Lest Any Man Spoil You
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. – Colossians 2:8

    The Apostle Paul warned the early church to guard against being “Spoiled through philosophy…after the tradition of men.” Did God show him a portrait of the church in the last days? Was he shown men flocking to elevate other teachers above our founding apostles? Was he shown people like Augustine who was an avowed Platonist and actively sought to incorporate pagan Greek philosophy into the Christian church? Many of the teachers who are so revered today, almost to the point of idolatry, were followers of this man and the influence of pagan thought permeated the doctrines that have been so thoroughly entrenched into some denominations.
    We have been spoiled. Do we care?
    A recent survey of Christians revealed that only a very small percentage of them actually read their Bibles. Almost ninety-percent of them gain all their teaching from their pastors alone. Where does your pastor get his revelation?
    I like to eat pure food as much as I can, organic whenever I can afford it. I read labels and anything that is full of harmful additives like dyes or hydrogenated oils I immediately return to the shelf. I feel the same way about the doctrines I ingest. Because I have saturated myself with the pure word of God for so many years, it’s easy to tell when I’m being fed something that has been contaminated with additives. Unfortunately many believers begin by ingesting theological junk food and have preferred it over the simple purity of the Word of God. Very few take the time to research the origins of what they are being taught. If they did, I assure you they would be horrified at the polluted wells from which we have drawn some of our theology.
    I’ve learned that if you are a Christian, it doesn’t mean you can no longer think or ask questions. Too many of our leaders today, enter the doors of a seminary and check their brains on the threshold it seems. They become parrots of the teachers who are serving them from an adulterated menu. The sad part is, many eat without discretion, graduate and continue promoting contaminated meals to their parishioners.
    Can you tell when you are being fed an aberrant doctrine? Are you willing to take the time to search the Scriptures for yourself? Do you believe that anyone has more authority to establish doctrine than Jesus and our founding apostles?
    Some people apparently believe that Augustine and his admirers like Calvin and others are more qualified that our Apostle Paul who begged us to be followers of him.

For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have you not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. - I Corinthians 4:15

    Paul knew Who had called him and given him his authority; and for our safety he warned us to keep our eyes on our first century foundation as we continue to walk into the future.

Copyright 2009 by H.D. Shively

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