Pure Religion

By: Derrick P. Rodgers

Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for the orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

-James 1:27 (NLT)

When most people think of religion, they usually think of a particular system of beliefs in God, ecclesiastic duties, customs, or traditions. However the bible is very clear as to what pure religion is. The very fact the bible identifies “Pure” religion indicates there must be defiled religion. Being politically correct has crafted the minds of men to believe all religions are pure and of God which is severely inaccurate. The term religion means a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Let’s look at the biblical definition of pure religion.

Taking care of the Orphans and Widows:

Orphan is defined in its simple form as; children whose parents are either dead or the parents have abandoned the child to care for themselves. Pure religion is described as faith plus good deeds. To only have faith without good deeds is useless.

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? v-15 Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, v-16 and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”-but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

-James 2:14-16 (NLT)

The bible teaches and encourages people of faith to care for and support the orphans and widows. It is the heart of God to care for children who are fatherless and it should also be the heart of the saints. To see a child left to care for themselves is heart breaking. When we search the scriptures in regards to orphans and widows, we can see a major emphasis placed on caring for and defending them. The words “orphan and widow” is mentioned several times throughout the old and new testament of the bible.

Kingdom people are called to care for orphans and widows. However, discussing the subject seems to be less appealing to some believers. Maybe it is because many of us do not know any orphans or widows personally, or it could be the lack of instruction released to our congregations regarding the matter. With that being said, many are not compelled or driven to uphold this authorized pattern of ministry.

Although we may not have orphans or even widows in our local church or even in our direct community; there are thousands of orphans and widows in other nations that lack the resources of a government or community that can feed and provide shelter for them. There are congregations and kingdom brothers and sisters abroad in developing countries that take on great challenges to care for orphans and widows. Because the need is so demanding, a significant sector of their ministry is dedicated to meeting such a massive need.

There are one too many churches that do-not have a sector of ministry established to reach, support, and care for orphans and widows. In many cases, the ones who are affected, are apart of the kingdom. I thank God for the churches and Christian organizations that are reaching out and doing their part. However, with all the churches within the Body of Christ world wide we should be able to help more orphans and widows significantly.

I also thank God for secular organizations that reach out and care for orphans and widows alike. But, we as the church cannot delegate and solely relinquish the responsibility to secular society to meet the need. It should never be said that Christians are not involved in caring for the orphans and widows that God himself said to care for.

The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphan and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.

-Psalms 146:9 (NLT)

What can I do to help?

1. Establish a mission program as a sector of ministry within your local church. It does not have to be something that starts on a large scale.

2. If you do-not have international connections with believers that support orphans and widows, you can connect or partner with a kingdom organization whose bailiwick is ministering to orphans and widows.

The goal is to get more kingdom believers involved in caring for the orphans and widows.