8 See to it that NO ONE TAKES YOU CAPTIVE THROUGH PHILOSOPHY AND EMPTY DECEPTION, ACCORDING TO THE TRADITION OF MEN, ACCORDING TO THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF THE WORLD, RATHER THAN ACCORDING TO CHRIST. 9 For in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form, 10 and IN HIM YOU HAVE BEEN MADE COMPLETE, and He is the head over all rule and authority; 11 and in Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the body of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ; 12 having been buried with Him in baptism, in which you were also raised up with Him through faith in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead. 13 When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, 14 having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
16 THEREFORE NO ONE IS TO ACT AS YOUR JUDGE IN REGARD TO FOOD OR DRINK OR IN RESPECT TO A FESTIVAL or a new moon OR A SABBATH DAY 17 things which are a MERE SHADOW of what is to come; BUT THE SUBSTANCE BELONGS TO CHRIST.. 18 LET NO ONE KEEP DEFRAUDING YOU OF YOUR PRIZE BY DELIGHTING IN SELF ABASEMENT and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on vision he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind, 19 and NOT HOLDING FAST TO THE HEAD, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God.
20 IF YOU HAVE DIED WITH CHRIST TO THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF THE WORLD (See verses 8, 16 above for details on what the Apostle Paul means by "the elementary principles of the world") IF YOU HAVE DIED WITH CHRIST TO THE ELEMENTARY PRINCIPLES OF THE WORLD. WHY, AS IF YOU WERE LIVING IN THE WORLD, DO YOU SUBMIT TO DECREES SUCH AS, 21 Do not handle, DO NOT TASTE, DO NOT TOUCH! 22 (WHICH ALL REFER TO THINGS DESTINED TO PERISH WITH USE)IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE COMMANDMENTS AND TEACHINGS OF MEN? 23 These are matters which have, to be sure, the APPEARANCE OF WISDOM IN SELF-MADE RELIGION AND SELF-ABASEMENT AND SEVERE TREATMENT OF THE BODY BUT ARE OF NO VALUE AGAINST FLESHLY INDULGENCE. (Colossians 2:8-23, NASB Emphasis added)
The Holy Spirit Himself testifies about what will characterize the times we are living in:
1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will FALL AWAY FROM THE FAITH, PAYING ATTENTION TO DECEITFUL SPRITS AND DOCTRINES OF DEMONS, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, 3 men who forbid marriage AND ADVOCATE ABSTAINING FROM FOODS which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; 5 for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:1-5, NASB Emphasis added) The Lord Jesus Christ also speaks of the folly of self abasement via abstaining from foods:
After Jesus called the crowd to Him, He said to them, HEAR AND UNDERSTAND.
IT IS NOT WHAT ENTERS INTO THE MOUTH THAT DEFILES THE MAN , BUT WHAT PROCEEDS OUT OF THE MOUTH, THIS DEFILES THE MAN.
Then the disciples came and said to Him, Do You know that THE PHARISEES WERE OFFENDED WHEN THEY HEARD THIS STATEMENT?
But He answered and said, Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be uprooted. Let them alone; THEY ARE BLIND GUIDES OF THE BLIND. AND IF A BLIND MAN GUIDES ABLIND MAN, BOTH WILL FALL INTO A PIT.
Peter said to Him, EXPLAIN THE PARABLE TO US.
Jesus said, ARE YOU STILL LACKING IN UNDERSTANDING ALSO?
DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT EVERYTHING THAT GOES INTO THE MOUTH PASSES INTO THE STOMACH, AND IS ELIMINATED? (Mark's account in Mark chapter 7:18-19 adds the following insight into the matter: 18 "He said to them, Are even you likewise without understanding? Do you not realize that EVERYTHING THAT GOES INTO A PERSON FROM OUTSIDE CANNOT DEFILE, 19 since it enters not the heart but the stomach and passes out into the latrine? THUS HE HAS DECLARED ALL FOODS CLEAN")
BUT THE THINGS THAT PROCEED OUT OF THE MOUTH COME FROM THE HEART, AND T H O S E DEFILE THE MAN.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.
These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man. (Matthew 15:10-20, NASB, Emphasis added)
Christins are FREE in Christ and not under obligation to abstain from anything during Lent because although abstaining and self abasement has:
"the APPEARANCE OF WISDOM IN SELF-MADE RELIGION AND SELF-ABASEMENT AND SEVERE TREATMENT OF THE BODY BUT ARE OF NO VALUE AGAINST FLESHLY INDULGENCE."
In other words to do so: is WORTHLESS and of NO VALUE! I didn't say this, God did and if anyone has a problem with the above, you can take it up with Him.
Why are you yelling with all caps?? That’s too hard to read. Sorry, I skipped it.