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Old 05-20-2020, 11:00 AM   #1
aron
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Default Ravi Zacharias 1946-2020

“He saw the objections and questions of others not as something to be rebuffed, but as a cry of the heart that had to be answered. People weren’t logical problems waiting to be solved; they were people who needed the person of Christ.”

In the LC we were trained, conditioned, and programmed: don't object, don't question. It was so refreshing, after coming out of the LC, to see a man who'd stand in front of a largely skeptical and even occasionally hostile audience, listen to their objections and questions and challenges, and show them respect in his answer. He met people where they were.

In the LC, I'd see talks by a man which would contradict earlier talks, or contradict stated positions, or be at variance with NT patterns. I've outlined some of them before, so I won't enumerate here. But these questionable assertions were put forth in front of thousands, and not one question would come up from the audience.

I'm very thankful for Ravi Zacharias' journey. He showed me that it's okay to try to think for oneself. God won't strike me dead for attempting the feat. Witness Lee taught us that thinking would only produce confusion.

Ravi Zacharias, rest in peace. Journey over. Witness Lee, thank you for showing me a path that I don't want to go down. May you also find peace from your journey. And may everyone be encouraged to think for themselves, to own every one of their thoughts, and to question all the sources of even their most prized beliefs.
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Old 05-20-2020, 11:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ravi Zacharias 1946-2020

I remember when I first heard the RZIM motto "Helping the Thinker Believe. Helping the Believer Think"...I thought, what a strange notion this is! It seemed almost antithetical to everything I had learned in the Local Church of Witness Lee for decades. After all, wasn't it obvious to every Christian that we need to "get out of our mind and get our spirit in gear!". After all, Watchman Nee and Brother Witness Lee had done all the thinking for us, and all we had to do was soak up all of those glorious riches! Thinking was part of the "low gospel". Why would we ever go back to such a low gospel when we had the highest Gospel. God doesn't need thinkers, he needs Godmen! He doesn't need Christians "in their mind", he needs Christians "in their spirit!".

What a great and fruitful legacy Ravi Zacharias has left to the Body of Christ! After 35+ years of ministry, over 100 full-time Christian evangelists and apologists of all races and cultures have been raised up. Nearly every tribe, tongue and nation has been reached in the Name of Jesus Christ and for the sake of his glorious Gospel.

Witness Lee ministered for 35+ years here in America. What is the legacy of his "Ministry of the Age"? - A dozen or so "Blended Co-Workers" who have nothing to offer accept the rehashed teachings of a man who died about 23 years ago. They claim to have "High Peak Truths", but the vast majority of the Body of Christ, and the test of time, have shown that Lee's teachings were neither high, nor true. The movement Lee boastfully proclaimed as "The Lord's Recovery" has turned out to be neither - it is neither of the Lord, nor any kind of recovery.

If Ravi Zacharias and his ministry were poor, poor Christianity, then let every young person and new believer strive to be as poor as Ravi.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ravi Zacharias 1946-2020

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
If Ravi Zacharias and his ministry were poor, poor Christianity, then let every young person and new believer strive to be as poor as Ravi.
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I remember watching a video, some 15-odd years out of the LC, and here's this guy RZ. He's standing on stage, with some young 20-something sitting in a chair next to him, and he's talking. Then he asks if there are any questions. The whole auditorium is full of people, mostly young college types, many bright, educated, curious, many skeptical, some disdainful. And the questions came: often quite aggressive against the Christian position. He faced the scorn, listened, thought, affirmed the person behind the question, and then answered.

It was amazing. He was listening to people who didn't think like he did! He didn't run away, and hide, and he didn't chase them out of the room, or tell them to sit down and be quiet! He let them speak! And he listened!

I thought, wow, this is the gospel. Do unto others... show them respect. Show them their thoughts and feelings and questions matter. Don't suppress people! Let them be exactly what they are, today. Meet them there...Wow... so encouraging.

I remember that he'd say, "Now let's look at your question. What are the assumptions behind that statement..."...….."? And he'd dissect it right in front of their eyes. But there was never disrespect, or antagonism. There was affirmation of the human being behind the voice, even if it wasn't a friendly or open voice. There was a real, live person there, and RZ was listening to them.

I only watched a few videos but it made an impression that has lasted. Very few people have helped me, post-LC, as much as that minister.

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Originally Posted by aron View Post
In the LC we were trained, conditioned, and programmed: don't object, don't question..
Of course this is a generalization, not true for all. And it's somewhat loaded terminology, and provocative as well. I'm trying to get people to think, to question, to re-examine - 'can this really be true' - but it may prompt the opposite. It may prompt a closing in, and walling off.

So I'll qualify my words: I was programmed to speak English. I was conditioned in my HS football team. All of us are programmed in some way or another. I'm just saying, Question everything. Even your questions! And especially your answers! And let others question you. This forum has been a God-send. It's allowed me a voice, and an opportunity to try and listen.
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ravi Zacharias 1946-2020

Some of us went to mega church building to hear him and Dennis Prager speak together a few years ago and answer questions. It was fascinating, to say the least! Only time I've seen either in person. Well done good and faithful servant - you are resting in the arms of Jesus now brother!
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Old 05-20-2020, 01:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ravi Zacharias 1946-2020

Ravi and his team came to my town a coupla years ago while I was still meeting with my LC friends. I noticed none of them showed up to the free lectures being held in the local university much less the evening ones held in a different church each evening.

I shared with the LC people some things spoken, especially about the historical link with care of the vulnerable and creativity that has accompanied Christianity throughout the world. At the time I had no idea that those were 2 things the LC categorically rejects!

Needless to say now, they politely added nothing to my enthusiastic comments. That helped make me aware how deeply they rejected all else that the Christian world has to offer.

Amen to all said above concerning Ravi Zacharius.
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Old 05-20-2020, 03:35 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ravi Zacharias 1946-2020

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Originally Posted by Curious View Post
I shared with the LC people some things spoken, especially about the historical link with care of the vulnerable and creativity that has accompanied Christianity throughout the world. At the time I had no idea that those were 2 things the LC categorically rejects!

Needless to say now, they politely added nothing to my enthusiastic comments. That helped make me aware how deeply they rejected all else that the Christian world has to offer.
I'm curious (actually you're "Curious" ) - what were those two things LC people had no comment on?
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Old 05-20-2020, 04:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ravi Zacharias 1946-2020

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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I'm curious - what were those two things LC people had no comment on?
1. Care for the vulnerable
2. Creativity

"Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." ~Steve Jobs, 2005
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Old 05-21-2020, 09:54 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ravi Zacharias 1946-2020

Ravi Zacharias did not invent Christian intellectualism, but his contributions in this area to the Body of Christ, and even to mankind, are nearly inestimable. "Let my people think" wasn't just a soundbite or corporate ministry slogan, but a battle cry of sorts for many Christians to "gird up the loins of your mind" and "make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you", and Ravi did so in a manner that one hardly sees in recent times - he did so "with gentleness and respect". (1 Peter chp 1)

Zacharias took the fight to the front lines of academia, where he used his apologetical and philosophical skills, and coupled them with a genuine heart of compassion for the unbeliever, to reach even the most skeptical of college students. Here is a short YouTube video of Ravi explaining the Trinity on a college campus in 2005. The video quality is not so good, but the audio is clear enough. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c9gwoZNudCI - One of my favorite "Ravisms" is found in his answer to this young man: "Only in the Trinity is there unity and diversity in the community in the Trintiy" Maybe if we all pray-read this one 20 times we'll get it!

Zacharias' ministry, RZIM , exemplifies what it really looks like when a ministry is actually and truly "for the churches" (aka, the Body of Christ) and not the other way around. Ravi and his associates and proteges have given infinitely more than they have taken, and because of this God has honored and blessed RZIM, and this blessing has been of huge benefit to God's people throughout the whole earth.

Rest in peace O man of God. Well done good and faithful servant.

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Old 05-21-2020, 10:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ravi Zacharias 1946-2020

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Zacharias' ministry, RZIM , exemplifies what it really looks like when a ministry is actually and truly "for the churches" (aka, the Body of Christ) and not the other way around. Ravi and his associates and proteges have given infinitely more than they have taken, and because of this God has honored and blessed RZIM, and this blessing has been of huge benefit to God's people throughout the whole earth.
This struck me. Wow. For the churches.
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Old 05-25-2020, 06:26 AM   #10
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Default Further thoughts on Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias was, in many ways, the ultimate itinerant preacher - a "free agent" of sorts, not tied to any one church, church group or denomination. Although this idea of an itinerant preacher is virtually anathema to Witness Lee and his followers, the function is actually more biblical than most of us probably would think. After all, the Lord Jesus sent out "seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go." Luke 10:1

The only thing that Ravi seemed to be tied to, as far as Christianity was concerned, was his life-long proclamation of "Let My People Think!", and he took this proclamation "into every town and place" for about 48 years. Ravi's last message was in January of this year at the Passion 2020 conference. I highly recommend that everyone in the forum listen to this message:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WOHS-OGAlY
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