Aiken to world: “Water is wet!”

Let’s face it, the announcement that Clay Aiken is “coming out” in the upcoming issue of People is about the least surprising news ever.

In the past Aiken had vehemently denied reports of his homosexuality, including using his “devout Christianity” as “proof” that he wasn’t gay. Yet, despite his persistent denials, everyone pretty much “just knew.” It was more than a little obvious.

We rarely broach the topic of homosexuality here, but I am curious if the recent news casts the former American Idol star in a different light for you.

Do his previous denials now have a negative affect on his credibility? Do you anticipate any backlash from Christians who were eager to cast him as a champion of the faith in the early days of his popularity? Will Thomas Nelson pull his book from Christian bookstore shelves?

Advertisements

29 thoughts on “Aiken to world: “Water is wet!”

  1. Thomas Nelson will definitely pull the book I would imagine because his “faith” is now drastically different than their “faith” and mission I would assume. I’m in no way saying that’s right or wrong, I’m just saying….but if it was me I’d pull the book.

    We have a friend who is obsessed with him and I was like, “really, he seems pretty….pretty…..gay, don’t you think?”
    and she was all “oh no, he’s totally not gay. he said he’s not. there’s no way!”

    Yet another example of how the entertainment industry is more acceptable and loving towards gays than the church. Granted they are accepting for a totally different reason than the church should be, but it’s the truth.

  2. His little baby is a doll! I just found out yesterday that Ray Boltz came out of the closet. http://www.rayboltz.com/

    “but I am curious if the recent news casts the former American Idol star in a different light for you.”

    No.

    People were being ugly and saying he (Ray Boltz) should have self-loathing. They also quoted this verese: I Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the the kingdom of God.”

    Here is what I had to say about that topic:
    My issue isn’t whether or not being homosexual is sin. I personally feel like he gave up the good fight of faith and found a church that says, “It’s ok, stop struggling, give in, God made you that way!” I want him to see that the opposite of homosexuality is not becoming straight, but becoming righteous. He has chosen to identify himself with his sin (homosexuality) instead of identifying himself with Christ.

    My issue is the comments made about him having self loathing. Peopel use the above scripture, but want to focus on the homosexual sin and leave out the rest. As a believer and a girl I admit that I struggle with coveting, lust, and wanting to hurt fellow bloggers, etc. The verse in 1 Cor 6 applies to all of us to some degree or another. I am not going to join a church that says, “it’s ok to covet, Selena, bless your sweet little heart, God made you that way, embrace it.” Instead I want to identify myself with Christ instead of my sin. And I am certainly not going to wish self loathing on fellow strugglers, be it homosexuality or whatever.

    I am almost certain he will get backlash which will drive him further away. Screw the fact that believers struggle with sin, there is a business to run! WWJD?

  3. It’s also another example of how the church so frequently falls in line with our celeb-obsessed culture to it’s own peril.

    By trumpeting his praises as the next best Christ-centered celeb they sure did paint themselves into a corner when something like this comes out and goes against one the main tennents of Christendom.

  4. There is nothing wrong with identifying yourself with your sin. As a matter of fact, the bible mandates it.

    “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” – Paul in I Tim 1:15

    The bible is full of passages reminding us of our life without Christ. However, the bible also reminds us…

    What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? Rom. 6:1-3

    However, the biggest hoodwink I think on the part of many in the church is to erase homosexuality in the list of all those sins we should commonly confess ourselves that we would not be forgiven for apart from Christ.

    It self-righteousness at the core. “I maybe guilty of sins x,y,z…but…my sexual orientation is not one of those sins.”

    The gift of grace is open to all, God excepts us just the way we are, but to quote Rob Bell, “…yet (God) loves us WAY TO MUCH to let us stay that way.”

    Aiken, Boltz…they may have a sexual orientation toward men, but that’s not the sad part. The sad part is they’re satisfied with that, and so are their churches.

  5. “There is nothing wrong with identifying yourself with your sin. As a matter of fact, the bible mandates it.”

    I disagree. A lot.

    Where is the mandate? If you are referring to Paul in his “in whom I am worst…” I do not believe this is what the context is about. Finish off these verese and see what Paul comes back to. Why would Paul say, “Oh wretched man that I am who shall save me from this body of death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Roman 7) He sees his condition – admits it, but what does he focus on? The Lord.

    I am not going to identify myself as “Selena the covetor” because I struggle with coveting along with many other sins. I am holy despite myself. That breaks my heart! I have been cruicified with Christ therefore I no longer live, but Christ NOW lives in me…

  6. I’m not sure why this would be a surprise or I should have an emotional or intellectual response to this, although I can’t help but muse that he looks more than a little like KD Lang in that photo.

    Aiken is in media, not politics, an occupation which I consciously lend a bit more grace in the lie department…unfortunately even if the person claims Christianity (btw, this is not a subtle slam on Aiken..if he claims to be a Christian I certainly hold that to be between him and God). Media tends to be filled with the pressure of appearance and I tend to feel sorry for anyone caught up in that pressure. It’s easy to slip and fall.

    Now whether others will see it the same way, who knows? If he’s less marketable to Thomas Nelson then they have to keep that in mind. You publish the book to make the money. I’m sure Aiken himself is well aware of that fact and it has probably contributed to his silence over the years.

  7. This news comes just over a week after hearing the news about Ray Boltz. At times like this it’s easy to get focused on these Christian music celebs, and forget the many other singers and band members who are faithfully serving God without making headlines. We need to think about those, and also think about ourselves; remembering we each have to give our own account to God for what WE did in this life. We cannot let stories like this distract us from running our own race.

    As to Thomas Nelson, they are increasingly carving out a niche with authors located more on the fringes of Christianity. I’m not saying that their authors haven’t at some time taken the steps towards crossing the line of faith, but their celebrity tends to overshadow anything else: Dr. Phil’s wife; Britney Spears’ mom; etc. Truly — and I think they won’t deny this — it is all about the bottom line; it is all about selling books. Furthermore, publishers don’t pull books off shelves; that’s a retail decision. The question is whether they’ll keep the title in print or remainder it.

  8. for some reason, the social work field has a huge lesbian population. i’ve made more lesbian friends via work then straight i think! and b/c of my faith it comes up sometimes, what i think about it, etc. i don’t know. jesus never mentioned it, and i really base my own personal faith basically on the gospels. yeah, paul mentioned it, along with men having long hair, women covering their heads, marriage being a last resort for those who can’t go without sex, etc. it’s hard for me to say to a friend “the way you live is wrong and it’s a choice”. in identifying the genetic predispositions that go along with various traits people have (and in my field seeing it with mental illness, for example), i think it’s basically foolish to say that you can’t be born gay. i’m sorry, but to be real blunt here, as a straight guy, i can’t think of anything more unappealing then having sex with another man. i don’t see how that could be a choice for every gay person. sure, some people choose that. but not all, not even most, imo. maybe abuse and parental relations factor in, as well as other things from personal history, but i think there are many people simply born with an innate attraction to people of the same sex. why? i have no idea. is it right, is it wrong? that’s their question, not mine. i’ll deal with my own sexual faults and work them out with my God, i don’t have time to worry about someone elses. consenting adults can do whatever they want. it’s not your place to tell them they’re wrong.

    i think the catholic church has a decent stance, in regard to balancing the tradition of scripture and the reality of genetic predispostion. now, the stance is that people are/can be born gay, and that being gay is not a sin, it is the act of homosexual sex that is. so, in order to be “ok”, you can be gay but you have to be celibate. i saw a documentary on logo once that had an orthodox jewish gay man who said he just didn’t have anal sex, since sodomy is the actual act that is forbidden in the torah. that was an interesting loophole.

    it’s a tough one, dude.

  9. @ Selena…

    Maybe I was over the top to say “mandate”…but certainly…how can anyway refer to the grace found in Jesus Christ without first recognizing the life from which I was saved.

    I am liar, and everything about me rejects God, but through His grace was found only by the life given to me through Jesus Christ am I freed from the punishment I deserve apart from Christ.

    You can’t boast your holiness in Christ without first admitting why I needed to be made holy in the first place.

    Amazing Grace…How Sweet the Sound, that saved..a wretch…like me!

    @ Tim

    For the record, I do not believe there has been any proof for genetic predisposition.

    However, even if they did…genetics is not the end all be all answer that negates morality. Does a genetic disposition to pedophilia make it right? Does a genetic disposition to overeating or under-eating make that right too? There are many proofs in the realm of science that walk shaky grounds morally.

    However, speaking as one who has many people close to me who are gay. The issue is clear for me, and at peace with it, knowing that they’re people and faulty just like I am. They’re choices (and now matter our genetic dispositions…we still have choices), are they’re own. They may sadden me, as much as my faults and dumb ass things I do sadden them. Ultimately, where they stand with Jesus is between them and Jesus, and I can only be a light.

  10. As far as genetics… I’ve always hesitated to state this publicly, but….

    When it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t be too surprised if sin – all of it – were somehow linked to our genetic makeup.I mean, the Bible teaches that we’re all “born into” sin, and that Adam “knew” sin (there’s that word we talk alot about in maritial union).

    I don’t think it would be inconsistent with Scripture’s teaching to say that sin is both part of us, and manifested through our actions. If it truly is part of us, I’ve always sort of felt that it would make total sense if it were somehow linked to our genetic makeup. Mankind is cursed afterall, and this curse is transferred from generation to generation through Adam’s fall.

    So when I read reports that science has found genetic links to alcoholism, obesity, adultery, sexual preference, being a Republican, (I kid 😆 ), etc., I’ve never shied away from that data or research, but it actually makes complete sense to me through the lens of Scripture.

    It doesn’t get us off the hook, because the Bible consistently teaches that we’re accountable to God for our actions. But it also teaches that sin is a part of what makes us human in our fallen state, and that we’re incapable of saving ourselves. It just seems really consistent with Scripture to me, to think that sin might actually be a part of our genetic makeup.

    I don’t preach this. And I’m sure there’s a seminarian or two out there who are armed and ready to give that thought process a beat down. Which, of course, I’d welcome.

    But deep down inside, I have to admit I wonder.

    OK, that’s enough crazy talk from Shane for one day.

  11. i wouldn’t say that’s crazy talk at all.
    actually, i think it’s genius.
    i can now blame my desire to drink barrels of beer on my body, not myself!!!
    but seriously, i don’t think there is much theologically unsound about it. my flesh wars with my spirit. they’re two separate things.

  12. denying the genetic component is like denying that dinasours lived millions of years ago. it’s scientifically absurd and just continues to make christians look like a bunch of crazy idiots.

    and yeah, you can say all sin is genetic, i mean, there’s your human nature/original sin model. not really my point on that one, though. from my work i can say that nature & nurture work together to make a person who they are – with some exceptions. my clients are chronically mentally ill. that’s a genetic predisposition that was triggered by something that happened during their life course. i have kind of made the assumption that sexual orientation is a similar scenario – but that’s NOT to say it’s a mental defect. again, i’m straight. have gay friends. do not understand how 2 dudes can get down with each other. i think that is enough for me to realize, ok, there’s something more than a “choice” going on here. i couldn’t “choose” to do the nasty with a dude for a billion dollars. sorry. and you can make jokes about alcoholism, but addiction & dependence are hereditary. adopted children with sober parents statistically end up addicted far more often than not. i’m not pulling stuff out of my arse, this is what i do for a living. i feel like i have some type of idea what i’m talking about.

  13. i wasn’t meaning to make light of alcoholism as a hereditary issue. sorry if that’s how it came off.
    i totally believe it to be true. and wanted to make a joke about my love for cheap beer.

  14. i forgot a sidenote that i think is pertinant to my point. the whole “water is wet” thing. why is no one suprised that clay aiken is gay? isn’t that right there offering support to saying it is not a choice? are gay men all masculine and macho until they “decide” to “be gay”? it’s like finding out your female gym teacher is *suprise* into chicks. there’s a reason people aren’t suprised when they find out someone is gay (often, clearly not all gay men are aiken-esque, and not all lebsiabs are “butch”). but speaking of that…the passage where paul says “so & so’s won’t inherit the kingdom of heave” includes “effeminates”. has no one else ever found that disturbing? i mean, let’s be real, people. we can say that things in scripture sound kind of strange. i find a good dozen things paul said personally offensive. i think he was kind of a jerk, honestly. doesn’t mean he wasn’t a great & true champion of the faith. but, he was a man of faults like me, you & aiken. but seriously, someone who is “light in the loafers” and not even actually gay can’t get into heaven!??! what?!?! now, let’s go down the list of things in that passage, b/c honestly i have the opposite problem that selena has, b/c i think we pick & choose what’s “really” bad – i.e. being gay, and forget that we straight people are guilty of so many of the other things listed. first up, fornicators. yup, that’s me. i’ve had pre-marital sex. so i don’t get into heaven? next up, idolaters. well, a lot of fundamentalists and plenty of evangelicals would say every catholic, eastern orthodox and high protestant christian is an idolater. so i guess they’re out. third, adulterers. damn, a lot of ministers are out! we’ve also got thieves & the covetous. shoot, i steal music online DAILY. so i’m going to burn? and now i’m really in trouble – drunkards. well, i suppose that would leave JESUS out of heaven, too, at least according to those judging him. is anyone with me? or i am just a crazy theologically liberal sin lover?!?!

  15. Timothy ~ “so i’m going to burn?”

    The Kingdom of God is not referring to heaven, it refers to the rule of God in our heart. Here is a link you may want to check out. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08646a.htm

    Here is my out of the box thinking that I have found few people to agree with: I don’t believe in a literal hell fire where people will be tormented with a physical hell fire for ever and ever. I believe hell to be a place of total separation from God and that the torment will be intensely emotional. I think “fire” is a good description as to what people will feel emotionally,mentally and spiritually. Nobody has ever experienced absolute separation from God. Even before any of us had the Spirit of God in is, His presence still abides on this Earth and everyone has experienced His goodness,love, joy, etc. BTW I’m not going to debate this issue. If I am wrong, I am still not going to be there because of the whole I am holy despite myself thing. 😉

    I agree with the genetic predisposition toward certain sins. James Dobson talks about this in one of his books.

    When is Hillary ever going to come out? 😯

  16. yeah, i’m with you on the separation from God thing. but i’m still wondering, a man who is effeminate is not “right with God”? i wonder if the people who harp on this passage are missing matthew 25 where jesus says if you don’t feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, care for the sick you are on his left and he does not know you. they can live their whole lives not doing any of that, but sit back and condemn the “queers”. i mean, i don’t want to be a hypocrite and judge people i feel are judgemental, but i don’t see the heart of jesus in a guy like dobson, whom you use as a reference (which loses me automatically, sorry). i don’t see much grace, mercy, compassion or love in most of the religious right. all i know is that i don’t limit God’s grace and mercy and he can extend it to whomever he chooses, regardless of whatever criteria we think gets us “in”.

  17. I found Dobson to be very compassionate in his book Bringing Up Boys. I don’t know if he has said or done something hateful since that book.

    “i don’t see much grace, mercy, compassion or love in most of the religious right.”

    I know. Skipper and I are pretty sick of “the church.” We are questioning a lot of things as well. Hope Shane doesn’t mind, I’m not trying to spam, but here is what we are dealing with:
    http://skunnydroppings.wordpress.com/2008/09/18/new-skunny-on-the-horizon/

  18. I think most people already assumed he was gay simply because of all the press it’s gotten for years and years. Not that InTouch or Star are great choices but if you read headlines over the years eventually you forget where you got your info. from, especially if it doesn’t seem far-fetched.

    Regarding the genetics, I’ve read most of the studies and they are far from slam-dunks. Personally I think its closer related to the formation of respect-adoration-love in early childhood.

    No one can really explain attraction…even heterosexual attraction..completely. Why do some people have fetishes? Why are some only attracted to certain ‘looks?’

    The whole issue is itself is much more complicated then nature or nurture.

  19. @Tim

    I can see your point (but don’t necessarily agree) that it’s tough to see how “two dudes” can choose to “get down with each other.”

    But, if they don’t choose to do something you find reprehensible…can’t they choose not too? Just in the same way you can choose not to steal music as you say?

    If are genetically coded sinful bodies push us into sinful behavior…isn’t grace about…with the Lord’s help…choosing not to engage in such sinful behaviors.

    Can’t someone who is gay…choose to deny that inclination because their love for God and to bath in His grace so much greater then their desires?

  20. @ cricky: i can’t answer that b/c i don’t know what it’s like to have those feelings. like i said, i think it is not my place to tell a friend or family member “the way you live is wrong, you can change and you must”. it’s like arguing whether or not alcoholism is a disease or a choice. i don’t know b/c i’m not an alcoholic. i think this is a very difficult issue to resolve…and ultimately it’s between the individual and God. i wonder why people would say clay aiken or whomever can’t be gay and a christian, but not say that you can’t masturbate and be a christian (not trying to start a whole other topic!), or take some sort of non-sexual activity that is generally thought of as sinful and be a christian. i don’t feel comfortable limiting the grace of God being extended towards someone else b/c of their sexual life. honestly, i don’t care about someone elses sex life, so long as everything is consentual.

    and why don’t i hear people saying you can’t be a christian if you don’t do what jesus said you needed to do – feed the hungry, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, care for the sick? i think christians are waaaaaaaaay too obsessed with sex, generally speaking.

  21. Tim…

    To quote Obama…I agree with you…mostly.

    I do agree that it’s not our place to tell a friend, if they’re genuinely closed to your commentary on their life. However, we have no worries about tell people to “feed the hungry, and cloth the naked” and if you don’t do that their wrong. We’re fine with preaching those sins that effect others or all mankind, but when a Christian friend is faced with another friend who confesses homosexuality, alcoholism, pornography…and any other “personal” sins…I would contest that it’s a sin to not say something. Mind you, it depends on the kind of relationship you have with this person, and I don’t condone becoming a bullhorn preacher…I’m talking about friends.

  22. yeah, you make a good point. i think for me personally, i just don’t feel like i can say anything to anyone about personal sin, b/c i’m a friggin’ machine! but if a friend asks, or i see something as being truly harmful to them, i’m with you.

  23. Regarding a genetic predisposition toward certain types of behavior (not just homosexuality), I agree with Shane. I wrote this when Ray Boltz made his announcement:

    1. Is it possible that some people have a genetic predisposition toward certain types of behaviors? I think it’s not only possible but likely. I believe that could be true whether we’re talking about sexual promiscuity, homosexuality, drunkenness, violence, or any number of other behaviors the Bible describes as sin.

    2. Does that relieve anyone of the responsibility for their behavior? No. A predisposition to violence does not make it okay to kill someone. A predisposition to sexual promiscuity does not make it okay to cheat on your wife. A predisposition to homosexuality does not make it okay to engage in homosexual behavior.

    Go here if you want to read it all.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s