It has been a couple days and I’m still in disbelief. Why, Ravi, why?
He knew better. He knew teachers would be judged more harshly. He knew that invoking God’s name in these abuses was a direct violation of the 4th commandment. He knew that the things done in the dark would be brought to the light. He knew the consequences of sexual sin. So… why?
Tears are welling up for a man I never knew, but loved dearly. Throughout my life as a Christian, especially when I was new to the faith, I would listen to him as a child listens to his grandfather when he speaks. I found his voice and the things he said comforting and encouraging. I never had the opportunity to have a relationship with either of my grandfathers and listening to him filled something of a void. Those peaceful encouragements lulled me to sleep so many nights.
Apologists and doubters, you need to face this. We need to face this. It’s easy for us to take pot shots at skeptics that are guilty of all kinds of heinous sins. It’s easy for the Protestant to take shots at the abuses of the young in the Catholic church. It’s easy to make fun of Osteen, Dollar, Furtick and those cut from that cloth. We must face it when our heroes fall. We must.
This is enough of a black eye as it is on the bride of Christ. Don’t further shame the name of God by not holding him accountable. You may say “Brian, it’s too late for that. He’s dead.” Yeah… I know. He’s gone. But those women are still alive and so is a watching world. We can’t pretend this didn’t happen and we cannot defend him, as I’ve sadly seen happen in many threads.
What is the answer? What do we do? We can’t call out his sin that he may be brought to repentance now. We can’t prosecute him that justice may be meted out. But, if we ignore it, what does that say about what we believe? Do we believe these image bearers deserve justice? Do we believe these image bearers deserve to be heard? Do we really believe all have fallen short of the glory of God? Will we allow ourselves to be lumped in with so many that ignore heinous sins that happen on their watch?
Brothers and sisters, we can’t do that. We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We must hold one another accountable. We must repent of our sins, especially sexual sin. It’s a beast that will devour you if it goes unchecked. I myself know what it’s like to feel consumed by it and trapped. I know what it’s like to feel like it can’t be given up.
Friends, God had mercy on me. He set me free. I’m not a perfect man and I won’t pretend that all of a sudden I am cloaked in holiness and I never stumble. But, it does not rule me. Surround yourself in community that you can confess your sin to. Bring it to the light. Be set free. Be encouraged and admonished in the lord, lest you end up like him.
There is talk about possible deathbed repentance, but this is all speculation. Who knows how often this really takes place? We have no way to know. If you’re reading or listening to this, you still have the chance to turn away.
Flee, church! Flee!