Ray Boltz Comes Out of the Closet
In May 2002, I attended a Ray Boltz concert with my parents and my good friend, Joe Hendrickson. Even though Ray is not the most recent or contemporary of Christian recording artists, I have to admit that it was one of the best concerts I've been to. He sang well known songs like "Thank You" and "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb."
This past Friday, September 12, Ray Boltz announced that he was coming out of the closet and that he was gay. Before we begin pointing a finger at Ray, let us begin by taking the "beam" out of our own eye. Here is a quote from Ray, "A few years ago I made the decision to retire from contemporary Christian music. I had won awards, performed in front of thousands of people, and sold millions of records. Still, I believed that if people knew who I really was, I would never be accepted."
There is something wrong when people feel that they would not be accepted or be loved by Christians when Jesus said that we are to be known by our love! Unfortunately, people hide their "secret" and feel that they have to put on a facade.
THIS MUST CHANGE!
We, as the Church, must be a place where people can come and be real and be honest and feel welcomed and be loved. If we do not do this, then how will we be able to see a bountiful harvest of souls into the loving arms of God?
It is tragic that Ray felt he could not share his feelings and that he felt that he had to hide and keep things a secret. What he needed was the Church to come alongside him and love him for who he was.
With that said, it must be clear that God loves us unconditionally. But unconditional love does not mean unconditional approval of our behavior. God loved Adam and Eve unconditionally but this does not mean that he approved of their behavior. The same applies to us. God loves us but does not approve of our behavior. This is the same love that the Church needs to give.
Ray also says that now he does not hate himself and that God made him this way. What Ray does not realize is that God created us with feelings but not every feeling we have is right. Just because we have a feeling does not give us justification to act upon it. I may feel angry but I have the option to act upon it or not. We are not bound by our feelings and our feelings do not dictate who we are.
Ray states that he tried many different things but he never changed. Like Ray, too many people have an unbiblical perception of what change means. Change does not ever mean that we will never be tempted again. God never promises that we will have a life free of temptations if we pray hard enough. Look at Jesus as he prays on the Mount of Olives, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me" (Luke 22:42). He begged God the Father to deliver Him as many people do of their struggles. But God did not take away the cup of suffering and I doubt that anybody would say that Jesus just didn't pray hard enough. But Jesus realized the truth of struggles and temptations by what He said next, "yet not my will, but yours be done" which means, God, if you don't deliver me than I will still follow you anyway in spite of this difficulty.
Too many people identify themselves solely by their feelings and say that they were created or born this way. However, there is no objective or scientific evidence for this - only subjective evidence that they have these feelings. As I say in my testimony, "Change is not the absence of struggles but change is the freedom to choose holiness in the presence of our struggles."
I praise God that I can I love myself and not hate myself because I am not defined by my feelings but rather that I was created in the image of God. Let us be in prayer for Ray, his ex-wife and his three children.