Anne Rice “Quits” Christianity
Obviously, thanks to our ever active 24 hour news cycle this is now old news, but sometimes things occur that instill in us different emotions, and this last week some of the emotions I experienced were shock and sadness. So I thought that I would share my thoughts on an unexpected and heart saddening situation…
Famed author Anne Rice recently announced via Face Book that she’s quitting Christianity, which came as quite a shock to many people after her much publicized re-conversion to the faith nearly a decade ago. Whenever I first hear about some major shift in the spiritual life of a celebrity my first reaction, based on past experiences to ask; “Is this just a publicity stunt?” this given the fact that faith and religion has been used over the years by many a celebrity to gain publicity and boost their popularity. Is this the case with this situation? After reading her own words as to her decision, I don’t think so. I believe that Anne has gone the way that all too many people in our world have, exchanging the truth of God for a lie. I could try to explain her decision but instead consider her own words;
It seems apparent that she wants to do the relationship with Christ thing on her own, while saying “Yes” to a fallen world and its values. This whole thing makes me wonder what she thought she was doing as a Christian these past ten years, was her idea of Christianity relegated to being “anti-” things. If so she’s sadly missed the point of what it means to be a Christian. It’s also equally true as Christians we’re called to be in relationship with God and with each other. These are not simply suggestions, they are direct calls given to the church. Believers are called to gather together in community, to help shore up each other’s faith. Consider the words of the Apostle Paul.
“not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:25)
It appears that Rice is struggling with what it truly means to be a “Christian,” but in our current society, that has been infected with the cancer of political correctness, she’s far from being alone. Even within the church she’ll have no problem finding good company with regard to her new found, or newly announced, pro-homosexual, pro-feminist, perspectives. In our country there are plenty of theologically liberal churches to sustain all of her views, and that in itself is a truly sad commentary on the state of the American Church. She says that she rejects Christianity in Christ’s name, and will follow Christ instead, quoting the words of the Apostle John,
“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:35)
It must be pointed out that “loving one another,” includes holding one another accountable to the statutes of scripture. Approving and enabling sin is far from “loving,” for it is in reality “apathetic,” and apathy is lethal to the spiritual life of the individual and Christ’s church.
It also pains me to think about the fact that the “Christ” she is going to remain loyal to is one of her own making and not the Christ of Scripture. It’s an easy thing to follow Christ when we’ve created Him in our own image. It’s sad to think that the woman who had seemingly experienced such a life transformation through Christ is now trading in that relationship for a deficient one.
Her statements concerning loving Christ but not Christianity; i.e. “Christians” is one that has been made thought the centuries and unfortunately it is one that will undoubtedly be with us until the end of time. Any of us who have been Christians for any amount of time can understand her frustrations with the way that some “Christians” act. It is easy to get frustrated with Christianity, and I think many of us have been, I know I have. There are so many voices out there claiming to speak on behalf of Christianity, some of them are good and some of them are downright reprehensible, and this is the crux of the problem! However the answer to the issue isn’t the rejection of Christianity, but taking a stand for what Christianity is supposed to be. One cannot reject Christianity and embrace Christ at the same time. To be a “Christian” means that the person “belongs” to Christ, the two cannot be separated from one another. One cannot, in the name of Christ, quit being a Christian!
So as a Christian how should we respond to this situation? A lot of us who consider ourselves to be Christians often react to these types of situations a lot like James and John did when they saw Christ being rejected by a Samaritan village. We want to call down fire from heaven on the opponents of Christianity. There are some who have been taking this course of action in this situation. However Jesus’ response to His Apostles’ zeal ought to give us pause as to our own reaction;
“But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:55-56)
Ultimate judgment belongs to God, not to us! It’s not our place to question Anne’s salvation; we are simply called to hold our brothers and sisters accountable to the truth. We should never forget, and all so often do forget Paul’s words to the Galatian church;
“Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another” (Galatians 6:1-4)
We should all be praying for Anne, let’s not demonize the prodigal daughter. Let’s give her room and encouragement to come home!