I was raised as a Free Methodist, and I know where you are coming from…or at least I think I do. I was told that if I even doubted, if I just listened to “alternative views”, then I was being tempted by Satan. The more compelling the argument, the more god was testing me to make sure I was measuring up (Satan is such a wily critter!). To allow a crack in my armor, was to open myself up to infection. Your beliefs lead you to perceive my words to you right now as a threat: I am after your soul.
God knew my every thought, so any thoughts that were doubtful or outright questioning of his ultimate authority or the truthfulness of his book, made me one of the “others” – those that were destined for hell, the ones unworthy of his love.
I don’t know how to get you to open up and consider some of the things you hear on this forum. I’ll tell you where my crack started, and it had nothing to do with religion. I am an avid fossil hunter – have always been fascinated by them and have looked for them since I was a child. I have found thousands of them, whole pages of pre- history are laid out in front of me when I open up a layer of rock. This led to finding out about the geological history of my area, the ice ages that scraped off millions of years of deposits, the fascinating evidence for plate tectonics, the mass extinctions that have occurred throughout history. For me, to disregard what I learned about the world around me by ignoring it because of my religion was being intellectually dishonest. I began to doubt what I had been told by my upbringing…not without some serious soul-searching, but I have never regretted the path that my life has taken.
I would rather be an intelligent, growing, truth-seeking atheist than a molded, static result of childhood propaganda that I was too afraid to break away from. But most religions indoctrinate their children so well that it can be very difficult to step away and examine what is being taught objectively, even as an adult. My advice: get on a real science site and just try to understand just one troubling science concept. Take religion out of it temporarily, for understanding’s sake. You can go back to the religious version afterwards…but if you truly understand the concept, you will, hopefully, be appalled at what you read when religion is allowed to take the place of science.
Good luck, Skeptic