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 yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)–in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? 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 2:20-23)
The Christian is perennially, by good-looking, exciting-appearing, false doctrine intimidated. And I suppose that any good pastor, any good elder, any good teacher, any good responsible person as a Christian should be warning his fellow believers, his flock about the intimidation that goes on.
The Colossians were being overtly and potently intimidated. There were certain false teachers who were infiltrating the Colossian assembly and bringing to bear on them a tremendous amount of intimidation. They were beginning to feel like spiritually they were left out, like they were less than necessary, like they were inadequate. Like having Jesus Christ was not enough. Like they had never arrived yet. Like there were a lot more things to get in Christianity that they hadn’t even begun to see. Like maybe they were wrong, and somebody else was right.
Excerpt from John MacArthur sermon “Spiritual Intimidation”