I was a youth minister, a theist among theists. I was passionate about God, Jesus, and the whole thing. The problem was is that it was slowly destroying my life.
The concept that there was “saved” and “unsaved” – essentially dividing equal people into seperate groups – and being told the unsaved were evil ruined my relationship with my friends and family who were not in the Church. I found myself withdrawing from general society and spending more time alone or around people who thought like I did. The quality of my personal life plummeted.
The charity and love amongst evangelical Christians… I never found it. It was those ideas that brought me to Christianity at 19, but I found out they are not Christian ideas. Instead evangelicals were a group who tried to be loving and tried to be charitable because inside themselves they were not. Mostly, they were people who were the evil ones and covering up their evil with religion. It was very fake.
I wasn't like them. I was always honest with my failings and didn't believe in covering up things. I believed in loving people of all groups. I was in the minority. My constant complaint is that Jesus seemed to never be reflected with these people.
I had a breakdown in May 2006 and religion was one of the big causes. It's not popular to say that religion can be dangerous for your mental health, but it is. Very. When I realized how much Protestant fundamentalism had ruined my ability to live in the real world, be around real people, get any joy out of my life, and remove my ability to reason… I pulled out. The more I pulled out of the Church, the Bible, and religious people the more I recovered to the point I am recovered.
It was Tom Harpur's the Pagan Christ which proved to me that I had given my life to a lie but it was Richard Dawkin's video's and book which gave me something real to rebuild my life on.
For someone who had lived the God delusion every day, that is the greatest blessing I could have ever gotten.