Monday, July 04, 2005

The Colossian Heresy

.... In the Pagan world of the Mediterranean, in the years of darkness before Jesus, a certain mythology had emerged. To them, the spirit realm was ruled by a triumvirate: Zeus, Aries, and Hermes, of which Zeus was the greatest. Sometimes these three ruled in harmony, but at other times they vied for advantage among themselves.
.... Beneath the triumvirate was a caste system of lesser gods and goddesses, some good and some evil. The triumvirate held a higher rule over them in a general sense, but this was by no means an absolute rule. They could still be overruled in the specialized areas represented by those lesser gods. For example, Poseidon was seen as the god of the waters, and he could usually overrule the triumvirate in this particular realm – though not in other realms.
.... Through a series of errors, in the absence of the apostles, part of the Colossian church would later ‘Christianize’ this old mythology and include it in their beliefs. In accordance with their former traditions, Father, Son and Holy Ghost became a triumvirate rather than a Trinity (Paul answers, Col 2:9), and the angels and demons became the lesser gods and goddesses in their caste system. Paul answers this heresy by saying:

.... "Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ."

(Col 2:8)

.... Under the Colossian heresy, angels and demons could overrule God in their own 'specialized areas', according to their own agendas. Of course this teaching was entirely untrue (Col 2:10). Because these beings were considered lesser gods and goddesses, angels were considered worthy of worship under this delusion (Col 2:18), and demons, though not actually worshiped, were ascribed the same competitive standing in a negative sense, which was simply a back-door way of offering them similar homage (Paul answers, Col 1:13).
.... But the worst part of the offense came in relation to Christ Himself. Through their mistaken ‘knowledge’ of spiritual things, and their higher estimation of angels and demons, the Colossians had ascribing a lesser role to Jesus Himself by default. And through this, their relationship with Him was at risk:

.... "Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God."

(Col 2:18-19)

.... In fact, the entire Colossian mind set is not dissimilar from the ‘spiritual warfare’ books one finds in Christian book stores today. Through ‘revelations’ that are often based on an author’s personal experience, rather than Scriptures, demons are given far too much credibility. By ascribing all the woes of mankind to them, we are giving them much more credit (and glory) than they deserve. When we finally do see him at the end of days, we will be very surprised at just how well he deceived us:
.... "Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: 'Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, Who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?'"
(Isa 14:16-17)

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