“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” (Colossians 2:8).
Did you know that Noah Webster, America’s Schoolmaster, said during our founding era, “…that the man who weakens or destroys the divine authority of the Bible may be accessory to all public disorders that society is doomed to suffer.”
The term “Culture War” has become common in describing contemporary American life and politics.
Is it possible for a Biblically faithful culture to survive in this cultural war that has essentially determined the ways of thinking, living, and behaving in a post Christian society?
Adapted from “The Culture War” by Dr. Phil Stringer (Florida) http://www.insectman.us/exodus-mandate-wv/culture-war.htm
I found some timely points discussed in Dr James Dobson’s book, Children at Risk:
Nothing short of a great Civil War of world views and values rages today throughout North America. It’s between Biblical traditions and pagan secularism. The two sides are as polar opposite as light and darkness. They are totally incompatible.
When the light doesn’t shine on the darkness to expose it, the darkness prevails. For at least three generations or more, the Christian western culture has retreated from society, allowing influential institutions to be directed by personalities with secular ideals. Beginning with organized churches, the public and private educational systems have led the advance of allowing Greek-minded enlightenment thinking to marginalize the Biblical Christian wisdom that founded America.
Secularism and paganism permeate every influential part of society: Science, Education, religion, Medicine, Industry, The Marketplace, Entertainment and Journalism. Unfortunately, most of the soldiers on the traditional Biblical side of the war are AWOL – absent without leave. Many of them don’t even recognize there’s a war on. And most of them have no idea what the enemy is doing to effectively anesthetize them and win the prize of this war. What is the prize?
Children are the prize to the winners of America’s second great Civil War. Those who control what young people are taught and what they experience — what they see, hear, think, and believe – they will determine the future course for this nation.
A Culture War exists when two or more different cultures compete to be the mainstream in a society.
The Bible warns that those who oppose Christianity and Christian culture will deceive people away from their faith and values. Memorize Colossians 2:8. It says,
“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.”
Take Heed – Flashing Red lights. Intense Warning.
This passage begins with the strongest possible word of warning: “BEWARE.” This warning is so serious, it cannot be overstated
The heartbeat of the warning is reflective of the exile that is predicted in Isaiah 5:13 where it says, “My people go into exile for their lack of knowledge.” There are people who want to take you captive as a slave – a “spoil” of battle – that ultimately ruins your faith, your values, and the doctrines that mold your way of living. These people do not want to just be free to live in personal rebellion against Christian truth. They want to minimize their sense of personal guilt by tempting as many people into their non-Christian lifestyle as possible. This is why they are waging a Culture War against Christian values, against Christian morality, and against America’s historic Christian culture.
THE BATTLEFIELD OF THE CULTURE WAR
It’s hard to persuade adults to change their culture. That’s why the targets of this war against Christian values are children and teenagers.
The Culture War is fought in many areas in the United States:
- The American news media reports and evaluates events from a non-Christian (or even anti-Christian) perspective 90% of the time. Believer who listens to it as their source of information are utterly foolish. Hardly anyone among working class people have the time to check out the validity and subtle deceptions that are being promoted.
- The public school system is full of non-Christian ideas taught as facts to American young people.
- The entertainment media often provides T.V. programs, movies, and music that promote non-Christian values.
- In the political arena, many politicians campaign openly against Christian values. Others desperately try to appear to be in some vague, non-committal neutral ground.
- Many government bureaucrats use local, state, and federal programs to promote non-Christian values or to hinder historic Christian values.
The Culture War shows up in:
- national political campaigns,
• situation comedies,
• school board meetings,
• the federal tax code,
• adoption policies,
• health care choices and abortion proposals,
• television and radio talk shows,
• political primaries,
• news coverage,
• foreign policy, and
• endless other areas of American life.
Despite all the propaganda to the contrary, the Culture War is not something that has been declared by Christians. Most Christians simply want to be left alone with their families and church activities. Historic Christian values were firmly in place in America until the 60s. Those opposed to Christian values began a stealth war. Eventually it became an open Culture War.
After three decades of a cultural cold war against Christian values, large numbers of Christians are finally starting to defend their much assaulted way of life. This self-defense has brought a vicious attack upon Christians from those who have been at war with Christian values for decades.
In June, 1994, columnist Cal Thomas wrote that the woman who managed Michael Dukakis’ 1988 presidential campaign [Susan Estrich], accused ‘religious extremists’ of coming out of the closet and beating the system. That used to be called democracy until the pagan left decided that only people who think like they do are entitled to hold office.
Regardless of the misguided accusations, most God-fearing people have awakened to the fact that something has gone dreadfully wrong in America. The capitalistic west may have won the geo-political Cold War, but western civilization has lost the Culture War. More people fear guns and drugs in the schools because of that loss. And yet they get nervous if someone might say a prayer over the public address system.
A warning to the pagan left comes from a CNN-USA Today-Gallup survey, reporting that most Americans prefer a president with strong morals over one who might have compatible political views.
The pagan left smears conservative Christians by equating them with superstitious snake handlers. They do this because they know they can’t win the argument over the real issues. They aim the spotlight of some notion of morality to condemn people of faith. They cannot defend their imposed immorality. What has that produced? According to the Census Bureau secular doctrine has produced a culture with: the highest divorce rate in the world, the highest teen pregnancy rate, the most abortions, the highest percentage of children raised in single-parent homes, the highest percentage of violent deaths among the young, and a male homicide rate that is five times greater than any other developed country except Mexico.
Does the pagan left suggest that the imposition of some of the Christian right’s morality would be worse that what they have fostered? Don’t accept the nonsense that citizens “can’t legislate morality.” The secularists have been legislating their immorality for decades, and the majority of law-abiding citizens have been letting them get away with murder.
Colossians 2:8 refers to four tactics that are being used to “spoil” every Christian family in the Secular culture War against Christianity rather than following after Christ. The first tactic is philosophy. The term philosophy makes most people think of a formal class in college, but the word actually refers to the “love of wisdom.” That may sound positive but it deserves a closer look. If you leave God out of learning then it is empty of truth. Carnal wisdom is not automatically good. Learning the wrong information is damaging.
Many have the idea that we just need more information. That’s actually the anti-solution to all our problems. In the early 1960s, Americans were shocked when the teen pregnancy rate hit two percent. They were told that massive sex education programs could solve this “crisis.” Despite some protest, the American people allowed educational bureaucrats to create huge government programs to teach children information about sexual relationships. Tragically, much of the information communicated came from a non-Christian, non-moral perspective. After 30+ years, billions of dollars, and hundreds of programs, the teen pregnancy rate surpassed 22%. The mere “love of learning” did not solve the problem. It made it worse.
What is the philosophy that underlies almost all the reasoning of modern education and public discourse today? Is it a foundation that respects the view of our founders that all men bear the image of their Creator? Is it a confidence in the beginning of wisdom – the fear of the Lord?
No. It’s consciously or unconsciously predisposed to believe a Darwinian view of evolutionary naturalism… a worship of Mother Nature rather than a reverence for the Creator God. They bow to what they have been deceived into believing is scientific reality because they have been duped into thinking that speculative millions-of-years Naturalism, with no Adam and Eve and no just judgment of the Flood of Noah’s time, is ‘reality.’
Our society is filled with examples reflecting a complete lack of common sense. Parents, concerned about the modern scourge of drugs, have tolerated hundreds of new so-called “anti-drug” programs in the schools. Many of these programs teach young people, “It is up to you whether or not you use drugs.” This is the moral equivalent of a program citing statistics about teen violence and then telling teens, “It is up to you whether or not you participate in drive-by shootings.” While some programs, like “Just Say ‘NO’” have actually helped, many drug programs have actually made matters worse.
The same is true with some counseling and therapy programs. When someone gets into trouble today they are automatically referred to counselors for therapy without knowing what they are going to be taught in therapy.
It is interesting to watch “modern” politicians, educators, and entertainers who have been teaching young Americans that there are no absolute values. The same politicians, educators, and entertainers are now decrying the epidemic of teen violence. Yet what are those violent teens doing but living as if there were no absolute values? Our “modern leaders” have communicated their “philosophy” all too well.
The message of Colossians 2:8 gives a warning that Christians with righteous values can be “spoiled” by “vain deceit.” Vain means empty or void. Deceit is opposite truth. Vain deceit is a mindset that is Void of truth. Vain deceit is asserting as true that for which you can offer no evidence. You simply assert a principle that men in rebellion against God desperately want to believe is true. You assume that it must be true, you offer no evidence, and you attack anyone who asks questions or requires evidence. You then act as if your principle has been proven, and you expect everyone else to act accordingly. Tragically, many careless Christians cowardly accept the “vain deceit” around them and adjust their thinking accordingly. It starts with the vain deceit of evolution – naturalism (whether it’s pagan or pawned off as ‘scientific’ of ‘theistic’).
You’ve probably heard many examples of statements based upon “vain deceit” that are common in the United States today.
- The United States was founded upon principles of secular neutrality.
- You cannot legislate morality.
- All cultures are equal.
- The news media is unbiased and attempts to report what’s true.
- A fetus is only a mass of tissue in the mother’s womb.
- Abortion is a Constitutional right.
- Man is the highest evolved form of an animal.
- Fossils are scientific evidence for the theory of evolution.
- Millions of years of time are proven scientific fact and there was no worldwide flood.
- The government wouldn’t allow the public sale of things that are harmful for us.
- Homosexuality is genetic.
- Spanking is child abuse.
- Sexual activity by unmarried teenagers is inevitable.
- Christians are all interested in imposing their values on everyone.
- Preaching against homosexuality is a hate crime.
- Christianity is oppressive to women.
- The continued existence of the planet is threatened by American industry.
- Western conventional allopathic medicine is proven to be the best form of health care.
- Our national diversity of lifestyles and cultures is what has made us great.
- Poverty is the root cause of crime.
- Consuming alcohol until you are drunk is a disease.
- It does not make any difference whether there is a father in the home or not.
- It is bigotry to prefer one religion to another.
- If a food product is in the store it is safe to eat because the FDA is watching out for us.
- There are no moral absolutes, no universal sins, and no hell.
- Conspiracy theories, population and mind control programs are all imaginary.
- Climate and weather manipulation would never be allowed by our government.
Every year, billions of taxpayer dollars are spent on programs based upon these assumptions. Do the problems get resolved? No, they only get worse.
TRADITION OF MEN
Colossians 2:8 warns believers that they are threatened with being made a captive of war (“spoiled”) directly as the result of listening to and following the “traditions of men.” Traditions of men are concepts of empty deception (“vain deceit”) that have been repeated so often, and for so long, that those concepts have been absorbed into the popular mindset of an entire culture. The religion of the Pharisees had been spoiled just this way. Jesus said, “But in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:9).
Christians must be very careful to scrutinize their thinking and to make sure that the principles by which they live are based on the Scriptures and not on tradition. This is the basis for the process of Christian growth. It’s called “renewing your mind” (Romans 12:1-2, Ephesians 4:23, Colossians 3:10).
RUDIMENTS OF THE WORLD
In Colossians 2:8, we are warned that evil men will attempt to advance their pursuit of making you a “spoil” of war by following the “rudiments of the world.” “Rudiments” is a word that refers to basics, essentials, or fundamentals. The very essence of man’s sinful nature is its selfishness. The worldly crowd even refers to those fundamentals of men, based upon the selfishness of man’s sinful nature. When anyone appeals to the inherent selfishness of men as the basis for electing a politician, approving a policy, or promoting wickedness, they are appealing to the rudiments of the world.
So, do modern leaders appeal to the moral self-discipline that the Word of God and the Sprit of God can produce in the hearts of men? No, most modern leaders appeal to the worst in man. As a result, our culture is typically characterized by rebellion against God, and by all the human tragedy that results from this rebellion.
NOT AFTER CHRIST
The last phrase of Colossians 2:8 gives us a divine standard. It enables us to discern the attempts of worldly men to spoil the lives of Christians. “And not after Christ” is the gold-standard we can hold up to expose the vain philosophies of men, the vain deceit of the human heart, and the empty traditions of men. The standard of Christ-centered thinking is what separates us from the “rudiments of the world.”
Christians today must learn Biblical discernment. We must be careful, Biblical, and Christ-centered in our thinking. We must learn to ask: “Where did this idea come from?” We must learn to be on guard against those that would make us the spoil of their war against God. It’s their faith, morals, and doctrine that are all exposed by the light of Christ if we’ll let it shine.
The Greatest Threat
The single greatest threat to Christian civilization has proved to be secular humanist, state-controlled, education. What is often called education today is more accurately indoctrination. Instead of teaching children how to think – critically – all too many schools today are teaching children what to think. Politically correct brain-washing in state schools is at the root of much of the wickedness prevalent throughout our societies today. People vote as they do because of how they have been educated, entertained and informed (or misinformed) by the news media.
Therefore, our greatest focus needs to be on making disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things that the Lord has commanded. That is the recipe for comprehensively fulfilling the Great Commission, thus influencing education, the entertainment industry and the news media.
Home Education is the single most strategic step any family can take. Protecting your family from Hollywood‘s vile poison might mean throwing out the TV. Keeping our children from being indoctrinated in secular humanist government schools is a tremendous step forward. Providing Bible-based, Christ-centered textbooks for home educators is most strategic. Supporting and producing alternative God-honoring films, music, books and magazines is powerful. Providing alternative sources of information through Desk Top Publishing, the Internet, social media and community Christian radio stations is life-changing. Every Christian needs to seriously find his part in these many possibilities. Whatever you do, don’t rely on government schools to train your child to trust God. We are in a war for the hearts, minds, and souls of the precious children of America. Not one military leader who is not insane would send his young recruits to be trained (and mentally maimed) in the boot-camp of the enemy. Why are so many Christian families continuing to do that with their own children?
Recognize the Tactics of the Enemy
The enemy is using the tactics of: Confuse, Divide and Conquer and Corrupt and Conquer. We are at war! The Frankfurt School of Communism advocated:
destroying “all ties to blood, soil, mother, father and religion.” They determined that the best way to destroy Christianity was through state education and by promoting sexual deviancy. The promotion of foul language, pornography and perversion are vital tools to overturn every practice of Christianity – to adulterate marriage, break up families, encourage primitivism and encourage the animalistic urges of human depravity.
The Enlightenment philosophers Jean Jacque Rousseau and Voltaire prepared the way for the French Revolution by attacking Christian civilization and promoting the myth of the noble savage. Is that what has dominated our government schools?
The communist agenda is to bring division between rich and poor, male and female, young and old, black and white, employer and employee, promoting an anti-white, anti-western, anti-male, culture war of racial politics, breaking down every relationship essential for the maintenance of Christian civilization. The Distortion of Art celebrates ugliness, cruelty and rebellion. What else are the anti-Christian war lords stirring up?
The Islamic invasion is one of the tools being used to undermine the demographic integrity of nations. It’s already seen in the once Christian nations of Egypt, Byzantine (now Turkey) and Sudan (Cush).
Demographics is Destiny
To breed the Europeans into extinction is a primary goal of the New World Order. They promote abortion, sterilization, heavy taxation, and force mothers into the workplace in the West. Importing millions of Muslims and other welfare addicts who will swamp the demographically declined West, is a publicly stated goal of those advocating the extinction of Christianity in Europe and North America.
The Failure of Most Churches
All of this has happened as a result of the failure of the Church to be salt and light. Failing to carry out the Great Commission results from the failure to teach obedience to all that the Lord has commanded. He prescribed the way to make disciples of all nations. Does it matter what you believe? If your belief system is flawed with a defeatist escapism that doesn’t take responsibility for the assignment given to the first leaders of Christ’s church, can we blame our failure on the leftists? They’ve hijacked whole nations filled with hollow churches of irrelevant and ineffective men and women?
Re-evaluate Everything Biblically
We need to enlarge our vision, build Biblical unity amongst those who hold to the Deity of Christ and the inerrancy of Scripture. There is a tremendous need for repentance, conviction, contrition, confession and conversion. We need to bring holiness back into the home.
We need to be on our guard to divisiveness among fellow Bible-believing Christians. We need to beware of paralysis by analysis. Faith must lead to action. We have all been indoctrinated and deceived, to a great extent, by the news media, entertainment industry and secular humanist state-controlled schools.
We all need to re-think everything that we’ve assumed, in the light of Scripture and clear facts. Where our views have been influenced by God-hating, blaspheming Hollywood, we need to rediscover reliable sources, eye witnesses and Scripture to ascertain what is real and what is not. Satan is deceiving the nations. Most Christians are distracted and deceived.
Offensive Christian Living
We need to engage with a plan personally. Encourage fellow believers in your church community to network together. Include personal plans for one-on-one Evangelism, participate in local activities where you can meet people or start an Evangelism Explosion program. Look into the Way of the Master. Thank God for all the good Home Education materials available. Start praying for the persecuted Church. Join or start a local prayer meeting and Bible study. Work for Reformation and pray for Revival worldwide.
A Vision of Victory
Encourage or ignore those who say that there is no hope. They’ve given in to an un-Biblical pessimism.
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
Greater is He Who is in us than he who is in the world. We are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus Who loved us.
Submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
The day will come when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.
We need to seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness.
God Judges Nations
It is possible that we are living in an age of judgment, when God will bring down the wicked nations that are at this time rejecting God’s Law, promoting perversion and murdering babies. We need to take note of what Augustine wrote in The City of God. When the Roman Empire began to fall, many were horrified and saw this as the end of their world. Augustine put things into perspective, pointing out that there are cities that men build and there is a Kingdom which God is building. Men build men’s cities and men destroy men’s cities. But God is building a Kingdom which can never be destroyed.
Scenarios That Could Change the World
Yes, God could allow an Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) nuclear device to knock out the technology on which our modern society so heavily depends. Even a sun spot surge could trigger EMP destruction of existing technology. This would be catastrophic to those unprepared to survive without modern technology. Everyone’s circumstance is different. That’s why each of us needs to be praying constantly for God’s insight and direction. Read Psalm 32. Find out how you can claim the promise of God in verse 8: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” God wants you close enough so you can hear His voice.
The Swiss Military has a plan for surviving an EMP knocking out all telecommunications in Europe. If some rogue state would do that, the Swiss have a plan of de-centralization, local initiative and preparedness, utilizing pre-digital technology to maintain order and protection of their communities. We must do all that we can and we must trust God to do all that we cannot. God will not do our duties. We cannot do God’s job! Nehemiah provides a Biblical model of involving all the men to be vigilant, organized, armed and trained. It is essential to plan and prepare for family, church, and community protection.