Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Anne Rice Quits…

posted by Scot McKnight

annerice.jpg…. being a Christian. Does this move make her a “spiritual” and “follower of Christ” but not “religious” or “in the Catholic Church”?

How do you read her recent statement?

Let me make a point I’ve made a number of times: You can’t follow Christ and not participate in the Church and in a church. The Church is the Body of Christ.
Anne Rice, the bestselling novelist most popularly known for “Interview with the Vampire” and her other creepy vampire novels, announced on Wednesday that she has officially renounced Christianity. 
It’s a bold move for the author who has become well-known for her vehement religiosity; the majority of her frequent tweets are related to religion in some way. The author has also recently launched a new series of novels about angels, which debuted in October 2009 with “Angel Time.”

Rice declared on her Facebook account that she is “an outsider” in the Christian community:

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.

Rice affirmed that though she has decided to leave the Christian institution, she “remain[s] committed to Christ as always.”

From her FB page:


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.


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 might become.



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Jason Lee

posted July 30, 2010 at 11:43 am


Who are “His followers” that she’s been with? Is it truly about the cited issues, or is there some interpersonal falling out? I ask this because it seems there are Christian communities that would not be against the things she lists. You can pretty much find just about any combination of pro/anti-(issue X) in Christian communities. So I’m wondering if being in Christian community is actually the real issue for her. Living in community is hard work. Is she mainly wanting to get away from the hard work of community?



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YourName

posted July 30, 2010 at 11:46 am


She is not alone. I have thought about this many times. Why should I be part of an organization that worships a free market dog-eat-dog capitalist Jesus who loves war and hates anything that cuts into corporate profit? Call it the Church if you want, but I don’t recognize it as the Body of Christ.
You cannot argue that regardless of what the Church does it is always the body of Christ. When Southern churches stood on scripture and supported slavery, they were not acting as the body of Christ, and defining them that way does a disservice to the real body of Christ.
At some point, morals and actions matter. That is what Anne Rice is saying.



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Daniel Rose

posted July 30, 2010 at 11:46 am


I am saddened by this statement. I am not sad because “Christianity” has lost a “celebrity”. I am sad because a fellow follower of Jesus has rejected the Bride of Christ for her own political ideology. This is no different than those who walk away from the Church because it is practicing “Social Justice”. If you love Christ you must love his Church.
I am critical of much of what “Christianity” does. However, I am growing ever more in love with the Church. It is a beautiful collection of image bearers, full of stories, and heartbreak. I hope that Ms. Rice, as well as many other Christ followers will come to grips with the reality that to follow Christ is to be a part of his community. To be in Christ is to be in his body, which is to be in the Church.
I am not saying that the institutional Church is what we must commit ourselves to. But we must commit ourselves to the body and bride of Christ.



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Wes Ellis

posted July 30, 2010 at 11:47 am


You know, it’s too bad… Because not all churches are as she describes them– “anti-gay, anti-feminist, etc.” But actually, therein amongst the quarrels and the chaos lies the beauty of the church–we are one with a community of people with whom, if we were left to our own devices, we would not choose to be one.
While I believe that we are, in essence, stuck we each other, I do still believe that you can find expressions of church that are quite alternative to the mainstream church that Rice is apparently leaving. These expressions, though bound to be filled with their own problems, are available and I always feel down when I hear that someone is leaving the church altogether without giving another expression a shot. But, then again, there’s something wholly consumeristic about the whole thing. “Church shop” until you find the right one… then tap a different market if you don’t find it. We mirror the horrors of our culture.
That’s where forgiveness and the willingness to be hurt for your community comes into play. The parable of the unforgiving servant comes to mind.



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Jim Botts

posted July 30, 2010 at 11:50 am


I wonder if she’ll renounce being a writer too! There are lots of anti-whatever writers in the realm of writing and publication. For the same reason that she continues to associate herself with writing and publication, she should associate herself with Christ-followers and the Church. Being a voice of reason in a conversation that matters to you makes more sense then public renunciation (unless of course you really need the publicity of such a renunciation).
Honesty Compels,
Jim



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art

posted July 30, 2010 at 11:56 am


to be completely honest, i’ve been (and sometimes still am!) exactly where anne rice is at the moment: frustrated with the particular form of christianity in which i am placing myself and drastically wanting to call it quits.
this frustration can be compounded by people within the community who are always bickering, fighting, making huge issues out of little things, or claiming that one cannot be part of a christianity community while still holding onto x (“x” being feminism, birth control, being a democrat, etc.). like anne, i feel this frustration.
perhaps this frustration may be multiplied in anne’s case because of her particular community, the catholic church. perhaps she feels as if she either needs to accept everything the catholic church is teaching and promoting or leave it altogether.
i can understand that. while i don’t necessarily condone it, i can at least empathize with anne in how she is presenting herself as feeling.
the real issue, like scot brings up in this post, is that it is difficult to claim christ while amputating yourself from christ’s body. if one of christ’s missions was to build the church, the community of god, then we cannot claim to be following him with integrity while, at the same time, not following him on his mission.
what keeps me coming back to the church is grace: knowing that no one is perfect (including myself and other christ followers) and that, by grace, we are forgiven. being part of a community does not mean being in full agreement with everyone within that community. it means growing to love everyone within that community, just as christ loves them.
perhaps that is a tall order for anne and she is growing frustrated with the task. i’ve been there and i’m sure others have been there. it is only by grace that any of us can carry on with the task of loving one another, especially in the face of (perhaps sometimes sharp) disagreement.
i think we should take the time to pray for anne. to pray for god to give her grace, to help sanctify her by the spirit, so that she can come to love those that she sees as unlovable.



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nick gill

posted July 30, 2010 at 11:59 am


Here was my response to her, on her FB page.
“John 13, Anne. Imagine how angry Jesus was when he walks in to give the greatest piece of teaching in the Gospels, and the disciples are arguing over who is gonna wash feet. Remember Moses and Paul, who told God that they’d rather be damned with God’s people than saved apart from them. I know we’re a wreck. I’m a wreck. You’re a wreck. We’re ALL a wreck! What else do you expect from a group of people who are all in rehab???”
Her son Christopher’s sexual orientation probably has some influence here somewhere, especially with regard to her positive comments on FB/Twitter: very glad that a Lutheran church allowed two lesbian priests to function at a church.



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Bob Young

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:11 pm


I can’t blame her. What church was Jesus trying to get people to join? Or the apostles for that matter? Wasn’t it rather an embracing of the kingdom of God and its values (with Jesus as its anointed head/leader/king) and enjoying the community of like-minded people? Well, since when has any so-called Christian denomination ever been able to legitimately claim they are the sole true community of Christ-followers and not joining them is to be “outside”? I strongly suspect that Anne is actively engaged in a loose community of like-minded followers, and if I lived near her I imagine I’d be very comfortable in their midst. There’s so much made up religion, so many factions and schisms – it’s not about truth or purity or anything like that; it’s obviously about power and control and in some cases pride. You can’t put new wine into these old wineskins.



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JamesBrett

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:13 pm


am i the only person who had no idea who anne rice was?
and the only one who doesn’t understand why it’s such a big deal what her thoughts on christianity are?



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Fish

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:22 pm


“Her son Christopher’s sexual orientation probably has some influence here somewhere…”
Is her son gay? That explains a lot. My best friend’s wife left the Catholic church because her brother was gay.
Thank God I am not gay and living in Christian America. That would be awful. I thank God that I am a white male who is relatively well-off, because Christianity is tailor-made for me :)



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Aaron

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:27 pm


She sounds confused and hurt. I am with her on this: Jesus is more important than Christianity. We are to be conformed to Him not some “peopled-up” image of Him (oh, I meant idol).
His command was, “Follow me.” What’s the problem with that?



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DRT

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:43 pm


Scot says – You can’t follow Christ and not participate in the Church and in a church. The Church is the Body of Christ.
So one logical conclusion could be that she still is in a church since she is following Jesus. It’s just not the man church.
Or, do you mean that she is not a Jesus follower now?



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William Birch

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:44 pm


Jesus Christ loves His bride, warts and all, and so do I. No matter how frustrated with His bride I may become, if I love Him then I am called to love His bride (1 John 5:1). I also must consider that I, too, am part of the bride’s problem, for I have not yet arrived.
She may have felt more comfortable in an Episcopal, as opposed to a more conservative Roman Catholic, environment. We should pray for her restoration to a community of believers.



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Robert

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:46 pm


Eph. 3:10 says that God demonstrates his manifold wisdom to the principalities and powers through the church.
It seems to me that this is not because the church is some awesome collection of mighty saints, but because God is accomplishing his kingdom work through us, in spite of our sins and problems.
Lots of coaches can win a championship given the top players. But how many can do the same given the junior varsity team or worse?



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Keith Cummings

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:48 pm


“The church is a whore, and she is my mother.” This quote is (probably falsely) attributed to Augustine of Hippo. It’s one of my favorite thoughts and seems applicable here. Anne makes some really accurate general criticisms of modern Christianity. I feel the same way. The question is, What do we do about it? Bailing out seems like a bad choice, if that’s indeed what she’s doing. Being the voice of reason in a community of Christians that need to hear her concerns seems like it would be more beneficial. On the other hand, maybe that’s exactly what will be accomplished by her bold statements.
Captcha: in folk



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William Birch

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:50 pm


DRT,
I think Scot was quoting Rice, who stated, “You can’t follow Christ and not participate in the Church and in a church. The Church is the Body of Christ.” If that is Rice’s statement, then she can’t follow Christ. But, clearly, she still wants to follow Christ.
Was it not Augustine who stated, “He who does not have the church as his mother does not have God as his Father”? Strong statement. Then again, John was stranded on Patmos without the church as his mother, but still had God as his Father.



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Scot McKnight

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:53 pm


Sorry, William, but that is my own statement. I wasn’t quoting Anne Rice.
I don’t think those who bail are not Christians or aren’t following Christ, but that move is defective and out of line with the connection of Christ and His Body.



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Will

posted July 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm


Not in defense of Anne Rice, but does one really have to participate in the institutional church to be a Christian? You should want to share communion with other believers. No doubt. But to say someone is not a “Christ follower” if they go through a period of time when they are not “in church”…hm. What bible verse says that?



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Will

posted July 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm


Oh, just read Scott’s comment. That sounds much better.



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JoeyS

posted July 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm


I’ll play devil’s advocate.
Is it a mistake to assume that because she is leaving institutional Christianity that she also not participating in the Church?
On some level her participation is that of a dissident. Jesus essentially declared the end of religion for the inception of something greater: the Church. But what happens when the Church becomes a religion? Aren’t voices like Rice’s timely reminders that when the life of Christ’s body institutionalizes above and beyond being incarnate and hope filled communities we’ve gone against the very work of Christ on the cross?
This is Bonhoeffer’s “Religionless Christianity” right?
“The Pauline question of whether [circumcision] is a condition of justification seems to me in present-day terms to be whether religion is a condition of salvation. Freedom from [circumcision] is also freedom from religion. I often ask myself why a “Christian instinct” often draws me more to the religionless people than to the religious, but which I don’t in the least mean with any evangelizing intention, but, I might almost say, “in brotherhood.” While I’m often reluctant to mention God by name to religious people–because that name somehow seems to me here not to ring true, and I feel myself to be slightly dishonest (it’s particularly bad when others start to talk in religious jargon; I then dry up almost completely and feel awkward and uncomfortable)–to people with no religion I can on occasion mention him by name quite calmly and as a matter of course.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1944-
and…
“To be a Christian does not mean to be religious in a particular way, to make something of oneself (a sinner, a penitent, or a saint) on the basis of some method or other, but to be a man–not a type of man, but the man that Christ creates in us. It is not the religious act that makes the Christian, but participation in the sufferings of God in the secular life.” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 1944-
My prayer for Anne Rice is the same as my prayer for myself (who is employed in a church) and any other Christ follower: that she may experience Christ in community through tangible acts of death, resurrection, hope, peace and love. Maybe leaving the institution will free her to do this more adequately.



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DRT

posted July 30, 2010 at 1:45 pm


Scot,
I hear you, but what about monks and other ascetic people? Where is the line? I flip flop on this point regularly since my wife prefers to never attend church, and I prefer the company of non-human animals quite more than the human variety?.
captcha – chanting yellow – sissy monks?



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Derek

posted July 30, 2010 at 2:01 pm


Anne says, “Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian”.
I’d like to ask her what it means to “remain committed to Christ”. I mean, who doesn’t relate with her perception and experience of Christianity: “quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group” – Paul warned of this very thing “If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.” (Gal 5:15).
Can anyone “remain committed to Christ” and yet still be “pro-” the things that Christ is “anit-”?



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Jinny

posted July 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm


@DRT – not all monks are hermits. They still maintain a connection to the Church through fellowship. One friend of mine referred to the monastic tradition as a leg of the church that focuses on prayer.
RE: the Anne Rice issue, She seems to have skipped 1 Cor 12. Part of the reason for differences among people is for iron to sharpen iron. Instead of meeting the challenges of her struggles and refining her faith, she’s running away.



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William Birch

posted July 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm


Sorry, Scot, and DRT : )



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Kenny Johnson

posted July 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm


@JamesBrett
Why are any of our thoughts on Christianity important? She’s considered important here because of two things: She is a celebrity author (I’d say very famous) who was an atheist that became a believer. After 10 years of being back (I believe she was raised Catholic) at the Church, she is calling it quits — for reasons that may resonate very well with many of the readers here.
It’s sad when any of our brothers and sisters publicly leaves the church, no?



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Gary Tapley

posted July 30, 2010 at 2:48 pm


It sounds like she’s being quarrelsome and hostile.



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Kenny Johnson

posted July 30, 2010 at 4:03 pm


Perhaps she’s just had a lot of very bad experiences over the last 10 years?



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Wyatt Roberts

posted July 30, 2010 at 4:08 pm


I’m only slightly surprised by this.
I know, from her blog, that she got a lot of hate mail over her endorsement of Hillary Clinton in the Democratic Primary, continues to be criticized for her support of gay marriage. Another factor she mentioned was her frustration with the way the Roman Catholic church handled the sex abuse scandal.
If she has decided to leave the Church, I think that’s a bad idea. You can’t love Jesus and not commune, or at least want to commune, with his followers. Having said that, I totally understand, even sympathize, with how a person who is constantly attacked by people who self-identify as Christians would reject the label. In her view, the term “Christian” has too much baggage, is too closely tied to political conservatism and all that means.



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Mark

posted July 30, 2010 at 4:11 pm


I disagree with the forward in this article. You CAN be a follower of Christ and not participate in a church. I say this but I do concede that the church brings together like-minded believers and together they offer mutual support and exchange of ideals. Thats a good thing but that or any other behavior won’t get you saved. She has the right to disagree and withdraw if she so chooses. Certainly the church has given her reason for her feelings and thought process. I need only mention church cover-ups and Illegal/immoral Priest behavior….now I can stop because if the face of the church is immoral, some tend to reason the church itself is the same. I certainly would encourage all believers to congregate together as a church and spread the word world-wide that Jesus is not only King, but only through HIM can you have eternal life!



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Robert A

posted July 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm


As a minister I have heard this “well I’m a Christian who doesn’t need the Church” line for many years. I think it is part of our American isolated individualism. I think it’s patently unbiblical and the mark of an immature Christian.
We are compelled in the NT to meet with others (Hebrews 10:25.) To use our giftings within the ministries of the church (1 Corinthians 12.) Listen to teaching as part of our liturgy (2 Timothy 3:10-15.) And there is plenty more biblical theology about this.
For those who say they don’t need the Church I must wonder if you’ve ever really had a good encounter with the Church. Being part of the Church is about giving away of yourself in spite of yourself and others.
I will keep praying for Anne Rice. She has a terrific story up on Iamsecond.com. Yet I am reminded that we don’t have the right to change the standards of God, rather we have the obligation to conform to His will.



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muse

posted July 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm


I feel both sad, on her behalf, and insulted, on my behalf.



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muse

posted July 30, 2010 at 4:27 pm


And … I only read her first book about Jesus, but I really loved it.



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Allan R. Bevere

posted July 30, 2010 at 4:40 pm


“Let me make a point I’ve made a number of times: You can’t follow Christ and not participate in the Church and in a church. The Church is the Body of Christ.”
Amen! Scot… God is out to save a people because God is out to save the world. Followers of Jesus become church. Jesus and the church go together. It is not either/or; it is both/and.
I, too, like many of your readers get frustrated with the church, but for me it comes from both sides– I greatly dislike the sometimes arrogant posture of the religious right and the sometimes self-righteous posture of the religious left. But, since I am a follower of Jesus and therefore am intrinsically part of the chuch, I must stick with it because the church is the vehicle by which God wants to bring salvation to the world.
We must never forget that the church is God’s creation and, as the liturgy states, “will exist until the end of time.” It may not be perfect, but it is the best thing afloat in this world.
Without the church, there is no manifestation of God’s Kingdom in this world.



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Dave

posted July 30, 2010 at 4:50 pm


I fully understand her frustration and disillusionment at this thing we refer to as the “Church”. perhaps it is time for “the Church” to take a good long look at the multiple problems inherent in the burauracy of church and how in at least America and Evangelical/Catholicism playing “Church” is more important than being “church”.
I too left the “church” several years back, disillusioned not by the sin and sinners but by the chicanery of the workings of “church” in our day and age.
Time for a new reformation that would alter how we “do” Church.
We should weep in some ways that we have become so polarized politically in the world of faith that we cannot see the commands of Christ anymore. We have become so enamored with our heroes and stars of the “church” that we overlook the ones who struggle to hold to faith in a world that disparages it.
Weep, that is how we should respond…then repent Church, repent…



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Don in Phoenix

posted July 30, 2010 at 5:20 pm


Were I in a position to speak directly to Ms. Rice in her time of crisis, I would say five words.
The Episcopal Church welcomes you.



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Richard

posted July 30, 2010 at 5:21 pm


Remember though, leaving the church as an institution is not the same as leaving the body of Christ. I sincerely doubt she’s renouncing the relationships with other Christians that have helped her grow in following Christ. I’d point alongside JoeyS in encouraging us to reflect some of Bonhoeffer’s Religionless Christianity



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Pax

posted July 30, 2010 at 6:50 pm


You do all realize that there was a point in time when there was no Christian church? God has always existed but the Christian religion is relatively new. So all of those people that followed God before Christianity are where exactly? Hell?
My point is that you don’t have to attend our man-made institutionalized religion to be a Christian. Remember what Jesus said when he was told his mother was outside wanting to talk to him – Who are my mother and brothers? Those that do my will.
If I am doing the will of God (which Jesus boiled down to (1) Loving my neighbor as myself, and (2) Loving God with all of my heart), then everyone else who is also doing that is my brother and sister in Christ. We constitute the body of Christ. Not some man-made building or man-made denomination.
It’s pretty open-ended. I know that makes a lot of “pastors” uncomfortable and rightly so. Institutionalized Christianity is big business.



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kevin s.

posted July 30, 2010 at 7:04 pm


Okay. I express the sentiment that I hope Ann Rice doesn’t deliver another hackneyed book decrying Christian conservatism, and that’s out of bounds. However, broadly accusing pastors of being engaged in “big business” is cool?



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Jamie Arpin-Ricci

posted July 30, 2010 at 7:53 pm


10 years ago, she return to the Church sent shock waves through Christian & popular culture. Now, her decision, grounded in her experience over the last 10 years, makes waves again. This is not the end of her story. Though concerned and somewhat saddened, I am hopeful. This may be a necessary part of her journey towards God. I dare say most of us have been there in some fashion in our own stories. Her’s just happens to be more public.
For what it is worth, I posted my own thoughts on the topic at my blog.
captcha: 13 renounces



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Chris Miller

posted July 30, 2010 at 9:34 pm


I posted the following on Anne’s Wall:
Anne — You have been called out of darkness. Following Jesus connects all followers of Jesus with one another, whether we like each other or not, whether some have mistaken beliefs or not. You are right, I believe, Followers of Jesus follow Jesus — not one another. But we are all connected. How we live out our connections may be a …crucial issue for our day.



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Jamie Arpin-Ricci

posted July 30, 2010 at 11:04 pm


Let’s not forget that Anne’s public posting only reflect a minute fraction of the whole story. Neither should we forget that she is a very deep & intelligent woman. She is not unaware of how her connection to Christ connects her to others. From what I have read by her in respect to faith, I guess that she is not rejecting people as much as she is rejecting the institution and powers that surround them. This doesn’t “solve” the problem, but it adds a level of complexity to the answer.



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Peggy

posted July 31, 2010 at 2:21 pm


Thanks, Jamie … and she is not alone in rejecting the institution and powers. Some are called to stay within and shepherd the institutions toward change. Some are called to step out and speak with the voice of the prophet. Each may very well be in line with the Spirit that is always at work in the hearts of God’s broken Eikons. I have been in both places over my journey of 45 years as a followers of Jesus. They are both very challenging … and both must be empowered by the Spirit in obedience to the Father. Hmmm … I seem to remember Jesus walking this path himself….
captcha: destinn combat
second try’s captcha: meta-dati struggled ;^)



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ozarksboy

posted July 31, 2010 at 3:03 pm


After reading the posts, I believe the consensus of post-modern, emergent, post-evangelicals is that we need to issue a new translation of the New Testament that would include the following:
“Where two or more are gathered in my name, there you will find churchianity, hypocrisy, dissension, disagreement and a good reason to drop out, find a new path to God, become a Buddhist and commune with nature.”



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John L

posted July 31, 2010 at 3:48 pm


Scot said, “You can’t follow Christ and not participate in the Church and in a church.”
Can you unpack the latter? Is it really something different from the former?



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ash

posted August 1, 2010 at 3:34 am


rice?s comments are BRILLIANT, i think. she?s not talking about abandoning the body of christ! far from from it. rather she has decided that the ?societal christian? in america is too politicized and stereotyped and too ?anti-everything,? that they?ve forgotten to be pro-jesus, pro-cross and pro-compassion. the bible belt sect of america has turned christianity into an anti-club and a shout for fox news club- rather than reaching w/ the love christ lived. the ?institution? so many christians in america cling too is wrapped up in do?s and don?ts, and it?s tearing people down, exhausting ?christianity.? excuse my strong response, but i passionately believe that the church does not have the answers. christ has and is the answer and it?s about him and loving those he loves. his people reach beyond the 4-walls of sunday morning. she is clinging to that- and she?s right, anyone who does not follow the ?tradition? being upheld is an outcast. i think i?ll join her. the body of christ is growing restless, and there are more of her in the church and the world today.



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annie

posted August 1, 2010 at 11:13 am


I just have a question about Anne Rice’s comment. Does “refuse to be anti-gay” mean she supports the gay lifestyle as acceptable in the eyes of Christ? Does “refuse to be anti-life” mean she is “pro-life”? Yet “refuse to be anti-artificial birth control” contradicts pro-life. I don’t really think the Church cares what political party one belongs to. Does “refuse to be anti-secular humanist” mean she does not believe that the supernatural-GOD has anything at all to do with human morality? “Remain committed to Christ” means being committed to his teachings. As long as Anne Rice remains committed to Christ–just not her interpretation or just what she picks to believe, she is absolutely on her way to holiness.



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kevin s.

posted August 1, 2010 at 3:28 pm


@ash
I don’t think it was lost on anyone that she resents conservative Christians. That said, based on your response, it is clear that you are “anti-” quite a bit, much of it steeped in caricature. Do you “love those he loves” only when they behave in a manner that meets your approval?
@annie
Based on the way this rhetoric has been used in the past, I could make a guess as to what she is saying. But that’s all we can do is guess. Rice hasn’t contributed much to the discussion here.



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ash

posted August 1, 2010 at 6:32 pm


@ kevin s.
i’m not really “anti-” anything. does it bother me that the stereotypes of christianity tout such stained messages? sure. but am i going to judge them for it? no. absolutely not! at the end of the day- that person’s belief system or how they hold themselves in society is b/t them and God alone. and i will move forward w/ my relationship w/ God. and there are many such people that i disagree w/ that i would gladly have a joyful dinner w/. remember: jesus had ate w/ outcasts AND he ate w/ the priests of his day, the same ones HE called, “vipers.” he still dined w/ them, he still loved them- just the same, he forgave them- even though he didn’t think how they treated the people was right. i feel the same way.
and by the way: caricatures make a scene, so they are the ones that get covered, so the they become the definition to world of what “christ’s followers” look like. “if it bleeds, it leads”



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William Cheriegate

posted August 1, 2010 at 9:13 pm


Jesus before (or without) Christianity. I really like that.



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Timothy

posted August 1, 2010 at 9:22 pm


Any following of Christ means being part of an embodied community. 2 or 3 gathered in his name. What that embodied community looks like may take may different, faithful forms. I have a deep appreciation for the many kinds of expression of “church.” They all have contributions. They all have failures. The goal is to listen to Christ’s Voice, speaking today, in both continuity and disjunction from the past



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kevin s.

posted August 1, 2010 at 10:04 pm


“and by the way: caricatures make a scene, so they are the ones that get covered, so the they become the definition to world of what “christ’s followers” look like.”
A couple of observations. First, that goes for Jeremiah Wright as much as for Pat Robertson.
Second, to the degree that Anne Rice seems to have been cowed by these caricatures, her sentiments are understandable, but are her observations really brilliant?



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ash

posted August 2, 2010 at 2:21 am


@ kevin s.
agreed, wright and robertson all fall under that. i never argued they did not.
“really brilliant?” yes.



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Suggested reading list

posted August 2, 2010 at 10:13 am


Dear Annie,
If you read Humanae Vitae you will see the Church is clearly supportive of women and contains an uplifting and compassionate view of humanity
If you read Pope John Paul II?s exhaustive teachings on the Theology of the Body you will see the Church is wise on issues of sexuality or womanhood.
If you read Gaudium et Spes you will see that the church is not out of touch with the Human Person or Society.
If you read Fides et ratio and credibly argue that the church does hold human reason in esteem.
If you look at the Vatican supporting and funding Stem Cell Research, or the even the briefest list of religiously-inclined scientists and researchers you will realise that Christianity is not ?anti-science.?



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Matt Ferguson

posted August 2, 2010 at 12:30 pm


Anne is basicallys saying one can’t be both a follower of Jesus and be involved in the community faith, Jesus’ bride, without being anti-”x”. I am none of those things Anne says she refuses to be—and yet I am part of a local church and part of the Church universal. Anne is having a very serious disconnect in her thinking—sad. I hope she has some followers of Jesus close enough in her life that can help her through this.



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Maryann Spikes

posted August 3, 2010 at 3:29 am

Bruce

posted August 3, 2010 at 11:47 am


Many Christians feel the same frustrations. Legalism has taken the place of grace. However, Christians are to make a stand on issues that go against scripture. We are not to bash people who don’t believe as we do, but on the other hand we can’t be “bashed” either. Anne, I admire your stand as a Christ follower and holding to His teachings. But,don’t isolate yourself either from “Christianity”. Show unbelievers by example what “Real Christains” should be. Don’t abandon “Christianity”; Help change it for the better that it will bring other unbelievers to the knowledge of Christ just as you were.



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