Here’s the source before we get started: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/08/08/rev-shuler-anne-rice-christianity-quit-christ-pharisees-god-love-forgiveness/

As many of you may be aware, last year I did a Facebook series on what I call “The Vampire Research.”  A lot of people did not like it, to say the least, which is understandable because this vampire trend is getting out of hand.  But what spurred on my research to begin with was exactly the fact that vampires are not a new fad.  In fact, they’ve been a fad in almost every decade since the last century, waning and waxing every so often.  Films, TV shows, music, games–vampires have been featured in everything.  And before there was ever Twilight, there was Buffy the Vampire Slayer in the ’90s, and before that, it was Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles in the ’80s.

See, before Stephanie Meyer brought the creatures of the night back into the spotlight (hey, I made a funny!), Anne Rice’s series of novels was considered the greatest fictional series on the vampire romance genre ever since Bram Stoker’s Dracula.  Two films were made out of that series, which you may be familiar with: Interview with the Vampire and Queen of the Damned.

Now, the author, Anne Rice, was raised Roman Catholic. She quit Catholicism at age 18, then made a return after a near death experience in 2005 at 63 years of age.  Last month, she once again rejected Catholicism, stating that although she no longer belongs to an organized religion, she is still a follower of Christ.

This post isn’t so much about vampires (for real) or Anne Rice herself even, but about Rev. Bill Shuler, the author of the opinion piece that I cited above.  He contends that Anne Rice is the voice of a generation of people who are disenchanted with Christianity. Yes, I know she quit the Roman Catholic church, but don’t forget that most people lump together Catholicism and Protestant Christianity (and by extension, Baptists).

Rev. Shuler makes an interesting argument.  It can be so easy to get caught up in being religious that we can forget about being like Christ.  He writes the following ten points about Jesus in relation to His Church. These are powerful in the truth they teach, and we should do our best to emulate our Saviour in these:

1. Jesus saved his harshest criticism for the Pharisees who elevated rules and tradition but failed to recognize God when he stood before them.

2. Jesus modeled the proper balance of forgiveness and righteousness when he said to the woman caught in adultery, “neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more.”

3. Jesus came from a lineage that was dysfunctional and included prostitutes. He loved and identified with those who were judged by others and through loving them redeemed them.

4. Jesus chose women to be in his inner-circle and shocked his disciples by going against the cultural mores of the day and conversing with the woman at the well.

5. Jesus called Judas “friend” at the very moment Judas was betraying him with a kiss exemplifying his love for the most hated man in Christianity.

6. Jesus called Peter to put away his sword and then healed the wounds that Peter caused when Peter attacked a servant of the high priest. With this one act he showed that it is better to heal and win the heart than to harm.

7. Jesus was neither a Democrat nor a Republican and clearly delineated between politics and faith when he said “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s; and to God the things that are God’s.” Romans 13:1.

8. Jesus would not allow his followers to exclude Peter from being recognized as a disciple even after Peter had betrayed Jesus. He told the first witnesses of his resurrection to go tell his disciples “and Peter also” lest they exclude Peter because of his actions.

9. Jesus placed science and the gathering of knowledge about nature in context with God’s design and authorship. Matthew 6:28-30.

10. Jesus called the church, “my church” showing that it is not an idea of man but of God. Matthew 16:18.

Perhaps if we were more Christ-like in our attitude and worship, the world’s attitude toward Christianity, as encapsulated by Anne Rice’s statements, would be different.

What are your opinions? Leave your comments below and share with others.

~My Two Cents

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