It only takes a cursory reading of ministry wrong-doing to realize that there is a repeated pattern — in fact there are several obvious patterns.
√ One pattern is the use and abuse of God’s people.
√ A second pattern is the abuse of biblical truths and principles which are invoked to conceal, not shed light, on wrong-doing and wrong-doers. The most abused passage of Scripture is Matthew 18.
√ The third pattern is stated by John Dickson, representative of RZIM in Australia, who just resigned.
Here is what Dickson said . . . .
“Back in 2017 the sexting allegations were explained away to me, by senior leaders at RZIM, as malicious and entirely false.
I believed my friends.
I just believed them. I guess I wanted to believe them. I didn’t even think to dig up the court records for myself and scrutinise any inconsistencies in what I had been told.
I somehow didn’t think through how inappropriate it was for the Zacharias family to impose a non-disclosure agreement on Lori Anne Thompson.
I defended Ravi to all who criticised him, even after his death in May.
And even when the spa allegations came out in September, I still kept on saying to critics who asked my opinion, “I fear the worst, but my personal knowledge of Ravi makes it hard for me to accept the allegations, and my trust in the organisation gives me confidence they will pursue the truth above all else.” I’m not able to say that anymore.”
Here is what account after account of ministry wrong-doing repeatedly demonstrates when it comes to the fellow leaders, board members, administrative personal, staff, or pastors.
- Wrong-doing explained away.
- The defending of wrong-doing and/or wrong-doers,
- over a period of time
- by those who do not want to believe what has actually happened,
- to a fault,
- to a shameful fault,
- even after another example is provided,
- because of a personal and experiential knowledge — which is contrary to how they have been treated and dealt with in that ministry.