Empty Philosophies

Ever notice that we live in a world that thinks they’re smarter than they really are?  We have MD’s, PhD’s, Master’s, and “experts” telling us all the things they know, and how to make the world a better place.  Now I’m all for that, and as Christians we are called to leave our mark on society, but nowadays the world is getting a bit empty.

Look at this:

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

What is this hollow and deceptive philosophy?  Some people try to pinpoint just one, but in reality, it is multi-faceted.  There are many hollow and deceptive philosophies we deal with today:  Islam, denominationalism, that same-sex marriage is ok, that abortion is permissible, and the list goes on and on.

So what is Philosophy?  Well, boiling it away to it’s original Greek meaning it is this:  love of knowledge.  Love of knowledge is a good thing…we need to have some sort of philosophy in our lives.  However, where things get fishy is when we postulate and propagate theories that “depend on human tradition and basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.” What happens, however, is that when we take Christ out of the picture, then we begin to develop, as I call it, “Romans 1 Syndrome.”

Romans 1:20-25 reads:

“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.  (21)  For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  (22)  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools  (23)  and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.  (24)  Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  (25)  They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.”

The glory and very existence of God, we’re told, are proven through His creation and reveled to us, meaning that God makes known that which we can’t figure out on our own.  Now where Romans 1 Syndrome comes in is when we reject the truth claims of God and then begin thinking we “know” better.  We claim to be wise, but we’re actually fools.  We become so deluded and shackled by sin that we begin to “exchange the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles” (idolatry).  If you continue reading Romans 1 through the end of the chapter, you see that once you are in this predicament that God actually gives you over to whatever you’re seeking over Him.  To me, that’s an incredibly scary prospect!

Evolution is taught as early as 1st grade, Christianity is made fun of even on cartoons and sitcoms, and religion is viewed as archaic and ignorant.  Charles Dawkins, a Militant Atheistic Scientists goes as far in his book The Blind Watchmaker,  “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”  Is it any wonder, then, that we fall victim to hollow and deceptive philosophy without even knowing it?

So what, then, is the solution? How do we overcome this emptiness that the world brings on people?  Well first off, you’ve got to educate yourself.  The church is in the mess it is nowadays because we ignored too much and thought it would just go away…but it hasn’t.  We have to study the other side, if you will to know how to best approach it!  If we’re ignorant to things, and can’t carry on an intelligible conversation with someone, then how will we ever earn the chance to share Jesus with them?  The Bible tells us to treat non-Christians like this:

“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  (6)  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6).

We have to understand other people in order to help them overcome empty, hollow philosophy, and get them to Jesus!  Just something to think about!

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