Anne Rice apparently quit Christianity today. She claims to still be a christian, but she does not like a whole lot of Christianity. Leaving aside that I agree with a number of her points, I disagree with the larger spirit of what she was saying.
Let me start a little earlier than I was initially going to. My faith, my Christianity, and my love of Christ remained with me through my late teens for one reason: logic. I was confronted by two strong desires that were hugely in conflict. The first was for freedom, complete, uninhibited freedom. The second was for justice. Don’t think these two conflict? Let me explain further.
The freedom I craved was the freedom from constraints. I wanted to be able to drink whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted. I wanted to sleep with whomever I wanted. I also wanted revenge on a person who nearly ruined my family, by any means necessary. That desire for vengeance held the key to the problem I was faced with. I knew something wrong, something inexcusable, had occurred; yet to walk away from my faith was to allow that the two worlds, the one in which this person believed he was right, and the one in which I believed he was evil, were mutually exclusive. I could not accept that.
It was in this realization that I figured out what sin is. Sin is the catastrophic consequence of wanting things my way, applied universally. To acknowledge the sin in this person’s actions also meant acknowledging the sin in my desire for vengeance, my desire to pass the hurt back. Yet this is the cost of absolutes, that standards exist, standards I may not like, but that I am constrained to. I take up the constraints with the hope and faith that Christ will eventually make sense of what I cannot. I just can’t say I will always like it.