Saturday, August 21, 2010

Anne Rice and Walking Off by One's Self

Jane Redmont, writing in The Daily Episcopalian, discusses the all-too-tempting route that Anne Rice has taken, that is, walking away from the flawed church (aren't they all flawed?).  I say all-too-tempting because there are days when I would like to leave too--yet I know I can't.  (If I left the Catholic church, I would do so only to go to another Christian community.  No shunning of the church altogether for me.)

A couple salient quotes from Redmont in her "Open Letter to Anne Rice":

What I am writing to tell you is that there’s no such creature as a lone follower of Jesus. You can’t be a Jesus-person away in a corner. Even hermits pray in communion with a larger tradition, a church beyond themselves in a world which is the place where God becomes incarnate.
The world: that’s why Jesus showed up. That’s why we are church. I’m with Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the pastor and theologian whom the Nazis killed for resisting Hitler and the Third Reich. He wrote: “The church is the church only when it exists for others.”
There is some grace, indeed, to be found in being part of the larger church:  the quiet church, the church militant, the church visible or invisible, whichever church one wishes to associate one's self with at any given moment.  And yes, I know, one can find grace during a solitary walk through the woods, or a week at the side of a lake; I've had that experience too, and I crave another such moment.  But there is grace also in the brotherhood and sisterhood that Christ calls us to, the human family (flawed and divided though it may be) that Christ died to give life to.  (In every way, at every turn, Christianity is full of paradox.)

Hat-tip to PrayTell for the link to Redmont's letter.

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