I don’t usually get mad at news stories. Not anymore. After 20 years of working at CT, I’m used to reading about human sin. Part of my job used to include sifting through every religion news tidbit and highlighting the top stories for our online readers. The daily drumbeat of ministry leaders resigning or being fired for moral failure was so common that I rarely noted it. But it was demoralizing. During one period, I kept hoping for a break in the streak. After one unbroken month of moral failure stories, I sought out spiritual help. My crisis passed.
So I was surprised to find myself grieving this month amid another series of reports. Grieving, and mad.
There was Patrick Sookhdeo, one of the most prominent advocates for persecuted Christians, especially in Muslim-majority countries. A British court found him guilty of sexually touching a female employee and intimidating witnesses.
Around the same time, human rights activist Chai Ling was accusing apologist Yuan Zhiming of raping her in 1990, before they both became prominent Christians. (See “Matthew 18, 25 Years Later.”)
And these weren’t the only two such cases we investigated this month. But the Sookhdeo and Yuan cases illustrated the defensive response we tend to get from organizations when their leaders’ sins are made public.
Barnabas Aid International insisted that its own internal inquiry into the allegations against Sookhdeo found no wrongdoing. After the court conviction, ministry officials repeatedly directed CT to an online article that implied the victim sought to bring down the ministry. The article’s author later compared the victim to Potiphar’s wife and said Sookhdeo wouldn’t have risked ...1
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