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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Colossian Heresy - Mixing Christianity and False Religion

As I have been reading and studying the book of Colossians, there is something unique the Apostle Paul is trying to address in his letter to Colossae. He is writing a polemic letter to defend and define who Jesus Christ truly is and what he has done for us, essentially forming our faith and religion called Christianity. We know from Colossians 2:1-10 that the 1st century church was under attack by Gnosticism which is the belief that spirituality and deity is found in attaining super knowledge. It "was a member of certain sects who claimed to have superior knowledge of spiritual matters, and explained the world as created by powers or agencies arising as emanations from the Godhead." After Paul combats this issue by proving Jesus Christ is the plemora (Greek for 'fullness'), the fullness of all wisdom, knowledge, spirituality, and deity, he continues to defend against the false religions and rituals that were penetrating the walls of the Colossian church.

There were heretics in the Galatia/Phrygia region of Colossae that were teaching a mixture of Christianity with Judaism, Mysticism, and Asceticism. They were teaching the Jewish commandments and ceremonies are to still be practiced as works. They were teaching Mysticism in the worship of angelic hosts and other spiritual beings in addition to Christ. Lastly, they were teaching Asceticism, teaching people to live legalistic, judgmental, disciplined lives by the words of man to be holy, but not God's word. In essence, they had three things working against them: False works, false worship, and false words.

How do we know this? Paul tells us in Colossians 2:11-23. This has made me think about how deceiving Satan, the 'father of all lies' is in his nature (John 8:44). He is truly out to kill, steal, and destroy souls (John 10:10). He deceives a few so a few can deceive many. He mixes truth with lies. This is has been going on throughout the ages of history and is predominately seen in North America with the false religions and cults of Mormonism, Jehovah Witnesses, Roman Catholic Church, and Scientology to name a few. They all teach works for faith, the worship of other spiritual hosts and beings, and have explicit disciplinary and legalistic rules and words of religion that were instituted by man, not God in the Bible. All these religions mix Christianity with their religion.

We need to live and tell people the truth as the Apostle Paul did 2000 years ago to the Colossians!

"As the truth is in Christ Jesus." Ephesians 4:21

4 comments:

smilesback said...

Yes, I believe that the mixture is the most cunning ploy of the enemy. Because if people don't know the whole Truth, then they cannot smell or spot the arsenic that is mixed in. They just hear some truth and think its okay to guzzle down the whole glass.

This is why Christians need to meditate on the Word day and night --as Scripture commands us to do.

Rachel

Michelle said...

thank you so much for this small, edible summary! how refreshing! I am studying colossians as we speak and I find it an amazing book full of amazing truths about Christ! The gospel is so simple- you are saved by Christ alone, through faith alone by grace alone! I heard a preacher the other day that said false teachers are more dangerous the more truth they tell... Its like a couple of drops of poisen in a glass of water- the water being truth, and the little drops of poisen enough to kill you, although its just 1 or 2 % of the volume in the glass... May we always pray for discernment and study God's Word where all truth is revealed! Keep up the good work! Michelle

RJ McCauley said...

Michelle,

Your welcome! I am glad this blessed you and gave you insight to the wonderful epistle of Colossians! Your exactly right about the glass of water analogy! GOd bless you and have a good one!

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What is your favorite subject in Christian Studies?