If you asked me 5 years ago “Are your son’s religious?” I would probably have said “Hell no – I hate religion and so do they”. If you asked me that question a year ago I would have been a bit wiser and responded “It depends on what you mean by ‘religious’.”
Today if you ask me the same question I would say “If by religious you mean the definition James the brother of Jesus wrote about then I would be proud to say ‘Yes! They are James 1:27 religious and so am I!’”.
Let’s look at what James said in Chapter 1 verse 27 of his book:
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
If, in terms of our belief system and how we live out our lives we at least include or added this aspect of what religion is we would make an amazing difference in the world. In summary James is saying if you want to be religious of the sort that pleases God then care for the vulnerable in society and make sure you are not stained (other translations have corrupted or defiled) by the world.
“Sons, I am very proud of you both. We can change the world we journey through together. On our journey together we will find Ancestor worshipers, Animists, Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, gays, atheists and agnostics … Yogis and Zionists. If we keep in mind and focus on being the James 1:27 sort of religious person we will experience provision from the Provider i.e. we will know Providence.” With Love, Dad
It may be good if I explain that my one son, David, is studying the Bible and training in Christian Character, Service and Witness. My other son, Peter, says the mountains are his Cathedral. He has visited more Buddhist temples than Churches in the last two years. He too is a fine young man who has integrity, lives a healthy life and cares for those around him. They are very different.
The YouTube video below is well worth 4min watch and listen. He compares ‘religion’ to Jesus.