8 See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ (Colossians 2).

The phrase “takes you captive” comes form one word meaning “to carry off as booty”—what marauders do. Their weapons include “philosophy and empty deception”—words which sound good but fraught with empty meanings. These words have been accepted long ago and locked into “the tradition of men”—thus giving them legitimacy. Yet, at their very core they are “elementary principles of the world, rather than … Christ.”

The other day I heard a man representing a religious order say some words at the end of a burial service. He spoke on and on with words memorized from a script of words that have been repeated for hundreds of years in such a rite. And yet, in his ten minutes of eloquence I noticed one glaring omission—not once did he ever mention the name of Jesus Christ.

Lord, protect us This Day from spiritual marauders who would steal our hearts and minds from devotion to Jesus Christ. Amen.