July 30, 2010 by

What Do You Think About Anne Rice?


Categories: church, food for thought

Anne Rice, the Interview with the Vampire author who in recent years became known for her faith in Christ, raised quite a ruckus on her Facebook page Wednesday by her reununciation of Christianity. Huffington Post reports on it here, but here’s just a tidbit of what she said:

“I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, 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 remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or 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.”

Her words are likely to raise a lot of questions for many. Do you have any thoughts?

Musician. Composer. Recovering perfectionist. Minister-in-transition. Lover of puns. Hijacker of rock song references. Questioner of the status quo. I'm not really a rebel. Just a sincere Christ-follower with a thirst for significance that gets me into trouble. My quest has taken me over the fence of institutional Christianity. Here are some of my random thoughts along the way. Read along, join in the conversation. Just be nice.

8 Responses to What Do You Think About Anne Rice?

  1. Robert Martin

    I agree with Anne in that the term "Christian" has some seriously bad flavor to it because of all the things that are done in the name of "Christianity". Her specific theological points I have some issue with because of some of the Scriptural teachings I've embraced but I do agree that there's a lot "bad" in Christianity in the US today, especially where it's aligned with politics and "social justice".

    However, the solution to correcting the problem is not to renounce the problem. Martin Luther did not want to start a new church and leave the Catholic church. He wanted to dialogue and solve the issues and excesses of the institutionalized church. If Anne feels so strongly about the problems she sees in the institutionalized church in the US, instead of renouncing "Christianity", it would be better to instead work in a spirit of love, humility, and mutual respect to bring the Church back from being a human institution to being the dynamic body of Christ that it was intended.

  2. Karenkool

    I'm having a hard time knowing how I want to respond to this. I actually kind of "get" what Anne Rice is saying. I refuse to be any of those "anti" things also, but to clarify, I do not support any of those agendas either. I can't love my gay cousin or dear gay friend or gay theater director if I am hell-bent on being anti-gay. Apply the same principal for feminist or democrat or pro-choicer.

    I struggle with the fact that so many people… literal friends of my very own… feel that Christians are hostile and quarrelsome and narrow minded and hateful and bigoted. It's exactly how the mainstream media has painted the picture. Globally, people have absorbed these notions and believed its all true.

    It makes me think that the church is going to have a very rough road in the times ahead. I've had very interesting conversations.

    Personally, my plan of action is to be a real friend to those around me, not to be an "anti" person. But to have a voice as well, about what I do believe and why. I try to remain gentle and as accepting of differences in viewpoints as I can in my conversations. Sometimes that is very hard. But it helps that I don't believe its my duty to change what people think, except by the example of my life (which may or may not help matters). HAHA

    If I believe in a personal God, I can trust Him to love people through me and the spirit of truth will prevail… in me and in others.

    I certainly don't have it all figured out.

  3. Jeff McQ

    Robert & Karen, thanks for your thoughtful responses. (And others chime in!)

    Robert, I get what you're saying about renouncing the problem and the theological ramifications of what Rice has said. But I think we ought to forgive the parts that offend our theology and really try to hear what Rice is trying to say. She remains committed to Christ, but she rejects the institution of Christianity–particularly for it's "anti" stances and the quarrelsome nature she sees in it. And I can't help but notice she never actually said she quit "the church"–which in my thinking would be theoretically impossible if you remain a Christ-follower.

    Karen, I feel and share in your struggle here. The only thing I'd add to the thought process is that I'm coming to realize that the reason the mainstream media "paints" Christianity this way is that it is far more true than we'd care to admit. They aren't just singling out the extreme cases to arrive at that opinion. For an extended period of time now, my family and I have had repeated experiences of having non-believers act more like Jesus than the majority of churchgoing Christians we know, even since moving to Denver. It's sad, but in my own experience, it's true. (Proof positive to me that our doctrine-based approach to faith isn't working–that is, measuring our Christianity by what we believe rather than how we live–but that's another blog post.)

    I think the only hope we have of changing that perception is along the lines of what you say you are doing–to be a real friend to others, to strive to live out the truth and the love of Christ in a tangible way.

  4. Kansas Bob

    Guess I am not against being called a Christian because it is a broad term. I think that Anne's word's reflect a black and white understanding of what being a Christian means. I think that many Christians see the world in black and white terms and prefer to jettison the term "Christian" rather than to accept a grayer view of it. Sadly many folks get out of the institution but the institution doesn't get out of them.

  5. Sarah

    I'm pretty empathetic to what Anne is saying. I think there is a subculture in America (and Canada) called "Christianity" which is often in contradiction to the nature and example of Christ. This subculture is often pro-violence, pro-sexism, and pro-hierarchy, to name a few examples. None of these reflect the love of God embodied in Christ. I too do not identify with Christianity as a religious culture.

    I have personally renounced and repented of much of this religion in order to walk more obediently to Christ, allowing Him to change my mind on a great number of things, and transform me to His likeness. Perhaps Anne is on a similar journey. Only God knows her heart.

  6. Robert Martin

    Jeff, I agree with you that we need to forgive those offending pieces of theology. I just got done preaching a sermon on Romans 14 and, while preparing that, came to that same conviction that there are certain things that are, as Paul puts it, "disputable matters" that we should let go and forgive for the sake of the unity of the church.

    But on the same note, the same passage talks about sacrifices that both the "strong" and the "weak" need to make and attitudinal changes that need to be adopted. What I read in what Anne said is more than just renouncing a term. If I were to come up to her and introduce myself as a fellow Christian, I fear that there would be some vehement fallout to that. There is a break in the unity of love.

    I abhor what Westboro Baptist has done. I abhor what other groups have done "in the name of Christ". I abhor some of the things that the church supports and sponsors as "Christian". But instead of distancing myself from them, in love and humility, we are all trying to follow the same Christ. Some of us are "strong", some of us our "weak", but we are all in this together. Denouncing the term "Christian" is just going to create another separation in an already fragmented Church in the US. I just don't see how what she has stated and what she is doing is helping to heal the church. It seems to have the potential to just continue the constant fragmentation of what is supposed to be a unified Body of Christ.

    There's gotta be a better way than drawing lines around "labels".

  7. rob

    Re: "…doctrine-based approach to faith isn't working–that is, measuring our Christianity by what we believe rather than how we live…"


    Looking for the blog post! 🙂

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