Thursday, November 6, 2008

Ray Boltz

A long, interesting article about famous Christian singer Ray Boltz...

Gospel singer Ray Boltz shares coming out journey in this Blade exclusive

I'll leave this one without commentary for the time being, although I'm curious what others might have to say. There's often so much backlash at this type of thing after it happens. I imagine it's only a matter of time before you stop hearing songs like "Thank You" sung at many churches, sadly. (Sadly because the cheesed emotion of the song makes me chuckle every time I hear it.)


Big Doofus said...

Thank You was a very, very cheesy song, indeed as was most of Ray's songs. However, this whole thing makes me sad. There seems to be little respect any longer for the Word of God.

I found this paragraph to be the most interesting:

His physical relationship with his wife hadn’t been torturous. He says it helped that he felt genuine affection for her, if not sexual desire.

“Sex was based on the fact that we loved each other and I wanted to make her happy,” he says. “I had sexual drives as well. You know, it’s like I never had to talk myself into having a relationship with her or that I was going, ‘Oh God, here we’re going to bed again’ — it wasn’t that. I loved her and we had a very full life; it’s just that inside, deep inside, it really wasn’t who I was.”

It looks to me that for Ray, it came down to the fact that he wanted (lusted after) a different kind of sexual experience. He even admits that he was able to be sexually intimate with his wife. For years he did what he was supposed to do but he has since turned his back on it.

Does the Word of God matter to the church any longer?

scott said...

Yeah, the whole time I was reading the (long) article, I was sort of wondering about the sex thing. It wasn't until what, page 3 or 4 that it came up.

I think some "famous" Christians (musicians, pastors, etc) get into positions of power and prestige, or they spend so much of their time traveling and touring, that they don't have any close "pastoring" going on, with real honesty and accountability. It seems to happen a lot (Ted Haggard comes to mind, although that's quite a different scenario and I'm sure Ray Boltz wouldn't like the comparison). It's not a sin to have certain urges and inclinations. And he even said he was fine having sex with his wife. I guess he just got to a point where, as you said, he really wanted that different sexual experience.

I sympathize with anyone that struggles for a long time with something. It's just too bad if we get to the point where we say, "Well, I've struggled with this for so long, that surely it can't be sin for me to act on it. Otherwise, why would I have these inclinations?"

I just hope that people of God don't ostracize him and everything he's ever done at the drop of a hat... People often tend to stop loving (many people say "hate the sin and love the sinner," but few do so), and in doing so, they confirm many people's ideas about Christianity.

And on a less serious note, here's a different version of Thank You.

Joe B said...

Deep inside, I assure you, monogamy with women my own age "is not who I am."

Enough said?

Big Doofus said...

You guys are both right. The church shouldn't turn their back on Ray, but what form does that take?

And Joe, if I eventually give into the urges that I keep having...well, you know. The sad thing is that we're less likely to say much to the man who turns his back on his wife for a hot, younger version. It's still looked down upon in the evangelical church (or unChurch--heh, heh) but there's so much more understanding and compassion.

Now, Scott, let me get back to that first issue. How do you continue to show compassion to someone like this? I'm all for it. I just struggle with how it's fleshed out.

scott said...

Excellent question, and I don't have a cut-and-dry answer. Some of what I was thinking about is not so much in "the church," but in general Christian society -- the Christian subculture. For instance, Christian radio stations, over the past 25 years, have a tendency to stop playing the songs they've played thousands of times as soon as a brother is "caught in sin" (has an affair, gets a divorce, comes out of the closet). Many Christian radio stations will only play U2 songs if they are sung by musicians on a Christian label -- but you won't actually hear U2 on many Christian stations. So, I think that whole thing is just weird. That's more a problem with that whole industry.

As for how "the church" treats someone like Ray, I really don't know. How to live out that love is the question. I would sincerely hope that he had some people, maybe in his circle-of-churchy-friends, that would continue to talk to him, pray for him, have conversations with him about this whole subject. Rather than just writing him off and turning backs on him, as many seem to be prone to do.

Joe B said...

I think that someone who sins in a case such as this should be loved and dealt with in compassion. And I think the way ToneArm (remember him?) said it at the unRetreat is appropriate: "Ya stooopid idyutt!"

Seriously. I feel deep compassion for him, just like for a straight guy.
Stooopid Idyutt. Reel it in, pull up those pants, and come in off that ledge.

Which sin is more destructive (gay or straight?) No difference. But man, you're not going to get everything you want in life whether it is boy meat or girl meat, so you have to just go ahead and draw a line somewhere this side of evil.

Compassion? Heck yes. I could see myself stumbling face first. That's why we must be sober and alert and humble, lest we also be tempted. But indulgent? No way. In my opinion, anything short of a blunt "ya stooopid idyutt" from someone close to him is an inadequate display of love.

A media-driven mass display of righteous indignation is another story, although Ray B is obviously begging for one. That sort of thing is no different from all the public head-wagging over Paris Hilton or Britney. 90% of the truth in that is that everyone just enjoys picturing famous people with their pants down. Count me out.)