seeking a better title

by now, we’ve all heard that anne rice is “quitting christianity” because…

“It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious and deservedly infamous group. For 10 years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else…. 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. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

i think many of us struggle with similar feelings.  and while i certainly don’t mean to reduce a monstrous issue to semantics, anne rice’s struggle (and mine) is with the label.  anne rice doesn’t want to be identified with what the name “christian” has come to mean.  she doesn’t want to be painted with the same brush as the “god hates fags” people.  nor do i.

but if “christian” is the wrong term, then what should we call these people?

when you figure it out, please let me know.  i want to sign up.

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10 thoughts on “seeking a better title

  1. i still refer to myself as a christian, depending on those with whom i’m speaking. but more often than not, here in tanzania, i don’t answer the question, “are you a christian,” with yes. instead i ask what they mean by christian.

    usually, after they’ve given their definition, i say, “oh, then, no, i’m not one.”

  2. The part of this story that should concern us is that she is a new believer. (I think less than 3 years) Within that short amount of time she has become so turned off on the Christian community that she has decided to make a public statement announcing why she can’t be part of this group. She says in the article that her belief and experience with Jesus can’t let her be lumped in with these people. She is basically offended by what the so called Christians are doing to her Jesus.

    I don’t know of her that well, but I respect the crap out of her decision to do this. She has put action to her beliefs. Jesus loves it when people stand up for him.

    I think this stuff matters. Am I crazy?

    • you’re not crazy, dave (at least not in this context). our problem, though, is our idea of the best way to “stand up for him.” almost everyrthing we know about how to do that is broken.

  3. No matter how we would label ourselves, those outside will choose their own labels for us based on their perceived ideas about us.

    While I am no longer a Pentecostal or Baptist, i am still a Christ follower – or Christian.

    But here is the thing. I want to be labeled by my faith and not by my religion. There can be a world of difference between those two things.

    I read the article that you linked about the gay parade. We do need to see more churches reaching across the divide with both truth and grace. For too long most of us simply want to give the truth that God abhors homosexuality (of course, while we forget that He hates pride, lust, greed, and a host of other sins that seem to be acceptable within the church walls).

    I have looked into the Marin foundation before and they are very good about demonstrating grace but they seem very reticent to call homosexuality sin. (At least that was the case 2 years ago when I looked into their belief statements.. they may have changed since then.) Is it still grace if we forget to offer truth?

    The hardest thing that any of us can do is learn how to offer both grace and truth as Christ did.

    I think what the faithful most need to learn is how to say “I love you” with out the “but” that seems to follow along. We can do that without changing the truth of scripture.

    A couple of years ago there was a church that showed up at a gay pride event. They handed out water bottles to the crowds as it was a hot day. When they ran out of water, many of them began to give foot rubs. My understanding based on the article I read was that they didn’t enter into a conversation with those they served unless the recipient of the ‘grace’ wanted to. They were their to show grace and love but they gave truth in grace if they were asked. I wish I knew how those conversations went.

    • wow, great story (about the grace-giving church) tony. and l love that line, “what the faithful most need to learn is how to say “I love you” with out the “but”.”

    • well put, ed, thanks!

      btw, i’m glad to see you’ve been posting again…still have trouble leaving comments, though.

  4. Anne Rice is not a “new” Christian! Read her books on Jesus. Her research and knowledge of Scripture even to write her books stand far above most Christians. She has read and has knowledge of non-canonial writings I did not know even existed until I read her books! She has a brilliant intellect and is a passionate articulate writer. I deeply respect her decision and I’m reasonable sure it was not made quickly or lightly.

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