In 1986, award-winning singer-songwriter Ray Boltz wrote these powerful lyrics:

Standing up on the outside
Falling down within
Looking righteous as a Pharisee
But filled with guilt and sin
Trying to walk with Jesus
On a straight and narrow road
And holding onto this world
I just could not let go
That’s such a heavy load

Come and break the yoke, Lord
Come and set this child free
Come tear down the walls of pride
And all I hide beneath
Freedom always came to those
Who received the word You spoke
I received Your word

Break the yoke
I received Your word
Break the yoke

Last Friday, the Washington Blade published an exclusive interview revealing that the singer had “come out” and shared his struggle with homosexuality. In it he revealed that he has divorced his wife of 33 years and is now dating and living “a normal gay life.”

Boltz writes on his blog (www.rayboltz.com):

A few years ago I made the decision to retire from contemporary Christian music. I had won awards, performed in front of thousands of people, and sold millions of records. Still, I believed that if people knew who I really was, I would never be accepted. During the last few years I’ve learned that there are many people who feel the same way I did. One church in particular has helped me in many ways. The Metropolitan Community Church was started forty years ago by Rev. Troy Perry in the Los Angeles area and has an outreach to the LGTB (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community.

So how should the Christian community respond? Here are some thoughts . . .

1. Compassion and confrontation

“Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself” (Galatians 6:1).

We must never minimize a lifestyle that God labels an “abomination” and “detestable,” but at the same time, we must “gently and humbly” offer . . .

2. Hope and healing

“Those who indulge in sexual sin . . . or practice homosexuality . . . will [not] inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God” (1 Corithians 6:9-12).

As Ray himself sang out:

Freedom always came to those
Who received the word You spoke
I received Your word
Break the yoke.

I pray for my brother that the many songs he wrote showing the way to “freedom” will in return minister to him and “set this child free.” And, hopefully, to use his songwriting talents to provide hopeful and healing music about the power to “break the yoke” of any sin.

P.S. Here are some related thoughts:

Why is God so bent out of shape by homosexuality?

God hates www.godhatesfags.com

P.P.S. Whew! The fur is flying over at ThinkChristian concerning my post! Here’s my comment on the comments:

Two comments:

1. Throughout Scripture (from Genesis to Revelation) marriage between a man and woman is viewed as a symbol of the intimate relationship God wants to have with His people. That’s why He “hates” divorce and condemns adultery and homosexual behavior.

2. God’s image is revealed in both genders. His character is so complex that to reflect that image, He created “male and female” in his image (Genesis 1:27). Homosexual bonds bend the image of God out of shape.

Using very creative hermaneutics, some scholars argue that loving homosexual unions are pleasing to God. But overlooking the obvious verses that declare the acts “detestable” and “an abominiation,” the larger, overall perspective is that male and female intimacy in marriage is God’s ideal and that all else (adultery, polygamy, bestiality and homosexual acts) “fall short of God’s glory.”