Thank you for sharing your story. If you’ll allow me, I want to offer my perspective as a Catholic turned agnostic turned Evangelical Christian:
I’m a student at a university in California who likes to talk with people about God. I remember when I was 18, I told my father that I’d never want to attend church ever again. It was simply not life-giving. I, too, was repulsed by the notion of the “transformed” Christian life. I saw too much hypocrisy to believe in that. I became angry. My anger hardened into apathy and my apathy evolved into bitter resentment against God. I suspect that many people let their exploration of faith die here. I nearly did.
Without writing a novel, all I want to say is this: the things that I had rejected about God were not God. What I hated and what you hate is dead religion, but not true Christianity. Do you know who the number one enemy of dead religion is? Jesus Christ.
It can be easy to brew a metaphysical cocktail for ourselves and pick and choose what we want in it. I share my faith pretty regularly and I’ll normally get responses like, “Oh, I’m glad that’s helpful for you.” Well… I’m not interested in what’s helpful. I’m interested in what’s true. Jesus Christ is either who he says he is or he isn’t. He either rose from the dead, or he didn’t. If it’s false, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. But if it’s true, then everything changes. That’s the decision everyone must make for themselves. At the end of the day, it’s the object of our faith that’s important. Not faith in and of itself. I can believe all I want that when I die, I’m going to be reincarnated as Oprah Winfrey, but we both know that’s not going to happen. If you’re ever interested about who the God of the Bible truly is, re-read the Gospel of John, then the book of Romans. Take it from a guy who can relate to your spiritual journey: don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.