9/17/2008                                                                                       View Comments

No Jesus, Know Peace. Know Jesus, No Peace

By Neal Stone

All good things, must come to an end.

This was the title of an e-mail I sent to my former pastor back in 1998. It would be one of many exchanges. In this e-mail I would try and explain how I was waking up to things and seeing life differently outside of God and church. He just couldn't understand and treated me as I was lost to the world and being deceived.

I have fought many battles in life and sadly most were started by believers in God. All my life I was taught to put my wished and desires aside and focus on others. Forget what I wanted and seek to be a servant of others. Help others but screw yourself. I was a dirty rotten sinner who deserved to burn in hell.

When I think back it was really a bad thing coming to an end, but then my e-mail title “All good things...” had a hidden meaning.

I knew in my heart that there had to be more to this life than wasting away as a Christian and seeking to fulfill someone else will and I ain't talking about Gods.

I spent my whole life inside the box and all I could see was for walls and nothing beyond. It wasn't that I couldn't see clearly, I was just taught not to look. At times I was even threatened if I even thought about doing something outside of church or with non-Christians. I would go to movies and feel ashamed.


No Jesus, know Peace... Know Jesus, no peace... But then in 1998 I got my first place on my own. Just me and no one else. It was then the breakdown would begin. At 33 yrs old I realized my life was nothing and I had not lived at all. As the darkness lifted from my eyes and I began to see past the walls and see what was out there my life started to change. At first it was for the worst as I had to define who I was as a person and this led me into a downward spiral as I became a person I did not like. Mostly because of th bitterness of the truth as well as my desire to rebel a little and spread my wings. I became a real jerk. At this time my teeth were broken and rotting due to a gum disease that runs in my family. I was 130lbs with bad teeth and not very well liked or desired be anybody. I would cover my mouth when I spoke or laughed. It was a sad state of life I was in.

Eventually I would work through this. But not till after I lost a few friends and broke my heart a few times. I would go through a range of emotions as I began to experience life and learn things I should have learned as a teenager. Yeah, at 33 yrs old I was mentally 15. All because I was sheltered and “protected”. My parents never prepared me for life. They actually expected me to live with them for the rest of my life as one of their kids. I had to teach myself life skills that should have been taught when I was growing up.

I won't go through all the details of my darkest period in my life. But feel comfort knowing I made it through and became a better person. It was at this time I would share e-mails with my former pastor titled “All good things...”.

The title actually comes from an episode of Star Trek the next generation. The final episode where Picard is yanked back and forth through the present, future as past as I too have been dealing with.

It was in the end when he faces Q that he was able to save himself and others by seeing all the possibilities and beyond the box. I related to that final scene as I too finally in my life have seen the possibilities of what I can become and in so doing I saved myself.

It is now ten years later and I now live happily married to a good wife, a great home and a nice piece of property and not to mention a great smile thanks to a decent job with medical/dental benefits. I even have a great job now. My life is restored and I have gone beyond what has been expected of me. I plan to keep going too. :) Did I mention our two cars and motor home? :) I will admit my life isn't perfect but it is nowhere near the hellish crap it was ten years ago. I went from poor and alone to healthy and with lots of friends and co-workers who look up to me. I get to be that co-worker people love to work with and enjoy seeing coming because I will somehow brighten their day. :) ROCK ON! I am always told 'You rock Neal!” and so “Neal Rocks!” has become my tag-line which is funny as my last name is Stone so it fits. LOL

The only sad part is all my Christian associates who are sad because I place value on these and not on God or treasures in heaven.

All my life I was taught to focus on the things of God and that its OK to be poor, single with a dead end job and living with your parents (at age 33) as long as you were serving the Lord. I feel so sad for people who still believe that crap.

All good things do come to and end, but other good things can follow if you seek them out. Being an ex-Christian doesn't have to be a bad experience nor does it mean I live a life of horrible sin as I was also taught in church. As hard as it can be, you can move on and become a better person.

I now many reading this story have had hard experiences because of similar things happening in their lives. Don't let it get you down or make you bitter. Prove the Christians wrong and show them you can be more joyful and happier than they are.

No Jesus, No Peace... Know Jesus, Know Peace... WRONG!!!!

No Jesus, Know Peace, Know Jesus, No Peace... CORRECT!!!! Just go to any church and look at all the people who have no peace in their lives. It amazes me the chaos Christians live with.

At Peace,

Neal

35 comments:

webmdave said...

You think you have it all worked out but actually the deception of a few worldly items has bought you out. Not only is this sad but also the fact that you must have been so insecure to feel this important now that you have THINGS. I have experienced the pleasures of this world and came back to Christ and oh how fulfilling that is. Niel No, Jesus Knows! :0) I hope you change before it is to late.

webmdave said...

Just because I don't seek comfort in imaginary nothings does not mean I must replace that one-sided relationship with an equally unfulfilling one with ipods and big-screen TVs. If you are satisfied with your life then more power to ya, like I could care less, but countless people who have neither belief in or knowledge of Christianity are equally satisfied with theirs. Your apparent contention that Christians have a monopoly on fulfilment is amply disproved by both the many testimonies on this site and the world at large.

As to your final remark, it is already too late for me to change. Once you begin to doubt the only choices are to either stop thinking or stop believing and I've made my decision.

Once they've looked behind the curtain only an idiot would continue to believe in the Great and Powerful Oz.

webmdave said...

"I hope you change before it is to (sic) late."

There's that threat again. That's all you guys have... a bully threat from your man-made bully-god.

None of us here are deceived by worldly things. Nor are we deceived by ancient myths.

In his reply to you, David B.'s last sentence summed it up perfectly.

webmdave said...

"Once they've looked behind the curtain only an idiot would continue to believe in the Great and Powerful Oz."

Exactly! I had to re-post that brilliant sentence in bold so that anyone just skims the page will see it. ;-)

Take care,
BP

webmdave said...

"I hope you change before it is to late."

Tattoo, what's really sad is that you have bought into the fear, so you now live in fear of pissing off the big guy in the sky. What a horrible way to suffer through life. I am truly sorry for you. I hope you can find your way out, soon.

I'll leave you with the immortal words of George Carlin, who was possessed of more wisdom than all the preachers you ever knew:

"Think about it. Religion has actually convinced people that there's an invisible man -- living in the sky -- who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever 'til the end of time! . . . But He loves you!"

webmdave said...

Tatoo - So are you saying you gave up all your THINGS? You walk everywhere barefoot and eat gruel for breakfast?

I am soooo glad I changed before it was too late. You see, I now enjoy my Sundays and my Wednesday nights and spend time with my Hubby and my friends who aren't zombies.

I don't know if I have it all worked out but I do know that I have done my best to seek truth. I'm good with that.

You are still experiencing the pleasures of this world, you are just doing it with a an attitude of superiority towards the vast majority of people around the world that are not Christians.

webmdave said...

And he needs money! ;-)

webmdave said...

I have experienced the pleasures of this world and came back to Christ and oh how fulfilling that is

And, OH!, how easily deceived you are.

webmdave said...

"I hope you can change before it is too late."

Why is there always a timetable? I hate pushy salespeople, black tube socks in white tennis shoes, Jehovah's Witnesses & high pressured sales. Besides, every DAY that Jesucristo tarries, the number of hellbound nonbelievers grows. Why is your god such a sadist that he waits for an increase in population before he sends Sonny Boy for round 2?

http://www.census.gov/main/www/popclock.html

Do come back and explain what "pleasures of the world" you have tasted. Let's compare notes.

webmdave said...

Tattoo (who seems to have accepted the Mark of the Stupid): "Jesus Knows!"

No, little one. If Jesus ever lived, he is now just a bunch of crushed bones under the foundation of a Jerusalem high-rise and hasn't known anything since he drew his last breath nearly 2,000 years ago.

webmdave said...

I really thnk it is rude to threaten me with Hell before I have even had my first cup of coffee:)

webmdave said...

I understand what you are saying too. When I was a child my great uncle was and he still is a Free Methodist minister and he was most terrifying, but that was the whole of it. Their Biblical literalism brought at least seven years of misery and horror to my childhood. They made life a real hell for me, thus why today I believe it is humans who make earth hell and it is humans who can strive to make earth heaven. Hevean and hell are not somewhere out there or a place after we die, but here and now. It is far easier to make life hell than it is to strive for it to be heaven. It takes work to make things better for people, but to live by Evangelical teachings is to make the only life we have hell. There are even times when the supposedly more liberal churches can make life hell too, but it is more so in Evangelicalism. The thing is, either Evangelicals cannot understand there is no actual heaven or hell after death or don't want to understand this nor do they seem to understand that only we can save ourselves and strive to make life what we want it to be. Most of all, they don't want to comprehend there is no old man in the sky to who can receive adult letters to Santa Claus, but they seem to need that security blanket for some reason.

webmdave said...

Thank you Huey, and no, I am not registered and haven't the faintest idea how to go about it. I can assure all here that I am neither a fundy nor a troll, and that I will not hesitate to disclose who I am and what I do.

I have been posting here for several years, but during the summer I became quite ill and was in no fit mood to post anything. Once again, I was reminded of my mortality, and took it calmly and without fear.

An aid to my recovery was an ocean cruise. Starting at Copenhagen, we visited Norway, England, and Scotland. I learned what I knew to begin with: that people are kind and decent and do not deserve divine retribution. I honestly was touched by the treatment we received as strangers in foreign lands.

For the above reasons I probably will be posting irregularly--I have pretty much lost interest in cursing xristers. I regard them as fools and nuts and not worth my time. Any xristian who cares to comment on the above post, feel free. I will answer you when I stop laughing.

Bye for now. Have fun.

Ryan

webmdave said...

It's sad that any religion would seek to trap and dominate poeple the way Neal Describes. I am saddened that Christ gets the blame for people messing up his gospel. Most people need only read the KJV of the Bible to know these types of Christian churches are apostate. Have people stopped to think about the wolves in sheeps clothing, Or what the Great apostacy is that John speaks of. Christianaty is suppossed to be about escaping guilt knowing about the atoement. Why do people not learn for themselve as Neal is now doing and applying the teachings of jesus Christ correctly. I the Bible says God gives us gifts so we can acheive great things. Why would he want you to "burry you talants". A great man once said that which destroys self esteam is anti-Christ, That which and encourages one to seek and achieve his highest, unique, potential while loving eachother through moments of weakness or failure is truley of god. Perhaps that is the meaning of the Phrase. to truly know Jesus is to know Peace. Then to have religions that use his name and call themselves Christian while forcing and coorsing people is insanly Evil and, as Neal so apt;y pointed out No Jesus, No peace. Now that Neil is on the path to being what god intended to begin with he has found some freedom and semblance of peace. Please break free from the maddness false Christians but don't make the mistake of abbandoning the true Christ.

webmdave said...

There is no "true Christ", Chris. If there ever was a real-life Jesus, his teachings have been so heavily mythologized that they are now lost. Don't fall into the mistake of thinking there's a supernatural version out there somewhere, as people do not come back from the dead and lurk around the universe for thousands of years.

"Most people need only read the KJV of the Bible to know these types of Christian churches are apostate."

What makes you think that the KJV accurately represents the words of this Jesus you worship? Do you know nothing about the history of the Bible? And what makes you think that a forum of Ex-Christians would consider the Bible to be anything more than a book of mythology?

"to truly know Jesus is to know Peace."

To expand on what I said at the beginning, it is not possible to "truly know" a mythologized dead man.

webmdave said...

Oh goody, we have another 'True Xtian' in our midst tonight.
This one's name is "Chris" however, which is not to be confused with other former True Xtians named Chris, that may have come before him.

You say the gospel belongs to this fella Jesus, yes?

Did jesus write this gospel himself?
Was it perhaps dictated by jesus to his personal scribes?
Was it even written while jesus was alive, or shortly after his death, well True Xtian Chris?

Next you claim that jesus equals peace.
Well, perhaps that is what your personal made-up jesus does for you, but many say just the opposite about this warmonger jesus and his Daddy.
Many xtians see him as not even being very peaceful to a simple innocent fig tree, let alone something more intelligent.

There are no false xtians Chris.
If one says they are a xtian, then they are, as there is no heavenly committee to dispute such an assertion.

Of course, the biggest problem you have Chris, is that the leader of your xtian pact, jesus, is dead and most likely never lived.
His big sky daddy also seems to have left our local universe, perhaps to impregnate yet another young girl with his seed.

ATF (Who wonders if these xtians will ever wake up and smell reality)

webmdave said...

I really wish I had the title of this blog as a bumer sticker. Most people probalby wouldn't catch it or think there was a printing error.

webmdave said...

I was at work reading the comments and almost started to cry a bit. It's touching to know so many understand the road I have taken and am taking now. Nice to know I am not alone.

webmdave said...

I have a friend who spends every minute at his church. He is divorced, his family has fallen apart and his finances are ruined because of a "Christian" conman. Its sad he just doesn't get it.

Like the song says: "Working for the church while my family dies..."

webmdave said...

For reasons unclear to me, my comment failed to take.

My experiences are similare to those of Neal. I know that xristianity keeps us as children all our lives, or worse, as slaves. As xristians we lived on our knees.

The funniest passage in the bible is where jesus says--mark, I seem to recall--to "allow little children to come to me. " The following lines have it that we must accept the kingdom of god as children, or we will not enter.

In my wife's former church, the word "as" meant "when" "while" or "in the state of". And so, "as" a child of six she became a xristian. Otherwise, said her parents, she would go to hell. To this day, the members of that church do not believe one can be saved as an adult.

I am happy to be an atheist. I have recovered my mind, my conscience, and my manhood. My congratulations to Neal. And hello jacolyn.

webmdave said...

Hello again Neal! I just love reading your stuff! I wish I could say that I have sympathy for you but the truth is I have never suffered like that and with out that commonality, it is hard to truely understand what you and others have gone through. It makes me glad my parents were not christains. Anyway ROCK ON NEAL!!

P.S.: I have never heard this song "Working for the church....". Where can I get a copy?

webmdave said...

Totally understand where you are coming from! It's funny cos I am currently in the process of getting my teeth fixed up... I have found that since being an ex-christian i have more confidence to go after the things i want in life! Financially I am starting to do better too since I'm not giving 10% of it away anymore!!
Great story!! Glad you are doing so well now!!

webmdave said...

Love your story. I use to be satisfied with a average life. but now that religion isn't a crutch I am going to school to become a surgical tech. I have a wonderful wife and a three month old son.

webmdave said...

WM, is something the matter? If so, what?

webmdave said...

I am pleased to meet you, Neal. My own experience is similar to yours. I know that xristianity kept me a child and that I lived life on my knees. I was not a man.

As an atheist, I have recovered my mind, my conscience, and my manhood. I would sooner be dead than to return to that eternal childhood.

The funniest passage in the nt is where jesus says "suffer the little children to come to me" (king james) This is an allegory of the xristian life--as xristians we were all children, were we not? Of course. The following line, as I seem to remember, has it that we must accept the kingdom of god as a child or we will not enter it.

My poor wife had it worse. In her church the word "as" meant "when" or "in the state of". So as a child of 6 she accepted jesus, her parents telling her that she would otherwise go to hell. My wife's former church, to this day, does not believe that one can become a xristian "as" an adult.

Again, nice to know you. And hello jacolyn.

webmdave said...

For reasons unclear to me, my comment failed to take.

webmdave said...

I agree! Stone, you rock!

Your comment on being "protected" really rang a bell with me. Looking back at my
high school years, I wonder if anyone graduated from my class who was more
naive than I was. Getting out in the real world, and discovering many decent,
respectable, and hardworking people thought my religious beliefs were bizarre
was really a shock. As a matter of fact, at one place of employment the others
referred to me (behind my back) as "Crazy". I wish I would have known then how
right they were! I can testify Christianity, especially the fundamentalist variety,
is extremely poor preparation for adulthood.

When I think about those years, I see myself as Marley's ghost, wrapped in chains.
The chains of ignorance, superstition, and fear. To be honest, I'm still shedding
a few of them. but there are sure a lot less of them than there used to be.

webmdave said...

"Move on and become a better person"

What excellent advice for anyone struggling. I feel as you do, that I have truly become my own, honest, self-valued person that I can really respect.

Your story had so much emotional content, I felt for you as I read it. Great writing and enjoyed the read very much.

webmdave said...

Hi Ryan

webmdave said...

That was great, Neal!

This part in particular stood out:

"I was taught to put my wishes and desires aside and focus on others. Forget what I wanted and seek to be a servant of others. Help others but screw yourself."

Such a philosophy is a recipe for disaster regardless of who or what is promulgating it. Our dreams and wishes are the gateway to our own lives, and it's wonderful that you have your life back. May the peace continue to grow and enrich your experience.

webmdave said...

Are you registered? I believe that if you are not registered here then all your comments go into a que for the WM to review (an unfortunate necessity given the crude and insultingly abusive posts of some of the fundie trolls that show up here). That of course will result in a delay.

webmdave said...

The name of the song is Intervention by a group called Arcade Fire.

webmdave said...

The name of the song is Intervention by a group called Arcade Fire.

webmdave said...

Here are the lyrics to the song:

The king's taken back the throne
The useless seed is sown
When they say they're cutting off the phone
I'll tell 'em you're not home

No place to hide
You were fighting as a soldier on their side
You're still a soldier in your mind
Though nothing's on the line

You say it's money that we need
As if we're only mouths to feed
I know no matter what you say
There are some debts you'll never pay

Working for the church
While your family dies
You take what they give you
And you keep it inside
Every spark of friendship and love
Will die without a home
Hear the soldier groan, "We'll go at it alone"

I can taste the fear
Gonna lift me up and take me out of here
Don't wanna fight, don't wanna die
Just wanna hear you cry

Who's gonna throw the very first stone?
Oh! Who's gonna reset the bone?
Walking with your head in a sling
Wanna hear the soldier sing

Working for the Church
While my family dies
Your little baby sister's
Gonna lose her mind
Every spark of friendship and love
Will die without a home
Hear the soldier groan, "We'll go at it alone"

I can taste your fear
It's gonna lift you up and take you out of here
And the bone shall never heal
I care not if you kneel

We can't find you now
But they're gonna get their money back somehow
And when you finally disappear
We'll just say that you were never here

Been working for the church
While your life falls apart
Singing hallelujah with the fear in your heart
Every spark of friendship and love
Will die without a home
Hear the soldier groan, "We'll go at it alone"
Hear the soldier groan, "We'll go at it alone"

webmdave said...

Hey if you like that song check out DZK his song is called bow down and pray. Now I hate rap and hip hop just about as much as Jesus but I love this kid because He dosen't use words that an intelgent person would use. Not saying all rappers and hip hop artest use slang and are stupid. but the majority that I here on the radio is about the club, banging some chick or having a 30 million inch size rim that you drive down the street. So i was pleased to here this person rap. He also has a song that is called fuck the club wich makes fun of how much the club is metioned in most hip hop songs and also how much he hates the club. Here is the lyrics to bow down and pray

I keep seeing a repeating, scene in my dreams,
I'm weeping peacefully, in a green pasture of sheep
who breathe deeply, relaxed on the grass, asleep when
I see these factions, of masked men, with axes, creepin

I can see, that we're captured, but when I scream, the assassins
begin laughing, and the sheep don't even seem to gather
the fact that their masters are grabbin and smashing their backs in
in a graphic fashion and draggin the cadavers past em

the sadness from those savage actions I had to fathom
never passes, even though, they were so overtly imagined
they show, actual patterns of what can happen to those trapped in
the rapture of the Holy Ghost if they don't open their lashes

and focus on what matters most... before they cash in
choke and pass and go in a casket, or blow in the passing
wind over the ocean as scattered ashes and bone fragments
just hopin their pastor was accurate


[hook]:
[bow down and] - pray
pray to your god
[now, bow down and] -pray
pray to your god


[verse]:[2]
what kinda creator would make a race of people
and make em act a certain way or else He deems 'em evil?
HOW can You give a living being the freedom to breathe
and then lead em into sea of decievers who greet em, see,

it's not a miracle, when you beat a disease [please]
it's not a miracle, when you breed and receive
a baby from a lady, it's nature, you can pray to a tree
it don't mean the seasons are changing cuz you believe in the leaves

faith is a crazy made up way to explain, what you can't explain
in way that you can't debate it, it's insane that we live in a nation,
that's innovative enough to create a station in space
but we still praise the pages of an ancient publication

considered great.... in the motherfuckin middles ages,
I'm sick of the way this civilization blames their hatred
on a simple fictional basis such as Satan it makes me
sick to my stomach, it's just disgusting aint it?


[hook]


[verse]:[3]
and I'm sick of censorship committees, grippin the dicks of Christian Ministries
who are admittingly, just letting any priest get a piece,
of greased little boy keester and get away free
while they celebrate Easter... Jesus, it's un-fuckin-believable

that you people still worship invisible entities, I mean,
who seriously wants to live for infinity? are you kidding me?
if you guys wanna censor a bigger lie, try the validity
of a city sittin in the sky, where everybody who died is now living

better yet, convince me that the visceral presence
of an invincible peasant will some-how better my fuckin intelligence
and gimme some evidence, heaven exists, besides some lessons
written by guys who couldn't technically give any relevant tips

except that I should be a celibate twit who cries like a bitch
to a timeless spirit everytime that I'm fearing some shit
the entire idea of religion's been queer since it was twisted
to it's limit, now it's a just mere hindrance