You know the old saying, “It’s too good to be true”? There’s some truth to that. Whether its a deal on a car, a promise from a politician, or a tale of the fish that got away – when the details are just too good, the story is probably bunk.
The same holds true in Christian teaching. In Colossae there were some people teaching fascinating ‘truths’ that were leading the Colossian Christians away from the true doctrine of Christ. These teachers were offering believable and persuasive arguments in support of their teachings, but they weren’t true.
Paul wrote to the Colossians in response to this, saying, “I say this in order that no one may delude you with plausible arguments… 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” (Col. 2:4, 8).
Paul knew that the smoothest, coolest, trendiest, most believable, most plausible, most fitting with what I wish were true – he knew that these kinds of arguments (and teachings) were not always what they seemed at first glance. Rather than being true, these plausible arguments were deceitful. Instead of illuminating the truth of Christ, they masked the truth with a near perfect replica.
Unfortunately, such teachings and teachers are still around today. The exist within and without the church, and they don’t always look or sound like what we might expect – that’s why Jesus described them as wolves in sheep’s clothing (Matt. 7:15). Generally, they present themselves as the sweet, positive, well-to-do type, rather than scary, nasty, and negative.
What replicas (false teachings) do you see within the church today? Are there teachers that you are following, who call themselves Christians, but don’t teach “the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3)?
Be on your guard. Sometimes the best sounding teachings are the least true.