December 15, 2017

Anne Rice Through With Christianity

Anne Rice, the novelist best known for Interview With A Vampire, announced that she is through with Christianity.

On her Facebook site, Rice wrote this comment on Wednesday:

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.

Five minutes later she added this:

As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminst. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanist. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.

Ok. First thing is to get this woman a copy of Mere Churchianity. She could have been an endorser! Seriously, is she not hitting on so much of what Michael Spencer said on this site and in his book? What we have continued to say on this site? Rice is not saying anything new or unique. She just happens to have a very large megaphone through which to say it. If I said I was leaving Christianity, it wouldn’t merit a blip in the church bulletin. Anne Rice says the same and it is worldwide news. And, if you ask me, it is probably a good thing.

We have been saying all of this for a long time. Michael wrote his famous The Coming Collapse of Evangelicalism posts in January, 2009. He had written much of the same thoughts for years before. Culture wars and political affiliations had taken over the pulpits of so many churches, it was as if Jesus had retired and moved to an island in the South Pacific. It has not let up. I heard a TV preacher this Sunday (hey, I was at someone else’s house and he had it on; I wouldn’t watch these guys on a dare) talking about the morality of those who live in Hollywood as if they could only be persuaded to think like he does, all of America would soon be holding hands and singing praise choruses instead of watching filthy rated R movies. Then I went to a service where I heard a Christless sermon (the name of Jesus was never mentioned–not once) where the story of the prodigal was taken out of context to teach us about the stages of maturity we should all be going through.

I may not be far behind Anne Rice.

Please note: She is not leaving Jesus. She made that clear with another Facebook comment yesterday.

My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or will become.

She is upset at his followers–or, if I may be so bold, those who claim to be his followers. She is upset at being crammed into a box labeled “Good Christians do this.” Now she wants to follow Jesus, but not be associated with all of the falderal that goes with that. Michael Spencer said it best:

The investment of evangelicals in the culture war will prove out to be one of the most costly mistakes in our history. The coming evangelical collapse will come about, largely, because our investment in moral, social and political issues has depleted our resources and exposed our weaknesses. We’re going to find out that being against gay marriage and rhetorically pro-life (yes, that’s what I said) will not make up for the fact that massive majorities of evangelicals can’t articulate the Gospel with any coherence and are believing in a cause more than a faith.

Obviously, in the circles Anne Rice has been in, she has heard more about the wrongs of homosexuals and Democrats than she has heard the Gospel of grace. Could it be that we Christians no longer even know what that Gospel is?

I’m saddened by Rice’s decision to a point. She, like all of us, needs community in order to grow. I pray she can find it outside of the church. But I rejoice with her if she is being truthful about her desire to follow Christ. For some, the greatest obstacle to an intimate relationship with Jesus is the Church. How sad is that?

Comments

  1. http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-beliefs-anne-rice-20100807,0,5152082.story
    Excellent written interview there with Anne. She talks about what was the very last straw for her. I am surprised that there is only one comment on the article.

    • JoanieD:

      Thanks for the link! It’s a great interview and answers a few more questions.