So, I will do my best to clarify a few things from my previous post in hopes that it will help you all better understand my position. I certainly don't need everyone to agree with me, and I welcome those with a differing point of view. After all, that really is part of the journey.
First of all, we had a lot of reasons for leaving our church, but this spiritual journey was not one of them. I did not leave because I was tired of following all the rules or doing all the right things. Our leaving the church made some things very apparent in my life that I had to deal with. This was not the church's fault - but being there did obscure some of the things I needed to address. We also did not abandon church. We are regularly attending another local assembly, getting fed in the Word and enjoying the fellowship.
Secondly, although this is an intensely personal quest on some levels, I did open myself up by posting about it on this blog. I acknowledge that it may have been hurtful to some people, and for that, I am sorry. I think it is impossible to leave a church family without hurting others, no matter how good your intentions. I also want my parents to know that I appreciate my upbringing so much. I always remember feeling safe, happy, and loved as a child, and I think you both did an exceptional job at the whole parenting thing. As a parent myself, I now know how difficult it can be to try to "do all the right things" when it comes to rearing your children. It gives me a greater appreciation and understanding of the struggles you faced. I know this is a scary thing for you because I may come out of this with different views and standards than you. Please trust that I am seeking God at every point of this experience and that He will guide me in the right way.
I chose to share about my struggles publicly. Therefore, I know I am opening myself up to both encouragement and criticism. Please, feel free to address any questions or concerns in the comments below. I'll do my best to answer, engage in some thoughtful debate, and address any concerns you may have.
I leave you with this verse. "The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge: but the mouth of fools feedeth on foolishness." (Proverbs 15:14)