Homosexuality and CCM
Enlarged November 23, 2023 (first published March 13, 2014)
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
There is a rapidly growing trend of Southern Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music artists “coming out” as homosexuals or coming out in support of homosexuality. This is not a new thing, but formerly it was more hidden.

The Gospel Sound, which first appeared in 1971, Anthony Heilbut said, “The gospel church has long been a refuge for gays and lesbians, some of whom grew up to be among the greatest singers and musicians.”

In 1998, CCM star Kirk Franklin said that “homosexuality ... is a problem today in gospel music--a MAJOR CONCERN--and everybody knows it” (
Church Boy, pp. 49, 50)

In 2010, Douglas Harrison said, “... you can’t swing a Dove Award without hitting upon evidence of the longstanding, deep-set presence of queer experience in, and its influence on, Christian music culture at all levels” (“Come Out from among Them,”
Religion Dispatches, April 30, 2010).

James Cleveland, the “King of Gospel,” was a homosexual who died of AIDS.

In 1979,
Marsha Stevens, author of the popular song “For Those Tears I Died” and co-founder of Children of the Day, one of the first contemporary Christian groups, broke her sacred marriage vows and divorced her husband of seven years, by whom she had two children, because she had “fallen in love with a woman.” Eventually Marsha “married” Cindi Stevens-Pino whom she calls “my wife.” She started her own label called BALM (Born Again Lesbian Music) and performs between 150 and 200 concerts a year. She has a program called “upBeat” through which she produces a praise and worship album annually with a variety of singers and songwriters.

Stevens’s lesbian praise music ministry is recommended by Mark Allen Powell, Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and the author of
An Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music. He states:

“The Mother of Contemporary Christian Music continues to capture hearts for Jesus. Argue interpretations of Scripture and debate the ethics and origins of homosexuality all you want--no one with sensitivity to things of the Spirit can deny God is using Marsha Stevens to bring the love and mercy of Christ to people whom God apparently has not forgotten.”

To ignore the teaching of Scripture for a feeling or an intuition that God is using an unrepentant homosexual for His glory is blind mysticism.

The Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin in no uncertain terms and demands repentance from it of those who come to Christ. Romans 1 condemns man-with-man and woman-with-woman sexual relationships as “vile affections,” “against nature,” unseemly,” and “a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:26-28). No amount of interpretive gymnastics by homosexual-rights activists can change the clear meaning of this passage.

According to Scripture, God made human sex for the context of marriage, and anything outside of the context of marriage is fornication and adultery and is subject to God’s judgment.

“Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4).

From the beginning to the end of the Bible, God-ordained marriage is defined as a holy contract between one man and one woman. Polygamy was practiced even by some of the Old Testament saints, but Jesus taught that this was never God’s will and He referred men to God’s law of marriage at the beginning.

“And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).

Since the Bible teaches that all sexual activity outside of marriage is sin, and since legitimate marriage is only between a man and a woman, there is absolutely no possibility that God would bless homosexual relationships.

In 2004, FBI agents arrested Walbert Farmer and charged him with attempting to blackmail Dove Award-winning contemporary gospel singer
Kirk Talley. The federal indictment claims that Farmer threatened to reveal that Talley is homosexual (“Man indicted for allegedly trying to extort gospel singer,” KnoxNews.com, Knoxville, Tenn., Dec. 23, 2004).

In 2008, popular CCM singer
Ray Boltz announced his homosexuality. He divorced his wife to live with a man. Today he “tours the country playing at liberal churches and gay-pride events that receive him and his gay Christian message” (Jesus Rocks the World: The Definitive History of Contemporary Christian Music, vol. 2, p. 173). Boltz told the homosexual magazine The Washington Blade that he has been a homosexual since he was a kid (though he was married for 33 years before his divorce and has four children). He said: “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” (“Ray Boltz Comes Out,” Christianity Today, Sept. 12, 2008). This is a great deception. The only sure word from God is found in the Bible, and the Bible calls the male to male sexual relationship (“men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another”) “vile affections,” “against nature,” “unseemly,” “error,” and “reprobate” (Romans 1:26-28). It is obvious, then, that God did not make Ray Boltz a homosexual and that he could renounce it if he wanted to. The fact is that every individual is born a sinner, but God is not the author of sin, and He offers redemption through repentance and faith in Christ’s atonement.

Also in 2008,
Clay Aiken, a Southern Baptist who was runner-up on American Idol in 2003 and went on to become a multiplatinum recording artist, admitted publicly that he is homosexual. In the last week of September, he appeared on the cover of People magazine under the headline, “Yes, I’m Gay.”

In 2010,
Anthony Williams, who performs under the name of Tonex and whose album Out the Box was nominated for a Grammy, revealed that he is a homosexual. In a recent interview he complains about being discriminated against and compared the discrimination against homosexuals to racism. The interviewer states, “These days, when he is not singing for his fans as Tonex, Pastor Williams travels across the country preaching a message of acceptance. Now his audience is a congregation and his stage a pulpit” (“Openly Gay Gospel Artist Preaches Acceptance,” thegrio.com, July 7, 2010).

Also in 2010,
Jennifer Knapp, hard-rocking Contemporary Christian musician, came “out of the closet” with her lesbianism. She said on Larry King Live (April 23) that the Bible’s teaching against homosexuality is based on faulty translation and interpretation. Elsewhere, Knapp called the Bible verses against homosexuality “clobber verses.” Indeed, the Bible is full of verses that clobber our sin, and the reason is that God is a holy but compassionate God who wants sinners to repent and be saved (Romans 3:19-22)! Homosexuality is a growing trend within the CCM and Southern Gospel movements.

In June 2013, popular CCM singer
Sandi Patty performed with the homosexual Turtle Creek Chorale at the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, Texas. In July 2012, the Chorale had attended the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA) in Denver (“Turtle Creek Chorale’s 2012-2013 Season,” Turtlecreek.org).

In April 2014,
Dan Haseltine of the popular CCM band Jars of Clay announced his support for “gay marriage.” He wrote the following in a series of Twitter posts:

“Not meaning to stir things up BUT… is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one. ... I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ... I don’t think scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality. ... I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is ‘wrong.’ I care more about how it says we should treat people” (“Dan Haseltine,” MetroWeekly.com, April 22, 2014).

Haseltine tried to back peddle a bit after his Twitter comments were made public, but he did not renounce the concept of a “homosexual Christian” or reject same-sex “marriage.”

In August 2014,
Vicky Beeching, British CCM musician, announced that she is a lesbian. Beeching, who has led worship music at many North American churches and whose “lyrics are sung by millions in America’s Bible Belt,” says, “I’m gay; God loves me just the way I am.”

“I think God has very much walked me through this, hand in hand. I do not feel I left God in back there, in the evangelical church. I feel like he’s become closer and closer. I feel I was in the desert, making this decision, and he’s been in the desert with me, that this is something he's led me towards, something I am supposed to do” (“Vicky Beeching on Coming Out,”
Christian Today, Aug. 14, 2014).

She says that “the well-known Biblical texts from Leviticus, for example, should not be used to condemn ‘permanent, faithful, stable same-sex relationships.’”

Beeching, who grew up Pentecostal and is now Anglican, says that she begged God to take away her sexual attraction to females beginning when she was 13 years old, made confession to a Catholic priest, and sought deliverance through a charismatic exorcism.

The very fact that she sought help from priests and charismatic healers demonstrates that she has has looked in the wrong places for spiritual help. Spiritual victory doesn’t come by sacraments and priestcraft.

And even for those who are truly born again, God doesn’t take away the old nature in this present life. Sinful thoughts come from the “old man,” but the believer doesn’t have to act on them. Paul says that those who continue to walk in sin as a way of life demonstrate that they haven’t been born again.

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are
these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).

The believer’s spiritual victory is described in the same passage: “
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law” (Galatians 5:16-18).

In an interview in October 2014,
Brian Houston, pastor of Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, which birthed Hillsong worship music, refused to give a definitive answer when asked to clarify his stand on “same sex marriage.” He said that “the Western world is shifting its thinking on this issue, and churches are struggling to stay relevant” (Jonathan Merritt, “Hillsong’s Brian Houston says church won’t take a public position,” Religion News Service, Oct. 16, 2014). He said, “The real issues in people’s lives are too important for us to just reduce it down to a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer in a media outlet.”

Carl Lentz, pastor of Hillsong New York City, told CNN that Hillsong has “a lot of gay men and women in our church and I pray we always do,” and he claimed that he is “still waiting for someone to show me the quote where Jesus addressed it on the record in front of people” (“Hillsong New York pastor Carl Lentz,” Christian Today, June 6, 2014).

What Jesus did was plainly and publicly limit marriage to one man and one woman as in the beginning of creation (Matthew 19). Obviously this leaves no room for “same sex marriage.”

In the same CNN interview, Laura Lentz, Carl’s wife and Hillsong co-pastor, said, “It’s not our place to tell anyone how they should live, it’s--that’s their journey.”

Like the CCM world as a whole, Hillsong is so “relevant” that they are traitors to the truth of God’s Word, yet their music influences multitudes of Baptists and fundamentalists. When asked by a reporter why Hillsong is so successful, Brian Houston replied, “We are scratching people where they are itching” (“The Lord’s Profits,”
Sydney Morning Herald, January 30, 2003). That is right out of 2 Timothy 4:3, which is a warning of apostasy. It describes people who itch for a new kind of Christianity, and it describes heaps of preachers who will scratch this illicit itch. “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.”

In 2016,
Trey Pearson, lead singer of the popular Christian rock band Everyday Sunday, “came out” as “gay.” The band’s 2001 namesake album has sold 250,000 copies. Pearson has toured with Toby Mac, Switchfoot, MercyMe, Jeremy Camp, and others. In a June 2016 cover story interview with 614 Magazine, the married father of two said, “I grew up in a very conservative Christian home where I was taught that sexual orientation was a matter of choice,” and though he was attracted to other males, he attempted to suppress his feelings. His “coming out” is presented in terms of “being true” to himself. The 614 Magazine cover story was titled “Gay, Christian Rock Star: This Is Who I Am.” After counseling with emergent apostates like Rob Bell, Pearson says that “there is absolutely no conflict with accepting who I am and following Jesus,” because “God wants me to be healthy, authentic, whole, integrated, and my truest self.” For the Selfie generation, it’s all about ME, as prophesied in Scripture (“lovers of their own selves,” 2 Timothy 3:1-2). His vow to be faithful to his wife unto death is thrown aside, because his desire to be faithful to himself trumps everything. He claims to be “free” now and to be pursuing “health and wholeness.” In reality, he is in great bondage because he is being reconciled to his fallen nature. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 15:19). To say that one should be true to “feelings” of homosexuality is no different than saying that a man who is attracted to women other than his wife or to children should be true to those “feelings.” The Bible plainly identifies such “feelings” as sin, and there is nothing right, godly, or honorable in yielding to them. The emergent program categorizes “loving, committed same-sex” relationships as honorable and as acceptable before God, claiming that Scripture only condemns abusive and idolatrous acts of homosexuality, but this is nonsense. The Bible plainly teaches that apart from the union of holy marriage, sexual activity is sin, and there is not a hint anywhere in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, that a holy marriage can consist of a same-sex union. “Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge” (Hebrews 13:4). The Lord Jesus Christ pointed to Genesis 2 as God’s standard for marriage. “And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder” (Matthew 19:4-6).

In 2023,
Derek Webb, former lead singer with the popular contemporary worship band Caedmon’s Call and winner of three Dove awards, published a song and music video supporting transsexual drag queens. Webb’s song, “Boys Will Be Girls,” presents transsexualism as something Jesus would support. Not surprisingly, Christians who oppose homosexuality are treated as misguided, mean-spirited, dangerous Pharisees. Webb’s blasphemous song “God in Drag” mocks the doctrine of eternal judgment. “You’ve heard it said/ Oh, God so loves but he’ll reject you/ If you so choose he will respect you/ And for all time, he’ll disconnect you/ From his love and those who’ve left you/ And in the skies live on without you/ While the devil’s flames surround you/ in the place that he designed to/ For eternity remind you/ Of the choice that’s now behind you/ Either way, I bet you’ll break a sweat.” Webb attended the 2023 Dove Awards dressed as a woman in company with Matthew Blake, another former worship leader who “wears makeup and women’s clothing and performs as Flamy Grant” (“Caedmon’s Call singer Derek Webb,” The Christian Post, Oct. 19, 2023). On Twitter, Oct. 13, 2023, Webb promoted the sale of a cup bearing an image of him in a dress and the slogan “but i say unto you, you’re beautiful and free” from “God in Drag.” Webb presumptuously uses the words of Jesus (“But I say unto you”) from the Gospels to claim Christ’s support for homosexuality. Webb says that dressing in drag is “a great analog to the work that Jesus did, and the power that incarnational risk has” (“Derek Webb on Following Jesus into a Wig and Dress,” Sojourners, Jul. 24, 2023). In that interview, Webb said, “I have been a Christian at different seasons of my life. I don’t identify that way currently, but I definitely care a lot about the space.” In 2014, Webb’s wife Sandra McCracken another CCM artist, divorced him “after he admitted to an extramarital affair.”

Singer/songwriter Grace Baldridge, who goes by the name
Semler, announced on TikTok in late 2023 that “she’s expecting a baby with her ‘wife’ Elizabeth Capel” (“Queer ‘Christian’ Artist Semler Announces,” JubileeCast, Nov. 1, 2023). Semler claims to be a “non-binary lesbian.” In the song “Faith,” which was number one this summer on iTunes Christian and Gospel chart, Semler complains that “my religion turned against me.” On learning of gaining the top spot, she tweeted, “I really can’t believe it. We got a queer artist to chart at #1 in Christian music during Pride month.” In 2022, Semler toured with the Christian rock band Relient K.


The reason for all of this is not difficult to discern. Typically, CCM musicians have been accepted as Christians upon the flimsiest testimony of faith and have not been properly instructed and discipled. They have fed their spiritual lives with dangerous authors such as C.S. Lewis, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Brennan Manning, Leonard Sweet, Rick Warren, and Rob Bell. They have loved deeply corrupt Bible translations such as
The Message, immersed themselves in addictive, sensual music, practiced contemplative Catholic mysticism, and have sought after emotional highs and “signs and wonders” instead of living by faith. They have played with the world, which is more dangerous than any poisonous snake, instead of living separated lives. They know nothing of the doctrine of apostasy.

They have sown to the wind and are reaping the whirlwind.

The fact that Contemporary Christian Music is home to many homosexuals and the fact that the vast majority of contemporary Christian musicians do not reprove this sin publicly is evidence of its deep apostasy.

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