Category Archives: Christian Apologetics

Articles and Information related to Christian Apologetics.

Colossians 2:8 – Warning About Philosophy

By

Chaplain Tom Kendall
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department

 

 

BELIEVE IN JESUS NOT PHILOSOPHY

4 Now this I say lest anyone should deceive you with persuasive words. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. 8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. 9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; 10 and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.. (NKJVS) Colossians 2:4-10Colossians 2:4-10
English: World English Bible - WEB

4 Now this I say that no one may delude you with persuasiveness of speech. 5 For though I am absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. 6 As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him, 7 rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving. 8 Be careful that you don’t let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily, 10 and in him you are made full, who is the head of all principality and power;

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To Cheat or Lead One Away From the Truth of God

The definition of this word includes:

“…to lead away from the truth and subject to one’s sway”

Philosophy & Theosophy

The Colossians were very interested in Greek philosophy which is the love of words, much like the Pharisees.

The Greek word is philosophia; “philosophy”, i.e. (specially), Jewish sophistry: — philosophy.

Love of wisdom used either of zeal for or skill in any art or science, any branch of knowledge. Used once in the NT of the theology, or rather theosophy, of certain Jewish Christian ascetics, which busied itself with refined and speculative enquiries into the nature and classes of angels, into the ritual of the Mosaic law and the regulations of Jewish tradition respecting practical life.

NOTE: the Strong’s definition includes a reference to this being “theosophy”, which goes beyond plain philosophy. Here is the Webster’s definition of “theosophy”

the·os·o·phy\-fē\  noun

1: teaching about God and the world based on mystical insight
2: often capitalized: the teachings of a modern movement originating in the United States in 1875 and following chiefly Buddhist and Brahmanic theories especially of pantheistic evolution and reincarnation.

The Theosophical Society is an organization formed in 1875 principally by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, to advance theosophy. Their original claimed objective was self-described as “… an un-sectarian body of seekers after Truth”. However, they had no basis for “truth” as the society’s initial objective was the “study and elucidation of Occultism, the Cabala etc.”

The Society exists yet today and its web site has its stated purpose as:
The Theosophical Society in America:

“Our mission is to encourage open-minded inquiry into world religions, philosophy, science, and the arts in order to understand the wisdom of the ages, respect the unity of all life, and help people explore spiritual self-transformation.”

NOTE: Verse 8 is specifically addressing a warning about such things and we must “BEWARE” of these lest we be “cheated” by these of the real TRUTH!

“Open-minded inquiry into world religions” etc. is accepting all “truths” rather than seeking “ABSOLUTE” Truth. The following is the Society’s modern definition of theosophy:

“As we have seen, theosophia (the Greek word for theosophy) refers to a Divine Wisdom, that is, a state of consciousness in which the sage or mystic goes beyond his or her mind and gets a direct, supra-conceptual, perception of Truth. This is the primary meaning of Theosophy.”

MEANINGS BEHIND THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY’S LOGO

Theosophical Society Logo - ColorThe Theosophical Society’s seal incorporates many symbols.  They are the Swastika, Star of David, Ankh (the Egyptian cross with a handle in the center), Aum (Indian symbol above the swastika) and Ouroboros (the Greek snake devouring his own tail) symbols.

The Ankh is an ancient Egyptian symbol that represents the concept of life, which is the general meaning of the symbol. The Egyptian gods are often portrayed carrying it by its loop, or bearing one in each hand, arms crossed over their chest. The ankh appears in hand or in proximity of almost every deity in the Egyptian pantheon (including Pharaohs). Thus it is fairly and widely understood as a symbol of early religious pluralism: all sects believed in a common story of eternal life, and this is the literal meaning of the symbol. This rationale contributed to the adoption of the ankh by New Age mysticism in the 1960s.

The “Swastika” (also known as the gammadion cross, cross cramponnée, or wanzi) (as a character: 卐 or 卍) is an ancient religious symbol that generally takes the form of an equilateral cross, with its four legs bent at 90 degrees. It is considered to be a sacred and auspicious symbol in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and dates back to before 2nd century B.C. The name swastika comes from the Sanskrit word svastika meaning “lucky or auspicious object”.

The “Aum”, seen at the very top of the seal, is a sacred sound and a spiritual icon in Indian religions. It is also a mantra in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and we often hear people uttering this sound during meditation.

The “Ouroboros” often symbolizes self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, e.g. the eternal return. It is also often associated with Gnosticism, Hermeticism and Hinduism. Carl Jung interpreted the ouroboros as having an archetypal significance to the human psyche

EXAMPLES OF SOME THEOSOPHICAL IDEAS

There are many ideas of the Theosophical Society listed on their web site.  Here are a few examples directly quoted:

“Theosophy postulates a universe of purpose. The entire system, visible and invisible, is the scene of a great scheme of evolution, in which life moves to ever more expressive form, more responsive awareness, and more unified consciousness.”

“The gradual unfolding of this latent divine Reality within us takes place over a long period of time by the process of reincarnation, which is an aspect of the cyclic law seen everywhere in nature.”

“The cycle of reincarnation is ruled by the law of cause and effect. As Saint Paul says–whatever we sow, we will inevitably reap. This is the law of karma by which we weave our own destiny through the ages. It is the great hope for humanity, for it gives us the opportunity to create our future by what we do in the present.”

These are clear examples of the warning of Colossians 2:8Colossians 2:8
English: World English Bible - WEB

8 Be careful that you don’t let anyone rob you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the elements of the world, and not after Christ.

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8 Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

The above example shows how there is an ATTEMPT to bring Biblical Scripture in to justify their philosophy and give it credibility by quoting Paul.   Since we know the Bible is NOT CONTRADICTORY, we must also consider Hebrews 9:27-28Hebrews 9:27-28
English: World English Bible - WEB

27 Inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once, and after this, judgment, 28 so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, without sin, to those who are eagerly waiting for him for salvation.

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which says:

27 And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, 28 so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”

This obviously says there IS NO REINCARNATION, as we are “appointed” to DIE ONCE; not over and over as in reincarnation.  Thus, the “Law of Contradiction” tells us that both positions can NOT be true.

This is an example of the deceit and how easily we can be CHEATED out of the Truth of the Word of God if we simply study world philosophies and pick and choose “what works for us.” It is NOT TRUTH!

HOW DEVIATION FROM TRUTH MANIFESTS OVER TIME

The seed of the idea developed by Madame Blavatsky in 1875 was further developed by another woman, Alice Ann Bailey (June 16, 1880ne 16, 1880
English: World English Bible - WEB

Izbrano poglavje ne obstaja!

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– December 15, 1949) was a writer of more than twenty-four books on theosophical subjects, and was one of the first writers to use the term New Age.

Most of us are familiar with the term “New Age Movement”, but not necessarily where it has led.  Alice, and her husband Foster Bailey, founded the “Lucifer Publishing Company.” in 1922. ‘Lucifer’ and ‘Lucis’ come from the same word root, “lucis” is the Latin generative case meaning of “light”. In 1925, and after much criticism with the obvious link to Satan through the name “Lucifer”, the name was changed to “Lucis Publishing Company”. Eventually, it was reorganized in the U.K. as the “Lucis Trust”, which exists yet today.

The Lucis Trust is a nonprofit service organization which acts as a fiduciary trust for the publishing of Bailey’s twenty-four original books of esoteric philosophy published under Alice Bailey’s name, and to fund and administer activities concerned with the establishment of “right human relations”. These include the Arcane School, which is a school for esoteric training, World Goodwill, Triangles, a lending library, The Beacon magazine, as well as the original publishing company.

In order to place a closer focus on the work of the United Nations (UN), the Lucis Trust has set up a blog called the World Goodwill at the UN, which focuses on defining new “Sustainable Development” goals for humanity after 2015 when the Millennium Development Goals expire.

One might ask “what does this have to do with me?”; or brush it off as “I’ve never heard of it, so it doesn’t have anything to do with our lives today.” But consider this:

At one time, the Lucis Trust office in New York was located at 666 (what a coincidence) United Nations Plaza located INSIDE the UN Building in New York City. It is also a member of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations under a slick program called “World Goodwill“.

In an Alice Bailey book called “Education for a New Age“; she suggests that in the new age “World Citizenship should be the goal of the enlightened, with a world federation and a world brain.” In other words – a One World Government New World Order.

The Lucis Trust is sponsored by among others Robert McNamara, former minister of Defense in the USA, president of the World Bank, member of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Thomas Watson (formerly with IBM and former ambassador in Moscow).

Luci’s Trust sponsors among others the following organizations:

  • The United Nations
  • Greenpeace International
  • Greenpeace USA
  • Amnesty International
  • UNICEF

The United Nations has long been one of the foremost world harbingers for the “New Spirituality” and the gathering “New World Order” based on ancient occult and freemasonic principles.

CONCLUSION

This information presented here is but an extremely small part of how New Age philosophy, eastern religions and philosophies and even ancient philosophies have permeated the world and our society today. We see them in things like the “environmental movement”, saving endangered species, and on and on. The idea behind conservation and preserving what God has created is not the issue nor a bad thing in itself, but when we adopt those positions as elevating them above God or replace God altogether with such beliefs and movements, we think we have become powerful when we have only really been “CHEATED” by these philosophies!

Let us take heed of Paul’s warning “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.”

We must keep our eyes on Jesus and the absolute TRUTH of the Word of God, let we so easily be swayed to drift into the philosophies of the world.

 

The Biblical Description of Hell

Biblical Description of HellThe Biblical
Description of
HELL

By Tom Kendall

INTRODUCTION

One of the issues often avoided in teachings from the pulpit, bible studies and general conversation in the Christian community seems to be the issue of “hell”. For some reason, it seems to have a mystique about it that some may think invites evil spirits into their lives. However, if it was not to be studied, taught, discussed and understood, God would not have given us the information in the Bible. Because He did, and because it is there, I believe we should study and understand it just like any other aspect of scripture.

In this document, I will attempt to bring together many of the resources found is scripture that gives us a glimpse of the afterlife, and in particular, what we refer to as “hell”. In studying this topic, we must also consider other key issues that include what we refer to as “heaven”, as well as sin, punishment, reward, salvation and a host of issues that contribute to the complete understanding of this topic.

DEFINING HELL

As we begin, it is important that we look at the original Greek and Hebrew words used in scripture and what they meant to those to which the original books were written. The first key word is the Greek word “Hades”. ᾅδης [hades /hah·dace/]   In the Strong’s biblical word reference, this is word number 86. When translated into English, it translates into “hell” ten times and the word “grave” once. Here are applications and meanings as described in Strong’s:

  1. Name Hades or Pluto, the god of the lower regions.
  2. Orcus, the nether world, the realm of the dead.
  3. later use of this word: the grave, death, hell. Additional Information: In Biblical Greek it is associated with Orcus, the infernal regions, a dark and dismal place in the very depths of the earth, the common receptacle of disembodied spirits. Usually Hades is just the abode of the wicked, Lu. 16:23Lu. 16:23
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    23 In Hades, he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and saw Abraham far off, and Lazarus at his bosom.

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    , Rev. 20:13,14Rev. 20:13,14
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    13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it. Death and Hades gave up the dead who were in them. They were judged, each one according to his works. 14 Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire.

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    ; a very uncomfortable place.

A very uncomfortable place, indeed. Certainly not a place most people long to be for eternity. It is also helpful to take a closer look at some of the descriptions of “Hades” and how they may be used today. Sometimes, these old, classical words find their way into secular use and minimize the meaning of them as we Plutothink of them in modern terminology. For example, the word “Pluto”.   It is the name of one of our planets. But the name is that of the “god of the lower regions” as understood by the ancients.   It is also the name of Mickey Mouse’s dog.  Who could possibly think the happy, carefree dog of Disney would be symbolically named after the ancient god of the underworld.   I am confident Walt Disney never intended to try and portray Pluto as something other than the cartoon character it is, in our modern society, we do not normally associate anything related to “hell” with that name.

It is a similar situation with the name “Orcus”, the nether world, the realm of the dead. It is from this word where the French word “ogre” likely originated. An “ogre” is defined as:

Shreck1: a hideous giant of fairy tales and folklore that feeds on human beings : monster
2: a dreaded person or object

Ogres for centuries were the scary, ugly monsters we grew up afraid of always fearing they hid under our beds at night or in the dark corners of our closets. Today, Ogre is the lovable green character in Shrek that kids love, and certainly don’t think of as being a scary monster that wants to devour them in their sleep.

How did we get from studying “hell” to Shrek? Simple. Many of the words and concepts we think of in modern day are complete changes of the original derivatives and the original meanings of the ancients. Therefore, it is no wonder we are easily confused when we hear some of the meanings and definitions of the original words used in the Bible. How often do we hear the word “hell” spoken in general conversation and on television? It has become a benign term that is no longer unacceptable in most conversational circles. Continue reading The Biblical Description of Hell

Is the Bible True?

Is the Bible TrueIs The Bible True?
By
Tom Kendall

BIBLICAL CONTRADICTIONS

One question, and often a criticism of Christianity, is the true believer’s total belief in every word in the Bible being the absolute truth, inspired only by God Himself.   When referring to the Bible, many non-believers will immediately disregard it as being a “myth”; so full of contradictions that it can not be believed.

The prevalence of secular humanist and pantheistic views, although around for hundreds and even thousands of year, have flourished in the last hundred or so years. Such views have underscored this point with millions of people that the Bible can’t be believed because it is so full of contradictions. They have heard it so many times, that they believe it is true, that the Bible is full of contradictions, by the mere fact that so many OTHER people believe in the contradictions. That would be like saying that just because most people believed the world was flat before Christopher Columbus set out on his journey to the new world, that it was indeed flat.

When confronted with such a comment, or ascertain by a non-believer, the simplest thing to do, in most cases is simply ask them a question, such as:

“I understand that many people believe the Bible is full of contradictions. Can you name me one?”

If they can not, and most generally can not even make a feeble attempt to quote any perceived contradictions, the illustration of most people believing the world was flat didn’t make it flat. Truth is NOT determined by democracy. Perhaps they will at least be willing to listen to what the Bible has to say at that point.

Your word is truth.” – spoken by Jesus in John 17:17John 17:17
English: World English Bible - WEB

17 Sanctify them in your truth. Your word is truth.

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(bold emphasis added)

“The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” Psalm 119:160Psalm 119:160
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160 All of your words are truth. Every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever.

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(bold emphasis added)

“Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6:17-18Hebrews 6:17-18
English: World English Bible - WEB

17 In this way God, being determined to show more abundantly to the heirs of the promise the immutability of his counsel, interposed with an oath; 18 that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we may have a strong encouragement, who have fled for refuge to take hold of the hope set before us.

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(bold emphasis added)

Above all, remember the words of Paul in his letter to Timothy:

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-172 Timothy 3:16-17
English: World English Bible - WEB

16 Every writing inspired by God literally, God-breathed is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction which is in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

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Indeed, there are people who are aware of what appears to be contradictions in the Bible and can name some, however, the references they’ve probably picked up from non-believers are not contradictions at all. Instead, they are most often the result of someone either not reading, or not studying the Bible sufficiently and assumes because something appears to be saying something different, it is in fact a contradiction. Once a contradiction is established, the logic generally goes: “If there is one contradiction, there are no doubt many. If the Bible HAS contradictions, both versions can not be true. If one is not true, then one can’t say the ‘Bible is true’, and thus it can’t be relied on as the absolute truth or Word of God.” Continue reading Is the Bible True?