Red Letters

Red Letters


I quit Christianity too.

posted by Tom Davis

I’ve deliberately waited to respond on this topic, as I wanted to see what would bubble out of the blogosphere after Anne Rice’s announcement that she “quit Christianity.”

What Rice describes is a set of behaviors that she observes in the lives of other Christians. I support Rice, and similarly have no patience for those outward behaviors which destroy the Gospel ethic of agape love that Jesus lived in His ministry.

Because I do not see her description in the life of Christ, then her observations and reactions are to those who claim Christ, but do not reflect the attitude or likeness of Christ.

That I can quit.

Quit on Christ? Never. Quit on striving to follow Christ and become more Christ-like in action, thought, and word? Never. I am committed to Christ. And I agree with Rice that what she describes should not just be quit–it should be run out of the church as fast as possible.

In her original statement she referred to Christians as “disputatious.” Or in other words, “fond of having arguments.” Yes, yes I think that is a very accurate portrayal of our state.

We seem resistant to the words of Paul to Timothy when he says: 

Flee the evil desires
of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with
those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

Breaking that down, Paul is saying:

  1. Focus on your own sin by cultivating a pure heart that resists the temptations of your sinful nature.
  2. Speak kindness instead of quarrels when dealing with everyone (not just other Christians) so that you can teach.

Paul is instructing Timothy on how to live out the gospel ethic of love both inside and outside. Being “disputatious” is not part of the plan. In fact, Paul knows that we are drawn into such arguments with the greatest ease. Many Christians seem primed and ready for a fight wherever the fight is.

In the main, we have failed to focus on the pursuit of our righteousness–yet demanded conformity from others. Without pursuing righteousness in a relationship with God we cannot display kindness. 

Isn’t that what Rice is really saying here?

When I read through her public statements, it’s clear to me that she is fed up with the lack of kindness amongst Christians for those who are different. And out of that lack of kindness comes “foolish arguments that end in quarrels.”

Ultimately, we lose our ability to teach. Who wants to listen to a self-righteous, unkind, disputatious person? Not me.

I want to continue exploring this, and want to again engage you in feedback. Do you agree with Rice’s assessment of Christianity? Would you quit that kind of Christianity? Have we lost our kindness? How do we get it back? Would anyone care or listen if we did?



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Kirsten V.

posted August 3, 2010 at 10:30 am


You’ve hit the nail on the head Tom (and so has Anne)! I also think we need to be careful as Christians with the verse that tells us to “speak truth in love”. The verse is specifically talking about our “brother”. That begs the question: Who is my brother? I think that most Bible scholars agree that it is talking about our fellow Christian brothers and sisters – those who already have a relationship with Jesus. We then have a commonality and basis for “truth in love” – the authority of Jesus.
Consider this: the Bible calls debt a sin and a curse. Are we then to go to our neighbors (Christian or non-Christian) and tell them the “truth in love” that debt is a sin and they should sell their homes to run from it, and that they should sell all they have and give it to the poor when we ourselves have mortgages on our own homes? Would that point them to the love of Christ? People that do not know Christ would call us hypocrites for “speaking the truth in love”, and they would be right.
It is not our right to knit-pick Bible verses and go around “speaking the truth in love” (and I’m talking about pointing out sin, not the Truth of Christ) to people who don’t know the love of Christ when we ourselves are full of sin! Only God is the judge!
Jesus compels us to Love our neighbors and point them to the freedom that comes from a relationship with Christ. Christ should emanate from our words and actions such that people would be drawn to Him and want to make Him the center of their being. Jesus doesn’t compel us to go around pointing out people’s sins for him. Once He dwells in us, He convicts us of our sin. That is the beauty of His fullness and grace!
Just my thoughts…..



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David

posted August 3, 2010 at 11:06 am


What is a real Christian? Is it someone who professes The Messiah
as Savior? Or someone who obeys and puts His teachings into
daily practice? or both
“For example, during plague times in the Roman Empire while many
people were trying to flee for safety it was the Christians
who were staying and nursing the sick, at great risk of their
own lives. Those who watched and those who survived, were
often attracted to trust the Messiah
Along the same lines — the Romans accepted infanticide
[think of it as ‘very late abortion’ by abandoning unwanted
children, while Christians forbade it, and were willing to
take in the unwanted. This added to their numbers both by
example, and of course by the raising and teaching these
children their own faith.
At the same time, Christians accepted people of various social
classes as equals… an attraction to the many slaves of the
Roman Empire.” – taken from Rodney Stark’s book *The Rise of Christianity:
Try this on today, what if every Christian family went to
an orphanage and Adopted just one child, or adopted children from the foster care system
do you think the
world would notice?
What if we took care of those with Aids,….. “the Christians
will handle all the Aids cases”….. do you think the world
would notice??



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Jeff Goins

posted August 3, 2010 at 11:16 am


Love it.



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Renee

posted August 3, 2010 at 11:26 am


Hmmmm… While I sort of get what Ann Rice is saying and I totally agree with your (Tom Davis’) assessment, I always get frustrated when people start bashing Christians or Christianity as a whole. I know so many awesome Christ followers and I choose to look to them as the “face of Christianity”, and to “follow them as they follow Christ”. As long as we are human and living on this earth, there will always be people who claim to follow Christ that disappoints us! It always comes across as a double standard to me when people judge the church for being judgmental.



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Tom Davis

posted August 3, 2010 at 12:13 pm


Great point you’re making Renee. Hang on, that’s the next post! :)



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Gary Weston

posted August 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm


While I agree fervently that we need to treat those who do not yet know Christ with greater kindness (a quintessential part of LOVING them), we must remember that Scripture makes a distinction between those inside and outside the church when it comes to judging. In 1 Cor 5:9-13, Paul writes:
“I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people — not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat.
“What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. ‘Expel the wicked man from among you.'”
So, Scripture does indeed apply a “double-standard” here. We are most definitely to judge those inside the church, calling them to obedience to Christ and His teachings. And we are most definitely NOT to expect nonbelievers to act like believers. I’m right to call out my Christian brother when he unnecessarily sinks his family deeper in debt buying stuff he doesn’t need. I’m wrong if I do the same thing with my atheist neighbor.
We must be careful with our language here. If “quitting Christianity” is euphemistic speech for treating nonbelievers with kindness, compassion, and love as Christ has commanded, then it is a commendable impulse, a call to greater obedience, and I’m all for it. However, if “quitting Christianity” is read to mean an abandonment of the God-given ministry of rebuke and correction of those who call themselves Christians (2Tim 4:2, Ti 1:13), then it is a phrase we ought not use.



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James Allen Hutson

posted August 3, 2010 at 12:37 pm


I think we are reaping what the church has sown….a ‘higher, more righteous and perfect’ person is known as a christian rather than a broken, sinful and imperfect person being impacted by other broken, sinful and imperfect people through the shaping of the Holy Spirit for the sake of the other, not the sake of the coffers of the church.
We are redeemed, and begin a journey of discipleship and impact from that moment….unfortunately the church doesn’t see it that way but rather…if you aren’t ‘perfect’ you aren’t saved…..
I quit the religious movement known as Christianity some time ago….I realized Christianity, the Way, is God’s movement towards us and not our designs to bring us to Him. I don’t blame either Rice or you Davis from quitting also.



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Rachel N

posted August 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm


Not to sound trite, but for a person to “throw out the baby with the bathwater” they’re totally missing the point of what it means to be a Christ-follower. We’re all in various stages of being processed by the Lord and changed into His image. Any true Christ-follower hates religiosity because it’s really about relationship. Also, to think that you can remain “committed to Christ,” as Rice says, without relationships with other believers to challenge you, lovingly point out blind spots, etc. is only hurting themselves. I am saddened by Rice’s decision and statement.



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Stephen

posted August 3, 2010 at 12:54 pm


All over the world, there are hospitals, hospices, universities founded by Christians. Christians risk their lives to give medical care to the dying in countries that are hostile to Christians. Christians give up 30 years of their lives to live among a remote tribe to learn their language and translate the Bible into it. Christians ended the African slave trade. Christians visit prisoners. Christians feed the homeless, running soup kitchens that put the govt soup kitchens to shame. Christians fight to rescue the defenseless (including the child sex slave here in Bangkok and the unborn over in New York). Christians in India preach hope and dignity to the “untouchables”. Christians practice abstinence, and are mocked for it. Christians take strangers into their homes. Christians adopt orphans at a wildly disproportionately high rate. Christians give to charity at a wildly disproportionately high rate. Christians in the millions all over the world are imprisoned and killed simply for believing in Christ.
The world will not notice. People notice, and they become Christians. But, the world won’t notice because “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That’s why the world hates you.” -Jesus. No matter what good Christians do, no matter how much love Christians pour out on this world, the media will ignore it and draw attention to whatever negative point they can find. Even if Christians were absolutely sinless, the world would label them “self-righteous, holier-than-thou”, and if Christians then proclaimed humbly, “No, it’s not our righteousness; it’s Christ’s righteousness imputed to us! It’s through His power and grace that we are made holy”, even then the world would find a label for Christians, like “preachy” or maybe “delusional”.
Guys, the Church is Christ’s body. To renounce the Church is to renounce Christ. The worldwide Church is multi-faceted and multi-cultural; it’s beautiful. Sometimes Christians are unkind, but Christ will forgive, teach, reconcile, and continue working for their sanctification. Won’t you?



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Tom C.

posted August 3, 2010 at 1:07 pm


There sometimes comes a time, or times, in our lives when we have to, well, chuck it all, to put it roughly. Chuck it all and start over.
I’m leading my son through this lesson with his 6th grade math. When doing a math problem, sometimes it doesn’t go well. Somewhere along the way we lose it. Perhaps we’ve tried to lessen the pain and dedication of it, just putting our nose to the grindstone, and ended up losing sight of what we’re doing, where we’re heading, and why.
When that happens, when it doesn’t go well, the tendency is to… tweak. We take this jumbled mess that has accumulated in our tunnel vision, and we look the mistakes. The thinking is if we could just find the mistake then we could fix it. That “works” sometimes, resulting in being able to crank out the right answer that one time. But is that what being the body of Christ is about, cranking out the right answer? Doing the right thing?
Sometimes we need to just wad the paper up and throw it in the can. Start over. Go back to Square One. Square One is remembering who God is, and who we are in Him. Remembering what the heck we’re doing here, and why. Start with Christ.
It isn’t about bashing “the Church” or “Christianity” (as we know It). It’s about being willing to chuck it all for Christ. It’s about actually chucking it all for Christ. Whatever that entails for each of us. God is taking care of the big picture.



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Tom C.

posted August 3, 2010 at 1:10 pm


Disclaimer: I didn’t read Anne Rice’s statement, so I’m not agreeing or disagreeing with it. Just my own thoughts lately on chucking It, whatever It is, for Christ.



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Matt

posted August 3, 2010 at 1:11 pm


I think it’s important to draw a distinction between what Anne Rice proclaimed, and what Tom is articulating. It appears that Anne Rice wants to keep Christ but not the Christians who she believes are so hateful and hurtful.
As another commenter noted, the Church is Christ’s body and it is imperfect. Tom said specifically in the beginning of his post that the system of behaviors Anne Rice observed and pointed out are:
a) Present in the Church and
b) Should be driven from it
Tom is not renouncing the Church by my read here. It is possible to agree with her observation, but choose an entirely different solution to the problem. Anne’s was to leave. Tom’s solution, and many others, is to stay and work for a more biblical character throughout the body of the Christ (organized or unorganized).



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Mercedes

posted August 3, 2010 at 1:23 pm


I have just started reading “Mere Churchianity” by Michael Spencer which seems to tackle some of the issues Anne Rice is referring to.
I do not quit Christianity but I certainly quit Churchianity. For more on that, you can go to my last post.
Thank you for your post and for allowing me to engage in the debate here.
God bless you
Mercedes



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Shanna

posted August 3, 2010 at 1:29 pm


We are called to love and love unconditionally. We are all sinners and unable to save ourselves. We will judge but not at this point. We are to “judge not lest we be judged.” Let God through the Holy Spirit change us and others. We all will ultimately answer for our thoughts and deeds. We need to be in prayer not only for others but also ourselves. We need to be loving and kind to others,especially our brothers and sisters in Christ. I have had family members who are Christians treat me and others badly. I don’t doubt they know and love the Lord, they are missing the message of Christ. We have Sadducee’s and Pharisee’s who are blind and need their eyes opened. As for the church God speaks to them in Rev. Are we able to see our selves with a open heart and try to be who Christ wants us to be, which is like Him.



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Sherie

posted August 3, 2010 at 1:38 pm


I have spent a lot of time over the last few years with people who are disillusioned or who have experienced spiritual abuse or church hurt. There are many people who identify with Rice’s assessment, although they may not agree completely. I am one of them. I have been told I don’t fit in the Christian box made by others. I have been rejected and shunned because of 1 Cor 5:9-13 because I did not “submit” to my pastor. I have heard stories from others that make my skin crawl and make me physically sick.
I have wrestled with whether to walk away, but I can’t. I love the Lord too much. This is his church, his family. I agreed to become a part of that, and when I did I lost my right to leave because I was accepted and changed. I can deny it, misrepresent it, hate it, condemn it, avoid it, run from it, or drag it through the dirt, but none of that changes the fact that I am a part of HIS family and loved. So, while I do not want to be identified with many who also wear the identity of this family, that isn’t may place to make that decision. My place is to love, share, embrace, lead, guide, follow, and to pick up my cross and die to myself. I made my choice, I could have chosen silence, but instead I choose to be a part of the solution.



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Johne Cook

posted August 3, 2010 at 2:32 pm


Timely article, Tom. You’re saying many of the same things I’ve been saying the past couple of days. (You’re just saying it better, heh.)



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Tom Davis

posted August 3, 2010 at 3:00 pm


Mercedes, I will check out your post.
This is very constructive dialog everyone. Thanks for your input. Nobody is slamming another for believing something different or saying something another doesn’t agree with. To me, this is what we should do as followers of Christ – making sure “love is the higher law.”
Let’s keep the conversation going. I am inspired to take off on another blog post here to bring another side of the argument. It will, no doubt, be controversial because of who I quote, but let’s keep to the higher law of love.



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Aaron Gonzalez

posted August 3, 2010 at 3:36 pm


As I read about Anne Rice’s comment’s in the end it was the structure of organized religion that killed her view of Christianity. I would have to agree with her in that sense. Organized religion tends to take away from who God is and removed the focus on the bible to the organizations rules, mandates, creeds….If you do this your will face this. If you don’t follow this, here is your punishment. It has been my experience that organized religion no matter what the organization is focused more on their creeds then the bible and it’s values. It’s man’s law over God’s law.
That is something I suffered from myself and being active in such an organization often leads people to spiritual exhaustion, and in turn they themselves loose focus of what God and his word is really about. I always encourage all to live their faith biblically and not organizationally, and by focusing on that one on one relationship with the big man we will be able to separate organized Christianity from true Christianity.



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Curtis Cecil

posted August 3, 2010 at 3:48 pm


I have been really thinking about this specific topic this year alot. At first my inclination is to be the cynic to the church. There is so much that Jesus stood for that we are not doing. Yet in myself and the way I walk with Christ I don’t see a standard of perfection that allows me to criticize.
What I can say is this… I will never quit Christianity or even the Church as a body of Christ. There may be some local churches that I would quit in a heart beat. But I will never quit them outright.
By profession and God given abilities, I am a teacher and a trainer. Therefore I feel that I am called to ‘REDEEM’ the church, or christianity. I want to teach others how to stay above the line of hypocrisy.
If you read through the Gospels I think there are numerous examples of where Christ showed that he first was still apart of the ‘Traditional church’ as he spoke in the temples (Luke 4:16-17) and celebrated the feasts (fully acknowledging though that we were not Subjected to them but they for to us for our growth and enrichment.), and his main message was a “GET REAL” message to those who were in authority of the church.
If in quiting Christianity we use that as an excuse to not join as part of the body, then are we falling to the 1 Cor. 12:21 thought…
Yet if in setting ourselves up as an example for the church, to help teach and train and mentor those who are willing to experience who Christ is and the power that his ‘red letters’ have… then I can definitly call that quiting Christianity!
It sort of reminds me of the tough love of a parent… If we really LOVE the Church or believe in the benefit of the body of the Church, there comes a point that we will have to kick the dust off our feet and move forward without them. If the church was doing it’s job then we would not have to have ‘para church’ groups. We would have groups that were fully supported by the Church to meet all the needs of the poor, orphaned, abused, etc… but it isn’t doing it’s job even in it’s own city at times and thus needs our help.
But just like the ultimate story of redemption we have in the scripture, they church itself can be revolutionized and redeemed. For who really is the Church? Who really is Christianity to others? You and ME! Revolution and Redemption can all start with you and me.



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Shauna

posted August 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm


I can relate to some of Rice’s thoughts and understand what you’re saying, and I’ve had many of these same concerns myself over the years. I’m also reading Michael Spencer’s Mere Churchianity and find it quite relevant to the discussion.
But I don’t personally see Rice’s decision as a positive one. Another mark of those who follow Christ is supposed to be our love for one another–not our desire to divide and separate from the body of Christ and wash our hands of one another completely. Rice essentially said she is done with the church and seems to be leaving the body to pursue her faith on her own. I don’t see that action as loving or in line with the gospel any more than the outward behaviors among Christians that she rightly admonishes against.
In what way does a Lone Wolf approach reflect the attitude or likeness of Christ? How is it loving or Christ-like to thumb your nose at *those* judgmental Christians and say, “Sorry, you lot, but you’ve screwed up one too many times for me, so I’m through with you”?



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Curtis Cecil

posted August 3, 2010 at 3:52 pm


I have been really thinking about this specific topic this year alot. At first my inclination is to be the cynic to the church. There is so much that Jesus stood for that we are not doing. Yet in myself and the way I walk with Christ I don’t see a standard of perfection that allows me to criticize.
What I can say is this… I will never quit Christianity or even the Church as a body of Christ. There may be some local churches that I would quit in a heart beat. But I will never quit them outright.
By profession and God given abilities, I am a teacher and a trainer. Therefore I feel that I am called to ‘REDEEM’ the church, or Christianity. I want to teach others how to stay above the line of hypocrisy.
If you read through the Gospels I think there are numerous examples of where Christ showed that he first was still apart of the ‘Traditional church’ as he spoke in the temples (Luke 4:16-17) and celebrated the feasts (fully acknowledging though that we were not Subjected to them but they for to us for our growth and enrichment.), and his main message was a “GET REAL” message to those who were in authority of the church.
If in quitting Christianity we use that as an excuse to not join as part of the body, then are we falling to the 1 Cor. 12:21 thought…
Yet if in setting ourselves up as an example for the church, to help teach and train and mentor those who are willing to experience who Christ is and the power that his ‘red letters’ have… then I can definitely call that quitting Christianity!
It sort of reminds me of the tough love of a parent… If we really LOVE the Church or believe in the benefit of the body of the Church, there comes a point that we will have to kick the dust off our feet and move forward without them.
The church can be changed, redeemed and revolutionized. For who really is the church? You and me! The redemption starts with us prayfully seeking to live out the example set forth by Christ.



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Wyatt Roberts

posted August 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm


I have not read all the comments, and someone has probably already said this, but here goes.
If quitting Christianity means quitting “The Church,” then no, that’s not a good thing, because The Church is the Body of Christ. How can one cut themselves off from that, and be true to the teachings of Christ. We are called to love ONE ANOTHER. But if quitting Christianity means ceasing to identify yourself with a label that in our culture carries strong political overtones and an insensitivity toward others, then, yes, I can see that.
I totally sympathize with Anne Rice. She gets lots of hate mail from people because of her position on homosexual marriage, her Democrat politics, etc. And she is justifiable frustrated with the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of the sex abuse scandal. I disagree with her on some of these issues. No wonder she did what she did.
I suspect she is in very much the same situation as Elijah. I can only guess, but perhaps her announcement was partially the result of not being in communion with people who will love her despite their disagreements. There are plenty of people who love her, who aren’t like the people she described in her announcement. I hope she knows that.



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Stephen

posted August 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm


Sorry, I need to clarify: I wasn’t directing the ‘Wont you?’ at Tom Davis, but at anyone who is tempted to “quit Christianity” because they have a negative conception of Christians. But I AM urging Christians here to admit that other Christians do amazing, gracious, sacrificial, loving acts. When you look at the worldwide impact of Christians throughout history, most of it is something to be proud of, and we need to voice THAT truth, not just ‘mea culpa, mea culpa’.
For example, instead of letting the world redefine the Crusades as evil, actually educate yourself about the Crusades to get a more accurate view. Most of the Crusades meet the Just War standard.



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Keith

posted August 3, 2010 at 9:15 pm


While I completely understand the debate, I find it admirable that Rice would take such a public stance. But more than admirable simply because it was controversial, I admire the prophetic nature of her statement: This is broke and I want no part of it. The church at large is not worthy of my support – it’s false advertising and I’ll not be associated with it.
If more of us spoke out on the condition of today’s church we could reach a whole lot more people for Jesus – including a whole bunch that occupy pews.



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Ed Hamlin

posted August 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm


I haven’t read all of Rice’s comments regarding her departure from Christianity. I have see Christianity go through phases of growth and decline. I believe over the last decade there has be growth in some areas and great decline in others.
Christians get too inside themselves to truly understand the Gospel and Gods will for peoples lives. Jesus says to Love the Lord God with everything! He then says to love your neighbor as you love Him. Oh that is with everything too. We don’t do it. We have Gods will for us, to praise Him and give Him thanks for All things. We don’t do it.
Personally when someone says they are leaving Christianity I think to myself they are walking in their own flesh and not being obedient to God. Now I am not God and can’t see into thier hearts so I don’t really know nor can anone else in God’s Kingdom, well except God.
I like the words given “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel and when you have to speak”. (yes I know who these words are from) yet it conveys a message with truth, act in love and love will be received and will also be give to tohers and also returned to you.
I think Rice and you are missing the mark. But thats okay, your are not perfect. Oh, I miss the mark in different ways than you. I am not perfect either yet I strive daily. Guess the point is If we work on our personal relationships with Christ and also do it as a community in one accord ugh where can we go wrong, even if a few step off the path? They will come back we don’t go chase after them. we have enough to worry about for the day as it has it’s own troubles. We often look at the trouble of others when we should look at our own plank. God Bless.



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Jessica Smith

posted August 4, 2010 at 10:14 am


Wow…this is a great and very timely conversation!
To say that God is “shaking things up” almost seems like an understatement but how very true it is.
I have found myself digging deeper into the word of God while also reading books from some of our our contemporaries- David Platt, Francis Shane, Shane Claiborne, Heidi Baker, Tom Davis, Russell Moore, etc. as well as familiarizing myself with some of Tozer, Watchman Nee, and other 19th Century authors who received direct downloads from the Father.
What God has put on their hearts that I see as a common thread to both is to live out the Gospel according to the way it was intended. Almost every author (or truly vessel of the Lord) makes reference to the religious mentality that so many of us have come to accept through our culture.
Not having been raised in a christian home, saved for six years, and in my twenties- I would have to say that what Anne is saying is “tough love”. Her heart is right in that we have gotten off the intended course in so many ways and her true desire is to follow Christ and not allow anything to taint that.
Without strapping a label on or off of it…I share that heart. And in my short but intense past six years I have come to question a lot of what I see or associate with Christianity.
The *CAUTION* is to not find ourselves in a place of judgment because we are to leave that in God’s hands. We are to admonish, edify, build up, encourage and speak the truth in love as He leads and shows us.
Aside of all of the thousands of elements that make up Christianity the foundation is the same. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price for our sins that we may have fellowship with God forever.
Based on that truth- I am proud to be a Christian!



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Tom Davis

posted August 4, 2010 at 10:15 am


Ed – you said you think I and Rice are missing the mark. By your own admission, you haven’t even read her comments. What specifically are you disagreeing with regarding what I have said? I didn’t say I agree with her verbatim. You’ll see in the next post where I’m going with this.



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Marj Buchholz-Castronova

posted August 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm


Indeed, Ann Rice is calling attention to self-absorption that has infiltrated the Christian community and in many ways has rendered us ineffective in our witness. Amen to follow Christ! And, Amen to calling all of us on the carpet for our behaviors that are more fitting of the Pharisees! Finally, let’s not forget that there are Wolves in our midst, who verbally profess Christ and are creating havoc in the Christian community! Matthew 7:15 (Message Translation) puts it best, “Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity Chances are they are about to rip you off some way or other.”



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Julie

posted August 4, 2010 at 9:43 pm


I understand the complaint; true enough about the hostility and hypocrisy. But when I read, ” I quit Christianity”, I hear that one is quitting the people. Those that God calls us to love and serve.
Sure, there are times to flee an infestation of self-seeking arguing and general ugliness, but I can’t agree with declaring publicly that I quit the people I am called to love.



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K. Duane Carter

posted August 5, 2010 at 2:18 pm


I will simply answer your questions. Yes, Anne is very accurate. I have already quit that kind of Christianity. How we get our kindness back is that we hang out with our Lord. He will teach us. I know that sounds very simplistic, but He has really been stressing Luke 10 to me where He tells Martha “only one thing is necessary” and He is speaking of sitting at His feet. I think people roll their eyes with that, but I can tell it has made a major impact on me, and it doesn’t mean I sit in the floor all day. It is a condition of my heart and spirit where I am listening in to Him at all times. I may have missed a question or two, but I really feel like Anne is expressing the heart of millions of people, and once again I thank you for being transparent with this.



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Catherine Nagle

posted August 6, 2010 at 6:58 am


Thank you, Tom, for your powerful insights and all the comments, that give me the blessed opportunity to join in with mine:
It all began in Church: A lost soul longing for a way to find some peace and understanding in God. I was raised Catholic and grew up with many friends who were Protestant, Baptist, and Jewish, etc. I feel blessed for my upbringing that taught me that we are one and the same to God, and there was never to be a comparison with one over another. But even after much reading, study, and prayer, I still continued to find myself in a whirlpool following other Christians? I was reading daily scriptures and having the hardest time with my life that led me to search other teachings. Even though on the inside, I was most comfortable with the teaching that gave references to Jesus. So, I remained with an open heart and mind to what else that I can know because of my beloved mother’s strong words of council and ‘fairness’.
I was very excited to hear about spirituality coming from all the media; not only from Church. I felt as though it was a sure sign. I was passionate talking openly about the word of God in daily conversations. A great and wonderful change of oneness has come! So, I thought.
As my studying continued, it brought me to A Course in Miracles, (a study course for the foundation for inner peace) and an Emmet Fox book Sermon on the Mount, which led me to the full collection of his library. I felt they were spreading the same messages as Jesus. I could always pick up the Bible and see the same references that felt true to my heart and soul. Some of my family and Catholic friends warned me to stay away from anything that wasn’t Catholic Doctrine! I couldn’t understand this? Couldn’t they see that I was healing! So I continued with my search even further. I didn’t understand that being saved through Jesus was the only way?! My heart cried out for the children all over the world who didn’t have the opportunity, resources, church, books, or even the knowledge of reading to know God or the teachings of Jesus?! This led me to short visits to another church that I didn’t feel comfortable with – that kept me even closer to the Bible and my own Catholic Church.
I was excited when I read the book The Secret and joined an online community because I felt for sure that everyone that reads the Bible would truly understand that the law of attraction has been written a long time ago for us through the Gospel. We were only too young and immature to understand the meaning and cause of suffering, forgiveness, sin, repentance, and our complete dependence on God. I continued to keep an open mind and not judge as I faithfully followed lessons and teachings that led me back to the Bible references and Jesus words, again.
As much as I gave every consideration, time, effort, resources, to every other religion – I continued to hear blame on the Catholic Church, which bothered me dearly! That I am re- inspired with all my heart and soul even more with my Christian faith. The willingness to stay open minded to all religious teachings only seemed to greet me back half way. But the Catholic Church doors remained open. As so did my heart with ‘only’ the mention of His name, Jesus.
The revolution is that I made a complete circle to where I never closed the door behind me in the first place. As for the children that I have mentioned without resources or knowledge to read – they have been my greatest reason for soul searching that led me to stretch myself, read, and learn everything that I can about the perfect word of God.
We are the angels that God has placed before them, that we may keep open the windows of our soul in His house, and lead the Way.



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Michka

posted August 6, 2010 at 7:28 am


I have to give kudos where kudos are due. That was a very brave action on Anne’s part. For her to publicly give her reasons for leaving the Catholic church and “Christianity”, it had to be one of the hardest things she’s ever done. I’m sure that it was more difficult than waiting for her first novel to be accepted by a publishing company and then waiting for her soon to be fans to like or dislike it.
I read the article about her statement and have to agree. It basically parallels my feelings on church at this point in my life. Being raised Catholic I can see the hypocrisy, the one-side mentality. Why do all religions have to be “Our way or no way.” God has come to many of us in many different ways. The Creator has sent messengers to show us the ways in life in just as many. The Goddess sends us signs to live a better life in peace and harmony.
The last line was on purpose even though it is not one of my beliefs. But why not? God the Father, Goddess the Mother. either way it is parental. And more often than not many of us on this earth are born from parents who we try to have a relationship with. And isn’t that the basis of the meaning of the word “religion”? To build a relationship with our Creator. Whatever the name or pathway we use to create that relationship it is still religion.
I find it very hard not to get angry at the mentalities we have as humans. “If you do not follow Jesus Christ you will never find salvation!” And people have killed over those words. WHY?!?! That isn’t the pathway to salvation. That’s doing the Devil’s work.
Back to my point…I have been rebuilding my own religion…my own relationship with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. And I have been doing it without going to any particular church. For right now, I feel that it is best for me to hear the word of God and experience it in my everyday life. Thank you God for iTunes and Podcasts!
In all my ramblings, I agree with Anne. And know that she has not quit her faith, only surrounding herself with the people that practice the faith. We can take in the blood of Christ by asking him ourselves to bless the cup. We can take the body of Christ by asking him to bless the bread. It’s much more spiritual to me in that sense.
“…touch a tree, look under a rock, feel the wind brush against your face and I am there.”



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Bernie

posted August 6, 2010 at 8:52 am


Our former President, Jimmy Carter, has expressed similar concerns of the formation of cults within his faith. He has not left Christianity, but he has sought to find a church that does not foster the elements of exclusivity that make the news, especially as certain evangelists – Dr. Chuck Baldwin comes to mind – revert to scriptural evidence contained only within the Old Testament.
This cult lynch mob sentiment has accelerated with the horrible events that occurred on September 11, 2001. For the insane actions of so very few, we’ve labeled billions world-wide who do not share the same beliefs to be sympathetic with their brutality. I have not seen those same trends in my church ( http://www.eliotlowell.org/ ), especially as it warmly accepts a multicultural and a multiracial congregate.
The awful sentiments of racism have been my concern for over 50 years, as my own family refused to permit me to invite a friend to stay with us over a brief vacation because “He’ll get the sheets dirty.”
Racism , now masked as ‘illegal immigration’, has its roots in this ‘angry mob’ effect cheered by these cults, too. Who among us truly understands our heritage here has roots in immigration policies that had no restraints or costs? Are we afraid to ask the real questions: where have our jobs gone – for all of us – for at least the past ten years? Is it Christian to reward corporate executives for greed and fostering harsh slave working conditions in foreign lands? Should our government subsidize that greed? Who among us can survive after our unemployment benefits have ended without even the slightest possibility that we, too, would resort to stealing our food and clothing?
Don’t give up hope, Anne.



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Emilio Alvarez

posted August 6, 2010 at 10:14 am


I do agree with you 100% we all should fallow Christ, & not neccesarily Christianity, which always have been so controversial, & continuos to be, the truth is that thanks God that Church is ” separate from the State”, otherwise the inquicition will still taking place, & ofcource all kind of crimes will be taking place on the name of God. Good day , thansk for the articule.



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Bob Gill

posted August 6, 2010 at 1:09 pm


We’ve been witnessing this movement for a number of years now. The rise of independent and “Warehouse”-style ministries shows movement away from the traditional/mainline Protestant denominations. The emphasis is more on seeking God, following in His way, and demonstrating grace and love in our lives. What we’re really talking about is the concept of a GRACE-BASED CHURCH.
I used to think that churches tended to emphasize either their commitment to the TRUTH of the gospel (e.g., evangelical, fundamentalist churches) or their SERVICE to this fallen world (e.g., liberal churches). I no longer think this is a clear divide, as I am discovering many churches – and a host of believers – who genuinely seek to balance the truth of the gospel with the call to live the gospel. And the key is understanding God’s grace toward us.
We don’t sacrifice the truth of the gospel. We simply refuse to use the gospel to attack those whom we are called to serve.



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neil gilligan

posted August 6, 2010 at 8:22 pm


Recently my former homegroup leader also told me. “I don’t need to read your book Neil. I have changed my clothes a long time ago.” My book is calld: “Transformed by the Power of God: Learning to be clothed in Jesus Christ” by Neil Gilligan published by Destiny Image Sept 1, 2010. My friend “Quit Christianity” too. But he put on a dirty garment of sin. As Jesus Christ is the true follower’s righteousness. When you learn to be clothed in Christ you will never change your clothes. When I got clothed I saw Jesus heal the sick, do miracles, cast out demons from Buddhist, Muslims, Homosexuals, New Age particpants. I can’t quit following Jesus and take off my clothes. But I can and will take off the religion of Christianity that has no power and cannot show the world who Jesus is.



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Rusty Grantham

posted August 7, 2010 at 12:13 am


Christians who oppose “illegal” immigration do so because it is illegal; they are not opposed to the type of legal, controlled immigration which has built this country.
Christians who criticize Islam (Muslims) for 9/11 do so because Muslims (Islamists) the world over – including those in the U.S. – will not speak out against 9/11 or their own radical leaders who justify it.
Christians who criticize our government’s prolifigate spending do so because such spending encourages dependence, a state certainly not promoted by Christ. Christians know that when “the least of us” become the “most” of us we are all doomed to a communist/socialist level of poverty.
Christians know that free enterprise engenders human freedom. They know, too, that abuses such as we’ve seen (usually abetted by government) are immoral and unlawful. Christians know, too, that to punish and restrain everyone for the sins of a few is immoral and unlawful
But why is it that Christians who point out all of the above who are pilloried and demonized? Perhaps such Christians are too strident, too intense because their voices are being drowned out by anti-Christians who are more strident and intense, thus earning greater dissemination.



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Charles Haney Jr.

posted August 7, 2010 at 4:14 am


I so agree with Ms Rice and Tom. For year now I’ve told people that I’m not religious, I’m a follower of Christ. Christianity has become a religious practice and being military I’ve seen alot of churches. Sadly my family has not been welcome in them all due to our multicultural make-up. But thank Jesus there are churches that still practice what He preached. Its our job to obey we are part of a Kingdom after all, so our King say to love our neighbours not judge them. If we could just obey the two commandments Jesus taught the world might not be so judging of us.



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Glenn

posted August 7, 2010 at 6:30 am


Anne Rice is a very good example of one thast doesn’t read the bible enough, as MOST of us? To know the teachings that are clearly visited upon by Paul as he dealt with this same issue all through the New Testament referreing to “dealing with those that ACT HUMANLY” Just because we become Christians we still go through all of the same temptations and trials, still sometimes tend to act petty and childish. Paul exhorts us to NOT focus on those things but to keep on doing what WE are supposed to do in our walk. Becoming Christian is NOT some easy walk through the park as some might think but is filled with traps of all kinds. I don’t think Anne handled it very good at all but instead acted as one with very little experience in being a relatively new Christian. I doubt that shwe has the advantage of a good network of other good Christians to turn to in situations as this one. I used to be a “solitary” Christian too, isolating and having no support but have since come to appreciate having those in the same walk around me, those that have gone through the same things, can advise us on how to avoid the obstacles, etc. As for Anne, I hope she finds herself and doesn’t fall in the old quagmire of doubt and confusion, unfortunately for her, I think she already has and has no one to correct her missteps.



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Bill Goodin

posted August 7, 2010 at 7:29 am


Jesus, His death on a cruel cross for me, His resurrection are all things I believe as esential to me. I also believe that He sent a Conforter, The Holy Spirit, that witnesses to my spirit that I am His and motivates me to be Christlike. How can I or anyone else abandon our faith. Actions, un-Christike, indicate a breakdown of the Spirit working in us and must be fixed: only Christlike direction and redeemed attitudes can do that. Giving up on Christianity? That means I give up on Christ and I can’t do that. You see without Him in me I become motivated by animal instinct and that caused all our problems in the first place. That’s why He came. Can you afford to give up on our only hope? The future of the Christian is filled with hope. You see He left us with a promised He was going to prepare a place for us. That He was coming again to receive us, and where He is, there I could be also. That’s the only thing in our future you can bank on folks. Don’t miss it!



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charlotte weber

posted August 7, 2010 at 9:55 am


I have given this a lot of thought for about the last 6 years. I was baptised when I was young in a community church, which accepts all sects. Then again about 10 years agoI was baptised again; thinking I wanted to start fresh with the Lord, since I had grown to be a partier fighter whore for so many reasons. Then 6 years ago I had a new awakening. I stared reading more about what I have always had thoughts about. This cannot be the whole story. There has to be more. I started checking out popular oppinions by worldy people. I fought with myself with what I had always been taught and what I felt was still unknown, or rather unpopular by higherups so to say. I believe now that there is more. I am in search of it. I have some theories, I have some thoughts, but what I know for sure is The Bible was written by human man; they have had thir chance to interperate it to their thoughts and beliefs, their wants and their wills. Please son’t get me wrong; for , with all my heart I believe in our Lord and Father. But I also know (cause y gut tells me so), that there is more to the story. I try to be good to everyone I come in contact with, no matter what color, creed or origin. I pray for WORLD peace. I pray everyday that Jesus will let me know just a little more every day of his plan. and, I feel like every dy I do learn more. I mean, just look; I now know other people think like I do.



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Thomas Brindley

posted August 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm


I also have told people for years that I am not religious and I do like the Follower of Crist statement. Through the reading of responses, there seems to be some confusion on what a Folower of Christ should be. The wide range of opinion is amazing, the ultimate questions you should ask your self is:
Is my next step going in the direction that Christ would be walking?
Is the next words out of mouth something Christ would say?
Is this thought something of God or carnal?
I guess all of these questions could be answered differently depending where you are in your walk with the Lord. A “baby Christian” or “greenhorn believer” may not answer these the same as a “seasoned follower”, not due to unbelief but more due to lack of knowledge or understanding. But don’t get me wrong there are may “christians” who have claimed it for years but are still no further in their walk than a new believer. You only grow in Christ if you choose to. Reading the Bible, studying the Word, Praying for God to change yourself to be more Godly and to understand.
To many churches are full of “clicks” now, and if you aren’t in the click then you just aren’t in. What happened to the acceptance and the comradery that used to be in the church. I remember people in the church pulling together to help one another with physical and emotional issues. Now it just seems that the church keeps taking and there is never any one to help when you need it. We should be reching out to believer and non believers, a true follower of Christ would reach out to both sides. Believers need support and the non-believers need reached out to.
In reference to Rusty
At the same time, I don’t think God expects us to be walked on like door mats. Jesus was no push over, but He chose His battles wisely. He stood up for Himself many times but was a gentleman about it. For those of you who say “Jesus was supernatural though and was able to have more self control”, what about the appostiles. They were radical in their walks but still open to all and kind.
The Bible is not to argue over, it is the truth but you cant force someone to except it as some churches feel they must do. We plant the seeds and show Gods love in the flesh, God does the rest.
We should not back down as believers but there is a right way to do it and some times it even leads to war. The Bible spoke of war, God blessed armies in war. The Bible even states we should obey the laws of the government (give to Ceasar what is Ceasars) but God doesn’t expect us to go against His will. I don’t think you should give an inch on Gods laws to please the church or the government, but the first defense shouldnt be out of anger. Be wise, just as Jesus.
I guess every ones response will be different based on their walk and undertanding. Everyone veiw issues differently and deciphers alot of the Bible differently. However, God gave us laws and through the desciples He told us what we should and shouldn’t be doing as believers and what it takes to get to Heaven.
The Bible needs to beleived and taken as a whole. There are many times through out the Bible you can read a verse and it just seems out of place or to go against some thing you read in another chapter. We can all read a verse and get a difference of opinion than another person reading the same verse. People need to stop seperating it and not to single out verses to cause arguments over or persecute someone. Do more research, does this verse go along with the rest of the Bible or have we interpretated it wrong. Thats the beauty of the Bible, it repeats, enforces and supports itself many times. It gives us the same answer several times just through different scenerios or from another person outlook. God already knew people would read into it different, so He repeated it for all to understand.



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Scott Shurte

posted August 7, 2010 at 4:07 pm


I can’t agree more… This is what in my ministry, I refer to as taking the Lord’s name in vain!
The majority of “So Called Christian’s”, don’t have a clue what Christ was and is trying to show us!
It’s sad really, they just don’t get it and they are missing out on a most beautiful thing… The tue Love and Compassion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who gave us a NEW Comandment that overpowers all the others…
“To Love One Another As He Has Loved Us”
I really like quoting Gahndi here… “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christian’s, They are so UNLIKE your Christ!
As an ordained minister I alway’s tell people that I AM very spiritual but I am NOT religious.
Personally, I can not and would not want to try to make it through a single day without my Sweet Jesus by my side to carry me all the way.
This world is too hard for me to live in without Him!
Pastor Scott D. Shurte
Portland, Or.



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Thomas

posted August 7, 2010 at 5:05 pm


Wasn’t the term Christian actually given to the disciples by the Romans? At least back to 200 BC, there were pagan worshipers of Serapis that called them selves Christians. Remember the Bible was originally written in Hebrew had Greek translation and the English translation really has a different meaning in several instances. It really is worth while to do a Hebrew cross reference study. Isn’t the term Christian given to Followers of Christ simply a worldly status that was given?
Bible refer.:
Acts 11:25-26 -Disciples were first called Christians-
“Then departed Barnabas to Tarsus, for to seek Saul: And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.”
Acts 26:28 -Romans used the term again-
“Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.”
1 Peter 4:16
“However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”
BUT DON’T FORGET
Acts 24:5 -Paul was referred to as “ring leader of the Nazarene sect” not a christian-
“We have found this man to be a troublemaker, stirring up riots among the Jews all over the world. He is a ringleader of the Nazarene sect”
Acts 28:22 -the Centurion that kept him, questioned him about his “sec”
“But we want to hear what your views are, for we know that people everywhere are talking against this sect.”
example:
Nazarene sect more accurately was “Natsarim” sect.
English word “Christ” in Greek was “Christos” or “Messiah” which derived from Hebrew “Mashiac”.
The Hebrew meaning of Mashiach is anointed one, and applies to the person that is reigning as KING of Israel. A chosen man was “anointed” as the king with oil, the prophet anointed David on his head with oil. The oil represents the “Spirit” of Yahuah being placed upon the ruler. All kings of Israel were “Mashiachim”, or anointed ones. “Mashiachim” may have been the original word used by Luke at Acts 11:26, however translators preferred the Greek flavor, and used the word “Christian” 3 times in the “Renewed Covenant” writings.
“Christos” in Greek for anointed and at that time was used more as a medical term used for healers.
Relating to the Torah, a Christian might be considered retarded, but the actual word that means “idiot” is derived from CHRISTIAN- cretin –
cre·tin (kr?t’n) n.
1. A person afflicted with cretinism.
Slang: An idiot.
[French crétin, from French dialectal, deformed and mentally retarded person found in certain Alpine valleys, from Vulgar Latin *christi?nus, Christian, human being, poor fellow, from Latin Chr?sti?nus, Christian; see Christian.] Source: The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2009 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
The most common description in English dictionary is according to the Alpine French dialect pronunciation of the word Chrétien (“(a) Christian”), which was a greeting there.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the translation of the French term into “human creature” implies that the label “Christian” is a reminder of the humanity of the afflicted, in contrast to brute beasts.[1]
Other sources suggest that Christian describes the person’s “Christ-like” inability to sin, stemming, in such cases, from incapacity to distinguish right from wrong.[2]
The American Heritage Illustrated Encyclopedic Dictionary tells us the etymology for the word CRETIN:
cre-tin (kre-tin, kret’n) n. 1. One afflicted with Cretinism. 2. A fool; an idiot. [French, cretin, from Swiss French, crestin, CHRISTIAN,
hence human being (an idiot being nonetheless human).]
Cretinism is dwarfism and or retardation. Cretin is simply the word that is derived from the word CHRISTIAN, crestin.
It appears to be nothing more then a label given to many thru the years. What counts ,simply said, is your focus on Jesus and what is in your heart. Jesus is all that matters, He told Martha the same thing.



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Barbara Johnson

posted August 7, 2010 at 6:04 pm


Give Up On Christianity? NO WAY!!!! What people protray as Christianity is a FALSE Christianity. If you give up,give up on the people who are walking in ignorance and who are Blind. If you have read the Bible; you will know who is teaching a false Gospel. Those who give up on CHRISTIANITY have surely just listened to those who are the followers of the devil and don’t know they are. Men of the past fought to open TRUTH to the illiterate and today we can read for ourselves,research and utilize the resources that are available to us to find that tuth. You retain more by reading than we do by hearing what a person says because most peopl do not take the solid time to see that people are getting it. There are NO GOOD teachers of the Bible they just give you what they want you to know or they are teaching what they themselves either don’t know or are limited in their knowledge. When I was a child I was taught solid truth and faith from the missionaries who picked my sister and I up to teach us about Jesus. Later our neighbors kids invited us to go to “Church” with them. Knowing how children are; they wanted to just Go because it was with their friends. ‘WHAT I OBSERVED THEN WAS SOMETHING DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I HAD BEEN TAUGHT BY THE MISSIONARIES.’Even as a child I had the strong ability of CRITICAL THINKING. It is like having to study Evolution and yet Not letting it affect my belief in Christianity. I just answered the questions the teacher had taught the class. It did not cause me to believe that the Evolution Theory out weighed the teaching of Christ.the things we see SO CALLED Christians do should not bear any great weight to the TRUTH.(That is if we really believe it’s TRUTH!!) If ANYONE has read the Bible they will know whether or not peopl ARE REAL Christians. Even at the age of ten (10) yrs. old Iread the Bible and could explain certaon passges to My aunt who said that she could not understan the Bible. Most people just go to churches and accept whatever they hear and do not investigate for themselves. They follow the actions of those who profess the Faith and don’t Live the Faith. Search for yourself and find the TRUTH and DO IT!!! What we see mostly today is ‘church’ (with the lower case, and NOT ‘CHURCH’ with the Upper case. Search for TRUTH; It’s more plainer than the face you see in the mirror. If you don’t know or understand the Bible, you will follow ANYONE’s teaching. If you BELEIVE 1+1=2,Who can make you beleive that 1+1=3? We are too lazy to study and find the answers. We want to ask someone else for the answers and write it in our hand and beleive the answer of others is correct. (Remember the school days when some would copy the answers of other students you beleived was smarter than you??? so let’s STOP cheating and do the work for yourselves. “Work out you OWN soul SALVATION!!!!! it’s a good feeling when you are tested and you gave the correct answers on you own abilities and when you do, you won’t forget it.



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Billy C. Smith

posted August 7, 2010 at 7:07 pm


I see your point and agree whole heartily. “With their lips they do honor me but their heart is afar off”. Where has the love gone and why are people so easily offended. We must examine ourselves . I loved the bracelet everyone was wearing”WWJD What would Jesus do? he is watching but do we care or do we believe what Gods word says. Its sad to know these things and then not change. Peace and Love BCS



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G

posted August 8, 2010 at 1:37 am


I don’t’ give up on Christianity’ first is because this phrase is absolutely meaningless or worse yet has too many meanings and each based on someone’s personal interpretation.
I just give up on certain attitudes and behaviors that I find to be inconsistent with my understanding. Does that make me right?? Not necessarily, it is just where I am at the moment.
For instance, right now I am at the place where ‘Christian love’ embodies battling for civil rights ..I’E; allowing Homosexuals to marry and call it marriage. I don’t fear that prospect as something that will damn us all or America to hellfire judgement. For those who feel that it will, and find themselves shaking their fists at those who support gay marriage..that is their belief. I believe right now,, that Christ’s Love is more reflected in taking people where they are, and through prayer and love and personally living a life Glorifying to God (as I understand it) will have a better impact than legislating against the sinners.
Will I feel like this for the rest of my life?/ Probably not, I have lived long enough to realize that I change and that I don’t have a perfect understanding.
just , right now at this moment, I believe Christ still ‘hangs out with the sinners’ an heals them more than the righteous.



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Rodger D

posted August 8, 2010 at 1:53 am


I love what I’am reading you are seeing thing thru my eye’s you have woke up good morning an have a nice day!. more later got to think God for this one.



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Jack

posted August 8, 2010 at 9:21 pm


Anne Rice should not throw out The Baby with the old stinky bathwater.
Unfortunately for her, she was raised in the VooDoo and Darkness of Roman Catholicism.
Everybody would Do Well to read a nice new copy of “The Great Controversy” by Ellen G. White.
Rome obviously continues to deliberately mislead and mis-educate the spiritually starving masses.
Jesus Christ died for your sins. HalleluJah!
By His stripes we are Healed. Amen!
Amen!



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Steve C

posted August 8, 2010 at 10:55 pm


This article, and presumably the one written by Anne Rice, fails to accurately define, and even understand, its own terms. Christianity was never a term used in contrast to a proper relationship with Christ. It has always signified this relationship which Ms. Rice now admirably seeks. Yet she also seeks to redefine Christianity, replacing its original meaning with the actions and characteristics of hypocritical, argumentative “church-goers”. There’s probably a good word for what these types of people represent, but it certainly isn’t Christianity. She also unfortunately seeks to separate Christ from the Church, which is categorically impossible. Christ IS the Church, He said so Himself. He is the head of the Church, and thus it is erroneous to believe that the proper action is to “run out of the Church as fast as possible”.
So, let’s define our terms, shall we?
Christianity is the name given to that definite system of religious belief and practice which was taught by Jesus Christ in the country of Palestine, during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius, and was promulgated, after its Founder’s death, for the acceptance of the whole world, by certain chosen men among His followers. These began their mission on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 29, which day is regarded, accordingly, as the birthday of the Christian Church.
Thus, the Church is inseparably linked with Jesus. His teachings for all of us were designed to be promulgated BY the Church. Therefore, the truest sense of proper relationship with Him is to be cultivated, nurtured and maintained through a committed devotion to the Church.
The previous poster, Jack, would of course be disturbed by what follows from the above explanation…by what this means for Christians today. Sorry, Jack…but Rome just so happens to be the authentic home of The Church which Christ established at Pentecost, your diatribe of myths to the contrary notwithstanding.
So let us please not confuse terms or fail to properly understand the history of Christianity. The intent to draw closer and closer to Christ is wonderful, and necessary, and pleasing to Him. But to associate (and even define) the actions of hypocritical Christians as “the church”, or as “Christianity” is to promulgate a message to the world that Christ did not establish one true Church designed to shepherd the flock on earth to follow Him. This is a divine message which, frankly, we cannot afford to be without.



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Steve C

posted August 8, 2010 at 11:06 pm


This article, and presumably the one written by Anne Rice, fails to accurately define, and even understand, its own terms. Christianity was never a term used in contrast to a proper relationship with Christ. It has always signified this relationship which Ms. Rice now admirably seeks. Yet she also seeks to redefine Christianity, replacing its original meaning with the actions and characteristics of hypocritical, argumentative “church-goers”. There’s probably a good word for what these types of people represent, but it certainly isn’t Christianity. She also unfortunately seeks to separate Christ from the Church, which is categorically impossible. Christ IS the Church, He said so Himself. He is the head of the Church, and thus it is erroneous to believe that the proper action is to “run out of the Church as fast as possible”.
So, let’s define our terms, shall we?
Christianity is the name given to that definite system of religious belief and practice which was taught by Jesus Christ in the country of Palestine, during the reign of the Roman Emperor, Tiberius, and was promulgated, after its Founder’s death, for the acceptance of the whole world, by certain chosen men among His followers. These began their mission on the day of Pentecost, A.D. 29, which day is regarded, accordingly, as the birthday of the Christian Church.
Thus, the Church is inseparably linked with Jesus. His teachings for all of us were designed to be promulgated BY the Church. Therefore, the truest sense of proper relationship with Him is to be cultivated, nurtured and maintained through a committed devotion to the Church.
The previous poster, Jack, would of course be disturbed by what follows from the above explanation…by what this means for Christians today. Sorry, Jack…but Rome just so happens to be the authentic home of The Church which Christ established at Pentecost, your diatribe of myths to the contrary notwithstanding.
So let us please not confuse terms or fail to properly understand the history of Christianity. The intent to draw closer and closer to Christ is wonderful, and necessary, and pleasing to Him. But to associate (and even define) the actions of hypocritical Christians as “the church”, or as “Christianity” is to promulgate a message to the world that Christ did not establish one true Church designed to shepherd the flock on earth to follow Him. This is a divine message which, frankly, we cannot afford to be without.



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Wendy

posted August 9, 2010 at 4:33 am


I have been thinking so much about his question this week. My answer has little theological basis as far as answering your question, but just what God has brought to my heart this last week and verses he has been showing me. Forgive me, if I use anything out of context and ramble. When I became a Christian at age 18, one of the first verses that God used to begin transforming me with was from 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” How could I quit being recreated? How could I ever even think about quitting living a new life and quitting living in a vital union with Christ and those in my family and in the body. I know what it felt like to sit lonely as a teen in a Planned Parenthood waiting to consider giving up a child, while not a believer in Christ. I know what it was like to be wasted and lonely, not having a Father, Savior and Lord. I know what it was like to be “open-minded” in all my beliefs and be lost because I had no truth to guide me in my life. I know what it was like to be abused and have no idea that there was a God who was a protector. I know what it was like to be suicidal, before I came to a saving grace of my heavenly Father, and His great LOVE. I know way too much of a life before Christ, that I will NEVER, ever turn my back and even think of quitting Christianity. I came to know my Lord and was saved from being lost at 18 after all this pain and so much more, so why would I want to quit Christianity and Christians and go back to that? God freed me and really He used the church to be his hands and feet to do it, so I could never turn on Him or them. Why would I want to cloth myself with my old self and nature, when God has given me a new life and I am living free. It may be a life lived with blemish, with imperfect sisters and brothers, but it is a life of abundance that I would never give up. So now, I claim that new life, even if my life is tarnished with sin and the church is tarnished with sin, blemish, and imperfection. God has given me a great compassion for many friends who are not Christ-followers, and who are pro-choice, pro-feminism, pro-many things and I LOVE them from the bottom of my heart and spend time with them, but again I could never turn my back on the church and His body, who were faithful to share the good news with me and be the vessel that freed me from a life where I was imprissoned and in chains. I know that God needs to humble me so much more though, to help me see all He loves with his eyes and love them with His heart, but the church can help me do that if I continue on. Colossians 2:6-8 tells me this “So then, just as I have recieved Christ Jesus as Lord, CONTINUE to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather on Christ.” These among so many other verses just make it so clear that even though I am tempted at times to quit the church or Christianity, I just could not, because of what God tells me. Believe me, we and I have been so tempted to walk away, but we come back to who God is and His word, not who the church is. We have been so hurt and continue to be through past churches, pastors, ungrateful missionairies, and other prominant Chistian leaders, and so many others in the body who claim to be Christ-followers but we could never even think of turning our back on those Christ loves with all his heart. I will never quit Chritianity or the church!



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Ace Langston

posted August 9, 2010 at 3:16 pm


I, for one, do not believe in “organized religion” anyway and feel that it is the responsibilty of every person to find their own path to God. It saddens me that when Jesus was pointing the way, everyone was staring at the tip of his finger instead of really listening to his message.



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Rodger D

posted August 12, 2010 at 11:47 am


Ace Langston
I like what you point out But maybe you know the hold Bible if you do thats Great the Story it self took me 15 years to inderstand an by Faith an Hope I got it right rember the Woman thay were going to stone and He said He that hath no sin cast the first stone (why didn’t thay) now days I sure one would.
Thay could not you can not do evil before God,Jesus Chirst as one because there’s peace round about Him. And there guilt Keep them from doing it!. and Jesus had no sin He could have stone her but did not. He would haft to stone them all to be just He don’t come to destroy but to save
When He speeks it will not come back void an will do what He tell it’s turn water to wine food for the 5000 an so on,.
Jesus (Let) Us have our way that why He said forgive them Father thay no not what thay do.
And His last words he thaut God was not there He was He was hanging there to thru Chirst…!.
If thay would have took that Temple down He may have never left. But thay would not (do) what he ask..! Thay would have known He was more than a Man.
An He would have built His Temple then and would not have to bring it with him when He returns, So all in all if you want to know God You (must) know Jesus Chirst..!. when you see Me you will know Me..!.



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Steve

posted August 12, 2010 at 9:07 pm


IN doing this, Rice, and I guess Davis ;-) follow in the footsteps of people who the church reviled during their lifetime, then made saints later on. I think of Francis, Jean, Claire, Patrick, and many others. I think Erasmus had a balanced approach to the church his friend, Martin Luther was thinking of leaving: ” The church is a whore, but she is my mother” WE must pray for the bride of Christ, but we must not let her prance, and preen in front of her twisted and erroneous vanity mirror, while the world sees clearly how badly she is behaving.
I never read her Vampire stuff, but she wrote a book that should be read by anyone who loves Jesus: “Christ the Lord out of Egypt”. I felt like I was reading a whimsical fiction, but by a writer who had the same pastime of wondering what the years of my love were like, between 12 and 30.



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Rodger D

posted August 14, 2010 at 8:22 am


Charlotte Weber An to All Here
Your are very much (Right) there is much more to it then meets the eye. And I love you very much that you are ones not to give up Hope in knowing the truth.
Man did write the Bible an for the ones that have evil in there hearts will never see it, If thay had seen it He would have never die’ed. Why he did not open His mouth an speek for Him self.
If He did He would not have been guilty thay would have been proven wrong.
Jesus knows all things even there Hearts He know there intents just as He knows Ours Anyone ho thinks thay can get by lie’s to them,selfs
Very few Books I have read in my life maybe a handfull at most but the Bible has the Living Word in it that why it called the Holy Bible,…! Words writing by Man with the living Word within it.
Find the Living Word in it you find Life for ever more When Jesus spoke it did what he said Living Word like be healed thay were healed turn the water to wine it was wine feed them thay were full with leftovers forgive them Father for thay no not what thay do to the dead he said come forth death can not hold them thay came forth again the Living Word Need I say more you must go throu Jesus Chirst to be Saved…! And to know your God..! I speek to you by what I have Learned an not words from a book It’s from my Heart that I have Learned God Bless you all in Jesus name let Freedom Ring.
And know this.
This is God Country In (God We Trust)Never change That God will Bless You..!
WE gave it to Him when we came here. Am I right or Wrong.? Weather you Beleave or not it True He got it to me..! to seek an Save the Lost! Please reply here to let me know I Love it



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Carole Turner

posted August 16, 2010 at 3:56 pm

Shawna

posted January 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm


Interestingly enough I have never worked in a more conflicted and toxic enviroment than I do now, a company which happens to be full of Christians. I have found my faith challenged and even dilluted at times by some of the bad behavior and ugly treatment I have witnessed amongst Christians in my work place. I myself have stumbled and allowed myself to be discouraged or led astray. I think we hinder the gospel message more than anything else when we claim Christ but don’t reflect him. My hope is to grow closer and closer to Jesus, and to learn from my own mistakes as well as those of my co workers; this in the sincere hope that people may see some sparkle of Jesus in me! I also pray that my non believing co workers will not be permanently jaded toward the gospel message because of those who claim Him but behave and speak contrary to what Jesus taught.



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