As a teen in church I REALLY believed my faith. I literally spent many nights on school nights till 3 am praying for my classmates. I knocked on doors every week because I truly didn’t want to see a single person go to hell. I read my Bible through the FIRST time when I was 13. I joined a drama team and wept every time during our end of time judgement skits. In college, I preached on street corners and bus stops. I did my best to evangelize Scientologists even inside their own buildings. I brought 89 visitors to church one program, driving the bus myself. I would visit from 9 am to 9 pm every Saturday and brought many hundreds of people to church, all while working a vigorous factory job full time, going to college, and also driving the church bus from 5 am to 1 am Sundays to Monday morning. I tithed, too and for a long time refused to allow my wife to work and refused to get food stamps. In short, I REALLY believed it. At the time, I didn’t look at the apathy of everyone around me, except as my own fault for failing to inspire them. Over the years, I have been forced to change my mind on so many things. I don’t know ONE person who really believes what they profess, not ONE. If you TRULY believe people are going to hell, you simply wouldn’t behave as you do. I am forced to realize that none of you, regardless of what you say, actually believe that. I also realize that no one really wants you in their club anyway. My wife can’t help in the church nursery because one day, she was guilty of going to the bathroom while having an autistic kid and she got charged with a crime when our kid wondered off. No one at church will back her, essentially treating her like a criminal. (After that occurred we had to spend thousands on a lawyer, a fence, new locks, and in getting her a safety ankle bracelet to prevent it again…all while on minimum wage income!) Our oldest kid isn’t allowed to participate in much of any church activities because she is mildly disabled, but very easy to get along with – just no one wants to be inconvenienced. We’ve also never been able to participate in any of the expensive trips, either…and once when we could, she wasn’t allowed to go. The real truth is every one I know is lying to themselves about what they really believe. But when they lie to me, I am fully aware. I no longer pay tithes, which is never mentioned a single time in the New Testament, and which had I stopped sooner, I wouldn’t have behind for so many years. I also no longer believe that anyone I know has any clue who God really is. When I tell them day after day that Hugh’s four wives were murdered, they ignorantly and stubbornly blame the victim. And worse, nothing stirs inside their souls to want to find the truth and seek justice. I NEVER see stirred hearts of compassion. I NEVER see tears. I went through a long time of depression as my INTJ brain was coming to realization about all these things. I couldn’t force myself to accept reality for a long time. I was even suicidal for awhile. No one cared..no one. And this post won’t change a single thing. In fact, it will likely just either get ignored or bring criticism. I already know that, I’m just protesting…spitting against the wind really. See, I did everything RIGHT for a long, long time. It’s really, really difficult to come to terms with the fact that everything you really believed because you thought others did too, was all just me. I was literally the only person who believed it. Now I’m just like you, I just don’t lie about it any more like you always will.