Colossians 2:8-10 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.
For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority.
Philosophy. This was a term back then widely used for almost any kind of religious thought and jargon claiming special knowledge of the universe and human kind’s place in it. My application Bible says, Paul isn’t condemning philosophy, in a way he himself was a philosopher. He was condemning any teaching that credits humanity, not Christ, with being the answer to life’s meaning. For Paul, it is amazing and tragic that men who had been ransomed and redeemed and freed would even consider submitting themselves to this slavery.
Where it says, “according to the elemental spirits of the universe” he’s talking about astrology. A lot of people today take it pretty seriously. We all know what our sign is, there are people who read their horoscope daily, but back then astrology was the Queen of science.
There were rulers who wouldn’t make any kind of plan without consulting the stars.
Men and women really believed that their lives were influenced by the stars. If you were born under a fortunate star, all was well. If you were born under an unlucky star, then don’t bother looking for happiness. Men felt they couldn’t affect an outcome of something if it “wasn’t in the stars.”
Apparently, the Gnostics were saying there might be a way out, if you knew the right password or secret teaching. Again, Paul says, Christ holds the power over the whole universe and you can’t believe both that and the influence of the stars.