Being born into a Christian home/country doesn't make you a Christian as much as being born in a McDonald's would make you a hamburger. This was a line from Nicky Gumbel and the Alpha course. I was born into a Christian home, raised going to church on Sundays and Pioneer Girls or Youth during the week. I went to a Christian high school too. I knew what I was supposed to do/say and how to act, I also knew what not to do/say or how to act. I would have considered myself a "good person" but my faith wasn't mine rather more my parents'. It wasn't until I was in grade 11 that I started to go to Youth group to get closer to God not the cute guys:) I started reading my Bible, praying more diligently and worshiping a God who I now knew personally. It was a specific time when I decided to make this faith mine, to accept God's authority and to stop living just for me.
Yesterday I was reading the story of when God calls Samuel. The first few chapters talk about how he was born, given over to the temple and grew up. There is a juxtaposition between Samuel and Eli's sons. They are all serving in the Church, but Samuel is doing good and Eli's sons are doing evil. Samuel is being commended for all his positive attributes and then when God calls him there is a line that says, "Samuel did not yet know the Lord because he had never had a message from the Lord before." (1 Sam 3:7). So although Samuel had been living a "good" life up until God met him, he did not "know the Lord" until then. I think this is an important realization, that even if someone is born into a Christian home, looks, acts, and smells like a Christian there still needs to be a point where a personal choice takes place. It is dangerous if we think we don't need that because then we become the judgmental "Christian" who evaluates everyone on their actions because that is all we know about religion. Christianity is about actions, but actions that flow from a heart that has been given over to God. These actions stem from love and are accompanied with grace and mercy.