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May 22, 2010

'I Don't Believe God Hates Me Any More'

So says former Christian pop star Ray Boltz as he resumes career, releases new CD

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Singer Ray Boltz, who came out as gay in September 2008, tells the New York Times, “I don’t believe God hates me anymore. I always thought if people knew the true me, they’d be disgusted, and that included God. But for all the doubts, there’s this new belief that God accepts me and created me, and there’s peace.”

After more than five years of self-imposed absence from stage and CD, the now openly gay Boltz, who lives in South Florida with his partner, Franco Sperduti, has released his first album since coming out. True includes songs about same-sex marriage (“Don’t Tell Me Who to Love”), and bias crimes (“Swimming Hole”). The song "Who Would Jesus Love?" includes these lyrics:

Would He only love the ones / Who looked the same as me / Would He only offer hope / When He saw similarity / Would He leave the others waiting / Like a stranger at the gate / Would He discriminate.

Boltz performs these days with just a guitar, while Sperduti is his booking agent. He has played at gay pride events and at liberal Christian churches. Boltz told the newspaper, “When you start to live an authentic life, you stop pretending. When I started writing these songs, I didn’t know if it’d be for a record. I didn’t know if anyone would even hear these songs. But I realized I could write whatever I want, and that opened up the floodgates.”

Related Tags: Gay, Ray Boltz

Comments

Very good thinking, no matter what is always better to just be yourself, if somebody doesn`t like it then it`s their problem.

It's sad to see Boltz embrace the gospel of acceptance in place of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Like so many before him, he's put homosexuality at the center of his life instead of faith in Jesus, and it's become his focus. He may find relief in giving up the struggle to live a godly life, but it's short-lived, and in the long run it will destroy him. We're not called to an easy existence as Christians. We all have to struggle against sin, even if it seems the most natural thing for us. I hope and pray Boltz turns away from the wide path and returns to the narrow way before it's too late. I say this out of love, not condemnation, as a Christian sister who wants to see her brother delivered from great danger.

it's offensive that Christianity Today would permit this post on their site.

Homosexuality is a sin (Genesis 19:4-7, Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:10).

Someone who practices homosexuality is not a Christian (1 Cor. 6:9-11). We can't accept this kind of lifestyle from a "Christian" singer.

God's design for marriage was one man and one woman (Genesis 1:27-28) - homosexuality goes against that design and it's wrong.

still, there's hope through Jesus Christ for deliverance from this sin or any sin. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved (Acts 16:31).

Tim, how is it offensive for them to print something that many Christians (myself included) are interested to read? They didn't say anything approving of homosexuality at ALL.

They are simply reporting news to a Christian audience. That's all.

MerryKate, your suggestion that Ray has put being gay at the centre of his life is presumptive at best. Has he said such? Bart believes that it is Christians and conservatives who insist that being gay is about sex only and make this the centre of the gay person's life. Since Christ-followers mistakenly make this the central issue of salvation (though the Bible does not even reference it as such), GLBT folks follow suit as they resign themselves to the ignorant straight persons' way of thinking.

Ethan, you're right. My mistake - CT didn't say anything that approves of homosexuality. I just wasn't sure if their posting of this meant that they were alright with it.

Still, we must realize that homosexuality is sin.

And Bart, homosexuality specifically is not the central issue of salvation, but the reason people need salvation is because of sin - sin is one of the most important issues of salvation. Also 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 does include homosexuals in the list of types of people who are condemned to eternal punishment (they don't inherit the kingdom of heaven).

I find this very sad. With the title of his song, "Don't Tell Me Who to Love," it sounds like Boltz is telling God, "Don't tell me what to do." Throughout the Scriptures, God continually tells us to hate evil and love that which is good. And guess what? God - not fallen human beings - gets to define good and evil. He even has the right to tell us that we shouldn't associate with certain people, such as those who would corrupt us. His Word also tells us not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers, so I guess that could fall under the category of telling us whom to love (such as the case of a Christian who is considering marriage to an unbeliever). And, while I can't judge whether Boltz is putting homosexuality at the center of his life, it does seem as if he is choosing sin over his relationship with Jesus.

What Boltz believes does not change the truth, truth does not change, God does not change. Homosexuality is clearly shown to be sin in the Holy Bible, the Word of God. Sounds like Boltz has never been changed from the inside out(regenerated by God). May God have mercy on Boltz and give him a new heart so that Boltz may love God and hate his sin enough to turn from it.

There are for Gospels of Acceptance, when you watch Jesus doing his thing in them. They are called "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John." You won't find your Gospel of Rejection there.

I agree and am encouraged by your comments Ric. I strongly believe that it's against God's will for us to seek him by rejecting those who commit sins that don't affect us. This is one of the major ideas in the Gospel. Jesus' struggles with the Pharisees touches on these issues precisely. Consider when the Pharisees wanted to stone the prostitute, and Jesus asked them if they have not sinned. Boltz's sexuality might be a sin but, by coming clean, he is engaging in an act of repentance, which is the whole point behind Jesus' sacrifice. Fundamentalism is dangerous and largely against God's will. It alienates so called Christians from non-believers. How can we expect to preach the gospel when we judge and justify our faith through hatred?

I actually just saw a film that touches upon this issue, called THE EVANGELIST. The filmmakers have just completed the film, and I attended a private screening. It deals with a young boy who goes on a crusade to convert people in his highly liberal town to Christianity. But he does it in a very violent and manipulative manner, focusing on the laws of Christianity and judging people rather than loving them in Christ. The town, full of homosexuals and drag queens, refuse to listen to him and, instead of conversions, he only increases the friction. It's a very allegorical film and perhaps exaggerates the issue a bit, but the film was born from discussions like the one we are having here. The director is a Christian himself and felt the need to address the ever expanding tensions between religious and non-religious communities.

The filmmakers are just beginning to seek distribution, but I encourage you all to visit their website:

http://www.evangelistmovie.com.

Actually, I find their blog even more interesting:

http://www.theevangelistmovie.wordpress.com

The director writes very fascinating commentary about religion and film, particularly his article called "Mission of Submission," describing the importance of humility in filmmaking and in all arts.

Ah! I realize I must sound like an advertisement right now and I apologize for diverging so far from the main topic. However, I recently watched the film and once I got started, I just kept writing. Cheers everyone.

To paraphrase myself from an earlier thread that I can't seem to find, we are told to go out to the world and preach the gospel and try to win others to Christ. Part of that is to go out and tell someone they are sinning. I suppose those preaching this "Gospel of Acceptance" don't care of their best friend ends up in Hell when they had a chance to reach them, but didn't want to risk hurting their feelings. Evidently, they have forgotten that the blood of those whom we had a chance to reach but didn't make the effort will be on our hands.

We're not supposed to go out and say, "Um, excuse me, but I don't really think you should do what you're doing, but if you want to keep doing it, that's fine with me." This is yet another example of moral relativism put forth by those who don't want to face the fact that they are sinners who don't want to give up earthly pleasures for eternal life. Well you know something? They may have pleasure on earth and not have to worry about hurting anyone's feelings, but unless you repent and turn from ALL sins (not just those you don't mind turning from), you're on your way to eternal death.

For those who want to focus on the gospels, Jesus also said that He did not come to take away from the law, which taught that homosexuality was a sin. And please don't start up with the standard arguments against the passages in Leviticus condemning homosexuality. God did not say that these do not apply anymore and frankly these pathetic arguments have been done to death.

Also, for those who say, "Well, it doesn't affect you or me." THAT'S NOT SUPPOSED TO MATTER!!! We are to try our best to give ALL unsaved people the chance to go to Heaven. And yes, I don't consider homosexuals to be truly saved because of the fact that you "cannot serve God and mammon (Satan)." Those who profess to be Christians that practice homosexuality are trying to do exactly this.

So no. Christians who preach against homosexuality are not practicing/preaching hate or anything else you think. We're trying to show mercy by keeping these people from heading straight to Hell. If you don't like that, then I think you need to re-examine your heart.

If you truly have love in your heart for a homosexual, you'll tell him what he's doing is wrong and leads to destruction. Something isn't wrong because we vote on it or because of how we feel about it. It's wrong (or right) because God determines.
We can disagree with God all we want, but we don't win the debate with Him on right and wrong.
So...we can pray for Ray...that he finds his moral compass someday and realize he needs His judging Savior more than ever.

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