Friday, July 30, 2010

Wonder What Jesus Thinks???

I have never read any of her books, but I know she is famous for her vampire stories. She is also famous for her startling turn to Christian faith. In 2005 Anne Rice announced she was returning to the faith of her childhood. After years spent groping in darkness and making a fortune writing about the forces of evil and darkness she turned to Jesus, the Light of the World.
On Wednesday of this week she announced, "I quit being a Christian." She isn't done with Jesus. She's done with Christians. She just doesn't fit the mold. She holds to her pre-Jesus values - many of which turn Christians and traditional faith on its head: pro-gay, pro-feminist, pro-artificial birth control, pro-Democrat, pro-secular humanism, pro-science, etc.
While I don't agree with her positions on these issues and others, it saddens me that she hasn't found acceptance for where she is on her faith journey by other believers.
She also says, "I remain commited to Christ as always."
Is she confused and conflicted? Probably, but that's no excuse for the Christians who haven't reached out to be real in their faith toward her. Is her "being done with Christianity" so hard to understand? Not for me, because - even with my own traditional Christian world-and-life views I have experienced a lot of painful rejection from so-called Christians.
Anne Rice and I probably don't know any of the same people who claim to carry the name of Christ and the brand Christian. BUT we've both felt pain and rejection from those who should have been companions on the journey.
I wonder what Jesus thinks about all this. I have an idea that he is very sad. What Anne Rice is looking for is REAL! She wants Christians to accept her where she is not where she may get to be as she gets further along in her faith journey. I'm sure there's a lot about faith and being real she has to learn. So do I!
Jesus came, lived, died and lives forever for people like Anne Rice and me. He always took people just where they were. He loved and accepted them even if they didn't have a set of "acceptable" values. He even defended a woman caught in the ultimate departure from "traditional" values (John 8:1-11) - the adultress who was thrown at his feet by the church leaders of His day. He said to her, "Neither do I condemn you. Go and leave your life of sin!" Jesus didn't give the woman a theological or moral exam. He looked into her heart and saw her pain.
Shame on those Christians who have rejected Anne Rice! In their legalism they have dealt potentially mortal heart-hurts to Anne. They just might get the shock of their next life in eternity when they encounter a gay person or Democrat or feminist or secular humanist walking the streets of gold.
Jesus is perfectly capable of taking care of patterns of thought and lifestyle! He deals with hearts - even when that heart belongs to a head not quite "straight" even by Biblical standards! Who are we to say and do otherwise?
Where is our heart when we "cause one of these 'little ones' (aka new believer in Jesus)to stumble" (Mark 9:42, Luke 17:2)? Jesus doesn't stutter when He says we would be better off with concrete shoes at the bottom of the ocean!
Concrete hearts don't get us very far on our own journey with Jesus! What WOULD Jesus think? What DOES He think about Anne Rice and her rejection of Christianity but not Jesus? I think He's probably willing to work with her right where she is in her head. Jesus does His work in the heart. The head stuff comes along as He changes our hearts! That goes for me too!

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