Every era and every culture has its own philosophers and false teachers who try to lead people away by using the name of Christ as part of their presentation. This is not new. The city of Colossae had it’s competing philosophers and the church there – just like our church now – was always in danger of being taken captive, of being led astray, of being infiltrated by deceptive philosophies promoted by skilled deceivers.
So Paul says “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.” We are to walk in Christ; deceivers want us to walk away from Christ. They want to take us captive, basically to kidnap us. They want to set a trap with some tasty bait and then keep us in a cage and then consume us.