Is there such a thing as a good Christian?
As Christians, I believe we like to think of ourselves as having the moral high ground, by carrying out God’s will. There’s a logic to that, if God is good then so are our actions which please him. However, a large portion of the world would disagree. Abortion, gender identity, marriage—Christianity’s take on these issues, conflicts with the secular world. But I don’t think having a different opinion on complex subjects makes someone bad. It’s something else that does that.
We weren’t created that way
The Bible teaches that because of our sin, humanity has become separated from God, and innately evil. We weren’t created that way, but it is in our nature to sin and go against God’s will. And let’s be honest, no matter how hard we try, we all succumb to sin eventually. Even if it’s something that can be considered minor, like swearing or getting angry at someone.
Everyone strays from the path at times, and for some, getting back on the path may be harder than it is for others.
But what about people who say they are Christian, but act in ways that contradict the Bible’s teachings? People who swear like a trooper, drink excessively, watch porn or behave in a sexually immoral way, don’t go to church very often, surely, they’re worse than your average church goer?
Though maybe not, and it isn’t really up to us to decide if they are. Just because someone is bad doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not a believer. True, they might not be the best example of how to live a Christian life, but that judgement of faith is determined by God.
The need for Jesus
Jesus died for all of our sins to be forgiven. When one tries to act according to God’s will, it is because of what he has first done for us.
I’m not suggesting a “Jesus died for our sins, so let’s keep sinning!” mentality, the reality of being a Christian is that we need Jesus because of our sin, and no amount of good deeds will change that.
Also, people who struggle with behaving righteously are exactly the type of people that need to be going to church! In the Bible, Jesus actively helps and befriends the people of a lowly stature, and we should be compassionate to these people. Including the ones who are Christians.
“We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers…” (1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 9).
There are plenty of morally good and bad people and Christians fall into that category too. If we were perfect and didn’t sin, there would be no need for us to follow Jesus’s teachings. But we aren’t perfect, we are broken.
Jackson Reid is a journalism student currently studying at University of Wollongong in Australia. He has been working casually at Pulse 94.1, a Christian radio station, for the last 5 years. He is particularly passionate about youth and kids ministry at church.