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...http://www.washingtonblade.com/2008/9-12/arts/feature/13258.cfm. 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,