I won’t pretend that all christians are villains. While there are many who prey on the weaker, the timid ( the bible sets up people to be their victims, calling for submission in women and children), there are nice people who follow the faith. This fact, that there are nice people in the faith, does not exonerate or justify the bible. It simply means that good people can be found in some of the oddest groups.
Various family and friends of mine, consider themselves christians. These people are very helpful and honest. For the most part I trust them, and I feel they are worthy of my respect. But keep in mind, my respect is based on their actions, not their faith.
For some, the evidence of the “good christian” is an argument to the effectiveness of the religion itself. I disagree.
In my view, a good christian, is more correctly identified as a good person in general. They could be a christian, an atheist, a muslim, a jewish person, or a pagan. Good people can be found anywhere, and by “good” I mean a person who expresses positive characteristics.
A neighbor of mine brings food over in hard times. During quarantine, when it was hard to go out, he brought leftover food from his volunteer outreach programs. I appreciate it. It almost would warm my heart about christianity and the bible, except the bible is none of this.
Sure, the bible expresses an idea of giving to others and helping the poor or needy, but the bible also talks about mass murder, raping the name of god, and murdering enemy children.
The fact my neighbor is a great guy, isn’t (in my opinion) due to his religion, but rather his own personal values. Christianity is a mirror, and it reflects the attributes of the individual. Those attributes may be hidden deep down, but in time they will work themselves forward. He’s a giving person, wanting to help others, and that attitude is expressed through his faith. In another life, he could be a pagan, or an atheist, and still be the same giving person. In my view, he’s positive because of who he really is, not the bible or the religion he aligns with.
While there are good people in any religion, I must reiterate that the bible is a collection of contradictory teachings. One can defend any good or evil action. One could reach in and pull out a doctrine of hard politics, demanding the extermination of another race; or one could pull out a doctrine of loving one’s enemies. It simply is what a person is willing to embody. There is no ethical constant. Remember, the teachings of Jesus only amount to less than 0.001% of the bible! Forming a view only on those teachings, is like forming an idea on a book by reading the first two sentences.