Anne Rice is in a season that many, if not all, Christians experience: the great joy of coming to personally embrace the love, forgiveness, and new life that Jesus offers is then followed by the troubles and trials of learning the teachings of the Bible and living with fellow Christians. Truthfully, both are difficult.
Posted by Mark Driscoll, on August 11, 2010 12:52 AM
Can Anne Rice be spiritual without religion? Sure. When the church lost its purity under Rome, the ascetics went out into the desert to forge their relationships with God more or less alone. Jesus withdrew in order to pray. However, he did not stay there. And when the people of Jerusalem went astray, Jesus did not forsake the temple. He threw the moneychangers out.
Posted by Janet Edwards, on August 4, 2010 2:09 PM
From a biblical perspective, then, "spirituality" is not something one achieves or a stance one adopts, but is the character and the capabilities of individuals and congregations that have embraced the work of the Holy Spirit upon themselves.
Posted by Gene Davenport, on August 4, 2010 12:20 PM
God without religion is trying to love God and ignore His love language. His love language is loving people, and choosing to stay connected to them in a common practices of faith, hope, love, and community.
When I read your words on Facebook, I laughed. I have a sister friend who is an ordained minister. We often say that every religion would be perfect if it were not for the people who profess it. Christians corrupt Christianity. Muslims mess-up Islam. Jews junk-up Judaism. Hindus hinder Hinduism. Buddhists break Buddhism. The list could go on.
Posted by Valerie Elverton Dixon, on August 3, 2010 4:13 PM
To accept the truth blindly is the same as having no personal convictions of your own. By the same token, to say that you have adopted Christ without Christianity seems equally facile. The teachings of Jesus are staggeringly difficult to carry out in practice, as anyone knows who has tried to turn the other cheek or loved his enemies.
Posted by Deepak Chopra, on August 3, 2010 3:12 PM
"Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind" is among the verses Paul wrote about what happens when Christ is in you. Conforming people to a set of rules is what the Pharisees (and the modern Taliban) sought to do. Thinking and living differently to please God is what Christ does when He lives in a person.
While bestselling author Anne Rice has rejected Christianity, she holds onto Christ. She wants to decide who Christ is all by herself. She vaults individualism above community, surely an expression of self-centered religion.
Posted by Robert Parham, on August 3, 2010 9:40 AM
Can you have spirituality without religion? religion without spirituality? It's like asking if you can have a head without a heart--or vice versa. Some of us try to get by with just one or the other, but it never works out very well.
Spirituality is the sweetness of religion, the effervescent taste of the divine. Religion, on the other hand, is the fiber. You've got to have some fiber, some strength of tradition, ritual and sacred texts, to get you through the day. The problem is, however, that today's institutionalized religion does not contain much just good, wholesome fiber--a lot of it is like junk cereal.
Posted by Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, on August 2, 2010 7:34 PM
According to my grandfather, M. K. Gandhi, religion and spiritualism are distinctly apart -- that is, it is possible to practice one without believing in the other. Religion, as it is commonly understood, is the practice of a set of rituals based on the interpretation made by human beings.
I have not left Christianity but I am grossly disappointed in this religion which is supposed to exemplify love. One can probably get closer to God, actually, if one rejects the kind of religion we pass off as Christianity. Yes ...I am saying that one can be spiritual and not be religious.
Posted by Susan K. Smith, on August 2, 2010 6:30 PM
If you keep Christ as the benchmark of your actions, I am fairly certain you remain a Christian. And I know that if you maintain God and Torah as your benchmark, you remain a Jew, even if others may not approve of your understanding of such benchmarking.
Posted by Brad Hirschfield, on August 2, 2010 5:53 PM
Christians are a lot like snowflakes--there are almost no two alike. It's not clear to followers what to take literally and what to take figuratively, and which passages may have been falsely attributed to the man or god or man/god called Jesus.
Posted by Herb Silverman, on August 2, 2010 4:26 PM
Spirituality is at the core of religion, but alone it is not enough. Like love, religion is enacted feeling. It is emotion made flesh; it is not only having an experience, but doing a mitzvah -- a deed of lovingkindness.