6 Therefore, just as you received the Messiah Yeshua as Lord, keep living your life united with him. 7 Remain deeply rooted in him; continue being built up in him and confirmed in your trust, the way you were taught, so that you overflow in thanksgiving.
– Col 2:6-7 (Complete Jewish Bible)
The American Christian really likes these two verses. The passage is exhorting us to remain close to Jesus. So much so that we exude thankfulness. (Do we consistently show is thankfulness?) We tend to overlook the the reasoning behind the very emphazised exhortation to remain rooted in the Messiah. Is it possible to become unrooted? I too like the message of these two verses. But let’s look and what follows these two verses.
8 Watch out, so that no one will take you captive by means of philosophy and empty deceit, following human tradition which accords with the elemental spirits of the world but does not accord with the Messiah. 10 And it is in union with him that you have been made full—he is the head of every rule and authority.
A casual reading of verses 8-10 will seem to tell us not to be decieved. A more careful reading will demand more. The philosophy and empty deceit comes from man’s thoughts and ways. This involves many aspects. Do we as Christians tend to spin, twist, and otherwise contort scripture in order to make our “Christian ways” a “more perfect way”?
There are many examples that come to mind. The typical American Christian will tell you that consuming alcohol is a sin when the Bible has no prohibition to consuming alcohol. The Bible even encourages the proper use of alcohol. Still there many that will say you cannot consume alcohol despite Jesus’ first miracle being turning water into wine. Some teach it was only grape juice, but the text indicates that the master of ceremonies stated that it would get a person drunk. Many American Christians feel it is proper for the government to dictate to the people which of God’s vegetation is good for us and which is not. Despite Jesus’ directive to render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and to God what is God’s. The problem with most American Christians is that we allow the government to just proclaim what ever they want to claim as their jurisdiction. The average American likely does not realize the United Nations is proclaiming the worlds oceans as their jurisdiction. If that happens, that basically leaves no spot on earth as not proclaimed by as controlled by humans. It will be very interesting to see God’s reaction.