Christians: Know God, Know Peace
Atheists: No God, Know Peace
For me, the atheist version has worked out to be better and a lot more true. Ironic, but true. The peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7)? Never did experience it, except for some brief religious emotional highs during prayer or worship. It’s hard to be at peace when you are constantly worried about pleasing a God who never gives you any feedback. It’s hard to be at peace when you are constantly worried about pissing Jesus off and about whether you are really saved or not. It’s hard to be at peace when you are deeply concerned that your family and friends are going to hell. It’s hard to be at peace trying to obey the contradictory commands of “God’s Word”. It is impossible to be a Christian and to be at peace. I know that based on 15 years of life experience as a Bible-believing hardcore fundamentalist Christian.
Now that I am an atheist and I am very much aware of the fact that God does not exist (and hence the lack of feedback from him), I am totally at peace. I am no longer the slightest bit concerned that there might be a Hell, or that I or anyone else I know or care about might go there. And, of course, I would not wish such a fate on my worst enemy. I’m no longer even slightly concerned about whether my thoughts or my actions make God or Jesus happy or not. I am very happy to be free of the religious responsibility of trying to obey the commands for living in an ancient and contradictory holy book. I am also happy to be free of having to decide which parts of that ancient holy book are for today and which parts are not.
Should we stone our disobedient children to death? (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) Obviously not.
Should we put homosexuals to death? (Leviticus 20:13) Obviously not.
Shall we own slaves and beat them severely but not kill them? (Exodus 21:20) Obviously not.
Shall we hate our families to be true disciples of Jesus? (Luke 14:26) Obviously not.
Should I devote my life and time and mind to a man who, according to the Bible, introduced the morally reprehensible concept of Hell to scripture? A man who commands me to hate my family (Luke 14:26)? A man who commands me to hack off body parts if they cause me to sin and piss the Sky Him off (Matthew 5)? A man who ordered his enemies to be killed in front of him? (Luke 19:27) A man who, if the book of Revelation is to be believed, plans on killing everyone who doesn’t believe in him in horrible ways and then plans on punishing them forever in endless torment? OBVIOUSLY NOT!!
Sure, the anonymous authors of the Gospels put some good words into the mouth of Jesus (decades after he supposedly lived and died) too, but the bad words and the morally reprehensible ideas and the senseless slaughtering gives me great pause… along with the fact that I know it’s all just ancient myth and legend anyway…
I didn’t intend for this post to get quite so intense, lol…. My main point is that now, as an atheist, I have much more peace than I ever came close to having as a Christian! I face each day with a healthy sense of self-love that I was never able to have as a religious believer (because of the psychologically damaging and false doctrine of sin and the notion that my righteousness acts were as filthy rags to God (Isaiah 64:6)).
I am FREE!! I love myself and I totally love my life and I totally love everybody on this planet as a fellow human being, whether I agree with their beliefs or actions or not! I AM TOTALLY AT PEACE, and that could never have happened when I was a religious believer, and I was a mental and spiritual slave to so many untrue and unhealthy beliefs about myself and about my fellow human beings and about the world in which we live.
The musical artist Yanni wrote a song called “Love is All” back around 1996. It is beautiful and well worth listening to.
This world does not need more religious people futilely trying to follow a nonexistent God or a mythical Savior who had some deeply disturbing ideas and things to say (allegedly, anyway) and his contradictory ancient holy book. As author David Orr so beautifully put it (though it is often attributed to the Dalai Lama):
“Our planet doesn’t need more ‘successful’ people but is in desperate need of more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of every shape and form. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these needs have very little to do with success – the way our culture has defined it.”
I would much rather be a peacemaker and a healer and a restorer and a lover working in the real world to make it a better place than a frustrated and unhappy fundamentalist religious believer futilely trying to follow an imaginary God and Savior and futilely hoping for an imaginary afterlife in heaven.
My 2 cents… PEACE! Glory!