“Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions. He has lost connection with the Head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.” (Reference: Colossians 2:18-19 )
This passage was a hard one “to crack” – that is, it was difficult to discern what the meaning was well enough to explain it to you, beloved, and then to see if the historic Anabaptist quote was one that helped illuminate the meaning. Or if the meaning was well represented by the quote. So I consulted my “good friend” Albert Barnes, and with his “guidance” I was able to understand what the writer of Colossians intended.
Once Barnes explained some of the background understandings for this passage, the meaning was clear. Perhaps you already knew beloved. The writer of Colossians is warning his reader against having eternal life taken from him/her by false teachers and minister etc who lead their followers astray into irrelevant and misleading doctrine and theology. Basically the paraphrase would go like this:
Do not let a person who presents present false modesty while in reality trying to make themselves look important and prominent. Do not be fooled by their seemingly holy attitude and life perspective. They will go on and on about what they have done, how they have received wisdom and how devote they are. But if you examine what they say closely, you will realize it is not wisdom from God but their own thinking and faulty thing at they. They do not follow God and God’s guidance but have actually lost touch with God and God’s people, and are now going their own way. Be careful with such people because you will not grow as God intends you to.
Unfortunate to say, the historic Anabaptist who is quoted for today does not speak very clearly or convey clearly any sort of comprehensive message. Sometimes the historic Anabaptist would get so wrapped up in the emotionality of the message that the words would just flow out without referring to anything tangible. It is only near the end of the quote that Pilgram Marpeck, the profiled historic Anabaptist this day, says anything worthy of being posted here. He says, “It [meaning, I am guessing, the teachings of such dangerous people] finally brings forth no fruit but open depravities, sin, and shame. Such is the case with the hypocrites who, because of their choice to live according to human law and its coercion, strut about and, without knowing anything about it, assume the appearance of the Spirit.” Even from this brief “sound bite” you can tell such people are not worthy of time or attention.
May you, beloved, find wholesome and God-led teachers and ministers to learn from and follow. Selah!