Author Anne Rice Quits the Church

Anne Rice, famous for her vampire novels (before vampires were completely overused in entertainment and the “hot & sexy” trendsetters in pop culture) declared on her Facebook account that she is "an outsider" in the Christian community:

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.

According Rice’s own testimony, “In 1998 I returned to the Catholic Church… I realized that theAnneRicelessthan500KBs greatest thing I could do to show my complete love for Him was to consecrate my work to Him—to use any talent I had acquired as a writer, as a storyteller, as a novelist—for Him and for Him alone... Thence began my journey into intense Biblical study, intense historical research, and intense effort to write novels about the Jesus of Scripture, the Jesus of Faith, in His own vibrant First Century World.…”

Rice affirmed that though she has decided to leave the Christian institution, she will "remain committed to Christ as always." From her Facebook page:

For those who care, and I understand if you don't: 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.

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.

When people come to conclusions such as this I do sympathize.  I have felt this way many times.  But it is very hard to reconcile the desire to abandon the church because of her many short-comings and insistencies with Christ’s prayer in John 17, “that [we, the church] may be one as [he and the Father] are one.  He continues, “May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” 

We must realize that the church is made up of forgiven yet broken sinners striving to live correctly.  We’re going to disagree at times.  We going to get hurt at times.  This is why the Apostle Paul challenges us with these words:

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves….Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality…Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited….Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Romans 12)

…as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  (Colossians 3)

The call of Christian community is to persevere in community, even when it’s difficult.  One of the greatest tools of the church’s enemies is fractions, disagreements, and impatience.  We must remember these behaviors are antithetical to calling of the church.  May we continue to help one another resist these tendencies and  I do hope Anne Rice has a change of heart.