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Thursday, March 11, 2010

True Religion

Disclaimer: I am not perfect and I do not exemplify true religion in all areas of my life. I am writing this because I was struck by the difference between what is described here and how we, Christ's followers in America, live.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27

Honest to goodness, I do not see too many Christians I know doing either of these things.

We do not bother ourselves over the abandoned children in our foster care system or over the truly orphaned children in places like Russia, Rwaanda, Haiti, etc. We look at single moms and do not see Christ in her. That would be too overwhelming.
How could we ever begin to care for these women with no husbands?
Isn't their own fault anyway?
God doesn't call us to care for people who are just reaping what they sowed, does He?

I think we need to consider what He meant when he told us to love our neighbors. He didn't say "Love your neighbors who through no fault of their own have fallen on a bit of bad luck and through your involvement will immediately turn to me and change their ways." He said "What you have done to these least of these, you have done unto me." What do you think He meant be "least of these?"

He was serious about helping those less fortunate. I think we should be, too.

And the second part- to keep oneself from being polluted by the world? We are so polluted we can't even distinguish the garbage from the good stuff. We stink of consumerism, greed, selfishness, and superficiality so badly that we can't smell how awful it is. We are desensitized. We are so immersed in the sludge of this world, we have started to believe it to be a GIFT OF GOD. "Oh, thank you Lord for my minivan and my house and my new clothes and my white teeth and my new ability to assert myself and thank you for sending your Son to make this all possible." We have church-sponsored self-ism. Like 'spiritual' retreats at 4 star hotels, and financial planning worshops that illustrate how to make more money for yourSELF so your kids can go to college and you won't be a burden to anyone in your old age. There is no talk of giving it away and trusting God and His infinite riches to supply all your need.

We have adopted the attitudes of this world so fully we think it is what God wants for us. That making money and having our kids play soccer is His WILL FOR OUR LIVES. That's not it folks. He has been pounding me over the head lately at how much this is NOT what He wants for us. He has SO. MUCH. MORE.

But to find out what that is, we are going to need to surrender the garbage we have stuffed up our noses and allow God fill our lives with His sweet fragrance. I have only pulled a tiny bit of the garbage out of my nose and I have already started to notice that the treasures of this world stink. Let us stop jumping head first into the garbage heap of this world, and begin to pull ourselves and our brothers and sisters out. Then let us allow Christ to wash us, put on some clean clothes, and avoid being polluted by this world with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength.

"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
James 1:27

When you meet your Father in heaven, do you think he will say, "Hey nice job having your kid play travel soccer, and, you always looked so nice with your hair highlighted like that." I don't think that is what God is proud of. That is not what He would have us live for.

I am looking forward to great things that God has for me to do.

I am looking forward to hearing God say, "Well done, you good little servant."

Make a change. Get some true religion.



Kara said...

xoxoxo..preach it sister!! ~me

michele said...

right.on.the.nose. i don't think you could have said it better. i've been experiencing the same thing in my heart/head lately.

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I love Jesus, my hubby, my 6 kiddos, my farm, good books and good food.