Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sad news about a fallen brother

Hello friends,

My heart is heavy as I write this. I subscribe to a weekly email newsletter called, "Church Leaders Intelligence Report." It helps keep me up to date on current trends and often has short, stimulating articles that make me stop and think, which is good exercise for my tired old brain. Today I got the latest installment and it had a brief news item that literally brought me to tears. Here it is...

Christians Shocked, Saddened Over Boltz's Homosexuality

There is shock and sadness in the Christian community over word that famed Christian vocalist, Ray Boltz, has publicly announced he's living a homosexual lifestyle. In an interview with the Washington Blade about the announcement, Boltz said, "If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I'm going to live…I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself." Boltz, a father of four who was married for 33 years before officially divorcing his wife this year, is well-known for his widely acclaimed songs "Thank You" and "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb." (OneNewsNow 9/15/08)

Ray Boltz has long been one of my favorite Christian singer/songwriters. His music has often touched my heart and pointed me to the Savior. His song, "The Anchor Holds," is one of my favorites. To know that he has fallen prey to the lying schemes of the devil and has now "come out" as a homosexual breaks my heart. Once again, a high profile Christian bites the dust and succumbs to the enemy.

I shouldn't be surprised. The devil is very astute and knows exactly how to take advantage of any areas of hidden sin and shame that we harbor in our hearts and minds. Any hidden sin in our life provides a playground for the powers of hell and a foothold to eventually bring our life and ministry crashing down. Our protection is not found in silence or hiding, but in dealing openly and honestly with sin. If we try to cover our sin, to keep it hidden, it just festers and stinks and eventually erupts where everyone can see it. Secret sin is like mold in your basement. As long as you provide a dark, dank, lightless, airless environment the mold will grow unchecked. You can try all kinds of methods to defeat it but nothing will work until you throw open the windows and let the sunlight and fresh air flood into the basement. You see, mold doesn't grow well in sunlight and fresh air.

Apparently Ray Boltz has been hiding his sin and brokenness for a very long time. He "came out" to his wife and children on Dec. 26, 2004 but this situation has not been publicly known until just recently. He stopped recording and touring but most people just thought he was burned out and needed rest and some downtime. Few knew what he was struggling with. That is because he chose to keep a lid on it, nurturing it in secret, letting it grow unchecked in the basement of his life. Had he dealt with it sooner, sharing this burden with someone, allowing some other Christian men into his life to help keep him accountable, perhaps this wouldn't have happened. If he had thrown open the windows and doors and allowed God's healing light into those dark corners of his life, perhaps this train wreck could have been averted before it destroyed his marriage, his family, his ministry, and a whole lifetime of built-up trust.

If you want to get more information and hear it from Ray himself, read the Washington Blade article at... I found one quote especially telling:

Boltz declines to go into specifics about the first time he was with a man, but says he has been dating and lives “a normal gay life” now. “If you were to hold up the rule book and go, ‘Here are all the rules Christians must live by,’ did I follow every one of those rules all that time? Not at all, you know, because I kind of rejected a lot of things, but I've grown some even since then. I guess I felt that the church, that they had it wrong about how I felt with being gay all these years, so maybe they had it wrong about a lot of other things.” (The underline is mine for emphasis.)

Ray is doing what so many other's have done. Coming to the point where his burden of sin and guilt and pain were too heavy to carry, instead of dealing with it in a biblical way, he has simply adjusted his theology to take away the guilt. He has come up with his own definition of what is and isn't sin. But in this process he has apparently jettisoned other key pieces of his theology too. He is now involved with the Metropolitan Community Churches, an openly gay so-called "Christian" denomination.

I share this story not as gossip or as a way of making myself look holier than Ray Boltz, but as a reminder and warning to all of us. God's Word says, "Be sure your sin will find you out." Sin cannot be hidden forever. It is described in the Bible as being like yeast. It grows. It breaks out of its bonds. It slowly but inevitably works its way to the surface of our life like a weed that comes up through the cracks in the sidewalk. Frankly, that scares me clear to the bottom of my feet. Sin is a powerful deceiver. If we choose to walk afar off from the Lord and His Word and the saving power and influence of His Spirit, it is only a matter of time until we too will fall flat. And great will be the fall.

Profoundly saddened but warned,


  1. Tough to read this. In my mind a narrow conservative view like yours, turns many away and does more harm than good. Your message seems to be one of intolerance, much like the Taliban and various other conservative "religions" you might find scattered around the world whose message seems to be - "if you don't fit our group view then you are bad and evil". I think that how a group and its leaders handles the "exceptions" is very important. Clearly, being gay is not the norm, it is unusual and an exception. Personally, I question many things about it. What about pregnant teenagers? They are the exception to the group. Do you cast them out as well?

    The group tends to be able to take care of itself. The runts of the litter, the exceptions, are the ones that take a bit of work. You apparently think of yourself as a leader, do you work on the excpetions or do you toss them aside? To me you show little tolerance for those in your flock and in your community that do not fit the group think mentality. This is no good (to me anyway) and goes against the many places in the bible and in the real world where we all are encouraged to accept those that are different, acknowledge those differences, even disagree with those differences, and yet like, love, and accept those people.
    Go your way and good luck with it. I think you are wrong, but I can still accept you and not cast you out into the desert, filled with the morally repugnant bin Ladens of the world that you resemble.

  2. Hi Jeff. Thanks for the comment, and thanks too for taking the time to read my article. I'm sorry that I came across to you as pointing a judgmental finger at Ray Boltz, or homosexuals. That was not my intent, nor was it the impetus that led me to write this blog entry. I believe that Ray Boltz is a good man and a genuine child of God. His music has ministered to me for years. But I believe that he has recently taken a sideroad away from the path that God's Word lays out for all of us to walk and it has already cost him dearly, and it grieves me for him. The Gay lifestyle is not "gay" and, just like every other kind of sin, is filled with pain and brokenness. And make no mistake, the Bible clearly says that homosexuality is a sin. However,it is not any greater sin than a bunch of others that I have committed repeatedly. It's just that it has such a high pricetag in this life and such painful fallout for everyone concerned. We are all broken people and need God's healing touch. That includes me.

  3. Hi Mike - thanks for reading and responding to my opinions.
    In biblical times (which could well be mythical) lepers were thought to be evil or some variant thereof. Wise religious leaders shunned them, cast them out, and stoned them. At the time, no one understood leprosy. Instead it was feared and seen as a "sign of the devil". Today, at least in your posting, we have homosexuality. IN NO WAY am I equating it with a physical condition. I am holding it up because I see it and leprosy as similar "issues", especially in terms of the response they invoke in church leadership. As you might expect, I see the leaders of the historical church and some modern-day conservative denomination leaders as being cut from the same cloth.
    Remind me did Jesus treat lepers?
    In our own country, a few hundred years back, religious "leaders" of the time, our common Puritan ancestors, executed who knows how many innocents simply because someone called those innocents "different". There was no need of even the most basic proof. An accusation of being "different" was enough for drowning or stoning. Pretty proud moments in the history of our own western-oriented western hemisphere religions. Kill those who are different. To be clear, you do not espouse physical injury in any way. Yet your narrow leanings and interpretations are not so different from past religious leaders are they?

  4. 1 Chorintians 6:18-20 "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."

  5. In my opinion, there is a risk in hiding behind a quote like what "anonymous" does above. I think quotes can be a crutch that are leaned on at times when an original answer or opinion is difficult to enunciate.

    Leaning on an opinion, of unknown origin, from thousands of years ago that has gone through who knows how many translations, rewrites, etc. can be dangerous. Times can certainly change between early history and today. While I question homosexuality a great deal personally, I feel more strongly that the time we live in now is vastly different from the time in which this quote was originated.

    Thousands of years ago, the welfare of the group was most important. The exceptions and the individuals all tended to be submerged into the community and the group. The group was sacrosanct. Today, especially here in our western culture, a great deal of value, respect, etc. is placed on the individual. We live in the most free country on Earth, where both religion and culture has allowed individuals to thrive separate from the group. Whatever Ray Boltz's private demons may be, his right to go his own way trumps everything else, except what goes on between him and his God. In my opinion, that is not for your conjecturing based on your leaning on an old quote.


Please feel free to comment on anything here. I look forward to feedback from you.