Ray Boltz’s Christian Profession

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.”

Christian Reader,

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,

Josh

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12 thoughts on “Ray Boltz’s Christian Profession

  1. We all know what the scriptures say, and they could be debated for an eternity. However, one passage states that “you will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart”. This leaves us with two possibilities. 1) Ray will find truth, or 2) he already has and it doesn’t matter.

    What rips my heart out is people who sit and pass judgement or debate on the salvation of another human being. Where does this get us? Instead should we not focus our attention to showing the love of Christ? Perhaps Ray has been to counseling, sat with pastors and prayed over this for years. Perhaps in his seeking God this is where he feels he should be right now; God knows a number of people have seen God’s love through his new work.

    I don’t have to struggle with homosexuality, but I do struggle with other issues. I believe I should focus on myself, show God’s love in everything I do and everywhere I go, and if we truly seek God with all of our hearts we will find Him. I don’t want to debate whether or not Ray has lost salvation. I believe that he still seeks God, and if that is the case we have nothing to worry about.

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    • Amen Anonymous! This is the most loving, intelligent, Christ-like response I’ve read. In my view, you have captured true Christianity instead of all of the judgment and damnation that is typically presented by “Christians” who often couldn’t be less Christ-like if they tried. Mr Boltz is not accountable to “Christians” who dare to speak on behalf of God about what is right and wrong. When did God delegate this task? Interestingly, these vary people often have justified or overlooked their own “abominations” (ever eaten shrimp Josh? ever worn cotton and wool at the same time?) I choose to bypass all these middlemen and keep my spiritual relationship with God. I can only pray and ask for His guidance in my life and, when I fall I short, ultimately it my relationship with Him that truly matters…not the Joshes of the world who who profess to have all of the true answers and those answers are really a just a form of “my way or the highway”. God made us in his image; gay, straight, black, white, etc.

      Anyway, like you said, scripture could be debated for an eternity. How about in the meantime showing love, compassion and respect for all humanity. You get “it” Anonyomus :)

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  2. Josh, it takes courage to stand up for what you believe in. We live in a society where we need to be politically correct as much as we can. Tolerance is seen as a must.I want to be compassionate and loving of others lifestyle as a christian, but we also need to speak up what we believe is the truth.
    Grazie!

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  3. Dear Anonymous(es),

    There is no doubt that what the Scriptures “say could be debated for an eternity,” but that does not negate that the Scriptures do *actually* say something about the morality pertaining to sexuality. It is amazing that even with the tenor and concern laced in the post that words like “judgment” and “damnation” are implied toward me. Strangely enough, Christians *must* “judge with righteous judgment” (John 7). When Christ says “Judge not yest lest ye be judged,” He’s not giving a universal proscription of making judgment calls. If one will look at the context, it clearly means not to judge with *self-righteous* judgment, otherwise, the Lord Jesus would be contradicting Himself along with the Scriptures in a plethora of other places. It is the opposite of love to let a professing brother/sister continue in their path of destruction without warning them, with love and concern, of what will be their end if they persist. Conversely, it is the height of love to lovingly confront a professing brother/sister concerning their sin even when it may strain a relationship temporarily or hurt feelings. Our consciences sting us for a good reason, but we’ve been taught in our culture to ignore that mean ole conscience because it lowers our self-esteem. I for one am grateful that when it’s clear I’m heading in the wrong direction, I have Christian brothers & sisters who refuse to be silent, and it’s for my good.

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  4. It has been the case for some time that two sides of this issue define love the same way. It is typical for new movements to use the same language as traditional Christianity, but to change the meaning of the words on us. In this case, Josh is using the term love in a biblical sense of the word. It is loving (and our bounden duty) to show people where they are off track and to support them in their efforts to turn back to Christ and overcome their sins. It is loving to say to a brother or sister, “Your eternal soul means so much to me that I am willing to have you not like me if it means that you can turn yourself back to Christ and his ways.”

    Our modern culture says that love is affirmation. If you tell someone they are wrong, that is unloving. Since this is the context of the word as used by both anonymous posters above, then by telling Josh that he is wrong in his views, you are equally as unloving as you claim that he is. You cast aspersions on him because he holds to a scriptural view that you disagree with. It is fine that we disagree. But if Christ’s love is simply about affirming everyone where they are, then it is your job as a “true” Christian to affirm Josh for his own nature as one who loves the Lord enough to try to help people turn from their sin. You can’t attack him for telling someone they are wrong, call him un-Christian, and then miss that you are doing exactly what you have accused him of doing.

    “Mr Boltz is not accountable to “Christians” who dare to speak on behalf of God about what is right and wrong. When did God delegate this task?” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.” Josh was acting specifically in accordance with Paul’s words. God did delegate the task to us as believers to hold one another accountable in this life so that people can repent and find forgiveness so that they don’t have to be held accountable in the next life.

    “I believe I should focus on myself, show God’s love in everything I do and everywhere I go, and if we truly seek God with all of our hearts we will find Him.” The problem here is that you believe you should focus on yourself, and then the rest of your theology flows from your focus on “self.” Yet we aren’t called by scripture to focus on ourselves, but to focus on Christ, who died for our sins and rose again. The Christian is called to die to self. Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.” Instead of focusing on self, we are called to regard others as better than ourselves. We must put aside what is comfortable for ourselves to look out for our brothers and sisters- which is precisely what Josh did. He put it on the line, at risk of personal reputation, for a brother who needs to hear difficult words. Our anonymous poster, as well as most in the homosexual movement, have put themselves ahead of others. They think about themselves and how they feel and what they want. And then families and friends and churches are left to decide if and how to support the person who had only been thinking of himself, and who made his decision without viewing how it affected anyone else.

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  5. “(ever eaten shrimp Josh? ever worn cotton and wool at the same time?)” How unloving and judgmental you are anonymous, to accuse Josh of violating the law when clearly, these things are no longer binding under the law. Even a cursory study of the law and of justification vs sanctification may serve you well, and prevent you from making such foolish comments in the future.

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  6. Equating homosexuality with extra-marital affairs is a false comparison. If, in addition to being homosexual, this man conducted an extra-marital affair, then the affair was still wrong as it was a violation of trust and promises of fidelity. That has no bearing on the rest of the story.

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  7. Dear Nicole,

    Respectfully, could you point out the particular portion to which you’re alluding? I believe I made the comment to *replace* one with the other, not that they were the same thing. This was an instance of saying, The Christian response to either of these sins (adultery or homosexuality) should be one of eschewing them, not indulging in them. To be “more understanding” toward a man who is struggling with homosexuality vs one who has committed adultery on his wife with another woman makes no sense. That’s why I employed it in the post. Furthermore, Ray Boltz has conducted an extra-marital affair with his “lover.” So not only is he guilty of engaging in homosexual acts, he is also guilty of adultery/infidelity.

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  8. Hi, Ray Boltz,
    It appears that you have been duped by the “freewill gospel”. If you were one of the chosen of Jesus Christ you would have been enabled by the Holy Spirit to win your particular battle with sin. For the Authenic Believer; the promise that there hath no temptation taken you ………….and so forth, God is fatihful who will not allow you to tempted above that which you are able to bear……….and so forth…………He will make a way for you to escape. So Ray you like millions before you and millions after you will fall into the sinkhole of sin because you have no power to stop your sinful slide. Salvation is all of GRACE; totally dependent on the Spirit of GRACE rather than the spirit of mans or womans freewill.

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