It’s probably not what you think.
A few days ago, retired Christian recording artist Ray Boltz came out of the closet, announcing his homosexuality. (His website, btw, is having a pretty huge clearance sale. Interpret that how you wish.) “This is what it really comes down to,” he says in a CT interview. “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.”
On his official website he says:
"A few years ago I made the decision to retire from contemporary Christian music. I had won awards, performed in front of thousands of people, and sold millions of records. Still, I believed that if people knew who I really was, I would never be accepted."
The tragedy is that within a community of believers, genuine authenticity is not accepted. That, for all our talk of ‘community’, we have to still hide our struggles and pains beneath the veneer of success.
The tragedy is while Ray Boltz struggled in sin, and received unmerited grace to write beautiful songs, the Christian community will yet again throw him to the wolves. (Michael English, anyone? Sandi Patti? Amy Grant?)
The tragedy is that songs that once brought a sense of awe and reverence to the Church will now become the punchline in a joke.
The comedy? That the enemy will have a field day watching as believers debate and fight over the Scriptures, slander each other, and condemn and accuse the other side of neo-liberalism or fundamentalism. No. Wait….that’s another Tragedy.
Ray Boltz will stand before our Abba one day to give an account of his life.
So will you.
No doubt, homosexuality is still sin. But I believe the grace that covers my USAmerican sin of gluttony, consumption, pride and hypocrisy is big enough to cover his sin as well. If not, we are all in trouble.
Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message) reads:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly."
Pray for Ray Boltz. And pray for me, too. We still need Jesus.