Anne Rice... she's been in the news a lot lately because she accepted Jesus in her life & became a Christian. But then she's said she's decided to "leave Christianity" ... not that she doesnt believe or accept Jesus, but that she has issues with Christians or the Christian community... she has said the following:
"In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refust to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artifiical 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"
The sad thing is, I can see where she is coming from... not that I agree with her on everything she is saying - but I can see where she may feel like she does...some of the things she says, I can see what she's getting it & I can see how it would be frustrating. For the record, I always say its a gift, but also a curse of mine because I can 99% of the time see both sides of a story & really sympathize with it... so for future reference, dont ask me for help in decision making... I'll see both sides of a decision. :)
In a new video series I'm watching with our youth girls, they mentioned, "What are some of the words that your friend use to describe Christians?" - the answers from most people were:
feeling like they are perfect
feeling like they are above others
OUCH... but that's what the world thinks of Christians...
The video talked about that in the days of the first Christians - did any of those words describe the disciplies? Nope... they would be more likely described as:
Sacrificing of themselves
What a difference between the two... so what has happened to make such a change in what a Christian USE to be described as & what a Christian IS described as today?
What has happened that makes Christians, like Anne Rice, want to pull away from being "labeled" a Christian?
I dont claim to know the answer to any of this... at all... just something that really struck me.
And in all of this, I cant shake from my mind the quote that says:
"The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Chrsitians, who acknowledge Jesus with their lips & walk out the door, & deny Him by their lifestyle.
That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable"
I just think its a sad statement for Christians today...
I think we have a battle in front of us that only requires nothing but love... of being an example of Jesus... Jesus hated sin... but he loved the sinner....is that what we're doing? Is that what we are showing the world?
Or are we only the things that people describe us as today?
Believe me... I know some AMAZINGLY wonderful Christians - as I'm sure you do too... that the words that describe the first Christ Followers would apply to them as well. People who give of themselves totally - who are the hands & feet of Jesus - who love & forgive & shine the face of God to others. But why isnt the world seeing more people like that?
I guess I have to remember I am responsible for my own actions...and I want to work on being described as the first followers of Christ.... I want to represent Jesus... not claim to be perfect or have all the answers, but love everyone, as Jesus would...
Dont you think the world would describe "Christians" differently if everyone just loved as Jesus? ....
I read the article on Anne Rice article and it made me sad because I too understand what she is saying. So many people have forgotten what it is to be a Christ Follower.ReplyDelete
I understand her too. She wants to follow Jesus and be Christ-like but at the same time not be filled with hate for others that have different lifestyles/beliefs, etc.ReplyDelete
Honestly, even though I don't know you IRL, I believe if all Christians were like you, Christians today would be described like the disciples above! :) And the world would be a better place!!
Carolina Girl took the words right out of my mouth.ReplyDelete
I can totally see where Anne Rice is coming from. Many, many, many Christians take it upon themselves to "spread the word of God" but it comes out so hateful and rude that it is no wonder that we are seen as "above others".
It also doesn't help when you have churches like Westboro Baptist who feel it necessary to tell others that God doesn't love us, he hates us, etc.
After a while, it becomes hard to know what a "good Chritian" is.
WOW, this is good Rebecca. Great food for though and so so true!!!!!!ReplyDelete
Jesus destroyed the "status quo" and raised the bar for us.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure the disciples weren't called bad names too. I see your point though. I know they were called bad things by the pharasees and the romans who killed some of them.
The thing is, they were unjustly called those things. Those words weren't true of them. That's what we've got to get back to.
We will always be persecuted and called bad things by those who don't agree with what we are doing. But the important thing is to make sure that what they say about us doesn't really match how we really act.
When that happens the labels really do fit. And it is our fault.
Another thought: does Anne Rice say that just to be able to justify her wants? (i.e. pro-gay, pro-science etc.)
Some people are just uncomfortable with what it really means to be a true Christ follower.
Great post! My husband has some non-Christian friends who express these same sentiments - if all this hate is what it means to follow Christ them I am NOT interested. It's very very sad.ReplyDelete
Steve and I were just having this discussion the other day, not about Anne Rice, I hadn't heard that actually, but about how important it is to love as Jesus did, and how we all fall so short of that at times. Thanks for the reminder to work harder at that. Steve emails me once a week a scripture about striving to imitate Christ. It's become sort of a weekly reminder for us. We discuss how we fall short of that particular scripture teaching and how we can better imitate Christ in our daily lives. And then we work to put it into action. But it's tough sometimes.ReplyDelete
Rebecca...so glad you shared all of this with us. I don't necessarily agree with Anne Rice's stance, but I get it...I really do! Yes, I think that if we opened our hearts to others just as Christ did, people would view Christians in a more positive light.ReplyDelete
We left our last church because of a small group of those so-called Christians. They drove out our pastor just 2 years after his 14 year old daughter committed suicide!ReplyDelete
There was no way we could stay, but we are still close with our former pastor, his wife & a small group of friends that left with us. We actually re-start our bible study tonight after the summer off & I'm so excited!
Hugs & love,
Happy Wednesday.. Yes it is hard how people look at things in life.ReplyDelete
Loved this post...Makes you think!ReplyDelete
I read some of the comments when this news story broke and so many were wondering why it was so newsworthy that this one person decided to change her religious beliefs, which is kinda true!ReplyDelete
I am the same way about being able to see both sides of an argument (drives my husband crazy!)ReplyDelete
I get what she is saying. Really I do.
I think you are right. If Christians spent more time out in the world loving people, it would change the public opinion of Christians. At the same time, there will always be wildly public groups (like the Westborough people) who go out there and give all of us a bad name.
I think that when asked, "What do you think of Christians?" they refer to controversial Christians, and not just the everyday good Christian. I don't like to lump all people of a certain anything into one group. Each person is an individual. Unfortunately, one hypocritical Christian can taint a person's opinion.ReplyDelete
Great post, Rebecca!ReplyDelete
As you know, I am currently being challenged to live out my faith among those who probably hold the beliefs about Christians that you stated above. You are so right in that Jesus loved those who sinned...those who did not believe in Him.
Ahhh...I could go on and on, but I know I don't have to because you know what I'm going through.
Thanks, sweet friend, for posting this hard truth. We all need to read this every single day.