Vampires and Jesus
I understand the two words in my title and how they seem to be disconnected. They aren’t. If you haven’t caught it, the book world is buzzing about an article in Newsweek about bestselling vampire author Anne Rice. Publisher’s Lunch had the headline “Anne Rice, Born Again (Truly)” when they pointed toward this article. Then the Newsweek article is called “The Gospel According to Anne.”
After writing 25 novels over 25 years, Anne Rice is releasing her first novel since 2003 titled, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt. I have not read the novel which is centered a seven-year-old Jesus—who is also the narrator of the story. If you read the Newsweek story you will see that Anne Rice has been through some drastic personal experiences in the last few years including the loss of her husband of 41 years to a brain tumor in 2002 and nearly dying a couple of times herself. From what I know about people and life, I suspect these experiences have drawn Rice into a greater spiritual awareness. I love the line in the Newsweek story where she says, “I promised that from now on I would only write for the Lord.”
I’ve seen the posts on an online forum about Anne Rice where some people have been throwing out their opinions about whether Rice is a Christian or not. I have no idea or connection to this story. I hope something has happened in her life. There is certainly good evidence of something happening from her website. If she has built a stronger relationship with Christ from her personal and writing journey, I hope she’s got some terrific Christians around her to help her grow in her faith.
Over the years, I’ve seen my share of “celebrity” conversions and some are more based in reality than others. Almost fourteen years ago, I wrote a children’s biography, Chuck Colson, which was part of the Today’s Heroes series from Zondervan. It was my privilege to work with Chuck, his family and friends to write this particular book. When Colson came to Christ, it was loudly trumpeted in the media and Chuck wrote his own story in the bestselling book, Born Again. The year this book released, I participated as an author at the Kentucky Book Fair. At these gatherings, authors have tables in a large convention room to autograph books. I had my Chuck Colson book. Despite Colson’s numerous appearance at Billy Graham Crusades where he gave his testimony and his stellar work in prisons around the globe, I was amazed to firsthand meet the skeptics. They would scrunch up their faces and proclaim, “Nixon’s hatchet man? There is no way that Colson became a Christian.”
The experience taught me an important lesson about these types of stories. First, when I receive such information in a media story, I pray that it’s true—the celebrity has actually had a real face to face meeting with Jesus. Then I entrust those results into God’s hands. It is not our role to judge the spiritual condition of someone else. We can simply pray and proclaim our understanding of the truth.