20If 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,
21"Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!"
22(which all refer to things destined to perish with use)--in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men?
23These 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.
I ran across this as I was reading The Ethics of Freedom by Jacques Ellul.
"How difficult and intolerable this is---being dead with Christ. Having no further part in the fasts, pleasures, powers, libertinage, independence, and exaltation of the world, being dead to all that---how can we put up with it? If the death were a physiological one there would be no problem, for there would be no more participation. If the death were a spiritual one, there would be no problem, only confusion. But being dead with Christ from the essences, rudiments, and foundations of the world still leaves us alive in the world, participating, co-existing, the same even while we are different. The impossible thing is living out this death. It is so impossible that soon many Christians saw only one solution---the monastery. Living out this death is the very thing man tries avoid by creating a morality in order that he may live, whether it be according to the fellowship of Christ, inspiration, principles, and so forth, but in any case not as one who has gone through death."