Thursday, August 26, 2010

I Quit Being A Christian! (Part 3 of 3)

So where does this Anne Rice “adventure story” (remember that God is writing her story just as He is yours and mine) leave us? I guess if nothing else, it tells us a lot about people in general and about Christians in particular. It tells us that we love to label. In fact, we have an inordinate desire to label and box everything and everyone we see so that we can relate to them from a position of cognizance based on our perceived label. Recently Pete Wilson of Cross Point Church in Tennessee wrote an insightful blog on this phenomenon. It tells us that we can’t seem to help but judge and criticize things we don’t understand. It tells us that we’re all on a journey and are all at different points along that journey. But maybe most telling of all is that it reveals that no one has a monopoly on wisdom. We must be willing to admit that, because we don’t know it all, there’s room for error. If you are gracious in relating to and responding to other people’s perceived errors, then you will be more likely to receive the same sort of grace when people are responding to yours.

Rather than rail against Anne Rice (who, judging by the public response to her decision to “quit Christianity” is clearly a much more “listened to” voice for our faith than most of us will ever hope to be), what if we stopped to consider her contentions about Christians and Christianity. Is it potentially feasible that there are some really simple things that are easily remedied simply by each one of us making a decision to be more like Christ in our attitudes and responses to others who think differently than we do? Look, I get that you are passionate about your faith and everything, but passion doesn’t always equate to being right or doing right. After all, like Anne, you and I are human and therefore prone to error. I’ve often said that the message of the Gospel has endured for thousands of years so it certainly doesn’t need you and I to defend what we perceive to be it’s efficacy in order to keep it from evanescing over the next few thousand years. We don’t have to battle against others who are on the same side as us, albeit in a different company, while the real enemy sits back and laughs at our self-styled regnant.

All that our infighting and judgment serves to do is to obscure and adumbrate the real message of the gospel from those who really need to hear it. As she has told us quite clearly in her interviews and write-ups, Anne Rice loves Jesus! That needs to be sufficient for us whether we agree with her stand on quitting Christianity or not. We don’t need to label her or her decision, nor do we necessarily need to feel any sort of obligation to defend the Church or the Gospel message. There are a lot of dangerous people who serve as real threats to the furtherance of the message of Christ, and Anne Rice is definitely not one of them.

So now that we’ve had this amiable talk, and just in case you needed a new target for your prayers, consider this: A self-styled Christian Church in Florida wants to burn the Koran on 9/11. They believe that this is God’s will and that Jesus would do the same were he still on earth today because Islam is of the devil and it’s evil. We have severely misplaced our priorities if Anne Rice’s decision to walk away from “Christianity,” is, to our reckoning, more of a front page story and a concern for many Christians than this asinine act of overt bigotry. We should surely focus our attention and prayers on this grossly uncalculated act of foolishness rather than on trying to persuade God to “get Anne.” The repercussions of this clearly barbaric decision, unfortunately will not stop at the front door of these so-called Christians in Florida, but will ricochet and reverberate around the Church in much the same way the loss of innocent lives randomly plunged families into untold mourning on 9/11/2001.

Sadly for those of us who disavow this kind of stupidity, these apparent “Christians” may be opening a can of worms that they won’t be able to reseal especially since the majority of them are probably not willing to be martyred for their cause the way many Jihadists are. Just my two pennies! You have the floor!!!


Olatubosun said...

If we all, followers of Christ and Christians etc take responsibility for our actions or the things we say, the less likely we will play into the hands of the devil.

Did Anne need to say what she said and in the way she said it?
I will not bother to answer.

I can imagine all the emotion that has been poured into either supporting Anne or attacking her while the devil and his agents who we all should be attacking are on the sidelines watching unscathed.

When we start being aware of the way the devil works, we will not be in danger of missing out on the victory that has been won for us on the cross. God bless

Ash said...

certainly, for as much grace as we've given, we must also extend. if rice's stance is drawing her closer to the kingdom, then i celebrate with her. if i disagree with this man or that, but we both belong to him, our theological differences truly are meaningless.

- nevertheless, that said, it must be noted- that those who show the world that christianity is about burning books or protesting a gay soldier's funeral is what christ is about - they have it wrong and they're making a lot of noise.

so those who are in love w/ showing the love of the Creator - need to get louder and shake the earth...b/c that's what its really all about. so c'mon people of God, let's do it.

dancingcrane said...

Anne described how she created her vampires to fill the void of the faith she left behind. Is there any evidence that the Jesus Anne loves is not simply a similar construct?

From her list of "I can nots", it seems that what she loves bears more resemblance to a secularized American Democrat than the Jesus of Scripture. We should all search our hearts, to make sure we too are not worshipping a Jesus-shaped idol of our own making.

What we think of her ultimately matters nothing...what she thinks of the real Jesus when they meet also means little. What He thinks of her, means everything. Pray hard for her and all of us, that when our time comes, we do not hear the words "depart from me, I never knew you." (Matt 7:23)

Joseph said...

Wow! dancingcrane, I'd say that's a bit of a stretch! You sound like you're trying to solve some sort of mystery or puzzle. If we all begin to cast suspicion on every one else's faith, what's left?

I read your profile and you talk a lot about love. Don't the Scriptures teach that love is ready to believe the best about a person? Why would your first supposition be that there's no evidence that the Jesus Anne loves is not a construct of her fantasy just like the vampires she wrote about?

I'm confused but appreciate your contribution to the conversation.