Bear with me, I'm nerding out on this right now...
I just watched this documentary, 'The Pervert's Guide to Ideology'. It attempts to expose and explain the frame work of ideology. The narrator had some very interesting things to say about Christianity.
He points out that the centerpiece of Christianity is the release from ideology. He doesn't claim that modern Christianity has no ideology, but he does claim that the message of Jesus on the Cross is the destruction of Judaic ideology.
He claims that every ideology has the idea of "the Big Other" that grants you *something* as long as you have an agreement, a contract. The ideological contract for Judaism is, which is illustrated in the story of Job is: "Do what you are told, though it may be unfathomable and you may suffer, you will be rewarded with being right."
Jesus was a symbolic negation of the Big Other, when he was made to suffer and not rewarded, thus him saying "My God, why have you forsaken me?". At this moment, the message is to no longer look to the requirements of the Big Other, because it does not exist. Instead look to the needs of community, which is a heavy theme in Christianity and the distinguishing characteristic of early Christianity.
The narrator says in this way, the early Christian was more Atheist than the modern Atheist born the Atheism. If I remember correctly, he also says that a Christian become Atheist is more Atheist than a born Atheist. Being more Atheist meaning being more free from ideology. The reason is, if you are born to being Atheist, you may never have the experience of seeing and breaking out of an ideology.
Your god, your 'Big Other', would be something else that you may not be capable of recognizing and are blinded to by the gift of being right, a function of the contract of your born to ideology. A Christian become Atheist knows that moment upon where there is no thing, where individual choice is the the only god, with no promise of gift or reward.