September 23, 2008

Its OK Ray (Boltz) to be Gay, John Calvin says it just your DNA!

Many of you may have heard by now the news that “former” Christian artist Ray Boltz publically announced he is a homosexual. But what many may have not heard was the reasoning that Ray gave as to why he feels he is justified in living this sinful lifestyle. In a Pro-Homosexual newspaper called the “The Washington Blade”, Boltz said the following:

“If this is the way God made me, then this is the way I’m going to live. It’s not like God made me this way and he’ll send me to hell if I am who he created me to be … I really feel closer to God because I no longer hate myself.”

The sad thing is Ray is simply coming to the logical conclusion that his theology has probably brought him to. The doctrine of Original Sin is taught in a majority of Christian denominations these days. Even those denominations that don’t even considered themselves Reformed or Calvinistic hold to this theological myth that sin is something your born with rather than a moral choice.

Why then are so many Christians so upset or sadden that Ray Boltz is a homosexual? Why is it when it comes to this particular sin we don’t hear all the lame excuses we usually hear from Calvinist and others such as:

"Who are we to judge, were all sinners”
"We sin in word, thought and deed everyday"
"Nobodies perfect"
"We are only human"
"You can't stop sinning"
"We have a sinful nature"
"God's law is impossible to keep"

I can’t help but think how hypocritical those folks must sound right now as they tell Ray he must “Repent”. In my opinion, this is one of the problem with most churches theology these days – is it’s logically inconsistent and hypocritical. When it comes to so called “mortal sins” – those sins that fall into the “biggie size” of sins – homosexuality, pedophilia, adultery, murder, etc. it seems then and only then the church seems to take issue with. I typically think this is not done so for moral or spiritual reasons, but that these sins are so heinous most churches are afraid of the bad PR these sins might bring to that particular church. This reminds me of a leader at a church we used to attend who once told me that we (Christians) all “sin in word thought and deed everyday”, and that “all sin is sin”. But yet when it was discovered someone in the church “choir” had committed a horrible “mortal” sin, this leader was the first to have that person quietly removed from their position. I thought it was such hypocrisy. Here was this same leader who loved to go around touting that “we all sin everyday”, but yet when a rather hideous sin was committed by a fellow member of the church this was also the first person to ask them to step down – in “secret” nonetheless. For me I felt like asking this leader– “Remember when you said we as “Christian’s” sin everyday? So why then are you making such a big deal of this particular person’s sin? If Christians are “sinning everyday” why then would you discipline or shun this person from your church - aren’t they simply behaving as you’ve stated all along??

Personally, I think we are starting to see the impact of years and years of this doctrine being preached and why many of our churches are filled with nothing more than reformed pagans. Most of the attitude towards sin in our churches is apathetic and weak – and much of this attitude stems from this very theology that says “Men can’t help but sin”, "that sin is not a choice" and that even as Christians we are still expected to sin everyday. I don’t know about you, but I never have once read in the Bible of a “Sinning Saint” or someone who is “Sinfully Righteous” or of “Benevolent Demon”. Any 2nd grader could tell you this is not so! But yet isn’t this the doctrine of most churches these days? We tell people that they are a victim of sin rather than a criminal and a rebel towards God?

In some respects Ray Boltz is trying to live consistent with his theology. Clearly he believes that God has created him to be a homosexual. So how does this really differ from the doctrine that is preached in our churches day in and day out? If Ray was born sinful, then how is this any different than saying Ray was born Gay? If you hold to the doctrine of Original Sin and Total Depravity you must surely answer yes! However, if Homosexuality is a sin and it was something he was born with, it would be unjust for God to send Ray to Hell for all eternity for simply being the very person God created him to be! I must say one thing about Ray Boltz, and that is it seems to me he can not come to rationalize how a loving God who created him to be born sinful (ie Gay), could also be the same God who would send Him to eternal hell and torment, for simply being that which God created him to be. The problem is Ray has believed into a lie that the sins he has committed and continue to commit are something outside of his control and therefore are not his responsibility but rather God’s responsibility. This is why it is crucial we tell others within our community and our churches not to be deceived into believing such a false and destructive doctrine such as Original Sin and Total Depravity. As you can see the damage that can come from this theology is devastating.

Instead, I believe if Ray Boltz does not repent and is not reconciled back unto God, he will someday stand before a righteous and loving God and be found guilty and be sent to Hell for all eternity– not for being born gay or for being born sinful – but rather for willfully choosing to disobey God and fulfill the pleasures of his flesh. The tragedy of Ray’s sin, as well as anyone else’s sin for that matter, is we have chosen to go astray. Sin is not some ill-fated behavior that God has ordained, nor is it some sin filled birth defect, but rather the real travesty of sin, is we have all chosen to go our own way and forsake the love and wisdom of the Lord. I pray that Ray Boltz will soon repent and be reconciled to God. But if he does not, then it is he who is guilty and his guilt and sins will remain.

Pro 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways; And a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

September 21, 2008

Just Ask A Calvinist!

The other day I was listening to the new Blog Radio Show: Refining Fire by Jesse Morrell and Kerrigan Skelly. During last week's show Kerrigan brought up what I thought was a great line of questioning for a Calvinist. Here is what he had to say:

First, ask a Calvinist "Do you believe in freewill?" Most will say "Yes, they believe in Freewill".

Then ask them "Does God hate sin?", they should most rightly answer "Oh Yes, God most definitely hates sin".

The ask them "Does God Command you to stop sinning", and they should rightly answer "Oh Yes God commands us to stop sinning".

Then ask them "Does God allow you to be tempted beyond that which you can handle (1 Cor 10:13)?", they should agree that God does not allow a person to be tempted beyond that which they can handle.

Then ask them "Can YOU do ALL things through Christ Jesus (Phil 4:13)?", and they should rightly answer "Oh yes we can do all things through Christ Jesus".

And then ask them "Do they believe they can Stop Sinning?" Most will respond that no one can live holy as they have a "Sin Nature" and that sin resides within our flesh and until the flesh has been eliminated or we are given a "new Nature" upon or after death, it is only then we can truly live beyond sin. Most will say that we sin daily and commit "countless" number of sins within a day - as Christians no less! (I recall a Calvinist tell me one day at our small group that he had sinned even before he got up out of bed that day"!)

But yet the bible says nothing about man being cursed with a "Sin Nature" or that sin is in the "flesh". Sin is a moral choice and is a condition of a persons heart and will. If sin is something we are "born with" then this would be like saying a man should be punished or sentenced to eternal hell for the color of their skin or the color of their eyes! This would be unjust for God to sentence people to eternal Hell for that which they could not choose. Sin is a condition of the heart - it is our hearts and our will that needs to be renewed through REPENTANCE and FAITH. A changing of the heart and mind from loving ourselves to loving God! Sin is a choice!

Besides, doesn't it seem odd that a Calvinist would agree that God hates sin, commands us to not to sin, that we are never tempted beyond that which we can handle, and that we can do ALL things through Christ Jesus but yet we can't still can't seem to stop sinning for one day? This friends is a contradiction of the highest degree! It is no wonder our churches are filled with men and women who believe it is acceptable and even expected that Christians should sin. What hypocrisy and what deceit these Calvinist preach!