Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the traditions of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
By means of philosophy sharp-witted people attempt to explain both the origin and the purpose of the world and mankind, but apart from God. Consequently man becomes the central point. The logic of philosophical argumentation attracts primarily those who wish to understand everything intellectually. By “empty deceit according to the traditions of men” the Bible means man-made religions with their traditions including merely formal Judaism and Christianity.
Philosophy and religious traditions are worldly elements. Therefore the Bible warns against them. What is so bad about them? They are a product of the human mind, in which God and His thoughts have no place, and where sin abounds unhindered.
When the apostle writes, “Beware!” he is warning us. As believers we no longer belong to the world, but we still live in it and are surrounded daily by its influence. How easily we can be blinded by philosophy or impressed by religious traditions and are consequently drawn away from the Lord Jesus. Simple faith in the Word of God then suffers. Let us beware of this deceit!
In addition philosophy and religious tradition prevent many people from believing in the Redeemer Jesus Christ. Their intelligence and religious attitude stand in their way.
God has not revealed everything to man: “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed to man belong to us and our children for ever” (Deuteronomy 29:29).