Anne Rice rejects Christianity. Sort of…

Vampire book author Anne Rice is fed up with organized religion in general and the Catholic Church in particular. She announced on her website and on Twitter Wednesday:

Anne Rice …I quit being a Christian. I’m out. 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…

Thursday, she seemed to backtrack a bit, posting on Twitter:

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.

So here’s a question. Can one logically say: “My faith in Christ is central to my life — but I am not a Christian?” Or, turning the question on its head, can one logically say: “I am a Christian, but my faith in Christ is irrelevant to my life”?

Updated: July 30, 2010 — 12:20 pm

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  1. One can say, “I love Jesus, but most of what Christians do in his name is at best hypocritical (Sunday Christians, Monday atheiests) or blasphemous (using the title as a way to sell goods and services).

    If being Christian to me meant being anti birth control and meant I had to watch Fox News, I wouldn’t claim the name either. Luckily it isn’t that narrow a category. One would think she could imagine something between some narrow, judgemental version of Christianity and the world of vampires. Methinks she was wanting some publicity.

  2. The problem with labels is that they don’t necessarily mean a whole lot. Lots of folks call themselves Christian but their actions say otherwise. Rice says that she follows Christ. If she’s sincere then that is all that matters.

  3. Christ and Christianity are inseparable. Theme of Gospel is to give up one’s life for the sake of saving other’s life as Christ did for us, only then I can say “I love Jesus”.

    We can not serve two masters; gaining fame, wealth and popularity in this life, at the same time serve God’s will. Christ Himself organized His followers during His ministry by laying foundation stone on Peter to spread the Gospel all over the world. Jesus asked Peter three times whether or not he loved Jesus for assurance and every time Peter answered “yes” with disgust. We know what Jesus instructed Peter in return for his love to Jesus and how Peter gave up his life for sake of Jesus’ love. Being organized is unquestionable requirement for a fruitful mission vision. So, answer to flockwood’s question is “no” in both cases.

  4. I suspect what she is trying to express is what a lot of people have been coming to in the last thirty years or so. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ does not necessitate having a relationship with an institution, particularly an institution that uses sociohistorical traditions to justify bad, unChristlike behavior. As the prayer goes, “Lord Jesus, save me from your followers!”.

  5. You have to wonder too if this is a stunt to sell more books. I like Sophia’s answer. In these times people have been driven from their churches because of scandal after scandal. The religious teacheings are still valid, its just the people administering them that makes one question where they should be in their relationship with God.

  6. It is true as Perplexed said, corruption, especially sexual corruption engulfed church leadership in major churches with advent of liberal attitude on human sex in society that confused laity in godly direction for salvation. Distance oneself from a Church is not solution to be friend of Jesus, as it is not true by living in a isolated place in a jungle, avoiding whole corrupted people. There are many Churches for shopping.

  7. Julian, as a man of the cloth, your interpretation and philosophical views differ greatly from the lay person. Our intention is to be guided and strengthen and protected by God. In my case church is secondary to my relationship with God. Could you enlighten us to your duty to the church and God, in relationship to your chosen field.

  8. Perplexed, if somebody’s purpose in life to believe Christ is “to be guided and strengthen and protected by God” only and no duty bound for Creator as stated above in your posting, it is then selfish in nature and conscious or unconsciously overlooked important roll on our behalf being thankful for creating us with His Own image that allow us our independency and supreme being (Home sapiens) among all creation. It is our foremost duty to glorify God’s name worshiping Him with fellowship of unity among ourselves like bondage of Holy Trinity as Christ taught us. We must love people around us and forgive their misbehavior that hurt our feelings, ego or pride as God forgives our trespasses against Him. We must serve those who are in need and it is possible in united way thru Church. It is commandment of Jesus, whose friend you and I want to be for our well being of today and tomorrow. Should we not follow Jesus’ commandment to be His friend?

    Do you think staying aloof from Church, can we fulfill Jesus’ commandment by our action not by word? Moreover God revealed His liking thru scripture that He stays in the place where two or three people get together to glorify His name and gives us anything we ask in Jesus’ name. Jesus also blessed Church by laying foundation stone on Peter and made Church responsible, as a group, in determining holiness in Church thru establishing doctrine. Recent history with advance of worldly knowledge, holiness became a relative term as anyone’s perception and override scriptural interpretation by many individual or by many Church. Thus doctrine varies from Church to Church, individual to individual depending on how we need God in our daily life. My faith is based on biblical and church teaching which teaches to be attached with Church to worship and serve God along with church people who believe in Him. Church is also a spiritual hospital for sinner like me and loving touch of fellow believer, encourage staying in course in time of distress.

  9. Being anti-homosex, anti-feminism, anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, anti-socialism, anti-totalitarianism, anti-anything that is PC has become a badge of honor for many thinking people.

  10. Julian, as a true believer of Christ and the Trinity, and have been brought up in the Church and having considered a monastic life, my views still differ greatly from the Church. The Church is for the Church and in most cases, the Church is put before God and His teachings. The many different Churches show the inability for organized religion to agree upon power and the root of that power is wealth based. How is this in line with the teachings of the Bible?
    If a man grows up without organized religious teachings yet he is close to the earth in a worldly sense, how can anybody compare his beliefs to their religious beliefs. He knows and respects the earth, he treats it sacredly because it gives him food, shelter and medicinal herbs to keep him healthy and his is very aware of the power that is so much greater than he is and he respects it, truly. It isn’t organised as much as its learned, this connection that has grown between this man and this supernatural entity who’s presence is felt. How would deal with something like that. The things that effect religion today have no place in his world because where he is and who he’s with, this isn’t relative or pertinent! How would you deal with somebody like this. Immediately there is a presence of respect. Just trying to figure this one out.

  11. “If Jesus should come back to now, hear the mythologies built up around him, see the creedalism, denominationalism, sacramentalism, carried on in his name, he would certainly say, ‘If this is Christianity, I am not a Christian.'” -Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick, American Baptist clergyman

    “There is no regularly-constituted church on earth, nor any person authorized to administer any Church ordinance: nor can there be, until new apostles are sent by the great Head of the Church, for whose coming I am seeking.” -Roger Williams

    “Fourth century orthodoxy is not the same as what Peter and Paul believed, any more than modern Roman Catholicism or Anglicanism is…” -Stuart Hall, Doctrine and Practice in the Early Church

    Seems to me that Anne Rice is in good company…

  12. It is confusing for many people, but Christianity is a FAITH, not a culture. Because it is a culture-less faith, it is extremely adaptable to any cultural/historical situation.

    Christianity is FAITH in Jesus, not an ideology. Thus a Christian can credibly be conservative, liberal, slave-owner, abolitionist, whatever.

    It breaks my heart when people reject Christianity because they disagree with the cultural views of some Christian.

  13. Alice sez: “Being anti-homosex, anti-feminism, anti-abortion, anti-euthanasia, anti-socialism, anti-totalitarianism, anti-anything that is PC has become a badge of honor for many thinking people.”

    Doesn’t sound like they’re thinking very hard.

  14. And, David, me, too.

    As Gandhi once said, “I like your Christ, but your Christians, not so much.”

    Justin has put his finger on it. Christianity doesn’t make you right, and many Christians are wrong about many issues. The sad thing is that so many people have gone beyond the idea of Christianity and fabricated, like Julian and Alice, whole structures that have nothing to do with faith, but which they insist that others follow in order to be Christians.

    Those old American Baptists like Fosdick and his contemporary, Edgar Goodspeed, translator of the Goodspeed version of the NT, got it about right. In his autobiography, Goodspeed quotes his grandfather, also an American Baptist minister, as saying that he would walk across broken glass on his knees to persuade a person to be a Christian, but wouldn’t walk across the street to make him a Baptist. Christianity, to the chagrin of the grass eaters, is bigger than we are.

  15. Caleb, bottom line, I hope we agree that we were blind about our creator, God of Truth and Spirit until Christ came down to this earth with a purpose. And again we all believer of Christ today would not know Christ and His revelation until we read Old and New Testament. But problem arises with different interpretation of biblical teaching and even some people like you, Anne Rice etc, went further making some biblical teaching out dated with present context with their own merit. If Christ who you love, is not outdated today spiritually, how come spiritual sin as described by His hand picked disciples (Peter, Paul, James etc.) become outdated, unless someone would say “my way is highway”? In conclusion, we are trying to establish facts with our own wisdom as we perceived like the story of the “Blind men and an elephant”.

  16. So, Julian, I guess that people who weren’t able to read the New Testament, because it wasn’t yet in existence, which encompasses the first 300 years or so of Christianity, weren’t Christians. I doubt they would agree with that assessment, and neither would I.

    The only person here saying that their way is the highway, Julian, is you. And I don’t recall anyone electing (or appointing) you as the next savior. The bottom line, Julian, is that you’ve bought into a lot of modern day evangelical drivel that would be as foreign as the Communist Manifesto to early Christians. If you want to believe that stuff, fine, but don’t tell the rest of us that we aren’t Christians unless we’re evangelical, too.

    To answer your specific question, though, as to why I can love Jesus and think Paul was a misogynist the answer is simple: Jesus was Jesus, and Paul was Paul. Jesus uses us as we are. Paul was a man of his age, as were Peter, James, and all the others. I would hate to think that the morality of a world in which people were crucified for things we wouldn’t issue a speeding ticket for is the form of morality that we’re limited to today. People advance, and as they advance, they are better able to understand things. Otherwise, we’d still have slavery (which flourished in every CHRISTIAN nation), segregation, and laws against intermingling of the races. I understand that many evangelicals would love to go back to those days, but I never thought you were one of them, Julian.

  17. I like the point Bart Ehrman makes in Misquoting Jesus: what’s the point of saying the words of the Bible were divinely inspired, when we don’t even have the original words of the Bible anymore? The best we have are copies of copies that were made long after the people who wrote the autographs were dead. Try as you like, Julian, you can’t connect the language in your King James Version to the real Bible, because it no longer exists.

  18. Cheese and Caleb, both of you seems to me underestimated mainstream Christian like Taliban in Muslim religion who sees their holy book dropped from their god and every literal word is remaining same ever since it is printed. But both of you are unaware of charm of godly wisdom found in the Bible, distinctly identifiable from regular book as written by anti-God or anti-Christ. Christians have been enjoying worshiping and praying to Christ daily, by wisdom from the Bible, not from wisdom of people who have no basis for godly knowledge.

    Caleb may enjoy recently made, an Iranian television series about the life of Jesus Christ according to apocryphal gospel, rejected by the Church, the gospel of Barnabas. It does not believe crucifix and resurrection of Jesus Christ as Muslim do as per BBC report of August 13. Caleb and his like minded may ignores millions of Christian, if not billions who believe Christ according to Mathew, Mark, Luke, John and books of evangelical activities followed by death of Christ. Caleb may find Sts. Peter, Paul, James etc. as ordinary man, but Christian finds them as front line saints died for cause of gospel according Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Cheese surely enjoyed the Da Vinci Code where Jesus is shown as an ordinary married man. Interestingly Caleb advised me not to write any opinion unfavorable to him, but he flatly writes his own opinion leveling evangelicals as bad gays and thinks himself as good Christian. No one would judge Caleb, except God.

    Cheese would happily write about point of Bart Ehrman against godly inspiration of the Bible, but say “blah! blah!”, when pointed truth about The Bible. Bottom line Caleb, nobody including you and Cheese could cover the truth by false intelligent, truth would come out, no matter how intelligent the person is. Because we worship living God by the wisdom of living words found in the Bible. Cheese, please do not think by “living word” I mean words has living cells in it. Please feel free for any comments.

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