“If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live,” Christian singer Ray Boltz said in a recent article disclosing his decision to divorce his wife and live as a homosexual.
But did God really create Ray Boltz as a homosexual? The media certainly would have us think so.
Time recently ran an article (“What the Gay Brain Looks Like,” Jun. 17, 2008) attempting to demonstrate the “science” supporting a “gay gene.” Interestingly, the article referenced a study done by Simon LeVay in 1991. The study had major gaps in its methodology, and even LeVay, a homosexual neuroscientist, has said that it didn’t prove what he hoped it would.
An article such as this demonstrates the difficulty of speaking truth into our culture today. Studies attempting to normalize homosexual behavior are introduced with much fanfare, and we hear about “important” new discoveries that are accepted as facts. We don’t hear, however, about the scientists who strongly disagree and the studies that reach a different conclusion.
For example, in 2003, the International Human Genome Consortium announced the successful completion of the Human Genome Project, which, among other things, identified each of the approximately 20,000-25,000 genes in human DNA. The press release read: “The human genome is complete and the Human Genome Project is over.”
While this accomplishment was widely reported, almost no one reported the words of Dr. Francis Collins, the head of the project. Collins, arguably the nation’s most influential geneticist, said, “Homosexuality is not hardwired. There is no gay gene. We mapped the human genome. We now know there is no genetic cause for homosexuality.”
Somehow the major media missed that little tidbit. Collins and others acknowledge that genetics can predispose but not predetermine. This supports other studies that clearly document the possibility of change for people who struggle with unwanted homosexual desire.
The need for Christians to be prepared to deal with this issue is shown in another comment by Boltz: “I guess I felt that the church, that they had it wrong about how I felt with being gay all these years, so maybe they had it wrong about a lot of other things.”
Notice the emphasis on “how I felt.” Far too often we allow “feelings” and the validity of each person’s “story” to trump the authority of Scripture. In Boltz’s case, his struggle with homosexuality apparently caused him to doubt other tenets of the faith. Beliefs to which he had held all his life were reconsidered. This is not uncommon among strugglers from Christian backgrounds. When we fail to help them deal with this issue, other fundamental beliefs are questioned.
Another sad byproduct is that his former wife has joined a pro-gay advocacy group. I’ve often thought that many people turn to various pro-gay groups because the church was not there at the time of their crisis. The end result is that not only is the struggler lost, but family members as well. Tragically, they often become very effective instruments in the hands of homosexual activists.
I grieve for the loss of the testimony of Ray Boltz. I grieve for those who will follow his example. I grieve for his family. I pray that one day Ray will realize that God did not create him a homosexual and that there is a way out.
We are in desperate need of children of Issachar, who understand the times and know what to do (1 Chron. 12:32). Far too many in Southern Baptist churches are struggling with a temptation they neither seek nor understand, but they are terrified to ask for help. Ray Boltz said, “I read every book, I read all the scriptures they use, I did everything to try and change.”
Those with long experience in this ministry will tell you that very few people have left homosexuality without the support and involvement of others. But the fear of being found out keeps many in bondage, and that bondage is intensified when the world continually trumpets, “You’re born that way. Just accept it.”
I pray for the day when all of our churches take seriously the need to train their leadership to redemptively provide the tools needed for the people like Ray Boltz in their midst. I long for the day when every community has Christians who are prepared to present a positive, joy-filled alternative to the lifelong struggle he has endured.
Are your church and your community prepared? Are you?
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
With winds reaching up to 80 MPH in some places, Hurricane Ike took Louisville, Kentucky and many of the surrounding counties by surprise Sunday afternoon. While much of Louisville received little or no rain, the damage caused by wind was reminiscent of Louisville's devastating 74' Tornado.
While early estimates claimed that sixty percent of LG&E's power grid went down Sunday--301,000 homes, and others at 340,000 homes, current statistics place it at 171,000 homes, with 130,000 homes back on the grid after enduring two days of the city's sporadic blackout.
After nearly 48 hours without power, on campus residents at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary may now plug in and recharge. While classes have been canceled until September 22, many students are using the time off as an opportunity to serve the community. For more information on when the power will be restored visit LG&E's customer service center or call 1-800-331-7370.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
By now, many of you have probably heard about Ray Boltz' startling announcement of his hidden struggle with homosexuality, and his embrace of two prominent LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender) congregations. If not, an article by Christianity Today and a glance at Boltz' official website will bring you up to speed with what was announced Friday by Boltz.
Further, many of you may recall some of the--now famous--songs written and mass-produced by Boltz, including, "Thank You", "Watch the Lamb", "I Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb", and "The Anchor Holds".
In light of how the Lord has used Boltz throughout the years in his worship gatherings, and through the writing of many popular Christian songs, how might we sort through this new situation that we now find ourselves in? It is certainly a dilemma for Christians. We will discuss more on this topic at a later date, for now, I believe a short homily from the late great Charles Haddon Spurgeon will remedy our tensions, lest we just be tempted to doubt whether or not, "The Anchor Holds".
"There were also with him other little ships."
-- Mark 4:36
Jesus was the Lord High Admiral of the sea that night, and his presence preserved the whole convoy. It is well to sail with Jesus, even though it be in a little ship.
When we sail in Christ's company, we may not make sure of fair weather, for great storms may toss the vessel which carries the Lord himself, and we must not expect to find the sea less boisterous around our little boat.
If we go with Jesus we must be content to fare as he fares; and when the waves are rough to him, they will be rough to us. It is by tempest and tossing that we shall come to land, as he did before us.
When the storm swept over Galilee's dark lake all faces gathered blackness, and all hearts dreaded shipwreck. When all creature help was useless, the slumbering Savior arose, and with a word, transformed the riot of the tempest into the deep quiet of a calm; then were the little vessels at rest as well as that which carried the Lord.
Jesus is the star of the sea; and though there be sorrow upon the sea, when Jesus is on it there is joy too. May our hearts make Jesus their anchor, their rudder, their lighthouse, their life-boat, and their harbor.
His Church is the Admiral's flagship, let us attend her movements, and cheer her officers with our presence. He himself is the great attraction; let us follow ever in his wake, mark his signals, steer by his chart, and never fear while he is within hail. Not one ship in the convoy shall suffer wreck; the great Commodore will steer every barque in safety to the desired haven.
By faith we will slip our cable for another day's cruise, and sail forth with Jesus into a sea of tribulation. Winds and waves will not spare us, but they all obey him; and, therefore, whatever squalls may occur without, faith shall feel a blessed calm within. He is ever in the center of the weather-beaten company: let us rejoice in him. His vessel has reached the haven, and so shall ours.
In yet another day of tempest and storms, will we ever follow in the wake of our Admiral, making Him our anchor, rudder, lighthouse, life-boat, and harbor? Or, will we shipwreck ourselves by following our soul's own compasses? Jesus said, "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." (Jn. 15.4) He also said, "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."
Does the anchor still hold? Are you abiding and obeying? If so, then the answer is a resounding, "Yes." "The anchor holds, in spite of the storm."