Scipture Reading: Colossians 2:8-10
In this section Paul directly addresses the heretical teaching that had been plaguing the Colossian church. He begins by warning the believers … "See to it that no one takes you captive . . ." (Col 2:8). The King James translation better captures the strength of this exhortation … "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy."
In the first century, as in our century, there were people who undermined the truth of Christ and actually led people away from Him. The imagery here is, like in the captivity of war, through heresy people were carried away from the truth into the slavery of error. Paul calls the philosophies of falsehood … "empty deceit" … "human tradition" … "elemental spirits (principles) of the world."
Falsehood comes in many forms, from Jewish Pharisaic traditions to other heretical religious teaching to generally accepted, but false ideas within a culture. The ideas can come from religion or universities or Hollywood.
The horror of any false idea is that it is "not according to Christ" (Col 2:9), which means it does not issue from Christ and it does not lead to Christ. This is a disastrous and dreadful result "For (because) in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily" (Col 2:9). Therefore to deny Christ, in any way, is a renunciation of God. May God cause us to be zealous pursuers of Christ, who is the truth.