I was happy, a few years ago, to learn that Anne Rice had made a profession of Christ. The famous writer is the creator of Interview with a Vampire. The book became a pop culture phenomenon once it hit the silver screen starring Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt in the early nineties.
Once Rice made her profession of Christ, she said that she was no longer the pessimistic atheist that penned the Vampire Chronicles. “I found what the characters in the vampire novels were looking for. They were groping in the darkness; they lived in a world without God,” Rice told NPR’s Michelle Norris in an interview yesterday. Her new-found faith was reflected in her Christian-themed books like Christ the Lord: the Road to Cana.
I usually enjoy NPR’s interviews, especially the work of Michelle Norris. It’s professional, insightful, though-provoking. But I had a sense in yesterday’s interview that Norris was a little cynical in her questioning. Sort of like now that you’re done with this religious faze, are you going to go back to writing what the public really wants? I know it’s not the press’ job to be compassionate or sympathetic to people in crisis, but is the cynicism really necessary?
I feel like the Christian community is just as guilty, though. When a celebrity makes a profession of faith in Christ, high-profile preachers love to march converted celebrities onto their studio sets before faith even begins to take root. Before faith is real, the celebrity turned Christian is indoctrinated into what agendas to promote and whose politics are most sanctified. What is needed is real, nurturing discipleship.
I don’t know that Rice didn’t get discipleship. I assume she got ritual and catechism. And it is evident that the worship of celebrities doesn’t occur outside the church only. No one deserves that spotlight. Nor can they live up to the expectations that come with remaining in the spotlight.
What thinks you?