It is a trustworthy statement, deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. This command I entrust to you, Timothy, my son, in accordance with the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith. Among these are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan, so that they will be taught not to blaspheme. (1 Timothy 1:15-20)
(Tim, w/thanks to Stephen) CCM artist Ray Boltz has given an exclusive interview to D.C.'s sodomite newspaper, the Washington Blade, for the purpose of coming out as a "gay" man. But gay he's not.
With close to five million CDs sold, Boltz's signature song is the sentimental favorite, "Thank You." Boltz had twelve number 1 hits on Christian radio stations (including "Watch the Lamb," "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb," and "The Anchor Holds") which earned him three Dove Awards from the Gospel Music Association.
The article in the Blade is truthful in many ways that bring into focus the tragic fact that this former confessor of faith in Jesus Christ has given up the battle. Here are some excerpts, followed by some pastoral comments aimed at helping us to understand and care for those who have given up the fight, or are thinking about it...
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Ray Boltz was tired of living a lie. He’d gotten to a point nearly three years before where he couldn’t continue down the road his life had gone.
His 33-year marriage to ex-wife Carol was, he says, largely a happy one. It produced four children — three daughters and a son who are now between 22 and 32 — but family life and going through the motions of being straight had grown so wearying to Boltz, he was in a serious depression, had been in therapy for years, was on Prozac and other anti-depressants and had been, for a time, suicidal...
“It’s hard to say I came out because I didn’t have all the answers. I just admitted what I was struggling with and what I was feeling. It’s hard to go, ‘This is the point where I accepted my sexuality and who I was,’ but I came out to them and shared with them what I’d been going through.”
Continuing to pretend, Boltz says, was no longer an option.
“I’d denied it ever since I was a kid. I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore … when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’”
...The early months in Florida felt strange and different, but also liberating. His faith was in transition — tenants (sic) he’d adhered to all his life suddenly were up for reconsideration, but there was a peace he hadn’t felt before.
“I had a lot of questions [about faith], but at the bottom of everything was a feeling that I didn’t hate myself anymore, so in that sense I felt closer to God.”
Boltz ...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... I didn’t have to be who I was in the past. I didn’t have to fit somebody else’s viewpoint of what they thought I was. I could just be myself and I met a lot of wonderful people.”
“This is what it really comes down to,” (Bolz) says. “If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be … I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself.”
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A few pastoral comments.
Because of its candor, this article is helpful for those of us caring for souls caught in the prison of besetting sin.
What precisely is this thing sodomites refer to as "coming out?"
For men who have been confessing Christians, "coming out" stands for the process of crossing over from sanctification's battle against besetting sin to apostasy's surrender to the sin and demand of loved ones and friends that they now accept that surrender as the mark of their new-found authentic personhood.
"Coming out" is a shorthand way of saying that the sin of sodomy has now become the central fact of their existence. No longer is Ray Boltz a CCM star and Christian; he's become a "gay" man. In other words, this brother who had fought his entire life against the sexual temptations that are common among confessing Christian men (although the particularities of his temptations were skewed in an unnatural direction) has now announced to the world that the battle was always dishonest because "who he is" at the very heart of his authenticity is a man who engages in sexual intimacy with other men.
Think of it this way.
Imagine another CCM artist of the name John Doe granting an interview to the Toledo Blade in which he "came out" of the closet, finally admitting that all those songs he'd written that went to the top of the CCM charts had at their heart his own struggle with adulterous heterosexual desire. Then, one night, sitting in the kitchen with his wife and children, he'd been asked by his teenage daughter why he was depressed, and responded, "Well honey, all my life I've wanted every woman I've seen walking down the street, but I fought against it. I prayed and prayed that God would change me, but every time I took a walk, drove to the store, or turned on the television, I found myself lusting the same way I had since I was a teenager. It's gotten so bad that I want to die. I'm in counselling, on drugs, and until now, have been afraid to admit who I am. Whenever I performed my songs, I felt somehow I didn't measure up; that I was a fraud. I didn't want to hurt your mother so I never told her who I really was--I kept it all bottled up inside me."
Then, the Blade recounts, came the night when Doe took a small step after a Swinger's Club seance in Detroit one Christmas Eve, leaving one of his CDs with the host for the evening and signing it with his name and e-mail address. He moved to Las Vegas, began hiring call girls, and for the first time in his life he's at peace with himself. Thus he's much closer to God, also. His wife has become active in a prostitution advocacy group, his daughters are learning new words like 'polyamorous,' and everyone's loving everybody more than they ever did before because now the love is based on honesty, authenticity, truthfulness, and so on. For the first time in his life John Doe is able to be the man he's always been deep down inside--a self-affirming adulterous lecher.
Even a slight change to the name and nature of the sexual debauchery under discussion makes things clear, doesn't it?
Ray Boltz is just one more normal confessing Christian who grew hard-hearted and gave up the fight. The particularities of his own peculiar fight are immaterial to understanding the cosmic nature of the spiritual battle. He was weak and gave up. Tragically, his family was weak and gave up, also.
Pray for Ray Boltz, that being handed over to Satan, he may repent and return to the Lamb of God Whose blood was shed for the forgiveness of gossip, slander, bitterness, greed, drunkenness, lechery, pederasty, murder, fornication, abortion, a refusal to forgive, and sodomy.
Such were some of us, but God is merciful. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. Like a father pities His children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame--that we are made of dust.