Faith-Based Blog a blog about faith from a believer with bandwidth

10Aug/10

Anne Elaborates on “Quitting”

A belated followup on Anne Rice ...

There are moments in the interview that get an eyeroll out of me - mainly due to the interviewee. But it's worth watching to the end for Anne's explanation of whether it's worth walking away from organized religion altogether or just looking for another church. However discomforting some of her rationale may be to me or you, I honestly think there's something inherently Christ-like in the answer she's settling on. I would hope that it's only for a season and I'd much prefer she not conflate "Christianity" with something separate of Christ. But I think I get where she's going.

It's a bit familiar in my own switch to Ecclesia, though I was admittedly lucky in having that destination toward the top of my list of alternatives. I felt that, while I could have stayed back at Lakewood and taken up the discussion with others in church leadership who may have even been a bit more respectful, I just didn't feel that anything would have changed and I'd still be surrounded by a lot of people who believe that voting for one political party (or simply hating the other) is part of the walk that Christ calls us to walk. There are those who may wish to have that discussion, but for me, my fit was for a place to grow.

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30Jul/10

Anne Rice “Exits”

Michael Geertsma at ThinkChristian catches an interesting bit of news:

Best-selling author Anne Rice, who most famously penned Interview with a Vampire, announced yesterday on her Facebook page that she is no longer a Christian. She wrote:

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.

I haven't seen a lot of details on this - Rice's two facebook entries on the matter are brief. And there's a bit of room to debate how Rice sees a commitment to Christ as being different than being a "Christian" - even while there's a lot to not like about what one sees in a number of Christian communities. Like Geertsma, I think I sorta get where Rice is coming from (she does make a reference to Ghandi's famous point about liking Jesus, but not His Christians). And it's certainly an issue I can relate to firsthand.

But whether Rice is voicing frustration over what she sees in-person or in the highlight reels of news reports on bad Christians, it's not clear. And that's the part I'm most curious about. She does point out Westboro Baptist in another facebook posting, which has a following of maybe a few dozen in the entire world. And there's certainly a lot to not like among people far saner than Fred Phelps. I think I've got a few blog posts noting my criticism on this score.

But you don't experience the Christian community by turning on TBN, CBN, or watching any other crazy Christian on TV. I mean, you wouldn't want to watch Sports Center on any given summer night and conclude that you just watched every baseball game, right? If so, I'd have been out at the first viewing of Peter Popoff.

I can't say that I'd mind knowing a few more details just to understand more of what Rice went through in arriving at her declaration.

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