Quitting Christianity

Anne RiceThe writer Anne Rice just announced she has quit Christianity after having written her story about how she converted into the faith. I cannot comment on her decision whereas I do not know her and have never read any of her books, before or after her acceptance of Christ. What I can comment on is my own faith journey as a Christian who questioned Christianity but remained committed to the faith.

More than ten years ago I was a student in a liberal college in Michigan. I was active in two campus ministries, one that was considered pretty liberal and the other that was more in line with Mainline Protestantism. I was born and raised in Mainline Protestantism, but I was also taught about the need to be active for social justice. Therefore, I was pleased with the social concerns of the liberal ministry I joined in college. Nevertheless, participation in this ministry led me as I was leaving college to question whether these views were really Christian. I was committed to Christ, but I wondered if my understanding of his teachings were really what Christianity was about.

Around this time I took a job with a new church start. The staff of the church plant came from much more conservative Christian backgrounds then myself. The congregation was being formed within the United Methodist Church and its senior pastor came from that tradition. However, the children’s and youth pastor was Baptist and the music minister came from the Assemblies of God tradition. I felt like the token liberal on staff.

Nevertheless, I developed a good working relationship with my colleagues within the developing congregation. We would often debate issues, but we knew that deep down that we all had the same love for Christ and the desire to spread his word. It was in these conversations that I regained the confidence to call myself a Christian. No, I did not accept all the ideological or theological viewpoints of my colleagues, but I learned to call them my brothers in Christ.

My hope for Anne Rice and all those who love Christ but question Christianity is to take heart in its core. I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only son, our Lord. And, I believe in the Holy Spirit. Christ taught that we are to love God and love our neighbor. Loving my neighbor means loving those Christians who may not have all the same beliefs as me. To grow stronger in Christ, we need to reach out to each other and not pull away.

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