There is a difference between Christ and The Church. (There should not be, but we do not live in a world populated by "should" and "ought".) This morning I was perplexed by a headline proclaiming that Anne Rice declared herself no longer a Christian. I was not too sure how that worked. If one knows the sky is blue, then how does one denounce such a thing? She doesn't. She lists a few of the things she is against being against after denouncing Christianity. The news of her "no longer being a Christian," is actually that the author, who is still studying theology and scripture, has decided to drop out of the Catholic Church.
There is a difference between leaving one's church and leaving one's faith. As my mister put it, "Martin Luther left the Church, but he did not leave behind Jesus." The man has a point. The media gets to that point eventually when stating that Anne Rice is holdinng to her actual beliefs while defecting from the entity which was previously offerinng earthly governance of such things.
Since I do not particularly follow Anne Rice's faith-based leanings as a general rule of thumb, this tidbit only came to my attention thanks to a post from a high school friend who finds Christians hateful because she feels they are hate-full. (I'm not too sure why she "friended" me. Maybe I do not show up on her feed? Or it is some nostalgia-induced brand of tolerance?) This feeling so often expressed by my acquaintance is exactly the issue that comes up in the articles on Mrs. Rice's departure. It churns my stomach because the anti-everything message is so patently not what Jesus taught, but it seems to be the message so often portrayed as an underpinning of Christian faith.
Jesus walked and ate with tax collectors and prostitutes. He healed the blind, sick, and lame rather than speculating on what sort of sin had led to their afflictions. He did say to sin no more, and yet He did not spew condemnation for the sinner or protest at known sinner hangouts (except the temple). Jesus is Light in the darkness, but it says in John that even at Creation the darkness could not comprehend it. That profound verse reminds me that those who do not know Christ have not yet received and cannot fully understand the grace and justice interwoven throughout scripture. How I wish that the reflective beacons that are supposed to be shining the light of Jesus out into a dark world were not so often warped that the Light is judged by the quality of the reflector.