I am a trained pastor, biblical studies is my profession, and I've been in the pastoral position for quite a number of years. I cannot agree more with your sharing. I found it simply truthful. Christianity is virtually a hoax. It just doesn't work - 'coz it operates on a fantasy/human-made system. Jesus once pointed out that a good tree would not bear bad fruit. So does Christianity. The “product” does a good job in denouncing the very “producer” itself. Indeed, its promise to a blissful life can equally (if not better) be attained through other means (i.e., other religions, or philosophies). Yet having said all these, I found myself still "working" within this religious establishment, trying to grab and secure my family’s livelihood on a little pay-cheque through teaching “ideas” that I personally don't even hold on to.... What I can do to ease my inner struggle is, trying my best, to repaint the Bible in its original flavor, to make my congregants aware of the different “literary” ingredient embedded in it. I want them to know, to discover themselves that the work they believe to be life-governing/divine/intact is simply not true. I believe the purpose of education – even religious education – is to enlighten people. And education is power.
I came to this "predicament", like you, over a long period of time through extensive reading/studies/dialogues. It's a process of gradual awakening. I’ve been a believer for over 20 years and I know how it felt especially the first few years. And the world just fell apart as we moved on in our lives. The emptiness/powerlessness of the Christian faith to a serious truth seeker is so hurting.
So, you are much better than I since you are already on the OTHER side, FREE. I wonder when will be my turn. Nice having come across your article. Comforting.