In addition to my own thoughts on author Anne Rice’s announcement that she was leaving Christianity, I wanted to point you to some posts by three of my online friends.
Act One. In Anne Rice — Called Out of Christianity, Chad Estes asks some great questions:
- What are you to do if you love Jesus but don’t want to be an official member of his somewhat crazed fan club?
- Is ‘Christianity’ a label that you really need to follow Jesus?
- Who does Anne’s statement impact? Does God care? Do non-religious people care? Or is it just the fan club that isn’t happy with this decision?
- What is the appropriate response when you don’t agree with the party line?
- How could Anne have made a difference from the inside of Christianity. Did she actually have the clout she needed to make any needed changes or is she better off outside of the walls?
He spawned a lot of discussion with these questions — 59 comments at last count. Chad then followed up with his own thoughts, Calling Ourselves Christians, in which he shares some thoughts about the Bible passage where the term “Christians” was first used to identify Jesus’ disciples.
Act Two. In Christ, The Other & Anne Rice, Jamie Arpin-Ricci explores identification with “the other” in rejecting hatred and bigotry. But at the same time, he offers a caution against disassociating ourselves from unsavory elements of Christianity. Are we too easily overlooking those same qualities within ourselves? Does Christ welcome the bigot?
Act Three. Finally, while I and others speculate on Anne Rice’s faith — maybe she is saying this, maybe she is doing that — Mike Morrell interviewed her! (The podcast itself is a little hard to find. Scroll down halfway and look for an on-screen player.) The first seven minutes is the hosts of the podcast introducing their show and other things they have coming up, but then it’s over half an hour of Anne sharing her thoughts, her struggles, and her heart. If anyone has any doubts about the earnestness of her faith, try this quote on for size:
The most important thing for me is to keep Christ the center of my life. …I want to know more about the mystery of Christ, the beauty of the incarnation …he is God and man. That story still compels me, and I do not want the followers of Christ to come between me and that story.
Can I have an Amen?