I, like you, got caught up in calvinism towards the end of my protestantism. Also, I , like you, have had a very negative experience spiritually with it. I felt at times that I could never know if I was reprobate or elect! Sometimes I felt like I was going crazy over this.
On a positive note,I think that part of what convinced me at the time to be calvinist is what eventually led me to the orthodox faith. Given the fact that as an evangelical, I never traced my christian heritage past the reformation. When I discovered that the reformers were almost unanimous in their doctrine of "double predestination", I thought to myself "How can I argue against history?- If this is what the reformers believed, then I must believe it".
After studying the church fathers, it came to my attention that the church was NEVER calvist; rather, it was the heretical gnostics who taught double predestination! This teaching was refuted by the early church fathers.
The problem with protestantism (and much of western christianity today), is that it does not allow for mystery. Everything has to be discted and pulled apart and "figured out" . It is as though the "enlightenment" period of history has crept in to much of western christianity.
The great thing about Orthodoxy is that it allows for mystery. Everything doesn't have to be "figured out" with our finite, feeble minds.
In fact, how do we explain the Trinity?, the Euchrist? how God always existed without a begining? ect..........the list could go on and on. The simple fact is,it's just a mystery!
Linus, I'm glad that someone here has had a similar experience as I did. Fortunatley, I never became atheist, but I think that we were both effected negativley by calvinism.
I think that the topic of calvinism would be a good thread. Mabey I'll start one.