The Psychological Pull of the Christian Story

There is just something about the Christian story that makes me want to believe it. I know of no other story like this one. In fact, when I watch music videos of the Christian story I feel its psychological pull on me, and I'm a former believer who has rejected that story. So how much more does the story have a great amount of psychological pull on the hearts of others, especially believers, whose faith is confirmed whenever they ponder it. Case in point are the three videos below:

By Amy Grant Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song):


I have traveled many moonless nights
Cold and weary with a babe inside
And I wonder what I've done
Holy Father you have come
And chosen me now
To carry your son

I am waiting in a silent prayer
I am frightened by the load I bear
In a world as cold as stone
Must I walk this path alone
Be with me now
Be with me now

Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven

Do you wonder as you watch my face
If a wiser one should have had my place
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan
Help me be strong
Help me be
Help me

[Chorus] [2x]
By Mark Lowrey, Mary Did You Know?:


Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy would give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when your kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

Oh Mary did you know---

The blind will see, the deaf will hear,the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb---.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great--I--- AM---.

Keith Green Easter Song (With Lyrics):

When watching these videos most of us living in Christianized societies who have heard the story before, are drawn in by them. Who needs Christian apologetics with a story like this? Who needs to defend such a story at all? The story itself provides the only evidence people need to believe. Just tell the story. Claim it as a properly basic belief. Tell us the Holy Spirit testifies to this story through an inner witness. After all, it does resonate with us.

Why? Because we want it to be true. We want to believe we can be forgiven for things we have done wrong. We want to believe there is divine help when in trouble, or divine healing when sick. We want to believe there is life after death too. And we want to believe we are so important that God would take notice of us and redeem us. Yes, we are that important, such selfish bastards that we are. Yes, Yes, Yes. God, the creator of the universe cares for me, Lil 'Ole me, enough to become a baby and die for me, and enough to help me through life and welcome me into his presence.

Nevermind the fact that we haven't a clue as to how a child could be 100% God and 100% human with nothing left over. Nevermind that we only find virgin birth stories in pre-scientific cultures. Nevermind the fact that we cannot make any sense whatsoever as to how the death of Jesus atones for our sins. Nevermind that we have never actually seen a man resurrected from the grave, nor do we have a clue how this is possible, or why we should ever believe it since it was first told by ancient superstitious people.

No, just leave your brains at the door. Embrace your emotions. Go with them. Live your life by them. It makes life more comfortable for you. And since these emotional factors are so very powerful go ahead and find reasons to believe after the fact. Continually claim that while you cannot make heads nor tails of these beliefs God's ways are mysterious. Play the omniscience escape clause card. Claim that unless I can show your faith is logically impossible (which is simply an impossible standard) that you still have an epistemic warrant to believe.

The bottom line is the story. It has the power to persuade in our society. It offers the believer a great deal.

But I'm here to tell Christians their faith is a delusion. They reject and attack me for telling them this. For I can only offer them non-existence when they die. I offer them no divine help in times of trouble, no answered prayers, no divine healing, and no forgiveness either. I offer them no hope of seeing their loved ones again after they die. I have nothing more to offer but knowledge and understanding.

No wonder belief has it easy. It's hard to compete with a fantasyland. People would rather believe a delusion than face the truth.

[First posted 8/4/10]