Since RZIM just released their report, I’d like to say a few things. Considering what I heard about the investigators’ aggressive behavior towards favorable interviews toward my dad, their rather one-sided interview list, and the fact that RZIM released a verdict of guilt in December without anyone at the ministry actually seeing the evidence, I just don’t exactly have faith in the process or complete accuracy of the information.
Sometime in December, this became less about the fearless pursuit of truth and accountability, and it became more about the fearful appeasement of the mob and channeling our own hurt through severe judgment. If these things about Dad are true, there was a way to handle this honestly and respectfully without being hurtful and voyeuristic.
I am deeply disappointed in the way this has been handled by RZIM. I don’t know or care who decided what. I just care what the decisions were because cooperation was only ever a one way street. The last 6 months, Mom has refrained from speaking out publicly as a wife at RZIM’s request for fear it hurt their public stance, she handed over dad’s devices (it was not RZIM who did that) for examination, and taken other sacrificial steps at their request too. She wasn’t interviewed by the investigators. It would seem getting as much of a full picture of a man would benefit an investigation of areas of weakness, but I guess was outside the scope of the investigation.
She’s been silenced and sidelined both personally and professionally, with no consideration or help given in return.
My mom was not given the courtesy of seeing the material and “evidence” first when it was finally presented officially a couple of days ago. Instead, a board of 18 people, senior leadership, and even someone no longer on staff at RZIM got to ask questions and pour over every detail of allegations that didn’t even involve them. Yet my mom, who has more of a right to know every single detail than anyone, was not allowed in. After many persistent requests, she was eventually emailed the report report. Something considerably different than hearing it directly from the investigator and being able to ask them direct questions.
She has given her life to this organization. And this is how she was treated in the worst crisis and pain of her life. It’s not ok, and that is why I’m speaking up.
Dad was a human being, a brother, a son, an uncle, a father, a grandfather and a husband. All of which take precedence over “Founder of RZIM.” However it is how his alleged mistakes affected RZIM and only one category of “victim” that seems to have been the focus. But for any family reeling? “We love you and will hug you as we shut the door behind you.”
He was not RZIM’s and the Christian culture’s commodity to buy when popular and sell out when no longer helpful to them. They were happy to run him into the ground no matter how tired he was or how much pain he was in. Now they’re happy to bury him. As I type this, they’re erasing him from social media. Unfortunately for Dad, he’s not as worthy of grace as the woman at the well or the woman accused of adultery. And unfortunately for him, he’s not as lucky as the woman who with the alabaster jar, who though still engaged with sin was welcomed by Jesus to worship Him – which is what Dad did through his messages. But we’re a better society now. We’re only worthy of a hearing if we’re not struggling.
Through this process they have done this on their terms in a one-sided and self preserving investigation. They have dictated the future of his name and called into question our own futures, while we have been told to keep quiet and just take it. Forgive me if I can’t do either anymore.
Regardless of whether today’s report is right or not, the handling of this has been very hurtful to a family that also had legitimate rights in this process. If these things are true, Dad’s choices absolutely went against his Christian beliefs. And that is deeply painful. But so have RZIM’s choices. And they have added more pain that actually could have been avoided.
In closing, I’ll quote from an ariticle posted by RZIM last summer, by Abdu Murray. “In cancel culture, we are defined by our latest mistake. Social recovery is rare. But being canceled needn’t define those victims. Jesus, after all, counted “canceled” people—tax collectors, zealots, prostitutes— among his disciples. Where others would respond to our shame with indignation, Jesus responds with love, forgiveness, and grace. Many are searching for a recovered or even redeemed identity. The culture will not give it to them. But Jesus can. In our temporal and cultural snobbery, we would do well to learn from the Eastern itinerant preacher from Nazareth.”
Wish they believed that. I do.