WHY WE DO NOT ENDORSE DR. RAVI ZACHARIAS
It saddened me to hear that Dr. Ravi Zacharias had passed away and I prayed that the Lord would comfort his grieving family. But then just last week I prayed for my cousin who had lost his Roman Catholic father and the week before that I prayed that the Lord would comfort my Mohammedan neighbors who had lost their mother to cancer. Death is indeed a grievous thing and we should grieve with those who have lost their loved ones and pray that God would comfort their hearts. [Rom 12:15]
All that said, I do not grieve for Dr. Ravi Zacharias as I would grieve for a brother or sister in Christ, for the plain reason that the ‘Jesus’ he preached and the ‘gospel’ he eloquently defended is not the Gospel the apostles preached and contended for.
The apostle Paul was among the most educated men of his day. He was a gifted orator with a brilliant mind, and he understood people (the condition of man’s depraved heart) probably as well as anyone in history. If anyone could have utilized “excellency of speech” or the “wisdom of words” to persuade his hearers, it would have been him.
But he refused to do so!
He knew that the gospel is a demonstration of God’s power, not of the speaker’s intelligence or ability to create emotional impact. Christians must rely on the Holy Spirit to convict and teach [John 16:8, 13].
Sadly this cannot be said or Dr. Ravi Zacharias. For that which permeated his preaching and debates was the very thing the apostle decried –
“And my speech and my preaching was not with ENTICING WORDS OF MAN’S WISDOM, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the WISDOM OF MEN, but in the POWER OF GOD.” [1Cor 2:4,5]
For anyone who has attentively listened to Dr. Ravi’s preaching it should be clear that the man was an Arminian trying to please both Calvinists and Arminians! Here is a quote from him –
“If you read Romans 5, you will find out that even though God called Abraham, it was the faith of Abraham that justified him. Once again you see the sovereignty and responsibility. Why don’t we leave this enigma within the divine mind and just be grateful for the privilege that we have heard His voice and we can turn and follow Him?
May I strongly recommend that you pick up the book written by J. I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God. His introductory comments alone, dealing with the difference between a contradiction and a paradox, are well done. If God were absolutely sovereign, then it would be a contradiction to say that man is absolutely free. God is not absolutely sovereign to the point that He can call something that is not as if it actually were. For example, God cannot make squares into circles. That would be a contradiction. So absolute sovereignty is really not what is being talked about here. God, therefore, has chosen to give us the option and, within that framework, He cannot call us free while absolutely violating that freedom. Both poles exist–His sovereignty and our responsibility. We rest on the fact that God is just, that God is love, that God is good, and He woos us enough so that we may trust Him and yet gives us enough freedom so that we might know that this freedom cannot be transformed into coercion.”
Read that again, “God, therefore, has chosen to give us the option and, within that framework, He cannot call us free while absolutely violating that freedom. . . . . even though God called Abraham, it was the faith of Abraham that justified him.” Any man who makes a statement such as this has not understood the Gospel! Reminds me of some Arminians who a little while ago were trying to assert that Noah was not actually saved by Grace but by his obedience or rather his works!
Ravi Zacharias says, “He (God) cannot call us free while absolutely violating that freedom” Really? Hey, God never called us ‘free’ in the first place! Martin Luther wrote a whole volume on the ‘Bondage of the human will’. And incidentally God does violate man’s so called freedom when he regenerates him without his consent! Ravi should go read John 1:13 and learn what that meaneth! God does also ‘violate’ man’s so called freedom when He makes him willing in the Day of His power! [Psalm 110:3]
Ravi Zacharias’ position pleases all nominal Christian goats. That should be very clear from the crowds Ravi commands. But if you have an ‘unction from the Holy One’ and are “proving all things” spoken in Christ’s Name you will right away see the error and the compromise! When men say that it was the faith of Abraham which justified him or the obedience of Noah which saved him they are clearly implying that both faith and obedience are within man’s power to render them. We have written much on this and I will not labor to prove them here for lack of time and space. But please always be wary of those who say that the Bible speaks of both God’s Sovereignty and man’s responsibility and leave it there.
If a preacher speaks of ‘man’s responsibility’ and does not go on to insist and prove that that responsibility can only be rendered by God’s enabling, then he is robbing God of His glory no matter how eloquently he may be preaching!
And for the record there is no such thing as a ‘neutral’ when it comes to Soteriology (study of Salvation). There are many Youtubes and articles on the web explaining WHY Ravi Zacharias rejects Calvinism (search and see) and in rejecting Calvinism or the Reformed Faith he is in truth rejecting the Gospel! Period!
You are either an Arminian or a Calvinist! You either believe that Salvation is ALL OF GOD, or you believe that it is partly of God and partly of man!
There is NO MIDDLE GROUND!
Those who pretend that they are neither Arminians nor “Calvinists” like Ravi Zacharias are in reality hypocrites! They suppose that they are neutral! But in matters pertaining to the doctrines of Soteriology (salvation) there are NO NEUTRALS!
NOBODY IS NEUTRAL! EVERYBODY HAS A BIAS FOR OR AGAINST! You’re either a capitalist or a communist. You’re either a conservative or a liberal–a rightist or a leftist–right or wrong! Nothing short of right is right. There is no such thing as neutrality on anything. Even a battery has only two poles, positive and negative, and you cannot get them together without fireworks! No battery has neutral poles: You’re either alive or dead, hot or cold!
Oh, the neutral is always so fair! “I can see BOTH sides.” The Liar! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS BOTH SIDES! Only ONE side can be right and only ONE side can be wrong, so in claiming to be neutral and pretending to see right and wrong on both sides, the neutral puts himself above everybody.
He is the most righteous of all. He can see how everybody’s a little bit wrong but him and he is the only one right–the only one who really sees the truth, which he claims is somewhere in-between, which makes him the worst liar and most treacherous enemy of all! As Jesus said “He that is not for Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth abroad.” [Matt 12;30]
You either believe fallen man is totally depraved and CANNOT come to God of his own ‘free-will’ or you don’t! [John 6;44]
You either believe God has elected a CERTAIN NUMBER and sovereignly ordained them to eternal life or you don’t! [Acts 13:48]
You either believe that Christ laid down His life FOR THE SHEEP and them alone, as he said He did, or you don’t! [John 10:15]
You either believe that the Holy Spirit DRAWS God’s chosen by an IRRESISTIBLE POWER or you don’t! [Jer 31:3]
And finally you either believe Christ saves FULLY AND FINALLY those whom He died for unto the end or you don’t! [Heb 7:25]
There is no MIDDLE GROUND HERE!
Here’s a quote from the beloved Spurgeon – “I have my own opinion that there is no such thing as preaching Christ and Him crucified, unless we preach what nowadays is called Calvinism. It is a nickname to call it Calvinism; Calvinism is the gospel, and nothing else. I do not believe we can preach the gospel if we do not preach justification by faith without works; nor unless we preach the sovereignty of God in His dispensation of grace; nor unless we exalt the electing unchangeable eternal, immutable, conquering love of Jehovah; nor do I think we can preach the gospel unless we base it upon the special and particular redemption of His elect and chosen people which Christ wrought out upon the cross. (Charles Spurgeon, The New Park Street Pulpit, Vol. 1, 1856).
(This is not a debate or discussion! Any comments defending Ravi Zacharias will be promptly deleted! Thank you!)