Colossians 2:8 is Philosophy bad?

A photo of The Thinker by Rodin located at the Musée Rodin in Paris

Colossians 2:8

Be careful that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition, based on the elemental forces of the world, and not based on Christ.   (HCSB)

Many people assume that this verse is warning Christians away from philosophy, but this passage talks about a particular kind of philosophy, the kind that is based on what human tradition says. Philosophy based on Christ is a good thing.

Philosophy is a method of discovering truth. Many people claim that science is the only way to truth, but  I ask “What scientific study did you do to discover that truth?”, “How much does that “truth” weigh?”. There are several other questions I could ask to point out that not all truth is scientific.

In Jurassic Park, Dr. Ian Malcolm says ” Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should. ”

The reason that they did not stop to think about that question is that should and ought are in the realm of philosophy, science can inform moral truth, but it can not discover it.
Philosophy is the love of wisdom, and true wisdom flows from God’s truth.
Wisdom is mentioned many times in the Bible, and most of the time it is in a good light. The wisdom of Solomon was at one time famous all over the then known world, and his wisdom came from God.

A good book that is filled with Christian Philosophy, that debunks the most common bad philosophy today, the “everyone is right but the Christians view” is
Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-Air by Greg Koukl
If you have ever been told not to judge, or that truth is relative, and did not know what to say,  you need this book.
                        

The Most Abused Book of All Time.

Dusty Bible    The Bible has been the most read, and most tested, and the most abused book of all time. It has been used to create cults that destroy families, steal lives, and destroy souls, so many ways that it can be misused. Even Satan himself quotes Psalm 91:11-12 to Jesus in the wilderness.  Matt.4:6  Jesus responded by quoting more scripture that shows how Satan was misusing that passage Deut.6:16.  Well meaning Christians, as well as wolves in sheep’s clothing can abuse scriptures as well.  If you misquote the Bible you can make it say anything that you want. I have even heard of a lady who justified breaking up with her husband so that she could get a new one when she read the words “put on the new man” in the Bible.

There are so many ways to read the Bible wrong it is important that we figure out how God intended us to read it.

Jude 3  tells us that the scriptures was delivered to the Saints once, and it is for all. Since it was delivered once and for all, it isn’t a special message for you and a different message for me. While the way we interpret the Bible can change as we mature in Christ, I can’t expect to find a message specifically for me in the scriptures.  It was written once for everyone.

2 Tim 2:15 Says that we should work at correctly teaching the truth, which implies that there is a wrong way to teach it.

2 Peter 3:16-17 teaches that untaught, and unstable people can twist the scriptures to their own destruction., we should be on guard against this or we will be led astray by wicked people.

While it can take a lifetime to process all of the things that the Bible tells us, we can learn a great deal now via careful study.  Two of my easiest to understand tips are: Never read just a Bible verse, read the whole chapter before you make any definitive statements about a verse within, and let the Bible interpret the Bible. All of the most significant teachings in the Bible are repeated several times within the Bible. If you find a teaching in the Bible that isn’t to your knowledge repeated in the Bible, get help interpreting it.

My favorite Bible translation, that is easy to understand, and comes with many useful articles to read is Apologetics Study Bible

Walk Worthy of God

1 Thessalonians 2:11-12  Apologetics Study Bible
11As you know, like a father with his own children, 12we encouraged, comforted, and implored each one of you to walk worthy of God, who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.

1 Thess. 4:9-12
9 About brotherly love: You don’t need me to write you because you yourselves are taught by God to love one another. 10 In fact, you are doing this toward all the brothers in the entire region of Macedonia. But we encourage you, brothers, to do so even more, 11 to seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, 12 so that you may walk properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone.

A lot of people seem to think that grace is a license to sin, and walk around in a fashion that gives people no clue that they are a Christian. Many live in sin, are lazy gossips. That is not how to walk in a manner worthy of God!  We are the only Bible that some folks will ever read. If we are not living the way that God wants us to live, where will they go for the truth? Why should they search for it at all when they see Christians living like the devil?
We need to show them a people worth copying . Unless they see Christ in us, that isn’t going to happen.

Church is AA for Sinners


Many unchurched people have trouble understanding Christians. We are, for example often accused of being hypocrites, but that is a lot like telling an alcoholic, that they are not one, because they attend AA.  If we were perfect, we would not need to go to church.
While we are supposed to be getting better, we do fall off the wagon. There are people who have been sober for twenty years, that suddenly find themselves staring at an advertisement for their favorite poison.  Christians can fall prey to their past sins as well, especially if they are facing  tough situations in their own life.

We both have to admit to not being perfect

Christians and Alcoholics both ask a higher power to help us.

We both have to admit to being powerless against our sins.

We both need a person who is more mature in the organization who is willing to come pick us up and put us in the passenger seat when we are weak.

We both have many sins or mistakes that we have to admit to, and atone for if possible.

While not everyone has knowledge of a decent church, most of us have TVs and have seen characters on TV struggle with alcohol and attend AA meetings. So this general knowledge may help you explain it to others the next time someone calls Christians hypocrites.

Love your Enemies

Matthew 5:43-44 English Standard Version (ESV)

Love Your Enemies
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

People are quick to blame Christians for many of the evils in this world, but real Christianity at least attempts to love their enemies. When innocent people get murdered, it isn’t love, therefore it isn’t Christian, and Christianity can’t be held responsible.
Christians are people too, we mess up. Sometimes we mess up badly. Those persons can be held accountable, but if their actions go against what the Bible says, Christianity can’t be blamed.

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