The Apostle Paul said to the Colossian Christians, “I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments (Colossians 2:4).” In this information age, we need this exhortation no less than the Colossian Christians.
We have become a society obsessed with getting attention and support – financial and otherwise – from everyone and anyone. Politicians cleverly use polling data and test verbiage in order to secure a favorable outcome from voters. Websites, app designers, and social media platforms design complex algorithms aimed at stimulating the pleasure center of your brain, so that you keep coming back for more. It seems the method of delivery has become more important than the content itself. All around us people are specializing in message delivery in order to get your attention and proliferate their product or agenda.
Recently, a blog on a hot-button theological issue had been shared with me. Though I had studied this issue upside down and right-side up, by the time I had finished the blog post, this author had me questioning my conclusions. Wanting to be a good student of God’s Word and submit to it rather than make it submit to me, I knew I needed to investigate what the author was saying. Within minutes, I discovered one of two things had happened. Either this author, who claimed knowledge of the original Greek and Hebrew of the Bible, failed to crack open his Hebrew Old Testament to make sure his argument was legitimate, or, worse yet, he had opened his Hebrew Old Testament and chose to ignore it for the sake of his argument – that would be scandalous! Any reasonable scholar would have concluded that the original Hebrew completely dismissed his first argument.
There are many clever arguments whirling around us. There is much bending and reinterpreting of the data. When it comes to the revelation of God’s Holy Word, let us be on guard against those who devise cunning arguments clothed in fine-sounding words. As Paul commends us in this passage, let us go to God’s Word, that apostolic message recorded in the Scriptures (Colossians 2:2-3). From God’s lips to the apostle’s pen to the ears of God’s people, it comes to me and you. “Holy words long preserved, for our walk in this world; they resound with God’s own heart; O let the ancient words impart,” so sings songwriter Lynn DeShazo.