Board of latest ministry began by former RZIM exec defends him after report

Abdu Murray speaks on the National Religious Broadcasters annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee, in February 2020.(Photo: National Religious Broadcasters)

(CP) The board of a ministry co-founded by a former senior vice chairman of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries has defended its president after a gaggle of apologists launched investigation findings claiming that he and two different former RZIM leaders are “not match to be in ministry and management positions.”

The board of administrators for Embrace the Truth, the apologetics ministry co-founded by former RZIM Senior Vice President Abdu Murray, says it disagrees with the conclusion of an investigative report launched final week. The report declared that Murray, together with Ravi Zacharias’ daughter Sarah (Davis) Phillips and former prime RZIM government Michael Ramsden “haven’t displayed a godly sorrow nor demonstrated the fruit according to repentance for his or her actions.”

“A self-appointed tribunal of college professors and apologists issued a press release earlier this month that requires our response,” the Embrace Truth board mentioned in a press release shared with The Chrisitan Post. “The authors of the assertion determined amongst themselves that Abdu Murray’s response to the info surrounding his former employer’s inexcusable actions has been inadequate for him to proceed to serve the Lord by this ministry or by the proclamation of the Gospel and his testimony in pulpits, and different public venues. We profoundly disagree.”

The apologists, William Lane Craig, Sean McDowell, Mike Licona, Debbie Licona and Paul Copan, felt known as to research alleged abuses perpetrated towards former staff of the once-respected apologetics ministry who claimed they obtained abusive therapy for advocating on behalf of the late Zacharias’ reported sexual abuse victims.

The apologists say the investigation report relies on 1,000 hours of analysis, interviews with 25 individuals, some on a number of events, and “copious quantities of supporting documentation.” The apologists additionally “consulted with specialists on abuse and institutional response to abuse, together with Dr. Wade Mullen.”

The investigation adopted a report from Atlanta regulation agency Miller & Martin that was made public in 2021 detailing serious allegations of sexual misconduct by Zacharias, who died of most cancers in 2020.

The report addressed claims Zacharias engaged in “sexting, undesirable touching, religious abuse and rape,” together with sexual abuse of a number of therapeutic massage therapists who handled Zacharias through the years. Zacharias had additionally confronted allegations in 2017 that he engaged in an illicit online relationship with former follower Lori Anne Thompson.

In February 2021, former RZIM spokesperson Ruth Malhotra submitted a 26-page letter to the RZIM board chair that alleged RZIM management failed to carry Zacharias accountable and mistreated these urgent for extra transparency relating to the allegations towards Zacharias.

The apologists declare that Phillips (RZIM CEO), Murray and Ramsden (RZIM president) “intimidated, mistreated, or retaliated towards” RZIM employees members “who pushed again or requested professional questions” from 2017 to 2021 about Zacharias’ habits.

“We heard testimony and obtained documentation stating that [senior leadership team] members chastised staff for asking questions. Subsequent to being chastised, some staff have been requested if RZIM was a very good match for them,” the apologists’ report claims. “Many have been finally terminated. Though we can’t show that anybody was terminated for pushing again and asking questions, the setting at RZIM was such that this could have been an inexpensive inference.”

While the apologists acknowledge that the three RZIM leaders admitted “errors have been made,” they contend that Murray, Phillips and Ramsden “haven’t particularly owned their actions or expressed regret to these they damage.”

“Nor have they repaired the injury they’ve precipitated,” the apologists conclude.

Murray is the one of the three at present serving within the public eye as a ministry chief. Embrace the Truth refuted the declare Murray, who joined RZIM in late 2015 and rose to an government function in 2019, has not repented for his actions.

“We discover the characterization of Mr. Murray as a person who has ‘not displayed godly sorrow nor demonstrated the fruit according to repentance for his or her actions,’ to be wholly unfounded, if not absurd,” the assertion from the board reads.

“Mr. Murray has readily and publicly admitted his personal failures and shortcomings, together with his belief in Mr. Zacharias and his function in initially defending him towards allegations that have been later confirmed to be true. Moreover, Mr. Murray has proactively sought the forgiveness of sure events that suffered damage by the hands of Mr. Zacharias, after which subsequently himself, and he has spent quite a few hours in conversations with the board, his senior pastor, and numerous different religious advisors to be taught from these experiences.”

The assertion provides that Murray sought to reconcile with sure events, which Embrace the Truth paid all the prices related to these efforts, together with counseling and reconciliation.

“Certain people have accepted his heartfelt apology, and people relationships have graciously been restored in a God-honoring method,” the Embrace the Truth assertion provides. “Understandably, different relationships are nonetheless within the strategy of being restored at the same time as Mr. Murray continues his real efforts to take action.”

The apologists concede of their report that “Murray has made some efforts towards reconciling with a few former staff since we first confronted him greater than a yr in the past.”

“But we assess that his efforts so far fall wanting the biblical necessities for Christian leaders,” the apologists contend. “Rather than offering a clear accounting of their habits, Ramsden, (Davis) Phillips, and Murray have excused or minimized their roles in numerous methods. But documentation and testimony have repeatedly rebutted claims they’ve made, both on to us or in public arenas.”

The Embrace the Truth board members have partnered with the senior pastor of Murray’s dwelling church to carry him accountable and guarantee he’s match for management.

“Most importantly, Mr. Murray has demonstrated a major degree of godly sorrow for the ache his personal actions and/or inactions might have precipitated others,” the board states.

“In conclusion, we affirm with out equivocation that Abdu Murray is absolutely certified to be in ministry. We can personally testify to the honest efforts he has undertaken to right wrongs whereas studying worthwhile classes alongside the way in which. In gentle of all of this, we can’t in good conscience discourage him from persevering with to pursue his name to evangelise the Good News of Jesus by public ministry.”

In September, Murray revealed More Than a White Man’s Religion. The guide’s preface particulars a transitional season wherein Murray launched into almost a yr of no public ministry.

“I used to be scripting this guide and asking myself if I had been strolling in keeping with Jesus — the one I comply with and the one whom this guide focuses,” he wrote. “The troublesome reply I’ve wrestled out of myself by prayer and tears is that this: not all the time.”

The Embrace the Truth assertion did not handle the declare made by “a number of sources” interviewed by the apologists that Phillips and Murray have been concerned within the firing of late RZIM apologist Nabeel Qureshi after Zacharias allegedly grew jealous of Qureshi and unfold claims that he was a “womanizer” and “alcoholic.” A month after Qureshi’s termination, he was identified with stage 4 abdomen most cancers.

“Shortly after Qureshi was fired, Mike Licona questioned Murray relating to the explanations for the firing. Murray said that it was as a result of Qureshi was boastful and had an issue with ladies,” the apologists wrote. “We suspect the rumor originated with Zacharias and was repeated by those that blindly trusted Zacharias. Given the meteoric rise of Qureshi’s ministry and the accompanying comprehensible battle with overconfidence and satisfaction, we imagine mentoring would have been extra so as than firing.”

In a statement to Premier final week, Naomi Zacharias defended her sister, Sarah (Davis) Phillips, claiming that the report included “many categorically false statements.” She added that the group of apologists who authored the report had “neither church or organizational authority” nor “the experience to research issues of this nature.”

“In what as soon as started as claimed advocacy for reality and girls, particularly, they now use their distinctive platform to inflict ache, destruction, and albeit a relentless pummelling on a lady who has already suffered heart-shattering loss and trauma they can not probably perceive,” Naomi Zacharias said.

“Instead of coming alongside her and dealing to deliver therapeutic, as Christ did, and serving to her to in some way stay, they problem yet one more assertion that makes an attempt to humiliate, destroy, current lies as truth, and stop her from surviving. Last I checked, she is not making use of to work with them.”

Murray mentioned in an interview with Josh and Sean McDowell, streamed on-line final May however not obtainable on YouTube, that the late apologist deceived him and others. Murray detailed why he believed the late apologist’s model of occasions when accusations have been made public and apologized for the way he and the ministry dealt with the allegations as they arose.

“We actually can’t afford to raise ministry above individuals or actually above Jesus,” Murray mentioned, talking about what he realized amid the gradual publicity of Zacharias that occurred the previous few years. “I believe that we have now this mentality in ministry that in some way ministry is itself sacred, that ministry is itself untouchable. And so, when an allegation of abuse occurs, we discover it unbelievable as a result of these individuals couldn’t probably have achieved it.”

Murray, who co-authored the guide, Seeing Jesus from the East: A Fresh Look at History’s Most Influential Figure, with Zacharias, mentioned that he thought-about Zacharias’ “unblemished file” as proof of his trustworthiness on the time.

Once extra damning data emerged, “my considering ought to have given approach”… “to a extra essential examination,” Murray admitted. “But the truth of it was that I did not need it to be true.”

“You need to be ever-vigilant,” Murray reiterated, “[G]uard your personal coronary heart. … Is this true or are you claiming it is false as a result of you do not need it to be true? I believe that is a giant a part of why lots of people have been capable of imagine [Zacharias’] facet of the story. They simply couldn’t probably fathom it. But I believe we have now to embrace the reality regardless of how inconvenient it’s.”

In addition to heading Embrace the Truth, Murray can be lively as a public speaker.

The Roys Report reported that Murray was scheduled to talk on the Colson Center’s Great Lakes Symposium on Christian Worldview this summer season however was quietly faraway from this system after Roys requested a remark.

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