From Christianity Today earlier today:
Ray Boltz, who sold about 4.5 million records before retiring from Christian music a few years ago, came out of the closet Friday to announce that he’s gay. . .
“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 â€¦ when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’
“This is what it really comes down to. . . 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 â€¦ I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself.”
You can read the rest here:
“Ray Boltz Comes Out” â€“ by Mark Moring (Christianity Today).
Boltz was popular in the 80’s and 90’s. You can hear some of his hit songs below.
“Watch the Lamb”
“I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb”
The apostle Paul didn’t just throw in the towel. He wrote:
“For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For 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 sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:18-24)
I was created with a propensity towards lust. Should I just give in and act on it? Desire doesn’t equate to the “rightness” of a thing. We ALL struggle. Yet those who persevere until the end will be saved…if they willingly throw in the towel and choose to live a life of habitual sin, they reveal if they were ever truly a believer in the first place.
It is one thing to admit it and fight it, it is another to embrace it and live it out…
The poor guy. I hope he doesn’t influence others to take the same path while at the same time I hope he doesn’t feel condemnation from his brothers and sisters in Christ and he turns back to the loving arms of his Father in heaven.
R. K. Brumbelow
â€œThis is what it really comes down to. . . If this is the way God made me, then this is the way Iâ€™m going to live. Itâ€™s not like God made me this way and heâ€™ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be”
Psalm51:5:Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me. (ESV)
By his reasoning we are all off the hook and God is not just and Christ’s Death on the cross and subsequent resurrection are meaningless.
Another one bites the dust. We live in a fallen world and mans propensity to sin will shock us every time we see it especially when it is from someone high up from with in the Christian community itself. “For kthe wrath of God lis revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Rom. 1:18
Hebrews 10: 26-31.
My heart breaks for Mr. Boltz.
My heart is sick. I have walked this path with many friends in and out of this field, as well as those who at one time were in vocational ministry, who have ‘come out’. They have been deceived. PERIOD. Satan is a liar. Satan will tempt us and he will attack us where we are weakest, even if we think we have it under control. And most likely, when we do think we have it together.
I pray for Mr. Boltz, for his former wife, for the many who were influenced (and I am sure will continue to be influenced) by him.
This man, this denomination (MCC?), and those people who followed his career extensively need prayer.
This is so sad, not because of who he ‘is’, or because he was a Christian artist, rather b/c he once professed salvation and he needs to know the truth, pure and simple.
I pray that someone will come into his life who can build a relationship with him to share truth with him, break the bonds of deception.
I, also, hope that we, as believers, would pray for people in this position of influence (Christian artists, non-pastoral roles, but highly influencing), that they might have accountability, mentoring, active membership in a church setting. Not just going from town to town, show to show, singing their songs, sharing what they are supposed to share, but actively living out what it is they are singing about and who they profess to believe in.
Each of us are only a step away from making detramental choices that would impact not only us, but our families, and our own spheres of influence, no matter how far reaching they might extend.
So sad. I loved some of his songs.
Watch the Lamb and Thank You were essentially the same song. And a painfully bad tune it was. Ouch. I want my 10 minutes back.
Onto the serious part of this. I think this is a real test case for wondering about that “gay gene” that keeps getting talked about in scientific circles. This is a guy that KNOWS this is a sin. Sure, he’s rationalized it, but he’s still got to know. This guy is a life long Christian, and has probably read the appropriate verses on this numerous times. If the push is that strong, knowing what he knows, then that certainly makes one wonder. And, yeah, the “deceived by Satan” answer is simply TOO easy in this case.
I’m not trying to start a fiery debate here, this is a serious question that goes through my mind.
Paul, can it be both sin and genetic? Can we grant that sin both effects the physical and spiritual, and perhaps in some cases is responsible for effecting genetic material? This could apply to any genetic reason given for things (ex. genetic propensity to murder).
I also wouldn’t rule out Satanic influence in any case, even acknowledging that is not the only reason, or even that it may not be the primary one.
Honestly, I wouldn’t argue either point that you make.
I just said that it’s too easy to say “deceived by Satan” to point out that we as Christians should care enough to not be flip (and I’m not accusing anyone of doing that here). In the exact same way that we shouldn’t just shrug our shoulders and say, “It was part of God’s plan” when some natural disaster occurs.
One thing that is really important to know is that this happens in the most fundamentalist of families. There have been articles on modeling manhood to sons, but I have seen and known children of the most devout Christians, committed to “biblical manhood and womanhood,” with children who express a homosexual identity.
This issue has not touched my life, but I still think we should all realize that this person could be our son or daughter, or grandchild. We are all of us part of the human family and cannot think that these things will pass us by.
Short of TUAD coming in here to mention that egalitarians turn everyone around them into homosexuals, I think this post is safe from the comp/egal debate.
Paul, you raise a very important question re: S.I.N. – sin in nature. I don’t believe there is a gay gene, BUT if there is perhaps the gene in itself is a result of sin but the person isn’t a sinner for having it. It’s only when they act upon it, knowing that Jesus can heal them and bring them out of it. Even if the healing doesn’t come, they still need to not act out their desires. It’s a very very hard one though.
I don’t think God is in the business of making someone gay and then condemning them for it. If people are born gay it is a result of a fallen world, not as a result of God making them that way.
I will say again incase people misread, i don’t think people are born gay. Although it’s nearly worse to think that most parents (NOT all) out there are to blame for their children being gay.
Fern, I think along those same lines. I wasn’t saying it is as simple as, “Oh, the Devil made me do it,” or that a person doesn’t struggle in many areas.
As stated, I know MANY people walking this path and have asked myself (and them) some very hard questions (in love) trying to understand this more and more. And btw, I still love them, still am in relationship with them (many of them) and still love them.
And Sue, you make very good points–this could be any of our family members (and for some of us is).
on another topic….. hey Denny where is your last post with the funny vid?
Your post #12 (“safe from egal/comp. debate) has me asking a question like this.
Question: If Galatians 3:28 [no male/female distinctions in Christ Jesus] were consistently applied according to the ‘progressive ethic’ that egals. apply to such cases like slavery/womenâ€™s roles, why would they also not apply it to the homosexual issue as well? Seems inconsistent to me.
Obviously (according to egal./progressive ethic logic), in the O.T. and N.T. God was simply accommodating the culture of the day thus Moses/Paul condemned homosexual relations which would have been untenable in those cultures by and large; but as our culture has progressed, so too should our theology (as the new progressive ethic would argue).
So maybe itâ€™s not too far removed from the egal./comp. debate as one might think.
I vaguely remember someone saying something about a slippery slopeâ€¦
That’s stretching things a wee bit! Judaism drew a very strong line in the sand against homosexuality, as did Paul. In the Roman world at large, particularly amongst the “pagans,” homosexuality was far more commonly practiced. You’ll see it condemned at times, cf. Suetonius on Nero. Thus, I think Paul’s words were as strong then as they are now.
ESV Gal 3:24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian,
Gal 3:26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29 And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.
Were there still Jews and Greeks after they became believers? Yes
Were there still masters and slaves after they became believers? Yes
Were there still men and women after they become believers? Yes
But IN Christ, that is, in spiritual things, these differences did not matter. In physical things, the differences still existed, but in spiritual things they did not. This is a big mistake of the non-egals, to think that physical things make a difference in things that are only spiritual matters.
Is marriage spiritual or physical, it is both. So physical things make a difference there, but not in terms of who is on top.
The question of whether or not God “makes” people gay or if there is a gay gene or if one is born gay is beside the point. After all, most heterosexual men throughout history have been born or naturally inclined to polygamy. Men are not naturally interested in having only one mate for their entire lives. But Christianity tells us to control our urges and take only one wife and be faithful to her. Let’s consider how foolish the following news piece would look…
“Bay Roltz came out on Friday as an active heterosexual male who has frequent affairs with women all over the country. After years of fighting these urges to cheat on his wife, he says that he finally realized that ‘God wouldn’t have made me this way unless He wanted me to live like it, so I’m going to start living that way.'”
About the slippery slope. Perhaps it should be remembered that homosexuality in patriarchal societies is pervasive and is always in addition to marriage. That is, the hierarchical marriage did not bring about a partnership which was exclusive and the man always had access to congress with slave women and in addition to this, younger males.
This was, and still is, the norm, in patriarchal societies. But, and this is important, there was the behaviour of homosexuality as an activity, the congress of male with male. However, the male was not by nature a homosexual because he had a wife at home who bore and reared the few legal children that he wanted, and a female slave who provided warmth through the night.
So, in this light, we can see that modern society has allowed the homosexual person the freedom to be known in public. But the patriarchal society, with ingrained patterns of hierarchy between males and females, and between males and males, allows pervasive homosexual activity for every free male citizen of a certain class.
This is not to justify or change the way one thinks about homosexuality, but it should give us pause to ask whether hierarchy and patriarchy are not, in fact, the slippery slope to polygamy, adultery, and homosexual activity.
As we look back into the OT narratives, such things a polygamy, being with a prostitute (porneia) and sodomy were, to some extent, part of the life of the average married man.
Hey, it took someone 10 previous posts before turning it to Comp/Egal (I had the over/under at 8.5).
I think that, while the attempt will be futile, we should steer this one away from comp/egal (as much fun as we (and, just to note, that is me first and foremost in that â€œweâ€) all seem to have at arguing about it, Denny will no doubt have another post that is biblical manhood/womanhood centric, Iâ€™m just sure of it 😉 ). It may be easy to draw into that (I agree with Benjaminâ€™s â€œnot too far removedâ€ comment and Sue also connected it), but just let it rest. Like Paul (here) said, we shouldnâ€™t be flippant about a besetting sin. And Iâ€™ll unabashedly echo (ala TUAD) those who have called to pray for Mr. Boltz.
And with that, I have a question that I read somewhere once before. We are called to be compassionate. What does that look like? Letâ€™s take the current case into consideration (but it can be applied to any sin). What, exactly, does compassion look like? I think there are some things that are easily seen as lacking compassion (violence, outlandish speaking (see Phelps), etc.). But Iâ€™ve seen someone state â€œacting on homosexual desires is sinfulâ€ and is then followed by someone calling out for lack of compassion in that statement. I suppose I understand if it becomes a mantra (and the mentality of just beat the phrase into them!). But what does being active about compassion look like? And itâ€™s not sharing the gospel. This particular fellow says he accepts that. I think that outside of treating him as I would any other neighbor (I wouldnâ€™t exclude him if/when dinner invitations went out, help with the car, mowing conversations, etc.), there really isnâ€™t anything, right? Weâ€™re not in a church setting (e.g. if he and I shared a cube area), so holding him outside of the body doesnâ€™t apply (though it brings up a good application question. What if he were in my small group from church?). Thoughts?
“I wouldnâ€™t exclude him if/when dinner invitations went out, help with the car, mowing conversations, etc.”
Are you talking about Boltz? If so, I believe that the Bible clearly states that we are to have nothing to do with a Christian who rejects God’s truth. In fact, it literally tells us to not even eat with him.
wow Darius, I’d love to have you as a friend when in times of trouble if I wasn’t feeling close to God or thought he didn’t exist.
Darius (#21): I would say that (eating, etc.) is wrt specific spiritual fellowshipping with them (church events, close intimate friends, etc.). I just canâ€™t imagine that I should leave him stranded from work (if I could help with a broken down car) or ignore someone who walks over to say hello. Or if I host a Halloween grill out (the one day of the year where everyone is outside), I wouldnâ€™t look at them and say, â€œyouâ€™re not welcomeâ€, would you think? To extend the thought, though, I think that neither would I want to develop a close kinship (relational) with him or her as that then moves to the heart blinding us (and, I suppose, wouldnâ€™t I also break a close friendship, too?). And any spiritual disassociation (warranted) would be boldly reasoned (along with that, the other part I had about the small group, I think, clearly falls into the area you mentioned).
Ferg (#22): I think that is a dangerous line, though (we must walk it, though, at one time or another, almost guaranteed). Just to clarify, perhaps, Ray Boltz does not see himself as in a time of trouble. Thereâ€™s a difference, I think, between a friend confiding his battle with a besetting sin and someone celebrating it and saying â€œIâ€™m not struggling and itâ€™s not a sinâ€.
But I think that cuts to the heart of my question (for anyone boredâ€¦and Ferg, perhaps this was more your point). How should you â€œministerâ€ to someone that says light is dark and dark is light? Or do you not? Is this pearls before swine?
Brian, you’re correct. I’m not saying that one would just completely ignore him, but the Christian body should not actively PURSUE a relationship with him.
Ferg, as Brian already mentioned, we’re not discussing someone who is “struggling with sin.” Boltz was in that situation for, according to him, “30-some years,” during which any Christian brothers should have helped him work through his sin if he had confided it in them. However, Boltz is beyond that now. He has “exchanged the truth of God for a lie” and God has given him “over to shameful lusts.” Now that he no longer views homosexual acts as sin but as God’s intended purpose for him, he is to be treated as Paul called the Corinthians to treat a brother. “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.”
Anyone see Ray and think of David Cross? Especially from Alvin and the Chipmunks (I have a kiddo, so I am excused 😉 ).
Darius: Yup (imho)!
Why did Jesus associate with prostitutes? Did he ignore people and leave them outcast? I have a friend who has turned from the faith and is not living a life of truth – i WILL continue to keep contact with him as I’m the only source of light in his life and I pray that God can use me to reach to him. And I want to be a friend even if he is living ‘a lie’.
What do you mean by ‘Boltz is beyond that now’? Is he unsavable because he’s an open homosexual? Do we just ignore him and not reach out? Even if we know he’s not interested do we not just love him anyway?
Lastly I find it slightly ironic that as a calvinist you would use a statement like “Now that he no longer views homosexual acts as sin but as Godâ€™s intended purpose for him” to imply that it’s not God’s intended purpose.
I thought everything was God’s intended purpose!! :o)
“Anyone see Ray and think of David Cross? Especially from Alvin and the Chipmunks (I have a kiddo, so I am excused ).”
Well, when I saw the video with Ray with the mullet and ‘stache, I was kinda thinking, “man, that hairstyling is really gay. The rest of his body finally caught up!”
“Why did Jesus associate with prostitutes?”
Because they were lost. He did not come to save the righteous but the unrighteous. Boltz still believes he’s righteous (or at least, that’s what he’s telling everyone), but his lifestyle is not. Ferg, please address the Apostle Paul’s words at the end of my last comment. I don’t really care what you “feel” unless it squares with Scripture. Where in Scripture is it indicated that we are to have anything to do with brothers in Christ who have rejected God’s truth for their own, especially in a matter as obvious as sexual sin? In the Old Testament, God had the Israelites kill their brothers. In the NT, God has Christians put unrepentant brothers out of their midst. In both, God clearly didn’t want the bad infection affecting the whole Body.
No, it is never God’s intended purpose to turn ourselves over to sin. It IS His purpose that we fight sinful desires.
Truth Unites... and Divides
Paul: “Well, when I saw the video with Ray with the mullet and â€™stache, I was kinda thinking, â€œman, that hairstyling is really gay. The rest of his body finally caught up!â€
Ferg (#27): I would say that Jesus associated with prostitutes who did not have His light. He did not associate with the Pharisees because the saw the light and rejected it. That, I think, is the heart (ha ha, a pun) of the issue (and the difference we are trying to highlight).
Jesus associated with Pharisees. He disagreed with SOME of the things that SOME of them taught, namely when their traditions negated Scripture.
Paul was a Pharisee after becoming a believer.
Act 23:6 Now when Paul perceived that one part were Sadducees and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, “Brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees. It is with respect to the hope and the resurrection of the dead that I am on trial.”
“I donâ€™t really care what you â€œfeelâ€ unless it squares with Scripture”
This is the horrible atmosphere that can be spewed around here that I really despise. It’s fine if you disagree with me and if I’m wrong but why does it seem like there is very rarely any regard for feelings around here? Even if the feelings are off. Why don’t you care? You should probably think about that.
Brian (another) thanks for the words.
TUAD’s quotes and cheerleading
Feelings that are NOT Scripturally-based have no legitimacy. Thus, if you state that you “feel” a certain way about something, back it up with Scripture. Otherwise, I really don’t care. I may feel very much like reaching out to a brother who has rejected God’s truth, but that’s not what the Bible tells us to do.
This has to do with truth.
Don, Jesus only associated with Pharisees when they indicated a willingness to learn (Nicodemus is one example). Otherwise, he spent his time with the lost, not the self-righteous.
As for your treatment of Paul and being a Pharisee, either you’re missing the point or you’re treating that text the same as you do with other egal/comp texts: reading it through your own cultural lenses. Being a Pharisee was not wrong. What was wrong was being a Pharisee so close-minded that he rejected the truth. So yes, Paul was a Pharisee. But he had a very different heart than the Pharisees whom Jesus called vipers.
This has to do with truth.
you could also add on a bit of arrogance and a lack of heart to that too.
Not even an acknowledgement of my feelings, not a ‘sorry it came across harsh, what I meant was”. You just said “I really donâ€™t care”.
I honestly find this very strange and hard to take from a man who calls himself a follower of Christ. It’s like you’ve no regard for me as a person whatsoever.
I agree Pharisee has become a term that is seen as synonymous with being self-righteous. This is because of the huge influence of the gospels on our Western culture.
One thing to see about Jesus is that he treated the harshest those who were closest to him and the gentlest those who were furthest. It it true that the Pharisees thought they had it all together, so Jesus needed to use strong words to jar them from their complacency. They needed to see they were lost (without Jesus) just like the “sinners” were, hence the Sermon on the Mount, etc.
It often does no good to use strong words with someone who is far away, it will just drive them further away.
Exactly, Don. After reading (and agreeing with) your last comment, perhaps I misunderstood your first one.
I know that in this postmodern, politically-correct world that you’ve been taught that feelings are paramount, but they aren’t. You feel like reaching out to someone who first accepted Christ but now rejects him. Fine, but is that being obedient to God? Similarly, Ray Boltz feels like having sex with men, but I really don’t care what he “feels” or believes, what does God’s Word say about the matter?
I’m not being arrogant at all on this manner, honest. I just don’t see how our own personal, fallen feelings have any legitimacy unless confirmed by Scripture. This isn’t just your opinion on this, it applies to everybody, including myself. I can’t let my own personal feelings on a matter supersede what the Bible tells me to do, especially what it is quite explicit on a particular issue.
I never said that feelings are paramount. Like I said, I could be wrong in what I posted. However, my point is that I don’t find it ‘loving’ for you to say you ‘don’t care’ about my feelings. It’s just a weird thing to say. Can you not see the harshness in it. I’m all open for rebuke and correction, but I don’t like my feelings to be dismissed.
I know so much of our walk isn’t about feelings. Worshipping God is not about how we feel, it is a choice and a command, however I’m still going to be real with God and in the midst of my worship tell him that even though I believe and know that he is faithful and worthy of praise, right now I feel abandoned by him and alone and in the mud and myre. Feelings are real and have to be acknowledge. It’s very hurtful for people to just dismiss them.
It may seem like I’m over reacting and forgive me if I am, I just hope you see were I’m coming from. It’s not about me proving my point about Ray Boltz – I was just talking from my heart and you could very well be right. It’s how you addressed me is what I have the issue with and your dismissal of ‘feelings’ (I hate that word!!!).
Blessings upon you though brother. this internet communication thing can be bad for us sometimes!
Truth Unites... and Divides
I think it’s safe to say that you’ve hurt Ferg’s feelings.
Truth Unites... and Divides
Or I might be mistaken.
Ferg, were your feelings hurt or not hurt by Darius’s comments regarding you?
I did not intend to offend you in any way, that was not my intention. I was merely trying to point out that there is no room for anyone’s personal feelings when it comes to truth. That doesn’t mean that the feelings aren’t real, but just that one shouldn’t live by feelings alone. In the situation you mentioned, you said you “WILL continue to keep contact with him as Iâ€™m the only source of light in his life and I pray that God can use me to reach to him. And I want to be a friend even if he is living â€˜a lieâ€™.” Not once in there did you mention what God’s word tells you to do, but just what you wanted to do based on what your feelings or intellect told you. What I’m getting at is fine, you feel like you need to reach out to your friend who has rejected God. Where in Scripture do you see that supported? Or more specifically, how do you deal with Paul’s command to not even eat with such a man? It’s not an easy command, but it is a command nonetheless.
Darius I appreciate that. Thanks.
TUAD – your rudeness and arrogance astounds me. Very unchristian.
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Ferg: “TUAD – your rudeness and arrogance astounds me. Very unchristian.”
Ferg – your comment astounds me, particularly since you extolled the importance of feelings so much.
Have you checked out Tim Challies on this? In line with the discussion we’ve had here, but a different perspective. Fascinating comments.
Dr. Burk: I hope that blatant link posting isn’t bad (I’ve been guilty of it in the past, but have never actually asked permission I suppose).
Truth Unites... and Divides
Darius: “Not once in there did you [Ferg] mention what Godâ€™s word tells you to do, but just what you wanted to do based on what your feelings or intellect told you. What Iâ€™m getting at is fine, you feel like you need to reach out to your friend who has rejected God. Where in Scripture do you see that supported? Or more specifically, how do you deal with Paulâ€™s command to not even eat with such a man? Itâ€™s not an easy command, but it is a command nonetheless.”
Darius, I appreciate your comment too.
Thanks for the link Brian. Ferg, that is exactly what I was getting at (albeit in a more eloquent fashion). As Challies says, “the lesson to me in all of this is the importance–the life and death importance–of seeing the world not through my eyes but through God’s. God has given us the Bible which allows us, like a pair of glasses that somehow illumines blind eyes, to see the world as He sees it.”
So, while you and I may prefer to treat a heretical or fallen brother as we would treat someone who is just plain lost, we have to see what the Bible tells us.
TUAD – Do you ever self assess as to why so many people here end up saying “TUAD, I will no longer converse with you”.
Do you not see that that was rude at all the way you seemed to patronise me by mocking my feelings on #41 & 42? I can’t recall you ever apologising or acknowledging harshness at all here. Humility does not appear to come quick to you.
Darius, a question…
If we are not to associate with Christians who are living in sin — ANY SIN — then I certainly would assume that in your next comment, that you will agree with me and also state that no Christian should have had any contact with Ken Lay, or have contact with Tom DeLay, Fred Price, Creflo Dollar — all Christians who have most certainly proven that you cannot serve two masters? With Lay, Price and Dollar, money is/was their motivating factor, NOT God. With DeLay, obviously, it was/is power.
See, the one thing that bothers me about the way that conservative Christians treat the GLBT question is that they act as though homosexuality is a greater sin than murder, rape or theft. But, James said it best…once we commit one sin, we’ve committed them all. To treat this sin as more grievous than any other sin is ridiculous.
Now, yes, I agree that the problem with homosexuality is that one has to assume that they are not sinning when they clearly are. At which point, there can be no forgiveness for the sin which is not seen as sin, and there can be no grace where none is requested. But, that gets us right back to the question of Lay/DeLay/Price/Dollar and, depending on your outlook, Palin.
If these people didn’t see the sin in their sin, how can we as good Christians eat with them?
In other words, Paul’s call to action there is MUCH harder to abide by than anyone wants to admit to. After all, it’s easy to point a finger and scream “homosexual!” It’s not so hard for some to do that to the guy that blatantly used Terri Schiavo’s case for political gain. But both Boltz and DeLay are guilty of pride and putting themselves and their desires before the desires of God.
Whoops. change “it’s not so hard” to “it’s much harder”.
Paul’s lack of proofreading skills.
Truth Unites... and Divides
Why do you insist on splattering these threads with your emotional vomit?
TUAD and Ferg, drop it.
Paul, two things.
One, please notice that I NEVER applied this discussion to only homosexuals, but to anyone who is in unrepentant, public sin. You do yourself a disservice by commenting prior to fully reading what I (or others) have written.
Second, I would be very careful about judging others. You have a tendency to judge others without even knowing them outside of what is reported in the news. It’s one thing to judge a Christian who comes out and says that he intends on leading a sinful life, a whole different issue if you don’t agree with someone based on what the media tells you about them. For example, perhaps Delay really did care about defending life when he fought for Schaivo. I would tend to agree with you that it is more likely that he just got caught up in the political moment, but I have no idea. I’m not sure where Palin’s “unrepentant sin” is, but I’m sure you could make one up.
The bigger issue here is not how you or I handle Boltz or Delay, since neither of us personally know either of them nor will we ever likely get to know them. What is at stake is how we handle similar cases in our own local church body. If a man divorces his wife and moves in with another woman, do we “reach out” to him or do we chastise him and throw him out of the church until he repents? If a woman is a vicious gossip and is unwilling to change her behavior, do we just put up with it or do we ask her to leave the church until such a point that she realizes her error? Conversely, if a brother says that he has homosexual urges but hasn’t acted on them, don’t we reach out to him and encourage him and hold him accountable as long as he indicates that he is battling those urges?
Just to tag onto what Darius said, there is a difference between someone sinning (a besetting sin) and someone who says that sin is not a sin. To take it differently, would this discussion be happening if he had been abusive to his wife and said it was just the way God made him and he is going to celebrate it?
Turning someone out is due to a blatant unrepentant person or someone who denies that sin is sin (or says that sin is actually good). Don’t you think to not do this would be unbiblical (like Darius said, though, in our local community it matters not as Boltz isn’t in most of our communities)?
Darius, I’m not going to apologise to TUAD. I FEEL (joke) that my response was perfectly reasonable and called for. TUAD consistently shows no respect for people and I very very rarely converse with him because of this. I had not until he mocked me. I think what I said was appropriate and I’m sure on lookers may agree. If not, I’m open to correction!
I wasn’t saying that you should apologize, just that you should drop it.
After reading (most) of the comment thread, I would like to see a more reasonable discussion of a real Christ-like response to those who are “apostate”.
It seems to me that Paul says one thing (don’t even eat with them), but God had an (arguably) different reaction when the Jews had strayed – though he eventually rejected them, it took a long time and many prophets (Hosea, anyone?) in an effort to bring them back into covenant living, even though they had already rejected YHWH as the one true God.
How should the two examples be stitched together?
bprjam, are you arguing that Paul’s words were not fully inspired?
I also don’t believe we can compare God’s reaction to a chosen people group to our reaction to a wayward believer. After all, He is omnipotent and omniscient, we aren’t. I would base our response to apostate brothers on the texts which clearly tell us how to act, rather than drawing conclusions on taken-out-of-context Old Covenant Scripture.
“bprjam, are you arguing that Paulâ€™s words were not fully inspired?”
I find this question curious, since if one were to assume my comment was questioning inspiration or inerrancy, it could go either way (the prophets or Paul).
I’m not arguing anything about inspiration or inerrancy (and do not see where such an argument is being introduced), but rather pointing out a difference of reaction within scripture. If our job as Christians is to take a holistic approach to scripture, then how are we to internalize these two seemingly disparate treatments of God’s wayward people?
Darius in #55,
you seem to do an awful lot of jumps and assumptions here as well. Now, as to your questions…
1) Since you asked about Palin, I will quote what I originally said…
“…and, depending on your outlook, Palin.”
depending on your take on Titus Ch. 2, you could make a case for saying that by being a full time governor or the vice president, that she’s unrepentantly sinning. Notice that I said that it depends on your outlook here. Fair enough?
But, that’s not what I came to reply to.
See, Darius, you brush off the idea of dealing with Boltz or DeLay for the very real reason that we’ll probably never be in the position to have to decide whether or not to shun them. Fair enough.
But, in their place, look at your examples. The vicious gossip. The adultering husband. THE EASY TARGETS.
Not once in there did you mention the greedy bum who waves his tithes in front of the entire congregation, but cares little for the least of these. Many churches have at least one of these, and while far too many churches would shun the easy targets like the girl that had the abortion, the man who sleeps around or the woman who spreads falsehoods about fellow parishoners, far too many conservative Christians refuse to call out those like a DeLay or a Ken Lay, whose thirst for earthly mammon or power greatly outweighs their thirst for the holy spirit.
Which brings me back to a generic version of the question then: are you just as willing to shun the unrepentant greedy bum as you are to shun the homosexual who can’t write a decent song?
Wow, Paul… have you actually ever been in a typical evangelical church? Your characterizations are absurd straw men, and to be honest, disgusting and wrong. Where do I start?
Ok, first of all, what jumps or assumptions did I make? I am usually pretty careful to read your comments closely, something you don’t bother to do in return. Don’t project yourself onto others unless you’re going to back it up with an explanation or examples.
As for Palin, what makes sin is that it breaks God’s law/will; it does NOT depend on someone’s “outlook.” I understand you better now that you clarified that you don’t believe she is an unrepentant sinner, but I still want to be clear that sin is not subjective to each Christian’s tastes (at least, not another’s sin).
I didn’t just brush off Delay because we don’t know him personally. I also brushed his example off because WE DON’T KNOW HIS HEART. You, as a liberal, assign motives to anyone you please with little to no evidence. You do so to both politicians you don’t know and conservatives on this blog whom you equally don’t know. This is sinfully wrong. We are commanded to NOT judge people’s heart, just their actions and words. How can you honestly claim to be a Christian and continue to dwell in the gutters of vitriol and judgment upon those you don’t know beyond the front page of the New York Times???
“But, in their place, look at your examples. The vicious gossip. The adultering husband. THE EASY TARGETS.”
Again, I have to ask, have you ever stepped inside an American church? These are most definitely NOT easy targets, especially the gossip. Many churches today allow sexually immoral people to fellowship with them, especially those who have divorced their spouse or are living with their girlfriend/boyfriend. And gossiping is a huge problem in the church, so no, it is not an “easy target” since few people bother to stand up against it. Gossiping (in one form or another) is probably the most enjoyable pastime in the Western church today.
As for the greedy bum example, I have never seen such a person in any church I have attended. In most churches, giving is quite anonymous beyond certain church staff members, so this so-called waving of one’s tithes up front is nearly impossible. I also liked how you slipped your own example into my two as if they were equally wrong to me or the evangelical church. A woman who has had an abortion would be welcomed into most churches I know of, at least of the kind that you loathe so much, as long as she was repentant of that sin. A one-time sin like abortion is a bit different than an ongoing habitual sin that someone enjoys and treasures (like a sexually immoral guy or a gossiping gal).
To answer your last question: Yes, if the greedy straw man ever presented himself, the Bible calls me to first call him to account for his behavior and if he doesn’t recognize and repent of it, to expel him from fellowship with the Body. This is no more nor no less true with an active homosexual Christian.
You know Paul, just as TUAD or some others turn every conversation into a diatribe about egals vs comps, you turn every thread into a political rant. We were merely discussing how to address an unrepentant brother in our local church and you changed it into some liberal tirade on the evil Republicans. It would be impressive if it weren’t so sad and revealing.
have I ever been in a typical evangelical church?
Grew up in an Assemblies of God church. And while I have no idea if there were lots of adulterers sitting next to me, I know for a fact that there was an awful lot of disgustingly flaunted wealth at that church, and the stories that I heard about the head pastor’s greed and power grabs there were horrifying.
Spent five years at an MBC church (that actually did have everyone walk up to the front to tithe every week, so yes, I HAVE seen people wave stacks of Benjamins before they go in the tithe barrel, thank you very much).
Went to my in-laws church (an independant Baptist church) a bunch of times.
Currently at a Mennonite church where I’ll probably keep going until I die or move out of Chicago.
Now, I’ll grant you, the Mennonite church is probably not typical of an average evangelical church. But, the other three probably are.
As for DeLay: we’re supposed to know a man by his actions, right? One questionable field day with the cameras (Sciavo — especially because his state passed a law allowing for the state to pull the plug on patients that couldn’t pay for prolonged care, and he had the plug pulled on an aunt of his or something along those lines). At least two power grabs that were considered at least somewhat nefarious (the notorious re-districting of Texas — at least a couple of districts were found to be blatant gerrymandering, and of course, money laundering). Shall I go on? The guy’s actions would tell me that power means more to him than God does. That he tried playing the God card every time a mic got near his face just made me think even less of him.
Now, as for the easy targets comment: Let’s face it, there are sins that we all get shocked by: murder, adultery, homosexuality. Then there are sins that we’re willing to sweep under the carpet: greed, pride, gluttony.
It’s easy for many, many, many Christians to say that they’d never associate with the gay guy, the adulterer or the murderer.
However, you’ll find far less Christians that would make the leap to say that ALL unrepentant sin is worth making that stand for.
Now, sadly, you see the greedy bum at the church that I saw in numerous different incarnations as a straw man. Must be nice to be Darius. But, I am glad that you’d be just as willing to expel him as you would be with the homosexual.
At least there’s consistancy there, which, all too often I see lacking. So, I thank you for that.
leave it to you to think that it WAS a political rant.
Creflo Dollar (another name I mentioned) is a political figure?
Ken Lay was as well?
There are greedy thugs and power hungry jerks everywhere, including our churches.
I was simply making the point that if we’re going to not even eat with “Christian” homosexuals, we’d better make sure that we don’t eat with “Christian” meglomaniacs or money changers, either.
But how quickly you read everything I write as a political diatribe.
Once again, Darius, pot/kettle.
If you’re saying that it is easier for many Christians to get in a lather about homosexuality than gossip or greed, then I agree completely. That’s why I said that fighting those “lesser” sins is much tougher to do than fighting sexual sins or murder or theft within the church.
Let me address one thing you’ve mentioned a couple times… Terry Schiavo. What happened to her was disgusting and against all legal logic and was an affront to the human rights of disabled people everywhere. I applaud anyone who stood up for her, even IF his motives weren’t pure (in Delay’s case, a big if). I see no hypocrisy in allowing a loved one like his aunt to die but fighting for the right to life of another helpless person. Terry Schiavo did not have a living will or any written indication of what she wanted if she were to be permanently on life support, but the judge thought that some recently remembered conversation by her husband was sufficient evidence that she would like to die. I can’t even own a car without signing a bunch of forms, but we can kill a defenseless woman with nothing in writing??? It’s not like she wasn’t cared for; her parents had offered to take up guardianship of her so her sleazy husband could go live with his girlfriend. Delay was on solid legal and, more importantly, moral footing to fight for Terri. It is a shame and revealing of our society that she was executed like she was. May God have mercy on this evil society where we kill the innocent and acquit the guilty.
“If youâ€™re saying that it is easier for many Christians to get in a lather about homosexuality than gossip or greed, then I agree completely. Thatâ€™s why I said that fighting those â€œlesserâ€ sins is much tougher to do than fighting sexual sins or murder or theft within the church.”
Yes, that IS what I was saying. Good. We agree on pizza and the need to treat all unrepentant sin equally. Anything else?
All of you â€œTrue Christiansâ€ make me sick. You judge other people when your bible explicitly tells you not to, you slander a man who only wants happiness, and then after all of that you feel as if youâ€™ve come out on top because youâ€™ve taken the â€œmoral high road.â€ If your god made someone gay and then hates him for it, your god is an arrogant sack of puss. I hope the rapture comes soon so I wont have to look at people like you who spew hate and bigotry, yet think they are doing the world a service. You people make me sick.
Although straight, I am disabled and have had to deal with a lifetime of bigotry and ignorance. It makes me sick to know that people (in this case christians) will treat each other this way merely because someone is different. And the most interesting part of it all, they do it to make themselves feel superior because they know they are petty, conceited, and disgusting creatures both inside and out. And yet, they can go to church and be given absolution for the hate they spew, all you have to do is hide behind a bible.
What doesn’t make sense Darius?
What I said in my earlier post, I must admit, was said in anger. Anger for the fact that a man was born different, and for that difference, he is being judged and told that he will go to hell. I was born different. I have a rare form of dwarfism that has left me in incredible pain and with limited mobility. I tell you this not for sympathy, but to show that even though someone is born different, they should not be judged for it.
Ask any person who is admittedly gay and they will tell you they were born that way. Following simple logic, if he was born that way, god made him that way. There is no great conspiracy by gay people to lie to the world and falsely claim that they were born gay. It’s true. They were born gay. What I find disturbing is that they are being criticized and demonized for being born different. I’ve face ignorance and even hatred because of the way I was born. Would you hate me too simply because I’m different?
Whether it says so or not in the bible, gay people should not be mistreated because of who they are. They are people. When you stop seeing people as who they are instead of what they are, fear and hate are quick to take over. I’m disabled, but that’s not who I am, that does not define my life. The way I treat my fellow man, that’s what is important.
Gay men and women are made that way by god, whether you want to believe or not. In an age in which so many people pick and choose which bible verses they want to believe, (stoning disobedient women and children, killing idolaters and adulterers, killing those who work on the sabbath, two witnesses making an automatic conviction, etc.) put hate and ignorance aside and learn to accept that people are different and move on. Accepting something doesn’t mean you have to like it, but believing someone will spend eternity in hell because they are different is flat out hatred from the soul.
Please, learn to accept someone’s differences and move on. If you’re going to judge someone, let it be for who they are, not what they are.
Interesting. Not applying verses on theocratic life (designed prior to the ultimate sacrifice in Christ) in modern times is hardly picking and choosing.
I think what most try to highlight (and perhaps it is poorly from your perspective) is that Christ and the cross transforms our lives to allow God to master our lives (we are Christâ€™s bondslaves). Living for me first (i.e. saying I will choose to act on a feeling I have*) is what brings us to the pit of despair (see David in the Psalms). We are our own downfall. Our bible (interesting way to phrase it) does say that scripture is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.
* – in a nutshell, you do not choose to limp (which is not condemned as homosexuality is in Paulâ€™s letters). I do not choose to have brown hair. I do choose, however, to remain faithful to my wife (though my body urges me otherwise). I do choose to deliver meals rather than hoard money only for myself and my things. Ray Boltz is choosing to act on his lifestyle. But I fear you disagree with me on that one.
“hope the rapture comes soon so I wont have to look at people like you who spew hate and bigotry, yet think they are doing the world a service. You people make me sick.”
pot, meet kettle.
I have been a fan of ray Boltz for a long time and I have sung the song Watch the Lamb many times in the past 18 yrs. I was totally crushed when I heard the news from my Father in Law about Ray Boltz. We have to remember, fellow christians, that No Matter who you are, or who you think you might be, We’re All subject to fall. I don’t know if Ray Boltz is truly saved or not, so I won’t comment on that. I do know that if he dies and goes to Hell, it won’t be because he’s a homosexual, but because he’s never put his faith and trust in God. Ray, if you’re reading this, please listen to your song, Feel the Nails, and answer the question for yourself. Does He still feel the nails, everytime I fail. You really need to personalize that song More Now than you ever have. Christians, this should be a warnign to us all that it could happen to any of us, if we let our guard down. So let’s continue to Fight The Fight and NOT give in to the devil’s devises. Thank you!!
I loved your song I love the rainy nights. Oh, wait, that was Eddie Rabbit. My bad.
Good words, my brother! Good words!
The first time I haerd Ray sing I was 16, it was 1991, and it was in a small church with about 200 people. I fell in love with his message from the first song to the last, and felt a bond to his music. I know what the Bible says, all of it! Not just the bits and pieces that I can twist to my favor. It is NOT my place to judge Ray for ANY of his sins. I do not agree with his choice, but before I read one more entry on this, or any other site, I hope all “Christians” remember the words of our Savior: “Let he who is WITHOUT sin cast the first stone.” I also suggest listening to the song, “What if I Stumbble,” by D.C. Talk. Focus on the begining where it talks about the greatset single cause of Athesim.
Ray Boltz is a child of God. Everyone on here is going to hell; we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Not one of us is worthy to be in his presence.
Condemn Ray; while you have buried sin in your heart; shame on you. God still loves Ray; if Ray has asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior; Ray is saved. If Ray called upon the name of Jesus; he is heaven bound.
If you say he isn’t; then you are calling the Bible a lie. Its there!
October 10th, 2008 at 7:28 pm
Ray Boltz is a child of God. Everyone on here is going to hell; we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Not one of us is worthy to be in his presence.
Condemn Ray; while you have buried sin in your heart; shame on you. God still loves Ray; if Ray has asked Jesus to be Lord and Savior; Ray is saved. If Ray called upon the name of Jesus; he is heaven bound.
If you say he isnâ€™t; then you are calling the Bible a lie. Its there!
The bible says its an ABOMONATION. Look up the meaning of that word. Now telling everyone here they are going to hell for judging is funny because that is what you did. You judged all of them.
The bible doesnt lie. It is an ABOMONATION
OK! Cool, so is Ray going to make another album. The Body of Christ in general and the gay Church in particular REALLY need some more gay artists that will stand up for God’s love toward the GLBT community. I know about Marsha Stevens and BALM, who do great work. It is time for the church to get over its homophobia; it is an embarrassment!
The bible says not to judge, but it also says you will know a tree by its fruits. A lot of times we as christians do not care enough about each other to see when we need the friendship of a christian. Is this what happend to our friend? Did we as his family let him get to close to sin and not care? Sin is sin period.
that is totaly wrong!!! Im not really religious, but i do know that in the Bible, Sodom, and gomora, was destroyed because , of gays.
Jon payan Said:
October 30th, 2008 at 2:26 pm
“that is totaly wrong!!! Im not really religious, but i do know that in the Bible, Sodom, and gomora, was destroyed because , of gays.”
Perhaps if you were more “religious” you would have read Ezekiel 16:49,50 which explains why Sodom was destroyed, ” Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” When we stop bopping our neighbor over the head with the Bible long enough to read it, we find amazing things!
October 30th, 2008 at 1:55 pm
“The bible says not to judge, but it also says you will know a tree by its fruits. A lot of times we as christians do not care enough about each other to see when we need the friendship of a christian. Is this what happend to our friend? Did we as his family let him get to close to sin and not care? Sin is sin period.”
I would say this is what IS happening to our friend, sin is sin period so when God tells Peter “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”, it would be a sin to withdraw fellowship from a brother whom God has created differently than ourselves, no? It is true that Ray, and all of us, needs the friendship of Christians.
No…sin is what is done, alot of times in secret. The body of Christ is always available at some point. This sin of homosexuality is just like anything else we are tempted in to do.
The Word says, “Resist the devil and he will flee”, but it also says in the same place to ‘submit yourself to God’.
I do believe that we can judge a believer according to the spoken testimony of Christ living in them as a proclamation of their salvation and in calling out the sin, it doesn’t mean we don’t care or love the fallen one.
However, we are to speak truth and this is the truth, homosexuality is just sin…plain and simple. It is succumbing to the fleshly desires.
At a point, too, Mr. Boltz has probably had some contact in that world. He probably has left an open “spot” unattended and he probably has played with the lure of the temptation.
We are drawn away by our lusts. You see, to want, you do/take.
I know that it grieves us all and we want nothing more than to see Mr. Boltz to repent and turn back to his proper place of his creation of a man, but we do know that that is his choice and God has given him the ability to choose.
Our part is to tell the truth, not be afraid or ashamed to speak the truth and love him in that place back into a redeemed position in the body.
You say you you judge according to the words of Christ (which is good), but Christ did not say one single word condemning GLBT people; rather you judge by societal prejudices, extra-biblical traditions and, ironically, byt what “feels good” to you and how you would exercise lusts.
The sad part is that this man dedicated many years to the Lord, and has now after all this time, decided to come out. God is not a God of confusion, and he gives us a freewill. We are made in his image and likeness, but not made to choose what path of life to take. How dare us say that God made us this way, that is an excuse to do what we want. When Jesus was tempted, he let us know that with temptation God always makes a way for escape. For whatever reason we must pray for others, but only they can want change in they’re lives. When what we do for Christ is right and legitimate, we dont have to stand up for ourselves for he will be our defence. Truly this is a praying time for Christians and this issue, but we still must speak the truth.
You know what is sad? That this man dedicated many years to the Lord, and has now after all this time, you people are willing to roast him over the fire. Is it possible, just possible, that YOU could be mistaken about the meaning of a half a dozen difficultly translated passages? Is it possible that God could be speaking in earnest to someone other than you, and without your permission? Have you researched this issue? Have you scoured the scriptures for ANY scripture that may prove you mistaken? Is it possible that there are such scripture, and they are no more ambiguous (and in many cases much less so) that are affirming of gay believers. This, in the final analysis, is the saddest of all; God gave you all that brain and you let someone else think for you!
“You say you judge according to the words of Christ (which is good), but Christ did not say one single word condemning GLBT people; rather you judge by societal prejudices, extra-biblical traditions…”
You forget one other thing… the rest of the Scriptures. Jesus’ words make up a minority of the Scripture, and He never said that His words were more important than the rest of Scripture, just equal to it.
The danger in the thinking of Mike and other “Red letter Christians” is that they pit Jesus’ words against the rest of Scripture like you can take one but not the other. Jesus clearly affirmed the authority of Scripture, so why should we think otherwise?
No, we “red letter Christians” insist that the wholly sacred scripture is best interpreted in the light of the words of Jesus.
What is Ray doing now? Has he returned to Christ and his family?