Anne Rice has quit Christianity. The lady who brought us such classics as Interview with the Vampire and The Vampire Lestat converted to Christianity in 2000. She followed her conversion with a couple of passably good books on Jesus.
However, the bloom is now off the rose and Ms. Rice states that she is "quitting Christianity but not Christ." Whatever that means.
Ms. Rice's particular objection with Christianity is that it is so contentious and, apparently, anti-everything-that's-modern. Ms. Rice states, "In the name of Christ, 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. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian."
Ms. Rice's position is most unfortunate and it denies several realities. The first is this: A simple perusal of Christian history will show that Christianity has always been contentious, with factions emerging and fading throughout its 2,000 years of history. In fact, it is through the struggles that Christianity has been able to more clearly define matters of faith and doctrine. Further, it is through the fire of contention that many people have tempered their faith, removing the dross and leaving the steel of a genuine faith.
Secondly, her description of Christianity as anti-fill-in-the-blank is specious. Christians are not (or shouldn't be) anti-anything. Rather than being anti-gay, Christians are or should be for a biblical standard of sexual morality because that is how God intended us to express the sexual faculty. Christians should not be anti-feminist but for a biblical view of the woman that recognizes her value in the divine economy, a value that was so important that it was a woman who was called out of all creation to bear Christ the Savior. As to being anti-artificial birth control, Christians recognize that the era of the pill has seen one of the most disastrous fruits of the modern era: The separation of sexual activity from holy Matrimony and the procreation of children. In fact, the contraceptive mentality has reached such a point in our society that children are seen as a burden by many, and - at times - as a "punishment" even by the President of the United States. As to secular humanism, I would hope that a Christian opposes that hideous philosophy that places man at the center of the universe and not God. I would hope that Christians will lead the way in pointing that secular humanism has its roots in atheism and that it can only lead a person into a black hole of despair. I could go on indefinitely with this, but you get the point.
What I think is going on here is this: Ms. Rice has finally reached that point where faith conflicts with the world. Perhaps she had hoped that in becoming a Christian, she could somehow retain all of her previous beliefs. After all, a change of belief might place her at odds with her circle of friends. A change of belief might mean that she has to change her whole life, submitting her life to Christ and acknowledging his total lordship over all creation. Instead, I fear that pride has reared its ugly head and left this quite talented woman saying, as many have before her, "I want Jesus, but only on my terms. I want a comfortable Christ who will not challenge my beliefs."
Maybe Ms. Rice has fallen into the tendency that all men and women struggle with, the tendency to want to create God in our image, instead of allowing Him to recreate us in His. Maybe Ms. Rice, like a particular woman before her who standing before a tree, listened to a voice that said, "[If you eat of the fruit of this tree]...Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."
Let us pray that Ms. Rice will someday return to that other tree, that tree of a cross on the hillside of Jerusalem. Let us pray that she will return to that tree to stand witness to the faith of a God that was willing to die for her. Maybe Ms. Rice will come to see that following Christ demands that we be willing to change every attitude, every belief. Perhaps she will learn that the pleasures of this life are but illusion, that truth lies in the cross and empty tomb, that truth is found in the Church, the Body of Christ on earth. Let us pray for her soul.
Here's the link to the article.
In Good Faith: Anne Rice quits Christianity -- but not Christ - Religion: News and debate about Christianity, Islam and values - baltimoresun.com