Another famous Christian has been proven to have committed horrible acts. I’m not here to comment on the whole Ravi Zacharias thing. Enough people are doing that, some good and some bad. But the sad reality is that this whole situation will largely be forgotten about in a years time. There will be those who never forget, but the majority of the world will. That’s a problem!
Too often we suffer from short-term memory loss, or we just don’t want to deal with the issues.
If we say it’s short-term memory loss then it’s a problem because we don’t actually learn from our mistakes. We feel the initial shock and pain of a situation, but we don’t actually deal with it. Or maybe we’re naive enough to think that it’s an ‘out there problem’ that it’s something only others struggle with.
Scandals happen in churches all over the world and every time it happens people mourn publicly and some point the finger. People start to talk about solutions and ways that scandals can be avoided. But does it actually happen? Within 6 months to a year everyone seems to have moved on and we’re back to ‘business as usual’.
We need to recognise that the church is not perfect, that no Christian is perfect. We need to call our sin when we see it and do something about it. But I’m addition to that we need to realise that scandal is not far away from anyone. After a scandal it’s so easy for people to adopt the ‘that could never happen to me’ attitude. But that prevents real heart-searching work that needs to be done by every Christian, not just the well-known ones. Each one of us need to learn from the horrific things that happen and actively work to put safeguards in place.
But the more significant danger is the other issue, that we might just not want to deal with an issue.
Why is this more significant? Because it isn’t honest, it goes against the command to be holy and it makes sin our friend rather than our enemy. There are so many more reasons, but that’ll do for now.
Refusing to deal with the sin in our own lives, which may only be visible to us, is a huge problem. We believe the lies that ‘this will be the last time’ or ‘I have this under control’ or ‘I can stop this whenever I want’. The lies go on but they all point to the same root problem; consciously living in sin, covering up, or making excuses for it, is like trying to fix a broken dam with a plaster. Not dealing with sin is like throwing a grenade under your house.
Eventually everything will come to light, relationships will be ruining in the process. People will get hurt. Holiness is crucified on the alter of comfort. The cross of Christ is mocked by a conscious decision to live for self and sin.
A scandal is a horrible reminder to every single one of us that sin is crouching at the door. How do we stop it from happening? There are tons of practical things we could do, tons of biblical truths that we should live out and we need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us. But two practical things we can all do;
- Learn from the mistakes of others and actively do something to prevent them in your own life. Set up structures in place to stop these things happening in your homes, churches and organisations.
- Tackle the problems head on! Do not brush sin under the carpet. Do not choose conformity and comfort over Christ and faithfulness. Die daily to self and live for Christ.