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. 9 For the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ, 10 and you have been filled by Him, who is the head over every ruler and authority. 11 You were also circumcised in Him with a circumcision not done with hands, by putting off the body of flesh, in the circumcision of the Messiah. 12 Having been buried with Him in baptism, you were also raised with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 And when you were dead in trespasses and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive with Him and forgave us all our trespasses. 14 He erased the certificate of debt, with its obligations, that was against us and opposed to us, and has taken it out of the way by nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; He triumphed over them by Him.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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.
We’re living in an opinion-based society. Ever notice that? Your opinion carries much weight, doesn’t it? We’re bombarded daily with the new opinion poll to fill us in on how we should be thinking for the day—or if we’re in the minority, where we need may need to change our opinion.
Do people ask you your opinion? Are you free to give it regardless? Nonetheless, we can never be wrong because we can add that magic phrase to anything: “Well, that’s just my opinion.”
However, try to introduce fact to that opinion, and you may be seen as obstinate and close-minded. Formulating a foundation of facts within a discussion can abruptly discourage the continuation of the communication.
Why is that? Why is our society so threatened by a simple presentation of facts, or shall I call it, truths?
As soon as these truths are presented, you may be seen as unreasonable. That’s interesting—for the definition of reason is drawing a conclusion on the basis of evidence (truths). Presenting a conclusion without the basis of evidence, strictly speaking, is a fallacy. So, why is this any different when we approach the gospel?
In this writing, Paul reminds the church of Colossi to be confident in their foundation of the elements of the gospel. He lovingly advised them to “be careful that no one take you captive through philosophy and empty deceit based on human tradition.”
Through his distinct wording, he portrays the restriction of falling into this trap by the word “captive.” Such freedom comes with this blessing of the gospel. Please be careful. Don’t fall into discussions that are based on worldly opinions and fallacies. Keep your logic, reasoning, hope, and faith grounded completely on truth.
Paul thrived on discussions full of reason—based on truth. Read Romans. That will get you started!
Take a moment and see if you can identify any of these fallacies that you allow to infiltrate your daily philosophy:
- Bandwagon: peer pressure
- Red Herring: allowing something to draw your attention away and distract you from your original intent
- Ad Hominem: name-calling (even if it starts with “Bless his heart…”)
- Appeal to tradition: because it is old, it must be better
- Appeal to novelty: because it is new, it must be better
Granted, this list isn’t exhaustive—just a start. Next time you have a discussion with someone, take a moment to begin on a true foundation of evidence, not opinion. Present a reasonable truth.
- What are some ways that you can ensure a foundation of truth as a starting point for your reason?
- How can you begin those today?
- Who is a friend with whom you can trust to challenge your foundation – test it for you? Set a time to meet.
- What are some Scriptures that you can use to help strengthen your view of Christ?