I grew up in an IFB church in southern Missouri. It was a very small town, but we were a big enough church to have some well-known preachers speak. With the Christian school, youth group and other activities the church was pretty much my life. I was a pretty compliant kid and didn’t really question what I was taught. Thankfully I didn’t have the worst of the experiences other folks have talked about here.
Things changed when I went to Bible college. I went to Maranatha, mostly because I wanted to play football. (Didn’t work out, but I still went). The fundamentalism I found there was very different from the one I grew up in. It didn’t happen all at once, but over time the cognitive dissonance was deafening. I never really doubted details about God or his character, but I began to wonder if the whole God thing was real, or if it was just something lots of people agreed on.
Thankfully God’s grace didn’t give up on me. I can’t say that I was really seeking him, but he made himself real to me in lots of small ways. It didn’t happen all at once, but God drew me back. I still go to an independent Baptist church, but I and the church have cast off the old IFB mindset.
I write this to encourage you not to turn away from God. Even when you are not seeking him, he can surprise you in ways you never expected if you don’t give up.