8See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. 9For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, 10and you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. Colossians 2:9-10
I believe it would be a mistake to read this passage as if Paul was against good thinking. Christianity has a reasonable basis for faith and it has an appreciation of the stewardship of the mind for life. Much of philosophy casts a vision of living well. For some, these systems of thought cast a vision of living well does not include God and may well indeed be in opposition to Jesus.
Paul is concerned for these followers of Jesus that they be aware of the views and systems of thought aligned against the sufficiency of Jesus Christ for knowing God. So he reminds them of this magnificent declaration of the Gospel: Jesus is God and He indwells His people. Jesus is fully revealing God.
Jesus, the man — is fully indwelt with God.
Followers of Jesus — are now indwelt with Jesus who is in charge.
We are filled now in Christ Jesus with the One from whom all rule and authority flows through the His Holy Spirit. There is no secret knowledge or special rituals required to get you into the grace of God.
In the tension of troubles in life its important to remember, God is not holding out on you. As Peter writes in 2 Peter 1, “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence.”
photo credit: by Nathaniel O’Brien