Anne Rice out as a Christian, but still into Christ?

This column isn’t about passing judgment on Anne Rice, though I am tempted too.  Anne Rice recently came out and said that she wants no more to do with Christianity.  About ten years ago, the writer of vampire novels came out and said she was a follower of Christ.  She began to write some Christian based novels as a result.  She was never an evangelical Christian, with her version of the faith being of her childhood Catholicism, but she is rejecting the body of Christ. Here are a couple of quotes by her posted on USAtoday.com.

“For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

“I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

I always feel hurt and dissappointed when someone says I follow Jesus but I hate the church.  It makes me wonder if they really know Jesus.  Didn’t Jesus die on the cross for people? Didn’t He die for the people in church as well as those outside the church?   Didn’t He start the church on Pentecost through the Holy Spirit?  Did He not command us to love one another?  Does not all the “one another” commands (like accept one another as Christ accepted you) directed at people who belong to a local church with various viewpoints on all sorts of issues (Corinth and Rome come to mind)?  I understand that people in the church can be frustrating, maddening, and very unChristlike, but aren’t we all like that?  Yet Christ still accepted and loved us.  That’s agape love.  That’s not the golden rule (do to others what you want done unto you), but the platinum rule (You love others even if you get none in return).  I can’t bring into congruity this idea of being able to follow Jesus and not being a part of His church.  I don’t get it.  It just seems like a cop out to me of seriously living out the love of Jesus.

In closing I will say what Paul said, “Accept Christians who are weak in faith, and don’t argue with them about what they think is right or wrong.” (Romans 14:1 NLT)  I think this is the right advice when it concerns Anne Rice’s statements.

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