Those who wish to deny the historical resurrection of Jesus Christ and its implications, that Jesus Christ is the Lord God Almighty and that God actually exists, believe they have one last explanation for why people come to believe that God exists even though, according to them, he does not: the psychological one. The subjective experiences of those who claim to have met God can all be explained away by the objective science of psychology. Is it not more than coincidence, they ask, that people often come to believe in God after a traumatic event occurs? For the disciples, the traumatic event was the crucifixion of Christ. For others, it may be the loss of a loved one, or the loss of a job, or the onset of a serious illness. The stress and the sorrow caused by the trauma force people to seek for a source of strength and solace. Psychologically whole people, of course, find this source within themselves. The psychologically weak and insecure, however, think the source must be outside of themselves and often come to depend upon God to be this source for them. Some of them even have experiences in which they see God or the risen Christ. But the experiences are not real. The mind simply conjured up these beliefs and visions to relieve its anxiety.
This explanation is simply another version of the hallucination theory, although in this case the hallucination is self-induced. However, the resurrected Christ appeared to 500 witnesses at the same time, and 500 people do not have the same hallucination.
The critics are right in saying that psychological factors have played a part in the meeting between the weak and insecure people and God. But all of their theorizing does not alter the fact that some of these people have actually met God….