As I was driving home today, I began to think about some of the people I encounter on a daily basis, who say people who don't attend church weekly aren't good Christians. To which, I scoffed, and thought, "I could miss five month's worth of Church and still be a better Christian than you". WARNING: I was totally wrong in my thinking here.
I had my local Christian Radio station on, and a woman began to talk about all the links that she had available on the website about restarting your faith or growing in it. I figured I'd give it a look when I got home, and I did. I was happy and also disappointed. I am a person who is constantly seeking a 'how-to' manual for my life - reality is, there isn't one, but I'm still sitting here searching.
I think that this website was Jesus' little way of saying: 'See, Alicia, aren't you happy there isn't one?'. The answer is: Yes, Lord, I am! This 'restarting your faith' area was a section that basically told everyone: this is how you're a Christian, and this is how you're not a Christian.
No grey area, no 'happy medium', just straight-up split down the middle.
This helps no one.
I know many people are reading this thinking that these type of lists are good to have, and maybe once a list like this helped them. If it's helped you, that's wonderful. However, they lists are wrong.
You are only human, you are a sinner, you will sin. Accept it. Own it. So articles telling you if you do A, B, or C makes you a bad Christian are completely, and utterly, wrong. This, to me, puts people down, and makes them feel worthless, and in turn, turns them away from God. You can make good choices and you can make bad choices. But making a bad choice doesn't deem you unworthy for eternity.
That's when I realized one main thing, Church is not a competition. God is not a competition. If you are Christian, you are loved by God. Ask yourself these questions: Is a person who never attends church, but reads the bible daily/prays daily a "bad Christian"? Is a person who never misses a Church Sunday, but rarely, if ever, reads the bible a "bad Christian"? The answer is obviously: no. It doesn't work that way.
Plus, I grabbed a little bit from my online bible study week that I discussed with my mentor - John 13:34-35, "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." It doesn't seem very loving to dislike other Christians, does it? Jesus says to love one another despite our faults, and while this is very difficult - and I'm no saint here either - we must at least try.
Normally I don't go all "satan this/satan that" on y'all, because for some reason I know whenever I read an article and it ends with that, I think this person is crazy and they think a pair of shoes is Satan, but competing for God's love is something Lucifer did before he fell. Look how well that turned out.