In A New Hope, when Luke asks Obi-Wan about the Force, Ben tells him that “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power.”
He continues by explaining that “It’s an energy field created by all living things.”
As you can see, the Force is not outside of nature. It is a part of the natural realms since “It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
The Holy Spirt vs. The Force
There are a large number of both non-Christians and Christians who believe The Force is like the Holy Spirit. It equips us to do supernatural things.
This belief allows us to start a conversation about the Holy Spirit and God.
Before we compare the Holy Spirit and the Force, we need need address four thing.
First of all, the Holy Spirit isn’t an it. The Holy Spirit is a person, a He. He is part of the Trinity.
Secondly, The Force is made up of all living things, whereas the Holy Spirit is eternal. He has been with God since the beginning, and has been part of God since before creation.
Thirdly, The Force can be manipulated by Jedi and those trained in the Jedi arts. The Holy Spirit cannot be manipulated. The Holy Spirit indwells believers, but believers can’t control the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit guides and prompts believers.
Lastly The Force has a good side and a bad side. The Holy Spirit is holy, pure, and has all the other attributes of God; therefore He can NOT be bad (or have a dark side).
So What Exactly Is The Force?
When the original three movies (A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi) were released, we were given a very limited amount of information as to what the mystical “Force” was.
For our discussions, we are going leave out the prequels and the midichlorians (for now).
Comparing the Holy Spirit and the Force
The references to The Force are based on A New Hope quotes or inferences to it. Using the attribute assigned (directly or indirectly) to The Force, we then compare or contrast it to the Holy Spirit.
There are some attributes that are shared between both the Holy Spirit and The Force. That may provide you some common ground to discuss with non-believers. Then use the other attributes that show the differences between the Holy Spirit and The Force.
Created or Eternal
The Holy Spirit: Always existed: Hebrews 9:14
Created the universe: Genesis 1:2
The Force: “It’s an energy field created by all living things.”
Omnipresent or Limited
The Holy Spirit: Omnipresent: Psalm 139: 7-10
The Force: “It surrounds us and penetrates us.”
Holds all things together
The Holy Spirit: Jesus holds all things together Colossians 1:17
The Force: “It binds the galaxy together.”
Ways are learnable
The Holy Spirit: For those in Christ you can learn to walk according to the Spirit Romans 8:4-5
The Force: “You must learn the ways of the Force if you’re to come with me to Alderaan.”
Level of power
The Holy Spirit: The world came into being: Genesis 1:1–2; Job 26:13
Sustain Jesus in the wilderness: Luke 4:1
Brings life to the dead: Romans 8:11
Provides power to disciples: Acts 1:8, Acts 2:1-4
The Force: “Don’t be too proud of this technological terror you’ve constructed. The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.”
Ways are learnable from generation to generation
The Holy Spirit: Faith has existed generation after generation: Hebrews 11, 2 Timothy 1:5
The Force: “I want to come with you to Alderaan. There’s nothing here for me now. I want to learn the ways of the Force and become a Jedi like my father.”
The Holy Spirit: Leads people to God and adoption as His child: Romans 8:14-16
Guides believers in all truth: John 16:13
Enables those with the Spirit to understand what comes from the Spirit: 1 Corinthians 2:14
The Force: “The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.”
Can be disturbed or grieved
The Holy Spirit: Can be grieved: Ephesians 4:30
The Force: “I felt a great disturbance in the Force… as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”
Can you feel the effects of the Holy Spirit or Force working in you?
The Holy Spirit: Convicts: John 16:8-11
Illuminates: John 16:12-15
Teaches: John 16:12-15
Guides: Romans 8:14
Assures: Romans 8:16
Warns: Acts 20:23
The Force: “Remember, a Jedi can feel the Force flowing through him.”
The Holy Spirit: Directs: Acts 20:22
The Force: “You mean it [The Force] controls your actions?” “Partially.”
You can control
The Holy Spirit: You can’t buy or control the gift of God: Acts 8:18-22
The Force: “But it [The Force] also obeys your commands.”
People doubt or don’t understand
The Holy Spirit: With the Spirit you can’t understand spiritual things: 1 Corinthians 2:14
The Force: “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”
Do people doubt the existence
The Holy Spirit: People don’t draw near to God because of a lack of faith: Hebrews 11:6
The Force: “You don’t believe in the Force, do you?”
No belief because of lack of evidence
The Holy Spirit: Since creation there has been evidence for God: Romans 1:20
The Force: “Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other. I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe there’s one all-powerful force controlling everything. There’s no mystical energy field that controls my destiny.”
“It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.”
Additional Scripture References:
- Genesis 1:1–2
- Hebrews 9:14
- Psalm 139