Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Christian Musician Comes Out

Ray Boltz is a Christian musician who has come out at 55 as a gay man. I know nothing about him and nothing about Christian popular music. But today I have learned that Boltz had a 20 year career as a Christian artist and sold 4.5 million LPs, cassettes and CDs. The Christianity Today blog reports on it here. In the Washington Blade he tells some of his story:
Ray Boltz was tired of living a lie.

He’d gotten to a point nearly three years before where he couldn’t continue down the road his life had gone.

His 33-year marriage to ex-wife Carol was, he says, largely a happy one. It produced four children — three daughters and a son who are now between 22 and 32 — but family life and going through the motions of being straight had grown so wearying to Boltz, he was in a serious depression, had been in therapy for years, was on Prozac and other anti-depressants and had been, for a time, suicidal.

“I thought I hid it really well,” he says. “I didn’t know people could see what I was going through, the darkness and the struggle. After I came out to my family, one of my daughters said she was afraid to walk in my bedroom because she was afraid she’d find me — that I’d done something to myself. And I didn’t even know they’d picked it up.”

The Boltz family remembers Dec. 26, 2004 for two reasons: the tsunami in the Indian Ocean but also the tsunami that their husband and father unleashed when he told them what had been bothering him for so many years.

He hadn’t planned a major announcement — but sitting around the kitchen table at his daughter’s house, Boltz’s son, Philip, asked him what was wrong.

“I thought, ‘Well, I can just do what I always do and hide the truth or I can take a risk and be honest,’” Boltz says. “That day, with the tsunami, has become very symbolic in our family.”

Nobody was sure, at the time, what the ramifications of the revelation would be, least of all Ray.

“It’s hard to say I came out because I didn’t have all the answers. I just admitted what I was struggling with and what I was feeling. It’s hard to go, ‘This is the point where I accepted my sexuality and who I was,’ but I came out to them and shared with them what I’d been going through.”

Continuing to pretend, Boltz says, was no longer an option.

“I’d denied it ever since I was a kid. I became a Christian, I thought that was the way to deal with this and I prayed hard and tried for 30-some years and then at the end, I was just going, ‘I’m still gay. I know I am.’ And I just got to the place where I couldn’t take it anymore … when I was going through all this darkness, I thought, ‘Just end this.’”

His family’s reaction took time.

“I don’t want to downplay it like it was just, ‘Oh, well that’s OK.’ It was a very tough time for them too, but the bottom line was they loved me and they still love me … it’s been an amazing journey of acceptance on their part … I was offered support and love from each member of my family, including my wife.”
I also came upon this amusing blog post that suggested that Bolz's "falling away" is confirmation that premillenialist theology is unfolding before our very eyes. On the contrary, Ray Boltz has finally listened to the gentle nudging of God to be true to who he really is and he is now on the path towards spiritual healing.

1 comment:

BReformed said...

As the author of the "amusing" post you linked to, I am inclined to disagree with the word "gentle" in your concluding paragraph, as well as the suggestion that Mr. Boltz is now on the path to "spiritual healing".

Romans 1:24-32 indicates clearly that God is disposed, as you appear to suggest, to giving men and women over to their willing desire to do what they want to do, to be what they want to be, and to worship what they want to worship.

Personally, when I read Christ's words about His coming being "as it was in the days of Lot" (Luke 17; Genesis 19), I cannot help but draw a parallel to an inevitable apostasy that Paul spoke about in 2 Thessalonians 2 & 2 Timothy 3.

So, you can understand why I do not find it "amusing" that God does "nudge" one into slavery to his sin when he or she has decided that their sin is
of such value that they must have it in spite of the consequences. There will be a day when you do not find it amusing either.