Thursday, November 13, 2008

Ray Boltz and Homosexuality

Note: Posted by Farrah

Several years ago, we bought some albums by Ray Boltz. Though he wasn't our favorite, we thought several of his songs were really wonderful. He hasn't made any new albums in many years, and I thought perhaps the Lord had called him into other things. Perhaps touring in another country, spreading the gospel, similar to David Meece. Until I stumbled across the following article copied and pasted onto a Christian's blog:

Gospel singer Ray Boltz - who has sold about 4.5 million LPs, cassettes and CDs - has come out of the closet publicly in an interview with Washington Blade.

The formerly married singer, who has four children, came out to his family and friends several years ago. While sitting around the kitchen table at his daughter’s house in December 2004 - the same day as the Tsunami in the Indian Ocean - Boltz’s son, Philip, asked him what was wrong.

“I thought, ‘Well, I can just do what I always do and hide the truth or I can take a risk and be honest,’” Boltz says. “That day, with the tsunami, has become very symbolic in our family.”

Nobody was sure, at the time, what the ramifications of the revelation would be, least of all Ray.

“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.’”

His family’s reaction took time.

“I don’t want to downplay it like it was just, ‘Oh, well that’s OK.’ It was a very tough time for them too, but the bottom line was they loved me and they still love me … it’s been an amazing journey of acceptance on their part … I was offered support and love from each member of my family, including my wife.”

I was very sad to discover this, and we had to throw away his CDs. Until we know he has come back to Jesus, we will not enjoy his music. On the brighter side, there was a comment left by a lady that really touched and encouraged me:

There is no sin that is not common to our flesh. In our flesh lies no good thing. We are all potential homosexuals, murderers, etc. One drop of blood from Jesus washes away a multitude of sin. I was saved at 13. I saw and recognized the horror and depth and vileness of sin within me though I barely had committed any known “labeled” sin in my loving Christian family life…..at least not at that time in my life. When my womanizing husband left me and I was thrown into a partying lifestyle, it didn’t take long for people to no longer recognize the person I had become. So I “came out” proclaiming I was no longer a Christian. Not that I had homosexual tendencies but that I was validating that “I no longer have to live a nice Christian walk, attending Church and living celibate. That proclamation I thought gave me freedom to join the world doing the same as I was. There was pleasure in that partying lifestyle…”for a season” but I did come to an end of myself.

I would like to say that I reached out to Jesus but I didn’t. HE REACHED DOWN IN MY DESPAIR AT THE POINT OF SUICIDE, WANTING TO DIE, BELIEVING THAT I DESERVED HELL…and literally told me to be still and let HIM love me. He spoke to my heart and told me that He would take away everything that did not please Him and make it easy for me to walk with Him. He only required one thing of me and that was “that no matter how unworthy I deemed myself, that I would consider that He is a God worthy of praise, and that I would promise to “Get up anyway, go on anyway, and praise Him anyway.”

So whatever the sin, whatever the trouble, I will go on! He is constantly bringing up things in our lives causing us to recognize those fleshly “tendencies” within ourselves until we can look to Him, and say, “Ah Lord, I never want to do that again”. If the “tendencies” are stronger than we can conquer sometimes only Jesus can come into that place in our hearts and work righteousness. It is a precious repentant heart that is pure before Him.

We overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Let us pray that Ray is brought into a “testimony”…a story of victory. This is a battle I am glad I haven’t been called to conquer. With all our prayers of love and compassion let us pray for our brother that God deliver him from these ungodly desires that he obviously so far has not found victory over.

I have a cousin that “came out” to his family, wife, and four grown daughters. After the divorce and living the lifestyle for 5 years, one day God got hold of his heart, led him to an unknown church where he walked in and saw his wife with the whole congregation praying over her and him. He says after a lifetime of believing he was gay, God gave him something he never really had experienced ...”a physical desire and attraction for the opposite sex of which his wife was the ultimate desire of his “body”." She was already a part of his soul which had never left him.


Years later he tried to convey to his own nephew his testimony. That nephew told me that he wanted to believe him and prayed so hard, and tried so hard to just not live the lifestyle but the attraction for men instead of women was always there. After several years of “praying…trying” he gave in and began living with this older man. Within 2 years this handsome, precious, loving, nephew died a horrible, lonely, death of aids he got from that man.

Let us pray for Ray Boltz and his family.

31 comments:

Greg said...

Imagine my shock and surprise, when I decided to take a short blogging break, and discovered that my wonderful wife made her first post on this blog!

I too was saddened to hear of Ray Boltz' surrender to sin. Most (if not all) of us have our struggles with sin, but the battle is not lost, until we give up and say, "It's OK that I do that" or "I guess I can't help myself." But the truth is, there are times when we cannot help ourselves; only Jesus saves. The struggle is part of the walk, but we must believe that "faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it" (1 Thes. 5:24). There is victory in Jesus! Victory over sin and victory over death!

the_thinking_frog said...

Greetings,

With each disclosure by a popular actor/actress, athlete, singer, tv personality, politician, and/or minister; I am reminded of my necessity to remain faithful. This concerns so many areas from adultery to immoral sexual conduct, to divorce, to greed, that a follower of Christ can NOT let their guard down. The temptations are common to each of us but through the Word and the Spirit, we need not succomb to these. This serves as a reminder to pray for those Christians who are in the public eye as well as rejoice with the many public servants who have faced the same temptations and remained faithful.

Joyfully Serving,

Kermit

Farrah said...

Mr. Frog, :-)

What a good point you make that we should pray for those Christians in the public eye. I never thought of that before! I will do that. :-)

~Farrah

jeleasure said...

I had heard about this.
One thing that you asked, is where did Ray Boltz go.
If a person is living for the Lord, The Lord blesses their endevors to minister His word. As soon as the person steps outside of what is pleasing to God, the annointing begins to fade like a reluctantly dying battery.
Was Boltz saying he was always Gay? Maybe that is why I never found his music appealing. I just know, that the battery must have completely died as he disappeared.

Greg said...

Hi, Jim. I think you're right. Jesus will not force righteousness upon an unwilling person, but turn them over to a reprobate mind, if they no longer want to follow him. I can't know Ray Boltz' heart, but it seems he rejected at least a portion of God's truth, and God turned him over to his own sin.

God may cover our ignorance, but He will not put up with unrepentant sin.

Greg said...

Glad to meet you, Kermit! I've added you to our blog roll.

Farrah said...

Jim,

I was thinking the same thing. As I said, he wasn't our favorite. I never liked his music nearly as much as many other Christian artists. Makes me wonder if that is why. Sounds like he was struggling all his life . . .

thekingpin68 said...

There needs to be a theological recognition that our sinful corrupt nature in this fallen realm can make the unnatural appear natural, the bad appear good.

Since Biblically God condemns homosexual acts (Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, for example) and does not sanction homosexual marriage we can reasonably deduce and know it is wrong and this needs to be accepted by those in Christ that struggle with this sin, as we all struggle with certain sins.

The gospel and related morality cannot be altered. What God states is sin, is sin regardless of how natural and good it seems to some.

Greg, I will work on a reply to your comment on thekingpin68.

Cheers,

Russ

Greg said...

You got it, Russ! Relative morality cannot stand up to the immutability of God's Word. Like you, I believe the Bible to be the moral standard, to which we must measure our lives. Maybe we can convince ourselves that a sin is OK, that it's not really that bad, but we will not convince God. It simply doesn't work. I think some give up, because they rely more on themselves or humanity, than on God.

If God says, "Be ye perfect, as I am perfect," wouldn't He provide a means to get there? :)

jeleasure said...

Hi Greg and Farrah,
Right Greg. God says to be Holy as He is Holy. Not, "be perfect as I am perfect", as you have written in your last comment.
In reading your interaction with Russ, I was noticing a conversation about God not being able to be evil.
I agree that God is not evil. I also agree that God is Holy (He exist by His standard, not man's). So, I had this thought, "God determined to use evil, to punish sin". Or, may I say it this way, God may have authored the crucifixion of Christ to include evil. I will also say, I really want to say, "God did author...". But, I'm being cautious.
Perhaps, this comment belongs on Russ's blog. However, I've already stretched my brain cells over there.

Greg said...

Jim, God did say for us to be Holy as He is Holy, but the scripture I was referring to was Matthew 5:48. There are also at least a dozen similar ones, regarding perfection, such as Matthew 19:21, Luke 6:40, and Ephesians 4:13.

Yes, the crucifixion was a "bad" thing, but it was the required sacrifice, to atone for man's sin, which was not of God's doing. God has His rules which even He follows. Jesus dying on the cross was the only way to cleanse us of our sins, so in that way it was a good thing.

Likewise, punishment for sin, though it may seem bad at the time, works to bring us to repentance and righteousness, which are very good things. Of course, it would be best if we didn't sin in the first place, so that the punishment would not be necessary. :)

Tamela's Place said...

I had found out about this a couple of months ago, it saddened me very much, i loved a lot of his songs. I had actually wrote a blog on it myself titled, "is it a lie or is it the truth" Ray boltz is now living the lie.. But yes we must pray for him to come back to the Lord!

Great Googly Moogly! said...

I too was saddened by the news of Ray Boltz. We weren't really fans of his music, but it is always sad when someone walks away from the faith. Of course, he doesn't think he has walked away, and this makes it even more sad.

Thanks for printing the lady's comment...it was encouraging to me as well.

Nice first post, Farrah. Don't let Greg have all the fun around here! :-)

GGM

Nitewrit said...

Farrah,

I made a comment about this at Tamela's Place when she wrote about Boltz. I also sent an email to Greg, I believe, after his earlier post on the subject, regarding a friend.

Jim, Greg and Russ, I did make a comment on Russ's Blog on my opinion about God and evil.

Larry E.

Nitewrit said...

Greg and Farrah,

I noticed the other day that my Posts are not updating in anyone's Blog List. I got a comment from Jim about this as well. I don't know the cause, but I have Posted items since Veteran's Day. I hope everyone will simply check on my Blog regularly until, and if, this bug in the Blog List corrects itself.

Larry

Jeff said...

It was indeed shocking to hear about Ray Boltz, especially when I think of his song "Watch the Lamb," which was so powerful.

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.”


That puts it in a very different light from the way I heard it. That makes it sound like he has been struggling with this addiction, and that his family has accepted him, and they are struggling with this together. But the way I heard it was that he decided that the Church didn't hold the answers, so he retired from being a Christian vocal artist, divorced his wife, and joined the Metropolitan (gay) church.

I have a cousin that “came out” to his family, wife, and four grown daughters. After the divorce and living the lifestyle for 5 years, one day God got hold of his heart, led him to an unknown church where he walked in and saw his wife with the whole congregation praying over her and him. He says after a lifetime of believing he was gay, God gave him something he never really had experienced ...”a physical desire and attraction for the opposite sex of which his wife was the ultimate desire of his “body”." She was already a part of his soul which had never left him.

That is an awesome testimony! More people need to hear this testimony, because too many believe that a person is born gay, or that God made them that way.

Years later he tried to convey to his own nephew his testimony. That nephew told me that he wanted to believe him and prayed so hard, and tried so hard to just not live the lifestyle but the attraction for men instead of women was always there. After several years of “praying…trying” he gave in and began living with this older man. Within 2 years this handsome, precious, loving, nephew died a horrible, lonely, death of aids he got from that man.

That seems to imply to me that weaknesses for certain things are hereditary. For example, certain tribes of Native Americans are very susceptible to alcoholism. I don't necessarily believe in "generational curses" in the same way that some teach, but I do believe that weaknesses for certain things can be hereditary (and can also be influenced by one's upbringing).

With gay marriage becoming legalized in some states in the U.S., plus school textbooks, even in kindergarten, teaching that gay marriage is normal and commendable, I think that more and more are going to be deceived into following this addiction. I even saw on TV one time where a child (in Elementary school, I believe) had a sex change, and the parents fully condoned it.

Pornography is another addiction which affects millions of Christians and even Pastors, especially with the Internet, which makes the temptation a thousand times harder to resist (vs. going to an adult bookstore and buying a magazine, for example, which would likely be far, far easier to resist doing).

jeleasure said...

Hi Greg,
I enlisted a new Christian blogger today. It seems his passion is the Husker's of College Football. However, he is a Christian and is a musician. See what you can do. He may enjoy interacting on your level of Study. Maybe, he will even begin blogging Christian articles.

Here is his link nutuba

Andrew Clarke said...

If understand rightly, what is shown here is that some people claim they have surrendered to Jesus when they have not completely done so. Maybe it is like the deception of Annanias and Sapphira, which brought about their death. People are trying to keep part of themselves private from God and that brings about the collapse of their Christian walk, until they REALLY give all to God.

Anonymous said...

I have destroyed all of his cds and videos. He is not a Christian and never has been. He is a phony, just like alot of so called Christians. If he doesnt repent to God, he is going straif
gt to Hell.

What is sad, is that he is leading alot of people straight to Hell, right behind him.
He is strong supporter of gay marriage and has wrote a sng about it.

I think he got caught in a Gay affair and was forced to admit hes a homo.

I urge all Christians to destroy all of his phony cds and videos and stay away from this filthy person.

I wil forgive him when he asks for forgiveness and accepts Jesus Christ. Until then, I will no longer have anything to do with him.

Greg said...

Anonymous, those are some strong words. We need to have forgiveness in our hearts for Mr. Boltz, whether or not he's repented. Holding a grudge will not help him any, and it will endanger our own salvation. Remember that Jesus said that we are to forgive, so that our Heavenly Father will forgive us.

David... Follower of Christ said...

Concerning Ray Boltz

My dear brothers and sisters.

I am deeply saddened as well as indignant over the incredibly ignorant and sadly all too common responses concerning our brother Ray Boltz being gay.
One particular comment (and those like it) grieves me deeply: "...we had to throw away his CDs. Until we know he has come back to Jesus, we will not enjoy his music."

Ray struggled for 30 years to follow what the church taught him was truth, battling to overcome his homosexuality... and finally discovering, as has many God-fearing Christ-loving Children of God that he has absolutely no power whatsoever over being gay and that the battle truly is the Lords.

What you readers refuse to understand is that NO ONE EVER CHOOSES TO BE GAY! I'd repeat that a million times if I thought you'd be open-minded and open-hearted enough to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal that point of fact to you. You have as much choice of your orientation as you do the color of your eyes! Would you ever choose to be gay? Of course not! Then why do you think Ray would?

Ray never once chose to be gay! He desperately fought for 30 years NOT to be gay!
When a Child of God spends his or her entire life fighting against something he believes is wrong... and when he or she lays their battle at the loving feet of Jesus begging over and over again in tears of despair for Him to change them... well you truly need to just stop at some point and realize one of two things: either God is NOT ALMIGHTY and does not have the power to change them and answer their prayers for deliverance from homosexuality OR God is trying to tell you something like: "My Child! If I wanted you changed don't you think I would have done so long before now? Am I not Almighty and can I not do with you as I wish?"

My long overdue point: LOVE Ray as Christ loves him and leave your judgment at home. Pray for Ray with all earnestness and then leave the result to God... even if the result isn't what you think it should be. We all have to work out our own salvation and that is exactly what Ray is doing.
He never left God's side as you so carelessly assume... and chances are his struggle has led him closer to God than any of you will ever be.

Consider the Fruits of the Spirit. Examine Ray's fruit. Can someone who gives us such beautiful worshipful gifts of music that glorify, honor and exalt God truly not belong to Him? Allow the fruits to speak for themselves.

Sadly probably most if not all of the people reading this will never dig deeper into scripture to explore other interpretations of what God may have been trying to say in His Word... and you'll never even consider asking the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to what He may want to reveal to you. You'd much rather just believe what someone else has taught you not even questioning whether their interpretations are completely false and out of context. You'll never explore this issue deeper because you simply don't have the need and therefore desire to.

Well, whether because we are Christian and gay, or because someone we know is Christian and gay, some of us have had a reason to delve deeper into God's Truth and we have discovered our freedom and found our peace. You may not EVER bind us with your personal convictions and erroneous interpretations ever again.
We are free, we are gay, we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we are deeply and reverently loved by our Father God in Heaven ...and we desperately love Him with all of our hearts in return because he first loved us.

Though your judgments and condemnations have abandoned us and regulated us to Hell, HE never has left our sides and He never will. Praise be to our God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ!

I’ll see you on the other side...

David

Greg said...

David, I appreciate your sincerity and effort to remain civil. I doubt anything I can ever say is likely to awaken you out of your deception, but I need to address a few of your statements.

First of all, the Bible is VERY clear that homosexuality is a sin. If you're interested in a scriptural discussion on the subject, I would be happy to.

You stated that no one chooses to be gay. That's like saying no one chooses to be fat or a liar. While we cannot choose our weaknesses, we always choose how we behave. I have no problem with gays who are struggling. It's no worse than struggling with any other kind of sin. But what really gets to me about the "gay rights movement" is that they go out of their way to force everyone else to accept them, and even encourage others to try it. How can they call it "gay pride" without endorsing it as a desirable "lifestyle" CHOICE?

Jesus said, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple" (Luke 14:26). You must put Jesus ahead of everything else, including your sinful sexual tendencies, else you cannot be His follower. This is why there cannot be an "gay Christians" who have called God a liar by accepting their homosexuality.

I cannot enjoy Ray Boltz music any more than I could enjoy Madonna's or Brittany Spears'. Sin spoils every good thing.

David... Follower of Christ said...

Brother Greg...

It is sad that you think I am deceived... and yet I really can't blame you for being misled since I too deceived myself for years with the same convictions and opinions as you have now... until the Holy Spirit, despite all my doubts and fears, gently edged open the door of deeper truth and led me in and down the path of freedom.

I realize you never will have any need or desire to delve deeper into the scriptures used to condemn us... I don't really know why I even bothered baring my heart on this blog when I already knew I'd be talking to those whose ears will continue to remain closed to truths the Holy Spirit finally taught me to hear.

Do you not understand that SCRIPTURE should ALWAYS be interpreted based on what the authors were trying to say and within the historical context and culture of the time from whence the scripture was spoken? To do anything less ultimately may result in tragedies such as Jim Jones' Guyana, using the bible to support slavery, and the inquisition.

Just as you'll never change your conviction about homosexuality, so will I never go back to the bondage and hopelessness that the church's interpretations of scripture once imprisoned me with.
You skim scriptures that speak of homosexuality (a term which was not even introduced into translations of scripture until the late 1950's and early 1960's) and ten you interpret them based on what you or others in your little world believe they mean. You never have had any reason to dig any deeper than your own formulated opinions and interpretations so a scriptural debate with you would be moot.

Continued…

David... Follower of Christ said...

Continued…

Greg, as you’ve said, you can choose to be fat or to lie... and whether gay or straight you can even choose whether or not to act out on your sexual urges... but one never has any choice over whether they are gay or straight just as one never has a choice over their eye color or whether they have straight or curly hair, or if they're short or tall. NO ONE EVER CHOOSES TO BE GAY! NEVER! This is a point of fact that you have not meditated on deeply enough and this is truth that will never change regardless of how you feel about it. I ask you Greg… at what point in your life did you make the choice to be sexually attracted to women… assuming you are? You didn’t. It just happened. And in the very same way a gay person’s attraction to the same sex “just happened” and was never a choice made on their part. As I’ve said before… who would ever choose to be gay and incur the wrath and scorn of society and the church? You’d have to be a fool to do so and no gay person I’ve ever come into contact with has ever willingly chose to be attracted to the same sex. IT JUST HAPPENED! Try to honestly wrap your head around that before you make erroneous assumptions about peoples choices!

I do not intend to condemn you or suggest you are less than the awesome Child of God that you are. I just wish with heavy heart that my brothers and sisters would just once stop to consider that God may have led His gay children down a path that is different from yours... yet just as holy, preordained, and orchestrated by God as your path is.

So I don't condemn you for throwing away Ray's CD's... I simply remember the verse about casting pearls before swine.

I guess my reason for voicing my opinion on this blog was to caution you from discarding like filthy rags things that God Himself regards as holy, priceless and dear to His heart.
Don't curse and condemn what God regards as precious or it may quite possibly be returned unto you since you are cursing one's who are jealously loved and protected by the Father.

Love Greg. Just love and let God deal with the rest.

David

Greg said...

Hi, David. I started out as an atheist, and none of my Christian beliefs were formed lightly or haphazardly. Please don't let your hasty generalization of my character be an excuse to avoid a respectful scriptural debate on this subject. I told you I would be happy to debate, and I meant it. You claim the Holy Spirit has opened your understanding, but you do not offer any Biblical references or specific reasons why you believe a gay lifestyle is in conformance with Scripture or holiness. Instead, you try to appeal to my emotions and accuse me of cursing and discarding gays.

"Homosexual" is not in my Bible either, but the older term "sodomy" is Biblically-derived and much older. In any case, there is no question that Gen. 18, 19 and Romans 1:26-32 refer to homosexual acts. There are other references, but these come to mind the easiest. Historical and societal context are important to help us interpret scriptures, but they can never trump God's truth. The Bible tells us that He never changes. So if He hated sodomy then, He still does now. To believe that He changes His opinion on sin is to put oneself on the slippery slope of moral relativism; that's the belief that morality is relative and subject to society's leanings of the day.

One of us is clearly deceived. You tell me to love. The "gay rights" movement says the same thing, when they actually mean, "Be quiet and stop saying that sodomy is morally wrong." Where would my Christian love be if I did not try to lead a stray sheep back to solid ground? I follow Jesus' example, when He told people to "sin no more". Did He say that in love or in malice? Was He being hateful and judgmental when He called the Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites? He was calling them out, calling their sin for what it was. He was trying to lead His audience to repentance and warn them of the consequences of sin. I don't know your heart, but you say you are trying to do the same. Leave the generalities and the accusations, and let's discuss specific scriptures.

jbintenn said...

For me, it just simply comes down to recognizing on the front end in your mind what God constitutes as sin and then go from there. Everything else works from that.
Therefore, no one can read the Bible (taken in full context) and walk away with any doubt about whether homosexuality is sin or not. It is sin and God hates sin. If you rationalize it any other way, you are playing a fool's game.
But I also don't question David's view on whether he may have been born with it. He may very well have! Many of us are born into this world with afflictions of many different kinds. Many of those are probably genetic in nature too. I suffer from what I believe is one myself. I have been "programmed" a little different that's all. But I STILL need to recognize it as sin because it is and then go from there.
So where does that leave those like me who suffer and are thus tormented with some genetic/chemical imbalance?
God wants to use all of us for His glory and He can, even in this world doomed by sin, and no matter what card we were dealt at birth or in this life. But we have to be able to recognize it properly first and then have FAITH and act by believing and receiving and then trust and obey Him and His word FULLY. God can use any of our afflictions, whether they be at birth or something we acquire later in life, for His glory to further His kingdom and He so desperately wants too!!
It took me a long time to come around but God showed me the way and now I live for Him daily in full obedience to His holy Word. Do I slip and stumble sometimes? Yes! But I am quick to seek His forgiveness and get it right again. (This is so important!). God is so merciful! Commit to die to yourself daily and live for Him. Only then can you experience what all God has for you and He will deliver you!!
Relapses are normal but the Holy Spirit will eventually take full charge of your life and self-control will set in. The flesh will become weaker and the spirit stronger as things take hold. It is how God works - molding us to become what He wants us too!! Just have patience, it will work!! Don't give up on God and settle for Satan's lie!! This is so important too!!

jbintenn

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Greg said...

Opposing opinions are always welcome on my blogs, but insults are not. Anonymous, if you express an opinion, please do it politely and back it up with reason and logic. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi Greg
I support your believe and stand on bibilical truth. cultural and modernisation do not change the truth and God's standard on sin.Our enemny is the father of all lies to get the saints into sin and still feel justified by God grace. May God spirit continue to lead you to bring the loss back to his kingdom

Wally said...

I think the biggest sin of all is a willing ignorance of God's love. God speaks to us in many unexpected ways and you will find God's love in the most unexpected places like in a long term same sex relationship.

Most of you like to quote scripture to support your own flawed prejudice and hidden hatred of the GLBT community. I don't think very many Pharisees could have crossed over to Jesus' way of thinking because they were so consumed with the 'letter of the law'. And, I think if Jesus walked the earth in flesh today, the second place he'd go is to many of the evangelical churches to 'turn over the money changer's tables'. He would kick out those who have twisted his words.

The Bible didn't fall out of the sky. It was written from stories told over and over from memory. It was written by flawed people. It is not a street by street GPS to righteousness. It is a guide to living by the spirit of the law, not the letter of the law.

Wouldn't it be great if evangelicals saw their neighbors as people trying to honor God instead of trying to dishonor him? It is the unexpected road sometimes where honor and love are found.

I support Ray in his honest journey to acknowledge who he is and who God made him.

Do you think that most of us gays would 'choose' to be gay? Why would humans choose a life of discrimination, hatred, etc.

The guy who has been trying to cure homosexuality in the Exodus program apologized to the gay community for trying to make them straight.

"Exodus is an institution in the conservative Christian world, but we've ceased to be a living, breathing organism," said Alan Chambers, President of Exodus. "For quite some time we've been imprisoned in a worldview that's neither honoring toward our fellow human beings, nor biblical."

Chambers continued: "From a Judeo-Christian perspective, gay, straight or otherwise, we're all prodigal sons and daughters. Exodus International is the prodigal's older brother, trying to impose its will on God's promises, and make judgments on who's worthy of His Kingdom. God is calling us to be the Father – to welcome everyone, to love unhindered."

Greg said...

Wally, I appreciate your respectful and sincere comments. I hope that my reply will be perceived as equally respectful, and I am always happy to continue the conversation.

I get the impression that you believe in God, but that you do not trust the Bible to be an accurate record of God’s dealings with mankind. But in almost the same breath, you make confident claims about God’s love and what Jesus would do if He were walking the earth today. Yet you ignore His sense of justice and His repeated calls to “sin no more”. I am wondering how you arrived at your opinions, if you claim that the “best” source of information (the Bible) is flawed. People (including Christians) tend to re-make God in their own image, in order to justify their own preconceived opinions.

So let me try to find some common ground, upon which to start our conversation.

If we agree that God does indeed exist and cares enough about what happens to us that He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross for us, then I would hope that we also agree that He does care enough about sin to establish an absolute moral code by which we must live. We do in fact agree that God doesn’t want us to live by the letter of that code, but rather by the intent. Paul himself proclaimed that the Law was our “schoolmaster”, made to teach us how to love God, but was incomplete. Jesus made three astounding statements about the Law of the OT. First, He said He came not to abolish the Law, but to establish it. Second, He said that even to think about committing a sin is the same as actually committing it. This raised the bar way higher than the Jews had ever imagined it to be. Third, He said that the entire Law and teachings of the prophets boil down to two supreme principles: love God above all else and love your neighbor as yourself. A person who follows these two commands will never sin. Likewise, every sin you can name is ultimately a violation of one or both of these simple principles.

Here, perhaps, is where we diverge. I choose to believe the Bible when it says (in numerous places) that sodomy is an “abomination” to God. There are few sins that earn that level of censure from Him. We were all born with weaknesses in certain areas. Some like to drink alcohol in excess, others have a tendency towards taking narcotics. Some get a kick out of hurting others, while some like to hurt themselves. But just because we have a tendency towards something doesn’t mean it’s OK to do it. Even our modern society imposes moral standards through laws that are contrary to the tendencies of a certain percentage of the population (child porn, for instance). The tendency itself is not the sin; it becomes sin when you indulge it by dwelling and acting on it. God’s will for us is that, with His help, we put all ungodly tendencies under subjection to Him.

I am actually not opposed to most kinds of same-sex relationships. I greatly treasure closeness with my dad, my son, and several very good male friends. It’s when that relationship becomes sexual that it becomes immoral.

I don’t know what happened behind the scenes at Exodus. But I put no stock in what the guy said, just like I put no stock in the ramblings of that little “church” that profanes military funerals with their anti-gay demonstrations. A man’s opinion matters only in determining how I try to reach him with God’s truth. I hope I have done that today.