Christian Magic Doesn’t Work if You Don’t Believe It

video gameA Finnish karate master can defeat opponents without a punch or kick (see video on The Friendly Atheist). He used what he calls “Empty Force.”

You can, too—for a fee.

The video shows opponents falling to the floor, but these were students of the master. When he tried his magic on skeptics, nothing happened.

The Friendly Atheist noted that the students falling to the ground in response to the master’s touch was like Benny Hinn’s celebrated public healings, where sick believers are “slain in the Spirit” as they fall back and writhe on the floor in response to Hinn’s magic wave. But you have to be a believer for it to work—or be in on the scam. When faith healers do their mumbo jumbo on children, the children don’t know that they’re supposed to flop backwards. Hilarious!

What if the opponent isn’t your own student?

Another example is Kiai Master Ryukerin, who has a touchless energy technique similar to Empty Force. Here’s a demonstration of the master sparring with and knocking over his students.

It looks like a stunt but is still intriguing. How would this work in an actual fight? Surprisingly, Master Ryukerin was confident enough not only to offer to fight anyone but to put up prize money. An MMA (mixed martial arts) fighter accepted the challenge, and the results are predictable. Though respectful, he quickly thrashed the old man. The magic force field was only in the mind of his students and had no hold over an outsider.

The Christian energy field

The naïve Christian street preacher or door-knocking missionary is similar to Master Ryukerin. They care what the Bible says, so they’ll support their argument with Bible quotes. They had a compelling personal experience of Jesus, so they’ll share it. They are swayed by emotional (rather than intellectual) arguments, so they’ll use them.

They’ll talk about how the church community is important to them, or that the pastor is charismatic. It works on them, so it should work on others, right?

But this has as much impact on skeptics who demand evidence as Master Ryukerin’s energy field does to a fighter not in on the gag.

More experienced evangelists faced with such an atheist may try intellectual arguments or move on to look for easier conquests.

Christians know what I’m talking about when it comes to cult leaders like Jim Jones or disgraced televangelists like Jim Bakker. They might enjoy a video of Benny Hinn fighting demons with video game sound effects. How could people have not seen through them? But, of course, to the people in their circles of influence, these frauds were very persuasive.

As was Master Ryukerin to his students.

If your religious faith 
is what stops you from raping and murdering, 
that doesn’t make you a good person, 
that makes you a sociopath on a leash.
— commenter Sven2547

(This is an update of a post that originally appeared 1/20/14.)

Image credit: VGjunk

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