I bring this up only to share the sincerity of my faith or at the very least that I tried to be close to the Creator. It kinda burns me when some Christians accuse me of "never really believing". I some times think of telling of all the personal things I did for the Lord but I have always gone by the code of doing good for goodness sake. I used to think that this was the most sincere way to be. Even Jesus talked about people fronting just for show. I don't want no props for being good. I do it because it is what I want to do.
It has been years since I left the church but here are some highlights that I remember:
1. A girl left the church and was said to have joined a cult. I was curious and attended one of her new church's home meetings. It was there that I was given Lew White's "Fossilized Customs".
2. I decided that I couldn't get a girl from within the church. Being rejected by a few of them didn't help.
3. I visited and was wooed by another church called "Tabernacle of Glory". I visited there after I met a disgruntled former member of New Vision. The pastor of that church was young, energetic, and well traveled. I challenged him. I requested an audience with him and never got my chance.
4. There were some noted defections from the inner circle. Scandals were whispered about what happened to them. There is a glass ceiling over there. As soon as the kids go to college they usually rarely come back.
5. I made it my personal mission to visit a mosque, synagogue, and various other churches to do research and to see if there was a place, any place, that had people like me.
6. I completed the New Testament and wanted to be an unofficial apologist for the church. I was referred to and read Christian apologetic work by Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel. I really wanted to see if I could do The Great Commission.
7. I was told to pray to the Holy Spirit for clarity and I did. Nothing happened. More questions and objections flooded my mind. I found out that Jesus was racist.
8. I had taken debate and philosophy and my mind became super allergic to BS. Exposure to those 2 were a violent blow to my faith and religion in generally. To prove something truth took more work then I expected.
9. I discovered Wikipedia and read topics that interested me like a crack head. I swallowed large amounts of information in a short time. Eventually I declared myself a "Freethinker". The anti-bible websites and books that I discovered knew of and pointed out more problems in the Bible.
10. I became an International Freemason. I left after about 2 years. It wasn't what I expected. They weren't interested in discussing the things that were vital to me.
12. After stumbling across some atheist sources I was pointed to the Florida Atheists and Secular Humanists (FLASH) group. I went to one of their local meeting and heard them out. I identified with them a lot. I later went home and decided that I could not in all honesty say that I could prove that God existed. That evening I put faith aside and accepted the title of "ATHEIST".