After having been asked to give my thoughts on my posting yesterday of Anne Rice's comments last week on quitting Christianity, here we go. Not a great deal to say, but for what it's worth...
My initial reaction was that Anne really doesn't have a handle on what being a Christian is. In saying "I quit being a Christian..." she is signaling her desire to no longer follow Christ, since that is what being a Christian is -- literal translation "little Christ". For someone who in the past, by her own volition has admitted to "trying" Christianity, this just demonstrates a lack of understanding of her own relationship with God and his people.
Anne's beef, it seems is with those who follow Jesus, and not with Jesus himself. That much is pretty clear from her other blog postings, and there is certainly a compelling case -- although not one with which I agree -- for turning one's back on Jesus' followers, since we have undeniably made an unholy mess of things for centuries.
Anne's confusion is compounded by her later admittance that she doesn't want to be a part of "..such a quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious and deservedly infamous group." Sounds like Christian denominations to me.
So what I want to do here is focus less on what Anne has said, because she is clearly confused and somewhat ignorant of the true nature of what it is to follow Christ. I would rather want to address what we do with the denominations and factions into which Christianity has fallen, and with whom I often share Rice's annoyance, embarrassment and frustration.
The key here is that I AM A PART OF IT. I cannot sit back and blame everyone else for making the same assumptions and pronouncements that I myself have made in the past, and continue to make. We are ALL part of a flawed group of people. What is important is that we recognize this and attempt to do something about it.
Nobody in their right mind would dispute that Christians have got it wrong -- horribly wrong -- over the past many centuries, but our challenge is to try and be better followers of Jesus and to mirror him as much as we can; to be the "little Christs" that our title defines us as.
On a side note, it is very hard to be a Christian by yourself, in isolation from everyone else. The Bible is clear that this is unwise, and therefore it is important to work your way through your life as a Christian in the company of other beginners.
It seems that Anne Rice has chosen to go it alone, and I for one hope that she doesn't become even more confused in her isolation.