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the church and homosexuality – Ray Boltz

September 16, 2008

There was a sad moment for me last week when the story broke here about Christian singer/songwriter Ray Boltz (who sang “Thank You” and “Watch the Lamb”) coming out of the closet with his homosexuality less than a year after divorcing his wife.  Fair warning before clicking on the link to the story – there’s an add on the page that isn’t explicit but might be a little much for kiddos.

For anyone that’s wondering, The Bridge fashions all of its ministry around our belief in the Scripture’s teaching that marriage is a life-long covenant between a man and a woman.  But a lot of churches that are strong on this truth are horrifically weak at practicing it in love.  In fact, a lot of times when I see a Christian on TV being interviewed about this issue next to a homosexual-rights activist, I want to agree with the homosexual-rights activist because he comes off as loving while the Christian (who I agree with) comes off as angry!  I’m not sure anything hinders the mission of the church more than when Christians look like people of judgment rather than people of grace.

So how do we as Christians address this sin and at the same time show the love and grace of Jesus?

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. stricknine permalink
    September 16, 2008 11:27 pm

    We don’t judge, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. I will say there are two tragedies here, one the wife and 4 kids, I know that they must be hurting and the kids must be very confused. But there is a larger issue and that is Ray’s salvation, it is a terrible thing when someone has a fall from grace but it is a much bigger tragedy if they are lost. I believe that Ray is saved, he confesses Jesus has his savior, now don’t get me wrong he is dead wrong about homosexuality but it is also very difficult for me to judge him to hell as well. So I say don’t judge, just love and pray for his family and his eternal salvation. Todd

  2. briab permalink
    September 17, 2008 2:24 am

    1 Corinthians says that a homosexual will never enter the kingdom of God. Leviticus says homosexuality is detestable in God’s sight. With that being said though, it is no different than pre-marital sex, masturbation, or any other type of sexual sin. It is just a cultural taboo and since most find it disgusting we try to label it as “ultra bad.” When a woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus he said whoever has not sinned should throw the first stone, then he forgave her. Instead of condemning her like she deserved he showed her grace and forgiveness, we would do well to follow Jesus’ example.

  3. brian permalink
    September 17, 2008 2:25 am

    I spelled my name wrong it is Brian not Briab

  4. September 17, 2008 6:23 am

    Would it be possible for someone to site the chapter and verse of the 1Corinthians reference for me? Thx.

  5. ken permalink
    September 17, 2008 10:39 am

    I didn’t make the comment, but I believe the verses referenced are 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

  6. Mary Bea permalink
    September 17, 2008 11:01 am

    I really think the way we should respond to people who live in a manner that we may not believe in or agree with is not to point at them and say “the bible says that is detestable!” Because what they will hear is “the bible say I’M detestable!” And aren’t we all really…I am a detestable, ugly, sinner…but what my Father sees when he looks at me is a child covered in His sons blood…1 Corin. 6: 9-10 sound really condeming…until you read v. 11…because that is where the victory is…! I believe we should “golden rule” everyone (yes, I used it as a verb)…that’s the short answer–(see, I told you Josh, I need Immodium for my mouth!)
    Here’s the verses:
    Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  7. howertonjosh permalink
    September 17, 2008 11:10 am

    Mary Bea – “Mouth Immodium” is one of the most unsettling thoughts I’ve had in a long, long time. Thank you for your wordcraft.

  8. Heather Perkins permalink
    September 17, 2008 4:14 pm

    I like that you brought this up. It really helps, especially because this year I gained a couple friends who are attracted to the same sex. They are really sweet people.
    But I question, can Christians struggle with the sin of homosexuality? I’ve been asked this and I think they can.. Because it’s a sin. Most people I talk to automatically say no, but it’s a sin and shouldn’t it be treated like any other sin. They can follow God’s word just by not dating and pray about it.

  9. Andrea Wandell permalink
    September 18, 2008 3:28 pm

    Well said Mary Bea. It is difficult to hear this story about Ray Boltz, especially because he is being so sincere in his wrongness. If Ray were at our church, I feel confident he would be graciously accepted as a sinner and fervently prayed over and counseled with. We would walk alongside him as he fought sin and pursued Christ. From my understanding, his church accepts the practice of homosexuality among their members. Paul addressed churches who allowed culture to infiltrate the truth of the gospel. How are we addressing, encouraging, and admonishing other churches who have accepted false doctrine and allowed “unhealth” within their church? What do we do or say to churches who go to culture instead of scriptures? Even Paul dealt with issues like this. I guess there truly is nothing new under the sun, but we continue to be confused about what to say and do.
    One thing said earlier about no homosexuals entering the kingdom of heaven… That scripture is truly an encouragement to me because I know that I too will be finally free from my daily struggle with my own sins when I enter into His presence too. It is such a relief to know that this is only a short season of laboring towards glory.

  10. September 18, 2008 6:05 pm

    What we as Christians are called not to judge is the outside world. Before we start quoting I Corinthians 6, we need to go back and read chapter 5. St. Paul is all over the congreation there because they did not judge the sin that was in their midst.

    I Cor. 5:9-13:

    “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people, not at all referring to the immoral of this world or the greedy and robbers or idolaters; for you would then have to leave the world.
    But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person. For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within? God will judge those outside. “Purge the evil person from your midst.”

    And yes, Jesus did forgive the woman caught in adultery, but He also admonished her, saying, “Go, and sin no more.”

    There is a fine line, and our inclination to sin, blurs it at times, but we must be faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ, in all aspects, no just picking and choosing when and what.

    This is truly a sad situation, for all involved. Prayer (as always) should be of utmost importance.

    Blessings to you Pastor, and to all in your fellowship.
    Tim

  11. Nathan Wandell permalink
    September 19, 2008 10:21 pm

    I’ve been doing some thinking on this subject lately, and I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps one thing that leads someone into open homosexual behavior is the failure of the church to allow itself to appear vulnerable.

    Let me explain.

    As believers, we all struggle and fight with sin on a daily and even hourly basis. Anyone who is honest and understands Scripture will admit this. Yet, we like to give others the perception that we “have it all together.”

    When someone who struggles with homosexual temptations comes face to face with us, who seem to have it all together, they begin to despair, because they are painfully aware of their sinfulness as well as our “victory.” And so, they too seek this “victory” over sin that we seem so easily to have in hand. They struggle, and fight, and try desperately to experience the same joy and peace that we seem to have and this fight lasts for years and sometimes decades as it did with Boltz.

    Finally, the one who struggles with homosexuality changes their theology, and they begin to believe that God has created them to practice homosexuality and that homosexuality is their true nature. Evidence for this in Boltz’ life is found in the title of the song, “God Knows I Tried.”

    Some of this story could change if all believers were honest with one another about their sin. If believers looked to Jesus for their deliverance and salvation and identity instead of their perverted image of what the “victorious Christian life” looks like, then perhaps Boltz could have seen other honest believers struggling with lust, anger, pornography, and chemical addictions. This would have hopefully encouraged him with the idea that he is not alone in the fight, and that while he may always struggle with homosexuality, he is not alone in his fight against sin.

    Pass the immodium.

  12. shawnbarr permalink
    September 27, 2008 1:24 am

    What a shame for Ray to have fallen this way. Yes, let’s all pray for him and exhort him to not live this way. Here’s a brief article I wrote on an imaginary discussion between Ray and Jesus:

    http://shawnbarr.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/ray-boltz-talks-to-jesus/

  13. Mike T permalink
    October 22, 2008 7:46 pm

    You have to ask yourself this question: Is homosexuality a sin? You bet it is. And since we know that a person can’t enter the kingdom of Heaven with sin in their hearts, then do you really think God is going to make an exception for Ray Boltz? I don’t think he will. Homosexuality IS a sin and it will send you to hell. I am not here to judge either, but we can’t make excuses for people. I don’t understand how people can say that they are saved or that they have a “relationship” with God, and still be gay. On second thought, I can. It’s churches like The Bridge that say that it is Okay to be a Christian and still be gay. What does the word “Christian” mean? It means Christ like. Now, I am not saved…a personal choice right now, but I do know the Bible. I’ve been raised in church pretty much all of my life. People now-a-days are more interested in finding churches that fit their lifestyles than seeking God’s forgiveness and turning away from sin. This country has come a long way for the worse.

  14. howertonjosh permalink
    October 22, 2008 10:51 pm

    Mike T – did you read any of my post? I’m confused about your statements about The Bridge as well as many other parts of what you said… help me out.

  15. Jim Coleman permalink
    October 26, 2008 1:48 am

    It must be said that the Scriptures have to be above all. above all my feelings, above all my thoughs, all my tendencies, etc. Let God be true and evey man a liar. It is His choice to include, exclude anyone, and His criteria is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He must be Lord, He must be your God, He must be who you are relying on in life and faith. He says very clearly that homosexuality is sin, an abomination and enough to condemn you to hell. He indeed does love the sinner, but detests the sin and we must turn from it and TO Him. No matter who it is, one cannot live a homosexual lifestyle, unrepentant and have any assurance of eternal life. God knows the sinner from the saint.

  16. December 8, 2008 7:17 am

    I was sad to read that “another one bites the dust”, another high profile Christian that is, or any Christian for that matter. The high profile ones though are the ones that represent the body of Christ to the world at large. They are more susceptible to bringing ridicule down upon the body of Christ. This is clearly another case of someone deciding to stop running the race which we are called to run without stopping, just because of the call of the flesh. The damage has also been done with the family, friends and other so called “Christians” choosing to embrace Boltz’s actions, instead of using Christ’s love which is “tough” love to guide him away from fulfilling the desires of his flesh, they have chosen to embrace him and make him feel “okay” for his actions. Wrong move! We are told not to aid and abet others in their “choice” to blatantly sin. We are admonished to lovingly, but firmly restore a brother, or sister by prayer & Godly wisdom and counsel. We are seeing many in the body of Christ teaching and acting out just the opposite of what the Bible tells us to do. We are told very sternly in scripture to put away from amoungst us anyone that “calls” themselves a brother, or sister that is CHOOSING to live in opposition to God’s Word. Why? Because if we start keeping that one bad apple around, it will spoil the entire bunch. Meaning that he will taint the hearts of the weaker brethren, or a new Christian, that may be prone to still thinking the worlds way on such issues. We must be careful to help protect the flock from doubts, or confusion. Also, because it supports those who seek to please man, versus desiring to be pleasing to God. I beleive we are to love even those who who choose to walk away from God, and that means to give them the Biblical consequences of their choice by refusing to have fellowship with them, until they repent. That brings a shame factor into crucifying the flesh and that’s a GOOD THING. For without shame for our actions, we cannot be lead to repent. We would help guide many more souls from sure destruction if we would simply OBEY God and His Word in ALL things. The key here of whom I speak that is governed by the Word of God, is a person claiming to be a Christian. We are not to expect the same for those who have not received salvation.

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