The Proof Is In, The Model Is Unworkable

The report was just posted yesterday.

An external audit of RZIM has issued a report on the allegations against Ravi Zacharias, and it is shocking beyond words!  That is not hyperbole; it is shocking beyond words.  When a report includes the word “rape,” it is mind-boggling!

One conclusion is clear, as has been demonstrated over and over (on even lesser scales, accountability can not be and must not be governed by those who are part of the institutional, corporate culture.   Those in leadership positions at RZIM have utterly failed at . . . .

  • detecting the deception of Ravi Zacharias
  • asking the right questions
  • seeking appropriate outside help to assess the situation
  • investigating the complaints and charges which were made
  • show sufficient concern for those who were abused by the ministry
  • genuinely giving those used and abused a fair hearing
  • addressing the complaints and charges (until forced to by public and private pressure)
  • accepting responsibility

As previously stated, the “church’s model of leadership accountability” is “unworkable!”

Over and over, we see the same pattern . . .
The Inability Of Church Leaders To Hold Other Leaders Accountable.

That has been established time and time again.   The ministry and local church model for dealing with misconduct is proven once again as inoperable — by the starkest example.  “Too many patients have died on the table” to allow boards, fellow ministry leaders, deacons, or church elders to be part of the “diagnosis and operation.”

There are two primary reasons for the ministry and local church model’s failure.

#1) Relationships (and this is #1):

Relationships interfere with clear-mindedness and judgment.

Once someone gains power in a broken system, then, they enter an elite subgroup within that system. Their fellow power-holders will do everything in their power to protect them.” [1]

As stated, the power holders finally speak out when it eventually or ultimately becomes perfectly safe to do so, when this-or-that leader makes a terrible decision or engages in an inexcusable action, which makes him radioactive then impossible to help or save.

“A broken system contains almost no provisions for reining in wrongdoers or removing them from power — because then all of these power-holders’ positions would land on the chopping block. None of the leaders in these systems really deserve to be there, and most of them behave in ways that would get them instantly removed from power in more functional systems. Not so, in broken systems.” [1]

#2)  The Arrogance Of Those With Power & Position:  Those who are in positions of power and who could and should have detected and addressed it were AWOL!  Those who are in oversight positions of power, just like the leaders they oversee, are far too often arrogant!  The ministry directors, chief administrators,  school presidents, and pastors are convinced that they will not be found out and/or that they can talk their way around and out of their wrong-doing.  Like them, those overseeing the organization are also self-convinced that they have the facts and the story right!

The proof?  No one of them has stepped down from their position of “corporate oversight!”  Apparently, they feel no need to immediately step down from their positions!  They should.  They failed, and if they failed to detect one of the most egregious violations of morality, they lack the ability and/or the desire to detect anything.  They failed even to detect the “smell!”  They should all resign!

It was not that they were unable to detect such a smell, which many outside of the organization thought worth a serious investigation.  But it seems obvious that they were unwilling to even pick up the scent until enough pressure was applied.  They were not unable; they were resistant —  which goes back to point #1.

This starkest example argues for the brokenness of the model to even detect wrong-doing and wrong-doers who are engaged in far lesser abuses of power!  If leadership “couldn’t” detect this odor, then what has to “die” before the scent is picked up!

How many more people [– co-workers, church members, new believers, loyal opposition, ministry volunteers, givers, trusting servants, church whistleblowers, dismissed members –] need to “die on the table” before it is admitted that the internal leadership of a parachurch ministry or a local church, cannot and/or will not address the wrongdoing of its top leaders!

The natural tendency is for leaders and leadership to cover-up,
not to address wrong-doing, and wrong-doers!

We, of all people, should know that!
II Samuel 11!

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