Thursday, February 28, 2013

EMMDEV 2013-02-28 [Highlights from Colossians] Understanding the heresy threat

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day....
18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize...
20 why... do you submit to its rules: "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!" Colossians2:16-23

The Colossian Church was being threatened by false teaching. In chapter two (v:9-23) Paul deals with this...

But before we get to Paul's "cure" it will be helpful to understand the "disease." The false teaching that threatened the Colossian church was two-fold.
On the one hand there were elements who came from a Jewish background and stressed Jewish customs and cleanliness laws. In essence they were saying: "It's great that you have Jesus as your Saviour - but remember He was Jewish and so you should be a good Jew too."
On the other hand, there were those who came from a mystical philosophical background who argued that salvation was a state of mind and that you were "saved" by abstracting yourself from the world.

On the one hand, legalism, on the other hand a kind of ethereal philosophical separation from the material world.

You see elements of these false teachings here in ch.2
- What we eat and drink
- Celebrating certain days as a matter of salvation
- Doing things for show
- Emphasizing side issues
- Making additional rules

Today we make the same mistakes:
We like to turn Christianity into lists of "do's & don'ts."
(e.g. "Christians don't smoke." )
We often make big doctrines about side issues and forget the main thing. (e.g.speaking in tongues)
Or we make it so abstract that our lives don't change at all.

Years ago a one of my Bible Study leaders put it like this: "The moment Jesus isn't enough, the moment that we need Jesus PLUS rituals, or Jesus + traditions or Jesus + philosophy or Jesus + anything, we are in trouble."

In ch 2 Paul is having to having to do some MINUSing so that we are left with Jesus alone.

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Theo Groeneveld theo@emmanuel.org.za
You can see past EmmDevs at http://emmdev.blogspot.com/

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