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. (Colossians 2:8)
Today’s big question: how important is the Bible’s claim of absolute truth?
When Paul was writing to the newly established church of Colossi, he was determined to help them maintain a consistent witness in their community. The Colossian church had started well, and Paul commends them for their good order and steadfastness (Colossians 2:4). One might think that if Paul was going to really help this church to continue on the right path, he might have talked to them about a church growth strategy, or given them tips on ways they could interact with their community. But this is not what Paul did; he wanted the Colossian believers to be strong and rooted in the truth and light of God’s Word.
In our verse for today, we see a warning to the church. If you allow human philosophy to infiltrate biblical truth, then compromise—and ultimately corruption—will take place. The Bible claims that there is only one absolute truth (Ephesians 1:13; John 17:17). If any other truth claim is accepted outside of the Bible, then the truth is compromised. When the absolute truth of God’s Word is compromised, the church loses its power and is no longer “the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15). If the church loses the truth, the church loses the potency of its message. Darkness cannot illuminate darkness.
Paul even goes further in the way that he warns the church. He tells the Colossians to be actively watching so that they do not allow empty philosophy according to the traditions of men to corrupt the truth of Christ. There have been so many examples of this happening in our time.
In today’s world, the human philosophies of millions of years and evolution have corrupted many people’s understanding of the truth of God’s Word. These ideas that allow for death and suffering before sin have caused many thousands to doubt the validity and reliability of the Bible and have compromised the message of the gospel—what Christ has come to save us from. The moment we accept man’s word over God’s Word, we are no longer following God’s Word.
In fact, human philosophy is not even required to know truth. If human philosophy agrees with God’s Word, it is not needed. If human philosophy disagrees with God’s Word, then that human philosophy is wrong. Therefore, we do not need human philosophy because there really is only one truth.
Today’s big idea: God’s claim of absolute truth is so essential that man’s ideas should never intrude upon it.
What to pray: ask that God would help you remain active to stand against contradictory human philosophy.