Now for some more targum from Walsh and Keesmaat, Colossians Remixed.
Col. 2:20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 ?Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!?? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. 23 Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self?imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.
If with Christ you died in your baptism to the principles of autonomous consumerism that still hold the world captive, then why do you live in a way that suggests that you are still in the iron grip of its ideological vision? Why do you submit yourself to its regulations to consume as if there were no tomorrow, or live as if community were an impediment to personal fulfillment, to live as if everything were disposable, including relationships, the unborn and the environment? Why do you allow this deceitful illusion to still have a hold on you? Don’t you know that copulating with the idols of this culture is like climbing into bed with a corpse that is already decomposing? Lets be clear about this: the postmodern vision of a laid-back pluralism where people hold only to their local narratives and abandon any attempt to make truth claims beyond their personal opinions or traditional communities may look like a way to end the violence, to respect otherness and stop marginalization and genocide, but it is in fact totally and irrevocably impotent to accomplish any of this. It has a mere appearance of wisdom; it has no depth of vision to discern between paths of wisdom and paths of folly: It looks like humility, and it will lay on the guilt pretty thick for the years of violence legitimated by various metanarrative (including the Christian one!), but it is not humble enough. It fails to see that the real issue of violence, exclusion and marginalization goes much deeper-it lies in the violence, rebellion and deceitfulness of the human heart.
Self-imposed postmodern guilt trips can do nothing to heal the heart and can do nothing to stop the violence. Only the exhaustion of that violence on the cross can begin a real restoration.
You see, my friends, the postmodern incredulity of all metanarratives is well founded. The modernist metanarrauve, of civilizational progress manifest in an aggressive conquering of colonized peoples, so-called scientific objectivism, a technological will to power and a market capitalism that would commodify all of life, deplete creational resources and create an ecological nightmare, was a tall tale ? a lying, self-justifying ideological narrative. Yet humans are inherently storytelling creatures. And any local narrative will necessarily and invariably function as a metanarrative in the lives of those who hold it as their story: So the issue isn’t whether to live out of a metanarrative or not, but which metanarrative, and whose grand story. Without a grounding and directing story, no praxis is possible. That is why the crisis of storyless postmodern people, animated by little more than media and market-produced images, is a crisis of moral and cultural paralysis.