A well-known, intelligent “Christian” drops out.
Read how she describes “Christians”.
Anne Rice lived for decades as an atheist. Raised as a Catholic, she rejected the church early in her life but renewed her faith in recent years and in 2008 released the memoir Called Out of Darkness: A Spiritual Confession. The best-selling author of 28 books is probably best known for her Vampire Chronicle series. Twelve years after she converted from atheism to Christianity, she quit being a Christian.
“Today I quit being a Christian,” the best-selling author said. “I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.
“My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.
“I didn’t have to know why people suffered agony and died in pain. He knew. I didn’t have to know how He was going to save the unlettered and the unbaptized, or how he would redeem the heathen who had never spoken His name. He knew.
“It was his knowing that overwhelmed me. His knowing that became completely real to me. He had complete control of it; His justice, His mercy—was not our justice or our mercy. He wasn’t going to let anything happen by accident. Nobody was going to go to hell by mistake. This was His world. All this.
“And why should I remain apart from Him just because I couldn’t grasp all this?”¹
Does that square with you? If you’re a non-believer are you saying, “Amen” now?
So what are we to do now? Somewhere along the line the word “Christian” caught on. Now every earnest church goer, every follower of Christ calls themselves Christian. The word outsiders once used to criticize followers of Jesus is now the signature phrase for all believers and followers of Christ. But is it the right word?
In the final post in this series, we’ll explore what Jesus called the men and women He entrusted to carry on His work after His resurrection. It’s so much better than Christian it’s frightening. Don’t miss it. Click here to finish this series and answer for yourself a very important and defining question that may define how you think of yourself and your relationship with Jesus forever.
Be sure to visit my good blogging friend, Amanda’s blog today on Pursuing Holiness. Today she writes on Retaining The Word In Our Hearts. You will be blessed.
¹From Andy Stanley video series, Christian. And Out of Darkness, A Spiritual Journey, © 2008 by Anne Rice, Published by Knopf Publishing Inc., New YorkCopyright © ©2010 Anne Rice. All Rights Reserved. And from statements made by Anne Rice on her Facebook page April 7, 2010.
Copyright © 2010 Anne Rice. All Rights Reserved