Boltz's admission stirs up all sorts of feelings for those that have been fans and his supported his music. Though not an ardent fan, I am well aware of his career and the revered place that some of his songs hold within the Christian community. So how are Christians to respond when something like this happens?
J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma magazine, offers some great suggestions on how to deal with these types of revelations. Grady, from whom I learned about this story, also shares the following insight:
"Ray Boltz’s disappointing decision represents a national trend. Many people today are embracing homosexuality as an appealing alternative. They are listening to teachers, psychiatrists, talk-show hosts, Hollywood celebrities, sympathetic family members and even some mainline Christian ministers who say sexual orientation is totally genetic—and unchangeable.
These people have bought the lie that says a person who feels same-sex attraction must always be controlled by those desires. Not true! Jesus paid the ultimate price so that we can have freedom from every kind of sinful behavior.
We don’t have the right to compromise God’s Word, no matter how many people decide to come out of the closet. But let’s remember that the message we are called to proclaim to the world is not “Homosexuality is wrong.” That’s a true statement, but it has no power to change anybody.
The gospel we must shout from the housetops is that Jesus loves all of us, no matter our condition, and that His forgiveness can heal our brokenness. I pray Ray Boltz will soon discover that truth in a fresh way—and I hope he’ll write many more songs about it."
I can't help but feel compassion for Ray Boltz and the inner turmoil and struggles he must have felt for all these years. Knowing the response that many conservative Christians offer to those struggling with same-sex attractions, Boltz must have never felt there was a safe place for him to share his struggles and get some help. But the answer is not to divorce his wife and begin living a gay lifestyle. Boltz chose the Washington Blade, a gay magazine, to reveal the new direction in his life. His comments are telling:
“This is what it really comes down to,” he says. “If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be … I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself.”It is sad that he hated himself for all those years, but living outside of God's will not ultimately bring a more fulfilling life for him. When anyone (gay or straight) gives up the struggle for holiness and decides to just do what feels good or right, the hope for growing spiritual maturity is left by the wayside. Jesus still possesses the power of our death and sin and I trust that one day Ray Boltz will come to that realization.