My name is Barry. Not too long ago I was on here after having suffered a crushing blow at an SBC church as a former associate pastor. I actually came across this site looking for people who had been scorned by the church in their past. My scorn was in regards to child safety. There were serious safety issues in the children's program run by a very prominent family in that church and when I went to address them under the direction of the senior pastor, I was quickly threatened and intimidated to keep my mouth shut if I valued my job. They also tried to force me to make my children part of their program even though I was not confident in it at all. This left me with a choice: either tow the church political line and act as if nothing happened, or stand up for children whose safety and well-being was put at risk. The experience left me so emotionally bruised that I wound up resigning in disgust of the church - especially since the senior pastor quickly betrayed me and sold me down the river the moment things got to politically hot for him. His famous last words to me were "Barry, this church is dysfunctional; it's not going to change." This was my cue to exit.
Any way, what I wanted to ask was for a few good atheists to give me their take on the institution we all know as church. If you have roots specifically in the SBC, that is a plus. The reason why I am asking for you to do this is that I intend to start writing about it. There are many problems within the church - starting with the fact that it is an aging, irrelevant, and corrupt institution that is more concerned with power and control than it is with providing freedom, salvation, and enlightenment to humanity.
Oh, and if you are wondering as to whether or not I am a theist? The answer is yes - just not the same one I was several months ago or even years ago, and I am not a pastor anymore. I am not here to debate whether there is a God or not; nor do I wish to convert anyone - the reason why this site exists is because many of you on here have already made up your mind definitively and I would rather respect your position than attack it. You are welcome to ask any question you may have of me if you are skeptical.