Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ray Boltz and His Quiet Journey into Truth.

A few years ago, there was this singer in the Contemporary Christian Music field who had sold millions of records who suddenly got very quiet and dropped from the scene. He didn't seek the limelight or make a big deal out of the changes he had made. Instead, he worked quietly with his family and, today, they are reconciled and happy.

His name is Ray Boltz and he was tired of fighting off his same sex attractions. So, now in his 50s, he informed his wife and family (who are now completely supportive), and he was quietly living his life in Ft. Lauderdale until one day, while traveling, he dropped into an Metropolitan Community Church in Indianapolis after striking up a friendship with Rev. Jeff Miner. (MCCs are gay-supportive Christian churches.) Soon after, he casually sent Rev. Minder a CD.

Here is the full story at The Washington Blade.
Miner liked the Christmas CD and was so impressed he e-mailed Boltz and asked him if he'd ever thought about doing music full time.

Boltz laughed as he read the note.

"He obviously had no idea who I was and I just loved that," Boltz says. "I just said, 'Uh, yeah, I used to.'"

Miner showed the CD to the music leaders at MCC Indianapolis who, recognizing Boltz's name, were dumbfounded that he'd been to their church. When they mentioned some of Boltz's hits to him, Miner made the connection.
Here is how its covered in Christianity Today.

I was reading some reactions there. It's interesting to me how many sincere people are still arguing the same circular arguments. They don't want to move from their entrenched positions. And by that, I don't mean that their theology. I mean how they discuss the issue at all. And there's very little discussion about whether there's a better discussion to be had over the issue.

The whole Ray Boltz story is interesting because of HOW Ray Boltz chose to come out. Until this story, I had never heard of Ray Boltz. Though I used to be involved in the beginnings of the Conservative Christian Music movement, my songwriting wasn't really that great back then (there are some real embarrassments). We did, however, have a kick-ass band, mostly playing in Texas. And there was a time when CCM music, called Jesus Music back then, was the most cutting edge music in the world -- and I mean that sincerely. It was a candle that flickered oh so briefly, but it did happen.

But now, as one commenter at Christianity Today put it, "It's an insular world." Me, I left it and never looked back. I have no idea who sings CCM and I don't care to be a part of that world, no offense -- not that they'd have me anyway.

But I do think it's time for everyone just just get over it.


Anonymous said...

Years ago, when I was music director at a big church in NYC, I used to sing a few of his songs - most notably, Watch The Lamb (practically every Easter season). It's interesting that people in the Christian music industry are actually taking a stand in the church regarding homosexuality - Azariah Southworth, the host of a Christian music TV show, Tony Sweet who competed in Gospel Dream 2008 (an American Idol-type gospel competition), the Rambo family and now Ray Boltz. They are coming out, supporting, and reaching out to the church-at-large to be accepting and inclusive. We just have to pray for these people as they take their stands and stand up for us in the Christian community - and pray for more (and there are many more) in the Christian music industry to do the same. As the church realizes that we've been there all along leading normal lives just like theirs and not harming them or anyone around us, maybe their eyes will be opened a little bit.

Anonymous said...

I am so saddened by the news about Ray Boltz turning away from God's will. I understand struggles. I struggle with sin every day. The difference is that, although there are those who have told me that what I experience is merely normal human responses, I know lust is sin regardless if it is heterosexual or homosexual. Somehow the "church" has moved away from God and is teaching man's doctrine instead.

Yes, I know you have been there all the time, from the beginning of the disciples. (e.g. Judas) I also know what the Bible says.

The Devil will say to you just as he said to Eve, "Did God REALLY say...?" But in your heart you know the truth.

Steve Schalchlin said...

Ray Boltz was definitely struggling with sin. He was living a lie every day and pretending to be someone he wasn't because of conservative theology.

He seems like a very sincere person who could not sustain that kind of pressure, just as no one should.

We're all free to agree or disagree about religious beliefs. Ray Boltz is living his life with integrity, and he and his family are finally happy.