Ray Boltz gives in and comes out...

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...

* * *

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.”

* * *

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.

Comments

Thanks for this Tim. It is the greatest tragedy when the spirit is no longer willing.

I'd encourage all who are struggling to remember that sanctification is long, slow, and difficult... and glorious, and eternal, and evidence that God loves you so much. No matter how much your flesh wails and claws and fails, continue praising God for this because he pulled you out of the pit, and is forming you into the image of his own beloved Son. Dying is difficult, but we die to life in Christ, whose yoke is easy, and whose burden is light.

We fight and die daily that Christ can live in us more and more, and when we are not dying to ourselves, we are not really living.

Thanks for letting me preach to myself.

That is to me the really funny thing about these coming out stories that you hear all over the media these days. So is anyone's sex life the center of their life - the essential part of what makes them human? What's the deal, why would anyone think of sex, perverted or not, as their essential self? It must be a very sad existence indeed.

What really surprises me about this is that I can't see that anyone wouldn't see that sex outside of what God intends is an empty self-destructive thing. Like a man drinking salt water, he only becomes more thirsty with each drink. If that man is a professing Christian his focus on sex is even more foolish and sad.

Tim, yes every man struggles with lust, and your analogy works really well, very well put.

Jud 1:1 Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ:

Jud 1:2 Mercy to you and peace and love be multiplied.

Jud 1:3 Beloved, while I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I was constrained to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Jud 1:4 For there are certain men who crept in secretly, even those who were long ago written about for this condemnation: ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying our only Master, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Jud 1:5 Now I desire to remind you, though you already know this, that the Lord, having saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who didn't believe.

Jud 1:6 Angels who didn't keep their first domain, but deserted their own dwelling place, he has kept in everlasting bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day.

Jud 1:7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them, having, in the same way as these, given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the punishment of eternal fire.

Jud 1:8 Yet in like manner these also in their dreaming defile the flesh, despise authority, and slander celestial beings.

Jud 1:9 But Michael, the archangel, when contending with the devil and arguing about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him an abusive condemnation, but said, "May the Lord rebuke you!"

Jud 1:10 But these speak evil of whatever things they don't know. What they understand naturally, like the creatures without reason, they are destroyed in these things.

Jud 1:11 Woe to them! For they went in the way of Cain, and ran riotously in the error of Balaam for hire, and perished in Korah's rebellion.

Jud 1:12 These are hidden rocky reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you, shepherds who without fear feed themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn leaves without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;

Jud 1:13 wild waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved forever.

Clint,

You are right to point out the perversion of seeing the act of sex as one's essential self.

But seen from another perspective, sex is certainly at the core of our "essential selves." Of course I do not mean the activity of sex, but the identity of being made by God either male or female. Sodomites and "transgendered" folk deny that the body God gave them has anything at all to do with their "essential self." But of course, not being gnostics or pagans, we believe that there is an essential and inseparable connection between our bodies and our "real selves."

Dying is difficult, but we die to life in Christ, whose yoke is easy, and whose burden is light.

If the yoke is easy and the burden is light then why the difficulty?

We fight and die daily that Christ can live in us more and more, and when we are not dying to ourselves, we are not really living.

If the old man has been crucified with Christ; if you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God; if you are a new creature in Christ; if you have the mind of Christ; if it is no longer you who live but Christ who lives in you then why do you think you should deny yourself? Are we spiritual schizophrenics? What was Paul talking about in 1Cor 9:27? Rom 6:12,13? Peter in 2Peter 1:4? Jesus in John 17:22? Do you know who you are?

If dying weren't difficult, all of Scripture wouldn't exhort us to do so, nor would our Lord tell us to deny ourselves and take up our own crosses.

God commands us as He wills, we obey with great difficulty as we have our old nature crucified, and He gives us what He commands. It's only the wisdom of this world that sees these things as antithetical or mutually exclusive.

Note both sides of this truth, here:

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. (Philippians 2:12, 13)

Ummmm.... I'm not sure why the focus of these comment is on Ray Bolt'z sex life... and I can't see where that is mentioned - at all - in the Blade article. As far as I can see, Ray's 'coming out' is about ackowledging sexual orientation. As for making that the central fact of his life (as the post and some comments imply), that is contrary to his own remarks in article. There's a huge gap, I think, between what conservative (presumably straight) Christians believe it means to be gay and what actual gay people understand about themselves. I wonder how many people take time to know and listen to the stories of openly gay and lesbian persons.

It's Ray Boltz.

Rick,

We hear these stories all the time.

Examples:

Woman beat to a pulp by lesbian lover.

Sodomite killed by his drug sharing partner.

Sodomite dies of AIDS.Sodomite dies of AIDS.

Sodomite dies of AIDS.Sodomite dies of AIDS.

Sodomite dies of AIDS.Sodomite dies of AIDS.

Sodomite dies of AIDS.Sodomite dies of AIDS.

Sodomite dies of AIDS.Sodomite dies of AIDS.

Sodomite dies of AIDS.Sodomite dies of AIDS.

Sodomite dies of AIDS.Sodomite dies of AIDS.

Sodomite dies of AIDS.Sodomite dies of AIDS.

Sodomite dies of AIDS.Sodomite dies of AIDS.

and etc.

The loving thing to do is not to listen to more of their stories, The loving thing to do is to tell them to stop their self destructive behavior and call upon a loving heavenly Father who is pleased to forgive sinners.

Warmly,

Dave

Have there always been Christians who claim Jesus yet affirm homo-sex?

And this argument, "God made me a homosexual, therefore it must be alright," where did THAT come from? Since when has any Christian NOT known that he has desires contrary to the law of God? Bizzare.

I've always liked "Watch the Lamb."

I am sorry to here of Ray Bolz giving up the fight. Many of us have what some called besettng sins but don't give up. Being a supporter of EXODUS an organization that helps homosexuals find freedom from sexual sins through Christ (includes hetero porn addicts) I wonder if he ever tried contacting them? To what lengths do you go to to overcome? Like I heard a brother preach on the radio, if you are a addicted to pornoraphy then throw the computer out if necessary. If you are an alcoholic don't drive past the package store each day, take another route. In my case it was anger , really bad anger, lots of good days but some bad. My wife finally went to my pastor and they confronted me, realized that I couldn't do this without some serious help and God in his mercy sent me a brother who I called and still do about every day to talk to to hold me accountable. Read the scripture and prayed also (serious) prayer and have really overcame this in the last year. Dietrich Boenhoffer said in one of his books "that there is a sin that a man can commit 100 hundred times and ask forgiveness for, but until he brings that sin into the light, he will never have victory over it." Maybe he did that but I suspect probably not. Sometimes you have to get radical in dealing with sin but God is always faithful in helping you work through it. Ray, did you get radical? There hath no tempation that is common to man........

My only other comment is that we as the body of Christ must be willing to come love and help these brothers and sisters to overcome this sin.

Too often there is acceptable sins that people don't mind helping out people to overcome. I wonder how many people would be really supportive if I told them I was homosexual and wanted out of that sin? How many would put their arm around me and say call me anytime and anyplace and I will prayer for you and if you need you can come over to my place and spend the night instead of going to a gay bar, etc. I have heard that many times said for divorced people, if you get lonely call me and come over for dinner and "why don't you spend the day with my family up at the lake"

Just food for thought

Rick - your point about sexual orientation being distinct from sexual practice is valid in one respect, but probably invalid in two more.

As a single man, I do not have any issues with my (straight) sexual orientation. But the Bible is quite clear that any sexual activity for me is out of the question, until and unless I am married. If you patch across the same logic into Ray Boltz's situation, you would have to say that the fact he identifies as gay, is still distinct from anything he might do. This, perhaps, is why the Catholic church is prepared to tolerate clergy who are obviously homosexually inclined, as long they don't act on it - this approach is also consistent with the standards it sets all its clergy. Which, as far as I can see, are the same standards any Reformed Church would ask of me as a single man.

However, here is where the analogy breaks down. First, as a straight single I do not need to go out and sleep with any pretty young lady who'd have me to prove that I am straight. On the other hand, nearly all gays and lesbians would say that their orientation is demonstrated, indeed confirmed, by the way they behave. The distinction between orientation and behaviour I make in theory, is only rarely seen in practice.

The second factor is more fundamental again. A homosexual orientation is so much against the 'natural order of things' that one has to ask where it comes from. To say "one's sinfulness" is not quite enough; since nobody is tempted to every sin, we do have to dig deeper and in individual cases, see what the factors are which explain why some individuals face this temptation. In that sense I concur with Chuck p's comments above.

Thanks for the reasonable tone of your note, Ross. (Dave's remark was sent 'warmly', and I guess it was in a scorching kind of way ;-) It's hard to see or feel the 'love' when 'truth with love' is written in generalizations with ugly words.

I still think many people are more hung up on sex and gays than reality merits. As a member of a large (currently 8,000 member) organization for persons who identify as both gay and Christian, I know MANY for whom your assumptions stated above (3rd para.) are not true. The whole "Side B" phenomena is about those have struggled sincerely for a lifetime and have chosen celibacy while finally embracing their orientation. Others are committed fully to celibacy outside of a life-long committed relationship. This isn't the picture portrayed by those who point to excesses of some to 'prove' the degeneracy of all.

I honestly can't follow the 'natural order' line of thinking, since same-gender coupling DOES appear elsewhere in varying parts of the natural world - and I have to wonder why we WOULDN'T expect some variety in a world that is so packed with creativity and wonderful differences.

:-)

Hi Rick, all I would say is that a "lifelong committed relationship" is still absolutely no excuse to engage in homosexual practice. The Bible is quite clear, either sex within marriage between a man and a woman, or no sexual conduct at all - a rule which could be pointed out to a lot of straight, single Christians.

So, Dave Curell's point is justified; especially as many gay men are extremely promiscuous. Frankly, AIDS would not have spread nearly as thoroughly as it did without that promiscuity.

As for the question on orientation, I would be interested in others' feedback as to whether my take on things is defendable. It might not be.

I still think many people are more hung up on sex and gays than reality merits.

Are you kidding? When a major party's nominee for President (guess which one - his initials are B.H.O.) is saying that he supports reading a story of two sodomites in a relationship to eight year olds?

Did you happen to see that a bunch of women at the local university posed in a pornographic magazine and will be signing autographs at a local store - or the fact that this was promoted in not only the Indiana Daily Student but also in the Herald-Times? Our country is saturated with sex.

Ross, it might also be said that promiscuity is a male problem - not just a gay problem. It's definitely less prevalent among lesbians. Although many people (e.g. male, straight, conservative Christian people) don't like to hear this, I think a good argument can be made for the idea that prohibiting loving, committed relationships encourages promiscuity - and shaming persons with a differing orientation contributes to unhealthy sexual patterns.

I'm on the board of directors for an AIDS agency in a mid-sized city. We primarily offer pastoral care and counseling for AIDS patients and their families. Last year's statistics for our northeastern city showed that the split was about 25% contracted through sexual contact (MSM - men who have sex with men) and about 75% related to drug use or was multi-causal including male/female contact. In Africa, where AIDS is most prevalent, it is almost entirely a heterosexual problem. HIV/AIDS is complex for sure.

I honestly don't expect folks to agree with me here - that's fine, really. And I'm sure you know that you're not likely to change my mind either (I was a conservative Evangelical most of my life, so I do know the usual responses and arguments.) I only stumbled on this blog because I googled "Ray Boltz" and "sodomite" to see if a nasty firestorm had erupted yet after the Washington Blade article. I'm pretty sure folks here would understand that the word 'sodomite' is really only used today in an anti-gay context and would never work in a sincere conversation with actual gay people (even one hoping to convert or redeem those believed to be lost.) I occasional pop in to blogs hoping that people will at least listen for a moment to a different voice to understand how their words and assumptions are heard by others.

Peace.

Rick,

As someone who was formerly in rebellion (I was a religious feminist), I can likely guess how the hard words sound. But they are necessary and proper if we are to call each other to repentance.

When I was in rebellion, the two pastors who run this blog had some properly hard words for me. Those words made me angry and hurt. But I also remembered their fearlessness in speaking the truth, in not coddling those in error.

I am sure it is their hope and prayer that someday, before it is too late, sodomites and those who coddle them will also come to repentance.

Kamilla

I think a good argument can be made for the idea that prohibiting loving, committed relationships encourages promiscuity - and shaming persons with a differing orientation contributes to unhealthy sexual patterns.

From where will you make that argument? The book of Leviticus?

Rick,

It's amazing how PC we've become with the words we use to describe sin. Someone isn't a 'sodomite' because that just sounds so mean. So instead they are 'gay'. And people don't commit adultery these days---instead people have 'affairs'.

It is entirely appropriate for Tim, David, and actually everyone to use the word 'sodomite', because it is accurate. There is a certain harshness to that word, and that is okay, even though our PC world doesn't like that. It sounds harsh because that sin itself is harsh, and not only can ruin the body, but ruin the soul. It is important for people to know this, because believe it or not, many pastors---Tim and David included, care a great deal for sodomites--and adulterers, and murderers. It is out of their love for them that they call them to repentance and faith in Christ.

Being a part of Tim's congregation for quite a while until I moved, I knew many many people who struggled with a desire for same sex intimacy, and I was touched with how loved and cared for they were. I was especially touched because I was once stuck in that 'lifestyle'.

I thank God for men like Tim, Dave, David, and other godly men who are able to say the ugly things we don't like to hear. They say them out of a love for us, and ultimately a love for Jesus Christ.

Chuck P., what you said about sin needing to be brought into the light is true and I especially that as Christians we need to be available to help our brothers and sisters in sin, especially the ugly sins such as sexual perversion that we're tempted not to help with because of our disgust or discomfort. Christ didn't shy away from ugly sin, we can't either.

Rick, many sodomites have been converted through their sin being named directly - I don't know any more "sincere" conversation than such a one where sin is called sin and isn't mitigated, with the ultimate outcome that the sodomite in question wasn't loved but left to their own destruction. Sin must be called sin if a person is to realize their need for Christ's redeeming blood. It's a shame that this would bother someone but it's the gospel.

I have a desire to be "loving" to people in deep sin, I have plenty of sin in my life that I never wanted anyone to confront me about. However, deep in my heart, and in the heart of others who are being saved, we know that for others to ignore our sin is not love and we deeply want, as Kamilla will surely agree, people to show enough love to call our sin what it is ... sin. In many conservative churches we hate people struggling with sin in the name of love by ignoring their sin - this is truly tragic and infinitely dangerous to their souls.

I think the reason people here are "hung up" on sex and gays is a pretty simple one: the (unrepentant) sexually immoral will receive their portion in the lake of fire that burns with fire and sulfur (Rev 21:8). You can mock it all you want, and among the madding crowd, but heed the Holy Spirit and repent. Time is running out.

OK... I get it now... 'sodomite' is intentionally used by persons who associate with this blog. If I had realized that, I wouldn't have tried to 'tip you off' on how unproductive that word is in conversation with those who do not hold to your belief system. I still think helping people listen is more important than using prefered vocabulary - if the goal is helping persons understand and accept truth - but that's entirely up to all of you and I respect differing opinions.

Apart from that, I do sort of feel like I have happened upon a parallel universe. Clearly you are unified in beliefs that (to me) seem pretty extremely black and white even for conservative evangelicals. I suppose it's silly of me to think an exchange of thought might be possible here without every response being a form of "REPENT OR BURN". I do respect your right to believe as you do and to express yourselves however you wish - so I'll just jet out of here.

Again - peace.

I agree. A simple way to make this issue clear is that, when it comes to sex outside of marriage between one man and one woman, Jesus says, "No" and Ray Boltz is fooling himself to think that things are okay between him and Jesus.

Rick,

You have been answered calmly and with much patience here above. Please don't try to cop a posture of taking the high road. What you have done here is to speak, "Hath God really said," and then tried to respond to the answers of "Yes, he has, and here is where and how," by accusing those who spoke them of being harsh and unloving.

No. It is precisely because these people are incredibly soft and loving that you have received any patience in response at all. All across church history, there has NEVER been any attempt to justify sodomy as compatible with the life of a true follower of Christ. Reason: it is "black and white" clear from Scripture that it is not.

1Cr 6:9 "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor {the} covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God."

And yet, for those who repent: 1Cr 6:11 "Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. "

Repent and turn from this lifestyle is the only loving response that there could be. In light of Scripture, anything else would be akin to saying, "Have fun in hell." Where is the love in that? Yes, it is clear from Scripture that a life of practicing sodomy (note, I did NOT say the temptation towards sodomy and fighting against it) is incompatible with a saving faith in Christ Jesus. Why? Because a saving faith in Christ will cause us to turn and flee from our sin in light of our love for our Savior. And have no doubt, sodomy is sin.

> anything else would be akin to saying, "Have fun in hell." Where is the love in that?

>note, I did NOT say the temptation towards sodomy and fighting against it

Thanks Archie, great explanations.

Rick, people who are in sin know the truth, though they try to justify their evil. Speaking of speaking love, there are people in this church that lean toward homosexuality but came her precisely because sin was called sin and they'd never been loved enough to hear that. So your brand of speaking "lovingly" isn't loving at all. You have got to realize that.

However, one thing that is interesting is that this blog is all over Google. I am tempted to say, "since people who read this may just be drive-by non-believer readers, we have to be careful what we say" - yet God will convert those who are His - we can't soften God's word in an attempt to save souls - it never works anyway, it leads to false-conversion.

Besides, Rick, you sort of came here looking for people you disagree with. I gotta admit, I don't like the word sodomite either but would you say to someone who was in danger of hell due to practicing pedophilia that they just "love children" - after all what's wrong with loving children? It's molestation and child-rape. Calling it anything else is cruel to both the child and the molester.

Don't ever hide the truth in the name of saving souls - God doesn't like that.

Another interesting thing that we haven't discussed is the wife and kids? So he's got to make himself happy by abandoning his wife - but awe, shux, he was unhappy before, that was really sad for him. His wife is happy since he's happy now. They invite Ray's boyfriend over for Thanksgiving with the family. Reminds me of the story on TV of some guy who decided he was a woman - his kids had to introduce him, "This is my Dad, Jenny." How selfish.

It truly is a shame that Boltz gave up.

Clint,

Have I got this right - not only has he embraced his sinful inclinations, his wife is so "cool" with it she has he and his "boyfriend" over for Thanksgiving dinner?!? So, not only has he given himself over but he's dragged his family with him.

You are so right to point out the selfishness - and setting aside everything else wrong about this situation - it amazes me how deceived people allow themselves to become. Do any of us seriously believe that if he had left his family for the young slut next door the two of them would be welcomed back with open arms for Thanksgiving dinner?

Kamilla

There is no space for comments in the conference thread so I thought I'd put it here....well it isn't a comment exactly just a small correction noting the full name of the conference.

God's Truth, Man's Lies; How Carson and Mohler Got In Touch With Their Feminine Side.

Kamilla,

Man, I'm sorry, no to my knowledge Boltz didn't invite his boyfriend to Thanksgiving. I'm just saying that that is the sort of thing that would surely happen.

Chuck P points out something interesting, in that there was a process that took place in which his wife went to the Pastor (and I am assuming the elders were involved), and there commenced a sort of church discipline that prompted repentance. Such a process is a godly thing.

I have questioned on this blog before regarding the type of community that would be necessary for even this type of sin to be known by the leadership, and I'll take a step further in wondering how much pastors and elders have the time and interest to get involved in the life of the sheep to this extent. If Mr. Boltz went to his pastor and told him the extent of his struggles, what would the Pastor's best response have been?

Clint,

Well, we've heard that beforel haven't we? That's why I wondered . . .

Kamilla

> If Mr. Boltz went to his pastor and told him the extent of his struggles, what would the Pastor's best response have been?

Well, Denver, I'd say that varies a lot even in the same church. In most churches I've seen the pastors would have no clue what to do and would just sort of ignore the problem, Boltz would have felt like no one cared or maybe just that no one really had any help and he would have either struggled on his own or he would have despaired and ended up like he did, giving up and giving in.

If his church was a good church then a couple of things would likely happen, he would get minimal help because the leadership are pretty busy and these problems are very time-consuming, but ideally he'd be given extensive mentoring, counseling etc. with lots of accountability and support.

Really the trick with churches is one that I've never seen any get right (though many are light-years ahead of the rest) - which is that there would be extensive use of the laity in the care of people with various problems. You'd have many people who've had healing from different problems who would act to help to others with similar problems. Though you wouldn't necessarily pair up people with the exact same problems for various reasons.

The regular folks in the church have to get involved in each other's lives because the pastors just don't have time - not because they're off playing golf but because when you see a truly functional church you realize the pastors are constantly helping people with sins like Boltz's and they need as much help as they can get from the rest of us. God calls us to truly know each other and to help bear each other's burdens, somehow people in churches think it's only the pastor's job. That's just not true and very damaging to a church.

However, I have known people who have told me stories about working extensively with their pastors in the area of sexual sin (sexual sin much more severe than Boltz's) and have felt completely empowered to continue the fight indefinitely because they were counseled in God's word.

People counseled in this way are taught to realize that God doesn't promise us a rose-garden, all of us have sins we must fight against, it's not a question of fair, God gives us struggles but he also provides the solution and as Christians we realize that the struggles we have in life sanctify us so that we may partake in God's holiness, so we ideally end up thankful for our lives exactly as they are, hard as they may be, because we have an opportunity to glorify God all the more.

Well, I say, "Way to go, Ray!" He's stopped the cycle of self-hate and self-abuse in his life and can now go and live in genuine happiness.

I find it odd that Christians preach about the "joy of Jesus" yet here was a Christian man who was absolutely miserable. How can you call a 30-year struggle just "giving in"?????? That is NOT giving in.

Imagine simply doing your job everyday for 30 years without a holiday. If you suddenly didn't show up for work one day how would you feel if someone phoned you and asked why you "just quit"?

You Christians don't care that Ray was miserable. You want him to keep holding up the mask, pretend he's happy, and to live the lie that a Christian existence generally is.

Now he is genuinely happy and you're all ticked off that he's disagreeing with your viewpoint now.

You guys can have heaven (if your version exists). It'll be full of mindless, hate-filled, drones like yourselves. Hell (if your version exists) will at least have genuine, loving, fun-filled people in it.

Really though, your guy's view of God is so narrow it's ridiculous. If God isn't big enough to accept us as we are then he really isn't worth serving.

Really though, your guy's view of God is so narrow it's ridiculous. If God isn't big enough to accept us as we are then he really isn't worth serving.

Mat 12:37 "For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned."

> you are unified in beliefs that (to me) seem pretty extremely black and white even for conservative evangelicals

Yes, I agree we are "black and white." But so is scripture: "Therefore God gave them over to degrading passions...men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in there desire with one another, men committing indecent acts" --Romans 1:26-27. This is pretty explicit.

And in response to Mark

> Now he is genuinely happy and you're all ticked off that he's disagreeing with your viewpoint...

Hell (if your version exists) will at least have genuine, loving, fun-filled people in it.

Roy is not disagreeing with our viewpoint, but with GOD'S!! And GOD'S hell will not be for genuine, fun-loving people but "for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons (i.e. sodomites) and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death (Revelation 21:8)." THIS is the hell we believe in!

Mark,

All I know is that each day God reveals how wicked my heart is, and in doing such, I have to look to Christ, because my nature compels me not to, because I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. I delight in the law of God in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of my members.

So when you ask if I know who I am, all I know is I am a vile sinner saved only be the grace of God Jesus Christ. My hope was to encourage other sinners, Mark, who are tempted and prone to wander. Here are some other encouragements from Rutherford:

"I find it most true, that the greatest temptations out of hell, is to live without temptations; if my waters should stand they would rot. Faith is the better of the free air, and of the sharp winter storm in its face."

"I find crosses Christ's carved work that he marketh out for us, and that with crosses he figureth and portrayeth us to his own image, cutting away pieces of our ill and corruption. Lord cut, Lord carve, Lord wound, Lord do anything that may perfect the Father's image in us, and make us meet for glory."

Nathan, I KNOW this is the hell you believe in and it is a vile, abominable place. Any God who would send anyone there (although I know you will say that God doesn't send people there, people send themselves there, blah, blah, blah)...ANY God who would send any person there for eternity is a spoiled child throwing a temper-tantrum. Your version of God is not worth serving.

Daniel, you are NOT a vile sinner. You have been led to believe that by your own self-hate, low self-esteem, and a religion that tells us to deny our humanity at every turn.

And if my words condemn me, so be it. I am a living, breathing, self-aware individual who has EVERY right to speak my mind to our supposed "loving creator". Christianity says, "don't question God." I say if God can't take a bit of doubt then he needs to grow up.

Mark,

If you don't see yourself as the sinner you are, friend, then you are not as self-aware as you think. God is perfect, and holy, and gracious, sovereign, and merciful. He is also long-suffering. In his love for us, he sent his Son to take bear his just wrath for our sins, both past present, and future. Think about every wicked thought or word, every insult, every perverse act, every person you've murdered in your heart. God offers you forgiveness in coming to Christ, and only through Jesus Christ.

This world is not the end Mark. Man is not the measure of all things. God is not mocked, whatever a man sows he will reap. Who then can be saved? Praise God for the grace he bestows on those whom He has called to Himself, whom He has adopted as his own children.

Mark, you can know God only through His Word. Christianity does not say don't question God. Jacob wrestled with God, and God left him wounded but changed. What a painful wound, what a blessed joy. If you want to truly know the character oF God, struggle with Him in His Word. He has not left us to flounder in this world, to seek self-worth through transient careers and relationships, or through temporary highs of various sorts, or by paying counselors and psychiatrists to convince us that we aren't actually guilty of anything.

If you haven't discovered how beautiful and gracious God is, go to His Word and feed on it. Again, I am preaching to myself in writing this. We cannot judge God's justice by our own standards Mark, but in knowing that God is just, we also can know that he loves us more than any of his creatures possibly can.

In the words of a Rwandan pastor whose family and village was slaughtered by machete, "God is good all the time. All the time, God is good."

Sorry if this isn't terribly well organized. I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet.

All I know is that each day God reveals how wicked my heart is,

Daniel you’ve been given a new heart. (Ez 36:26, 2Co 5:17, Gal 6:15)

I have to look to Christ, because my nature compels me not to

No, the flesh compels you not to. The old man (old nature) is dead.

because I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.

Right. The question is not its presence but its location.

I delight in the law of God in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of my members.

But why focus on the captivity in verse 23? Why not the deliverance of verse 25? Better still why not read the whole thought developed by Paul which, though hinted at in verse 5:10, starts in earnest in 6:1 and terminates at the end of chapter 8? Some important stand out verses are 6: 1,7,11-12; 7:1,25; 8:2,9,11,15

So when you ask if I know who I am, all I know is I am a vile sinner saved only be the grace of God Jesus Christ. My hope was to encourage other sinners, Mark, who are tempted and prone to wander.

Your intent was a noble one Daniel, but your view of the person in Christ is wanting. You are not just a saved sinner, justified but not changed. The Gospel does not only justify it transforms. (See Romans 8, Ephesians 4 and Colossians 3) The Christian life is not only forgiveness of sins, (plural) but deliverance from sin (singular). The life of the Christian is one of victory not simply over the grave, but over the very principle that enslaved the old man. You are a new creature in Christ. There was a time when you were dead in your trespasses and sins, when you walked in consort with the enemy, when you indulged the desires of the flesh and the mind, and were by nature a child of wrath. But that is no longer true. That old man was crucified with Christ and you have been raised up and seated with him in the heavenlies. Your life is hidden with Christ in God, you have the mind of Christ. No wonder then that we are called more than conquerors!!

No one is born an adult. But no one who has been born remains a child. The life of the Christian is one of continued growth in holiness where one is more and more conformed to the image of Him who called them to Himself and gave them life—His life. Holiness is presented in both the imperative and the indicative. It is not only something that is supposed to happen, it happens. It MUST happen. It is not a matter of doing but of being. You are child of God, and born of His Spirit. As He is, so also are we in this world.

So why bring that up in this thread? Because there is, and can be no such thing as a Christian who is a practicing homosexual. And certainly no such thing as a Christian who argues for the normalcy of something that is identified by Scripture as an abomination.

1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.

Ray Boltz, if he was in fact a Christian, will wake up some day (as all prodigals do) to find that he is wallowing in the mud and eating with the pigs. When he does he’ll get up and go home. If not well…

2Pe 2:20-22 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. It has happened to them according to the true proverb, "A dog returns to its own vomit," and, "A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire."

It is regrettable that there is no easy Biblical moniker for this sin. Even sodomy is not a Biblical term, and trying to translate the Biblical terms of Leviticus and Paul's echoing them in 1 Cor 6:9 & 1 Tim 1:10 is no small challenge, so it seems perhaps the best available option for those few who take Scripture more seriously than self (as Bolz once did) is "homoerotic" since as the following article proves, the "homosex-" word group is nothing but homoerotic propaganda that perverts God's Word and reason and language ("The gay invention" at

http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-10-036-f)

Those who control the terms of the debate all too likely come to control the debate itself and its sad that most "christians," even most 20th-21st century Bible translators (sadly mistranslating arsenokoitai in 1 Cor 6:9 & 1 Tim 1:10 after the worldly "homosex-" fraud), have been so brainwashed by the homoerotic propaganda lie to use the mythical wordgroup "homosex-" rather than God's Word.

Can anyone who has been successful cured of homosexual sin write their testimony here? I am in dire need of reassurance that it is possible.

The bottom line is God did not create people to be homosexual. Think about it....Why would He create or "make people that way" and then condemn it/judge it???? Homesexuality is sin. AND there is no other explanation, answer, or way to "say it." Ray Boltz made a conscious decision to rebel against God. And rebellion against God is SIN! I am a singer and have sung Ray's songs for years. I will not sing them anymore!!

Dear Truth Finder,

Here's a testimony...

From the Apostle Paul to the church at Corinth..

"9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God."

There is no sin that cannot be conquered by the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit as a child of God turns in repentance and in dependence on his/her Sovereign God. The Father's plan for His children is that they be conformed to the image of His dear Son.

Are there challenges? Of course. Does the child of God need support and prayer and accountability? Yes.

But it all begins with becoming a true child of God, being born again and thereby becoming a new creature in Christ.

There are ministries that will walk with you through the process of restoration.

There may not be readers here who have left homosexuality behind. However that doesn't mean Tim and I don't have the ability to put you in contact with such individuals. Email us directly and we'll consider your request.

David Bayly

nebti5@yahoo.com

Modern pharmacology and pop humanistic psychology failed poor Ray from controlling his mind and guarding his heart, oh my... what choice did he have?

Letting down ones moral guard and trying to fill a void with things of this world will only lead to heartache, suffering and pain. In the end only only the God shaped vacuum remains in this mans heart and the Holy Spirit, tired of contending will have moved on. How sad is the reality that the real lie he was living all along wasn't that of being gay but that of pretending to a dead-to-Christ Christian.

Can anyone who has been successful cured of homosexual sin write their testimony here? I am in dire need of reassurance that it is possible.

Truth Finder, if you're looking for truth you may want to start with your name. I've heard of success stories from pastors who deal with this and to some extent people struggling with sexual sin; take David up on his offer on email.

One question I have is this, ask someone who once struggled with anger if now they never get angry - they will say that they do but it doesn't control them anymore so in that way, the sin is over but it's never completely gone. That's the nature of sin and I think some of the reason that we hear about many men who are homosexual who think they're "cured" and then fall back into sin is because until the day we die we are never completely free from sin, merely free from bondage to sin. I'm reminded of On The Bondage of the Will by Martin Luther which explains better than I could the concept of a Christian's ability to choose good.

It's when a person thinks that sin is completely gone in their life that Satan fells them because their defenses are down. It's when we think we're completely free of sin that we are most vulnerable to it coming back.

*ALL* sin is a lifelong struggle but one that through Christ we have more success at each day we try.

If a Christian tells you that they never struggle with sin then they're probably trying to sell you a self-help book.

I'm ready to hear now about what Jesus said about those divorced and remarried who are doing so without infidelity as the reason they are living such. I'm ready to hear them condemned and hell-bound in dialogue. I'm ready to hear how we should cast them out and turn them over to Satan until they cease to live in continued adultery. Celibacy for them, too. Abusive spouses, drug and alcohol abusing spouses, etc... are no reason to allow remarriage -- only adultery according to Christ.

Any takers? I thought not. Because maybe even half of any congregation is filled with such continued adulterers. When you are ready to denounce them in the same language you do for homosexuals -- I'll listen.

AM I stand in agreement with you and am guilty as charged until recently. A friends difficult divorce and his former wife's remarriage made me get into the Word and research the whole issue of divorce and remarriage. I was directed to John Pipers position paper on divorce and remarriage and have come to a strong conviction that he is right, that there is no permission for divorce and that remarriage is adultery. (oddly his church does not take that conviction but allows divorce for adultery.) In my opinion you are correct that there is not the same strong preaching and stand taking against divorce and remarriage that there is against homosexuality and the church is suffering greatly for it. But in my city several churches appear to be taking some concrete steps to deal with that issue from a biblical perspective. So there is hope. "Am" we expect homosexuals to remain celibate to be faithful to Christ yet so often I have seen churches not expect heterosexuals to adhere to those same standards as it would be too hard!

Pray for pastors to be bold in doing the right thing. I would be interested in what Pastor Bayly has to say about this and how he handles this? Thanks (also Pastor Bayly what is your position on the grounds for divorce and remarriage)

May I throw one more thing out that has puzzled me? Pastor Bayly, if my friend's wife is committing adultery in her marriage to the other

man who left his wife,are they always going to be in adultery or will something change if they repent? If so, should she leave her new "lover"

and return to her husband? (He would take her back he has told me) If not why not? Thanks for answering my questions, not my intention to hijack this thread

Spiritual warfare is real and that is what Mr. Boltz was experiencing. God says stealing is wrong and most of us have probably been tempted to steal and perhaps some of us are living the lifestyle of a thief as I write. The way I see it, satan and his angels are really good at deceiving people, and as far as having 'peace in the heart' over a decision to live as a homosexual because "God made me this way and I have met so many wonderful people after coming out' . . . Jer. 17:9 says "The heart is deceitful above all things . . . " What Mr. Boltz is doing is embracing a lie from the pit of hell. Yes, hell is a real place and I hope the Christian community be in prayer for Ray. Sexual sin is the hardest sin to break, but prayer is more powerful than any bondage. Repentance can be granted. I hope you all will be praying along with me for Ray's repentance. Until one really sees sin for what it is, they cannot live life to the fullest as God desires. I am mentoring right now a teenager wrestling with that same decision about living as a homosexual. The Holy Spirit can retrieve those being tempted by any lie, and he knows how to strengthen those standing in the gap with intercessory prayer.

I love Abraham's prayer in concern for his nephew Lot. He knew the Lord had to do the job of pulling out Lot and his family.

Here is my prayer, "May those we know that are wrestling with that decision be not deceived by the enemy any longer. May the blinders be removed so they can see the abomination of what they have been involved in. May they be sancified by your hand of grace Lord God. May they be strong in your might and respond in the Spirit and not in the flesh. Send your mighty Angels Lord to surround those who will inherit salvation. Beautify them with salvation so they can stand on your word that did not return void showing a powerful testimony. Put your holy scripture in their paths moment by moment and may the gay community be put to shame if not repent. Not only do you heal the flesh Lord, you also heal the spirit and give new birth. May you be glorified Lord."

This is just disgusting. Its too bad the Church in America lets itself be dragged into this.

I don't listen to Contemporary Christian music, but was Ray well Respected in the reformed community?

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