After talking to several people about RZIM and the monumental scandal (and it is a horrific scandal on different levels that will not dissipate for years!), which has rippled across the sacred and secular headlines, I would like to suggest that it needs to be addressed. 
While Bible teachers and preachers can say that we have been reminded once again that we should only look to Jesus, such is neither the reality nor what the Bible teaches. By divine original design, people are influenced by others and by their leaders. . . . .
Genesis 3 — “and he did eat”
Numbers 20:12 — And the LORD spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
Proverbs 13:20; 28:7 — Whoso keepeth the law is a wise son: but he that is a companion of riotous men shameth his father.
Joshua 3:7 — And the LORD said unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnify thee in the sight of all Israel, that they may know that, as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee.
Numbers 32:7 — And wherefore discourage ye the heart of the children of Israel from going over into the land which the LORD hath given them?
I Corinthians 11:1 — Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Leadership matters — and that is why there are qualifications for pastor and deacon. That is why moral failure is a biblical reason for being removed from leadership and the ministry.
The lesson is more than . . . . “Only keep your eyes on Jesus.” That is not only unrealistic, but unbiblical.
The purpose of leadership is to lead. That leadership in a ministry or a local church requires walking on a high road because people follow — family members, friends, lost loved ones, the church, insiders, outsiders, near and distant, and even fellow pastors. PArt of the reason people listen and follow is because of who is speaking, and who is speaking matters to the Lord because of that biblical reality.
Those who have supported, listened to, read their books, and/or been personally helped by a ministry leader such as RZ are struggling, and will continue to struggle with what has happened. Critical decisions in life were made, helpful advice was followed, biblical truths were understood, confidence in the teachings of the Scriptures was strengthened, et al. under years of his ministry. The question floating around the mind and hearts of many is – — Can I now trust those decisions, truths, explanation, and even the Scriptures as taught by him?
To leave it unaddressed is to risk losing members and friends of your ministry and local church!
Midst all that is happening across America, this fuels the fire. It pours gas on the thinking that “the church” is so broken that it is best to just go it alone!
- Who knows who or what is next, even in the professing Christian ministry!
- Yea, I guess so — young people leaving the church!
- Had enough of this hypocrisy in the local church — say and not do!
- Can’t even trust those who are there to watch the gates!
- You think you know, but maybe you are also being deceived by the leaders.
- It’s broken!
- Yea, I’m cynical, but who isn’t or shouldn’t be when these things happen!
REMINDER: Don’t risk your ministry leadership by “covering” for those who have already proven themselves unworthy of your trust!
The RZ scandal is also a reminder to ministry leaders and pastors to get serious about addressing moral and sexual failure — by fellow pastors, missionaries, school administrators and staff, and church ministry leaders. To cover for other pastors, ministry leaders, or missionaries — as a leader, or a mission board, or a ministry president, or a parachurch ministry — is to risk your own position, influence, and ministry for those who have already proven immoral and/or dishonest.
1. Addressed: I would not address it on a Sunday Morning, but perhaps during the Bible Study hour or mid-week service, or even as a separate podcast/stream for the members and friends of your ministry.