Dear Anne Rice,
When I heard you started following Jesus a few years ago I was excited for you. In my own spiritual journey, connecting personally to God through Jesus truly changed everything for me.
In reading a story about your Facebook comments and your desire “to quit being a Christian,” I was saddened. Intuitively I knew that you must have encountered people who follow Jesus who probably began attempts to conform every part of who you are to become more like them rather than to help you become more like the person God created you to be and to become more like Jesus.
After reading your comments, I realized my fears were right. You have become the victim of potentially well-meaning people who think that everyone who follows Jesus needs to look, act, and make choices just like them. Way too often, as people of faith, we have added to what we think is essential.
I just wanted to let you know that there are more of us out here than you may realize.
There are many, many people who have chosen to follow Jesus without getting caught up in the religion which has done so much damage in His name. There is a group of insurrectionists who seek to love, serve, and influence people no matter how these people in their life choose to live, what they choose to believe, or how they choose to vote.
I am a part of a movement of people who follow Jesus. We gather together in service projects, in homes to study the Scriptures, and in larger gatherings on weekends. We allow people to belong before they believe (whether or not they ever believe).
To hear that your faith has moved you from pessimism to optimism really encourages me. Keep pursuing Jesus, and you will find there are a lot more people out there who are with you.
A Fellow Follower of Jesus,
Excerpts from Anne Rice’s Facebook page:
Anne Rice My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.
Anne Rice As I said below, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, 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. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.
Anne Rice 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.
For more on getting away from the non-essentials, check out “People for the Ethical Treatment of People” and “Advocating for the Rights of Those Who Don’t Believe.”
For more on our community go to www.mosaic.org, on our network go to www.MosaicAlliance.com, and on our tribe go to www.OriginsProject.org. There are more and more communities, churches, and networks leaving what has been called Christianity in order to truly follow Jesus….