Persuasion can be motivated by several things. 1) to employ the argument to find the truth, 2) to feel more justified in your belief, 3) to help the person be more effective in their life 4) to increase intimacy by increasing agreement.
1) is a noble and useful goal, however, it must be subject to practical concerns. Due to healing, rest, and family peace/cohesion taking priority over having this all figured out right now, 1) must be set aside.
2) is a selfish, emotion-driven motivation. It's nice to be surrounded by an echo chamber, but this desire should be placed very low among priorities, esp those such as healing, peace, and fun together. In life we need some agreement, but a full echo chamber should be avoided.
4) is emotionally healing, however, we have a great level of closeness and support for each other even though we disagree. Thus, 4's usefulness drops significantly, and therefore is a low priority compared to household peace and fun.
He knows that belief is an involuntary reaction that happens based on what evidence we see, and that I had no choice in my disbelief aside from remaining willfully ignorant. And willful ignorance is dishonest and morally irresponsible. It is my best attempt to be honest, genuine, and true.
Therefore I believe on the judgement day he would, in some way, be proud of the conclusions I came to based on my honesty and integrity, despite how terrifying the experience was and how much threat was held over my head by church and hell doctrine.
I studied harder, always tried to be an example of sacrifice and commitment to Him, earnestly wished to make Him proud, to Honor his sacrifice, fully believed the holy spirit was working and talking through me, and yet...
Despite all that the excellent example of my parents, my extreme personal commitment, and my whole social network being christian, when I conquered the fear of asking questions and Hell, I could see Christianity as most reasonable conclusion based on my evidence/experience.
For a long time it was the bastion of my faith. I thought "maybe not the christian god as described by the modern church, but still a god working with me and caring for me". Until I researched empathy more, and came to understand a simulacrum.
A simulacrum is a crucial part of empathy. It allows us to run simulations of other people's minds, allowing us to feel what they feel, or predict ways in which they might react. It's the cornerstone of empathy. However, like most of our brains, simulacrums are not restricted to the physical reality
Simulacrums are employed when reading about fictional characters, when hearing about people in stories. Simulacrums can be applied to our teddy bears when we are young. In essence, it's how we "personifying", or add the elements and expectations we have of a person to a person or object.
And there's no reason we can't do this to our concept of God. Newage people do it for spirit guides, Islamic people do it to Allah. We could, like so many other religions, build a simulacrum of the christian god, and then use the universal fallacy of fitting the evidence to our desired conclusion.
The only way for me to determine if my experience was a simulacrum -- after all I'm an extremely empathetic and somewhat clever person who has a history of self-delusion -- was evidence. I am open to that evidence, and waiting for it, seeking to believe whatever requires the least assumptions.
I've struggled and fought to live out the best of the Christian virtues I learned, despite not being persuaded of the religion. Love, compassion, sacrifice, generosity, patience, kindness, self control, honestly, fairness -- all I've tried to exercise and practice since, though sometimes I may fail
He knows that if I did see evidence to persuade me of Him, I would follow just as passionately as I did my entire youth. That I would have stayed that course, and continued with my entire life dedicated to him and his cause.