First century Colosse was a melting pot of three main cultural streams. The Hellenists held a dualistic view that everything was either spiritual or material. Judaism had a rigid and puritanical outlook which sometimes led to a withdrawal from and condemnation of the world. The third stream was the local pagan, superstitious and occultic.
As you can imagine, these three streams blending together caused much strife, debate, and immorality in the church. A blender is one who throws in ideas from a number of philosophies, even those who contradict each other. This confusion drives them to find something they can endorse and satisfies their intellect and preferences. The result is a custom made worldview that leads away from biblical truth.
Syncretism (confusion of values, beliefs, and practices), often happens when lots of change is going on. In that day, there were earthquakes, dominating foreign rulers, and fearful times. Any similarites? (Word in Life Study Bible ftnotes)
Paul says in Col 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophies, which depend on the traditions of men and the basic principles of this world, rather than Christ.”
How do you mix the basic principles of this world with Christ? Jesus plus my family’s traditions? Jesus plus man’s rules to follow for indulgences, morality, religion. Jesus plus a secret organization, my own opinions, logic, desires? Jesus plus money, possessions, or entertainment?
Have you ever been torn between your family’s traditions and Christ?
Paul says in Galatians, Who has bewitched you? You were running a good race. Who pulled you off course? After beginning in the Spirit, are you going to be made perfect by the flesh?
The gospel supersedes every tradition, religion, philosophy. The Christian faith has produced remarkable results in changing families, relationships, and whole communities. Christ is an atmosphere changer.
Do opinionated people try to push their ideas and choices on you to adapt your own set of rules for living? Stand your ground. Do you try to earn your right standing? Trust in the only one that can do it for you.
When you became a Christian, you joined a new family. What is your Jesus plus? The Word tells us it’s Jesus alone.
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)