Real Life, Freedom ... and Faith

Insulating ourselves from deception?


See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ. Colossians 2:8

I used to believe that I would remain safe from deception as long as I kept myself surrounded by and involved in everything to do with Jesus Christ. I could keep my thoughts on Jesus by singing songs about Jesus and by reading the New Testament and by surrounding myself with others who talked about Jesus and by preaching the gospel of Jesus and by going to a good Christ-centered church. What I didn’t count on was how easily I and my friends could be taken captive when we were so Jesus-focused. Maybe we just assumed that Paul used the phrase “according to Christ” to describe a Christ-centered environment.

But if that was the case then why are so many Christians caught up in the very things they try to escape? I mean, isn’t this the stuff that causes so many Christians to ask why it’s so hard to follow Jesus? But in view of how Jesus himself described his easy yoke and light burden, I suggest that we’re asking the wrong questions and making a lot of false assumptions regarding what’s called the Christian life. You see, I think we’ve accepted lots of philosophy and empty deception in the name of Jesus because we thought we were safe as long as his name was attached to the things we did and to the words we said and in the books we read and to the meetings we attended and to the prayers we uttered.

After all, didn’t Jesus himself warn his disciples about those who would come in his name? What do we think has changed? Why do we assume that those who tell us stories about Jesus haven’t simply learned how to fit him in according to the tradition of men and the elementary principles of the world? I know, this Christian stuff can sound so complicated, and there’s good reason, which is that it’s so saturated with the same basic principles of the world you live in. But that which is according to Christ is easy and light, and so very full of life. Maybe we’ve been blaming him for the complicated mess of the religious mind.

Comments (6)

Comments recently added by theShovel

Some of the things I write either don't get published (such as email responses) or become too quickly hidden (such as comments). I'm trying this block out to highlight some of the comments I add. Jim

Straining gnats and swallowing camels! (added: 2014-03-25)

Greetings Theodore A. Jones,

At one time, a presentation like this would have pulled me in with its persuasiveness and its illusion of Biblically-sound, intellectually-superior wisdom, and I would have felt compelled to address it with the same sense of seriousness in which it was received. Any more, all I hear are the manipulations...

Hello, my dear cp! I’ve been (added: 2014-03-22)

Hello, my dear cp! I’ve been wondering where you’ve been, so it warms my heart to hear from you. :)

You had written:

I love to read Jim’s answers to the many people emailing with questions. I understand the people’s questions much better than Jim’s answers…


Analytics? (added: 2014-03-16)

Hello Barney, and thanks for taking the time to write.

You do make some valid points along the way, but your analytic assessment of the words and phrases takes you into a different direction than that of the writer. The people he wrote to either had entered God’s rest or they had not. It was not an ambiguous...

Re: Many come and quickly go (added: 2014-03-11)

Many come and quickly go, don’t they? I have responded to so many questions to which I never get a response back. And many of those took a long time in the writing. It sure can be discouraging, but I have also discovered that others will read and often appreciate what I wrote to somebody else. It would be nice to hear something back,...

Human reasoning will conclude (added: 2014-02-26)

Human reasoning will conclude that faith is dependent upon itself, but left to himself man goes his own way. I’m guessing that you’re referring to a statement like this in posing your question:

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see...


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