Ray? Gay? Say it isn’t so!
It is so and it is sad. Ray Boltz the long time Christian music artist has officially come out of the closet.
For those of you who can’t place him he is the singer of such classics as “Thank you”, “Watch the Lamb”, “I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb” and many, many more. In the early years of Dare 2 Share there was always room for a Boltz song. The guy can sure tell a story and communicate a spiritual truth through song. When it comes to ballads (in the world of Christian music anyway) he is the best.
After more than thirty years of marriage he finally “admitted” to himself and his family that he was gay. He stopped fighting the feelings that where raging inside him for years and succumbed to the dark urges within. Of course I feel bad for his wife and kids. I can’t imagine the reverberations of such a declaration on a family. I am praying for them as they continue to struggle with all the implications of this tragic revelation.
You can probably tell where I stand on the subject of homosexuality. I believe that the act of homosexual sex is a sin. Why? Because the Bible is pretty clear on it. Check out Romans 1:26-27, “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”
There are those who say that the sin in this passage is not homosexuality but the lust combined with the non-monagomous sexfest implied in these verses. But Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, describes homosexual sex in these verses as “unnatural.” In other words men with men and women with women is not the way that God intended sex to be, um, done. Homosexuality is a Satanic perversion of God’s gift of sex.
That’s right, sex is a divine inspired gift designed for a man and a woman to thoroughly enjoy in the context of marriage. Sex outside of marriage between a man and a woman is immoral. Sex between two members of the same gender in any context is immoral. As the saying goes, “He made them Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve.”
Paul goes on in Romans chapter one to describe the act of homosexual sex with these words, “Men committed indecent acts with other men….” In other words homosexual sex is unnatural and indecent from God’s perspective. To deny this is to twist the Scriptures out of context to be politically correct or to justify a sinful behavior.
In 1 Corinthians 6:9 Paul adds homosexuality to the list of descriptions that describe the wicked, “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. 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.”
This list of sins describes who the Corinthian believers were before they trusted in Jesus. Paul is making the point that this is not who they really are in Christ now so why would they continue to engage in those behaviors?
So in light of all this how are we to treat homosexuals? I believe that we are to treat the homosexuality community with the love of Jesus Christ outside of the church. We are to speak the truth in love and offer them the hope they need through Jesus Christ, the same way we would offer the gospel to anyone else! Too many times Christians treat the gay community as lepers, like their category of sin is unforgiveable. But we must love them and share Jesus with them like we would any sinner. Remember that although you may not struggle with homosexual sin you are just as much of a sinner as anyone is and so am I. We received forgiveness through faith and so can they, so can anyone. When any sinner puts their faith in Jesus, God forgives them for their sins and gives them the power and desire to turn away from those sins in the power of the Holy Spirit.
What about the homosexuals inside the church who claim to be believers in Jesus? We love them too, not by accepting their sin but by doing our best to help them live in victory over it. As long as they are willing to seek to walk in sexual purity we must be by their side every step of the way in prayerful encouragement. I have been a part of this powerful restoration process as a pastor and watched God work miracles as a result!
What if our brothers or sisters in Christ, like Ray Boltz, give in to the desire and give up trying to fight the urges within them? Here is the Apostle Paul’s instruction when dealing with anyone who claims to be a believer but who is willfully living in sin,
“I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral peopleÃ¢â‚¬â€ not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.’” 1 Corinthians 5:9-13
This is a tough pill to swallow but according to this passage there is a time we collectively give the cold shoulder out of a warm heart to anyone who are unrepentant about their sins. The goal of this cold shoulder is to convict and convince the offending brother or sister that he or she needs to repent. The goal of all church discipline in the New Testament is to create true repentance in the hearts of those who are sinning and reunite them in fellowship with their spiritual family.
Let us all pray for Ray Boltz and his family during this difficult time. Let us give him a cold shoulder out of a warm heart until he repents. Then, once he does, let us welcome him back with open arms and help him live a life that pleases God. And let us watch ourselves during this process because we too are every bit as susceptible to sin. As Galatians 6:1 reminds us, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”