Abdu Murray Email

I wrote this post a while back but never came back to it. However, after some recent comments by one former executive, I thought it appropriate to come back to it now since she resorted to some of the same defenses as to why she, and others, supposedly didn’t question allegations more. As usual it tends to take the “I’m guilty but I’m really not” tactic.

The basic claim is that Dad presented his defense as one of spiritual warfare, and that the defense of Dad from those closest to him was based all on his word and not on any examination of the facts. All of that is false, as I’ll explain below.

I’ll say one thing for the vocal former RZIM people – they’ve done a remarkable job of supposedly accepting “responsibility” while simultaneously blaming anyone else in the organization for their own inability to see the “truth.” In essence, if their take is true, they are saying, “I’m so sorry I was so easily manipulated, misled and subjective in my analysis of the facts. I’m so sorry my belief in and love of the person caused me to miss the ‘truth.’”

That is unfortunate for many reasons. For one thing, it’s the scandal defense equivalent of when the hiring manager asks you for your biggest weakness and you say it’s that you care too much.

But beyond that, they talk about all the ways they were misled, gullible, and undiscerning, and then they claim to be experts at analyzing evidence and logic.

Awkward.

Also, this same individual that recently commented, helped lead a dramatic break with the US organization after the report came out. They said they didn’t want to be associated with an organization and brand that had so badly mishandled this. Then they ran off with the historic building paid for by the US organization and still use it today.

And, fun fact, though they took a public stance in breaking with the organization in February of 2020, they continued to accept their regular funding from them through the end of the fiscal year, which would have ended Sept 30, 2020. Not surprisingly, they didn’t make a public statement about that. And the UK office was almost entirely funded by the US, so that was no small amount. That means the break was on paper and in interviews about taking a stand because of their belief in alleged victims, but it wasn’t in their bank accounts. And if what we’ve been told is true, some within that group, have possibly accepted funds from RZIM since, and will continue to do so. They were “ethical” enough to publicly denounce my Dad and the US Board, but not so ethical that they couldn’t privately accept their assets, which were all raised on Dad’s name.

With that preamble said, what follows next is what I originally wrote for this post.

Below is an email written to my Dad from Abdu Murray in 2017. Abdu was closely involved in conversations with Dad and other members of leadership regarding the accusations in 2017, as well as Steve Baughman’s regular attacks against my Dad. He knew the information very well, as well as all the people involved. Abdu was with Dad when he met with Baughman, and Abdu’s analysis, both before and after that meeting, was that Baughman was “crazy.”

This email contradicts the narrative that some ex and current RZIM people are running with now, which is that their belief in Dad back in 2017 was based purely on their trust in him and not any evidence. But here you’ll see that Abdu mentions he knows the facts and considers Dad to be clearly innocent.

As a side note, when the C&MA did their first investigation, Dad was not alone in that room with their investigators. There was another leadership member in there to observe (it was not Abdu). The investigators did not hold back in their questions. That staff member heard the questions, heard Dad’s answers, and heard all the information that the investigators had on the situation. That person came out of that process still completely convinced of Dad’s innocence. There was no question in his mind. So the notion that Dad didn’t face tough questions and that leadership didn’t get extensive answers is not true.

The M&M report also painted a picture of Dad as a man who was secretive, evasive, vindictive and calculating. If true, that would show up in all kinds of ways. But in this note Abdu gives Dad high praise for the integrity with which he lived, and the way that he inspired others to act in the same manner.

Also, some have stated Dad’s belief that the attacks were spiritual warfare designed to stop him. But they’ve acted like he was the one who pushed it. You’ll see in this email that Dad was not alone in that conviction.

In short, Abdu knew the details better than most and got to observe Dad more closely than many. He considered Dad to be a man of high integrity. He is also an attorney and he clearly considered Dad innocent, and considered the accuser to be undeniably dishonest.

(And as it relates to those 2017 accusations, nothing in the report changed the understood facts of that case. RZIM just decided to accept it, despite all of their due diligence years ago that told them otherwise. As I’ve stated before, they chose the PR path. The only way to appease the mob and to protect their names was to act like everything ever mentioned or alleged was true, regardless of what the facts did or did not say).

Here is the text of the email, as well as screenshots.

Dear Ravi,


The past few days may have been trying for you with Christians seemingly eager to jump onto the side of Mr. Baugham’s misrepresentations. You’ve been in ministry much longer than I have and so saying something to you about all of this may seem obvious. But I’ve been thinking of you all day and felt compelled to write this to you.


I’ve never been one to over-spiritualized things by blaming Satan for every adversity we might face in life or even ministry in specific. But what I’ve seen in the past few months has me thoroughly convinced that spiritual forces are aligning to try to slow your effectiveness or even stifle it altogether. The reason? Because more people than ever, those with global influence and those whose influence goes no further than their immediate families, are coming to know the Lord through your ministry.

And so, strangely, maybe you can take some solace in the fact that you’re under unfair scrutiny and subject to slander because God is using you perhaps more effectively than ever in your decades-long ministry. The enemy would like nothing more than for fewer people to hear what God has to say through you and so is using critics (sadly including Christians) to limit your audiences and distract you from God’s calling. I’m privileged to be part of what God is doing through RZIM and will work with you and the team to stem these efforts to silence you. Though we shouldn’t be surprised by the attacks in light of the ministry’s success, the attacks still hurt, I’m sure.


You’ve impacted so many, including and especially people on your team who know the facts and don’t doubt your integrity. In fact, we’ve been inspired by it to act with integrity in our own ministries. Even now, I’m fully confident that your chief concerns have not been for yourself. They’ve been for Jesus’ reputation, the gospel’s advancement, your family, and your teammates. That’s the kind of character for which I left my own ministry to work with RZIM.


Countless Scriptures come to mind about facing persecution and even slander and despiteful use. I’m sure I don’t need to remind you of them. Suffice it to say that your endurance through all of this has been an example for those of us who might face similar scrutiny one day. You’ve taught us through words, but especially by example. I’m forever grateful for that.


Grateful to call you friend, Abdu

Nothing Has Changed

Many people have written in to ask if a quiet blog means something has changed. As was the case before, no, nothing has changed. We still believe in Dad’s innocence, we still believe the investigation was biased and unethical, and we believe RZIM’s leadership mishandled many things, as well.

Unfortunately, because Dad is no longer here, our official options to clear his name are extremely limited. It’s been easy for people to assume that we have certain options at our disposal. We do not. Dad was denied due process, yet our system prevents us from more aggressively fighting it because of his absence. The whole thing, starting several years back, has successfully, and cruelly, navigated a series of cracks in the system that dishonest people can, and have, used to their advantage.

But we maintain that we have not found the evidence claimed in the report, nor any items/communications in other formats/belongings that would hint at any of this being true.

Another reason for not posting more about some of the nonsense out there is that I have not wanted this blog to become one of destruction. People often ask me what I have to say about the latest thing said by one of the opportunists born out of this situation. There are plenty of ways I could go after them and the high horse of cards from where they erroneously judge my Dad. Some of them have straight up lied and rewritten their own story at RZIM to change the things I, and others, WITNESSED them to say/do over the years.

I could take them on more directly, but it would very easily turn from defending Dad into just mudslinging. And that would be no better than those who have chosen to destroy just to make a name/career for themselves. So while there are those who still weigh in from time to time, I will not be responding to them despite their list of lies and misrepresentations.

However, even though there is no massive update, I will list a few previously unsaid details that we’ve learned, as well as a recap of a few things I’ve already shared.

  • My mom was never questioned. She has knowledge that could be used to verify if these accusers were telling the truth or lying, something that is actually standard practice in such investigations. And she knew the man for 54 years. Instead they chose not to talk to her at all. What sort of allegedly objective investigation would not speak to the person’s spouse?
  • We know they biased one key person against Dad by telling him Dad was guilty before they interviewed him, and then that person in turn spread that news to others before they were interviewed. And we know they physically intimidated another interviewee who was defending Dad.
  • There was no chain of custody given for the phones they examined, something that many attorneys and investigators have told us is a significant red flag and cause to discredit the whole process.
  • Though we don’t know all names involved, we do know some. And for one of the supposedly most “credible” of them, we have documentation/testimony sent in to RZIM at one point giving extensive detail and history as to why the accuser should not be believed.
  • There was at least one very significant testimony defending Dad, from someone who had a unique and important vantage point of Dad’s behavior. In fact, you could argue that in recent years he had more eyewitness account of Dad’s travel life than anyone else. That person said they never witnessed anything that gave a hint of things like this, and they were disappointed to see that their testimony was not included in the report. A fair report would have included all sides related to the subject matter, not just what fit the narrative they wanted.
  • We have not found the photos or communications mentioned in the report, or any others that cause concern. It would mean every single piece of evidence on that phone had been deleted and was only found through forensic investigation. That does not make sense or seem likely.
  • We have texts from two public sources of “information,” Vicki Blue & Anurag Sharma. For more information on those, you can read about them in previous posts. But one thing I did not include from before, was a couple of exchanges between Anurag and my Dad. At one point, Anurag asks Dad if he would be his “Catholic brother for 55 minutes.” (And, no, Dad was not Catholic, this was just Anurag’s choice of words as he was referring to the practice of confessing to a priest.) He then goes on to talk about some things he wanted to change in his life. But that does not make sense. If you believed a man to be a moral deviant, would you go to him asking for help with your own challenges? Would you see that person as one of spiritual and moral authority? No, you wouldn’t.
  • Anurag also says at one point, “Sir Ji, I am going through a lot including very unreasonable thoughts at time. I guess I am not at ease with the cards life has dealt with me.”[sic] I wonder, how far did these unreasonable thoughts go? Did they extend to the change in his account of Dad’s life after he passed?
  • I’ve shown that M&M manipulated at least one fact, taking it out of context (driving directions) and reporting it as an inappropriate one (massage directions). If they did that, why should we assume they didn’t do that with anything else?
  • We have accounts from (now) former board members who questioned the report and objected to what RZIM was going to do with it. They were verbally intimidated to vote with the majority or abstain, rather than vote no. One dissenting member was told to resign BEFORE the vote rather than vote no, as she intended.
  • We have it in writing from one board member mentioning the fact that they knew there are things in there that may not be reliable. It’s no secret that they believed some of it. But they didn’t believe all of it. This board member wrote the others and asked the question about if they should they release the things they weren’t certain about. Of course we know now that they did release the full report. But before someone says, “well they changed their minds on the accuracy of the report,” we know there are significant details in there that they KNOW FOR A FACT are false. Not just speculation but provably false. But they didn’t remove them as they didn’t want to have to tell people they edited the report. With their selective transparency, they couldn’t say they made corrections to a report while also claiming it was a reliable document. And nor could they stand to have someone saying they weren’t being transparent. So they released it in full, uncorrected. And then through their own statement they allowed people to believe that every detail was true. They even declared as true things that the report didn’t even say were proven.
  • During staff meetings, staff were told that Mom and Naomi were begged to stay. That is simply not true. They were forced out. Others were told Naomi was given support from RZIM for both herself and a new venture. That, too, is a lie.
  • The then Chairman of the Board in 2021 also spoke to the staff about the disagreement within the family on the findings. Not only did he describe it in ways that weren’t true, for him to have done that in an official capacity at an official meeting is incredibly unprofessional and inappropriate. This statement about the family, our situation, and our alleged care were so bizarre and dishonest, why should we trust them with the rest of the situation?

There is much else that has gone on since then, and each development has only reinforced our belief in Dad and distrust in the process. If you are new to do this blog, I hope you’ll take the time to read some of the more detailed posts outlining these things, and more.

So while I don’t expect to post much more, that is simply a result of the limitations we face, not a change in our beliefs about what transpired. We remain at Dad’s defense.

Third Ladder

I believe that one day my Dad’s actual legacy will be restored. One piece of that – a huge piece – is his vision for humanitarian aid, and he entrusted it to my sister Naomi.

Together, they pursued the idea of showing that apologetics is not just a matter for the brain, it’s one of the heart. Apologetics is incomplete if you don’t pair it with a compassionate heart and a helping hand. We’re missing a crucial step if we say we follow Christ, but don’t help those who are hungry, hurting, and lonely.

Jesus came to fix the needs of our heart. But our physical needs also matter to Him, and He asked us to take them seriously on behalf of others.

The ministry of Wellspring gave millions to those in need over the years. People are alive today because of that vision. People have food today because of that vision. Women have been rescued and healed because of that vision.

Wellspring was shut down by RZIM, but that can’t take away the literal life giving impact it had. And they can’t take away the fact that it was a direct result of my Dad’s heart for those in need.

Though Wellspring is now gone, there is good news, because the people behind it are not.

As projects responded in shock and fear over what their future now held following Wellspring’s closure, Naomi and her team decided they couldn’t let circumstances out of their control stop the work they were doing. They decided to rebuild and do all they could to support their projects, and hopefully find additional ones, as well.

They launched Third Ladder as a result.

Their support is unknown as the potential donor based starts over from scratch. But the integrity, mission, and opportunity are strong. And there you’ll a group of people dedicated to connecting your heart with the heart of someone in need.

Right now they have a generous match grant offered to them – one donor will match every gift received by December 31st, up to a total of $60,000 USD. Your money can be doubled in the effort to support projects that bring physical healing to burn victims, to feed a family, to rescue women in trafficking, to give children a home and an education.

If you’re thinking of giving at this time of year, I would encourage you to take a look at Third Ladder. (www.thirdladder.org)

Why So Silent?

I’ve been asked by a number of people if the recent lack of posts is an indication of a change in status in our belief in my Dad’s innocence. The answer to that is a resounding no. We have not found anything, seen anything, or been offered the opportunity to see anything that supports the report.

I’ve made it clear that we have not found any evidence on the phones. I’ve shown an example of data that deliberately misrepresented, so why should I assume they didn’t do that with other data?

I’ve made it clear that this process was anything but fair, and didn’t even adhere to traditionally held legal standards for investigations of this nature.

There was no chain of custody for the devices. It didn’t maintain impartiality or objectivity. At times it takes information that is neutral, and intentionally frames it in a negative context, which proves this was not an evidence based report but a narrative.

The report biased some interviewees against Dad by telling them they already had the proof that he was guilty BEFORE they questioned the people to get their views. The effect of that caused at least one interviewee revisit their observations and reframe it in a negative light.

They intentionally wrote the report as a narrative, not a presentation of known facts. Motives that cannot be even known were declared as intentionally devious behavior.

The investigation intentionally left out those that knew him best and could actually disprove a lot of of what was being said. It didn’t pursue any investigation in the areas where they claimed to have the most evidence. And the more extreme charges had no evidence whatsoever. And to reiterate, we have not seen what little evidence they claim was so plentiful on the phones.

One woman interviewed told us the investigators did not want to accept her answer that Dad never behaved inappropriately. She said she finally said “You can keep asking me this question, but Ravi and his entire family were never anything but kind and respectful to me, there is not other story here.” Another that was interviewed told us the investigator actually broke the table in anger when she defended Dad’s character.

It was a biased process and a biased report.

As for the blog, I will add this: Mom and Naomi were in severance discussions as a result of Mom being told to resign and Naomi being terminated. In May, RZIM withdrew severance offers for them, citing anger over this blog and my Mom’s email defending my Dad. This caused me to scale back the blog, since they were leveraging the wellbeing of my Mom and sister against my right to defend my Dad.

It was a threat that ultimately held, as when they eventually revisited a severance offer months later, it came with a mandatory muzzle.

We chose not to sell our voice.

Phone Update

If you follow me on Instagram, this post has repeat information. But though it’s brief, I’m posting it here, as well, to make sure anyone following this has access to the info.

Several have asked of late if there is any update on what I’ve found on the phones. We have not had them forensically examined, yet. But in the meantime I have looked through them as thoroughly as I’m able to.

The initial search found no questionable photos, no questionable emails/texts, and an example of the investigators taking at least one piece of “evidence” out of its original context and giving it a context that was blatantly false. (See the previous post for that information.)

The update in this post is that I’ve gone through the 100+ videos on the phones and found none of them to be even remotely concerning or suspicious. They were all videos of our family, jokes, Hindi songs, and clips of some of his favorite classic shows like the Andy Griffith Show and The Honeymooners.

Once again, this includes the phone that allegedly had the majority of the “evidence.” Their speculative explanation for this device being a treasure trove of information was that since it was out of use by the time the allegations of 2017 were made, it was not going to be examined, so Dad must not have taken the time to clear it of any damning evidence.

But a treasure trove, it is not. Well, not for those who want to believe Dad is guilty.

What We’ve Seen On the Phones So Far

For many reasons, we have only just now begun the process of looking through Dad’s phones. It is very early in the process, so there are many things we are still looking for information on. The examination is by no means complete, yet. That will take time by us and time by experts. But it has already proven very helpful.

I can tell you that so far I have not seen any questionable/concerning photos in both of the phones I have searched. I also have not found any questionable/concerning correspondence or data. This includes the device they supposedly found the most information.

But what is also of interest is what I did find. The report said Dad had a note in his phone for how to say “a little bit further” in Thai. They (Miller & Martin) presented that information in a way that alleged that his interest in, and use of, the phrase were for illicit/sexual reasons.

Well here is where I found the phrase. The context is….not what they said, to put it mildly.

Directions. That’s why he had the phrase noted. “Just a little bit further” is in a list of terms to direct a cab driver. Left. Right. Straight. Bridge. And “a little bit further.” The context could not be clearer.

What is also clear, is the dishonest intent of the people who wrote that report. There is no reasonable way you can see that list and think that phrase has an inappropriate connotation. Their misrepresentation of this detail is blatant.

So if their case was so rock solid, why did they need to lie about the context of this note?

And what other information and “evidence” did they lie about, misrepresent or manufacture?

Not A Massage Parlor

One of the (many) ways that bloggers and media have intentionally spun details in a dishonest and negative way is in regards to the spa Dad helped start. They keep referring to it as a massage parlor. That is not at all what Jivan/Touch of Eden was. (It was one place, not two. They changed the name at one point.)

Massage parlors are basically fronts for sexual behavior. That is really the only context in which that term is used now. Jivan/Eden was not a massage parlor. What’s interesting about people insisting about using the term massage parlor, is that they’re the same people who say they are championing women and declaring these sources of the story as victims. But by calling it a massage parlor they’re implicating these same women as essentially sex workers who would have regularly provided illegal services to clients of Jivan. That is what massage parlors do. So they can’t have it both ways in the way they frame this.

My guess is that the former employees of Jivan would not take too kindly to being categorized as having worked at a massage parlor. Nor would any legitimate massage therapist anywhere.

Jivan was a legit spa/salon. Several people have written me saying it’s hard to believe dads innocence since he opened a “massage parlor.” One person asked why Dad couldn’t just go to a place like Massage Envy or Massage Heights. That is a result of writers using the massage parlor term. They know full well what they’re doing.

Well, in response to that comment I received, Jivan was meant to be exactly like a Massage Heights business. It was meant to be that kind of reputable establishment. That was the style of business they were offering. They offered, massages, facials, manicures, etc: all the things a legitimate and fully professional spa offers. The same kind of set up you’d find in a five star hotel. Not to mention the fact that the property owner was a well respected Christian business man who also would not have allowed an inappropriate business at one of his properties.

Not the Behavior of a Guilty Man

Dad included some big names at the opening of the business, and encouraged them to visit the spa. The Mayor of the city and Governor of Georgia spoke at the grand opening. Do you think Dad would include them – and do you think they would come – if the business appeared to be suspicious in any way? He wouldn’t, and they wouldn’t.

Vicki Blue was one person who dad would hire to come give chair massages to the entire staff? If he was doing the things she claims he was, do you think he would invite her to interact with the entire office? The risk of her saying something to someone would be huge. But he regularly connected his friends and staff with her, and he sent any and everyone he could to Jivan. A guilty man would not have done either of those things if the people and environment of Jivan were ground zero for inappropriate behavior from him or anyone else.

Jivan was not a massage parlor. The critics know it. And their insistence on the term shows their disingenuousness in examining this situation.

Bonus Fact

This has nothing to do with the report, but I’ll share it anyways. One of the things Steve Baughman accused my Dad of lying about at one point, was his address at the African Heads of State Prayer Breakfast.

That accusation was especially entertaining for me since I was actually at the event. But while cleaning out some of Dad’s things I found the program from the event. So I’m posting it here.

I doubt Steve still cares about this particular claim at this point. He may have even stopped talking about it a while so. If he does still care his issue might be the use of “Dr.” in the program. He and the rest of the Western academics who weren’t invited to speak at this event can grumble about the fact that the inviting party had no issue with the title.

But I do care about the things he’s said about my Dad. So here is the proof of this event for those who still question it.

Sarah’s Statement

My sister, Sarah, recently gave a video statement on the situation with my Dad. There was no new information given, and she did not say anything she has not already said in her previous statements over the past few months. It was the same talking points.

She is not speaking for the family. As has been clear, we do not share her take on this situation. A while back she chose the path of doing what she felt was best, strategically, for the organization. We disagree with her opinions and stance very strongly. And we do so for very legitimate reasons.

So I will simply close this response with this: I love my sister, but I stand by my belief in my Dad. I continue to reject the report and narrative put forth for all of the reasons I have already laid out on this blog.

One Year

In a few hours after posting this, it will have officially been a year since my family lost Dad. It still feels like it can’t be. I miss him so much every day. As I told him on one the last days he was conscious, he was my compass. He consistently pointed me to what was important and good and right in life. He never wavered in his message and advice. It was as consistent as he was over the years.

He overcame so much pain and trauma in his own youth to amazingly be a dad whose presence I knew I was always safe in, regardless of any disagreement we were in. He taught me how to be a gentleman and a gentle man. He was my Dad. One of two great parental cornerstones given to me by God. He was my example. He was my friend.

The year that has followed his loss has been a hellish experience that I never would have imagined, incurring more trauma that hasn’t even allowed for the time and space to process the impact of his absence.

I’ve said a lot on this subject the last few months. But, today, as I navigate this unwanted anniversary, I will just close with this story.

31 years ago, when we were living in England during Dad’s time studying at Cambridge, our family was out on a shopping trip on a typical rainy day. As we walked out of a store, I stayed with my mom and sisters while Dad was a few paces back. Being only 9, I wasn’t paying any attention to my surroundings and as I went to open my umbrella, I unknowingly hit someone behind me and kept walking.

The person behind me was not amused, and started to approach me in such a way that indicated he was going to shove me or kick me. What he didn’t know was that Dad was behind him. Dad saw what he was about to do, rushed up behind him and knocked the guy off stride so he couldn’t hit me. The guy backed off and left me alone. I was oblivious to all of it at the time.

My Dad loved his family. He always fought for us. He fought for us even when we were oblivious to it.

I don’t know if Dad is aware of what is happening down here. I actually hope he isn’t. But now I will fight for him, even if he’s as unaware as I was during his battles on my behalf.

One year ago, surrounded by his family, he drifted from our arms info the arms of his Savior.

One year ago, I was by his side. And I’m proudly still by his side today.

I love you Dad. I miss you. I can’t wait to see you again one day.

Abandoned Gospel

I will continue to defend my Dad with whatever force necessary for these reasons. First, I believe this report to be driven by a predetermined agenda, not actual evidence and truth. I’ve already given examples of that and will continue to do so.

But the second reason is this: even if the report were true, I would strongly disagree with the way RZIM has handled it. Why?

I’ll do my best to explain it.

I worked at RZIM for a total of 15 years, and lived it for nearly 40. I sat through countless messages, then listened to and edited countless more through my work in their media department. It is safe to say my views of the Gospel were formed by listening to the entire team at RZIM; the same team and message that was supported by the board then, some of whom still remain. I say “some“ because those that disagreed with what the majority did have since resigned.

I thought I was on the same page with all of those people for all of those years. I watched them tell people in the audience that they were not defined by their mistakes. I listened as they said that fact was not dependent on their repentance. I heard them say that regardless of what they did, God did not see them as their mistakes, even if consequences were necessary.

And as such these speakers said that’s how they saw those people, because that’s what Jesus commanded. No, that doesn’t mean you ignore possible sin. But it most certainly does mean that you do not condemn someone to a legacy known only as their sin. And they never said there was any fine print to this. They didn’t say you weren’t defined by your sin unless you committed “x.”

But we certainly haven’t heard any of that from them as it relates to Dad. I’ve had one person within RZIM tell me they still love my Dad. But he helped author a statement that wouldn’t even hint at the fact that there could still be love for my Dad. Not only have none of them had the courage to publicly say that they still love my Dad, they’ve embraced words and conclusions they privately doubt, like abuse and rape. They silence the love they supposedly feel, and preach the verdict that privately don’t.

That’s not the Gospel I heard them preach. Either I was wrong, or they have betrayed their message in an effort to preserve their platform. Here are a few examples as to why I believe they departed from the Gospel in their scorched earth response.

JUDAS

Numerous speakers and leadership have gone on record as not just condemning the alleged actions of my Dad, but also condemning the man himself.

Cameron & Stuart McAllister referred to him as a former friend. The context of that comment was not that he is “former” because he is not here, but “former” because they no longer claim him as one.

Vince & Jo Vitale, have distanced themselves from Dad, not just moving forward, but expressed regret for their ministry alongside him even while they were unaware of any alleged behaviors. (As a side note, they can say they failed to ask questions about the LAT matter all they want and say that is why “truth” wasn’t found. But the fact is that the people who have all of the information there is to be had, have interacted with both sides, and know everything about the NDA still to this day believe that my Dad’s account of that situation is 100% accurate.) So had that taken a different approach it wouldn’t have changed a thing. Dad faced plenty of questions from far more key people and he is still believed by those who knew every answer there was to find.

I thought of all those statements made by staff while I was at church last week, when my pastor talked about Jesus’ interaction with Judas. Jesus, knowing what Judas already had done, and would still do, still washed Judas’ feet at the Last Supper. Judas was in the midst of committing the worst betrayal in history, and Jesus still served him in an act of incredible grace. Then, as Judas approached him in the garden to turn him over, Jesus still addressed him as “friend.”

Think of that. Jesus did not distance himself from Judas. He straight up claimed him in that moment. Judas, one of the greatest sinners, came face to face with Jesus, the only one in that garden who knew the true depravity of his heart, and he was still called friend. Jesus claimed him until the very end. And He most certainly did not issue a public statement saying he no longer considered Judas a friend, or regretted doing ministry with him.

Someone out there will say “Ravi’s son equates his father to Judas.” And Christianity Today might run with that, what with their history of writing for clicks. Hey CT, among a host of other suggestions, next time you do a hit piece you might consider these two little words before you determine the credibility of your initial sources – background check.

But no, I am not comparing my Dad to Judas. What I am saying is that the story of Jesus and Judas is an example of how Jesus did not withdraw from one of the most famous sinners in history. Yet RZIM feels they are evidently more just than Jesus, as they must withdraw from Dad.

JAMES

Leadership has cited God’s ability to forgive…themselves, that is. Not Dad. They never mention that. They just say that “we serve a God who forgives” in donor communications when they say they are in need of it. God’s ability to forgive Dad is nowhere to be found.

They cite James 3:1 as a reason for their decision to try this in public and to take on their supposedly God given command to be legacy executioners.

For a ministry that was founded on the importance of thought, they haven’t given much of that to their cherry picking of that passage.

First, the way that verse is worded, both in tense and Greek wording, is that it speaks to God’s judgment of teachers when He ultimately judges them later.

Now, while RZIM has taken this opportunity to add the title of God to their list of responsibilities, such a title isn’t a name it and claim it kind of deal. They are not God. This verse speaks to what God will do. Not what He is asking us to do.

Second, the context of that passage talks about stricter judgment for what they say. In other words, teachers are not being warned that their sins will incur greater judgment. They are being warned that their teachings, specifically their incorrect teachings, will incur stricter judgment because those words stand to influence more people.

But RZIM has abused that verse. They have altered that verse to empower and deify themselves. And they have misrepresented it to indicate stricter judgment (aka we will erase you from the face of this earth kind of judgment) for personal failure, regardless of how good your content was, simply because you were a preacher.

Due to what I know about what they’ve said in private, I can only assume they’ve said it so they can find a home amidst the mob mentality that masquerades as spiritual sensitivity. It’s the best way to protect themselves, which they would see as ultimately protecting the Gospel because of their calling to preach it.

But last I checked, God never said to embrace lies or half truths. or to bow to cultural expectations of judgment just so you could keep your foot in the door of culture. He is in charge of all of our callings. So, scapegoating someone else to preserve your own influence is never a formula He commanded.

They haven’t just reduced Dad to his sins, they’ve ensured that that is all he ever will be in some peoples eyes. Instead of allowing for both good and bad to be attached to a man’s earthly legacy, they have published the bad and erased the good, making sure that his life can never do any more good though his teachings. They have given people no other option but to only remember his alleged sin.

It that verse in James is true, as I believe it to be, then it is RZIM who ought to be worried as their actions against my Dad have been made under the guise of doctrine. They could be pure as the driven snow in their lives, but if they are wrong about how they’ve handled this, they will answer heavily for it when they meet the Lord.

JOSEPH

Early on in this process, someone left a very insightful comment on my Instagram post. They referenced Joseph and his handling of Mary, when he had doubts about the spiritual origin of her pregnancy.

Matthew 1:19 says:

“And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.”

Other translations say he was a “righteous” man. The cause and effect in that description is powerful. Because he was a righteous/just man, he did not want to handle this publicly. He did not want to air her dirty laundry. He wanted to handle it privately.

He was righteous, and his behavior was considered a logical outworking of that righteousness. His intent was the exact opposite of RZIM’s, and the Bible praises him for it.

JESUS

Last example. And the most important.

Sam Allberry was a speaker at Rzim. A gifted one. And he was one who positioned himself as comforter and pastor for my family when Dad was popular. Once Dad wasn’t, that desire to comfort and pastor us evaporated in an instant. Then he became pastor to twitter and completely abandoned and ignored my family, except when he decided to lie about my sister’s message to him. (That was such a blatant misquote that it has to be intentional. She, being a better person than me, did not respond. But if Sam would like to challenge that accusation he can feel free. I have the letter he misquoted so I’m ready.)

Not too long after Sam’s social media crusade and the report’s release, he tweeted something that was one of the greatest examples of an intellectual disconnect that I’ve ever seen.

Sam is right – that is what Jesus did. But that is not what Sam has done. When I read that I shook my head. How could a man who just spent months working to exclude/redefine my Dad’s presence from history then talk about the example Jesus gave us of embracing and communing with the sinner? The same man (Sam) who doesn’t even want to share a website, bio, etc with my Dad, is suddenly talking about how appreciative he is that Jesus shared a table with sinners – an act that signifies far more in Jesus’ day than it does in our culture today.

Jesus did confront the sinner, no doubt. But He drew as close to them as He could when He did it. He separated their value from their sin. He made it clear that were sinners, but they were not their sin. He condemned their behavior but embraced their soul. He never ostracized them or distanced Himself from them. He went closer.

Sam and RZIM have done none of that.

In fact, the harshest words Jesus had were for those who claimed to know everything about the sinners hearts; what they were and were not worthy of. You might say He condemned those who had a habit of making public statements about someone else’s sin and where they stood in eternity. Those are the people he responded to with great force and anger. They bristled at the fact that a grievous sinner could commune with the Lord. They hated the fact that they were considered on par with themselves in the Lords eyes. Both in equal need of Him. Both with equal access.

Rzim has played the role of those Pharisees. They have gone far beyond condemning actions they only partially believe in. Even if they believed all of it they have gone far beyond condemning sin.

The Bible is full of characters where God shows us the good and the bad of a person. God always used sinners to do mighty things. Some of them weren’t even believers, but God was not afraid to use them or to make it clear that He had done so.

He made them a part of His story to spread his truth, regardless of where their hearts were. He didn’t erase those who would be inconvenient vessels for him. He let their good and bad live on in history.

But RZIM – they must know better than God. There’s no place for a broken vessel to still have done any good or communicated any truth. They feel the right course is to erase any sign that God used my Dad. They have decided for us – and God – who we can choose to learn from.

They can quote a good game. They can use all the right words Twitter wants them to. But the fact is the Gospel they preach from the pulpit doesn’t match the Gospel them demonstrate in their PR statements.

At the beginning of this I mentioned the audiences who heard RZIM speakers preach of God’s love for them no matter ever, and their worth in the eyes of the Lord no matter what. I would venture to say many of those listeners now would steer clear of ever confiding in one of those speakers. For if they could see their “former friend” as only bad, why would they view anyone else any differently?