The popular author released this statement on her Facebook page recently:
For those of you expecting a reprimand, you’re not going to find one here. Especially since, if I’m totally honest, I’ve felt the same way on more than one occasion.
It’s embarrassing, really. The group of people who should be known by their love are notoriously known for their squabbles, disagreements, judgments, and anger. In fact, the word ‘denomination’ means ‘divided nation.’ We’ve prided and separated ourselves based upon our division of beliefs instead of rallying around the foundational truth that we’ve been loved, saved, and set free! One of the main reasons I didn’t want to be a Christian for years was because I didn’t want to have to deal with the cruelty of some of Jesus’ followers.
Anne, I get it. I’m with you. I feel your pain. I love the people behind the agendas Christians are known for protesting–the gays, the abortionists, the scientists, the Democrats–and I KNOW Jesus loves them, too. I love the broken, the hurting, the searching and the wounded. I love the intellectual, the Ivy League, the cruel, and simply, the ones who believe differently than I do! I believe that NOTHING can separate us from the love of God!!
But I cannot and will not give up on the body of Christ.
I know that we can be a people who are loved so lavishly, that we love without agenda.
I know that we can be a people who are given such extravagant grace, we pour out grace on every person we encounter.
I believe that we can be so healed, that we administer healing to the broken, the sick, and the wounded.
I believe that we can be so consumed by goodness, that we live our lives to overcome evil with the goodness we’ve received.
I believe that we will take care of the orphans and widows that we’re commanded to rescue.
I believe that we can be so set free, we rush to release the captives from their chains.
I believe that Christians are patient and kind. Christians do not envy, they do not boast, they are not proud. They do not dishonor others, they are not self-seeking, they are not easily angered, and they keep no record of wrongs. Christians do not delight in evil, but they rejoice in the truth. They always protect, always trust, always hope, always endure.
Christians never fail. Why? Because love never fails, and we will someday live every breath to give away the love that we’ve received–ESPECIALLY to one another, to the broken, to the hurting, to the lost, and to our enemies. (I Cor 13)
There’s absolutely no excuse for a Christian not to love–especially when we’ve been loved so violently. Jesus paid the ultimate price–he died so that we could be reconciled in relationship with perfect love.
I believe, with all of my heart, that the body of Christ will have a revelation of this truth, and when we do, we’ll be the most unbelievably powerful, loving, kind, generous, healing, empowering group of people on the planet.
I’m so sorry, Anne Rice, that we’ve failed you. Please give us another chance.
Do you need to take a moment and repent as a Christian who hasn’t been committed to love above all else? We’re commanded to love the Lord God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, and then to love our neighbor as ourselves.
Take a moment and ask for forgiveness for the places you haven’t had lavish love towards a world that needs love. Take a minute and ask for forgiveness for the judgment you’ve had towards other Christians. We must be a people who are known for love and grace–otherwise, we’re not being the reflection of our Father.
“God, love me SO FULLY, SO COMPLETELY, AND SO RADICALLY, that I live every breath to receive your love and give it away to every person I encounter! I know that the world doesn’t read their Bibles, but they do read their Christians. Let me be an example of your love to the world!!!”