Colossians 2/8: Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
This verse of scripture meant a lot to me when I first became a follower of Christ Jesus.
Philosophy (to state the obvious) activates our reasoning powers.
Every philosophical opinion, from a held point-of-view on everyday life, to some political manifesto, is held in some loosely defined philosophical way.
I’m thinking of the word philosophy in a dictionary definition sense of:- a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour: and/or the study of the theoretical basis of a particular branch of knowledge or experience:
According to the above verse from the bible, philosophy can cheat us.
Philosophy of whatever kind, can rob us of the supernatural, because it does not readily embrace the idea of spiritual revelation from a Living God.
Rather it relies only on man’s ability to reason, and to find answers to profound and deep questions, through the use of his reasoning powers – alone.
The obvious conclusion we have to come to, when relying ONLY on man’s reasoning powers is this: – our imagination can justify, any ‘doctrine’ that mankind wishes to dream up.
Left to our own devices – we can create our own morality and find reasons, if we have enough fallen-imagination – to justify the most despicable behaviour.
And of course man has done so, many times.
If deviously-clever enough, man can embrace evil as good and make good – evil.
There has been such a slide from wholesomeness, that the imagination doesn’t know where to stop, as it manufactures justification(s) for whatever it chooses, producing a man-made morality.
Today, long accepted norms are being cast aside with reckless abandon.
And many of the rejections of God-given morality are couched in philosophical terms that can sound so plausible, but reject many other counteracting considerations by simply not mentioning them.
In all of these ‘new approaches’ to morality – there is no higher power, taken into consideration. No revelation from the creator is considered. If man can use his darkened imagination he can dream up anything.
That’s the world we live in today. Man is his own god. When men disagree on questions of morality, they do not seek the One with the higher reasoning power.
But rather lean on their own understanding, and fail to acknowledge God in all, or any, of their ways.
Their wisdom is earthly, sensual and devilish.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy.
If there is no ultimate creator-God authority, then there is only one opinion versus another opinion, especially in areas of morality.
No one refers to the absolute, everything becomes relative and a war of words.
Your opinion if it differs from mine is going to remain different, while someone else comes along and presents yet another opinion, and another, and another.
A world full of views and opinions all trying to convince each other.
God in the person of The Lord Jesus Christ – intervenes and leaves us His divine thoughts of righteousness, revealed to chosen men and written down under His influence (The Bible).
These revealed precepts – are recorded in human language but with the hand of God on-them perpetually.
These are given as the ultimate light to which all ‘philosophies’ must be held up to.
Man-made philosophies are – weighed in the balance of God’s word – and found wanting.
Reach for the higher wisdom – written down – for our consumption, and don’t allow the aberrant philosophies that are rampant today to spoil/cheat you …through empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. (Colossians 2/8)