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Wednesday, August 31 2016
Colossians 2: The Philosopher's Folly
"And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words ... 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"
The English-language word "philosophy" originated from a compound Greek word, pronounced fie-lohss, which means love, and sophia, which means wisdom. "Philosophy" means a love of wisdom.
Humanity has known many philosophers, from the most ancient times to the present. Philosophy has now not only become a major branch of the academic world, but has permeated all areas of human thought and endeavor - scientific, political and religious.
There is nothing wrong with a love of wisdom, if the wisdom is truly that of God (e.g. see Daniel's Knowledge Of Wisdom And Science and Where Did Agur Get His Wisdom?). Human philosophy has however, even in the small minority of philosophers who claim to be believers in the LORD (whether those of Judaism or Rome's version of Christianity that is as much embraced by "Protestants" as Catholics), become a human-centered manifestation of vanity.
"1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." (1 Corinthians 1:22-24 KJV)
The apostle Paul helped many to become true Christians in their time of calling, but often later found them distracted or lost to the philosophy of some man (see Unto The Churches Of Galatia; also Diotrephes And The Other Antichrists) or woman ("2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols" Revelation 2:20 KJV) who lusted to "lead" God's people (see Who Is The Head Of Your Church?).
"2:1 For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2:2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 2:3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Paul warned against the sticky-trap of philosophy because it must deny God in order to make itself desirable. Paul likened those who turned from the LORD's true Wisdom (see the Fact Finder question below) to mere human philosophy as fruit that has gone rotten: "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."
"2:6 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
Fact Finder: (a) What is true Wisdom? (b) How can true Wisdom be lost (e.g. Solomon)?
This Day In History
This Day In History, August 31
1056: Byzantine Empress Theodora died. Without heirs to the throne, her family's Macedonian dynasty that had ruled the Byzantine Empire for two centuries ended.
1218: After the death of his father Al-Adil, Al-Kamil became Sultan of Egypt, Syria and northern Mesopotamia (see Children Of Ham - The Origin Of Egypt And Iraq; also Damascus In History And Prophecy and The Prophet Daniel: Kings Of The North and South).
1303: The War of Vespers in Sicily ended with an agreement between Charles of Valois, who invaded the country, and Frederick, the ruler of Sicily.
1314: King Hakon V Magnusson moved the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo.
1422: King Henry V of England died of an infection while in France. He was succeeded by his nine-month-old son as Henry VI.
1521: Spanish "Conquistador" ("conqueror") Hernam Cortes captured the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico. His invasion of central America caused the fall of the Aztec Empire and rendered large areas of what became Mexico under Spanish imperial rule. Cortes also planted the Church of Rome version of Christianity in what became known as Latin America.
1535: Pope Paul II deposed and excommunicated King Henry VIII of England (Henry didn't much care; he set up his own church, the Church of England, and made himself the head).
1668: John Bunyan, English author of The Pilgrim's Progress, died in London at age 69.
1795: During the War of the First Coalition, British forces captured Trincomalee (known today as Sri Lanka) from the Dutch in order to keep the territory out of French possession.
1798: The Irish Rebellion of 1798. Irish rebels, with French assistance, established the short-lived Republic of Connaught. In their economic and political competition against Britain, the French frequently instigated and supplied rebellions against the British during the 1700s and 1800s - while at the very same time, the French hypocritically tolerated no independence in any of their colonies around the world.
1876: Ottoman Sultan Murat V was deposed and succeeded by his brother Abd-ul-Hamid II.
1888: Mary Ann Nichols was found murdered. She is regarded as the first of the confirmed victims of "Jack the Ripper."
1895: Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, founder of the Zeppelin Airship company of Germany, patented his "Navigable Balloon"
1907: An Anglo-Russian Convention between Britain and Russia settled outstanding disputes between them regarding Tibet, Afghanistan and Persia (Iran); it was one of the bases of the Allied coalition in the First World War.
1942: During the Second World War (1939-1945), British and Canadian tanks and infantry under General Bernard Montgomery defeated Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps in the Battle of Alam Halfa in Egypt (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).
1980: After two months of strikes, the Polish communist government gave in to demanded reforms, including recognition of the Solidarity trade union under the leadership of Lech Walesa.
1990: West and East Germany signed a treaty to harmonize their legal and political systems.
1994: Soviet troops ended 50 years of military presence on German territory.
1997: Princess Diana, 36, former wife of Prince Charles, was killed in an auto crash in Paris with her friend, Dodi Fayed, 42. The driver of the car, Henri Paul, 41, was also killed in the collision into a concrete road tunnel during an apparent attempt to outrun photographers. A bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, 29, was the sole survivor of the crash, reportedly the only one who was wearing a seat belt.
2005: A stampede on the Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad killed 1,199 people.
2006: Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream was recovered by Norwegian police. It was stolen on August 22, 2004.