Before discovering that interesting article on Google these are the thoughts I had and still do have...
What makes a Christian a Christian? Using myself as an example... I'm sure I've mentioned this in a previous blog but I grew up in a Church and just don't feel like I am truly different than someone else that may have not been raised in a Church. I'm not trying to place blame on anyone, it isn't my pastor's fault and it isn't my parent's fault. It's my fault for not pursuing a person relationship with the Lord.
Anyone can read the Bible, anyone you ask could tell you about how Jesus died for our sins to enable us with eternal life. Anyone can gather these facts and tell you they know them and that they are a Christian because they believe them and live by them. Anyone can do this, but I am thinking that perhaps this isn't what a true Christian is. I honestly shouldn't even use the word Christian because they're are plenty of followers of a specific religion that think they are doing as the religion specifies them to do, yet totally misses the point of what Jesus Christ wants us to do.
If a friend mentions to you of a wonderful book they just read and goes on to describe the book and why it's so wonderful, you will base your opinion on that book by what the described to you. Before you can even read the book for yourself you're going to have the pre-formed opinion in your mind. I think for some of us that were raised in the church or around religious people, this may have happened to us. We have formed our opinion of the Bible and what the Lord is, based solely on what we have heard. Whether we have heard things from our parents, pastor, Grandparents or friends, if we haven't read the book for ourselves we are only basing our opinion primarily on what we've heard other people tell us. If you have not read the Bible entirely, yet consider yourself a Christian, I'm asking you; why have you let other people form your opinion on how you're going to succeed at living an eternal life in Heaven? You can know what the Lord has done for us by sending Jesus Christ to earth in order to redeem our souls, you can know the 10 commandments and apply them to your life but you will biased opinion until reading the book the Lord has provided to you.
If I still haven't made you question what you currently believe, I ask this. What is your conscience and where does it come from? Does our conscience come entirely from us? Do you think it could be possible for the Lord or satan to influence our conscience? If we don't have a strong grasp (knowledge) on our beliefs, it will not take much for our opinion (if you're basing it on what you've heard) to sway when being attacked. I've written previously about a dream I had and how I realized that our brain is the link of our physical body and our spirit. I believe out conscience is the main communicator between the two as well. Whatever we are putting in our heads will effect our mind, body and most importantly, soul. If we have a strong grasp in our belief, our conscience will not question and our conscience will also not be able to sway when being attacked from satan.
To have a personal relationship with the Lord is to study what he says in the Bible, first. We should continue to study and question everything we do not understand in the Bible. Research using other books or Google for other people's ideas and opinions. The more information we have about our Lord and Saviour the closer we will be to knowing the Lord. When we know the Lord our personal relationship will begin to grow.
The Lord gave us the capability to seek Him out. If we're too lazy that we just choose to be ignorant and believe what we hear, I wonder what He thinks our our relationship? I'm sure He still loves us but if we knowingly are too lazy to learn or study about Him, I really don't think we would please Him.