybe it makes us feel better about ourselves? Maybe we are jealous of their success? Maybe we just don't really think people can be good.
But there are truly good people out there. And with all sincerity, I don’t know any man better than Ravi. (calvinists don't @ me - I'm not speaking theologically - I mean people who lived good lives by any earthly standard.)
I wish the world could have seen him with his family - Singing songs in Hindi to the wide-eyed delight of my 4 kids,
Chasing them around the room over and over and jumping out and surprising them as they laughed and screamed, Playing hide and seek, Telling them stories, Giving them nicknames,
Introducing them to new foods, teasing them and letting them tease him and then calling them ‘rascals’. His joy was genuine and immense. Theirs was even bigger.
He was devoted to people. Hours upon hours in correspondence on airplanes, sitting in his chair after meals on holidays. He made time for people like no one I have ever known and took a genuine interest in people he met.
He championed others - always more committed to advancing the gospel than his own name - he eagerly celebrated and supported the younger speakers on the team.
He was so proud of his family. His wife and kids are truly some of the brightest and most gifted people I know. But he was simply proud of the people that they are. And he loved having them willingly share in his calling and serve with him in ministry.
He was incredibly generous. He loved giving gifts to people. He rarely spent money on himself and without hesitation offered help to almost anyone who asked.
And, he took people at face value. It’s part of what made him so winsome. But he was too trusting, and it left him open to be exploited – as we now know.
I wish everyone could have seen the absolute joy he brought to my family. And the genuine devastation left behind as my not-quite-old-enough-to-understand children deal with his death.
I wish you could see the pain the family is enduring as ‘well-intended’ Christians are helping to spread lies we know are not true about a man we all loved so much
I wish God would intervene and reveal the truth of who he was so that everyone could know him and admire him for the way he truly lived his life
I wish these things could happen. I pray throughout each day that this evil nightmare could end and truth could be made clear. No family should have to endure this.
Imagine what it would be like if someone you love who recently died was falsely and publicly accused, and though you knew they were innocent, people were aggressively maligning them- purporting to know more than you - even as you continue to mourn.
You want to shout the truth from the rooftops. But you know it won’t do any good – people want to believe the scandal - and your shouting, you're told, could make things worse. And people are already twisting the few words you have chosen to speak.
So you have to endure. You ask God to intervene, but realize he may choose not to. You hope the accusers admit their schemes. Hope the journalists take off their blinders and see the holes in the story. You have to pray.
So I invite you to pray with me for truth to be made known. The truth. That’s what Ravi was committed to. That’s what we desperately want to happen now.
A man lives a life of integrity for 74 years, and people will still believe lies that are wholly incompatible with who he was. People who didn't know him might believe the lies - but not those who knew him well.
So please - don't believe the lies. Consider the sources. Did they know him? Are they trustworthy? Be sure to listen to people who actually knew him. And pray for truth to be made known and not distorted to spin a false narrative.

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