Well-known author Anne Rice has once again made international headlines. Having sold nearly 100 million books—it would seem that she’s certainly worthy of some media attention. After writing for years on gothic and erotic themes, she shocked the world in October of 2004 when she announced a return to her “faith” in Newsweek and her determination henceforth to “write only for the Lord.” Christian magazines gobbled up the news of a “new convert” and praised her newfound “faith.”
Now, Ms. Rice has again stunned the religious and literary world when she announced that she was “resigning from Christianity.” On July 29th she announced, “Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out.” There was immediate and intense speculation on what she meant by this shocking announcement. In looking deeper into her statements, it’s clear that she found herself fed up with organized religion. She clarified later that she was still deeply committed to Christ—just not Christianity and “the church.” From additional statements made by the author it seemed her attitudes towards the pressing social issues of the day were never in line with her church.
I do not know the heart of Anne Rice and would not dare try to analyze her spiritual condition. I can say this, however, when it comes to “religion” I’m with you, Anne! I have through the years developed a deep distaste for “religion.” A couple of fresh examples are rolling around in my head.
I just returned from a wonderful trip to the country of Moldova in Eastern Europe. It was my privilege to be the speaker for an incredible youth camp ministry. The camp is located deep in a remote area of the Moldovan countryside outside a village founded in the mid 1400s. For several years now, hundreds of young people come to this camp and have their lives transformed by the power of Christ. Kids hooked on drugs and sex are wonderfully delivered. Young people lost in a poverty-stricken culture find meaning and hope. Over the course of 17 years, over 22,000 young people have come to Christ! Now, who could oppose such a life-changing ministry? Answer—religion. Just up the road from this phenomenal youth camp is a regional center for a particular “Christian religion” and every year these “Christians” do all they can to hassle, harass and destroy the work going on at the camp.