15 Signs of a Religious Spirit

Related: The Religious Spirit Strikes Again

One of the primary purposes of Defining Words is to resource ministries with teaching materials. Feel free to print out and use this post as a handout when teaching on the Religious Spirit. The following “15 Signs of a Religious Spirit” are derived from the Book of Jude, and from Jack Deere’s teaching Exposing the Religious Spirit. This list delineates a spectrum of expressions of the religious mindset. Manifestations of the religious spirit are not limited to Christianity, but can be identified in any false religion as well. Your thoughts and comments are most certainly welcome.

1. RIFT – One with a religious spirit believes he has a mission to tear down error or what he believes is wrong.

2. REBUKE – He has a hard time receiving rebuke from someone less spiritual than he.

3. REBELLIOUS – He will not listen to people, because he can hear from God.

4. REPULSED – He immediately notices what is wrong with people, or the church, rather than looking for what is right.

5. RIGOROUS – He keeps score on his spiritual life and carries guilt when he doesn’t add up to the Lord’s standards.

6. REJECTING – He feels as though he has been appointed to fix everybody else.

7. RIVAL – He may feel as though he is truly closer to God than others, and his life or ministry is more pleasing to God in comparison.

8. RANKS – He takes pride in spiritual discipline or spiritual maturity and ranks himself against others.

9. REPUTATION – He will do things in order to be noticed or affirmed by people.

10. RIGID – Religious spirits are overly repulsed by “emotionalism.”

11.  RAUCOUS – Seemingly converse to the prior, a religious spirit will use emotionalism or hype to manipulate people.

12. RESISTANT – He will tend to resist the supernatural or reject spiritual manifestations he cannot understand.

13. REACTIONARY – He will overreact to carnality or immaturity in the body of Christ.

14. RENEGADE – He will not fully commit to a church or lend a hand to help if the group is not “perfect” in their theology.

15. REFRAIN – He will tend to be suspicious of or even oppose new moves of God.

12 thoughts on “15 Signs of a Religious Spirit

  1. Very straightforward and hits the nail right on the head…no pun intended. Wasn’t it religious folks that wanted Jesus crucified? In any event, He laid His life down: no one took it from Him!

  2. 16 – She will mask her religiosity behind a pose of anti-religiosity, likely unaware of her hypocrisy. She will judge and reject those she perceives as judgmental, will set up a new set of taboos and anathemas to replace the old, and will guard the borders of group and identity with as much fervor as the most pharisaical traditionalist.

  3. Pingback: The Religious Spirit | The Vortex Diaries

  4. Pingback: The Religious Spirit Strikes Again | Defining Words

  5. I was interested in this subject and just read an article on it at http://babylonortruth.net and I have to say that both opinions conflict, I noticed that your article wasn’t really backed by scripture and would be interested in seeing what verses you are basing these warning signs on… otherwise a well written article.

  6. This is funny. I thought I had to rid my sister of the religious spirit, and when I read more on what the religious spirit is, I realized I probably have it.

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