There are those, today, who say that Christianity is the problem and not the answer. They blame it for wars because many wars are over religion and Christianity is a major contender in world religion. However, true Christianity is not a religion at all, but a relationship with our creator. In true Christianity there is a change in the believer’s spirit. If they were not already, they become very charitable, understanding, and caring.
That means that the true Christian spirit does not kill people for not believing as they do. A Christian does war against worldly spirits, the flesh, and the devil. They may go to war to deliver the oppressed, but never will they be the instigator of the war.
I have gotten a little off track--this article shares a good example of the true Holy Spirit influence.
In Judges, chapter 19-21, there is a terrible atrocity recorded. It seems that an upright man, a Levite had married his concubine and she was untrue to him and went back to her father’s house in Bethlehem in Judah.
Four months later, the Levite decides to go get his wife. The father-in-law keeps persuading him to eat, drink, and be merry and put off the trip home. The fifth day was turning out the same way, but toward evening, the Levite decided to end the delays and get going.
By the time he and his concubine had traveled to Jebus, it was getting dark. The Levite decided not to stay in a place of strangers, (the Jebusites lived there) and he traveled a little further to Gibeah, a Benjamite city.
No one invited him into their house so he sat on the street. Finally a man came and begged him to go home with him because it wasn't safe in the street.
As he and his host ate and drank, a group of Benjamite men beat on his door and demanded that he send the guest out so they could have sex with him. The good man of the house offers his virgin daughter and the concubine instead. The men outside refused the offer and demanded the guest.
The guest, a godly man, I would assume since he was headed for the house of the Lord, shoved his concubine out to them and they have abusive sex with her all night and finally leave her on the doorstep almost dead.
When the Levite got up in the morning, he made preparations to leave and went outside and said to his wife, “Up, and let us be going.” He received no answer, for she was dead. He put her body on the beast of burden, and when he got home, he cut her up in twelve pieces and sent a part of her with a massage to each of the tribes of Israel.
Israel was outraged at the Benjamite’s because they would not stand against their brothers who had offended, so they went to war with them. But after they killed off most of the Benjamites, they had compassion on the rest and devised a plan to get wives for them, lest the tribe become extinct. They had vowed not to give their daughters to them, so they decided to have a dance and arranged for the Benjamite men to snatch young girls of Shiloh to be their wives.
Think about this: The one good man offered his poor virgin to these animals. Today a good man would fight to the finish before he would allow his daughter to be treated like that.
The godly Levite shoved his wife out to them. A godly man, today, would fight to the finish before he allowed his wife to be treated like that.
Did this godly man at least wait up until the wickedness ended so he could rescue the woman? No. He went to bed and slept and woke and took care of his needs and then went out to leave. He didn’t even go out to see if she was okay in the morning. When he went out, he saw her lying there, and he does nothing for her. When he was ready to go, he said, “Let’s go.” That’s as cold-hearted as you can get.
Then Israel did the right thing in dealing harshly with those who performed or condoned such behavior. Also, it was good to have compassion for the few remaining of the tribe. But, to arrange for young girls to be snatched and forced to be brides to a different tribe and to a people who had been slain for depravity? No! Civilized people do not treat females as if they were mere property.
This story got me to thinking about how much civilization in general has improved since then. Today, most people would fight to the death to stop what happened and to protect their loved ones. They wouldn’t even have to be godly to do that. The only people who wouldn’t fight to stop it would be the most base, cowardly, or wicked kind of people.
We’re civilized. We hear of barbaric acts and think that society is at its worst, but we (society) have come a long way. Who is responsible for this?
This vast improvement is because Jesus came and not only preached love and caring, but he showed it to the max. I believe this great improvement in mankind is due to the presence of the Holy Spirit in the earth. And I believe that it’s also because many people think that what Jesus did does cover their sin and they are grateful, and since they have received mercy, they show more mercy. The Good News of God’s love and grace motivate people to try to behave better. Also, grace, available to all, was introduced in the New Testament, and men are enjoying grace and learning to be graceful.
Think of how barbaric it would be here if God hadn’t done what he did over 2000 years ago.
Think about what was happening in America back in the days of slavery. It was barbaric. But God got a few people’s attention and worked with them to persuade the many. And today, most people find that kind of treatment, of any person or people, to be atrocious.
So, mankind has come a long way, just having the influence of the Holy Spirit here, even though most people don’t allow him to have full sway in their lives.