Amid the complexity (and tumult) that is the history of American Christianity, conflict over what is essential to Christian identity dies hard. The Salem witch trials, the Scopes Monkey Trial, Roe v. Wade, and the ongoing debate over “family values” are all part of the larger evangelical legacy. While evangelicals also have a separate history which includes social justice, civil rights, and education, the previous list often eclipses the latter as issues such as abortion, evolution, and gay rights continue to galvanize many who have come to define Christian belief by what amounts to added essentials. For them, one who dissents on any of these is either labeled a liberal (which often implies non-Christian within the more virulent camps) or simply chided for ill-conceived (if not wholly un-Christian) cultural values. While many either remain in the flock or retreat to more progressive versions of Christianity, others jump ship—in the name of Christianity. Author Anne Rice (of Vampire Chronicles fame) has chosen to leave Christianity. Her journey from atheism to Christianity captured the imagination of scores of dedicated believers. Since 1998 Rice has been outspoken about her faith. In response to what she believes to be an increasingly intolerant system, she stated, “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.” I wonder if she has considered how mainline liberal Christianity, Progressive Christianity, or the Evangelical Left weighs in on these issues. Read the full story here.
Religious Decline or Religious Change? Making Sense of Secularization in Europe By Todd Green , Luther College, Decorah, IA, USA (Vol. 5, May 2010) Religion Compass
In Pursuit of a Singular Text: New Testament Textual Criticism and the Desire for the True Original By Jennifer Wright Knust, Boston University
(Vol. 3, March 2008) Religion Compass
What’s New in the History of Christianity? By Anne Thayer, Lancaster Theological Seminary (Vol. 2, January 2007) Religion Compass
Teaching & Learning Guide for: On Spirituality: Natural and Non-Natural By Thomas B. Ellis, Appalachian State University (September 2009)
Making Sense of Feminist Theology Today By Laurel C. Schneider and Cassie J. E. Trentaz, Chicago Theological Seminary (Vol. 3, July 2008)
Real Women or Objects of Discourse? The Search for Early Christian Women By L. Stephanie Cobb, Hofstra University
(Vol. 4, March 2009) Religion Compass
Let’s see, if I understand correctly. Anne did not leave her faith in Christ. Rather, she dumped the religion and embrace a relationship with Jesus, as her Lord and Savior. If correct, then I’d say “Congrats”.
I’d encourage Ann to keep pressing into God and knowing Jesus in a very real way.
If I could meet her in person, I would
love to say “Thank you Anne Rice –
for so very articulately stating what
I have felt in my heart for years” !!!!
One’s ‘Faith-in-Christ’ should IN NO WAY
be tied into the man-controlled ‘Religion’
that so many refer to as “Christianity”
(especially that apostate, psuedo-religious
political-movement called ‘evangelicalism’)
It took me forever to realize that my
relationship with God (as established
through Christ Jesus, God The Son) was
IN NO WAY dependent on the apostate
psuedo-religious movement sweeping
America in the name of the “church”.
If Christ were walking the earth today,
a lot of these same “religious” types
would be the first to demand that He
be ‘crucified’ — and based merely on
who He chose as FRIENDS (women,
gays, foreigners, immigrants, the poor,
the rejected, the downtrodden, the rich,
men, old, young, happy, sad, and so on).
The “evangelicals” (not to be mistaken
for TRUE FOLLOWERS of Christ) and
other “church” types have essentially
hijacked the Christian ‘Faith’ in order to
turn it into a mammon-worshipping,
power-mongering, “Religion” of hate.
These people are more akin to a system of
ANTI-CHRIST (i.e. “against”-Christ) than
to anything tied into WHO CHRIST IS.
Their evil has reached such profound levels
that even people who know and love Christ
are turned off from them and their words
(again proving these “church” types are
really nothing more than anti-Christ,
self-righteous Pharisees and are not
even remotely related to Jesus Christ).
Never again will I waste my time stepping
into the psuedo-religious social-club that
is known as “church” or associate myself
with the political-clique that is known as
‘christianity’ — because FROM NOW ON
— I realize that I do NOT “need” either
in order to have a relationship with MY
LORD JESUS CHRIST (in fact, those
two entities were actually ‘interfering’
with my relationship with God)
THROUGH CHRIST — GOD HAS OPENLY
EXPRESSED HIS LOVE TO ‘EVERYONE’
(no matter if rich, poor, gay, straight, male,
female, sickly, healthy and so on) — AND
CHRIST (not the so-called”church”) IS
‘THE DOOR’ and ‘THE WAY’ TO GOD!!
ALL ARE WELCOME TO APPROACH AND
TO ENTER THROUGH ‘THE DOOR’ TO GOD!!
NO ONE IS REJECTED BY JESUS CHRIST !!!
JESUS LOVED AND LOVES EVERYONE !!!
LET’S ALL TRY TO REMEMBER
THE BIBLE VERSE OF ‘JOHN 3:17’:
“For God did NOT send His Son
into the world – to condemn
the world, BUT that the world,
THROUGH HIM, might be SAVED !!!!”
JESUS CHRIST – and *not* the institution known
as “the church” or the religion called “christianity”
— IS THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE!!!
LIKE MANY OTHER PEOPLE – I AM DONE
WITH THE CHURCH & WITH CHRISTIANITY
— AND FROM HERE ON OUT – MY FOCUS IS
ON (AND FAITH IN GOD RELIES IN) JESUS
CHRIST AND JESUS CHRIST ALONE !!!