Many don’t see the destructive impact it has on the Body of Christ. Some actually embrace it as a normal part of Christian life. May I suggest that when begin to see the through the eyes of Jesus, it will become clearer as to why the religious spirit is a problem.
It is important to learn the nature of the religious spirit, as it can have a devastating effect on the rise of ekklesia. We are discovering how the willful mistranslation of ekklesia to church has impacted identity of the Body of Christ. So, when a religious spirit finds a place to roost, the damage can be more intense. Religious spirits have a ‘rightness image’ surrounding them. Without investigation, the rhetoric from a religious spirit can sound and feel as though it is correct.
It is important to learn the nature of the religious spirit, as it can have a devastating effect on the rise of ekklesia.
As we learn more about the Lord’s ekklesia, it is critical that we recognize religious spirits so that we aren’t blindsided by this subtle foe. This blog is the first part of a five-part series regarding the ‘religious spirit’. The Lord showed me many of these factors in 1991, however I must admit I did not grasp its true depth at that time. This subject resurfaced in the last few weeks when the Lord taught me something I’d never realized before. I had never connected the dots between a religious spirit and reprobate mind. Reprobation is an internal issue. This is where I will begin this series of posts. I believe you will see the effect reprobation can have on what we are learning about ekklesia.
Recently, I ran into a former pastor who had left his wife of over 30 years for another woman. At the same time, he resigned from his pastorate leaving a shocked and devastated congregation. Surprisingly he struck up a conversation with me, knowing I was aware of his situation. He spent the better part of a half hour trying to convince me that the Lord had given him peace over his decision to leave his wife for another woman. He claimed that he had no remorse or shame for his actions. He painted himself as a victim who had no other choice but walk away from what he deemed to be a bad marriage. He used scripture to in an attempt to validate his actions. He shared how he was enjoying serving in ministry at another fellowship. I listened as he laid out a storyline that some would say made perfect sense. But that’s when the Holy Spirit spoke to me these words, “Reprobation can sound intellectual.”
Paul wrote that there could come a time when God turns a person over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28). This is a person who is void of understanding. I always felt that a reprobate person would appear mentally deranged. It never occurred to me that such a person could sound intellectually astute. Everything you read about a reprobate person shows that they had a familiarity with the truth.
People follow what they believe to be true. If truth has been corrupted by outside forces, that is one thing to contend with. But if truth is distorted because of a personal choice to ignore it, then that becomes the foundation for reprobation. A reprobate mind is the final manifestation exhibited by a former believer who has chosen to believe a lie. Reprobation is avoidable, but once it has set in, it is difficult undo it. Here are two simple things you can do to not become a reprobate.
First, don’t justify anything that violates scripture. Sin in not acceptable under ‘certain circumstances.’ Sin is sin. Sin does not become right to appease your choices. Your own form of righteousness can lead you down the path of destruction (Proverbs 14:12; Romans 10:3). Second, listen to counsel. If you are not sure if something is right or wrong, submit yourself to seasoned elders to help you navigate through confusing times. The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise (Proverbs 12:15).
Church as we know it is transitioning. Reprobation is trying to raise its ugly head to confuse this matter. Because it is avoidable, I want to sound the alarm to keep as many believers from falling into its trap.
About The Author
Tim Kurtz is the Founder of The Ekklesia Center. The purpose of this blog/vlog is to explore subjects that show how the mistranslation of ekklesia to church has impacted the Body of Christ. He has served in ministry over three decades amd is the author of several books. He and his wife Carolyn have been married 46 years and live in SC Michigan.