True Religion: Separating Fact from Fiction #fakereligion

           When watching television, reading the newspaper, or listening to the radio sometimes it is hard to separate fact from fiction.  Of course, the only way to do this is to analyze the facts and the source to ascertain if what is said is true.  The same is true four some people’s religion. Some people talk a good talk but do they have true religion. James deals with true religion and teaches us how to separate fact from fiction in James 1:26-27.

            The fictitious view of some people’s religion is clearly evident by their words.  There are many who believe they can be a faithful Christian and talk about others and still possess the religion of Christ.  James tells us this is false religion.  The Scripture says, “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person's religion is worthless” (James 1:26 ESV).  James clearly teaches us that what we say and how we use our tongue is a direct indicator of our religion because it peers inside our souls to who we really are on the inside.  This is why James tells us we must bridle the tongue and  “let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak and slow to wrath” (James 1:19; James 3:1ff).

            True religion is also evident by a person’s character and actions.  The Holy Spirit says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27 NKJ).  How can we know we have “true” religion in our hearts. By our willingness to “do good unto all men especially those of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).  Do we really love our  neighbor as our self (Mark 12:30ff)?  Do we strive every day  to make our bodies a living sacrifice to God separated from the world and holy in God’s sight (Luke 9:23; 1 Cor. 6:19-20; 2 Cor. 6:17-18)? 

            As we think about these indicators of true religion, we must each examine our own lives and see if we have true religion or if we are just “playing church".

Ben Bailey