The following statement was given by author Anne Rice on July 28th, 2010. It was first announced on her facebook.
“For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”
Her reasons were simple. She was tired of hostile, angry, argumentative Christians who don’t even remotely look like the Man who’s name they so readily adopt. It’s no wonder the world looks at us with contempt. You have an author best known for her violent, lustful, steamy vampire novels like Interview With The Vampire and Queen of the Damned, both of which were turned into quite successful motion pictures, denouncing her association with organized religion. Many don’t know that in 1998 Rice came back to Christ through the Catholic church. A subject for another day; but it seems Catholicism, as of late, has done more harm than good, but this isn’t a bash-blog so I’ll leave that alone. Let’s see what the Word has to say.
Paul writes to Timothy:
Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
Isn’t Paul telling us not to do the same things that drove Anne Rice away? Are we doing the things that he’s telling us to do? A ma
n once said ( I believe it was Muhammad but I don’t want to misquote) If Christians acted like they are supposed to, then I’d have no reason to be here. Isn’t that so true? Read Paul’s words again. Pursue righteousness. Righteousness means right standing with God. Pursue faith, love and peace. When was the last time you were involved in a church where everyone was peaceful? Odds are, never. There’s always someone who is offended because the pastor said something they didn’t agree with. Instead of looking through their Bible to find out that it was really God they were mad at, not the pastor who was just preaching God’s word, they got all huffy and angry and started a mass-exile of the church. Sound familiar? Anyone who’s been in church long enough has probably seen this more than once.
Love? You’ve found a good Christian when you can accuse them of being loving. That means they go over and above the call of duty. When you are sick, they are the ones making you food. When you have no work, they are the ones redoing their bathroom and paying you to do the tile. When you are in need, they are praying. These are acts of love. If we all acted in love we’d look more like Christians.
Now, what do good Christians NOT do? They don’t get involved in foolish and stupid arguments. But that’s just human nature right? Exactly. We are supposed to go against the grain. We aren’t supposed to function as human nature dictates we should. We are supposed to be salt and light to a dark and bitter world. When the opportunity to get involved in a frivolous argument arises we are to run away. If we are involved in one now, we are COMMANDED to forgive, apologize and move on.
The Lord’s servant must not quarrel. The Lord’s servant must not quarrel. The Lord’s servant MUST NOT quarrel. Are we hearing Paul. Instead he must be kind to everyone. Who? Your fellow brother in Christ? The Pastor? Yes, but also the rude cashier. The angry waitress. The bum on the street who you know is just trying to get money to buy beer. You know, the one that you think, “get a job” and then drive away in your BMW. He’s stuck in a lost and dying world, guys. He’s not just some scum of the earth addict. He is a child of God who has not yet come home. Jesus loves him just as much as He loves you. Any time we fool ourselves into thinking we are special, we take away from God’s gift of salvation. All you did was take a gift.
We are to be kind to everyone. Not just those who are kind to us. We are to forgive our ex’s and our parents who may have done us wrong. I think about a recent Amish parent who’s daughter was raped and murdered. They were wronged. They had every right to be angry and resentful… but they didn’t exercise that right because they knew in Christ they didn’t really have it in the first place. They went to the murderer only weeks after the incident and fully forgave him. The media called the family nuts. Even accused them of being terrible parents. But they knew what they had been forgiven for… they knew that Paul commanded us to not be resentful. It’s a difficult life we’ve chosen, but, our reward is great.
Love. Be peaceful. Kind. Not resentful, angry, quarrelsome. Be able to teach.