Colossians 2:16-23 Dealing with Being Judged

16 Therefore let no one pass judgement on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17 These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18 Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19 and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God.

20 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— 21 “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” 22 (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? 23 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.

Dealing with Being Judged

The Colossians were being judged from the outside.  There are two ways people judge each other.  The first is to evaluate actions to decide whether they are good or bad.  The second looks at a person’s actions and then condemns the whole person as inferior or unworthy.  Paul encourages evaluating actions.  In fact he evaluates, or judges, the judgement.  He repeatedly steers people away from condemning each other, though.  Such actions damage people.

At the time of his writing, people in the churches were judging each other by how well they kept the law.  Although these people had adapted to their environment, the details in the passage point to their Jewish cultural context.  Jewish people were saying that behaviours get you into heaven, not relationship with Jesus. Once more, Paul pulls his readers back to the supremacy of Christ.  Keeping laws does not lead to a vibrant relationship, but a vibrant relationship leads to keeping laws.

Those who work hard to show themselves worthy of God and to avoid criticism carry a heavy burden.  Rather than realise how much they are screwing up their own lives, they frequently take to policing others.  The churches that they occupy become places where it is imperative to take the hurtful and condemning focus off of oneself and find ways to refocus on others.  I have had experience in such churches.  One of them was quite charismatic and the rules and regulations were about how much one spoke in tongues, received a word from the Lord, or spoke prophecy.  Although everything on the surface was happy-go-lucky, there was a vicious spirit of gossip and criticism in the church.  Those who tried to address it themselves became the object of scorn.  There was one point when the pastor’s son’s car smashed into a house and I was blamed for it.  The irony of it was that I was in another continent at the time.  The fact was that my face didn’t fit.  I didn’t play by their man-made rules.  Most tragically, somehow Jesus was lost in the busyness of speaking in tongues, being slain in the Spirit, and gaining words of knowledge.

I know that I too have condemned myself for not being a better Christian.  I have judged those who performed sins that I have reasoned were unthinkable for a Christian.  Some of those sins I have gone on to perform myself.  The end to this cycle is to focus on Jesus.  He accepts us as we are and doesn’t leave us that way.  He creates a warm place of welcome where we can safely aspire to be our better selves.  It is not because we have to.  It is because we can.

Prayer

Lord of heaven and earth.  You have wrapped your arms around us and welcomed us into your family.  Jesus has loved us and bought us.  He holds us still.  Help us not to play games with obedience.  Help us to accept each other without condition.  Help us to lead each other onward because we want to move toward your Son.  Help us not to stand still and condemn those who struggle and suffer.

Questions

  1. On what counts were outsiders judging the Colossians?
  2. How did Paul advise the Colossians to respond to the criticism?
  3. What beliefs do you think defined those who were critical of the church in Colossae?
  4. How are Christians condemned today by those watching the faith from outside (see unChristian)?
  5. How can Christians respond well to those who condemn Christians for having harmful beliefs?

200804_064_Perceptions.jpg

Advertisements

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Colossians 2:16-23 Dealing with Being Judged

  1. Maelynn says:

    1. On how well they followed the law-i.e. what they ate and drank, if they kept the sabbath.
    2. He tells them not to let anyone pass judment on them or disqualify them.
    3. They most likely believed that their works got them saved and made God happy with them.
    4. They are said to be hypocritical.
    5. Paul says not to let anyone pass judment on you. Thus, I do think we are to actively engage with people who judge us. We must also remember to let our words be seasoned with salt.

  2. Christina W. says:

    1. The outsiders were judging the Colossians based upon their obedience to the law.
    2. He reminds them not to let anyone pass judgment on them.
    3. Those who were critical of the church in Colossae probably believed that it was in their obedience or in their keeping of the law that they were saved.
    4. Those who are watching the faith from the outside condemn Christians as being hypocritical and judgmental.
    5. They can respond graciously without judging those who are condemning them. In that context, believers can then refute any misconceptions and share the truth of the Gospel with them.

  3. Molly says:

    1. They were judging them based on how they kept the law.

    2. He tells them not to let anyone throw condemnation or judgement on them.

    3. They believed that they obedience and good works by keeping the law

    4. They were being hypocritical in their lifestyle

    5. Responding in grace to those who are throwing judgement on them.

  4. 1. Judgments regarding food, drink, festivals and the Sabbath.
    2. Let no one disqualify you? And if you follow rules, why do you??
    3. They most likely were Jewish and many who believed that works got them more approval with Christ and others.
    4. Some see “televangelists”, or even “Charismatics”, or even if we are befriending professing homosexuals, we could be judged for hanging out with the wrong people.
    5. Respond with love and understanding and all grace-being careful not to judge others yourself.

  5. Jung Kim says:

    1.On what counts were outsiders judging the Colossians? Regarindg how they kept the law.
    2.How did Paul advise the Colossians to respond to the criticism? He encourages them not to pass judgments on them and not to disqualify them.
    3.What beliefs do you think defined those who were critical of the church in Colossae? They believed that their works as well as their obedience in keeping the laws pleased God.
    4.How are Christians condemned today by those watching the faith from outside (see unChristian)?
    They are hypocritical and judgmental still in this day.
    5.How can Christians respond well to those who condemn Christians for having harmful beliefs?
    Be the listeners and respond them with love and caring way.

  6. Megumi says:

    1. The Colossians were judged by the rules they kept and things they abstained from.
    2. Paul encourages them not to be derailed by external criticism, but rather to focus on Christ.
    3. It seems that some influential members of this church placed high value on Jewish ritual traditions and may have been adding these to God’s grace as a formula for salvation.
    4. A lot of criticism of Christianity comes from the non-Christian populace when Christian lives seem unchanged by their beliefs. One of the major accusations against Christians today is one of hypocrisy. Unfortunately, I think this criticism is too often true.
    5. If the belief is biblical, Christians should have a calm, reasonable, and biblically faithful defense for it, but if Christians are accused of holding beliefs that are not biblical and are actually harmful, they should show by word and deed that the offending belief is not representative of Christianity.

  7. 1. They were being judged by outsiders about how they were not following the law.
    2. He reminded them that they died in Christ to those forces. They were reminded of their identity and their new life in Christ.
    3. They were focused on secret knowledge and what they themselves could do for salvation. They attempted to place the power to save in their own hands instead of focusing on Christ.
    4. I think two of the tops things Christians are accused of today include hypocrisy and intolerance for the things approved by the world.
    5. We are supposed to respond in love with thoughtful responses and deeds. We should also be up front and honest, acknowledging openly that we are not perfect and will not be on this earth.

  8. Michael McCardle says:

    1. On what counts were outsiders judging the Colossians?
    Food, drink, festivals, Sabbath.
    2. How did Paul advise the Colossians to respond to the criticism?
    To remember what Christ has done for them and that these things do not matter as much as what is to come from having eternal life in Christ.
    3. What beliefs do you think defined those who were critical of the church in Colossae?
    Original Jews who held to the Law of Moses.
    4. How are Christians condemned today by those watching the faith from outside (see unChristian)?
    hypocrisy, intolerance, narrow minded
    5. How can Christians respond well to those who condemn Christians for having harmful beliefs?
    With love and trying to create relationship and understanding.

  9. Emmy R says:

    1. They were being judged on food and festivals.
    2. They are encouraged to not disqualify them.
    3. I think they believed in a works-based salvation.
    4. Hypocrisy and putting on a “face”
    5. With the love of our Father.

  10. Outsiders were judging the Colossians based on food and festivals and how good they kept the law. Paul reminded the church that they have died with Christ, therefore the judgements of others should be disqualified. Those who were critical of the church believed that actions and works could earn you salvation. Today, people like this are often seen as hypocrites from people outside the church. Christians should respond with an attitude of love and grace.

  11. Maria T. says:

    1. On what counts were outsiders judging the Colossians? Food and drink and festivals and new moons and Sabbaths.
    2. How did Paul advise the Colossians to respond to the criticism? He tells them not to let anyone disqualify them by focusing on the things that are nothing of value.
    3. What beliefs do you think defined those who were critical of the church in Colossae? They were judging based according to the regulations of the law, and seemed to believe that salvation was through the law.
    4. How are Christians condemned today by those watching the faith from outside (see unChristian)? The outside views Christians as hypocritical and judgmental.
    5. How can Christians respond well to those who condemn Christians for having harmful beliefs? The best way is through love, which I believe would include prayer and biblical instruction.

  12. Olyn says:

    1.On what counts were outsiders judging the Colossians?
    keeping the law
    2.How did Paul advise the Colossians to respond to the criticism?
    Don’t let anyone disqualify you by trying to hold you to their standards
    3.What beliefs do you think defined those who were critical of the church in Colossae?
    that they could judge, that it was their duty to be the “holiness patrol” so to speak
    4.How are Christians condemned today by those watching the faith from outside (see unChristian)?
    There are people who would rather referee the game than be in it. Instead of participating in the faith themselves, they take it upon themselves to critique and condemn people.
    5.How can Christians respond well to those who condemn Christians for having harmful beliefs?
    Be humble, admit that you are flawed, as are all Christians. Remind them Christians are following Christ because they know they need a saviour. Be open to hearing about the harmful beliefs in a calm, uplifting way, but do not let them push you around or control you.

  13. Nate Silvieus says:

    1. By their diet or their recognition of certain special days, or keeping the Jewish laws.
    2. He says to not let anyone judge them and to not act as though they still belonged to the principles of this world.
    3. The Jewish Law
    4. For being hypocrites mostly. But also for being against cultural norms which they think of as potential ‘hate crimes’ such as homosexuality.
    5. Respectfully listen to them and do their best to understand where the person is coming from. The Christian can also acknowledge that some of what the person is saying is true, and their are people who can make the Christian faith look bad, but also explain what they believe and that we live our lives in light of Christ has done for us on the cross.

  14. Christa Larsen-Sorterup says:

    1. On what counts were outsiders judging the Colossians? They were judging the Colossians on account of their keeping or breaking of the law.
    2. How did Paul advise the Colossians to respond to the criticism? Paul tells the Colossians to let no one disqualify them based on their keeping of the law
    3. What beliefs do you think defined those who were critical of the church in Colossae? I think the beliefs of the necessity to follow the law closely in order to retain good standing with God
    4. How are Christians condemned today by those watching the faith from outside (see unChristian)? Christians are condemned because of their beliefs that contradict with the culture, especially those that call people to repentance and conformity to Christ.
    5. How can Christians respond well to those who condemn Christians for having harmful beliefs? Christians should still respond to those who condemn them in love and recognize that without Christ their hearts and minds are darkened by sin and by their beliefs that are contrary to Christ.

  15. 1.The outsiders were judging the Colossians by their keeping of the law.
    2. Paul insisted that they don’t let anyone disqualify them.
    3. I think the outsiders could have been defined as blind to their sin, very judgmental, and proud.
    4. Unbelievers see Christians as hypocrites because we aren’t able to uphold the law that we adhere to. What they don’t understand is that we don’t claim to be perfect people.
    5. Christians can respond by confessing their faults, being open and honest about their sins. We shouldn’t claim to be perfect people. We should tell unbelievers that we believe in moral law, but because we are fallen people, we cannot live a perfect life.

  16. Kimberly W. says:

    1. Outsiders were judging the Colossians based on what the Colossians ate and drank, what festivals they celebrated, and how they acted on the Sabbath.
    2. Paul advises the Colossians to respond to the criticism by not letting others judge them or disqualify them for the prize. While the Colossians could not necessarily stop others from judging them, they could stop believing the judgments of others.
    3. Those who were critical of the church in Colossae were likely defined by stringent beliefs about behavior. Possibly they were Jews, as God had given the Jews the Law to live under. They believed that Christians needed to act in a specific way, trying to add works to the gift of grace God has given us.
    4. Christians are condemned mainly for being homophobic, intolerant, and hypocritical. Yes, the Christian faith goes against culture, but Christians have often forgotten the words of Christ that people would know we are Christians by our love, not by our hypocrisy or condemnation of others.
    5. It is important to listen well to those who condemning you. Acknowledge that many horrible things have been done in the name of Christ. Acknowledge that there are no perfect Christians. Sometimes listening is the most powerful response we can have. Show the person love. Respond with biblical truths, but in a gracious manner.

  17. Andrew Moore says:

    1. The church was being judged for failing to keep their Jewish heritage.
    2. Paul urged the church not to submit to human regulations and teachings.
    3. Worshiping angels and keeping Jewish customs.
    4. Christians are judged and called bigots, hateful, old fashioned and being ignorant.
    5. Christians can respond to these criticisms by not just claming that they are not homophobic or ignorant, but by proving it to the critical people through the way they treat others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s