I don't mind the asking nor do I mind the telling!
To completely understand it would take a long drawn out look into how I grew up but suffice it to say that I essentially attended seminary during highschool. Four systematic theologies, read through the bible half a dozen times with different translations each time, preached in front of 3 thousand, traveled extensively "sharing the good news", worked full-time at a christian youth camp all through high school, private christian school through 6th grade, homeschooled from 7th grade on, leader of the high school youth group, people started calling me reverend when I was in 2nd grade, whole books of the bible memorized....etc etc etc
So I think that I can say with a fair bit of certainty that I am essentially more biblically knowledgeable than the vast majority of pastors out there. Just for a background on me.
Essentially one day I woke up and thought "but WHY?"
and after processing it all for four years, give or take a few months, I finally decided that it wasn't what lined up with the world I've seen since I left the christian bubble I grew up in nor does much of the doctrines I taught even align with scripture, i.e. Hell, Premarital Sex, A loving God, "God's Will" and other fallacies of the modern church.
So I stopped. It's been the hardest thing in the world to reprogram my brain. I had to literally wake up everyday and remember that I no longer believed in prayer or God. I would catch myself praying if I got scared or emotionally distraught, just out of habit and had to remind myself that I was being a hypocrite and that single thought always brought me out of whatever funk I was in. Like when I had a lady die in my arms last summer in Guam and blamed myself, in the past I would have dropped to my knees and prayed and prayed and things would have been worse, the nagging thought of whether or not she was a believer or if i had sent her to hell. Instead I just powered through it and talked it out with a shrink and life went out. I was the better for the experience and I learned that being a lifeguard sometimes means people die. God didn't care to save her, just like he doesn't care about the 30,000 that died of hunger today or the 30,000 more that will die tomorrow.
Life is a crazy game and I'm just playing it. I like my worldview now much better. When I think back to what a self-righteous twat I was back then. I wouldn't have talked to the likes of me and all I would've done back then was prayed for me instead of getting to know me. If that line makes sense.
My christian worldview may have been far more right winged than yours is, think of the movie Saved and then amplify it. In the four years I was wrestling for answers I attended and got involved with almost every sect of the christian faith. From the far right of my upbringing to the extreme left of the Disciples of Christ and everything in between. I've read Rob Bell and Donald Miller, R.C Sproul and Watchman Nee and once again everything in between.
Christianity just doesn't fit into what I see. It doesn't make sense to me logically nor does it feel right to me.
I am glad I am tolerant now. I am glad I am free.
I love this poem to describe how I feel.
"I woke up to an empty room
No more angels watching over me.
No more demons to be held at bay
by the invocation of
an Anglicized version
of a Hellenized version
of a Hebrew name
I woke up to an empty room:
Just a room. Four walls, ceiling, floor.
Just a room. Nothing more.
I woke up to an empty room
and embraced the solid air.
I woke up to an empty room and knew myself