I really can no longer even pretend to follow a belief where I find so many more questions than plausible explanations
I was asked by several Christians, and even some Hindus, in the US and India why I left Christianity. Christians want specifics, I hope this will help explain.
I started life in a small country town, where church bells rang on Sunday mornings and stores were closed on Sunday by matter of law, not custom, (although laws can arise from customs).
Since just about everyone in that small town went to church each Sunday, it never occurred to me that there was a choice in the matter. It was just what people did. Period. Monday thru Friday people went to work or school. Then on Sunday they went to church. I never analyzed it as just the way of life in The Bible Belt, but then, I was 5 years old.
Fast forward several years, I was starting to wonder about things I had heard in church, things which society enforced, or at least historically embraced because, well, it was in the Bible so it was “God’s will.” Incidentally, these doubts weren’t just in church, but also school. Each morning for my first 9 years of schooling we said a prayer, and in some cases Bible verses, before our academic day began. Some days we would actually discuss a story or two from the Bible prior to classes. In the ninth grade it was a Catholic school which only intensified matters.
A prayer for preservation from mental sin and evil promptings
1 Sin of the Mind, avaunt! begone! Why sayest thou what none
Go hence away, I love thee not. Go to the forests and the trees.
My heart is in our homes and cows. 2 Whatever wrong we have committed, sleeping or waking, by
ill-wish, dislike, or slander,
All these offences, which deserve displeasure, may Agni take
from us and keep them distant. 3 Indra and Brāhmanaspati! whatever foolish deed we plan,
May provident Angirasa preserve us from the sin and woe.
Hymns of the Atharva Veda, by Ralph T.H. Griffith, , at sacred-texts.com
Finite and transient are the fruits of sacrificial rites. The deluded, who regard them as the highest good, remain subject to birth and death.
Living in the abyss of ignorance, yet wise in their own conceit, the deluded go round and round [on the wheel of death and rebirth], like the blind led by the blind.
Living in the abyss of ignorance, the deluded think themselves blessed. Attached to works, they know not God. Works lead them only to heaven, whence, to their sorrow, their rewards quickly exhausted, they are flung back to earth.
Considering religion to be observance of rituals and performance of acts of charity, the deluded remain ignorant of the highest good. Having enjoyed in heaven the reward of their good works, they enter again into the world of mortals.
But the wise, self-controlled, and tranquil souls, who are contented inspirit, and who practice austerity and meditation in solitude and silence, are freed from all impurity, and attain by the path of liberation the immortal, the truly existing, the changeless self.