Gospel Soundcheck

Gospel Soundcheck


Ray Boltz Performs Palm Sunday Concert At Screening of “Prayers For Bobby”

posted by Joanne Brokaw

The Abilene Reporter News reports that on April 5th CCM artist Ray Boltz will perform at the second annual “Palm Sunday at the Paramount,” sponsored by Exodus Metropolitan Church. The concert is at 4 PM, and Boltz is inviting singers to join him on stage in the community choir.At 10:30 that morning, Boltz will also perform a mini-concert before the screening of the Lifetime movie “Prayers For Bobby.” The film tells the story of a “1970s religious suburban housewife and mother who struggles to accept her young son Bobby being gay.” The film is based on a true story about a young gay man who commited suicide.Boltz shocked the CCM world last year with the news that he was gay. He had withdrawn from the music world a few years ago, but after going public with his story has been active in the gay Christian community.OK, OK, I know some of you are totally freaked out by my use of the words “gay” and “Christian” in the same sentence. But let’s be honest: at some point we have to stop addressing the homosexual/Christian debate with a simple “it’s wrong” and start addressing is as the reality that it is. There are artists in the Christian community who are gay, whether you know it or not. There are homosexuals who are devout followers of Jesus and who exemplify him more than some evangelicals. Whether you agree or disagree that you can be gay and Christian, you have to start to examine not what you believe, but what you do with that belief.What happens when a Christian artist is gay? Is it OK as long no one knows? Are you willing to examine the private lives of every single artist in your CD collection and toss every thing by the ones who are living in sin or stop singing their songs in church? And how do we balance a belief with our actions? Is it OK to toss an artist off of a tour bus in the middle of a tour when he comes to his bandmates with the truth, which is what happened to Jason Warner? Or are you kind and loving, despite your difference, which is what happened to Brian Bates?Is constantly hitting someone over the head with the your belief until he breaks the way to handle the situation? How do we balance how a person believes he’s created to be with religious beliefs? And how do we address the very, very real issue of suicide in the gay community, especially among teenagers? Does just saying “it’s wrong” and moving on really help?It’s a huge topic, I know, and I’ve been working on a piece for some weeks now about homosexuality in Christian music. Trust me, it’s a touchy subject, no pun intended, and I don’t know that I can even put it all into words.In any event, I thought that if you’re in the Abilene area you might want to check out the free concert. The movie, “Prayers for Bobby,” aired on Lifetime in January. I don’t have cable but maybe you can catch it in reruns. The topic is similar to a film I reviewed last year for Movie Jungle called “Save Me.”RELATED POSTSCCM veteran Ray Boltz comes out of the closet and confesses he’s gayChristian artist Brian Bates shares his thoughts on how to respond to Ray Boltz, Clay Aiken coming out of the closetFree Christian Music Download of Brian Bates’ “You Danced”Get the Gospel Soundcheck headlines delivered daily to your email inbox. Just sign up for the RSS feed by going to the “Subscribe” box on the right hand side of this blog and entering your email address. And follow me on Twitter!



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Created 4 Life

posted March 31, 2009 at 2:12 am


Joanne asks what we do with our belief on this issue, and I believe this is a valid question.
How do we respond, and how should we respond when someone decides that in their opinion, their obsession with a sinful desire should not be considered sinful?
Is Jesus master of our desires, or are they the master of us?
Does the Word that defines our salvation define what our God considers sin? Does God speak for Himself, or only thru those who would cut out the parts of His Word they disagree with?
How should we respond to someone who desires freedom indulge in alcohol or drugs to dangerous excess, and call it Christian? Or to someone who wants to spread malicious rumors about anyone, and call it Christian? Or someone who desires the freedom to take anything they want from anyone, and call it Christian? If we ignore the rules God set down for Christian behavior, including sexual behavior, where do we stop?
Are these all not valid questions?
Of course all of these should be handled with the love of Christ The fact that often they are not is usually more damaging to the work of our Lord than the sin itself.
However, you must realize that love does not mean withholding the truth. Those who withhold the truth are enabling the problem, just as much as those who enable persons God loves, who are involved in drug, or alcohol, or other abusive behaviors. God loves the person, but does not love the sin. If a person separates themselves from the Love of the Lamb, they have taken their eyes off the Lamb. So naturally all they can see, especially those who have known the truth, is the Lion of Judah. Jesus is still the Lamb, but He is also the Lion. If He is not, then how is He Righteous, or Holy?
The basic premise of our salvation is that ALL have sinned, and fallen short of the Glory of God. We have fallen short of His Holiness, His Righteousness. Do we gain salvation by flaunting our sinful desires, or by acknowledging their sinfulness, recognizing we can do nothing to earn His salvation, and beg for His mercy? It is only His mercy, his Grace, which saves us, thru the substitution of His Son, the Lamb, for our sins, for Ray’s sins, including the sin he now claims.
Ray has been gifted with songs that have opened the eyes of others to behold the Lamb of God. However, just like Elijah, after the peak, comes the time of fear, of doubt, of loneliness. Satan has had a fruitful period of attack on our brother, and he has given in to desires of the flesh. Many of us have been thru these times also. He has chosen, however, to not talk with those who would help him fight his desires, but instead glory in his own self-righteousness, to flaunt his sin as if to urinate on the very works God gifted him with, to expose himself to those he had ministered to. Many of us understand this pain, this reaction, just like the beating of a beloved wife and child by an alcoholic.
Again, I ask, how should we Christians handle such a person? Those who love him should be directing him to Exodus International, not Exodus Metro. Those who love him should mourn in sackcloth and ashes for his fall, until he turns again, not dress up in easter finery to listen to the now empty, vain, words of one who has slapped God in the face and stands proud against the Word of God, as if Ray were worthy in himself of standing in judgment on God Himself.
Ray, we love you, leave your sin behind and come home again, please, once again, behold the Lamb.
Like us all, you were
Created 4 Life



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Joanne Brokaw

posted March 31, 2009 at 9:13 am


>> Those who love him should be directing him to Exodus International, not Exodus Metro



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Eliot Lugo

posted April 1, 2009 at 12:22 pm


You stated, “There are homosexuals who are devout followers of Jesus and who exemplify him more than some evangelicals. Whether you agree or disagree that you can be gay and Christian, you have to start to examine not what you believe, but what you do with that belief.”
That is as close to the truth as having a holy devil. How can someone be a devout follower of Christ while at the same time be gay, an adulterer, or a liar? Which Jesus Christ are you referring to? Which Holy Scriptures are you basing your conclusions? Loving gay people, adulteres, and liars, Christians must if they call themselves followers of Christ but to accept sin as being OK before God then we would be preaching “another” gospel.



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Joanne Brokaw

posted April 1, 2009 at 12:35 pm


Eliot, well, probably the way there are people who claim to be Christians who gossip and cheat on their taxes and get divorced or cheat on their spouses and don’t love their neighbors, or who call themselves Christians but don’t believe Jesus is the Son of God. I’ve met a lot of loving, kind homosexuals who claim to be Christians, and I’ve met a lot of self-serving, self-seeking straight people who claim to be Christians.
I don’t claim to have the answers about being gay and a Christian; but I do know that in the Christian music industry there are artists who are gay and have a following in the Christian community. Why? Because people don’t know. Same way there are alcoholics and cheaters and some just not nice jerks.
What I’m asking is that we discuss what happens beyond the “it’s wrong” argument. What would you do if you found out your favorite Christian artist was gay? That the songs you revere in church were written by a homosexual?
Saying “it’s wrong” to a teenager struggling with homosexuality doesn’t help – the suicide rate among teens is high. I’m not advocating that those who think homosexuality is a sin condone the behavior, but it’s very short sighted to cast someone aside with a “just say no” theology. What do we do?
I’m not trying to be confrontational. I’m just curious what Christian music fans think after they’ve said “it’s wrong.”
Joanne
host of the GS blog



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Matt Algren

posted April 20, 2009 at 1:05 pm


Wow, did someone actually recommend Exodus International? The group that teaches people how to hate themselves better? Seriously?
It’s amazing to me that people have the nerve to suggest that this or that person isn’t a Christian. You may not like what they (We, actually. I’m one of those gay Christians) do, but frankly, their salvation isn’t your decision.
P.S. If you’re so concerned about whether we’re “born that way”, why don’t you just ask us when we made the decision to be the object (And that’s how you view us: As an object) of scorn for so many?



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