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. (Colossians 2:8)
Oleander, an attractive flowering shrub, is one of the most poisonous of all commonly grown garden plants. It grows in many countries, and with beautiful, fragrant blossoms, it is tempting to include it in any garden. But touching it or tasting the leaves or stems can pose serious health problems. Handling leaves itself can cause symptoms. Upon consumption, the poison causes vomiting, diarrhea, excess salivation, and cramping. It can also cause a rapid, irregular heart rate, poor circulation, tremors, seizures, coma, and death.
Oleander is attractive because of its beautiful fragrant flowers but it is deceptively dangerous. Anyone without the knowledge of the truth regarding it can be cheated and many are. And so are many Christians deceived by hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world. They are fed what is attractive but way away from the truth. They are not told the true gospel and fall prey to lies which seem attractive but are deceptively fatal leading to eternal punishment.
Writing to the churches in Galatia, The Apostle Paul writes,
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel; which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be eternally condemned! (Galatians 1:6-8)
The message to us is clear: Beware of them who pervert the gospel of Christ.