Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CCM News

Remember Ray Boltz? The popular Christian singer from a decade or so ago? He sang songs like "Thank you for Giving to the Lord" and "Watch the Lamb." Personally, I was never a fan. That whole genre of schmaltzy, hyper-emotional story-songs seems just a little too cheesy for my tastes. (note: that's only my opinion. Feel free to disagree.)

Blade magazine, a magazine focused on gay issues in the DC area, just published an interview/story on Ray, focusing on his recent decision to come out and declare his homosexuality.

That's sure to cause some ripples throughout the evangelical world.

(a warning to my more sensitive readers: if you follow that link above, it will take you to the article. Along with the article, you will see gay-themed advertising. So don't be shocked if you're not used to seeing that sort of thing.)


GigHarborUndressed said...

I'm curious why homosexuality does cause such a ripple in the evangelical world. Romans 3 indicates that "There is no difference," we've all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Yet Christians seem to rank sins, and homosexuality is ranked among the worst. Why?
I recently was showing a gay couple some homes in the area and got to thinking about this topic. I was wondering what would happen if I invited them to my church when they moved here. How would they be accepted? God's grace and forgiveness is for everybody.
Touchy subject, one I'm not clear on, but one that has been at the forefront of my thinking the past few weeks.

jake dockter said...

Ray Boltz is a legend in the christian music industry, coining many of
the songs we now view as standards. "Thank you", "the anchor holds"
and "I pledge allegiance to the lamb" and many more have been sung in
churches across america. You may know Ray Boltz as the Howie Mandell
look alike with his shaved head. In the interview Boltz acknowledges
that he told his familt in '04 but decided recently he need to come
bring the news to his fans and the public. "" I'd kind of had two
identities since I moved to Florida where I kind of had this other
life and I'd never merged the two lives. This was the first time I was
taking my old life as Ray Boltz, the gospel singer, and merging it
with my new life. Emotionally it was kind of a big deal to think about

The double life. The difficulty of reconciling the hidden desires.
I told the news to a friend of mine who responded with an "Oh, no!"
and was saddened by the news. It seemed to me he was disappointed or
let down.
My question for us is...does it really change anything? Ray Boltz is a
musician, an artist. If he was a pastor who had been speaking out
against homosexuality that would be one thing. But his songs still say
the same things. His songs have the same lyrics and impact no matter
his orientation. When George Takei came out, did the character SULU
change? Did the quality of his acting become somehow less, or more?
With Ray Boltz its the same. His songs still speak of God, of the
pursuit of Him and of forgivness. Last time I checked Christ loves gay
and straight alike and his grace is still new every morning no matter
your preferences.
One of Boltz's hits "The Anchor Holds" has the lyrics
"i have journeyed
through the long dark night
out on the open sea
by faith alone
sight unknown
and yet his eyes were watching me

the anchor holds
though the ship is battered
the anchor holds
though the sails are torn
i have fallen on my knees
as i faced the raging seas
the anchor holds
in spite of the storm"

I am sure these lyrics mean something to him. They aren't empty words.
The struggle to be who you really are, to be honest is a difficult
one. Especially in the church where judgment cna be harsh and I am
sure he will experience much of it. I pray he can turn to The Anchor.
This time of his life will no doubt be "a long dark night out on the
open sea." and he will need the love of the God he has been singing
of. Nothing has changed when it comes to God's love or Boltz's music
that speaks of that. If anything its truer.