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Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thoughts about Ray Boltz declaring his Homosexuality

When I was in college I was a member of the drama team in our church's college department. We called ourselves The Illustrators, and we put together short skits to illustrate biblical truth for our Sunday school class and on occasion for the congregation.

We managed to arrange performances for our team in a few rural churches in north east Arkansas, so we put together a 40 minute program of our skits. We concluded our presentation with a grand finale of us acting out the popular, emotional stirring song, "Thank You." The song tells the story about a Sunday school teacher, a lady in our particular rendition, who learns upon getting to heaven that her humble, meager service which went unnoticed on earth impacted thousands for eternity as they all come to greet her around the throne of Jesus, who was played quite convincingly by your's truly (I even had longish hair). This skit would knock the audience dead. There wouldn't be a dry eye in the entire house as people would get all weepy. We even learned sign language to the chorus that added an extra emotional zing to the entire performance.

Ray Boltz, who originally sang that song and made it popular, even winning awards for it and numerous other CCM hits like "Watch the Lamb" and "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb," recently announced he is a homosexual.

According to a lengthy interview he gave to The Washington Blade, a homosexual magazine, Boltz says he had been living a double life for nearly 30 years. Citing from the Christianity Today report he explains,
“I’d denied it ever since I was a kid," Boltz, 55, told the magazine. "I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore … when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’”
The Washington Blade article goes into a bit more detail how he announced his homosexual tendencies to his wife and children back around 2004, but just recently decided to tell the public and his fans. His admittance eventually brought about a separation and divorce from his wife of 33 years. Again, citing from the CT article Boltz expressed his new found freedom in this way,
“If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be … I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself.”
Boltz's testimony is just another example of those who want to normalize homosexual sin as being "Okay" with God. Allow me to offer up some thoughts in response,

I don't doubt Boltz's life long struggle with his homosexual feelings and desires. I am sure there are evangelical fans who want some explanations as to why he "turned gay" as it were, but there really is no need to make ignorant speculations. It doesn't matter whether those desires were caused by an emotionally distant father or a mother who didn't hug him enough. He could very well had been raised in an emotionally stable and loving home for all we know.

The fact of the matter is that the Bible clearly states all men are born into sin. It is in "iniquity that my mother conceived me," David wrote in Psalm 51:5 and "out of the heart" all sin springs our Lord stated in Mark 7:21. Sin impacts the whole of man including his affections and desires, and obviously human sexuality will also be warped by its influence. Where as most men succumb to heterosexual sins, Boltz happens to succumb to homosexual sin. Sexual deviant sin is still sexually deviant sin whether it is homosexual or heterosexual.

Boltz seems to suggest he saw adopting a "Christian" life as a means to rescue him from what he believed to be wrong. Rather than seeing Christianity as being the means of justification before God, Christ's blood the fount of forgiveness for sin, and a sanctifying pursuit of holiness by the work of the Spirit in his life, he merely saw it as just a "way" to deal with his homosexual desires. That tells me a couple of things. First he understood homosexuality was sinful because he wanted a way to deal with it. Second, he approached dealing with his sin by the use of personal works. Notice there are lots of "I" and "me" being used in his interview. There is nothing indicating how he desired to please the Lord and live in holiness. The Christianity he presents and what he wanted is what he could personally gain from it. His view of the Christian faith is selfish, at least from my perspective.

Regrettably, Boltz represents how many Christians deal with temptation and sin. I am not entirely sure of his religious background. The interview talks about his involvement with the Jesus movement of the 70s, and a lot of those Christians had charismatic and Pentecostal backgrounds. The theology taught in those denomination generally understand personal sin as brought upon a person by external forces like a demon or an unknown bondage maker. Freedom from sin is then considered the exorcising of the demon or "breaking" the bondage producing a quick fix resulting in immediate, instantaneous godliness that removes all future struggle with personal sin.

Maybe we can chalk Boltz's failure to remain straight by blaming poor charismatic theology, but non-Pentecostals travel similar avenues when dealing with personal sin. Their approach, though, is usually in the form of attending weekend seminars or reading a book that supposedly provides a spiritual key to overcoming the grip of sin in a person's life.

The Bible, however, knows nothing of this instant holiness and freedom from temptation theology saturating the minds of many in the Church. Rather, it presents a picture of a life long struggle with sin where a person, empowered by the work of the Spirit, mortifies personal sin by putting it off from him or her. But there is more than putting off sinful attitudes and habits, but a putting on of godliness and righteousness, Colossians 3:5-17.

Sadly, it appears from Boltz's testimony that he has given up on even thinking about living a life submitted to God redeemed by Christ. Instead, he is taking the gay revisionist apologist lie of claiming God "made him this way." It is just a matter of time - if not already - for him to begin advocating a gay revisionist view of scripture that says homosexuality is not condemned by God.

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20 Comments:

Blogger bugblaster said...

I've had a lifelong struggle with sloth. I've told my family about it before, and now I'm telling everyone. I'm lazy. I've tried to work, but I've always been lazy. I'm still lazy. I know I am. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be. I'm going to embrace my indolence instead of going on hating myself for it.

9:00 AM, September 16, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Don't even get me started about my gluttony. If God didn't want me to eat that entire box of Breyer's ice cream, he would not have created me with the desire.

9:08 AM, September 16, 2008  
Blogger bugblaster said...

I can understand how you struggle, and I'm sure that God does too.

I'm taking the rest of the day off.

9:39 AM, September 16, 2008  
Blogger Daniel said...

What offends me is the logic: God created me a sinner, therefore God will not punish sin.

Apparently it takes some people "30-some years" to redefine sin.

10:17 AM, September 16, 2008  
Blogger Kim said...

Does this mean I can embrace my mood swings? I think they're physiological; God must be responsible for them.

1:03 PM, September 16, 2008  
Blogger donsands said...

"But there is more than putting off sinful attitudes and habits, but a putting on of godliness and righteousness, Colossians 3:5-17."

I learned to just not be angry wasn't enough, but I had to replace it with understanding, and even kindness. It's actually impossible to do really, but through His great love, and amazing grace i have at times been able to bear fruit for Christ. And the majority of the time I have to ask the Lord to forgive me. Which He has done with my sin, not in part, but the whole.

I appreciate the tone of this post about Boltz. And you make some excellent points.

2:58 PM, September 16, 2008  
Blogger Greg Dills said...

Fred,

My old friend . . . great comments as usual. I remember seeing that skit to "Thank You" that you spoke of about 20 years ago.

Blessings!

6:46 PM, September 16, 2008  
Blogger Highland Host said...

I had a commenter at one of my blogs defend a minister's fall into sin by saying he was 'the product of his environment' Where do these people get their ideas from? Not the Bible, that's for sure.

But then, isn't this really Pelagius. Man is not born in sin, original sin affected Adam, but with us it's just Adam's bad example, and we were all born good. Not that these people even know who Pelagius is, but they are still Pelagians.

1:51 AM, September 17, 2008  
OpenID barrywallace said...

The thing that breaks my heart the most about this announcement is the self-deception in it, and the extent to which others will be deceived by it.

Ray may "feel" closer to God, but according to the Word of God, he's farther away than he's ever been.

All of us are sinners. Instead of making peace with our sin, we have to learn to make war with it.

I posted some additional thoughts on the announcement on my blog last Sunday.

7:21 AM, September 17, 2008  
Blogger Marie said...

Excellent post...

It's heartbreaking to see the extreme reactions to this news. Many are throwing out his CDs and condemning him to hell, forgetting that they are in the same need of grace. Others are embracing his announcement. I think the truth needs to be somewhere in the middle. God still loves Ray, and I think we need to pray for him diligently. I pray that someone will be a "Nathan" in his life, and confront him with sin as Nathan confronted David, and that Ray will have the same response as David: repentance. The Lord is waiting with forgiveness, grace, and mercy for Ray to return to him.

7:53 AM, September 17, 2008  
Blogger fredsgirl said...

I agree that we need to be full of grace, but God is a Shepherd to His sheep and will discipline those who need it and will go after those who have lost their way! If Ray is His child GOD WILL bring him back to Himself - whether he uses the rod or the staff!

8:45 AM, September 18, 2008  
Blogger Bob Hayton said...

Fred,

I appreciate your post. I linked to it, and then Wordpress took my post and put it in their news category. So I've been getting a lot of visits and some pro-gay comments. I'm not surprised. But the discussion has been fairly tame so far.

Thanks for giving your reflections on this issue. It really is sad. I pray God opens Ray Boltz's eyes.

Blessings in Christ,

Bob Hayton

12:48 PM, September 18, 2008  
Blogger Mary7 said...

Thank you Fred for this post.

I have been ministering to a young man for the past four years who has struggled with this issue since he was in junior high. In high school he came to me one morning and said, "I wrestled with God last night and God won." Now, three years later and in college, he returned to me to say that he has given in and this life and his new partner make him happy.

As we spoke, I did not condem but spoke truth and love. It saddens me deeply to see those who know God choose sin over Him- no matter what the sin.

I know God put this young one in my life, but it is confusing to see truth twisted for momentary happiness. My prayers remain for all who choose this life over Godly, fulfilling relationships.

5:42 AM, September 21, 2008  
Blogger kuwaiting for godot said...

READ MATTHEW CHAPTER 7
READ MATTHEW CHAPTER 7
READ MATTHEW CHAPTER 7
READ MATTHEW CHAPTER 7
READ MATTHEW CHAPTER 7
READ MATTHEW CHAPTER 7
READ MATTHEW CHAPTER 7
READ MATTHEW CHAPTER 7

4:15 AM, October 11, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

And Matthew chapter 7 is relevant to the sinful lifestyle of Ray Boltz in what way exactly?

7:08 AM, October 11, 2008  
Blogger Robert said...

Matthew 7?? LOL, I'm guessing it's a reference to verses 1-5. Of course there's more to that chapter, such as verses 13-20, as well as 21-23...of course, I'm just guessing. kuwaitingforgodot should really add the verses he was referring to...

1:01 PM, March 12, 2010  
Blogger Susan said...

Fred, I was sent here from DJP's blog, and this whole thing reminds me of one of my personal struggles (not homosexuality) that has been really been quite draining lately. One morning I woke up about two hours earlier than my usual time for no good reason, so I did Scripture reading. Toward the end of that reading, I (in God's providence) came to a passage that served as a reminder that I needed to be on guard against the very sin with which I was having trouble. I guess it really goes to show that the Lord cares for his own.

And Mary7, your statement at the end about twisting truth for momentary happiness reminds me of something I had said to myself more than once regarding my own struggles: Do I want to be like Esau, who lost his inheritance over a bowl of pottage?? Of course, not even this reminder can end my struggles completely (I'm still hoping for some sort of tangible relief from the Lord), but at least I can hear it in the back of my head when I really need it.

10:45 AM, March 13, 2010  
Blogger College Jay said...

It's a sad story. As a Christian who struggles with homosexuality, and a member of that community, it's something I've experienced with various friends.

It's a difficult struggle, but I've come to realize it's no more difficult than any other sexual struggles. What really makes it difficult on men and women who struggle with homosexuality is church stigma to a certain extent, but also the preoccupation with being "cured." In other words, many men seek to become heterosexual so they can feel like everyone else.

But the elimination of same-sex attractions does not mean that one is a better Christian or more saved by Christ. It's holiness that matters, and that is exhibited by our reliance on God, not our marital status (many men who struggle remain single), or whether or not we are tempted by men instead of women.

1:33 PM, March 15, 2010  
Blogger ash said...

The least we can do is pray for people like Ray who have tasted the goodness of God & still cannot resist Satan's temptations. Lets pray to God that he might deliver us from the wicked Satan who take takes advantage of our weakness to irritate God.

4:24 AM, September 22, 2010  
Blogger Matthew said...

Come on people. Clearly they have only taken a few of his comments and expounded on them. There was a lot more to that interview then just that, and out of those two comments most of you are taking a statement, or a word out of context.

Let us at least try to understand where Mr. Boltz is coming from. None of us can prove any of his statements to be truth or lie. We have to take them at face value. Clearly this man, whom most Christians respected, was a man of God. Now did Christ lose this one, or is Christ going to be faithful to complete what he started in him. Can a man be a liar and saved? or a thief? or a murderer? The Bible is full of Godly men who were saved by faith but who also fit the bill of a sinner, even after their initial faith. Personally I put my faith in the saving grace of Christ and his promises and not on the condemnation of the masses.

Look at yourself. If the masses knew the things that you have done, and in most of our cases, still do, would you or I be condemned? Yup. Fortunately, God is a little bigger than all that. There is only one unforgivable sin, and a man who puts his faith in Jesus cannot commit it.

6:27 PM, August 28, 2012  

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