Liking Christ, But Not Christianity

That’s Anne Rice’s position (see here and here also) (along with a lot of other prominent people who are or were Christians).  I’ve never read any of her vampire novels, but I enjoyed very much her two novels on the early life of Christ (Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt and Christ the Lord: Road to Cana).  She manages to walk the very thin line of Jesus’ humanity and divinity, (almost) never confusing them, and (almost) never dividing them.  (I say “almost” because I can’t think of any specific parts, but there may be some.) 

But after a few years, she’s apparently done with Roman Catholicism (here’s an excellent response from a Roman Catholic and a, as usual, great post by Joseph Bottum), and various groups and people (sometimes officially) are making the case for why she should join them. 

This is the thing: if we could be Christians based on our own preferences, and never have to deal with other people who call themselves Christians, though they embarrass or confuse us, we’d each have our own church of one.  Unfortunately at times, and fortunately at others, the Body of Christ in this world is made up of selfish, idiot sinners who do and say stupid, sinful things.  I don’t agree with Anne Rice’s conception of what following Christ means (I also think she would fit right in in the UCC!), but I’m happy to call her a sister in Christ if she believes He died for sinners such as her and sinners such as me.  All “Christian” means is “sinner-covered-with-the-righteousness-of-Christ.”  Good fruit, including certain behavior, follows from that.  But if the former is not there, it’s completely irrelevant what nice things you say (the better for fans of vampire novels to agree!), or what nice things you do (the better for the secular press to approve!), or how tolerant you are of whatever the evil Fundamentalists oppose. 

Christ’s Body is the Church, no matter how whorish she appears (or: “God saves bad people”).  That’s why we “believe one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church” and not we see her.  Believing is for this creation; seeing is for the next, when Christ makes all things new.  (And that’s the case for why Anne Rice should be Lutheran!)


11 thoughts on “Liking Christ, But Not Christianity

  1. Hi Timotheos
    When Joshua led his people to the Holy land he faced a proplem not unknown during those milleniums; he faced an untamed land that had to be conquered. The Israelites started to tame the land much in the same way my ancestoirs did when they first came to Iceland many centuries later.
    The Israelites paced an Image of Creation on the virgin land. At Gilgal near Jerico was a place of Light, start of summer on a huge sunwatch. Gilgal is measured from Lachish, through Bayt Jibrin and Har HaMenuchot, exactly 216000 feet. Another line extended from the Dead Sea to opposide place on the Cosmic Image a distance of 216000 feet to where now is the city of Lod. Those lines crossed on a hill called Har HaMenuchot, the holy center. The center area of the Holy Land was measured carefully; due south from Har HaMenuchot was another sacred place that was to become the Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest continuously operating churches in the world, built over the cave that tradition marks as the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth, considered sacred by followers of both Christianity and Islam. Thisplace is a place of ancient universal sacredness as mentioned in my book; The Measure of the Cosmos. Taming virgin land, pacing it back and forth was essential. It was no easy task for monotheistic people to orient them selfs. If you like, see my book, blogs and;

  2. In my research and writing I hope to bring information on the table. Christianity at the age of 2000 needs it. In my mind was not the intention to offend you Timotheos, if my comment did, I apologize, delete my message.

  3. There is a problem with Petur’s articulation of the Holy Land of Joshua being untamed. The Promised Land which Joshua lead the Israelites into was fully populated and wealthy in agriculture, industry, and foreign culture. The first act of Joshua was to conquer Jericho, a heavily fortified city. Such a city does not exist in an untamed land. This in no way parallels the colonization of Iceland.

  4. Lawrence, a colonization of land may have been symbolic, a case in point is when Rome conquered the Latium delta and ousted The Etruscan culture. You are right, the Gilgal stone circle appears to predate the Isrealites.
    According to the Cosmic Images in my research, a colonization of The Holy Land appears to parallel the hallowing of not only Iceland but many delta areas in European nations as I explain in my book.


  6. Tyler,

    From my point of view, Petur’s context reflexts a relevant parallel in the movement of people’s from one geographical location to another, and and advancing civilization accordingly.

    “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt”. and “Christ the Lord: Road to Cana”, would parallel this this thinking in context of advancing civilization.

    However, I disagree with Petur’s point of view on this.

    One of the main reasons for the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years instead of entering to begin with, is because of the people’s and culture’s living in the region, and their fear of those people. This suggests that the region was already civliized and tamed. Teaming with milk and honey suggests organized agriculture.

    I agree that they had to conquer to control the region, but it wasn’t really an issue of taming a wild land. The conquering they had to do was complicated by the fact that it was already tamed and civilized by other people’s.

    Iceland was a land mostly unpopulated as far as I can determine, and in that they really did “tame the land”. I’m not disregarding their success, I assure you. I simply disagree with the parallel you are drawing between the two scenarios.

    The Israelite’s biggest challenge in conquering was bringing the entire region under control of their singular nation, this could be considered “taming”, I suppose, but not in a way I would agree parallels Petur’s point of view.

    • Lawrence,

      Perhaps Petur’s post does have some parallel in the context of the books Ms. Rice has written. I cannot speak with any authority on the issue as I have not read them.

      Even if they do touch on similar issues, the article was not about the Israelite’s entry into the Holy Land or the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt but on Rice’s turning away from the Church because of an apparent lack of knowledge on the Church’s teaching. This is why I found Petur’s posting to be a complete non sequitur.

  7. Tyler and Lawrence
    One bright day last spring I journeyed with a group of scientists equipped to scan the layers of earth. We were headed to the dead center of the Image of Creation recently discovered in Iceland, a place called Steinkross in the south Iceland delta where I discovered a hexagonal mound believed to be manmade and of ancient origin.
    The rumble from the eruption in Eyjafjalla glacier was like a primeval scream for summer, reverberating across the Cosmic Image from Godstone to its opposide on the Cosmic Image, the symbol of summer where now is the episcopal seat Skalholt, 216000 (2 x 108000) feet a way. The hexagon mound under our feet was a symbol of a Cube –Matter. From there man was connected to the land, stars and cosmic power. Back in prehistoric time when man oriented himself on the face of Earth in the whirligig of its commotion, he made an almanac and a sunwatch. He construed a universe of a known portion and a clock to count time.
    As we did our survey in volcanic dust from the eruption in the shadow of its conspicuous mushroom cloud, it reminded us of the Bomb, or when man created God and Jesus. At the time junction in history when all the world could be accommodated in the mind, and the Jews came up with a brilliant solution for an invisible god whom we think is in our image because his son is just like us. Consequently a New Light was born in the darkest time of year, Christmas, and after that the holy father and his son allways appeared on the horizon at the symbol of beginning of summer, 108000 feet northwest from the sacred center, a place called Skalholt in the Icelandic Cosmic Image. I propose man oriented himself many thousands of years BC, by construing a Cosmic Image like the one discovered in the Icelandic delta. Look at my book or:

  8. [i]One bright day last spring I journeyed with a group of scientists equipped to scan the layers of earth. We were headed to the dead center of the Image of Creation recently discovered in Iceland,[/i]

    Ironically, the Bible teachs us that the earliest civilizations of mankind were destroyed and erased from the fact of the globe during the Flood from which God allowed Noah to escape.

    If what you found is true it would have to have been made after the time of Noah, not before, which discredits your assertion that this is the center of creation.

    It is also well establish that the center of the birth of post-flood human civilization is in the region of the globe we now call the Middle East.

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