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Christian artist Brian Bates shares his thoughts on how to respond to Ray Boltz, Clay Aiken coming out of the closet

posted by Joanne Brokaw

BrianBates.jpgThe Christian community was shocked recently when Christian recording artist Ray Boltz come out of the closet and announced that he was gay. The world was much less shocked when recording star Clay Aiken made the same announcement, but was puzzled by his assertion that he’s a Christian.
Christian recording artist Brian Bates has something to say about both announcements.
Bates grew up in a Christian home, accepted Jesus as his Saviour, and then in college, walked away from God to lead a partying, gay lifestyle.
Brian says it was a friend named Julie who helped him turn his life around. “Julie loved like Jesus. We did not agree on the gay issue, but her kindness and compassion really affected me. The Bible says it’s God’s kindness that leads to repentance. That’s so important to remember, and is the proper response to this issue I believe. I didn’t forsake a gay identity because I was afraid of going to hell. I did so because I fell in love with a God that I could trust. That is absolutely my story.”
Brian recently penned an essay with his thoughts on Christianity, homosexuality, and God’s love. I wanted to share it with you because readers have been sharing their thoughts on Ray Boltz, in particular. (Note: this is not exclusive to Beliefnet, but it was so important I wanted to share it in its entirety.)


Ray & Clay are Gay: How I Would Respond
by singer/songwriter Brian Bates
Two prominent artists, Ray Boltz and Clay Aiken, “came out of the closet” recently. Given my background and passion on the subject, I’ve had several inquiries recently asking me how I would respond and what I would say to them. I offer these suggestions:
– I’d sit down with them, having left my agenda at home
– I’d tell them my favorite songs of theirs
– I’d get to know them
– I’d ask them about their journey with God
– I’d share mine
If it was still going well at this point, then:
– I’d compare notes about how we arrived at different conclusions of God’s take on our
sexuality
– I’d ask if they have truly submitted their sexuality to God, like I’ve had to do, like we all
should do
– I’d agree to disagree
A few magazines featured me recently, asking me to give their young readers some “tips” on how to respond to the gay issue. That seems to be the big question I always get: “How do I respond to homosexuality?” To that I say – focus on the person more than the issue.
If you know someone who lives a homosexual lifestyle, it helps to determine how they describe themselves. Do they say they are “gay?” Or do they call it a “struggle?” That helps to know how to respond. Either way, if you know someone who struggles with their gender identity…
–Don’t debate. Put aside an argumentative spirit and any need to be right. That doesn’t win people’s trust.
–Don’t be a know-it-all. Be a good listener. Learn. Get in their shoes the best you can.
–Focus on spirituality not sexuality. We all need and desire a relationship with God. Bottom-line.
–Be kind. “It’s God’s kindness that leads to repentance.” Let people experience the kindness of God through you. Let God take care of the convicting part, in His timing.
–Be honest. Don’t act like you have it all together. Tell them about your own struggles and uncertainties. That helps others open up.
–Be a friend. Invite them to stuff, have fun, earn trust over time. Don’t treat anyone like a charity case.
–Meet their needs. If homosexuality is truly about what I believe it is–legit same-sex needs simply being met in the wrong way–then you can be a part of meeting those needs in the right way. Cool huh?
–If you’re not sure…WWJD? Study the Gospels. Watch Jesus’ life and how he dealt with people, both the “in crowd” (religious people) and the “out crowd” (sick people, outcasts, etc). Live like that.
Anyone who knows me and my life story knows that I am not soft on this issue. I have a traditional biblical perspective on homosexuality, believing it is not God’s intent or design and therefore homosexual behavior is sin. And if you know my story, you also know my turnaround started with the relentless compassion of a Christian friend. She put aside the moral debate and appealed to my need for God. That turned my heart towards home, back to a loving Father that I could trust enough to rethink my sexuality and take my narrow path. After all, it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance.

* * * * * * * * *


I want to thank Brian for being so honest and for reminding me, at least, that speaking the truth about God’s word can (and should always) be done in love. A recent chat with Jeremy Camp, which I’ll share next week, also helped me understand that I can be firm in my beliefs but still show love. I’ve always had a very compassionate attitude towards gays but am so sick and tired of the “Sodom and Gomorrah” mindset I see from most Christians that I wondered if I was the only one. I’m glad to see a loving but truthful and uncompromising example, and to see how that actually can change a life. But enough about me …
For more about Brian Bates, visit his website. Brian’s latest project, World’s Collide, is in stores now.
RELATED POSTS
CCM veteran Ray Boltz comes out of the closet and confesses he’s gay
Shocker! Clay Aiken comes out of the closet
Check out the Joanne Brokaw’s “Christian Music Year In Review,” a look back at the stories you were talking about on the Gospel Soundcheck blog.



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Delia

posted November 7, 2008 at 12:17 pm


What stands out to me in some of the posts are the terms “lifestyle” and “behaviour”
I am one of those who believe that you are born “gay” In fact in a recent interview Clay Aiken said “I come from a part of the country where people think it’s a CHOICE”
What I have a problem with is that when people speak of someone that is gay they automatically say “Gay lifestyle” and “Gay Behaviour”
There are those that are gay and choose not to live the “lifestyle” or adopt the “behaviour” yet it’s a common mindset. It’s possible to be gay without the lifestyle and/or behaviour.
Why do we not hear about that side of the question? We have no reason to believe that Clay Aiken is living or behaving in that manner.
I would appreciate someone with greater knowledge than I would expand on these thoughts because I am fully convinced that not all gays should wear these labels.
Thank you in advance.



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Zion Mystic

posted November 7, 2008 at 12:38 pm


“the “Sodom and Gomorrah” mindset ”
yeah, and the funny thing is that Ezekiel says Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for being “arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” (Ezekiel 16:49; thank God for BibleGateway.com and the Search function!) People tend to associate homosexuality with Sodom and Gomorrah because of Genesis’s report of an incident of attempted gang rape of men by men, but ultimately rape is not an expression of sexuality, but of a desire to dominate, crush, and humiliate.
As for homosexuality and the Bible, this website is, at the very least, thought-provoking: http://www.inclusiveorthodoxy.org/



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Connie

posted November 7, 2008 at 1:17 pm


I have the same thoughts that Delia does . I see no reason to assume that being gay means living a ” gay lifestyle ” . I have a dear friend , a gay man , who has chosen remain celebate because of his Christain beliefs . He leads a quiet , ” normal ” life beloved by his family , friends and church family . I can’t begin to understand his struggles . I can only love and support him .
Quote form Brian
Focus on spirituality not sexuality. We all need and desire a relationship with God. Bottom-line.
Given Clay Aiken’s recent interviews , it seems this is exactly what he has done . I believe he said that he is a born-again Christian and is assured of his salvation . I will accept this , not judge him and embrace him as a brother in Christ . We all struggle with sin . Mine just happen to be different than his . Not greater or lesser . Just dfferent .



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Joanne Brokaw

posted November 7, 2008 at 2:24 pm


Delia and Connie – I get flak from gays when I use the word “lifestyle”, but I don’t really know the proper way to explain someone who is living in a sexual relationship with someone of the same sex.
Personally, I don’t know if someone is born gay or not. Truly. I’m not gay, so I have no clue what it feels like to struggle with those feelings, what it feels like to have people try and make you conform to their view of “normal.”
I do know what it feels like to sin, to have someone point out when my actions are out of line with God’s, to feel judged, to feel unloved, to feel confused and abandoned.
Personally, again, I believe you can be gay and Christian, but I also believe that means not being involved sexually with a person of the same sex. I think the Bible is clear that act is sin. BUT what you do and who you are are not the same thing.
I’m no Bible scholar, and for all of my attempts to be compassionate and loving to the gay community, I usually end up sticking my foot in my mouth anyway. I am NOT the Christian you will see pointing a finger, protesting, preaching, or trying to convert gays. I AM the person you will see befriending and having strong friendships with gays, and helping them understand Jesus loves them, right here, right now, and from that let the Holy Spirit do His thing.
Joanne
host of the GS blog



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Joanne Brokaw

posted November 7, 2008 at 2:26 pm


Zion Mystic – I think you hit the nail right on the head with that explanation. Thank you for saying it more eloquently than I could. I’m more confused in the Sodom and Gomorrah story by Lot offering up his virgin teenage daughters in place of the angels …
Joanne
host of the GS blog



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michael

posted November 7, 2008 at 3:13 pm


the question is: what is the extend of the christian music hypocrisy?



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dorothy

posted November 7, 2008 at 4:32 pm


It always seems odd to me that your “loving” God only accepts certain people and livestyles.



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nonsched

posted November 7, 2008 at 5:18 pm


Clay is making a series of bad choices. He COULD choose to marry his child’s mother-who appears to love him-and live a normal family life. Instead, he’s apparently choosing a life of casual ‘relationships’ with other gay men.
Life is a series of choices, for all people, and we all face the consequences of them. I feel bad for Clay, but he’s causing his own problems.



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SavedByGrace

posted November 7, 2008 at 6:03 pm


I believe that we are living in the last days. The days of tribulation and we don’t have time to pitter pat around a subject as serious as repentance, forgiveness and salvation. The Bible is very clear on the subject of homosexuality and no one needs or should be soft on the subject. In the Book of Romans God is very direct and not kind about his thoughts on the actions of homosexual activity. No where does he say that he does not love them so it isn’t a question of God’s love. It is about the sin not the sinner. It is for sure that God loves us but we still have to be obedient to His Word.
In the day that I became a Christian ministers preached hell fire and brim stone and yes it was scary. I combined the love that Jesus showed in God’s Word and the fear of what eternity would be if I did not study His Word and obey. I haven’t had any problems.
Clay Aiken saying that he is a homosexual and he is a Christian does not correspond with God’s Word. As an example, would there be any question if a murderer stated that he is a Christian? I think most people, Christian or not, would know the answer to that. But when Christians say that you can’t be a Christian and be a homosexual people get all defensive and accuse them of judging. In God’s eyes sin is sin. Whether it is committed by a homosexual or a murderer it’s weight or measure is the same.



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Judy Anderson

posted November 7, 2008 at 6:03 pm


Well nonsched…I do not believe that Clay is making a series of bad choices…I believe he is being true to himself. He loves and respects his childs mother…they are great friends… That does not mean that he is casually having relationships with other gay men….Just because you are gay, doesn’t mean that you’re out having relationships all the time….That is a misconception. It is a wrong statement, even saying that because I like men, then I must be having relationships with them….This is not true..and is stereotyping…
I do know that Clay is a good man…and yes…you are born gay…it is in your coding…I don’t ask why I am attracted to the opposite sex…I just am….it’s the same way for gays…they just are…
I know some gay men, and they are as normal as anyone else, except for that…They go to church, they don’t sleep around…and actually they are really, really nice people…. I have a tendency to judge a person from the way they are as a human being…. If a person is good, kind, compassionate, caring, giving…I’m sorry..but that person is ok in my book…
I don’t want to debate..but please don’t address Clay as you think he is making wrong choices…This is a choice he has made with honesty…yes, he could marry the mother of his child…but that would be a lie…I do know of men that want that family life…have gotten married, had children….but down the road, they have left their families, cause they have lived a lie…and that is not fair to anyone….
I respect his decision to be forthright in his honest of who he is, and he has done this for his child.. Clay was bullied relentessely growing up..by everyone, his birth father, his step father…everyone.. He wants to raise Parker to be able to be whomever he is…This child will know more compassion and inclusion, than most will ever know…cause Clay is completely about inclusion. Just look at his foundation for special kids…look at his Ambassadorship with Unicef…This is a good man.
Bless you, and have a lovely evening.
Judy Anderson



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Ray Cote

posted November 7, 2008 at 11:23 pm


Brian, I am of the same mind as you. It is not any easy road for sure and many don’t understand. All lifestyles need not be accepted, all discrimination need not be shunned. I agree with your approach to others who have the same issues as you and I do. In my experience needs cry to be met but no way are they met through same-sex sex.



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sue

posted November 8, 2008 at 12:03 am


I firmly believe that “God” is an interpretation by man! That when someone preaches what God thinks or God believes or what God wants – it’s merely a projection of what THEY think and their own interpretation. I think every man or woman has to make peace with their own God and only THEY know whether that will lead to their salvation or not. To judge another human being in God’s name is not only prejudicial but bigotry of the highest order. How “Christian” of you to judge Mr. Aiken and Mr. Bates. I believe God loves everybody – man, woman, gay, straight. I believe God sees the good in all people no matter who they sleep with. To me it’s more important to live a good life than what you do in the privacy of your bedroom.



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Jared

posted November 8, 2008 at 3:40 am


Judy…it is good to see that you are a loving and compassionate and accepting person, but we must not judge by apperances but by the heart…which is what our Lord does…and sadly if Clay is gay there is something going on with his heart and relationship with God. I don’t understand how a Homosexual can call themselves a christian when they are going diretcly against what God says in his word??? that is what baffles me…
Jared



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non-metaphysical stephen

posted November 8, 2008 at 12:18 pm


We shall know them by their fruit. The story of Peter and Cornelius makes this idea clear: Cornelius the Gentile, someone who was thought to be unclean, unacceptable to God, off limits for godly men and women. And yet God shows Peter that Cornelius has found favor with God, in spite of EVERYTHING Peter thinks he knows about the Scriptures.
I believe God is doing the same thing with gay and lesbian Christians today — showing His favor and making them fruitful in spite of everything people think the Bible says about homosexuality. We should not judge people’s lives by what the Bible says, but instead by whether they bring the light and life of Christ into the world. If we can look at the lives of gay and lesbian Christians and see that God is using them to bring the peace, reconciliation and hope of Christ into the world, then it doesn’t matter what we think the Bible says: we will know that they have found favor with God.
Amen.



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Julie

posted November 8, 2008 at 1:25 pm


SUE… when people “preach” about God thinks, or believes or wants they are only going on what HIS WORD says in Holy Scripture, the Bible. Unless you don’t believe in that either. And OF COURSE GOD LOVES EVERYONE. He loves all of us regardless, but he hates sin because it makes our souls “sick” or in other words, unhealthy.
And aren’t your own beliefs just your “interpetation” ?
Just using your own words here.



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Your Name

posted November 8, 2008 at 5:27 pm


I would like to say I can’t believe what I just read here, but it is exactly what the ex-gay mind washing does to one.
I was that way for years myself. I helped to hurt/destroy many peoples lives over the years because I hid deeply from whom I was.
Last night I was watching many videos of those who have come out against Ray Boltz–it was very heart breaking to see “me” in many of those videos.
I am sorry to all those whom I misled and truly hurt. I hope none took their own life due to my ignorance, but I know that is truly a possibility.
I hope someday we will all be free to be whom we are, but in the meantime, just know God truly loves you!!!!!!!!!!!



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Ron C

posted November 8, 2008 at 5:34 pm


I am in major tears now, knowing I might have caused someone to take their life due to my ignorance. That is no exaggeration, I can barely even see my keyboard. I ran an online ex-gay ministry for three years before I sought God for the truth. I’m sorry to all those I hurt! There is no way to apologize to those who might have taken their own lives because of me, but I hope to see you in heaven, and give you a huge hug! Sorry!!!!



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non-metaphysical stephen

posted November 8, 2008 at 5:52 pm


Your Name’s post reminds me of how many people have literally been destroyed because churches refuse to allow people to develop healthy same-sex relationships. How many suicides? How many failed marriages? How many people have left the church and fallen into unhealthy behaviors because they had no good role models for living a godly life as a gay man or lesbian? How many people have left the church because the church says NO even when God says YES?
I recall reading Mel White’s autobiography and learning that all of his closeted classmates from seminary DIED because they tried to stay closeted: all three married women, but two contracted AIDS and the third was killed by a hustler. Only White has survived, because he entered a healthy same-sex relationship.
When I read this account, I had to ask: Is the law of Christ supposed to be a burden? Should people be dying because churches are pressuring them to live lives that are unnatural for them? Is a dead Christian really better than a live homosexual? Is that the abundant life Jesus promises us?
The Law was made for us, not us for the Law. May we learn how to apply this simple truth.
Amen.



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JustMe

posted November 8, 2008 at 6:25 pm


Who is Chris Aiken?



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Joanne Brokaw

posted November 8, 2008 at 8:02 pm


JustMe – you win the Eagle Eye award today! How on EARTH did I miss that typo???
Thank you for pointing it out! I”m such a doofus. :)
Joanne
host of the GS blog



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pagansister

posted November 9, 2008 at 5:25 pm


As I read the above posts, all that seem to “know” exactly what their divine being accepts and doesn’t accept is interesting. If there actually is a Divine Being who was supposed to have created people, trees, water, the entire earth etc., then why wouldn’t she/he accept every human that she/he created? Would that Being be so pickey that only heterosexual humans are OK but homosexual ones aren’t. Oh wait…you can be gay but just don’t dare sleep with a person you love if they are the same gender! And for sure don’t “marry” them. Divine Being says that is wrong. (actually some bible thumpers have decided that it is wrong, and thus no equality for everyone in the US). Personally, I think a gay person is born the way they are. IF one decides they aren’t gay afterall, were they really homosexual or just “trying it out”?
So,IMO, those homosexuals who are also Christian are just as Christian as those heterosexuals. Many times they are also much more tolerant than their heterosexual “brothers and sisters.”



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Joan

posted November 9, 2008 at 5:54 pm


Judy, you and other Claymates find it too painful to believe that Clay is having sexual relations with other men. You all spent years denying that he’s gay. Now that he himself has announced that he’s gay, you are still living in denial. Clay has had many sexual relationships with men, some long-term, some very short-term. That’s a fact.



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rs

posted November 9, 2008 at 8:57 pm


And of course “Joan” knows all about Clay’s sex life because she has observed from his bedroom door…or is it that she believes a certain blogger who has fabricated these so called love interests without a shred of proof they exist? Interesting that none of the love interests ever speak for themselves–rumors all started with one person.



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Joanne Brokaw

posted November 9, 2008 at 9:36 pm


Hey all! Good discussion – let’s stay on track, though, and focus not on Clay’s partners but on how Christians should respond to the idea of being gay, being Christian, and some of the ideas Brian Bates suggested in the post.
Thanks!
Joanne
host of the GS blog



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otdl

posted November 10, 2008 at 6:03 am


Actually, one of them did speak out-Charlie Herschberger, lawyer and Survivor competitor, spoke of his relationship with Clay Aiken, both online and having been to Clay’s NYC apartment. This was in Advocate magazine, a magazine targeted to practicing homosexuals.
To deny that Clay, who calls himself gay, has ever acted on that, is not doing Clay any favors and isn’t a loving, honest response to Clay’s poor choices. Love is honest!



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SavedByGrace

posted November 10, 2008 at 12:49 pm


I pray that God opens the eyes and ears of those who are searching. Espcially those who feel unaccepted by God because they live in sin. Didn’t we all feel that way at one time before we were saved? How many of us have been in relationship with someone where we had questions or doubt and knew that no matter how many friends or family memebers we talked to about this particular relationship the only person who had the answers was the person who we were in a relationship with? It’s the same with our relationsip with God. He sent us his Son to be our friend and confindate. If we put our opinions and interpretations aside and truly open our hearts to God’s Word we will find the answers. Do some of you really believe that Christians hate homosexuals? Why would they do that? God teaches us to love one another and out of that love we are to be helpmates. God’s Word is how we know that homosexuality is a sin. We did not mate it up nor did we misinterpret what God says about it. I will pray for anyone who is comtemplating suicide for any reason. However, I believe that anyone who would even think of taking their life has many issues not just homosexual issues. So the threat or fear of someone committing suicide over homosexuality alone is just a scream for attention to me and I think that we must look deeper for the the real issues.
As a Christian, in my heart the only difference between a heterosexual and a homosexual is the sexual act itself. And I think that we all need to remember that Lust for another human being whether it be with the same sex or with someone of a different sex is a sin in itself. For everyone lust is a sin! So, for anyone who is thinking of taking their life because they can’t have sex with anyone, male or female, their heart and mind is in the wrong place in the first place. There are many people who physically can not have sex due to birth defects, accidents or for medical reasons and they live full lives. They do not commit suicide.
If we are truly worried for someone’s mortal soul then we should be praying for God’s intervention in their lives and stop this nonsensical bantering about different interpretations of God’s Word. The frist Book of Romans which speaks of homosexuality was put in God’s Word for a reason. People who do not believe in the Christian interpretation never speaks of what they interpret it to mean. They only want to argue what God has revealed to theologians and to Christian’s on the subject by injecting all this convoluted “intepretations” jabber. Just pray and ask God. He will let you know what His intent is, was and will forever be. And you surely won’t die from not being able to have sex with someone of the same sex. God did not create homosexuality. Man’s lustful hearts did. It is a sin folks and we better place our hearts and minds on that and pray for those who threaten to commit suicide thinking that they can’t live without it.



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Julie

posted November 10, 2008 at 8:17 pm


SavedByGrace ….. A BIG “THANK YOU ” !!



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River

posted November 11, 2008 at 8:38 pm


JUDY!!!
Thank you for every word you wrote. I agree with your post entirely!
River



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River

posted November 11, 2008 at 8:47 pm


otdl -
Quote:
Actually, one of them did speak out-Charlie Herschberger, lawyer and Survivor competitor, spoke of his relationship with Clay Aiken, both online and having been to Clay’s NYC apartment. This was in Advocate magazine, a magazine targeted to practicing homosexuals.
End quote
That is such a crock! Have you any idea how many have made claims like that? One in particular who won’t be named here.
It seems that some get a twisted satisfaction out of having their name linked to a famous person. What Charlie said was a lie!
There was even one person who lost his job over making that same claim. It’s disgusting what some will do for attention!
River



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OTDL

posted November 12, 2008 at 6:37 am


I’d like to think that what Charlie Herschberger said is a lie.
However, this guy is a lawyer in a somewhat high-profile law firm in NYC, and a competitor on a popular tv reality show. It’s not like he crawled out from under a rock with the story.
Clay has chosen to publicly proclaim himself as gay. I doubt he’s been sitting at home, alone in his prayer closet, all this time. Sorry to say. I wish things were different.



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Rene

posted November 13, 2008 at 3:56 am



Actually, one of them did speak out-Charlie Herschberger, lawyer and Survivor competitor, spoke of his relationship with Clay Aiken, both online and having been to Clay’s NYC apartment. This was in Advocate magazine, a magazine targeted to practicing homosexuals”
well, I’m not going to argue about clays partners or lack of, however this statement isn’t true,if you had read the interview you would have seen that Charlie said that he and Clay were friends, in fact he said he wouldn’t even say they were “good friends” he said they became acquainted, and they talked on aim and stuff, there is no proof that Clay and Charlie were more then friends, especially when Charlie himself said he wouldnt even say they were good friends…so, thats not really proof of anything.



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Joanne Brokaw

posted November 13, 2008 at 9:02 am


Time out! Thanks for all of the speculation on Clay Aiken’s sexual partners (good grief, who cares) but let’s try and stick to the topic at hand: how Christians can or should respond to gays, and thoughts on Brian Bates’ suggestions in this post.
Thanks!
Joanne
host of the GS blog



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Frosty

posted November 13, 2008 at 8:44 pm


How can there be a “former”gay person? If the word is being used to mean “homosexual” then one is either homosexual or heterosexual. A person living a gay lifestyle may stop such behavior, so that he is no longer a practicing homosexual; however, that does not change the homosexual orientation. You are what your sexual orientation makes you, Brian Bates, and you and I both know that. I would appreciate your being sincere and honest. For instance, you might say that you no longer engage in homosexual PRACTICES.



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Azariah Southworth

posted November 13, 2008 at 9:20 pm


I’m not sure if Brian will read this but this is what I would like to say in response…
You said that your friend “appealed to your need for God.” I am gay and also have a need for God. I pursue that need by pursuing God and my sexuality has not hindered my relationship with him at all. Matter of fact, after coming out and deciding to be honest and authentic to my family, friends, and myself; my relationship with God has grown stronger. I have experienced his love in a deeper and real way more than ever before.
I kind of felt that when you said your friend “appealed to your need for God” you were excluding those who are openly gay, have that need, and their sexuality doesn’t hinder that.
It is possible to be a Christian and be lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender just as it is possible to be a Christian and straight. Those things do not determine your faith, they are just a part of who you are.
God is not concerned with who we love but how we love.
I hope the whole church will one day be able to respond the same way your friend did with you. It is important that we discuss this even if we don’t agree, but it is even more important that we love each other and unite regardless of theological differences.
Much love,
Azariah



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T. G.

posted November 14, 2008 at 1:42 pm


I believe as a Christian it is not our place to judge other than to decide for ourselves what is right. In my own opinion, I think that the answer is the same for straight or gay. It’s not wrong unless you physically “act” upon it. This does not mean that even if a person did “act” that it is any business of mine! I love others regardless and I know I am not without sin myself. “Judge not, lest you be judged”.



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SaveByGrace

posted November 18, 2008 at 4:03 pm


There is more to salvation than just merely saying that one has a faith or is a Christian. One must repent and totally surrender ALL to God to receive the free gift of salvation. Then they must follow through with obedience, prayful supplication and thanksgiving. The Holy Spirit who enters into their lives will lead them to do what is right and thus to righteousness. Christians are not judging people by quoting the scripture that God has given to all for direction. They are merely passing on God’s Word which we are all supposed to live by. God is the judge and has judged all sin beforehand. If ALL who claim to be Christians were to read God’s Word and pray for his Divine leadership in their lives then they would know what is sin and what we are not supposed to be modeling our lives by. Homosexuality is sin according to God’s Holy ordinance. It is not something that Christians have made up to use against homosexuals nor is it just Man’s interpretation of God’s Word. God does love every person and every thing that he has created but he did not create sin and he does not love the sin that we live in. This is the reason that he allows us to repent and be forgiven. God also did not create homosexuals. He created man in his own image and woman from man’s rib. It was Satan who brought sin into the world and man who has kept it going through his lustful heart and arrogant ways.



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kathgip

posted November 30, 2008 at 10:38 am


All sin needs to be forgiven. Sin is anything that separates us from God’s will for our lives. God intended sex to be between a man and a woman within the bonds of marriage only. So any sex – before marriage, pornography, adultery, homosexuality, etc. – is sin. A person who has sex apart from the way God intended it….in marriage, is sinning. It is no more wrong for gay person to act on their sexuality than it is for two teenagers to act on their sexuality in the back of a car. We are given the Holy Spirit when we accept Christ and we are enabled to live a life of self control to our human urges and the flesh. Whether that is lying, stealing, pornograhy, cheating, adultery, homosexuality, anger, gossip, gluttony….we need the Spirit of God to live a life that is in alignment with God’s will. Just because we may be predisposed to act a certain way does not give us permission to do so. Phillipians 4:13 says, “I can do ALL things through Christ who gives me strength.” We can say, “No” to all temptation because of the strength of Christ in us. We are not bound by our flesh, no matter what form of sin it takes.
That is living the life that God intended for us.



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Susan

posted December 1, 2008 at 12:03 am


Well said, Brian!



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Jack

posted December 1, 2008 at 11:09 am


A Sodom and Gammorah Mind set…???
what is God saying not our opinion but what is God saying in His word on this matter this is the Issue
He cares nothing about your Opinion He will Judge according to His word



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Carlos

posted December 1, 2008 at 1:47 pm


I am a Gay Christian who loves God. I have been studying what the scriptures say concerning homosexuality and after going back to the original text, I’m finding that it is not a sin… I’ll probably get a million and one emails bashing me for this but it doesn’t matter. Someone wrote that it’s not an interpretation of God’s word.. .but that’s exactly what it is. There are so many translations of the bible and within those, there are different meanings for the same supposed bible passages… all based on interpretation. Could it be that God’s word is inerrant and yet we have gotten it wrong? Just food for thought. I am at ease with who I am and with who I am in God.
Scripture even talks about these types of relationships. David and Jonathan, The centurion and his lover. So much more I could go into…
Though I don’t agree with people just sleeping together and whoring around, I DO believe that two people of the same gender can share a loving, Godly relationship. I am blessed to have a wonderful man in my life that I can pray with and be myself with.
As for Brian, I can’t judge his intentions. From the people that I’ve met, not thinking about men is not just something that can go away. It’s a part of your being, fiber. He made the statment of surrendering your sexuality to God, but sexuality is instinct and is controlled throught your mind. Your mind knows what you like and are into sexually. You can’t control what color your eyes are or how tall you’re going to be… nor can you control what you’ll be attracted to. But still, our culture tries to come up with reasons for homosexuality… and have claimed to have figured it out.
It could be that he is bisexual and has an easier time with his sexuality than most Gay men have had. I don’t know Brian but this is what he believes and I respect him for that… not many people are willing to stand for what they believe. And in the whole scheem of things, we have to work out our own salvation according to the scriptures. So if that’s the case why do so many “christians” speak with hate and disrespect when it comes to people like me. I’ve only had maybe 4 or 5 “christians” continue to speak with me with love when I came out of the closet… that alone says enough and so I continue to be a lover of Christ because my relationship with God is not based on people.
Take care ya’ll and seek the real truth and not just what’s written on a page…



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Brian Bates

posted December 1, 2008 at 8:55 pm


Carlos, thanks for your honoring comments of me. That shows maturity. If you lived near me, I’d make you have coffee with me. I’d love to share our journeys with God and compare notes and challenge eachother a bit. Blessings to you as we both seek wisdom and God’s best for us. BB



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Your Name

posted December 1, 2008 at 11:11 pm


I’m in Atlanta… and you tell me when and where and I would love to have a cup of coffee and compare notes. I am also a singer/songwriter: http://www.soundclick.com/carlosortiz
I’m up for it if you are bro… Take care and your music is really nice… I love it.
-Carlos



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Rob

posted December 4, 2008 at 12:55 am


I agree with you Brian.
I was very disappointed with Ray’s disicion, but people, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!
Jesus got a hold of us and brought us out of what ever it was we were in and We need to be sesative to others the same!
Blessings to you Brian!
Keep up the Great work in Jesus!
I’m also a gospel singer and have a simalar background. God is Always working on our natural self to keep us in line with His perfect will. He must increase and We must decrease… so easily said!
http://www.robrapino.com



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Marc

posted December 11, 2008 at 11:30 am


The bottom line is love…Love them as we are called to love an live as we are called to live. Witness by the way we live and respond to life journey…As far as Sodom this is what the scriptures of Ezekiel 16:49 says..Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom…She and her daughters we arrogant overfed, and unconcerned, they did not help the poor and needy…My question to you is…who is the poor and needy, and here is some food for thought…are not many so called christians obese? We sit in the pews each sunday but how many are spending time with the lost, the naked, the hunrgy, the widow and the orphan. We sit in our church’s and get fed the word but who are you feeding? or are you just over weight feasting on the word for yourself? Share you life with those who are in need do not condemn people for their sin rather make them thirst and hunger the sweet milk and honey our heavenly father provides to us that are called to be his children.



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Luposian

posted December 20, 2008 at 10:40 pm


Hey, Carlos…
If you and your partner were the last two people on earth… could you repopulate the earth? Let’s leave God out of it for now. Let’s just look at the raw simple facts of biology.
Every plant… every animal… must reproduce from male and female parts. Even if those parts are so close as to not be evident (as in bean plants (or the Dandelion) that seem to “go to seed” with no insect assistance whatsoever). Shoot, even snails and slugs, which are hermaphrodites (both sexes), MUST have sex with EACH OTHER, in other to reproduce. But it ALWAYS involves both sexes. Male AND Female.
You know what woman means? Man with a womb. Gee… kinda strange that, if homosexuality was a biological natural, you’d think a man, with a womb, wouldn’t be needed.
Does it also not seem strange that the ONLY way a man can “know” another man, is to place their gender into the exit point for human waste? Yeah, that’s a perfect fit! Makes perfect sense to me. I can just SEE the babies being made that way. N O T !
Now let’s get God involved…
Yeah… God makes people just naturally want the same sex. If that’s true, then why did He create man and WOman? Why was it Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve? You think God just decided that some people he’d make straight and other’s He’d make gay? Population control, you say? Well, can’t argue that (nowadays), but it still goes against His word, assuming you believe the bible is the Word of God and not just the Word of Man, with some *possible* inspiration from God.
To say that stories about David and Jonathan and the Centurion and his servant were actually GAY relationships, that is so blasphemous, I’m surprised the ground doesn’t crack open and swallow you whole for saying it! Seriously.
What, then, do you say about Jesus and John, whom Jesus LOVED! John laid on Jesus’ bosom! Would you DARE say that Jesus was GAY? That He had sexual desires for another man? Nay, maybe even sex with him? Not the same? How so? It was two men. Why should Jesus and John be treated any differently than David and Jonathan? Same bible, yaknow.
Homosexuals who twist and distort biblical scripture to fit their agenda are so mentally perverted, it’s not even funny. And the Jesus they claim to follow is NOT the Jesus of the bible. ’nuff said.
Go ahead and TRY to explain how you can justify homosexuality in the bible. Show me the original greek and hebrew, you claim supposedly supports your lifestyle. I’m game. You ready?
And, if, as you say, it’s all in the “interpretation”, then how do we know the bible is even being properly “interpreted”, to say what it says about salvation? Or maybe it’s all just a man-made book of ancient culture and story-telling and none of it is real or applies to today. Would that suit you better?
Game on, Carlos… time to play.
luposian@cox.net



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Brian Bates

posted December 21, 2008 at 2:46 am


Carlos: please disregard that last post.
Last poster: Your passion on the topic is good and valid. Your approach is not, for this is not a game. I would love to dialgue more on the topic. My email is brian@brian-bates.com.



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Joanne Brokaw

posted December 22, 2008 at 8:47 am


Lupsian,
As the blog host here, I would strongly encourage you to not treat this is a game, but to share your thoughts in a less … antagonistic? … way. This is clearly a very hot topic, and while the discussion can get a little edgy, it’s a good idea to remain loving at all times. I think that’s what Jesus would want us to do.
Many thanks!
Joanne
host of the Gospel Soundcheck blog



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Lynn

posted January 3, 2009 at 10:52 am


I don’t get why we all have to be the same. Why do we have this need for ‘one way’? To me diversity is a beautiful thing. It seems that certain religions/belief systems spur on this need for sameness that squelches human expression and dignity.
I guess people feel the need to answer to something or someone – or they will be punished? Or there is fear in pursuing something unknown that might be ‘wrong’ or ‘harmful’? Why do other people doubt another’s experience? Shouldn’t we be encouraging to others? Why is it people are so negative towards someone who is gay and ok with it? That speaks volumes about them.
If someone finds fulfillment and joy with the opposite or same gender. Great. If another person struggles with this issue because of a set of beliefs, fine. That is the place for them to be at the moment. I personally feel for them, as I was there at one time. I must say, it’s so liberating to step outside the box of structured thinking. Come on and join me! :)
Hey Brian! Hope you had a great Holiday Season! Happy Winter Solstice. ….Lynn in Mpls.



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ike

posted January 13, 2009 at 1:23 pm


There are many gay christians who do not identify with mainstream gay culture and lifestyle, but to be honest with themselves, their family, their friends, and their god, they choose to be honest about their sexual attraction and orientation.
There are many gay christians who do not identify with mainstream christian culture and lifestyle, but to be honest with themselves, their family, their friends, and their god, they choose to be honest about their faith.
I do not claim to completely understand the ways of god, but I think when it comes down to it, god sees us as individuals and not as a member of certain groups and I think that is how we are called to see and treat others as well.



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Timothy Dawane Trotter

posted February 14, 2009 at 8:22 am


listen being a Homosexual is not an issue with God, It is an issue with some of mankind people who are homophobic and call it God or the Lord will pay for the evil hurt and harm they have done spiritualy and emotionaly and phisicaly so get ready God most certainly is. And ferthermore it is time to stop lieing and take responsibility God is sick of it and so am I. My name is Timothy Trotter and this blog tells me that someone is a lier. moving on I am 21 years of age I am a saved educated gay Christian I don’t party I don’t drink and ferthermore I don’t do drugs I have submitted my sexual oreintation to God numerous times still gay some of ya Chistians have fogotten what God taught and your letting the devil use you and should be ashamed stop judging people it is not your job my mother and my grandmother have known that I was gay since I was 2 years old. the Bible does not declare that is it is a sin to be gay. To think that over a period of 2000 years of wars, likes , dislikes and so much more that many did not add things to the bible is sinceless. A man said that it was a sin to be a homosexual the word homosexual was not even placed into the bible until the 19th centery and alot of terrible things went on befor that time and after and alot of it was said to be inspired by God however every thing isn’t of God homophobia is one out of many. Stop blame your shrot commings on a sexual orientatin that was now and until the day you die apointed by God that is a lie take responsibility Corenthians 1-6 is a scripture that has been miscomunicated Paul was talking to straght men engaging with other men sexualy inorprpriately and told them if they did not seas this behavior that they would not inherit the kingdom of heaven try and change it if you dare that is the truth Paul was not talking to gay men. Homophobia came from a word called patriarcy wich is a hatred for women or any thing feminent any thing the devil does not change he just aproaches things a little different God said to love Him and to love our nehbor as we love our selves people who practice homophobic Christianity have a crappy way of showing the love of Jesus good luck passing into Heaven because you wont that is not Jesus if you act that way that is not Jesus it is the devil. I say it all the time if being gay is such a sin an abomination then why didn,t Jesus who was God in the flesh condemn it He was God in the flesh someone is a lier and it is not God He said in his own words I am not a man that I should lie nor the son of man that I should repent. Being gay is not a drug and alcahol problem it is a healthy sexual orientation given to some of His people stop lieing Revilations 21-8 read it if you are a lier get ready for the weeny roast Brian Bates you are a lier and you need to be mor supportive of your gay brothers and sisters in Christ and I don’t believe that you ever where gay because you would still be gay is not an on and off switch how dare you just take responsibility I won’t let you or other Christians like keep on making God out to be a selfish vandictiv monser a sindacit. You should be ashamed of your self God can forgive you but it will take me a while to and you call your self a Christian get educated so you dont hurt people I love you and you are very hansome God bless you and prosper you and your family!!



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Your Name

posted March 16, 2009 at 12:29 am


Wow! I didn’t realize that my comment would strike such an uprising. To write all the reasons why I believe that I “CAN” be gay and christian on this blog would take forever. Ultimately, I am secure in who I am and really don’t feel the need to prove myself to mainstream christians who have it in the heads to hate me anyway.
No, I do not believe that Jesus was gay… just because I am doesn’t mean that everyone else in the bible has to be. There are some relationships that are, but who really cares. Jesus came to live, and die on a cross for us… all out of love. Why can’t we walk in the same love? It seems there are people who are willing to get violent just because I believe a certain way.
As for games, I’m not here to play, just live the life that Christ ordained for me. Nothing less. Well that’s all I have to say. Peace, love and hair grease…
=Carlos



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Gina

posted April 2, 2009 at 12:45 pm


Actually, the Bible was not silent on the issue of homosexuality. When scripture says that men should not lie down with other men as they do women, I think it is pretty clear what that means. Also when women are cautioned not to have unnatural passions or both men and women are told they should not have sexual relations except in a marital relationship (and marriage in the scriptures is defined as between one man and one woman), again it seems clear what is being said.
It is human nature to cling to our sins. But it is not healthy and it is wrong to ignore what God’s word says on any subject.
Let us all agree to surrender more and more to the Lord and if our hearts are open He will lead us to His truth.



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Tim

posted April 22, 2009 at 4:34 pm


Brian,
Thanks for a great video and the awesome message within it. As a fellow Little Giant and Pebworth alum, I’m truly impressed by your work and lifepath.
Congrads and best wishes to you.



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Does it matter?

posted August 16, 2009 at 12:36 pm


Anyone who knows me and my life story knows that I am not soft on this issue. I have a traditional biblical perspective on homosexuality, believing it is not God’s intent or design and therefore homosexual behavior is sin. And if you know my story, you also know my turnaround started with the relentless compassion of a Christian friend. She put aside the moral debate and appealed to my need for God. That turned my heart towards home, back to a loving Father that I could trust enough to rethink my sexuality and take my narrow path. After all, it is God’s kindness that leads to repentance.
I’m shocked by this message. I’ve been dating this guy for the past five years! We recently to a break, and he chose to make a date with another man.



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dennis

posted August 26, 2009 at 11:03 pm


the wages of sin is DEATH being gay is sin



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Daryl

posted April 14, 2010 at 5:29 pm


Very well said Mr. Bates. I couldn’t agree more.



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Mary Kilbride

posted December 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm


Brian, I was looking for your website and happened upon this article again. This is the very article that I read a long time ago and loved the wisdom there.
I just wanted to tell you that I love your music and I love your heart and gentle spirit. You are terrific!!! Keep up the good work!! Which doesn’t come across as work, but as joy.
I am looking for “Mary Christmas” but I can’t find it! I thought I just recently got it in email, but I can’t figure out why I can’t find it now. I just finished listening again to “You Danced”. I’m sharing with others on Facebook, and found at least one more who now knows about you and will be yet another “fan”… :)
GOD BLESS you, and Merry Christmas and guess what??? JESUS LOVES YOU!
And, so do I!!



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LindaSue

posted September 24, 2011 at 5:55 pm


Excellent post. But I think it is important to add that perhaps God is big enough to decide if repentance is needed.
I need to ask God to help me love my enemies. It hurts so bad that those who ask me to repent are the ones who are still not living Jesus way.
When the kindness is given so that I’ll repent, I don’t really see the Light and Love of God coming through you.



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