How would you compare the teachings of Christianity to the values cherished by earlier civilizations we have discussed (particularly the Greeks, and the values expressed in Homer’s works)?
Conversely, can you see anything in common between Christianity and some of the great ancient thinkers?
To compare Christian teachings to Greek philosophical teachings is to compare a religion with God as its center to a moral thought process that originated in a desire to eliminate deity. What I mean is this:
1. The Greek mindset differs extraordinarily from the Hebrew mindset. The two cannot be fused or reconciled.
2. Those who try to apply Greek thinking to Christianity twist the Hebrew mindset. Inserting a Greek mindset into the text of the Bible takes away the illustrative view of the message, and we miss the point of what Yahweh is trying to say.
The Bible was not intended to be read with a Hellenistic view of rationality and definitions. Hebraic thinking differs so much from Greek thought in so many ways. (When I learned to see the Bible through the eyes of the Hebrews, I learned so much more than I ever did before.)
However, it is important to point out a few differences to show you what I am talking about.
When I say simply “Christianity”, I am referring to what Paul calls “the Way, which some call a sect.” I am referring to the way that all true believers follow and believe.
When I say “Mainstream Christianity”, I’m not talking about the beliefs of Paul and the other apostles. I’m talking about those who twist the scriptures to their own gain and to the detriment of thousands of Christians who only want to follow God. The people are told that we can now follow God a different way than the people of Israel did. This is untrue.
Some differences between “Mainstream Christianity” and Greek Hellenistic thinking
– Christianity has one supreme and perfect God (at least, that is the biblical principle.) The Greeks had a medley of gods who came and went, fighting and acting like spoiled children.
– The Greeks had only their gods and the philosophers to lead them. Christianity has the inspired Word of God to lead them.
Some similarities between “Mainstream Christianity” and Greek Hellenistic thinking:
– The concept of heaven is much the same, including immortality of the soul.
– The God(s) are changeable. The Greeks held that Zeus was changeable, and you could not rely upon him to do act in a pattern.
– You can decide to do what you want … there is only a loose moral code.
I have a hard time with the general Christian church on this because many of the Christians I talk to believe that God made a Law that no longer applies to Christians of this day and age. I disagree, because I cannot find a place in the Bible where God says that he has decided to retract a Law which he had established as an unchanging, eternal Command.
Yahweh does not Change. The Modern Christian church sometimes implies that He does. The Greeks’ supreme deity, Zeus, was also changeable. In this way and in many others, some sects of Modern Christianity is similar to Greek Hellenistic thinking.
“Test everything – hold fast to what is good.”1 Thessalonians 5:21