Christians, evangelical Christians in particular, believe that an invisible being resides within their bodies; he speaks to them internally in an inaudible voice; he provides guidance in their day to day decisions; he provides them with tremendous comfort and security like no earthly friend can. This being’s name is Jesus.
This belief is very, very entrenched in the psyche of these believers, but it is a belief that I believe is a delusion.
And as long as Christians believe that their invisible friend with supernatural powers lives inside their bodies, no amount of natural evidence is going to convince them that the Resurrection of Jesus did not happen; that their friend has been dead for two thousand years.
The same is true for a child who has an imaginary friend.
So how do we help Christians see that their invisible friend does not exist? Answer: The same way we prove to a child that HIS imaginary friend does not exist.
If you ask a child to ask his (imaginary) friend “Tommy” to prove to YOU his existence, the child will probably tell you that “Tommy” won’t appear to you because you don’t believe in him or some other similar excuse. But ask the child to do this: Tell the child to ask “Tommy”, when he is alone, to prove to HIM that he (Tommy) exists. Ask “Tommy” to do something that is magical (supernatural). Ask “Tommy” to lift something off of the ground, keep it hanging in space for a minute, then slowly lower it back down to the floor. If “Tommy” does that, then he is real. If “Tommy” doesn’t do that, then “Tommy” is not real. He is just your imagination, and if he is just your imagination, you don’t need him.
I challenge every Christian to do the same.
You may believe that Jesus speaks to you, performs miracles for you, and that you can feel his presence within you, but I believe that your experiences with “Jesus” are no different than the above child’s experiences with “Tommy”. Ask “Jesus” to prove his existence. Ask “Jesus” to perform a true miracle (supernatural act) than cannot be a rare, natural, random event. Don’t ask “Jesus” to cure Aunt Bessie’s sinus infection. Ask “Jesus” to levitate a lamp. Just for thirty seconds.
If “Jesus” refuses to levitate the lamp. He is not real. He is only your imagination. The voice you hear is YOU. The presence you feel is YOU. The “miracles” you have experienced are nothing other than rare but very natural, random events.
Now, we all know that telling Christians to test the reality of Jesus’ presence “in their heart” by asking him to levitate a lamp is not going to convince most of them that Jesus is not real. How are we going to respond to their many excuses?
“Jesus doesn’t like to be tested.”
So how do we handle this excuse? I suggest that we handle it as we would handle a child and his imaginary friend who also does not like being tested.
“Ok. But explain to “Tommy” how important it is to you to know for sure that he exists. Not being sure if he exists causes you a lot of anxiety and stress. If “Tommy” really cares about you he will prove he exists by doing a magical act just for you.”
“But Tommy wants me to believe in him without magic tricks.”
Well, without doing a magic trick, you will never be sure that “Tommy” is not just your own imagination; that you are simply talking to yourself. So again, if “Tommy” really cares about you, he will prove that he exists.
“Tommy says not to listen to you; that if I stop believing in him and doing what he says, he will torture me in a dark pit!”
“Tell “Tommy” that if he doesn’t raise/levitate the damn lamp, then he is not real, and if he is not real, he cannot hurt you!”
Invisible beings are not real.