What makes a ‘good’ Christian? What makes a ‘bad’ Christian? These good vs. bad connotations with Christianity have been popping up a lot more whether it’s through social media, the church, or the people you surround yourself with. I consider myself a committed and dedicated Christian, but as someone who has also been labeled as a ‘bad’ Christian, it’s time to just put it all out on the table.
I think one of the most prominent reasons that I and many others have been given this label is because we do not attend church every Sunday. As a busy college student working part time, my weekends are very valuable. Most of that time is filled with homework, studying, or writing lesson plans for the kiddos I student teach for. If I have extra time after that, and that’s a big if, it’s probably spent catching up on sleep. A lot of people have began to follow this trend and in this ever changing world, people have found other things to do on the weekends than just go to church. Being religious means faith exists outside of the four walls of the church. Just because I do not always have time to go to church does not make me any less faithful.
Another reason for this ‘bad’ Christian label is because of the struggle with mental health. I, like others, struggle with depression and anxiety. I have been to plenty of churches where they either just don’t acknowledge it or it’s a sin and we’re terrible people. To have someone preach that my chemically imbalanced brain, the way I was made, is a sin is just heartbreaking. They’ll say things like, “you just don’t pray enough” or “you need to go to church more.” First of all, you think I haven’t tried those two things? Second, it is a medical diagnosis that usually needs medication, not more prayer time.
These two reasons for being labeled as a ‘bad’ Christian turn me off from organized religion so much. I am faithful 100 percent to God, but that does not mean I have to be to an organized religion. Go ahead and label me whatever you would like. But as a Christian, is it really in our place to be judgemental and labeling like this?