What Happens in the Front Seat? (Introduction) by Deb Waterbury

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What Happens in the Front Seat? (Introduction)
Series: "Get in the Front Seat!" A Study of Colossians
Dr. Deb Waterbury
Colossians 1

Have you ever been involved in a conversation with someone over your Christian beliefs, and before you knew it, you were thinking something like:  “Huh.  That makes sense.  Maybe I’m wrong.”  Most have.  In perfect honesty, the truth can be very shrouded when we are unsure of its complexities.  After all, the devil doesn’t generally deal in absolutes; he is much more affective when he simply tweaks the truth just enough to make it incorrect.  We tend to buy that easier.

What makes his tactics even more successful is when God’s children take a back seat in their own knowledge and conviction of Christ.  So many have been led astray, not because they wanted to be, but because they had not armed themselves with appropriate knowledge and background and truths of our Savior, of His Life and His Role and His Deity.  Instead, the Sunday pews tend to be lined with people who are very content with the “fringes” of Christianity instead of its core.  Unfortunately, that has translated into some pretty distorted doctrines being both proclaimed from the pulpits as well as from the members.  G.K. Westerton’s words about the early 20th century church still apply today:  “Heresy not only means no longer being wrong; it practically means being clear-headed and courageous…. ‘orthodoxy’ not only no longer means being right; it practically means being wrong.”*

Solomon was correct:  there is absolutely nothing new under the sun.  The issues plaguing today’s church were plaguing the church in Paul’s day.  Consequently, he found himself in the position necessary to write this letter to the church in Colosse.  The church was most likely founded by Epaphras who had probably heard the gospel Paul was preaching when the apostle was in Ephesus.  After hearing Paul’s words, scholars believe Epaphras left Ephesus and went back to his home, Colosse, and began teaching what he had learned.  Eventually, this became the church in Colosse.

Unfortunately, the Colossian church later came under the influence of some pretty heretical influences.  Within the contents of Paul’s letter, some of these heresies became evident:  Paul called the heresy a “philosophy” containing “empty deceit” (2:8); these false teachings placed a lot of emphasis on ritual circumcision, dietary laws, and the observance of holy days (2:11, 14, 16, 17); it relegated Christ to a minor place, instead placing other mysterious beings and angels in His place to be worshipped and placated (2:15, 18, 19); some of the heretical leaders were ascetic in nature (2:20-23); and those advocating these heresies claim ...

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