Gospel Soundcheck

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 He had withdrawn from the music world a few years ago, but after going public with his story has been active in the gay Christian community.OK, OK, I know some of you are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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