How can we be cheated? According to Paul we are cheated “through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles (elements) of the world, and not according to Christ.”
It matters not if the philosophy is good, right, morally excellent, and praiseworthy. It matters not how well intentioned, meaningful, or helpful the tradition is. It matters not how necessary we think the worldly element to be, or how important it is to society in general. If none of these things are “according to Christ,” that is, if they are not of Him, through Him, and unto Him, then they are worthless insofar as God’s Purpose is concerned and must be discarded.