Alison Flood, in an article for the Guardian, picks up on Anne Rice's post on her Facebook page that she has decided to "quit being a Christian" because of negative attitudes by Christians to birth control, homosexuality and science. What interests me most about this is that Anne Rice declares that her faith in Christ is still central to her life. She writes,
"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 10 year, I've tried. I've failed. I'm an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else."I agree with Anne Rice that "Christ is infinitely more important" than Christianity. Many Christians are very unlike Christ. I know. I'm one of them.
My question is, can someone be committed to Christ but refuse to be called 'Christian'?
Commitment to Christ comes high on my list of ways to define what it means to be Christian. Is part of the cost of commitment to Christ, having to accept that Christian believers include a great many fat-heads and sinners as well as some very peculiar saints? I might think some of them are profoundly wrong on many issues. I have the freedom to say so, but I don't have the freedom to choose who belongs to the Christian community, the body of Christ in all its diversity. Any more than I can choose my blood relatives.
Trying to stay loyal to Christ, without the support of other Christians is a lonely, difficult task. I couldn't do it. I hope Anne Rice continues to be committed to Christ. Trying to be so, while standing aloof from her brothers and sisters in the church, where will that lead her next I wonder?