my Christianity did not come out of a "cult;"
Ahhh, check your history. The beginings of Christianity, shortly after the passing of Christ, include over a dozen feuding cults, many led by power hungry apostles, who interpreted the teachings of Christ very differently, each amassing a following into varying small sects.
The Dead Sea scrolls, the non-canonical gospels (including Judas and Thomas) and the history up until Nicaea are the time when Christianity formed as we know it, and the stronger sects gained momentum over the weaker ones. The varying sects often fought and accused each other of heresy in their "misinterpretation" of Christ's teachgins. What we're left with in the New Testament is simply the surviving pieces deemed most useful in governing the people of the Holy Roman Empire, when the faith was converted and alterred to best suit those in power, and to govern the masses. That's why the canonical gospels of Luke & Matthew are actually just rewritten version (some 40 years later) of Mark's text from 60AD. Constantine used the texts that supported a massive Church, rather than the gospels THomas and Judas, which emphasized Christ's teachings AWAY from a central Church.
Start reading about the Apostolic Age. I'm never surprised that as an agnostic, my discussions with the religious often expose major gaps in the believer's very own understanding of their faith.