Show me where it says that a Christian has to be a good person to retain the “Christian” label. Because I’m just not buying it. And I won’t even accept the non-Gospel parts of the New Testament as proof; as that was just more of mankind mucking around in the dark. I want something straight from the Big Guy, Jesus Christ himself saying that his followers had to be good people and that if you did bad things, you weren’t his people. And I don’t think you’ll find that, as I don’t think he said it.
If Jesus was for real, then we were all inferior beasts to him, and he would have understood everything, suckiness and all. We don’t blame ants for behaving like jerks, and Jesus wouldn’t have any different opinion of us. And the bigger a jerk someone is, the less they can be blamed for behaving like a jerk. That’s my attitude and I’m not even an omniscient deity (not officially, anyway). I’m not some lofty god looking down from my ivory tower with my theoretical morality. I actually have to put up with these assheads on a daily basis and still I forgive them.
I think anyone’s a Christian who thinks that they’re a Christian, and they don’t have to be particularly good. To me, a “Christian” is anyone who believes that Jesus was a real person who was either the “Son of God” (whatever that means) or God himself. I’m not picky. I’ll accept either answer. They also have to believe the stuff in the New Testament, even if they don’t follow it. That’s it. That’s what it means. You don’t have to be a good person. You don’t even have to make sense of the contradictory parts. Or to even believe that hogwash about the virgin birth or the other cool stuff that looks like it was added in later. You just have to have some semblance of a sensible theory of Jesusness, and you’re in. Oh, and they probably have to believe in the miracle stuff, though that isn’t a strict requirement. And I suppose the whole Easter thing is pretty important; but that’s it.
And heck, lots of Christians are bigots. Lots of them are happy with poor people starving and kids suffering. They’ll allow millions of kids to live and die in horrible lives that they’d never allow for their own children. Those aren’t good people. Yet who’s to say they aren’t Christian. You might. But they sure don’t. So why can’t we include the Christian rapists too? Or the bastards? If people are willing to allow others to suffer, what does it matter if they do it indirectly. If they’re ok with this stuff happening, then they’re to blame anyway. And as long as they pass the “Jesus as Lord and Savior” test, then who are we to say otherwise? I’m not saying that most Christians are this way, but the ones who are might disagree with all the others. And who’s to say they’re wrong.
And if this is all about word games, and who a “true” Christian is: Why can’t we all play? Why can’t I deny that bad people are American? Or atheist? Or human? Because that’s all this is: word games to make their group sound better. And it just doesn’t work like that. You accept the good with the bad. There are Christians who do bad things and cheat on their wives and there are liberals who hate people and want America to suck. That’s just the way it is. Most people have sucky qualities about them, and it is inevitable that they’ll join some group we’d rather they not join; namely, our own group, and say and do lots of embarrassing things. And if they happen to join your group, then you really don’t have much right to complain. That’s just the nature of groups. Statistically speaking, jerkoffs will join. And the more you think they’re a jerkoff, the more they think you’re a jerkoff. It can’t be helped.
And if that means that you can’t claim that your group is superior to others, then so be it. You lose that claim. There are no guarantees in life (lest God get sued by the Consumers Union for fraud), and there’s nothing to say that a group you’ve joined is free from suckers. In the end, you’re on your own with this stuff, and if you don’t like the company you keep, then you have no other choice than to stand on your own two feet and claim your own opinions.
Heck, I’m a CPA, a group that I’m particularly proud to be a part of; and even I won’t claim that all CPA’s are good people. And we even have enforceable standards for that kind of thing. We try to kick-out the rapists, jerkoffs, and bastards; and even that’s not enough. There’s still a CPA somewhere screwing someone over and there’s nothing I can do about it. And the Christians have no such standards for admission. There’s no test for Christianness or any kind of ethics board to kick the baddies out. They’re on the Honor System and it’s not particularly honorable.
They claim that bad people aren’t Christians, but the bad people have an equal claim to the contrary. They say they’re believers. They say they’re priests, preachers, and ministers; and no one can claim otherwise. They can be denied access to a particular church, but they can’t be denied the generic label of “Christian”. And if someone doesn’t like that, then they just have to deal with it. There is no Board of Directors controlling access to the Christian label, and if you’re reading my site, then you probably wouldn’t be on it anyway. This isn’t meant to disparage Christians in general. It just means that the Christian brand isn’t worth what you think it is.