“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:6-8)

The nature of the false teaching that appeared at Colossi seemed to be a blend of Jewish legalism, Greek, philosophy and mysticism. This syncretistic form of mysticism attempted to put humans at the center of life, to claim that they had the ability to control their own destiny. Such false teaching also tended to downplay the deity of Christ, preferring to consider him as a demigod or lesser type of divinity. Thus humans could work to be like him, demigods as well or godlike. The way to achieve this was through a process of meditation, philosophy, and works of asceticism or self-denial. In this way one could attain secret knowledge that brought them to the upper echelon of spiritual enlightenment.

All this mystical thinking made believers forget that the whole reason they came to faith in Christ in the first place was because they were trying to reach God through the use of all these same means all without success. They were still alienated from God, unable to make themselves right or good.

The false teaching at Colossi has arisen again in our modern world and has infiltrated the Church through the media and popular culture. Many Christians and church leaders are teaching self-centered philosophy as religion that focuses on exalting the individual.

Paul brings us back to our true focus and our head, Jesus. On the cross, He performed the ultimate act of unselfishness by dying for us, we who were alienated from God without any hope of ever achieving oneness with Him no matter what we did. We cannot go back to using those same useless ways and methods. They only enslave us and give us a false sense of security that leads us away from the will and purpose of the Lord. We must renounce the wisdom of this world which Is not true wisdom. True wisdom humbly leads us to surrender our lives to Christ.