I remember reading your story on freeminds.org and I must say that was quite a ride. Your story was certainly inspirational to be sure. I'm curious about some things though. You mention Calvery Chapel-style and it got me thinking about one poster, Saoirse, recommending the calvery chapel as a good church and even helped me find one in my area. I guess I am curious whether or not this is the type of church that most ex-Witnesses go to in your experience.
Like Moshe, I am also turned off by the whole tongue speaking thing. I use to attend a Church of God in my hometown where they did that but they were pretty calm about it so I enjoyed that church. Later, after moving to Hampton, VA, I attended another Church of God in that city and the difference between that church and the one in Danville was like night and day. They constantly spoke in out of order tongues and would just scream out 'prophecying' whenever they felt like 'the Spirit moved them.' It was a mad house to say the least and my wife, who was attending with me at the time, would show me scripture explaining how people coming into these churches would wonder if these people were crazy.
Of course, her Jehovah's Witness upbringing would always have her fault finding the churches I attended but I was beginning to see her point in this case.
When I was starting to learn the truth about the 'truth' I began looking for a church again and found two that I liked, All Nations Church and Hope Community Church. I kind of liked ANC better because it was more interracial, however Hope was more like the church you described in your experience after Bethel. The pastor one time wore shorts while delivering the sermon and people dress very casual there, but they were real good about sticking with the Bible. One day, they did the tongue speaking thing with an interpreter and I was ready to just give up on them and leave for good. After calling them out on it, they explained where this was considered okay in the Bible. Still though, I explained my case and why it bothered me but I acknowledge their interpretation as valid too. Ironically, I haven't heard them do it since.
Like Mindmelda, I too love Christianity and the teachings of Christ but I feel like no religion really teaches the truth as a whole concerning the teachings of the Bible. It's disillusioning to say the least. Early in my Christian walk, back around 1991, I began attending an Independent Fundamental Baptist church regularly. They were very legalistic to the point of being almost culty and it depressed me a lot. I left because I could not take it anymore and they, like the WTS, claimed that they were the one true church (well as close to it as possible) and denounced even other church denominations for their flaws. Were it not for the Christians I met in college and their more interdenominational views, I don't think I would be a Christian today.
Again, thank you so much for your website.