I am an atheist because the God I loved and served faithfully just got too damn small. Too formulaic. Too predictable.
I was born again in high school and was a committed believer all the way through high school and college. I loved Jesus and was sure God was the answer to everything. I believed in grace and mercy and love. My God was huge. And perfect. And more loving, compassionate and mysteriously wonderful than anything I could describe.
Then I went into full time ministry. I could tell so many stories now about the corporate waste, the hypocritical leadership, the stupid acronyms and formulas that were used to shrink God down to a sellable product. My God shrank right before my eyes. It took disillusionment with ministry to make me stop and rethink my beliefs. The nagging feeling that there was something tremendously wrong with evangelical christianity that I had successfully repressed for years became too strong. The mental gymnastics I had been performing to explain away God’s sexism, anger, vengefulness and petty demands became too much for me. For the very first time, I looked at my beliefs from a skeptical viewpoint.
I wanted my God to withstand the test. I held on to bits and pieces of my faith for awhile. But, intellectual integrity demanded that I accept what is true over what I wanted to be true. I no longer believe in any of it. And, to my surprise, as my God got tiny and unbelievable and I was forced out of my insular world, an indescribably huge and beautiful world opened up around me. The truth has set me free.