Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Surprised??

Christianity Today has long been on a shining example of weak theology, weaker discernment, and "strange bedfellows." Now they are singing the praises of the "return" of novelist Anne Rice to "renewed faith in Christ." I wish I could say I was surprised, but I am not.

Rice is the author of some best selling novels about vampires, as well as erotica and pornography. Her "spiritual journey" began in 1993 and culminated in 2002 in a return to the faith in which she grew up.

I rejoice in the testimony of one leaving the sinfulness of the world and coming to Christ. It reminds us that the gospel still works, and makes me long to see more of it.

But to what "faith" did she return? To the Catholic faith. You, dear reader, should remember a little historical issue called The Reformation. The Reformation took place precisely over the issue of "faith." including the biblical call of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. The reformers could see this doctrine taught very plainly in Scripture. The Catholic Church, steeped in years of tradition and extra-biblical authority could not. The "faith" (doctrine) that the reformers saw in Scripture is not the faith of the Catholic church.

Now, more than five hundred years later, the main issues of the reformation have not changed. The Catholic church still believes what it believed then, even though their communication of it has clouded under pressures of ecumenism. The Bible still teaches what it taught then, and what the reformers took their stand on, namely, salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone.

What isn't surprising to me is that Christianity Today does not see the issue. They have no qualms promoting the Christianity of one who has embraced the doctrines of the Catholic church. How can this magazine, ostensibly purporting themselves to represent "Christianity today" be so simple minded as to not recognize the differences? Is simple biblical discernment about the nature of the gospel so foreign? After all, we aren't talking about some deep issues of theology. We are talking about the very essence of Christianity—the gospel. And Christianity Today seems to be oblivious to the fact that one who has returned to Catholicism has not returned to faith in the Christ of the Bible.

As an aside, Rice has proclaimed herself to be
"an advocate for Christian and Jewish gays and their right to worship and to take the sacraments." You probably think I am going to comment on homosexuals and worship. But I won't. I am actually curious as to why a Jewish person would take the sacraments? They reject the Christ of the sacraments (issues with sacramentalism aside).

Christianity today is doing a great disservice to the Christian community with articles like this. It is sad to see a magazine with so much potential for influence waste it in such a grand manner. Of course, the impetus behind the magazine in the beginning was not to be a spokesmen for biblical Christianity, but rather for a softer, gentler kind of truth—a truth that knows few boundaries.

In this age of theological confusion, it is imperative for the church to teach biblical discernment. It was the church's job all along. Let's not abandon that job to magazines.

1 comment:

Brian Jones said...

I'm not surprised about CT, but I am surprised by the similar treatment Mrs. Rice gets from none other than World magazine:

http://worldmag.com/subscriber/displayarticle.cfm?id=11316

Veith's synopsis at the bottom of that article kind of makes me want to read her book....