Anne Rice is Right – And Wrong – And I’ve Been Caught in Sin

I hate getting caught, don’t you?

Getting caught doing something wrong rates right up there with one of life’s greatest discomforts, a top ten situation to avoid.

But it happens.

Not long ago, I stood up a friend for coffee. I let my schedule get out of control and I completely forgot our plans. Not only that, but my cell phone was off so her attempts to reach me went unanswered.

Worse, we’d made the date because she was unemployed and going through enormous challenges so I had planned to encourage her. Instead, I left her sitting alone in a restaurant feeling forgotten and unimportant with no excuse.

That day, my eyes were on me. And someone else got hurt.

And believe me, that’s not the worst of the stories of how my personal sin has hurt others. Some of them are writing books – with movie deals.

As I listened to radio and television interviews of Anne Rice this week, condemning the church as full of sin, I thought – well, she’s right but she’s also wrong and agreeing with her is not doing enough.

One reporter showed Ms. Rice’s obviously well-read, marked up Bible and her wall of religious books as evidence that she speaks with some authority. It’s admirable that she’s studying God’s word but I’m certain the people she’s condemning have their own big Bibles, open on their desks and their own reference libraries. That’s a game that really goes nowhere.

And, I have to wonder if she thinks separating herself from the church will separate her from sin and sinners. The church is not an institution; it is a living breathing organic being formed by the lives of those who live for Christ.

She can no more separate herself from the church than my thumb can decide not to be a part of my hand. (My thumb can refuse to function as part of my hand but that leaves me crippled and doesn’t do the thumb any real good either, does it?)

A few things in scripture are debatable but this point is clear. There is NO ONE righteous, NO NOT ONE. Only Jesus lived a sinless life.

I John 1: 8-10 says this: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.”

But for Christians, it’s not enough to acknowledge that we are all sinners and leave it there. We USED to be in bondage to sin but if we follow Jesus, we are now without excuse. We have the illness but we also have the cure.

John continues in 1 John 2: 1-6 “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”

We have to deal with our sin. We have to confess our sin, receive forgiveness and repent by accessing the power of the Holy Spirit to change. We HAVE to be different both alone and in community.

WE HAVE TO BE DIFFERENT BECAUSE TO BE THE SAME AS THE WORLD DENIES THE POWER AND WORK OF JESUS CHRIST.

Are you different this year than you were last year? Are you growing and changing because of your relationship with Jesus Christ?

I’m not asking if you KNOW more or if you’ve memorized more scripture or if you understand more theology. I’m asking are you different? Do you think differently? Do you live differently? Are your relationships changed?

It would be too easy to join the public discussion sparked by Anne Rice and throw stones at our own house. But, how stupid is that?

One of my guiding verses in life is from Proverbs 14:1 “A wise woman builds her house, but a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.”

My prayer is that we allow the discussion sparked by Ms. Rice to drive us to the Lord – both on our own and in our church families – to not only confess that we are sinners but to be changed by the power of Christ so that we ARE the salt and light we must be as those who are citizens of the Kingdom of God.

Let us go to the Lord and ask – show me my sin and cleanse me of it. Show me how to BE the church You desire. And then let us do the hard work of repenting, of changing, of living according to the Spirit. Put down your stones and pick up a sword – be the warrior Christian you are called to be – first alone with Christ and then in community with others.

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7 Comments

    The Conversation

  1. Karin says:

    My thoughts exactly and you’ve said it so well! Be blessed!

  2. Thank you, Karin. So there are two of us in agreement! Praise God. It’s a beginning. . . Anyone else?

  3. Cheri says:

    Make it three! I’m in agreement too!

    Great post, Lori…

    Cheri

  4. God is good all the time. There are more of us, I know.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi Lori & others – Pray for Anne Rice if you think of her. I read her Jesus books and her autobiography on her return to Christ. Like all of us sinners, she needs our prayers to grow into a mature follower of Christ.

  6. Excellent post, Lori! I totally agree.

  7. We all need those prayers!

    Thank you, Brandy.