the weblog of Alan Knox

Don’t do it

Posted by on Oct 2, 2010 in discipleship | 3 comments

Don’t do it

A couple of days ago, we talked about this passage at work:

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations – “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” ( referring to things that all perish as they are used) – according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh. (Colossians 2:20-23 ESV)

What do you think Paul is saying about these kinds of prohibitions (i.e., “Don’t handle that…,” “Don’t taste that…,” “Don’t touch that…”)? Could forcing yourself and others to stay away from certain things actually cover up deeper problems?


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  1. 10-2-2010

    I think the overall sense of Paul’s letters would indicate that he believed that rules and regulations about certain behavioral matters were not necessary for the Christian. It seems to me that his emphasis is on living by God’s grace with a real sense of who we are as children of God. The more we realize that and live it out, the fewer rules we will need.

    I think we can hide deeper, underlying problems by following certain rules. We look good on the surface, but underneath we can be rotten to the core. An example would be the ones who publicly preach the loudest about certain sins, and are then found out to be engaging in those very sins.

  2. 10-2-2010

    These kinds of restriction and rules are made by and for those who are combating their flesh by their flesh. We are no longer of the flesh. In truth our flesh is to be considered as dead and we are now to live in the newness of life in Christ. The danger is in the fact that those who keep themselves from sin by rules (flesh) and those who do so by remaining intimate with Christ (spirit) will look alike on the outside and fool themselves and others that they are bearing good fruit.

  3. 10-3-2010

    From what I have seen, people who make legalistic rules for themselves tend to be proud of themselves when they are able to keep them; having a form of godliness, they deny its power. Walking in the Spirit, we may at times be directed by God not to touch, taste or handle something, but it will be living guidance and not the dead letter of the law.