Anne Rice

Anne Rice, the author of literate vampire novels who embraced Christianity, now says that she is no longer a Christian:

I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.

“In the name of Christ”? In her books about Him, she affirms His deity and His redemptive acts. Does she no longer believe those things? How would her disagreements with other Christians on these issues mean that Christ is no longer God and Savior? And certainly many Christians are gay, feminist, Democrats, humanists, scientists, and use birth control (she is or was a Roman Catholic), though with differences from the secularists, who are most definitely not pro-life!

I actually had a touching correspondence with her when she “came out” as a Christian. I wrote about that and reviewed her book Christ the Lord. She responded, saying that I understood what she was trying to say exactly. So my heart hurts to hear that she is repudiating her faith.

What would you say to her?

HT: Webmonk

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Peter Leavitt

    I would thank Anne for the interesting books she wrote about Christ and incisive comments on the shallowness of liberal biblical criticism and then express regret for what is a shocking conversion back to secular humanism.

    My guess is that she couldn’t find the inner fortitude that any Christian must develop at present to withstand what amounts to the fierce secular humanist faith that dominates the cultural heights of the contemporary West.

  • Peter Leavitt

    I would thank Anne for the interesting books she wrote about Christ and incisive comments on the shallowness of liberal biblical criticism and then express regret for what is a shocking conversion back to secular humanism.

    My guess is that she couldn’t find the inner fortitude that any Christian must develop at present to withstand what amounts to the fierce secular humanist faith that dominates the cultural heights of the contemporary West.

  • Winston Smith

    I have to wonder, regretfully, if she was ever really a Christian to start with.

    Ms. Rice grew up in the infernal, occult-tinged city of New Orleans and is best known as the author of “Interview with the Vampire” and “The Vampire Chronicles.” Vampires are real, and there is a powerful black magic subculture assoicated with vampirism. To my knowledge, Ms. Rice has never repented of, or publicly dissasociated herself from, that evil subculture. (I realize that sanctification is an ongoing process, but the contrast between true, Biblical Christianity and vampirism is stark enough to repel and appall someone washed in the blood of Christ and regenerated.)

    The “Christianity” she embraced, temporarily, was the Roman Catholicism she knew as a child in New Orleans, a Catholicism that co-exists quite comfortably with the voodoo and carnality that characterize the Crescent City.

  • Winston Smith

    I have to wonder, regretfully, if she was ever really a Christian to start with.

    Ms. Rice grew up in the infernal, occult-tinged city of New Orleans and is best known as the author of “Interview with the Vampire” and “The Vampire Chronicles.” Vampires are real, and there is a powerful black magic subculture assoicated with vampirism. To my knowledge, Ms. Rice has never repented of, or publicly dissasociated herself from, that evil subculture. (I realize that sanctification is an ongoing process, but the contrast between true, Biblical Christianity and vampirism is stark enough to repel and appall someone washed in the blood of Christ and regenerated.)

    The “Christianity” she embraced, temporarily, was the Roman Catholicism she knew as a child in New Orleans, a Catholicism that co-exists quite comfortably with the voodoo and carnality that characterize the Crescent City.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    My heart goes out to this woman who is evidently hurt and frustrated by the infighting and political co-opting that goes on among us. From the full context of her Face Book page, it seems like she is through with the church, not Jesus.
    Many of us have been there.

    Any words I have for her would be here:

    http://www.newreformationpress.com/blog/nrp-freebies/the-gospel-for-those-broken-by-the-church/

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    My heart goes out to this woman who is evidently hurt and frustrated by the infighting and political co-opting that goes on among us. From the full context of her Face Book page, it seems like she is through with the church, not Jesus.
    Many of us have been there.

    Any words I have for her would be here:

    http://www.newreformationpress.com/blog/nrp-freebies/the-gospel-for-those-broken-by-the-church/

  • Larry

    This is a question, because I don’t know Ann Rice other than an author of books, has she rejected Christ (and thereby real Christianity) or that which parades itself around as Christianity? Is she being like the story Dr. Rosenbladt tells of the ex-baptist preacher turned shock comedian Sam Kineson. The story is that Dr. Rosenbladt was watching a 60 minutes interview with Sam’s brother who was there on that road with Sam as he lay dying in his arms (when he had the car accident). The interviewer asks some kind of question about Sam’s hatred of Jesus (or something like that), his brother responded with a shocked face and said, “you think Sam hated Jesus, no Sam didn’t hate Christ but believed in Him. He just hated the religion that says it Christian…Sam will be in heaven that you can be sure of.” (my best paraphrase from memory).

    I wonder is that Ms. Rice’s real under pinning?

    This one strikes at my heart close to home in a similar fashion.

    I see this “principle” happening a lot.

    I have a family member or I should say family members who have been raised s. baptist all there lives and will never darken the door of a church again. Why? They don’t reject Jesus but they have come to reject that “church”. They never hear of Christ and at length its all boils down to “doing better” preaching in some form or another. This family member (and others) would be the opposite of Ms. Rice concerning every issue she listed, highly conservative, and on the “high moral side” of all those issues (if you will), yet in principle they reject that religion of baptistism but not Christ. Lutheranism is not a family heirloom in my family, we are the very first, dating back at least 12 generations that I’m aware of on one side of my family. Many of my family member, well to be honest all, where either baptist or Methodist and church goers but over time they left those “churches” (let me be blunt and honest false churches). Why did they leave? Did they reject Christ or that which parades itself around as Christ? And if the later do they (all such folks) not reject antichrist? Because lets be honest, that’s what it is. Do they reject the One Who is the real Christ Who bled and died for the forgiveness of sin, the One in Whom God has already forgiven the sins of all men as an accomplished fact not awaiting faith to be real. Or have they rejected that which suites itself up and calls itself Christ and Christian with all sorts of moral and political agendas (many of which we could agree with from an earthly level but really has nothing to do with forgiveness of sin).

    I’ve seen staunch conservatives, FIRST HAND, not just liberal types reject in a similar manner. It’s a very close issue for me because its in my own family, but on the conservative side rather than the more or less liberal side of things.

    Too many times “conservative” type principles are more associated with “Christianity” than the One Whose Blood Forgives Sin. And that goes for what pretends to associate with more or less sound doctrine. It is often more accepted, if only by silence, that a conservative theologian of heterodoxy is acceptable is quasi-orthodox just because they are “conservative”. Yet their heterodoxy, in truth, is no less from deceptive hell than is the liberal heterodoxy and that’s just plain fact. Yet both liberal and conservative theologians (conservative here does not mean adheres to orthodox confession as in “conservative Lutheran”. A SB theologian can be deeply conservative but false by default.) hide, obscure and deny Christ to all men.

    This is why I wonder about what Ms. Rice rejects like Sam Kineson (who went more liberal in principle) and many of the types like my family (who are staunchly conservative). Why is the most heard voice of Christianity basically, “Oh that’s the religion that reject gays, _____sin list, etc…”? Because many that parade around as Christian lay their assurance and hope in their “changed life” (whatever it was) as the invented sacrament that they were “born again”, “converted”, “elected”, etc… And thus that is what displays, at length, as “Christian” to many. And many like Sam Kineson and perhaps Ms. Rice reject THAT. And if they reject that are they rejecting Christ (the forgiveness of sins by His blood end of story)? Or are they really rejecting antichrist, the WHITE devil as Luther put it?

    That I wonder.

    The only way orthodoxy is going to distinguish itself so that it may be heard is to vocally and sharply and visibly do so is to stop saying “we just disagree here” but distinctly say “we are not of the same spirit” and thereby give Law and Gospel so rich and clear that it is heard above the noise level of that which parades itself around as Christian in all heterodoxy forms. I even know as a friend an ex-RC that basically has done the same as Ms. Rice. He was stunned to hear of Jesus not being all those things but the forgiveness of sins period. When I got around to identifying something he didn’t, in his liberal mind, concur that should be “just forgiven” (liberal, not just conservatives, have their own self righteous things they cling to you just have to ferret them out more) for Christ’s sake he said, “now that I don’t agree with” (i.e. should be forgiven) I said, “Now at least your rejecting the real Christian faith.” That gave him pause and that seems to be progress at least.

  • Larry

    This is a question, because I don’t know Ann Rice other than an author of books, has she rejected Christ (and thereby real Christianity) or that which parades itself around as Christianity? Is she being like the story Dr. Rosenbladt tells of the ex-baptist preacher turned shock comedian Sam Kineson. The story is that Dr. Rosenbladt was watching a 60 minutes interview with Sam’s brother who was there on that road with Sam as he lay dying in his arms (when he had the car accident). The interviewer asks some kind of question about Sam’s hatred of Jesus (or something like that), his brother responded with a shocked face and said, “you think Sam hated Jesus, no Sam didn’t hate Christ but believed in Him. He just hated the religion that says it Christian…Sam will be in heaven that you can be sure of.” (my best paraphrase from memory).

    I wonder is that Ms. Rice’s real under pinning?

    This one strikes at my heart close to home in a similar fashion.

    I see this “principle” happening a lot.

    I have a family member or I should say family members who have been raised s. baptist all there lives and will never darken the door of a church again. Why? They don’t reject Jesus but they have come to reject that “church”. They never hear of Christ and at length its all boils down to “doing better” preaching in some form or another. This family member (and others) would be the opposite of Ms. Rice concerning every issue she listed, highly conservative, and on the “high moral side” of all those issues (if you will), yet in principle they reject that religion of baptistism but not Christ. Lutheranism is not a family heirloom in my family, we are the very first, dating back at least 12 generations that I’m aware of on one side of my family. Many of my family member, well to be honest all, where either baptist or Methodist and church goers but over time they left those “churches” (let me be blunt and honest false churches). Why did they leave? Did they reject Christ or that which parades itself around as Christ? And if the later do they (all such folks) not reject antichrist? Because lets be honest, that’s what it is. Do they reject the One Who is the real Christ Who bled and died for the forgiveness of sin, the One in Whom God has already forgiven the sins of all men as an accomplished fact not awaiting faith to be real. Or have they rejected that which suites itself up and calls itself Christ and Christian with all sorts of moral and political agendas (many of which we could agree with from an earthly level but really has nothing to do with forgiveness of sin).

    I’ve seen staunch conservatives, FIRST HAND, not just liberal types reject in a similar manner. It’s a very close issue for me because its in my own family, but on the conservative side rather than the more or less liberal side of things.

    Too many times “conservative” type principles are more associated with “Christianity” than the One Whose Blood Forgives Sin. And that goes for what pretends to associate with more or less sound doctrine. It is often more accepted, if only by silence, that a conservative theologian of heterodoxy is acceptable is quasi-orthodox just because they are “conservative”. Yet their heterodoxy, in truth, is no less from deceptive hell than is the liberal heterodoxy and that’s just plain fact. Yet both liberal and conservative theologians (conservative here does not mean adheres to orthodox confession as in “conservative Lutheran”. A SB theologian can be deeply conservative but false by default.) hide, obscure and deny Christ to all men.

    This is why I wonder about what Ms. Rice rejects like Sam Kineson (who went more liberal in principle) and many of the types like my family (who are staunchly conservative). Why is the most heard voice of Christianity basically, “Oh that’s the religion that reject gays, _____sin list, etc…”? Because many that parade around as Christian lay their assurance and hope in their “changed life” (whatever it was) as the invented sacrament that they were “born again”, “converted”, “elected”, etc… And thus that is what displays, at length, as “Christian” to many. And many like Sam Kineson and perhaps Ms. Rice reject THAT. And if they reject that are they rejecting Christ (the forgiveness of sins by His blood end of story)? Or are they really rejecting antichrist, the WHITE devil as Luther put it?

    That I wonder.

    The only way orthodoxy is going to distinguish itself so that it may be heard is to vocally and sharply and visibly do so is to stop saying “we just disagree here” but distinctly say “we are not of the same spirit” and thereby give Law and Gospel so rich and clear that it is heard above the noise level of that which parades itself around as Christian in all heterodoxy forms. I even know as a friend an ex-RC that basically has done the same as Ms. Rice. He was stunned to hear of Jesus not being all those things but the forgiveness of sins period. When I got around to identifying something he didn’t, in his liberal mind, concur that should be “just forgiven” (liberal, not just conservatives, have their own self righteous things they cling to you just have to ferret them out more) for Christ’s sake he said, “now that I don’t agree with” (i.e. should be forgiven) I said, “Now at least your rejecting the real Christian faith.” That gave him pause and that seems to be progress at least.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Amen Larry, great comment.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Amen Larry, great comment.

  • Winston Smith

    Jesus is the One Whose Blood Forgives Sins. That, and not strict moralism, is at the heart of the Gospel, and let none of us ever forget it.

    In order for sin to be forgiven, however, one has to confess that sin exists — i.e., that God has a right to make laws, that His laws are holy and just and good, and that we have broken them and cannot keep them in our own strength. Even when we continue to fall short and have to ask for forgiveness, we at least acknowledge that the standard exists, and that we fall short.

    I’m not sure Ms. Rice ever believed that celebrating and popularizing vampirism was a sin.

  • Winston Smith

    Jesus is the One Whose Blood Forgives Sins. That, and not strict moralism, is at the heart of the Gospel, and let none of us ever forget it.

    In order for sin to be forgiven, however, one has to confess that sin exists — i.e., that God has a right to make laws, that His laws are holy and just and good, and that we have broken them and cannot keep them in our own strength. Even when we continue to fall short and have to ask for forgiveness, we at least acknowledge that the standard exists, and that we fall short.

    I’m not sure Ms. Rice ever believed that celebrating and popularizing vampirism was a sin.

  • Eric Brown

    This sounds more like a rant against the authority of the Church of Rome mixed in with social principles tossed in. That’s all that it is — if you rebel against Rome, and you think Rome equals public Christianity, then you have in your own understanding left Christianity.

  • Eric Brown

    This sounds more like a rant against the authority of the Church of Rome mixed in with social principles tossed in. That’s all that it is — if you rebel against Rome, and you think Rome equals public Christianity, then you have in your own understanding left Christianity.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert Talbert

    I’d ask Ms. Rice to please open her copy of “The Screwtape Letters” to Chapter 2 and start reading.

    While I do have /some/ sympathy for Ms. Rice’s situation, this sort of disillusionment with the Church is hardly anything new. The question is whether we will deal with disillusionment by absurdly and dramatically claiming to “reject Christianity in the name of Christ”, or whether we will stop trying to make Christianity in our own image and instead earnestly get to the bottom of what Christianity really is.

  • http://castingoutnines.wordpress.com Robert Talbert

    I’d ask Ms. Rice to please open her copy of “The Screwtape Letters” to Chapter 2 and start reading.

    While I do have /some/ sympathy for Ms. Rice’s situation, this sort of disillusionment with the Church is hardly anything new. The question is whether we will deal with disillusionment by absurdly and dramatically claiming to “reject Christianity in the name of Christ”, or whether we will stop trying to make Christianity in our own image and instead earnestly get to the bottom of what Christianity really is.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I’m going along with Winston and Larry on this one. Establishing, for example, that prenatal infanticide and homosexuality are Biblically proscribed is not exactly work for a D.Min, to put it mildly. Hence, I’ve got to wonder whether she was ever in any fellowship where the moral demands of the Scriptures were connected with the Gospel. Like one said, forgiveness for sin only works if you know what sin is.

    So like too many famous “Christians”–Evander Holyfield, Amy Grant, Newt Gingrich, Barack Obama–evidently nobody ever got through to them to speak clearly and emphatically about the real Word, and the flotsam and jetsam of their lives is there for all to see.

    But we were still glad to buy their books and music and rave about them until the debris became too obvious….

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    I’m going along with Winston and Larry on this one. Establishing, for example, that prenatal infanticide and homosexuality are Biblically proscribed is not exactly work for a D.Min, to put it mildly. Hence, I’ve got to wonder whether she was ever in any fellowship where the moral demands of the Scriptures were connected with the Gospel. Like one said, forgiveness for sin only works if you know what sin is.

    So like too many famous “Christians”–Evander Holyfield, Amy Grant, Newt Gingrich, Barack Obama–evidently nobody ever got through to them to speak clearly and emphatically about the real Word, and the flotsam and jetsam of their lives is there for all to see.

    But we were still glad to buy their books and music and rave about them until the debris became too obvious….

  • Cincinnatus

    I must congratulate Anne Rice for her sophistication in characterizing and rejecting all of Christianity on the basis of a few negative stereotypes that, at most, apply to a small subculture of evangelicalism prevalent only in America.

    As if anything she said defines global Christianity throughout the ages.

    I do find it somewhat confusing/incoherent, though, that she could still be “pro-Christ” while being “pro secular humanism.”

  • Cincinnatus

    I must congratulate Anne Rice for her sophistication in characterizing and rejecting all of Christianity on the basis of a few negative stereotypes that, at most, apply to a small subculture of evangelicalism prevalent only in America.

    As if anything she said defines global Christianity throughout the ages.

    I do find it somewhat confusing/incoherent, though, that she could still be “pro-Christ” while being “pro secular humanism.”

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Someone told me Ms. Rice had a very bad experience with “Christian” businessmen who optioned her Jesus books for films and then turned out to be unable to fulfill their obligations. But she says nothing of that in her renunciation. I suspect she found the gate too narrow and the way too straight. She’ll find plenty of people to support her in affirming Jesus while rejecting Christianity and its moral teachings. I pray for her.

  • http://www.brandywinebooks.net Lars Walker

    Someone told me Ms. Rice had a very bad experience with “Christian” businessmen who optioned her Jesus books for films and then turned out to be unable to fulfill their obligations. But she says nothing of that in her renunciation. I suspect she found the gate too narrow and the way too straight. She’ll find plenty of people to support her in affirming Jesus while rejecting Christianity and its moral teachings. I pray for her.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Amen Patrick and Larry at #s 3 and 4.

    I would ask Anne if she might be willing to come to Salt Lake City and have a beer with me. I would invite her to the little church I serve to continue to receive Christ and find refuge only in Him. I would tell her to read Kleinig’s “Grace upon Grace”. I would introduce her to the still living unlikely heroes of the Faith in our little congregation.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    Amen Patrick and Larry at #s 3 and 4.

    I would ask Anne if she might be willing to come to Salt Lake City and have a beer with me. I would invite her to the little church I serve to continue to receive Christ and find refuge only in Him. I would tell her to read Kleinig’s “Grace upon Grace”. I would introduce her to the still living unlikely heroes of the Faith in our little congregation.

  • Richard

    This sounds like the rant/cry of a wounded soul who has confused Christianity with some of the positions of “the Religious Right.” After listening to her on “The White Horse Inn” make such strong statements on the historicity of the Resurrection, I find it hard to believe she is abandoning the faith.

  • Richard

    This sounds like the rant/cry of a wounded soul who has confused Christianity with some of the positions of “the Religious Right.” After listening to her on “The White Horse Inn” make such strong statements on the historicity of the Resurrection, I find it hard to believe she is abandoning the faith.

  • Michael Z.

    As you can see by her facebook page, she has not forsaken Christ, but rather has forsaken established “Christianity”
    To quote her.
    “My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.” – Anne Rice

  • Michael Z.

    As you can see by her facebook page, she has not forsaken Christ, but rather has forsaken established “Christianity”
    To quote her.
    “My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me. But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been, or might become.” – Anne Rice

  • Tom Hering

    It’s not about you, Anne.

  • Tom Hering

    It’s not about you, Anne.

  • Larry

    Let us not forget what sin actually is. It is not the “negative sin list”, pretty much what Ms. Rice lists that the conservative false heterodoxy teacher preaches and teaches. Rather Luther constantly points out, that though those are sin, that it is the most pious acts which are utter blasphemes against God. The white devil is much more dangerous than is the black devil. For damned fool would say, “I killed a 100 people I deserve heaven and am sure of it as the fruit of my faith that I’m elect, reborn, saved, converted”, but many fools will say, “I piously have not killed anyone therefore I’m sure I’m elect, reborn, saved and converted for this is the fruit of my faith”. This is Luther’s point about fallen reason being the devil’s prostitute. That’s the difference in the liberal false and the conservative false teacher, and liberal and conservative in general. Fallen reason led by the nose by the devil constructs a false more or less “conservative” “christianity” that is not Christianity whatsoever.

    To be blunt and make the point: a liberal heterodoxy theologian, as it were, is no less preaching false Christianity than is a conservative heterodoxy theologian. It matters little AT ALL if you don’t call sin sin, because you don’t use 200 proof Law (really) or you give Christ with your right hand but take Him away with your left anti-sacramental hand afterward. Either way, you have never heard of real sin via real Law, nor have you in the later case been actually given Christ. For if one gives Christ with one’s right hand and removes him with one’s doctrinal left hand, one has, in sum total, at the end of the day not GIVEN them Christ (for one took Him away with the left); thus one merely has flaunted and paraded Him to the person then ripped Him away from them.

    This is why faith is “God cannot lie” and not “I believe”.

    I cannot read Ms. Rice’s mind but on the surface it appears that she rejects these false ideas of what parades itself around as the church and Christian. It’s odd that she says it this way:

    “I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

    Or more succinctly: “I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ… In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

    That could be read a number of ways without further probing. But one way might be similar to something Luther once said, “If they use the Scriptures against us, we will use Christ against the Scriptures”, which is just another way of saying what Christ said, “You search the Scriptures constantly and think that by them you have life, but it are these that (constantly) bear witness of Me.”

    She could be meaning:

    “I quit being a Christian (as I have heretofore understood it in the pope’s kingdom, because she list moral issues not forgiveness of sins). I’m out. In the name of Christ… In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

    It’s hard to say given what we have.

    But it does SCREAM live and real time the warning Dr, Franz Pieper made in his thesis on the dangers of being IN ANY heterodoxy (The Distinction Between Orthodox & Heterodox Churches), the souls of those under them are in constant danger of either despairing of Christ or thinking they are pulling it off. It is not a neutral issue to attend a heterodox church whatsoever and that is Pieper’s clarion call and Anne Rice is a PERFECT example of this.

    Pieper in Thesis IV:

    “Likewise, only in the orthodox Church is God given the honor which He requires; and, only in it are souls rightly cared for. Fellowship with heterodox churches militates against God’s honor, and is a constant danger for the soul…

    Let us by no means forget that God is either honored or else despised by man’s attitude toward His Word. We are only too easily inclined to lose sight of this truth…

    To accept God’s Word in humble faith is obedience to the First Commandment. As surely as the First Table of the holy Ten Commandments precedes the Second, so surely the trusting acceptance of His Word is also the first part of God-pleasing piety. This first part of piety is also the basis for all other good works. Without a sincere reverence for God’s Word, all external works, even if they appear to others to be ever so impressive, are of no value before God. Let us not forget what Luther so often says: False doctrine, the departure from God’s Word, is a sin against the First Commandment. To the extent that a person departs from God’s Word, to that extent he separates himself from the authority of God, follows after other gods, and profanes God’s name…”
    “Furthermore, also this is a difference between the orthodox and the heterodox Church, that only in the orthodox Church are souls rightly cared for, while fellowship with the heterodox churches is a constant danger for souls…”
    “Let us make this clear by considering several examples. Whoever falsifies that doctrine, that only by grace for Christ’s sake through faith in Christ we have forgiveness of sin and eternal life; whoever, then, ascribes the obtaining of God’s grace in whole or in part to our works or our better conduct, makes it impossible for us to be sure of God’s grace and our salvation. For he who has an awakened conscience, and knows a little about himself, must confess with Paul that in him, that is, in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing. Now, if grace and salvation rest, even only partly, on our own worthiness, then we can never become sure of them, but must spend all our life in doubt and uncertainty.
    The doctrine of the free grace of God in Christ, however, is denied not only by the Pope, but is also corrupted by all the sects. How soul-destroying the doctrine of work-righteousness is, as it is promoted by the papacy, we can see in Luther. In spite of his honorable and strict life, he sank ever deeper into doubt concerning God’s grace. And he would have been ruined altogether in body and soul if he had not, by God’s grace, come to the realization that the forgiveness of sins does not rest on our works, but altogether on God’s mercy in Christ. With this knowledge the certainty of grace entered into his heart.
    But most of the time, the sects teach in such a way, that the grace-hungry souls can have no sure comfort. The almost universal practice of sectarian preachers is to offer the comfort of the Gospel only then when sinners have first ceased from sin and changed their ways. Whereas, a true Christian knows, that there can be no change in a person as long as he does not believe the grace of God.
    A person who has come to the knowledge of his sin needs much comfort. For that reason, God has opened many different channels of comfort in the Means of Grace which He ordained. Not only through the preaching of the Gospel does He grant us forgiveness of sins, but also through holy Baptism, and through the holy Supper, He bestows upon and seals for each sinner in particular the forgiveness of sins. Even as it is written, that we are baptized “for the forgiveness of sins,” and that in the Lord’s Supper Christ gives us His sacrificial body and shed blood as a seal that we through the suffering and death of Christ have forgiveness of sins. Yes, Christ the Lord has, in addition, also ordained Absolution in the words: “Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them,” so that a poor sinner, when he hears the Absolution out of a fellow human being’s mouth, can be certain his sins are forgiven before God in heaven. But now the sects not only deny these Means of Grace, they also declare it to be misleading and productive of carnal security if one tries to become certain of the forgiveness of sins through Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Absolution. So they stop up the channels through which Christ wants rich comfort to flow to His people…

  • Larry

    Let us not forget what sin actually is. It is not the “negative sin list”, pretty much what Ms. Rice lists that the conservative false heterodoxy teacher preaches and teaches. Rather Luther constantly points out, that though those are sin, that it is the most pious acts which are utter blasphemes against God. The white devil is much more dangerous than is the black devil. For damned fool would say, “I killed a 100 people I deserve heaven and am sure of it as the fruit of my faith that I’m elect, reborn, saved, converted”, but many fools will say, “I piously have not killed anyone therefore I’m sure I’m elect, reborn, saved and converted for this is the fruit of my faith”. This is Luther’s point about fallen reason being the devil’s prostitute. That’s the difference in the liberal false and the conservative false teacher, and liberal and conservative in general. Fallen reason led by the nose by the devil constructs a false more or less “conservative” “christianity” that is not Christianity whatsoever.

    To be blunt and make the point: a liberal heterodoxy theologian, as it were, is no less preaching false Christianity than is a conservative heterodoxy theologian. It matters little AT ALL if you don’t call sin sin, because you don’t use 200 proof Law (really) or you give Christ with your right hand but take Him away with your left anti-sacramental hand afterward. Either way, you have never heard of real sin via real Law, nor have you in the later case been actually given Christ. For if one gives Christ with one’s right hand and removes him with one’s doctrinal left hand, one has, in sum total, at the end of the day not GIVEN them Christ (for one took Him away with the left); thus one merely has flaunted and paraded Him to the person then ripped Him away from them.

    This is why faith is “God cannot lie” and not “I believe”.

    I cannot read Ms. Rice’s mind but on the surface it appears that she rejects these false ideas of what parades itself around as the church and Christian. It’s odd that she says it this way:

    “I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

    Or more succinctly: “I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ… In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

    That could be read a number of ways without further probing. But one way might be similar to something Luther once said, “If they use the Scriptures against us, we will use Christ against the Scriptures”, which is just another way of saying what Christ said, “You search the Scriptures constantly and think that by them you have life, but it are these that (constantly) bear witness of Me.”

    She could be meaning:

    “I quit being a Christian (as I have heretofore understood it in the pope’s kingdom, because she list moral issues not forgiveness of sins). I’m out. In the name of Christ… In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.”

    It’s hard to say given what we have.

    But it does SCREAM live and real time the warning Dr, Franz Pieper made in his thesis on the dangers of being IN ANY heterodoxy (The Distinction Between Orthodox & Heterodox Churches), the souls of those under them are in constant danger of either despairing of Christ or thinking they are pulling it off. It is not a neutral issue to attend a heterodox church whatsoever and that is Pieper’s clarion call and Anne Rice is a PERFECT example of this.

    Pieper in Thesis IV:

    “Likewise, only in the orthodox Church is God given the honor which He requires; and, only in it are souls rightly cared for. Fellowship with heterodox churches militates against God’s honor, and is a constant danger for the soul…

    Let us by no means forget that God is either honored or else despised by man’s attitude toward His Word. We are only too easily inclined to lose sight of this truth…

    To accept God’s Word in humble faith is obedience to the First Commandment. As surely as the First Table of the holy Ten Commandments precedes the Second, so surely the trusting acceptance of His Word is also the first part of God-pleasing piety. This first part of piety is also the basis for all other good works. Without a sincere reverence for God’s Word, all external works, even if they appear to others to be ever so impressive, are of no value before God. Let us not forget what Luther so often says: False doctrine, the departure from God’s Word, is a sin against the First Commandment. To the extent that a person departs from God’s Word, to that extent he separates himself from the authority of God, follows after other gods, and profanes God’s name…”
    “Furthermore, also this is a difference between the orthodox and the heterodox Church, that only in the orthodox Church are souls rightly cared for, while fellowship with the heterodox churches is a constant danger for souls…”
    “Let us make this clear by considering several examples. Whoever falsifies that doctrine, that only by grace for Christ’s sake through faith in Christ we have forgiveness of sin and eternal life; whoever, then, ascribes the obtaining of God’s grace in whole or in part to our works or our better conduct, makes it impossible for us to be sure of God’s grace and our salvation. For he who has an awakened conscience, and knows a little about himself, must confess with Paul that in him, that is, in his flesh, dwelleth no good thing. Now, if grace and salvation rest, even only partly, on our own worthiness, then we can never become sure of them, but must spend all our life in doubt and uncertainty.
    The doctrine of the free grace of God in Christ, however, is denied not only by the Pope, but is also corrupted by all the sects. How soul-destroying the doctrine of work-righteousness is, as it is promoted by the papacy, we can see in Luther. In spite of his honorable and strict life, he sank ever deeper into doubt concerning God’s grace. And he would have been ruined altogether in body and soul if he had not, by God’s grace, come to the realization that the forgiveness of sins does not rest on our works, but altogether on God’s mercy in Christ. With this knowledge the certainty of grace entered into his heart.
    But most of the time, the sects teach in such a way, that the grace-hungry souls can have no sure comfort. The almost universal practice of sectarian preachers is to offer the comfort of the Gospel only then when sinners have first ceased from sin and changed their ways. Whereas, a true Christian knows, that there can be no change in a person as long as he does not believe the grace of God.
    A person who has come to the knowledge of his sin needs much comfort. For that reason, God has opened many different channels of comfort in the Means of Grace which He ordained. Not only through the preaching of the Gospel does He grant us forgiveness of sins, but also through holy Baptism, and through the holy Supper, He bestows upon and seals for each sinner in particular the forgiveness of sins. Even as it is written, that we are baptized “for the forgiveness of sins,” and that in the Lord’s Supper Christ gives us His sacrificial body and shed blood as a seal that we through the suffering and death of Christ have forgiveness of sins. Yes, Christ the Lord has, in addition, also ordained Absolution in the words: “Whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them,” so that a poor sinner, when he hears the Absolution out of a fellow human being’s mouth, can be certain his sins are forgiven before God in heaven. But now the sects not only deny these Means of Grace, they also declare it to be misleading and productive of carnal security if one tries to become certain of the forgiveness of sins through Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, and Absolution. So they stop up the channels through which Christ wants rich comfort to flow to His people…

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Winston’s ignorant comments about New Orleans notwithstanding, I would tell Anne that identifying as a Christian includes accepting people as brothers and sisters whom she disagrees with. I would also tell her that there are many like-minded believers with whom she could fellowship. I would also gently ask motives in such a pronouncement. Seems like another victim of the intellectually vacuous “love Jesus, hate the church” fallacy.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com/ John

    Winston’s ignorant comments about New Orleans notwithstanding, I would tell Anne that identifying as a Christian includes accepting people as brothers and sisters whom she disagrees with. I would also tell her that there are many like-minded believers with whom she could fellowship. I would also gently ask motives in such a pronouncement. Seems like another victim of the intellectually vacuous “love Jesus, hate the church” fallacy.

  • Daniel Guagenti

    In 2008, at the Washington Post “On Faith” forum Anne Rice wrote, “Within days of my return to Christ, I also became aware of something very important: that the first temptation we face as returning Christians is to criticize another Christian and his or her way of approaching Jesus Christ. I perceived that I had to resist that temptation, that I had to seek in my faith and in my love for God a complete certainty that He knew all about these factions and disputes, and that He knew who was right or who was wrong, and He would handle how and when He approached every single soul.” Some feel this temptation more than others.

    Of course, in the end, it’s not an option to love the bridegroom and hate the bride. Our Lord has bound Himself to this Gomer of a church, and thanks be to God for my sake.

    I think most Christians feel profound frustration with the church at some point in their spiritual lives. But most Christians don’t have the audience of 80,000 Facebook fans to tell when they do. It will be interesting to see where Rice’s public spat with the church goes from here. It certainly isn’t outside the realm of hope or the call of prayer that public reconciliation could follow.

  • Daniel Guagenti

    In 2008, at the Washington Post “On Faith” forum Anne Rice wrote, “Within days of my return to Christ, I also became aware of something very important: that the first temptation we face as returning Christians is to criticize another Christian and his or her way of approaching Jesus Christ. I perceived that I had to resist that temptation, that I had to seek in my faith and in my love for God a complete certainty that He knew all about these factions and disputes, and that He knew who was right or who was wrong, and He would handle how and when He approached every single soul.” Some feel this temptation more than others.

    Of course, in the end, it’s not an option to love the bridegroom and hate the bride. Our Lord has bound Himself to this Gomer of a church, and thanks be to God for my sake.

    I think most Christians feel profound frustration with the church at some point in their spiritual lives. But most Christians don’t have the audience of 80,000 Facebook fans to tell when they do. It will be interesting to see where Rice’s public spat with the church goes from here. It certainly isn’t outside the realm of hope or the call of prayer that public reconciliation could follow.

  • Booklover

    It sounds to me as if she is not denying Christ, but Christians, because she keeps saying, “in the name of Christ.”

    I know many Christians, especially artist Christians, who believe in Christ but deny the tiny little box into which Christians are expected to live in. That tiny little box is extremely suffocating and is known as being anti-lots of things instead of being pro-love and acceptance.

    I am in hopes that she has retained her belief in Christ as Saviour, but is expressing frustration with the holes into which her peg is expected to fit, a frustration which I can identify with.

  • Booklover

    It sounds to me as if she is not denying Christ, but Christians, because she keeps saying, “in the name of Christ.”

    I know many Christians, especially artist Christians, who believe in Christ but deny the tiny little box into which Christians are expected to live in. That tiny little box is extremely suffocating and is known as being anti-lots of things instead of being pro-love and acceptance.

    I am in hopes that she has retained her belief in Christ as Saviour, but is expressing frustration with the holes into which her peg is expected to fit, a frustration which I can identify with.

  • Booklover

    Please pardon my second paragraph grammar error.

  • Booklover

    Please pardon my second paragraph grammar error.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Larry: The doctrine of the free grace of God in Christ, however, is denied not only by the Pope… How soul-destroying the doctrine of work-righteousness is, as it is promoted by the papacy, we can see in Luther.

    This might have been true in Luther’s time, though it’s far from it from it at present. cf Pope Benedict explains St. Paul’s teaching on justification to thousands including:

    The Pontiff further explained the apostle’s teaching that believers are justified by faith in Christ and by the acts that flow out of love for him.

    When Paul met the Risen One on the road to Damascus, the Pope began, “he was a successful man: blameless as to righteousness under the Law.” Yet “the conversion of Damascus radically changed his life, and he began to consider all the gains of his honest religious career as ‘rubbish’ in the face of the sublimity of his knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

    In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul further explains that even Jews who have believed in Christ Jesus have done so because it is through faith in Christ and not by works of the law that they can be justified. As St. Paul states, “by works of the law no one will be justified.”

    Pope Benedict then addressed the interpretation of this passage by Martin Luther, who translated it as “justified by faith alone.”

    Before returning to this point it is necessary to clarify which is the ‘Law’ from which we have been freed and what are the works that do not justify us,” Benedict XVI said.

    Pope Benedict then offered the interesting insight that “Being just simply means being with Christ, being in Christ, that is all. The other precepts are no longer necessary. Luther’s expression ‘sola fide’ is true, if faith is not against charity, against love. To believe is to see Christ, to trust in Christ, to become attached to Christ, to conform to Christ, to his life.”

    “Paul knows that in the twofold love of God and neighbor the Law is present and fulfilled. So in communion with Christ, in faith, which creates charity, the Law is realized. We become just by entering into communion with Christ, who is love. We will see the same thing in the Gospel of next Sunday, the Solemnity of Christ the King. Love is the only criteria of the Gospel of the judge,” the Pope explained.

    In closing, the Pope invited the faithful to “ask the Lord to help us believe, to truly believe, so belief becomes life, unity with Christ, a transformation of our lives. And so, transformed by his love, by love of God and neighbor, we can be truly just in the eyes of God.”

    Anne Rice left a Catholic Church that includes justification by faith as a main tenets. Her issue with the church had do to mainly with the social issues of abortion and homosexuality, along with an objection to its lack of democracy in determining authoritative teaching.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Larry: The doctrine of the free grace of God in Christ, however, is denied not only by the Pope… How soul-destroying the doctrine of work-righteousness is, as it is promoted by the papacy, we can see in Luther.

    This might have been true in Luther’s time, though it’s far from it from it at present. cf Pope Benedict explains St. Paul’s teaching on justification to thousands including:

    The Pontiff further explained the apostle’s teaching that believers are justified by faith in Christ and by the acts that flow out of love for him.

    When Paul met the Risen One on the road to Damascus, the Pope began, “he was a successful man: blameless as to righteousness under the Law.” Yet “the conversion of Damascus radically changed his life, and he began to consider all the gains of his honest religious career as ‘rubbish’ in the face of the sublimity of his knowledge of Jesus Christ.”

    In his Letter to the Galatians, Paul further explains that even Jews who have believed in Christ Jesus have done so because it is through faith in Christ and not by works of the law that they can be justified. As St. Paul states, “by works of the law no one will be justified.”

    Pope Benedict then addressed the interpretation of this passage by Martin Luther, who translated it as “justified by faith alone.”

    Before returning to this point it is necessary to clarify which is the ‘Law’ from which we have been freed and what are the works that do not justify us,” Benedict XVI said.

    Pope Benedict then offered the interesting insight that “Being just simply means being with Christ, being in Christ, that is all. The other precepts are no longer necessary. Luther’s expression ‘sola fide’ is true, if faith is not against charity, against love. To believe is to see Christ, to trust in Christ, to become attached to Christ, to conform to Christ, to his life.”

    “Paul knows that in the twofold love of God and neighbor the Law is present and fulfilled. So in communion with Christ, in faith, which creates charity, the Law is realized. We become just by entering into communion with Christ, who is love. We will see the same thing in the Gospel of next Sunday, the Solemnity of Christ the King. Love is the only criteria of the Gospel of the judge,” the Pope explained.

    In closing, the Pope invited the faithful to “ask the Lord to help us believe, to truly believe, so belief becomes life, unity with Christ, a transformation of our lives. And so, transformed by his love, by love of God and neighbor, we can be truly just in the eyes of God.”

    Anne Rice left a Catholic Church that includes justification by faith as a main tenets. Her issue with the church had do to mainly with the social issues of abortion and homosexuality, along with an objection to its lack of democracy in determining authoritative teaching.

  • Booklover

    This is the danger of quoting only part of an article. Here is more of what Anne Rice said:

    “I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten …years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

  • Booklover

    This is the danger of quoting only part of an article. Here is more of what Anne Rice said:

    “I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to “belong” to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten …years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

  • DonS

    “I refuse to be anti-secular humanism”.

    Cincinnatus touched on this above @ 10. This is the key. The rest of what she said was dross — a common confusion, promoted by haters of Christianity and lovers of sin, that Christians “hate” sinners. A refusal to distinguish between a proclamation that sin IS sin, as Christians are called to do, and a rejection of those who sin. In short, those other statements are a cop-out, an excuse, to justify her decision to leave the church.

    But the secular humanism comment is something more. A Christian MUST be anti-secular humanism, as they are utterly opposed value systems. If she is unwilling to give up her old nature, THAT explains her decision to leave the faith.

  • DonS

    “I refuse to be anti-secular humanism”.

    Cincinnatus touched on this above @ 10. This is the key. The rest of what she said was dross — a common confusion, promoted by haters of Christianity and lovers of sin, that Christians “hate” sinners. A refusal to distinguish between a proclamation that sin IS sin, as Christians are called to do, and a rejection of those who sin. In short, those other statements are a cop-out, an excuse, to justify her decision to leave the church.

    But the secular humanism comment is something more. A Christian MUST be anti-secular humanism, as they are utterly opposed value systems. If she is unwilling to give up her old nature, THAT explains her decision to leave the faith.

  • Tom Hering

    “And so, transformed by his love, by love of God and neighbor, we can be truly just in the eyes of God.” – Pope Benedict XVI via his apologist Peter Leavitt.

    So how’s that love of God and neighbor thing going for everybody here? Are you all “truly just” yet?

  • Tom Hering

    “And so, transformed by his love, by love of God and neighbor, we can be truly just in the eyes of God.” – Pope Benedict XVI via his apologist Peter Leavitt.

    So how’s that love of God and neighbor thing going for everybody here? Are you all “truly just” yet?

  • Winston Smith

    John @17,

    Okay, if you’re going to call me names, I’m going to ask you: am I wrong when I say there is voodoo in New Orleans? There is a close connection between Catholicism and both voodoo and Santeria, which are amalgamations of Catholic superstition and African tribal religion. both are to be found in New Orleans.

    How about Mardi Gras? That yearly display of lewdness, excess and bacchanalia is not only something that Christians might not approve of; it’s actually part of the Church year, as the precursor to Lent. Has the Catholic Church in New Orleans ever really tried to discourage the gross revelry which serves as an ironic prelude to forty days of fasting and repentance?

    I have visited New Orleans only once, but I distinctly remember the evil vibes I picked up when I was there. It struck me as a distinctly creepy and unholy place.

  • Winston Smith

    John @17,

    Okay, if you’re going to call me names, I’m going to ask you: am I wrong when I say there is voodoo in New Orleans? There is a close connection between Catholicism and both voodoo and Santeria, which are amalgamations of Catholic superstition and African tribal religion. both are to be found in New Orleans.

    How about Mardi Gras? That yearly display of lewdness, excess and bacchanalia is not only something that Christians might not approve of; it’s actually part of the Church year, as the precursor to Lent. Has the Catholic Church in New Orleans ever really tried to discourage the gross revelry which serves as an ironic prelude to forty days of fasting and repentance?

    I have visited New Orleans only once, but I distinctly remember the evil vibes I picked up when I was there. It struck me as a distinctly creepy and unholy place.

  • http://www.roundunvarnishedtale.blogspot.com Cheryl

    It’s just silly. You can’t on the one hand say you believe in Christ but on the other hand say you’re not a Christian. I think it’s a publicity stunt. Sorry to be so cynical, but I don’t put much stock in what public figures say about their private lives. I think they are almost incapable of separating their personal identity from their public selves. It’s sad, really. How hard it must be to always be looking at yourself through the public eye, wondering how this will play or that will play.

    I take her repudiation of Christianity as some PC posturing, currying favor with the secular progressives. I pray that deep down she still clings to the cross and the man that died on it for her salvation and that in time she will repent of this very dumb public display and turn back to him, repent, and accept the forgiveness that is waiting for her.

  • http://www.roundunvarnishedtale.blogspot.com Cheryl

    It’s just silly. You can’t on the one hand say you believe in Christ but on the other hand say you’re not a Christian. I think it’s a publicity stunt. Sorry to be so cynical, but I don’t put much stock in what public figures say about their private lives. I think they are almost incapable of separating their personal identity from their public selves. It’s sad, really. How hard it must be to always be looking at yourself through the public eye, wondering how this will play or that will play.

    I take her repudiation of Christianity as some PC posturing, currying favor with the secular progressives. I pray that deep down she still clings to the cross and the man that died on it for her salvation and that in time she will repent of this very dumb public display and turn back to him, repent, and accept the forgiveness that is waiting for her.

  • Reg Schofield

    I was very hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of pagan , vampire author turns Christian writer , lets get her insights . For knowing that her son Christopher was an openly gay man , I wondered how this would play out .

    All I would say to her is , what Jesus does she believe in ? What is her understanding of the gospel? What is sin ? In what way is God love? Plus her take of the Bible ? That would be the only way to find out where she is at.

    Plus I’m so tired of people hating the church and still thinking they can in the long term , remain faithful to Christ. Yes , the faults can be many but guess what , just as soon as I walk in those doors , its not perfect. I love this quote from Spurgeon – ” The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it”. Charles H. Spurgeon

    What is anti-gay , holding to a biblical view of sexuality ? Anti-life , secular humanism is a wash in a death culture. What is she going to do with the Jesus that speaks of hell , wrath and judgement to come unless one follows him. That includes not just acknowledging your a sinner , but walking in repentance and trusting in his righteousness to save us .

    Regardless the outcome, the Church will stand and Jesus is reigning

  • Reg Schofield

    I was very hesitant to jump on the bandwagon of pagan , vampire author turns Christian writer , lets get her insights . For knowing that her son Christopher was an openly gay man , I wondered how this would play out .

    All I would say to her is , what Jesus does she believe in ? What is her understanding of the gospel? What is sin ? In what way is God love? Plus her take of the Bible ? That would be the only way to find out where she is at.

    Plus I’m so tired of people hating the church and still thinking they can in the long term , remain faithful to Christ. Yes , the faults can be many but guess what , just as soon as I walk in those doors , its not perfect. I love this quote from Spurgeon – ” The day we find the perfect church, it becomes imperfect the moment we join it”. Charles H. Spurgeon

    What is anti-gay , holding to a biblical view of sexuality ? Anti-life , secular humanism is a wash in a death culture. What is she going to do with the Jesus that speaks of hell , wrath and judgement to come unless one follows him. That includes not just acknowledging your a sinner , but walking in repentance and trusting in his righteousness to save us .

    Regardless the outcome, the Church will stand and Jesus is reigning

  • Peter Leavitt

    Winston, Voodoo came to New Orleans mainly from Haitian black-slaves, many of whom belonged to French Catholic masters. Some of these blacks created a hybrid Voodoo-Catholic religion that was never accepted by the Church. Occasionally some priests the would fight a losing battle to root it out.

    According to this article “most hoodooists are now members of African American Protestant churches, such as the various Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME), Pentecostal, and Holiness denominations.”

    I sometimes travel to New Orleans and find it an interesting, even fascinating American place, however hopelessly corrupt.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Winston, Voodoo came to New Orleans mainly from Haitian black-slaves, many of whom belonged to French Catholic masters. Some of these blacks created a hybrid Voodoo-Catholic religion that was never accepted by the Church. Occasionally some priests the would fight a losing battle to root it out.

    According to this article “most hoodooists are now members of African American Protestant churches, such as the various Baptist, African Methodist Episcopal (AME), Pentecostal, and Holiness denominations.”

    I sometimes travel to New Orleans and find it an interesting, even fascinating American place, however hopelessly corrupt.

  • Cincinnatus

    I might also add that one cannot follow Christ and yet reject the Church/Christianity.

    The life of Christ is an ecclesiastical life.

  • Cincinnatus

    I might also add that one cannot follow Christ and yet reject the Church/Christianity.

    The life of Christ is an ecclesiastical life.

  • FofC’er

    There is a marked tendency to intellectualize, utterly abstract a person’s assertion, in this case Anne Rice’s, to have it mean anything but what the person’s own words asserted.

    What Anne Rice said is serious indeed and ought not be explained away. The history of the Church is penned with the blood of martyrs who died rather than renounce Christ and the Church of whom He is the Head.

    Jesus said: “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. “Matthew 10:32-33

  • FofC’er

    There is a marked tendency to intellectualize, utterly abstract a person’s assertion, in this case Anne Rice’s, to have it mean anything but what the person’s own words asserted.

    What Anne Rice said is serious indeed and ought not be explained away. The history of the Church is penned with the blood of martyrs who died rather than renounce Christ and the Church of whom He is the Head.

    Jesus said: “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. “Matthew 10:32-33

  • Kandyce

    Re: New Orleans
    We live in a corrupt world, and New Orleans is part of that world. It is not difficult to find things in any given city of the world that proves it is a bastion of evil, and of course it is, it is filled with people. That does not mean that Christians do not live, work, and minister within that city.

  • Kandyce

    Re: New Orleans
    We live in a corrupt world, and New Orleans is part of that world. It is not difficult to find things in any given city of the world that proves it is a bastion of evil, and of course it is, it is filled with people. That does not mean that Christians do not live, work, and minister within that city.

  • Larry

    Peter,

    Do you really think that will fly under the radar of Lutheran confessions. You got to be kidding me. This is nothing but a papal jedi mind trick, a “you are getting sleepy, veeeerrry sleepy…”, a waving of the hands and stirring of the cauldron, with “eye of newt” and “leg of chicken” murmuring a bewitching little spell with some smooooooth ear tickling language, the appearance of a lamb that speaks like a dragon. One can practically hear Paul saying, “Who has bewitched you you foolish Galatians”.

    The benefit of having been reared in evangelical/baptist churches in which the crafty art of denying naked justification for Christ’s sake ALONE implicitly and by unhinging the sacraments (taking away with the left hand) is that one is WAAAAAAY ahead of the Papacy’s, what it thinks is, a new trick. Something like this: “Now that your on to me, let me weave a delusion greater than before and “explain” what we meant before and how Luther was only crassly right back then but not now.”

    “The Pontiff further explained the apostle’s teaching that believers are justified by faith in Christ and by the acts that flow out of love for him.”

    Faith formed by love already has been rejected, nothing new under the sun here. Same old crap, yes crap, rejected as false and antichrist period.

    You see, explain and huff and puff as much as you like, it is in fact this we reject no matter quantity nor the quality of the words to “try to explain it”. It’s really as simple as Luther’s quick sacramentarian test for the tricky words, “what is it that they put into your mouth”, answers the problem very quickly.

    “that includes justification by faith as a main tenets” it is not “A” main tenet but “THE” sola tenet period.

    So if THAT is what Ms. Rice rejected, so do I and so do all orthodoxy and on that note a rejection of the antichrist without loosing one wink of sleep over it too.

    Put another way:
    “As far as the first point is concerned, namely whether our fathers operated with the thought of a justification which is an accomplished fact, a recent essay by Prof. Meyer, published in the October 1954 issue of the Quartalschrift lists a number of pertinent quotations (pp. 256-258). Many more are found in Walther’s edition of Baler, (Vol. III, pp. 134ff and 271ff), Stoeckhardt’s listing in the Lutheraner has already been referred
    to. This includes passages which state that justification by faith consists solely of receiving and accepting a treasure, the presence of which is already an accomplished fact. So Luther (St. L. XI, 1104:28) who speaks of a faith that has nothing to do but to receive.” – A History of the Term “Objective Justification” [An essay prepared for the Milwaukee City Conference, Wisconsin Synod; Printed in Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Vol. 52 no 2, April 1955.
    “On the same page we have a quotation from the Formula of Concord which is likewise to the point. And Walther quotes Calov who says that our redemption, reconciliation, and the expiation of our sins are not subject to conditional factors, but that faith, which is necessary, has no other function than that of appropriating these gifts” (quoted Baier-Walther, III, 135).
    The same thought of a Gospel that proclaims forgiveness of sins as an accomplished fact stands out very clearly in another statement by Luther, although in a somewhat different context. In his explanation of the Fifth Petition (Cat. Maj., Trig., 723:88) we find him saying: “Therefore there is here again great need to call upon God and to pray: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not as though He did not forgive sin without and even
    before our prayer (for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it).”
    Another point is added by the Formula of Concord which speaks of our righteousness that is revealed in the Gospel as being universal, “a complete satisfaction and expiation for the human race.” (Trig., 935:57).
    In the same vein Walther quotes Gerhard, who on the basis of Romans 5:19 equates the many that through the disobedience of Adam were made sinners with the many that were made righteous through the obedience of Christ, and then concludes: “Therefore the boon of righteousness (beneficium justitiae) has through Christ been prepared for all.” (III:271.)
    On the basis of the same passage Chemnitz speaks of the entire multitude of mankind
    (totam hominum multitudinem) as those for whom this salvation was acquired by the merit of Christ. (Quoted Baier-Walther III, 272.)
    Prof. Meyer’s final quotation from Luther (QS., Oct., 54, p. 258) is very much in place. For if the cogitatio divina considers the sinner to be just, and his sins forgiven, then this cogitatio is certainly not to be pressed to the exclusion of any public declaration to that effect, but is known to man because God has declared these truths in the Gospel.
    In his remarks on Gal 3:13 (St. L. IX, 373:336ff) we find Luther saying: “Thus, if Christ Himself was found guilty (schuldig geworden ist) of all sins which all of us (wir alle) have done, then we are acquitted of all sins … etc.”
    Pieper further states,
    “Scripture teaches the objective reconciliation. Nineteen hundred years ago Christ effected the reconciliation of all men with God. God does not wait for men to reconcile Him with themselves by means of any efforts of their own. He is already reconciled. The reconciliation is an accomplished fact, just like the creation of the world. Rom. 5:10: “We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” When Christ died, God became reconciled. As Christ’s death lies in the past, so also our reconciliation is an accomplished fact. 2 Cor. 5:19: “God was in Christ, reconciling” (namely, when Christ lived and died on earth) “the world unto Himself.” The katallassein of Rom. 5:10 and 2 Cor. 5:19 does not refer—let this fact be noted—to any change that occurs in men, but describes an occurrence in the heart of God. It was God who laid His anger by on account of the ransom brought by Christ. It was God who at that time already had in His heart forgiven the sins of the whole world, for the statement: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” means—and that is not our, but the Apostle’s own interpretation—that God did “not impute their trespasses unto them.” And “not imputing trespasses” is, according to Scripture (Rom. 4:6-8), synonymous with “forgiving sins,” “justifying” the sinner. The resurrection of Christ is, as Holy Writ teaches, the actual absolution of the whole world of sinners. Rom. 4:25: “Who was raised again for our justification.” At that time we were objectively declared free from sin. (See the section “The Resurrection of Christ.”)
    The message of this finished reconciliation is brought to us by the Gospel (“the Word of Reconciliation,” 2 Cor. 5:19), and thus the subjective reconciliation takes place only by faith (solo fide). In other words: only for this reason does faith reconcile us with God (subjectively) that reconciliation has already been effected through Christ’s satisfaction and is proclaimed and proffered to us in the Gospel. “Be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20)—believe and accept the objective reconciliation procured by Christ and now offered you. “We have now” in coming to faith, in being justified, “received the at-one-went (reconciliation),” Rom. 5:11. This Scriptural truth that there is but one way of obtaining the subjective reconciliation, namely, by believing that Christ has already procured reconciliation and the forgiveness of sins, is the teaching of our Confessions. The Apology declares: “Faith, however, reconciles and justifies before God the moment we apprehend the promise by faith” (Trig 1. 213, Art. III). “Thus, therefore, we are reconciled to the Father and receive remission of sins when we are comforted with confidence in the mercy promised for Christ’s sake.” (Trigl. 143, Art. IV /II/, 81.) “Faith reconciles us to God . . . because it receives the remission of sins” (Trigl. 155, ibid., 114; 171, Art. III, 61).xxxv
    Pieper is emphatic about the necessity of maintaining objective justification. As he goes on to say:
    “The doctrine of the objective reconciliation is of vital importance to the entire Christian doctrine. Only by keeping this doctrine intact will the Christian doctrine remain intact. It will be irretrievably lost if this doctrine be abandoned. Maintain the teaching that mankind has been fully reconciled with God through Christ’s obedience and suffering, and there will be no room left for the multiform error that man must himself effect his reconciliation with God in whole or in part. The religion of works, as taught by the rationalists, the Romanists, the Arminians, and the Modernists, will have no ground left to stand on. Discard this doctrine, and you will have to teach that men must supply the deficiency in Christ’s work. You will then only have to determine the quantity and the external pattern of the work-righteousness you may deem necessary. Only on the basis of the objective, Christ-wrought reconciliation will Gospel and faith retain their Scriptural meaning, the Gospel being nothing else than the proclamation and offer of the forgiveness of sins purchased by Christ, and saving faith nothing else than the simple acceptance of this forgiveness. Where the objective reconciliation is denied, the Gospel can no longer be “the Word of Reconciliation”(2 Cor. 5:19), “the Word of His grace” (Acts 20:32), but is turned into a handbook of instructions how men may fully gain the grace of God by works which are their own product; the Gospel has eo ipso become Law. And faith is no longer the simple acceptance of the reconciliation which Christ has consummated, but is turned into a human accomplishment by which man fatuously hopes to secure the favor of God. Deny objective reconciliation, and you support the age-old heresy that faith is a meritorious work.

    Dogmatics, whose province it is to present the Christian doctrine in its Scriptural setting, must never fail to set forth the supreme importance of the objective, Christ-wrought, perfect reconciliation. It must guard this reconciliation against those who would in any way pervert it or tone it down. The doctrine loses its Christian character and becomes pagan work-righteousness as soon as the full reconciliation of all men by Christ’s vicarious satisfaction is given up. And the practical result is that the entire doctrine becomes useless; no conscience, truly smitten by the Law of God, will find peace unless in faith it puts its sole reliance on the reconciliation which has been accomplished by Christ and is proclaimed in the Gospel.

    Here’s a scary comparison to the pope’s, “The Pontiff further explained the apostle’s teaching that believers are justified by faith in Christ and by the acts that flow out of love for him.”

    Change that to: “…the apostle’s teaching that believers are assured of rebirth/election/salvation/conversion by faith in Christ and by the acts that flow out of love for him.” And now you have protestant heterodoxies doctrine.

  • Larry

    Peter,

    Do you really think that will fly under the radar of Lutheran confessions. You got to be kidding me. This is nothing but a papal jedi mind trick, a “you are getting sleepy, veeeerrry sleepy…”, a waving of the hands and stirring of the cauldron, with “eye of newt” and “leg of chicken” murmuring a bewitching little spell with some smooooooth ear tickling language, the appearance of a lamb that speaks like a dragon. One can practically hear Paul saying, “Who has bewitched you you foolish Galatians”.

    The benefit of having been reared in evangelical/baptist churches in which the crafty art of denying naked justification for Christ’s sake ALONE implicitly and by unhinging the sacraments (taking away with the left hand) is that one is WAAAAAAY ahead of the Papacy’s, what it thinks is, a new trick. Something like this: “Now that your on to me, let me weave a delusion greater than before and “explain” what we meant before and how Luther was only crassly right back then but not now.”

    “The Pontiff further explained the apostle’s teaching that believers are justified by faith in Christ and by the acts that flow out of love for him.”

    Faith formed by love already has been rejected, nothing new under the sun here. Same old crap, yes crap, rejected as false and antichrist period.

    You see, explain and huff and puff as much as you like, it is in fact this we reject no matter quantity nor the quality of the words to “try to explain it”. It’s really as simple as Luther’s quick sacramentarian test for the tricky words, “what is it that they put into your mouth”, answers the problem very quickly.

    “that includes justification by faith as a main tenets” it is not “A” main tenet but “THE” sola tenet period.

    So if THAT is what Ms. Rice rejected, so do I and so do all orthodoxy and on that note a rejection of the antichrist without loosing one wink of sleep over it too.

    Put another way:
    “As far as the first point is concerned, namely whether our fathers operated with the thought of a justification which is an accomplished fact, a recent essay by Prof. Meyer, published in the October 1954 issue of the Quartalschrift lists a number of pertinent quotations (pp. 256-258). Many more are found in Walther’s edition of Baler, (Vol. III, pp. 134ff and 271ff), Stoeckhardt’s listing in the Lutheraner has already been referred
    to. This includes passages which state that justification by faith consists solely of receiving and accepting a treasure, the presence of which is already an accomplished fact. So Luther (St. L. XI, 1104:28) who speaks of a faith that has nothing to do but to receive.” – A History of the Term “Objective Justification” [An essay prepared for the Milwaukee City Conference, Wisconsin Synod; Printed in Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly, Vol. 52 no 2, April 1955.
    “On the same page we have a quotation from the Formula of Concord which is likewise to the point. And Walther quotes Calov who says that our redemption, reconciliation, and the expiation of our sins are not subject to conditional factors, but that faith, which is necessary, has no other function than that of appropriating these gifts” (quoted Baier-Walther, III, 135).
    The same thought of a Gospel that proclaims forgiveness of sins as an accomplished fact stands out very clearly in another statement by Luther, although in a somewhat different context. In his explanation of the Fifth Petition (Cat. Maj., Trig., 723:88) we find him saying: “Therefore there is here again great need to call upon God and to pray: Dear Father, forgive us our trespasses. Not as though He did not forgive sin without and even
    before our prayer (for He has given us the Gospel, in which is pure forgiveness before we prayed or ever thought about it).”
    Another point is added by the Formula of Concord which speaks of our righteousness that is revealed in the Gospel as being universal, “a complete satisfaction and expiation for the human race.” (Trig., 935:57).
    In the same vein Walther quotes Gerhard, who on the basis of Romans 5:19 equates the many that through the disobedience of Adam were made sinners with the many that were made righteous through the obedience of Christ, and then concludes: “Therefore the boon of righteousness (beneficium justitiae) has through Christ been prepared for all.” (III:271.)
    On the basis of the same passage Chemnitz speaks of the entire multitude of mankind
    (totam hominum multitudinem) as those for whom this salvation was acquired by the merit of Christ. (Quoted Baier-Walther III, 272.)
    Prof. Meyer’s final quotation from Luther (QS., Oct., 54, p. 258) is very much in place. For if the cogitatio divina considers the sinner to be just, and his sins forgiven, then this cogitatio is certainly not to be pressed to the exclusion of any public declaration to that effect, but is known to man because God has declared these truths in the Gospel.
    In his remarks on Gal 3:13 (St. L. IX, 373:336ff) we find Luther saying: “Thus, if Christ Himself was found guilty (schuldig geworden ist) of all sins which all of us (wir alle) have done, then we are acquitted of all sins … etc.”
    Pieper further states,
    “Scripture teaches the objective reconciliation. Nineteen hundred years ago Christ effected the reconciliation of all men with God. God does not wait for men to reconcile Him with themselves by means of any efforts of their own. He is already reconciled. The reconciliation is an accomplished fact, just like the creation of the world. Rom. 5:10: “We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son.” When Christ died, God became reconciled. As Christ’s death lies in the past, so also our reconciliation is an accomplished fact. 2 Cor. 5:19: “God was in Christ, reconciling” (namely, when Christ lived and died on earth) “the world unto Himself.” The katallassein of Rom. 5:10 and 2 Cor. 5:19 does not refer—let this fact be noted—to any change that occurs in men, but describes an occurrence in the heart of God. It was God who laid His anger by on account of the ransom brought by Christ. It was God who at that time already had in His heart forgiven the sins of the whole world, for the statement: “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself” means—and that is not our, but the Apostle’s own interpretation—that God did “not impute their trespasses unto them.” And “not imputing trespasses” is, according to Scripture (Rom. 4:6-8), synonymous with “forgiving sins,” “justifying” the sinner. The resurrection of Christ is, as Holy Writ teaches, the actual absolution of the whole world of sinners. Rom. 4:25: “Who was raised again for our justification.” At that time we were objectively declared free from sin. (See the section “The Resurrection of Christ.”)
    The message of this finished reconciliation is brought to us by the Gospel (“the Word of Reconciliation,” 2 Cor. 5:19), and thus the subjective reconciliation takes place only by faith (solo fide). In other words: only for this reason does faith reconcile us with God (subjectively) that reconciliation has already been effected through Christ’s satisfaction and is proclaimed and proffered to us in the Gospel. “Be ye reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20)—believe and accept the objective reconciliation procured by Christ and now offered you. “We have now” in coming to faith, in being justified, “received the at-one-went (reconciliation),” Rom. 5:11. This Scriptural truth that there is but one way of obtaining the subjective reconciliation, namely, by believing that Christ has already procured reconciliation and the forgiveness of sins, is the teaching of our Confessions. The Apology declares: “Faith, however, reconciles and justifies before God the moment we apprehend the promise by faith” (Trig 1. 213, Art. III). “Thus, therefore, we are reconciled to the Father and receive remission of sins when we are comforted with confidence in the mercy promised for Christ’s sake.” (Trigl. 143, Art. IV /II/, 81.) “Faith reconciles us to God . . . because it receives the remission of sins” (Trigl. 155, ibid., 114; 171, Art. III, 61).xxxv
    Pieper is emphatic about the necessity of maintaining objective justification. As he goes on to say:
    “The doctrine of the objective reconciliation is of vital importance to the entire Christian doctrine. Only by keeping this doctrine intact will the Christian doctrine remain intact. It will be irretrievably lost if this doctrine be abandoned. Maintain the teaching that mankind has been fully reconciled with God through Christ’s obedience and suffering, and there will be no room left for the multiform error that man must himself effect his reconciliation with God in whole or in part. The religion of works, as taught by the rationalists, the Romanists, the Arminians, and the Modernists, will have no ground left to stand on. Discard this doctrine, and you will have to teach that men must supply the deficiency in Christ’s work. You will then only have to determine the quantity and the external pattern of the work-righteousness you may deem necessary. Only on the basis of the objective, Christ-wrought reconciliation will Gospel and faith retain their Scriptural meaning, the Gospel being nothing else than the proclamation and offer of the forgiveness of sins purchased by Christ, and saving faith nothing else than the simple acceptance of this forgiveness. Where the objective reconciliation is denied, the Gospel can no longer be “the Word of Reconciliation”(2 Cor. 5:19), “the Word of His grace” (Acts 20:32), but is turned into a handbook of instructions how men may fully gain the grace of God by works which are their own product; the Gospel has eo ipso become Law. And faith is no longer the simple acceptance of the reconciliation which Christ has consummated, but is turned into a human accomplishment by which man fatuously hopes to secure the favor of God. Deny objective reconciliation, and you support the age-old heresy that faith is a meritorious work.

    Dogmatics, whose province it is to present the Christian doctrine in its Scriptural setting, must never fail to set forth the supreme importance of the objective, Christ-wrought, perfect reconciliation. It must guard this reconciliation against those who would in any way pervert it or tone it down. The doctrine loses its Christian character and becomes pagan work-righteousness as soon as the full reconciliation of all men by Christ’s vicarious satisfaction is given up. And the practical result is that the entire doctrine becomes useless; no conscience, truly smitten by the Law of God, will find peace unless in faith it puts its sole reliance on the reconciliation which has been accomplished by Christ and is proclaimed in the Gospel.

    Here’s a scary comparison to the pope’s, “The Pontiff further explained the apostle’s teaching that believers are justified by faith in Christ and by the acts that flow out of love for him.”

    Change that to: “…the apostle’s teaching that believers are assured of rebirth/election/salvation/conversion by faith in Christ and by the acts that flow out of love for him.” And now you have protestant heterodoxies doctrine.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    J, if Rice is indeed “more of a Christian” for having left the church, then explain why Matthew 18 prescribes a penalty of being cast out from the church, why 1 John notes that those who have left the church were never a part of Her, and why the author of Hebrews notes (10:24-5) a responsibility to be in fellowship with His flock.

    Reality here is that the New Testament carefully makes clear to its readers that the Christian life is lived in fellowship with other believers, not alone. It is largely written to churches, not individuals. Even Rowe’s idea of a nebulous “love” per John 13:34-5 is difficult, ahem, to attain in isolation.

    In short, 1 John 2: 19 ought to utterly terrify anyone who would attempt to live the Christian life in isolation, like Ms. Rice apparently is attempting.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    J, if Rice is indeed “more of a Christian” for having left the church, then explain why Matthew 18 prescribes a penalty of being cast out from the church, why 1 John notes that those who have left the church were never a part of Her, and why the author of Hebrews notes (10:24-5) a responsibility to be in fellowship with His flock.

    Reality here is that the New Testament carefully makes clear to its readers that the Christian life is lived in fellowship with other believers, not alone. It is largely written to churches, not individuals. Even Rowe’s idea of a nebulous “love” per John 13:34-5 is difficult, ahem, to attain in isolation.

    In short, 1 John 2: 19 ought to utterly terrify anyone who would attempt to live the Christian life in isolation, like Ms. Rice apparently is attempting.

  • Larry

    Hey Patrick,

    Have you considered sending Ms. Rice a copy The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt?

    Sounds like a case for it.

    Yours,

    Larry

  • Larry

    Hey Patrick,

    Have you considered sending Ms. Rice a copy The Gospel For Those Broken By The Church by Dr. Rod Rosenbladt?

    Sounds like a case for it.

    Yours,

    Larry

  • Tom Hering

    Let’s be careful here. Many who once went to church, but don’t anymore, haven’t flat-out rejected Christianity the way Rice has. They’ve just been baited-and-switched, or wounded in some other way, by a church or a series of churches.

  • Tom Hering

    Let’s be careful here. Many who once went to church, but don’t anymore, haven’t flat-out rejected Christianity the way Rice has. They’ve just been baited-and-switched, or wounded in some other way, by a church or a series of churches.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Larry, yes, there are issues worth †heological discussion regarding justification by faith and love, though your view that Protestants must remain pure in their doctrine is absurd. The result of this stance is a purist sectarianism that divide’s Christ’s church; He wished according to His prayer stated in the Gospel of John that they might be one.[ut unum sint].

    Christendom has become a cacophony of sectarian factions, each with fanatical devotees tending to make an idol of their own precious interpretation of the Bible.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Larry, yes, there are issues worth †heological discussion regarding justification by faith and love, though your view that Protestants must remain pure in their doctrine is absurd. The result of this stance is a purist sectarianism that divide’s Christ’s church; He wished according to His prayer stated in the Gospel of John that they might be one.[ut unum sint].

    Christendom has become a cacophony of sectarian factions, each with fanatical devotees tending to make an idol of their own precious interpretation of the Bible.

  • Larry

    Peter,

    Nonsense, the battle for the Gospel from day one has been the battle for the truth. And there is no room for the discussion regarding the Roman view of justification, faith and love versus Luther the two are antithetical, not two opinions, not two “we can just agree to disagree” but two utterly seperate religions period.

    So until Rome repents of (from Trent its codified confessions) the following cursings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

    CANON 9: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”

    CANON 12: “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified … let him be accursed”

    Canon 23: “lf any one saith, that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified; or, on the other hand, that he is able, during his whole life, to avoid all sins, even those that are venial,- except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds in regard of the Blessed Virgin; let him be anathema.”

    Canon 24: “If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.”

    Canon 30: “If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema.”

    Canon 14: “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.”

    Canon 33: “If any one saith, that, by the Catholic doctrine touching Justification, by this holy Synod inset forth in this present decree, the glory of God, or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ are in any way derogated from, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the glory in fine of God and of Jesus Christ are rendered (more) illustrious; let him be anathema.”

  • Larry

    Peter,

    Nonsense, the battle for the Gospel from day one has been the battle for the truth. And there is no room for the discussion regarding the Roman view of justification, faith and love versus Luther the two are antithetical, not two opinions, not two “we can just agree to disagree” but two utterly seperate religions period.

    So until Rome repents of (from Trent its codified confessions) the following cursings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

    CANON 9: “If any one saith, that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean, that nothing else is required to co-operate in order to the obtaining the grace of Justification, and that it is not in any way necessary, that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema.”

    CANON 12: “If any one shall say that justifying faith is nothing else than confidence in the divine mercy pardoning sins for Christ’s sake, or that it is that confidence alone by which we are justified … let him be accursed”

    Canon 23: “lf any one saith, that a man once justified can sin no more, nor lose grace, and that therefore he that falls and sins was never truly justified; or, on the other hand, that he is able, during his whole life, to avoid all sins, even those that are venial,- except by a special privilege from God, as the Church holds in regard of the Blessed Virgin; let him be anathema.”

    Canon 24: “If any one saith, that the justice received is not preserved and also increased before God through good works; but that the said works are merely the fruits and signs of Justification obtained, but not a cause of the increase thereof; let him be anathema.”

    Canon 30: “If any one saith, that, after the grace of Justification has been received, to every penitent sinner the guilt is remitted, and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such wise, that there remains not any debt of temporal punishment to be discharged either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory, before the entrance to the kingdom of heaven can be opened (to him); let him be anathema.”

    Canon 14: “If any one saith, that man is truly absolved from his sins and justified, because that he assuredly believed himself absolved and justified; or, that no one is truly justified but he who believes himself justified; and that, by this faith alone, absolution and justification are effected; let him be anathema.”

    Canon 33: “If any one saith, that, by the Catholic doctrine touching Justification, by this holy Synod inset forth in this present decree, the glory of God, or the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ are in any way derogated from, and not rather that the truth of our faith, and the glory in fine of God and of Jesus Christ are rendered (more) illustrious; let him be anathema.”

  • Larry

    To many assume Ms. Rice is rejecting “THE” church, she’s rejecting “a” church for sure but the question remains is it “THE” church. If it’s heterodoxy, then it is a false church and to reject a false church is not rejecting the true church either visible or invisible. The problem is or may be that she rejects the antichristic false church but is unaware of the truly confessed faith. She may be only in the noise of that which parades itself around as the church, unaware that there is a Christ who just forgives you your sin. The question is which does she reject, the false church and its fake christ or the real Christ.

    Dr. Franz Pieper, Thesis III, The Distinction Between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches:

    “It is, therefore, not a matter of indifference which church group a Christian joins; but he has God’s earnest command strictly to distinguish between orthodox and heterodox churches, and, avoiding all church fellowship with the heterodox, to adhere only to the orthodox Church…”

    “Many Christians suppose that it makes no difference which church group a Christian joins, and they act accordingly. When they come to a place where any kind of Protestant church is found, they join it as members. There are people who were successively Reformed, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, depending upon the place where they lived. And we should not be surprised when this happens among the sects, for they are not certain about their distinctive doctrines, because they are not grounded in God’s Word…”

    “God also expressly requires that of Christians. “Beloved,” we read in I John 4:1, “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits; whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” And the Lord Jesus exhorts all Christians (Matt. 7:15): “Beware of false prophets.” So, those Christians who do not want to distinguish between true and false prophets, and, consequently, also not between orthodox and heterodox churches, are disobedient to an express command of God…”

    “In our day, people either do not make this distinction at all, or at least not in the right manner. They not only fail to declare it the Christian’s duty to distinguish between orthodox and heterodox church bodies, but they even declare it to be a Christian virtue when people pay no attention to the doctrinal differences. Yes, they call it presumptuous when a church body maintains that in all articles of Christian faith it has the revealed truth of God’s Word…”

    As Luther says, “Whoever knows that his pastor teaches Zwinglianism, should avoid him, and rather forego receiving the Sacrament all his life than to receive it from him, yes, rather also die and suffer all things.” (Warning against Zwinglianism. XVII, 2440.)
    I’m reminded of a perfectly apropos Lutheran prayer I’ve taken to heart, due to many I know in this situation: “Almighty and gracious God and Father, turn all the hearts of those who have forsaken the faith once delivered to your church, ESPECIALLY those who have wandered from it or are in despair DUE TO ITS CORRUPTION, mercifully visit and restore them that in gladness of heart they may take pleasure in Your Word and be made wise to salvation in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen.

    The difference can be brought out this way: if Ms. Rice had been under orthodoxy, truly so, and THEN rejected the matter would be grave indeed. But insomuch as she has merely rejected, apparently, the pope’s kingdom, then perhaps she has not rejected Christ but antichrist, thus far we do not know.

    Because Ms. Rice does not say, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I refuse the forgiveness of sins. I refuse to be reconciled by Christ alone. I refuse to receive the free forgiveness of sin for Christ’s sake and by His blood as an accomplished fact before faith. She says nothing like that that I can see.
    Paul (and Jesus) warn not so much though it goes without saying of, “other ashtars or Buddhas or such”, but of “other christs”, “other spirits”, “other gospels” none of which are THE Christ, THE Spirit or THE Gospel, yet retain the terms “christ”, “spirit” and “gospel”, and we might add “biblical”, “Christian”, etc… Other rank religions are merely wolves in naked wolf clothing, but other teaching christs, spirits and gospels are cloaked in sheep’s clothing, i.e. fine pious looking living, similar sounding Christian and biblical terms and words, etc…
    Hell, every Lutheran by his/her adherence to the confessions rejects both the Roman Catholic church and the Reformed (wide use of the term) churches as heterodox and false, which is not rejecting THE church. Granted Ms. Rice does not have that underneath her as her reasoning for rejecting but it is quite possible that she is ignorant due to no true teaching that is the REAL Christ and rejects only that which is truly false and is the FALSE christ.

  • Larry

    To many assume Ms. Rice is rejecting “THE” church, she’s rejecting “a” church for sure but the question remains is it “THE” church. If it’s heterodoxy, then it is a false church and to reject a false church is not rejecting the true church either visible or invisible. The problem is or may be that she rejects the antichristic false church but is unaware of the truly confessed faith. She may be only in the noise of that which parades itself around as the church, unaware that there is a Christ who just forgives you your sin. The question is which does she reject, the false church and its fake christ or the real Christ.

    Dr. Franz Pieper, Thesis III, The Distinction Between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches:

    “It is, therefore, not a matter of indifference which church group a Christian joins; but he has God’s earnest command strictly to distinguish between orthodox and heterodox churches, and, avoiding all church fellowship with the heterodox, to adhere only to the orthodox Church…”

    “Many Christians suppose that it makes no difference which church group a Christian joins, and they act accordingly. When they come to a place where any kind of Protestant church is found, they join it as members. There are people who were successively Reformed, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, depending upon the place where they lived. And we should not be surprised when this happens among the sects, for they are not certain about their distinctive doctrines, because they are not grounded in God’s Word…”

    “God also expressly requires that of Christians. “Beloved,” we read in I John 4:1, “believe not every spirit, but try the spirits; whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” And the Lord Jesus exhorts all Christians (Matt. 7:15): “Beware of false prophets.” So, those Christians who do not want to distinguish between true and false prophets, and, consequently, also not between orthodox and heterodox churches, are disobedient to an express command of God…”

    “In our day, people either do not make this distinction at all, or at least not in the right manner. They not only fail to declare it the Christian’s duty to distinguish between orthodox and heterodox church bodies, but they even declare it to be a Christian virtue when people pay no attention to the doctrinal differences. Yes, they call it presumptuous when a church body maintains that in all articles of Christian faith it has the revealed truth of God’s Word…”

    As Luther says, “Whoever knows that his pastor teaches Zwinglianism, should avoid him, and rather forego receiving the Sacrament all his life than to receive it from him, yes, rather also die and suffer all things.” (Warning against Zwinglianism. XVII, 2440.)
    I’m reminded of a perfectly apropos Lutheran prayer I’ve taken to heart, due to many I know in this situation: “Almighty and gracious God and Father, turn all the hearts of those who have forsaken the faith once delivered to your church, ESPECIALLY those who have wandered from it or are in despair DUE TO ITS CORRUPTION, mercifully visit and restore them that in gladness of heart they may take pleasure in Your Word and be made wise to salvation in Your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.” Amen.

    The difference can be brought out this way: if Ms. Rice had been under orthodoxy, truly so, and THEN rejected the matter would be grave indeed. But insomuch as she has merely rejected, apparently, the pope’s kingdom, then perhaps she has not rejected Christ but antichrist, thus far we do not know.

    Because Ms. Rice does not say, I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I refuse the forgiveness of sins. I refuse to be reconciled by Christ alone. I refuse to receive the free forgiveness of sin for Christ’s sake and by His blood as an accomplished fact before faith. She says nothing like that that I can see.
    Paul (and Jesus) warn not so much though it goes without saying of, “other ashtars or Buddhas or such”, but of “other christs”, “other spirits”, “other gospels” none of which are THE Christ, THE Spirit or THE Gospel, yet retain the terms “christ”, “spirit” and “gospel”, and we might add “biblical”, “Christian”, etc… Other rank religions are merely wolves in naked wolf clothing, but other teaching christs, spirits and gospels are cloaked in sheep’s clothing, i.e. fine pious looking living, similar sounding Christian and biblical terms and words, etc…
    Hell, every Lutheran by his/her adherence to the confessions rejects both the Roman Catholic church and the Reformed (wide use of the term) churches as heterodox and false, which is not rejecting THE church. Granted Ms. Rice does not have that underneath her as her reasoning for rejecting but it is quite possible that she is ignorant due to no true teaching that is the REAL Christ and rejects only that which is truly false and is the FALSE christ.

  • Louis

    It seems that what she is leaving is a caricature of Christianity – which she confuses with the Church. She is leaving a set of moral / political principles (some good, some nonsense). She made the mistake of equating the Chruch with a respectable, bourgeois country club with conservative leanings. No – the Church is where we receive the very Body and Blood of our Lord, where we join His Body through baptism – where we receive forgiveness for our sins. In her mind, however, religion is a matter of individuality – and in reality, that doesn’t work. There is no Me and God and just the two of us. There is His bride – and this is where the difficulty lies – His Bride , WARTS AND ALL. Pelagian Individual Religion won’t get you anywhere.

    Also, while most of us here are Pro-Life, only some are anti-democrat, very few are theocrats (being Lutheran Two Kingdom folk – I presume that’s what she is aiming at with “secular Humanism”), and I don’t think any here are anti-Science. She seems to have confused Christianity with the Independant Fundamentalist Baptist Crowd at the far end of the spectrum…..

  • Louis

    It seems that what she is leaving is a caricature of Christianity – which she confuses with the Church. She is leaving a set of moral / political principles (some good, some nonsense). She made the mistake of equating the Chruch with a respectable, bourgeois country club with conservative leanings. No – the Church is where we receive the very Body and Blood of our Lord, where we join His Body through baptism – where we receive forgiveness for our sins. In her mind, however, religion is a matter of individuality – and in reality, that doesn’t work. There is no Me and God and just the two of us. There is His bride – and this is where the difficulty lies – His Bride , WARTS AND ALL. Pelagian Individual Religion won’t get you anywhere.

    Also, while most of us here are Pro-Life, only some are anti-democrat, very few are theocrats (being Lutheran Two Kingdom folk – I presume that’s what she is aiming at with “secular Humanism”), and I don’t think any here are anti-Science. She seems to have confused Christianity with the Independant Fundamentalist Baptist Crowd at the far end of the spectrum…..

  • NavyMom

    Those of us who have been Christians and involved in a local church for at least five years are all too aware of the less-than-saintly attitudes and behaviors that we and our bros. & sisters sometimes exhibit. Perhaps Ms. Rice was lacking in real discipleship to help her grow with the constant admonition to look to Christ, not to people. There are plenty of times I’ve had to force myself to show up at church because of in-fighting. If it weren’t for my husband reminding me to stop looking around but rather look up, I would have been discouraged like Ms. Rice.

  • NavyMom

    Those of us who have been Christians and involved in a local church for at least five years are all too aware of the less-than-saintly attitudes and behaviors that we and our bros. & sisters sometimes exhibit. Perhaps Ms. Rice was lacking in real discipleship to help her grow with the constant admonition to look to Christ, not to people. There are plenty of times I’ve had to force myself to show up at church because of in-fighting. If it weren’t for my husband reminding me to stop looking around but rather look up, I would have been discouraged like Ms. Rice.

  • Peter Leavitt

    How superficially romantic and modern to remark, as Anne Rice does, that I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.

    Essentially, she’s involved in a liberal whine that her church doesn’t conform to her liberal beliefs along with a deluded assumption that Christ would agree with these beliefs.

    However, we ought to give her credit for not becoming a cafeteria liberal Catholic or not hooking up with the feckless Episcopalian or Unitarian churches that have caved to secular humanism and pretend to be Christian churches. Also, as a cradle Catholic, she would have sold her birthright by joining, say, a Missouiri Synod Lutheran church that opposes homosexual behavior and abortion.

  • Peter Leavitt

    How superficially romantic and modern to remark, as Anne Rice does, that I quit being a Christian. I’m out. In the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being Christian. Amen.

    Essentially, she’s involved in a liberal whine that her church doesn’t conform to her liberal beliefs along with a deluded assumption that Christ would agree with these beliefs.

    However, we ought to give her credit for not becoming a cafeteria liberal Catholic or not hooking up with the feckless Episcopalian or Unitarian churches that have caved to secular humanism and pretend to be Christian churches. Also, as a cradle Catholic, she would have sold her birthright by joining, say, a Missouiri Synod Lutheran church that opposes homosexual behavior and abortion.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Larry,

    Ted contacted her on her face book page (his comment is around the #160 mark or thereabouts on that thread) and gave her the link. She replied to his comment within minutes thanking him and saying she would check it out. It has been the only comment she directly replied to on the whole thread (at least as of this afternoon.)

    Peter, you said, “though your view that Protestants must remain pure in their doctrine is absurd. The result of this stance is a purist sectarianism that divide’s Christ’s church; ”

    So we should embrace error and submit to Papa? Not a chance, sir.

    I’ve lived under “justification by faith” as preached by the legalists and it almost cost me my faith. It caused many friends and loved ones to leave the faith. Those of us who have survived such will never go back.

    Further more people will not be fooled by a “reinterpretation’ or a papering over of Trent. Either the Anathemas stand or they don’t. Its not like they are unclear.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Larry,

    Ted contacted her on her face book page (his comment is around the #160 mark or thereabouts on that thread) and gave her the link. She replied to his comment within minutes thanking him and saying she would check it out. It has been the only comment she directly replied to on the whole thread (at least as of this afternoon.)

    Peter, you said, “though your view that Protestants must remain pure in their doctrine is absurd. The result of this stance is a purist sectarianism that divide’s Christ’s church; ”

    So we should embrace error and submit to Papa? Not a chance, sir.

    I’ve lived under “justification by faith” as preached by the legalists and it almost cost me my faith. It caused many friends and loved ones to leave the faith. Those of us who have survived such will never go back.

    Further more people will not be fooled by a “reinterpretation’ or a papering over of Trent. Either the Anathemas stand or they don’t. Its not like they are unclear.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Patrick, the issue of Trent and ecumenism is complex. The best exposition of this that I’m aware of is an essayby Avery Cardinal Dulles including the following:

    In the dialogues of the past fifty years, Catholics and Lutherans have come to respect one another as Christian believers. We find that in spite of our different thought–forms, our different languages, we can say many things—the most important things—in common. And precisely because of our different perspectives we can learn from one another. Lutherans can teach Catholics that we must be in some sense passive in submitting to God’s word, that we must always acknowledge ourselves as sinners, that God’s law never ceases to accuse us, that we must throw ourselves on God’s mercy, and that we depend on the perfect righteousness of Christ, without being able to make it completely our own. For all these reasons it now seems appropriate to measure the Lutheran theses against some standard other than the decrees of Trent, valid though those decrees are in Catholic dogmatic teaching.

    The Official Catholic Response, in its concluding section, calls for deeper reflection on the biblical foundation in light of a joint effort on the part of Lutherans and Catholics to forge a language that can make the doctrine of justification more meaningful to men and women of our day. In face of a world that is so alien to the gospel, our churches are called to unite their forces in restoring missionary and evangelistic power to the gospel message of God’s powerful mercy.

    Christians interested in healing grievous Christian division ought not to be hung up on the technical language of Trent. Richard John Neuhaus, a brilliant Lutheran theologian, came to the conclusion that there was no essential difference between the Catholic and Lutheran churches on the subject of justification. The Catholic Church well appreciates the Lutheran concept of justification.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Patrick, the issue of Trent and ecumenism is complex. The best exposition of this that I’m aware of is an essayby Avery Cardinal Dulles including the following:

    In the dialogues of the past fifty years, Catholics and Lutherans have come to respect one another as Christian believers. We find that in spite of our different thought–forms, our different languages, we can say many things—the most important things—in common. And precisely because of our different perspectives we can learn from one another. Lutherans can teach Catholics that we must be in some sense passive in submitting to God’s word, that we must always acknowledge ourselves as sinners, that God’s law never ceases to accuse us, that we must throw ourselves on God’s mercy, and that we depend on the perfect righteousness of Christ, without being able to make it completely our own. For all these reasons it now seems appropriate to measure the Lutheran theses against some standard other than the decrees of Trent, valid though those decrees are in Catholic dogmatic teaching.

    The Official Catholic Response, in its concluding section, calls for deeper reflection on the biblical foundation in light of a joint effort on the part of Lutherans and Catholics to forge a language that can make the doctrine of justification more meaningful to men and women of our day. In face of a world that is so alien to the gospel, our churches are called to unite their forces in restoring missionary and evangelistic power to the gospel message of God’s powerful mercy.

    Christians interested in healing grievous Christian division ought not to be hung up on the technical language of Trent. Richard John Neuhaus, a brilliant Lutheran theologian, came to the conclusion that there was no essential difference between the Catholic and Lutheran churches on the subject of justification. The Catholic Church well appreciates the Lutheran concept of justification.

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    “What would you say to her?”

    Anne Rice’s list for why she no-longer wants to be a Christian and is quiting Christianity sounds quite familiar to me, since a little over twenty years ago I had a similar list to friends and loved ones when I announced I had become an atheist. God changed all of that about four years ago and brought me back to His dear Son, Jesus Christ. I am now a forgiven sinner who is reminded by the law why I need my Savior each and every moment. The good news of the Gospel tells me I have a merciful and gracious Lord who forgives me, due to no works I have done. He chose me as I am.

    The list I provided when I turned to atheism could have been summed up with the exclamatory question, “Why can’t I have my freedom God?!” You see, what had happened was that I was beaten with the law pretty good and didn’t hear the Gospel. Constantly I was condemned and didn’t hear the promise of forgiveness. The law of God, which should bring us to contrition, was a heavy boot upon my neck and I found no relief. I was a prisoner to sin and I grew to hate God for my lack of freedom. If I had only heard that I was forgiven by Jesus, and set free from that prison, not because of my labors (or lack thereof), but because He loves me. If only I had known that I was justified before God because of what Christ did for me over 2000 years ago where all my sins were nailed to the cross, where He took all the punishment for my sins so that I don’t have to be punished; even though, I rightly deserve it. If I had heard all those things before I announced my atheism, then I may not have suffered eighteen long years under the boot of the law. Well, it is true that God works in mysterious ways. Here I am because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Devil laughed as I spiraled inward and into atheism, thinking I had set myself free. All I did was help old Lucifer weld the shackles to my ankles. There is no real freedom outside Jesus Christ who provides true liberty from sin and the law with His gifts afforded to us by His works.

    I would tell Ms. Rice to RUN to the cross of Jesus Christ with a contrite heart, confessing her sins and her need for Christ our savior, and then bask in the warmth and light of Jesus’ promise that she is indeed forgiven.

  • http://www.confessionalsbytes.com/ Jim Pierce

    “What would you say to her?”

    Anne Rice’s list for why she no-longer wants to be a Christian and is quiting Christianity sounds quite familiar to me, since a little over twenty years ago I had a similar list to friends and loved ones when I announced I had become an atheist. God changed all of that about four years ago and brought me back to His dear Son, Jesus Christ. I am now a forgiven sinner who is reminded by the law why I need my Savior each and every moment. The good news of the Gospel tells me I have a merciful and gracious Lord who forgives me, due to no works I have done. He chose me as I am.

    The list I provided when I turned to atheism could have been summed up with the exclamatory question, “Why can’t I have my freedom God?!” You see, what had happened was that I was beaten with the law pretty good and didn’t hear the Gospel. Constantly I was condemned and didn’t hear the promise of forgiveness. The law of God, which should bring us to contrition, was a heavy boot upon my neck and I found no relief. I was a prisoner to sin and I grew to hate God for my lack of freedom. If I had only heard that I was forgiven by Jesus, and set free from that prison, not because of my labors (or lack thereof), but because He loves me. If only I had known that I was justified before God because of what Christ did for me over 2000 years ago where all my sins were nailed to the cross, where He took all the punishment for my sins so that I don’t have to be punished; even though, I rightly deserve it. If I had heard all those things before I announced my atheism, then I may not have suffered eighteen long years under the boot of the law. Well, it is true that God works in mysterious ways. Here I am because of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Devil laughed as I spiraled inward and into atheism, thinking I had set myself free. All I did was help old Lucifer weld the shackles to my ankles. There is no real freedom outside Jesus Christ who provides true liberty from sin and the law with His gifts afforded to us by His works.

    I would tell Ms. Rice to RUN to the cross of Jesus Christ with a contrite heart, confessing her sins and her need for Christ our savior, and then bask in the warmth and light of Jesus’ promise that she is indeed forgiven.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Patrick, at45, another point is that in the real world of religion, government, and business diplomacy is essential. Grownups hardly retain grudges. Lutherans need to forgive Catholics, for some of the polemical language in the Council of Trent. Catholics need to forgive Lutherans for their sometimes polemical language including that of designating the office of Pope as Anti-Christ.

    As Cardinal Dulles suggests, in the face of modern attacks against the Christian gospel, Lutherans and Catholics would be wise to heal their essentially superficial differences, notwithstanding the fevered effusions from both Catholic and Lutheran extremists.

    Even a confused Anne Rice might think twice between aligning with pagan secularism as opposed to a united Christendom, however humanly imperfect. She might just understand the notion that an undivided Church is the bride of Christ, however imperfect as with most brides [and husbands].

  • Peter Leavitt

    Patrick, at45, another point is that in the real world of religion, government, and business diplomacy is essential. Grownups hardly retain grudges. Lutherans need to forgive Catholics, for some of the polemical language in the Council of Trent. Catholics need to forgive Lutherans for their sometimes polemical language including that of designating the office of Pope as Anti-Christ.

    As Cardinal Dulles suggests, in the face of modern attacks against the Christian gospel, Lutherans and Catholics would be wise to heal their essentially superficial differences, notwithstanding the fevered effusions from both Catholic and Lutheran extremists.

    Even a confused Anne Rice might think twice between aligning with pagan secularism as opposed to a united Christendom, however humanly imperfect. She might just understand the notion that an undivided Church is the bride of Christ, however imperfect as with most brides [and husbands].

  • Booklover

    Jim @47, that sounds just right.

  • Booklover

    Jim @47, that sounds just right.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Peter,

    As nice as Mr. Dulles’ sentiments are, they do not hold the force and authority of Church dogma.

    You said,”Christians interested in healing grievous Christian division ought not to be hung up on the technical language of Trent. ”

    Technical language? What I believe, they called anathema. The anathemas in Trent very clearly enunciate the faith I hold and pronounce the judgment of hell upon me and all those who believe like I do. Gloss over what you will, ‘the devil is in the details’ so to speak.

    Again , you said, “Richard John Neuhaus, a brilliant Lutheran theologian, came to the conclusion that there was no essential difference between the Catholic and Lutheran churches on the subject of justification. ”
    No… he became convinced that the “visible unity” of the church trumped all other considerations, and that schism in the church was the chief sin; therefore he downplayed the difference between our two confessions and made peace with Rome’s version of the dispute. Lutherans think that denial of the Gospel is a more grievous sin.
    The need for the Lutheran church would evaporate like dew in the morning sun if Rome did three things.
    Luther said the breech would be healed if Rome let us preach and teach the Gospel as we understand it and would allow us to hold that the office of the papacy is a human construct created for the maintenance and preservation of good order in the church. The third thing would be to repeal the anathemas of Trent.

    None of this is likely to happen because the Roman Church has tied it’s fate to the infallibility of Popes and Councils, and therefore can never recant or retract even obvious mistakes. Then because they refuse to change even the least little bit, they decree any church body that disagrees with them as schismatic and sectarian, and invite those whose conscience is grieved by this apparent ‘disunity’ to engage in word games over the disagreement until they are comfortable ‘coming home to Rome.’

    The invitation to ‘not get hung up on the technical language of Trent’ is akin to asking someone to sign a business contract or a mortgage without considering the fine print , in the interest of all getting along of course. Actually its worse because it deals with the Gospel and our immortal souls.

    In good conscience I can do no such thing.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Patrick Kyle

    Peter,

    As nice as Mr. Dulles’ sentiments are, they do not hold the force and authority of Church dogma.

    You said,”Christians interested in healing grievous Christian division ought not to be hung up on the technical language of Trent. ”

    Technical language? What I believe, they called anathema. The anathemas in Trent very clearly enunciate the faith I hold and pronounce the judgment of hell upon me and all those who believe like I do. Gloss over what you will, ‘the devil is in the details’ so to speak.

    Again , you said, “Richard John Neuhaus, a brilliant Lutheran theologian, came to the conclusion that there was no essential difference between the Catholic and Lutheran churches on the subject of justification. ”
    No… he became convinced that the “visible unity” of the church trumped all other considerations, and that schism in the church was the chief sin; therefore he downplayed the difference between our two confessions and made peace with Rome’s version of the dispute. Lutherans think that denial of the Gospel is a more grievous sin.
    The need for the Lutheran church would evaporate like dew in the morning sun if Rome did three things.
    Luther said the breech would be healed if Rome let us preach and teach the Gospel as we understand it and would allow us to hold that the office of the papacy is a human construct created for the maintenance and preservation of good order in the church. The third thing would be to repeal the anathemas of Trent.

    None of this is likely to happen because the Roman Church has tied it’s fate to the infallibility of Popes and Councils, and therefore can never recant or retract even obvious mistakes. Then because they refuse to change even the least little bit, they decree any church body that disagrees with them as schismatic and sectarian, and invite those whose conscience is grieved by this apparent ‘disunity’ to engage in word games over the disagreement until they are comfortable ‘coming home to Rome.’

    The invitation to ‘not get hung up on the technical language of Trent’ is akin to asking someone to sign a business contract or a mortgage without considering the fine print , in the interest of all getting along of course. Actually its worse because it deals with the Gospel and our immortal souls.

    In good conscience I can do no such thing.

  • Tom Hering

    Let’s not forget that the formal divisions in Western Christianity began when the Roman church rejected those who were trying to reform her. (Decet Romanum Pontificem, 1521, being the most obvious example.) Blaming non-Catholics for disunity is a nice bit of revisionist history.

  • Tom Hering

    Let’s not forget that the formal divisions in Western Christianity began when the Roman church rejected those who were trying to reform her. (Decet Romanum Pontificem, 1521, being the most obvious example.) Blaming non-Catholics for disunity is a nice bit of revisionist history.

  • Pr. D. Bestul

    Hmmm. Where, I wonder, will Ms. Rice commune? From whom will she receive it? How will she follow the apostolic injuntion, “Don’t forsake the gathering together of God’s people as is the habit of some…”
    Ms. Rice’s expectations of Christianity are unrealistic. We are no more –or less— than forgiven sinners living together in a fallen world.
    Renounce what you will, Ms. Rice, but your Lord Jesus said it: “He who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

  • Pr. D. Bestul

    Hmmm. Where, I wonder, will Ms. Rice commune? From whom will she receive it? How will she follow the apostolic injuntion, “Don’t forsake the gathering together of God’s people as is the habit of some…”
    Ms. Rice’s expectations of Christianity are unrealistic. We are no more –or less— than forgiven sinners living together in a fallen world.
    Renounce what you will, Ms. Rice, but your Lord Jesus said it: “He who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

  • Pr. D. Bestul

    Hmmm. Where, I wonder, will Ms. Rice commune? From whom will she receive it? How will she follow the apostolic injuntion, “Don’t forsake the gathering together of God’s people as is the habit of some…”
    Ms. Rice’s expectations of Christianity are unrealistic. We are no more –or less— than forgiven sinners living together in a fallen world.
    Renounce what you will, Ms. Rice, but your Lord Jesus clearly said it to his church: “He who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

  • Pr. D. Bestul

    Hmmm. Where, I wonder, will Ms. Rice commune? From whom will she receive it? How will she follow the apostolic injuntion, “Don’t forsake the gathering together of God’s people as is the habit of some…”
    Ms. Rice’s expectations of Christianity are unrealistic. We are no more –or less— than forgiven sinners living together in a fallen world.
    Renounce what you will, Ms. Rice, but your Lord Jesus clearly said it to his church: “He who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.”

  • boaz

    “Richard John Neuhaus, a brilliant Lutheran theologian, came to the conclusion that there was no essential difference between the Catholic and Lutheran churches on the subject of justification. ”

    Where did he explain this? I’ve heard lots of people say this, but no serious theological explanation of it. Catholic concepts of faith and grace are incompatible with Lutheran understandings. Catholic teaching is clear that Faith Alone is anathema and requires human cooperation and action to obtain salvation. Lutheranism is the belief that God did everything to save, and that it is sin and foolishness for a person to rely on anything the person does to try to obtain salvation. Neuhaus was politically conservative, but theologically, he was liberal.

  • boaz

    “Richard John Neuhaus, a brilliant Lutheran theologian, came to the conclusion that there was no essential difference between the Catholic and Lutheran churches on the subject of justification. ”

    Where did he explain this? I’ve heard lots of people say this, but no serious theological explanation of it. Catholic concepts of faith and grace are incompatible with Lutheran understandings. Catholic teaching is clear that Faith Alone is anathema and requires human cooperation and action to obtain salvation. Lutheranism is the belief that God did everything to save, and that it is sin and foolishness for a person to rely on anything the person does to try to obtain salvation. Neuhaus was politically conservative, but theologically, he was liberal.

  • boaz

    How can Rome tell people not to get hung up on Trent if Rome itself is hung up on Trent? Rome can say, whenever it wants that “the Catholic church isn’t hung up on Trent anymore, nevermind.” Has it ever done that? Where?

    If it hasn’t, then any Roman that says don’t get hung up on Trent is a traitor to his own faith and the tens of thousands of Romans who died in support of the doctrine Trent teaches.

  • boaz

    How can Rome tell people not to get hung up on Trent if Rome itself is hung up on Trent? Rome can say, whenever it wants that “the Catholic church isn’t hung up on Trent anymore, nevermind.” Has it ever done that? Where?

    If it hasn’t, then any Roman that says don’t get hung up on Trent is a traitor to his own faith and the tens of thousands of Romans who died in support of the doctrine Trent teaches.

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Ted R

    @ Pr. D. Bestul

    Ms. Rice’s expectations of Christianity (or better, Christians) are unrealistic?

    So, it’s okay and doctrinally sound for a Christian to come to a suffering believer and tell them to “pray more”, “try harder”, “invite Jesus into their heart more”, “live better”, “sin less”, or any other number of self-helping concepts? The Jesus who said “He who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” taught people to ‘pull themselves up by their bootstraps’ and solve their own lack of faith? That’s the message of the Gospel?

    Really? Your sort of counsel reminds me of Job’s friends.

    Consistently, I’ve found that Christians are driven from the church by those preaching another, self-focused gospel to which they’re ascribing Jesus’ name, only to harshly condemn the sheep who keep failing the teacher’s standards (sinning). The problem here is that we don’t have teachers with enough backbone to find those teaching such garbage and pull them into their office and make sure they keep their mouths shut until they understand the Gospel as it is written in Scripture.

    It is NOT the fault of the sheep who leave after a long struggle with the church primarily because they’re having errant teachings rammed down their throat. Rather, it is the teachers who must be called to task.

    To expect less of our preachers and teachers is to throw out our doctrine and let heresies run amock under the guise of ‘getting along’ as sinners living in a fallen world.

    “Get thee behind me…” (Matthew 16:32)

  • http://www.newreformationpress.com Ted R

    @ Pr. D. Bestul

    Ms. Rice’s expectations of Christianity (or better, Christians) are unrealistic?

    So, it’s okay and doctrinally sound for a Christian to come to a suffering believer and tell them to “pray more”, “try harder”, “invite Jesus into their heart more”, “live better”, “sin less”, or any other number of self-helping concepts? The Jesus who said “He who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me.” taught people to ‘pull themselves up by their bootstraps’ and solve their own lack of faith? That’s the message of the Gospel?

    Really? Your sort of counsel reminds me of Job’s friends.

    Consistently, I’ve found that Christians are driven from the church by those preaching another, self-focused gospel to which they’re ascribing Jesus’ name, only to harshly condemn the sheep who keep failing the teacher’s standards (sinning). The problem here is that we don’t have teachers with enough backbone to find those teaching such garbage and pull them into their office and make sure they keep their mouths shut until they understand the Gospel as it is written in Scripture.

    It is NOT the fault of the sheep who leave after a long struggle with the church primarily because they’re having errant teachings rammed down their throat. Rather, it is the teachers who must be called to task.

    To expect less of our preachers and teachers is to throw out our doctrine and let heresies run amock under the guise of ‘getting along’ as sinners living in a fallen world.

    “Get thee behind me…” (Matthew 16:32)

  • Trey

    Peter,

    You are mistaken in that we should come together. Unity is not found in man-made agreements, but in the Word of God. Lutherans will join Rome once they reject works righteousness among other teachings contrary to Scripture (including Indelible Character, Sola Ecclesia, Mary as Co-Redeemer, Concomitance, etc.) . We will continue to heed Paul’s words regarding those who teach contrary to Christ’s Gospel: A little leaven, leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5).

  • Trey

    Peter,

    You are mistaken in that we should come together. Unity is not found in man-made agreements, but in the Word of God. Lutherans will join Rome once they reject works righteousness among other teachings contrary to Scripture (including Indelible Character, Sola Ecclesia, Mary as Co-Redeemer, Concomitance, etc.) . We will continue to heed Paul’s words regarding those who teach contrary to Christ’s Gospel: A little leaven, leavens the whole lump (Galatians 5).


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