At our Friday morning Bible Study we were talking about Colossians 2:6-15. One of the main points of discussion was this: Jesus, not tradition or worldly philosophy, is our source for wisdom and knowledge. I shared with our group that, in America, we often get distracted from God’s truth or deceived by worldly “knowledge” and get puffed up with education, facts and figures, or science. Here in PNG though, the bigger concern is traditional lore. As I was applying the principles to life here, I shared a couple of stories from my experiences in Menya. (You can read about them here and here.) I explained that these beliefs about spiritual forces controlling or influencing our lives and demanding allegiance or appeasement are exactly the kind of problems Paul was trying to correct in Colossae.
After I told the story of the curse from our milling days, Wati, who was part of the milling crew, piped in. He said
I remember that. I was one of the people who was afraid of the curse-token. I thought it was going to mess us up.
Then he proceded to laugh and rejoice about the new truth in which he is living. The whole group then joined in celebrating that they are no longer enslaved by their former beliefs and fears. The truth is setting them free.