Newsletter, May 5, 2010, David Hino
A few weeks ago, I heard Joanne McFatter declare that we need to think more like ancient Hebrew. Joanne has been a pioneer in releasing prophetic worship and lately has been sharing how quantum physics helps to confirm the supernatural. Her stories about God moving in the supernatural are so over the top that I am hesitant to share them in this article.
I wondered if one of the reasons for the lack of work of the Holy Spirit in our Western culture is because we are so ingrained in Greek thinking rather than Hebrew thinking. In 200 BC, Greek and Hebrew cultures came together and by 800 BC, Greek thinking became more dominate than Hebrew thinking.
In Greek thought, the worldview is established primarily through the mind. In Hebrew thought, one has a world view through all your senses, and they also understand life through the heart and imagination. The metaphors in the Old Testament are not just an exercise in higher grammatical study but are more often to be experienced in the heart and imagination. For instance, Psalm 1:3, creates an imagery to speak to the heart, “He is like a tree planted by streams of water…”
In Greek thought, an object is impersonal such as “God is love” and that separates the object from the subject. Hebrew thought is personal and one sees how he/she is related to the object. Hebrew thought does not say “God is love” but “God loves me.”
Greek nouns are usually passive while Hebrew nouns are usually active. In Greek, father means the biological person who helped give us birth. In Hebrew, “ay” or father means “the one who gives strength to the family.”
Greek thinking is that everything must be analyzed and one can find answers to the question through analytical thought. In the Greek world, God can be understood rationally. In the Hebrew world, questions remain. Hebrew thinking is filled with mystery and unknowns. God cannot be understood, but rather He is to be experienced.
In Greek thinking, the supernatural and natural are separated. In Hebrew thinking, the supernatural is everywhere. In Hebrew thought, the spirit, soul and body were not separated but there is an overlapping of these realms.
Our American school system has promoted a Greek form of learning. The Greek system of learning is not necessarily wrong, it is simply lacking. When the Greek thinking becomes our worldview, then we compartmentalize our spiritual life and it becomes detached from this world. When someone says, “I sense the Holy Spirit or I see an angel”, this is seen as flaky or worse, as doctrinal error. When did rational understanding become the standard to measure spiritual experiences?
One prominent university requires that all freshmen must live on campus. The purpose of this rule is so that the university can strip away everything the person believes and create a humanistic worldview. No wonder so many students have less faith in God when they graduate from college.
Why can Christians have such radically different viewpoints regarding the work of the Holy Spirit? Is it because the Greek worldview permeates the Christian world? Has the church become so analytical that the subjective is scorned? Has our rational understanding become the foundation of our beliefs rather faith and experience?
How does one experience more of the Holy Spirit? The simple answer is by “experiencing” more of the Holy Spirit. Being open to receiving an experience of God may not make sense and may bypasses our rational thought process. The Holy Spirit and His ways are not experienced through the mind. The Holy Spirit is not a mind but a spirit so He is experienced by our spirit.
Why are Christians who start to experience more of the Holy Spirit being labeled emotional or misguided by other Christians? I believe that this is backwards; Christians who are not experiencing more of the Holy Spirit are misguided. Think in Hebrew. Think in the way God intended us to believe.