This morning in church the pastor shared a letter that Anne Rice had posted on Facebook this past week. She is the author of many popular novels like "Interview with a Vampire" and had returned to her Catholic faith a number of years ago. Now, it seemed she was leaving Christianity. She is still a follower of Christ, but chooses to not be associated with Christianity as an organized religion. Since I wrote a short article on her conversion back in 2006, I thought it would be appropriate for me to share some thoughts on this most recent development.
The crucial element for me is that Anne Rice is leaving the church and not Christ. She still sees herself as a follower of Jesus and I would tend to agree with her. Our faith is not built on any one particular denomination, doctrine or creed. It is built on Christ and on Him alone. At the same time, as a follower of Christ, myself, I find it hard to imagine not living in fellowship with my fellow Christians. While it is true that our faith is built on Christ and on Him alone, we need our fellow Christians to help up grow in Christ. In Matthew 22:34-39, Jesus says the greatest thing we can do as Christians, indeed as human beings, is to love God and love each other as we love ourselves. The pharisees asked Him for a single commandment, and though it may seem like He gave them 3 (love God, love each other, love ourselves), these elements are so interconnected in His mind that He could not separate one from the other. Our love for God is shown in our love for others and we cannot show others what we do not have for ourselves.
So, my point is that we, as followers of Christ, need each other. I have tried living the Christian life myself and failed totally. It is not something I would recommend for anyone. The Christian life is not meant to be lived alone. It is meant to be lived in community with God and with His people. That is the only way it can really work. As for Anne Rice, I do believe she is still among the redeemed. I hope and pray that, even though she has left Christianity as a whole, she will find fellow followers of Christ who she can fellowship with and grow with in Christ. Many of her books, I have read and enjoyed, especially those she wrote after her conversion. I look forward to reading many more. Keep writing and following Christ, Anne, you are in my prayers. May God bless you in your journey.