“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.” —Colossians 2:8 (ESV)
False teaching promises freedom and enslaves. It promises life and give death. Heresy is a lie dressed up as truth. She promises fullness, but she’s a vacuum. She’s a harlot; she’s not lady wisdom.
The worst kind of captivity is the one you’re blind to and embrace as freedom. Man rebels against God desiring to be free and finds bondage to sin, Satan, and death. But more subtle, more crafty, is the illusion of freedom, deeper spirituality, and fullness that looks like it’s fighting for God’s kingdom against the forces of darkness.
The false teachers trying to make inroads at Colossae had a fascination with angels and spiritual forces (Colossians 2:8, 18, 20). This is why Paul has stressed that Christ is supreme over all thrones, dominions, and authorities, including those that are unseen (Colossians 1:13, 16; 2:15). Much false teaching today enslaves by promising liberation from the demonic. Demonism doesn’t always look like a goat; often it disguises itself as a lamb.
Jennifer LeClaire, writing for Charisma Magazine, tells of a friend who had a “vision” (see Colossians 2:18) wherein a squid was perched atop her head. She writes, “I knew enough about the unseen world to understand a spiritual attack was underway [emphssis added].” As you study Colossians, it becomes apparent that the false teachers were promising some kind of fullness of knowledge that was in addition to the authoritative and final apostolic revelation of Christ. LeClair is claiming exactly that kind of knowledge. What kind of spiritual attack was afoot?
“What I didn’t know was that a sneaky squid spirit would soon start stalking me.
Right about now, you might be scratching your head and asking, with all sincerity—or with all mockery—‘What in the world is a squid spirit?’ Essentially, it’s a spirit of mind control but its affects go way behind what you would think.
In his classic book, Demon Hit List, Eckhardt lists mind control and defines it this way: ‘Octopus and squid spirits having tentacles; confusion, mental pressure, mental pain, migraine.’ ”
Balderdash! LeClair then elaborates on how one falls prey to a sneaky squid spirit. Additionally, she provides intel concerning their tactics and how to combat them. The problem with all this? None of it is “according to Christ,” the Christ who has conquered (Colossians 2:15), the Christ we’ve received (Colossians 2:6). The problem with such teaching is that it says Jesus isn’t sufficient when He is the only One who is. Our eyes are diverted from the revelation of Christ as given in the Scriptures, to that which is “of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh (Colossians 2:23).” We thus come into bondage, having traded the armor of Jesus Christ for a shiny and flashy display piece dubbed “dragon slayer” that is useless, save to draw glory to ourselves.