She left Christianity.
July 29, 2010, on her Facebook page, Anne posted the following:
In follow-up posts and interviews, Anne has continued to espouse a life-changing faith in Jesus while rejecting any unity with other believers… at least in any organized way (aka: religion). In her next FB post, Anne wrote “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.”
Yes… but. And that’s a big “but.”
It’s not that I don’t understand where Anne Rice is coming from. While I don’t share many of her social politics or views, that’s not the point here. I agree with her in some ways. I think so much of the in-fighting and judgement and hypocrisy and (fill in the blank) that exists within organized Christianity is yucky, too. That’s like calling water wet. But what Anne is doing here is basically taking the blood of Christ for herself, and leaving His Body behind. * Insert vampire metaphor here. *
And it is appealing. To many, many people. Faith without structure. Spirituality without accountability. Personal God-relationship without the clutter of people-relationship interfering in your faith life. The blessings of the one-on-one experience without the responsibility of community.
But God designed us for relationships! We’re wired for community! Look at Genesis… Before Eve came along, Adam was in a perfect relationship with God – before the tree, before the apple, before the fall. There was no sin. There was no shame. There was open face to face communication between Adam and God. And IN THAT CONTEXT, God said, “it is NOT GOOD for man to be alone…”
I will tell you right now, if you diss my wife, you will answer for it to me. That wasn’t just meant to be full of testosterone-laden machismo. I’m saying NO ONE I hang out with can get away with choosing me and not accepting Amy. We’re a package deal. Rejecting Amy means losing me, too. We’re ONE.
God said the Church is His Bride. Jesus’ last prayer session in John 17 before being taken captive and crucified for us is a longing prayer that we (His followers) might become ONE, the way He and the Father are one. He loves the Church that deeply.
And when asked about the greatest commandment (see Matthew 22:37-40), Jesus answered (paraphrased) ” Love God like crazy, first of all, but ALMOST as important is to love the people around you selflessly.” It has always been God AND people. That’s His design.
Sure Anne Rice, or you and I, could love people in Jesus name – serve the poor, etc. – without any community of faith. We can be Lone Wolves for Jesus. But He doesn’t want us to. If you want a meaningful relationship with me, you get Amy, too. Husband and Wife. Jesus and the Church. She’s not perfect, but she is beautiful. And mine.
If you’ve got a couple minutes, listen to this track (posted below) called “The Church” from Derek Webb (on “She Must and Shall Go Free”). We agree that the Church is a flawed bride. She has sold herself for a lesser reward that Jesus over and over and over again. But if you can simply accept that the problem with the Church is that there are people in it who need love and grace, maybe it’s time to rethink that lone-wolf faith that seems so simple and so uncluttered. If you love Him, love His church…
Click on the tab below to stream the audio >>[audio:http://www.jskogerboe.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/11 – The Church.mp3|titles=11 – The Church]
“i love you man, but I can’t stand your wife :: anne rice, derek webb, vampires, and the church” by Joshua Skogerboe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.