"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ." Colossians 2:8- The elemental spiritual forces of this world refers to false, worldly, religious, elementary teachings. Paul warned people against the Colossian heresy which taught that to be saved, one needed faith in Christ plus secret knowledge plus man-made regulations such as circumcision, eating & drinking, and observing religious festivals. Any philosophy or teaching that exalts man, instead of Christ...that doesn't believe in the all-sufficiency of Christ is false/deceptive.
- Follow hard after Christ. Study God's Word so that we know God more and become so familiar with the truth that we can immediately detect any lies/any false teachings. "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." (2 Corinthians 10:5)
- Be aware of the problem of basing our beliefs on hollow & deceptive philosophy, human tradition, and basic worldly principles. They are all worthless and vain (no matter how good they sound) if they are not of Christ, through Christ, and unto Christ. Be careful not to allow any traditions and rituals to replace a vibrant, intimate relationship with Christ. "The Lord says: 'These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me. Their worship of Me is based on merely human rules they have been taught.'" (Isaiah 29:13) When you have troubles or problems, where do you turn to first? Christ and His Word or self-help book? Christ is the Embodiment of all wisdom. Intellectualism can be appealing and addictive. Most people want to be thought of as intelligent so they keep searching for new knowledge and insights. There's nothing wrong with learning and knowing but it's wrong when you start to be in love with your mind or with learning, instead of the Lord.
- "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind!" (Romans 12:2a) "Never be satisfied with the world's standard of Christianity!" (~J.C. Ryle)