I went back...... When I graduated high school and got married I swore I would never go back to that church. My wife and I tried her church from her youth and a spinoff church of a pastor we liked but they sucked for various reasons too. I think we had a couple years peace with no church attendance until my wife started going back there. I let her go on her own for quite a while and then the guilt meme from youth kicked in and I started to go back so my wife didnt appear as a single mother there. For the first few years it wasnt bad and we even made some new friends. Then one day the lead pastor abruptly was fired and they brought back the lead pastor from the 80's that was recently fired from his current church. One of my friends on staff quit right away and moved and we gravitated away from attending service and just volunteered while our kids went to ss and left.
I am not sure what exactly caused me to snap but I started to earnestly buy in again as an adult there. I had some employees I was trying to help out and they took advantage of me but I figured since I was using the guise of employer and witness for Christ everything would work out. In the old church it is hinted that if you do things with growing the kingdom in mind God will reward you for it. What else should you expect for your time invested. My wife had got on staff at the church and I was cool with until I started to notice she was becoming very involved, in my youth most of my friends would become more involved and our friendship would end. Doubts about the strenght of my marriage started to creep in and to make matters worse the 2 assholes I was coddling at work were making my life a living hell.
It was probably on a night when I had too much to drink but I felt in my mind a fog lift and the god I once believed in was gone and dead to me. Very scary at the time but a necessary death to allow me to grow and deal with my past. I started googling about ex christians and doubt and stumbled on to forums and podcasts. I also started reading books recommended by these podcasts and realized that I didn't believe any more. It was angering and lonely time for me but I also ended up firing the 2 jerks who made my life hell at work. Once that was done and I actually felt peace at work, I realized it was now time to get my self and my family out of that church. My first attempt was an epic fail but thanks to an inadvertant visit to a Catholic church I got a much better plan b.