Quitting The Church

Unless you’ve been in a cave (or sitting on a lake in a cabin with no electricity in Maine) you’ve probably read or heard about Anne Rice quitting Christianity. I can understand how Anne feels. Her list of complaints and accusations are somewhat familiar to me.  I’ve felt estranged from some parts of the Church for sometime. By God’s grace I have found a body of believers who are tolerant of diverse beliefs. For many years, I attended churches where I felt very uncomfortable and distrusting of their applied Christianity. It wasn’t their beliefs that I was leery of, rather how they applied those beliefs to everyday situations.

Anne has articulated several points where she feels that Christianity(read the Church) is not living out what Christ is really about. Her list is rather interesting, quoting from her post:

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.

Most of her complaints are on real or perceived hypocrisy in the Church. Truth be told the Evangelical Church in America is known more for what it is against rather than what it is for. That, in itself, is a sad affair. Stop most people on the street and ask what Evangelicals believe and that person will list all of the anti- that has been espoused. Ultimately, Anne Rice’s statements might do more to solidify what the Church believes in a positive sense. The great creeds were all written in a positive style. “We believe” was emblazoned at the start of each line. If the Church wrote a new creed for today, could they embrace a series of positive statements?

Ms Rice is absolutely correct in her evaluation of the current state of some churches in America. They claim to be pro-life. However, they are only pro-life when they refer to beginning and the end of life. The rest of the time, not so much. They are quick to protest in front of a clinic that does abortions, sometimes hurling insults at those entering the clinic. They fail however, to help those who might need the help the most, the mothers. They create caricatures of the women going into the clinic without getting to know them and come beside them to help.

Evangelicals speak about having “Family Values” then their divorce rate matches the secular world. Evangelical teen pregnancy rate matches or exceeds secular teens. Despite these facts, they claim that the “institution” pf marriage will be damaged by letting  gay couples get married. Their argument would be much, much stronger, if those in the Church actually had the same respect for “Family Values” that they want to impose on others.

So, for Ms. Rice, this has become a very public protest. Some have not been comfortable with what has been said, others are claiming that Ms. Rice was never a Christian. Still others like me, support her and understand what she is going through. Public protests can develop into great public discussions and debates.What is needed is a discussion of what the Church will look like and act like in America. Hopefully, this discussion will now start.

Some other sites that have had brisk discussions

Internet Monk

Jesus Creed

Excellent post at St.Johnny.com

Excerpt From today’s Doug Paggit Show

Huffington Post

Published in: on 08/01/2010 at 7:28 pm  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. by stressing that she was never a Christian, it is implied that she predicated her whole faith on the Church instead of the head, who will never let her down. Unfortunately, the rest of the body left her still thirsty; perhaps she was drinking from the wrong well? The only way to survive is to abide! That is definitely what she is missing.
    The Church has and will never claim to be the way, the truth and the Life! However, she, like you and me, need fellowship to grow and give and show the world that faith in Christ is real and necessary to avoid our own bent toward Hell.

  2. Brian,
    I agree that Christians need fellowship. From my take on what she is saying is that the institutional church is having the issues. I am a Protestant and there are times when there are some people who I wish would not speak out on behalf of my beliefs. I suspect that Anne is not happy with what the institutional Catholic Church has said.

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