Jewish Vs. Greek Mindset

Recently, on the new Aviv Moon Network, I was asked a question about Satan. Well, after I responded, I didn’t expect to see so many comments, both good and bad. Some were encouraging, while others were insightful. And, I’m sure there’ll be more to come.

Now, although I consider myself a Netzari Jew (A Jew that believes in Yeshua of Nazareth), I enjoy my conversations and fellowship with a broad spectrum of believers across the entire Body of the Messiah.

While I was reading some of the comments, one lady, and a wonderful student of the Scriptures I might add, began a discourse over the Jewish mindset vs. the Greek mindset. As of late, I have heard this term tossed around like cookies at a Girl-Scout Convention. This is especially tossed around among the Messianic communities and the Hebrew Roots communities. It’s not that there isn’t something to this, but it is more of a fad than anything else, while several professors, writers, and scholars have succumbed to it. However, I thought I would toss my two-cents-worth into the “convention” (conversation), and let the readers decide.

Now, before you begin, let me make it quite clear. I am not a Roodite; however, I have met the man and thought he was nice. I do enjoy some of his insights, while at other times I think he has lost it. I say this with all humility; I, too, have people who think I’ve lost it in more ways than one. Although I enjoy getting on many websites, while discussing logic and reason, and making a stir where the food in the pot has settled, I do not condone all of his teachings. Therefore, I do disagree with him on many matters, as I do with many within Christianity. I subscribe to no person or god but Yeshua; I follow no one man except the Son of Man, Yeshua. So, if you’re going to discredit me, at least do it with respect.

Below is my comment back to the lady who commented on my blog at the Aviv Moon Network:

Regarding Jewish mindset vs. Greek mindset (THIS IS MY PERSONAL REFLECTION, AND NOT AN ARGUMENT TOWARDS YOU, BUT THE CONCEPT ITSELF): to lock people into a set way of thinking (Jewish mindset, or Gentile/Greek mindset) is to say that there is some magical transition to "thinking" that takes place. I hear this concept quite often; however, in reality–cultures influence our thinking, not languages. Therefore, within the Jewish culture . . . such and such might be true, while in the Greek culture . . . thus and thus might be true. This transition to the Jewish mindset from the Greek mindset is a fallacy (even though there are influential writers and pastors saying such things).

The "culture of sin" whether we are Jew or Gentile, is no longer relevant when we are born anew of the Ruach HaKodesh. Once this begins, we simply have to see Scripture within the setting of that culture, which just so happens to be Jewish; thus, giving us a new reality to what is righteous and what is wicked. This is true of any culture. Therefore, the process of "thinking Jewish" is to merely study the Bible from the culture it was given. The Greeks messed up when they tried to apply biblical truths to their own understandings and paganistic culture. When they did this, they failed to see the truth of YHVH in context.

The church has merely done the same thing. They have applied biblical truth to their culture [Greek or Western], which in doing so have missed the deeper meanings to the truth of YHVH. It has become a fad to say, “Jewish thought vs. Greek thought.” However, the concept is erroneous. There is no possible way that a Greek mind can all of a sudden become a Jewish mind. A Jew is a Jew, and a Greek is a Greek. It is as if we are defining people as first, second, or third-class citizens–because of their race–and that it is wicked to think as a Greek, or to be Greek for that matter. I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it!

The reality, however, is that there is a root which feeds the entire tree, and that root is the root of Jesse, the Messiah, Yeshua. It is the "culture" of the kingdom of YHVH that causes us to think properly. Not the magical aspect of becoming Jewish!

It is understanding the culture, and the people, not magically becoming a Jew in your mind. IT IS TO THINK LIKE YESHUA (THE MIND OF MESSIAH) WHICH MAKES US DIFFERENT, NOT TO THINK LIKE A JEW. If that were the case, then most Jews would believe in Yeshua; sadly, they don’t! Their minds have not been transformed into thinking like the Messiah.

Sha’ul tells us that we (Jew and Gentile) are L’adam Chadash E’chad (One New Man) in Ephesians 2:15; therefore, we are one in the Messiah not in our being Jewish or Greek, or Spanish, or African. We are all one in Mashiyach if we put on the "mind" of Yeshua. How do we do that? We repent (make Teshuvah), and ask to be led by the Ruach HaKodesh, which is the mind of the Messiah.
Now, don’t get me wrong . . . I am flattered by Gentiles wanting to think like me, a Jew; however, the Jewish way of thinking is not always godly. Yet, Yeshua’s way of thinking is absolutely awesome. . . . Therefore, let us think like Messiah (Christ) and do his bidding.
That’s my personal view, and I’m sticking to it!

Shalom,
Adrian

“Changing the way people think, one blog at a time.”

© 2008, All Rights Reserved
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About adrianabernal

I committed my life to the Messiah, Yeshua in 1985. In 1987 I attended bible college in Dallas, TX., where I discovered my rich heritage as a Spanish Jew (Sephardic). Like most Sephardim, I was raised more Catholic than Jewish--I can thank the Spanish Inquisition for that--however, we were for the most part not a religious family. I eventually graduated and have continued on to obtain the Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) in Biblical Counseling and Jewish Studies, and a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) in Jewish Studies with Columbia Evangelical Seminary, in Washington State. I have pastored both churches and Messianic congregations since 1993. Currently, I travel and speak at several churches, synagogues, and Messianic congregations in Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado. For the past 26 years I've engrossed myself in studies on Judaism, Messianic Judaism, and Christianity. In doing so, I have an extensive background in all three disciplines, which gives me a balanced perspective on the complete Bible, both the Tanakh (O.T) and the B'rit Chadashah (N.T.). I have been married for 25 years to my wife Jennifer, and I have three wonderful children: Nathan, Adam, and Rebekah. I am also a golf teaching professional and enjoy fellowship with my Jewish and Christian brothers and family. If you'd like me to come and speak at your place of worship, please do not hesitate to email me or call. Thank you.
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2 Responses to Jewish Vs. Greek Mindset

  1. LaLonnie says:

    Thank-you this makes so much sense…i want the mind of Yeshua…I want to come in agreement with Him…and I want to bless my bros and sisters as we journey together….Shalom

    • Shalom LaLonnie,

      I apologize for not responding to your comment until now. I know what it feels like to email someone and then not hear from them. It makes me feel like I’ve gone unnoticed. Well, if you are a tiny bit like me, you may feel the same. Anyhow, I apologize. 🙂

      Regarding your comment: Thank you so much. As of today (12-29-2010) I haven’t changed my position. We, as believers in Yeshua must think like Him. The Scriptures tell us to “put on the mind of Mashiyach.” However, with Messianic Judaism and the Hebrew Roots Movements that are greatly growing and gaining more influence upon the average web-surfer, it’s important to grasp the truth of the Scriptures and not accept everything that comes down the pike. Yes, there is a difference in Eastern thought vs. Western thought; however, to say that we have to think Jewish to understand the Scriptures is like telling someone, “because you are not Jewish, you’re worthless.” As bible teachers continue to adhere to that idea, they are unknowingly glorifing Judasim. Now, although the Jewish people have been amazing in their intellectual influences in the sciences, arts, and culture; they have won more Nobel prizes per-capita than any other group of peoples, the KEY is to think like the Messiah. So, although Yeshua was Jewish in the flesh, he was and is also YHWH in Spirit. Thus, when we are born-again, and we put on the mind of Mashiyach (Christ), we think like God, not like a Jew. And although Jewish culture and idealisms can and may influence our thinking we are not bound to “think” like a Jew. Heck, if that’s the case, then many of us wouldn’t be saved. For example, although I am Jewish in heritage and family-origins, I was raised more so in a Spanish culture; therefore, that culture has had a great influence on me to think according to that culture, but in now way have I been “locked” into that way of seeing the world for the rest of my life.

      Therefore, now that I have become born-again and I am a new creation in Mashiyach, Yeshua, I have been given the greatest gift in the world. I am no longer bound by culture and its way of life. I belong to a new culture–the Malchut haElohim (the Kingdom of God); therefore, I must think (make decisions) and walk (according to the King’s instructions). As I grow in Him, I make diecisions and walk like Him. Not, necessarily like a Jew. And, although I am both Spanish and Jewish, I must set aside certain prejudices, and become a true-believer and walk accordingly. This means that I may have to let go of certain cultural aspects that run my life, which may not be godly.

      The reality is this: I’ve seen many, influential “teachers” out there telling people to think Jewish and not like a Greek, or have the mindset of a Jew and not a Greek. What’s sad about this is, they are almost condoning everything Jewish. Now, not all things Jewish are godly, just like not all things Greek are godly. But, understanding the culture of the Jewish people in the first century will help a person make clearer decisions and applications of the Scriptures becasue that is the culture in which it was written. And that is the key; to see the context of the passages you’re reading so you don’t muddy the waters of the Word. So, being Jewish isn’t necessary; being godly is–whether you are Jewish or Gentile–we are called to be holy.

      Many blessings,
      Adrian

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