There’s a relatively new article from the New York Times pertaining to Ray Boltz’s “coming out” that caught my attention recently. Upon its reading, I was compelled to address it with the following.
“Now, after more than five years of self-imposed absence from stage and CD, Mr. Boltz has reached a musical and religious destination. As an openly gay man, living in a gay-friendly part of South Florida with his partner, Franco Sperduti, he has released his first album since coming out.”
Does this not rip your heart to shreds? Here we have a professing Christian who’d spent the last few decades of his life performing “Christian” music, married since years ago, with children, now “living in a gay-friendly part of South Florida with his partner.” And now, because of his wife’s “support,” and apparently no love enough from his church to bring him under discipline unto restoration, he is all the more encouraged and confirmed in his unnatural lusts and selfishness.
Mr. Freedman’s article paints the picture of the proverbial poor and inner-tortured homosexual man who struggled for years to be straight, all the while kicking the goads. “How hard that must have been for him!” is the employed tactic seeking the reader’s pity. True. I’m sure it was very difficult. Sin is certainly a struggle, and dealing with those sins that beset us is hard work. However, giving in to them altogether, or worse yet, glorifying this particular struggle as “coming out” and embracing a new “freedom” is a real shame.
Indulge me for a moment here:
Replace homosexuality with extra-marital affairs. Imagine a man who has lived a double life against wife and children for so long, having been involved with another woman (or women) outside of his beloved wife. His conscience witnesses against his deeds, but he simply cannot help it. He’s lying to himself (so he thinks), thinking he cannot bear any longer the shekels of this one-woman-man shell he’s been living behind called marriage. One day, because of all the hurt and struggle, and because he’s tired of the lies, he comes clean. Then, he announces his victimization to all the world, desiring to be freed from the smite of his conscience. Would this man be received so warmly and pitifully as it seems Mr. Boltz has? I doubt it. Ask Tiger Woods.
Let’s be clear: We all have besetting sins. We all have secret sins about which we want no one to know. No, we’re not serial killers or rapists with Manson-lamps (Manson’s crazy eyes) going out at night to wreak havoc and terror upon our fellow man. But, as Christians, we all have this residue of indwelling sin harbored in the recesses of our hearts. These sins haunt us and scrape away until, at times, we arrive at our wits’ ends to the point that we’re driven to one thing: Confession of our sins, hatred toward them, renewed repentance, new obedience, and a trusting in Christ alone and His merit for our salvation.
Does this recognition of our sins give us leave to just go ahead and engage in them all the more, even scandalously so, and chalk it up to “God loves me. My family supports me”? I’d hope not. Precisely what Mr. Boltz has done is deny the very essence of what Scripture teaches pertaining to his condition and, instead, has taken on a pragmatic stance of “Well, my wife, kids, and many of my fans support me, so it must be okay. Let’s blame my guilt on the fundamentalist circles of my upbringing, but not the text of Scripture.”
Now, his time in songwriting is not spent pertaining to the Gospel, though he adamantly still confesses to be a Christian; no, now his time is spent writing of his “torment” as a homosexual man in a straight man’s Christian entertainment suit, tortured by the fundamentalist teachings of his past. Now, his time is spent writing songs about how we shouldn’t judge him and “Tell [Him] Who to Love.” A little defensive and insecure for something you don’t think’s so bad, Ray. I’m just sayin’.
Consider his poor wife and kids. They “support” him. Maybe they once had a biblical stance on homosexuality. But now, forced to choose sides since their beloved husband and father couldn’t sacrifice his lusts and challenge them the proper way and had to “come out” so he could be free from those fundamentalist fetters, they concede to the “don’t-be-a-homophobe” taunts of the militant homosexuals. They buy the victim mentality of his “coming out.” Make no mistake, that is the thrust of Mr. Freedman’s article as well, despite whatever his intentions may have been. His sentiment, and all of those who write such things about professing Christians “coming out,” is that they are victims of their “natural” inclinations within; ergo, those inclinations need not be challenged, mortified, counseled about, and done away with; rather, they should be embraced, celebrated, and defensively broadcast and defended!
Well, Dear Mr. Boltz, I pray for you. I don’t say that with some sort of “I’m-Better-Than-You-You-Evil-Homosexual” sense of false-piety. I say it with a great deal of pity and concern because, it seems, you’ve convinced yourself of the rightness of your cause, but not due to the teachings of Scripture. Instead, you comfort yourself with an unscriptural presumption pertaining to the mercies of God, yet without embracing the proper means of availing yourself to such mercies. No, you and I aren’t much different. But I’m thankful for friends and a church that won’t allow me to carve a way of destruction for myself by supporting me in that which is clearly condemned in the Scriptures.
I have besetting sins of my own. I hate them. You’re not alone in difficult and seemingly insurmountable struggles that burden your conscience. Your conscience bothered you for a long time and for good reason. I fear now, however, due to your new found “freedom” you’ve allowed said conscience to become seared by convincing yourself that you’re a victim of fundamentalist interpretations of Scripture, and not by the actual truth that you’re behaving selfishly and indulgently according to your flesh’s desire. Instead of battling these things with a host of friends, counselors (read: Pastor/Elders), you’ve just given in. I pray, though, this will not be an instance of “and God gave them over” as found in Romans 1.
It’s hard to bottle our struggles up and not just let them roam free and overtake us. But, for Christ’s sake, we must daily lay them at His feet, mortify them, confess them, repent of them, and pray for Christ’s deliverance from them. The *last* thing we should do is glorify them and try to biblically justify them so as to have our consciences hushed of its rightful accusations.
You profess a Christian testimony, Friend. Then please, by all means, repent of this lifestyle. Get the proper pastoral and biblical counseling you need. Stay off tour and, instead, like all Christians *should* do, establish yourself in a Confessional church that will help you in your struggles, and love you enough to tell you what those struggles are: sin.
If you persist, and you’re adamant in doing so, please stop professing the God of the Scriptures, and don’t lie to yourself that all is well. All is not well in such a hardened condition. And, trust me, it’s all too easy to fall into a state of callousness over our sins. This is one reason we have the Scriptures. To remind us. This is the reason God gives His Spirit. To convict us. This is why God has given us pastors and teachers. To teach us. This is why God has given us a conscience. To warn and protect us.
Repent, my Friend, and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ Whom you profess for deliverance from the woeful condition in which you find yourself. We’ve all been in such woeful conditions and this by virtue of our very existence in this world. Don’t wait. Today is the day of salvation.
Sincerely in Christ,