“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” Col. 2:6-8
The sign outside of the hospital construction zone read “Warning: Stay out!” Well, for us kids, it was like a welcome mat that drew us to investigate further and satisfy our excitement and taste for adventure. So instead of respecting the warning and avoiding the area entirely, we sauntered in anyway. Warnings come in all sizes and for all sorts of reasons. The Bible has plenty of warnings and we should pay attention to them all. Most have to do with spiritual pitfalls, which are plainly worded to keep us from falling into sin. What lies in the path of a believer’s faith is plenty of flashy theories, false theologies, cults and their propaganda, and a myriad of lies, and deceptions and much like a minefield, where one false move may have severe consequences, do be careful about the dangers ahead!
To think right thoughts requires sound judgment that comes from reading, studying and obeying the Scriptures. We adhere to what the Scriptures teach, by which all of life is assessed and judged. Our decisions, attitudes and actions are guided by what our minds have understood and have put into practice. By this, personal discernment grows, where we can learn more and more truths about the wonderful God we serve. We resist being taken captive through unbiblical notions and opinions not relying on emotions but sound reasoning, like the Bereans of old would do when they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so (Acts 17:11b).
To understand current worldviews and avoid the strongholds they pose to our minds and to remain free from their subtleties and falsehoods requires us to apply our minds in such a way that we are willing to do what it says in 2 Corinthians 10:3 -5 …to take every thought captive, simply to process or subjugate our thoughts after those of Christ Himself. In a similar fashion, we are exhorted to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” Philippians 2:5. We can turn to many other texts, but you get the point. In his mindset, the Christian is to be undivided in his allegiance to Christ. Not always easy though, when trying to maintain a loyal disposition in a world whose views of life is at war with the Judeo/Christian worldview. Some of the competing systems of thought such as Secularism, Marxism, Postmodernism, New Spirituality and Islam, whose epistemological approach may share some common features with each other, are in opposition to the knowledge that is God’s. One of these that we will speak about in the next little while is Postmodernism, which came onto its own in the early twentieth century. One of the proponents of Postmodernism is the French philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard. Some of its presuppositions are given below.
- No objective reality or truth. Everything is subjective.
- Reason and logic are suspect. Knowledge is impossible to attain.
- No one worldview has the answer, all attempts to do so are biased.
- God is non-existent.
It is easy to see that a system of thought that finds meaninglessness in everything is a dead end. It wholly rejects all moral and religious values, political and social institutions. Does that make much sense to you? When man fails to apply critical thinking to what can plainly be seen about the universe and its Creator, he understands reality in dark and absurd ways.
In this way, the Bible warns God-deniers who claim self-autonomy.
“The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds; there is none who does good.”
“The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.”
The heart of man is wicked. Man seeks to distance himself from his Maker, choosing to pursue self-determination instead, and in his pride has concocted many illusionary ideas about life. Rebellious by nature, man in his thinking makes life whatever he wants it to be. God saw that the rebellion in man was great.
“The LORD looks down from heaven on the children of man, to see if there are any who understand, who seek after God.”
If you were to ask if any have an in-born desire for God, the answer is no. No man seeks after God, instead God sees senseless men who do not wish to know Him or anything about His truths, and fools who do not understand (see Psalm 92:6).
Yet, God still reaches out to man. How is that for undeserved mercy! He says in Isaiah:
“Let the wicked man forsake his own way and the unrighteous man his own thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that He may have compassion, and to our God, for He will freely pardon.”
Just think how futile it is to try and eliminate God from our thoughts and from life itself. We are sinners from birth, have sinned against God continuously, and because of our state of unbelief have rejected Him. He will hold us accountable for it. So put on your thinking caps and read from the Gospels the life and death of Jesus Christ — His mission to save sinners and the numerous invitations for the sinner to come to Him by faith! In your moments alone, reason through the Scriptures and turn to Jesus and seek forgiveness for your sins.
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.”