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Visitor essay

What is true Christianity?
An essay donated by Stephen Fretwell

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It is written in scripture that "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.

It is also written there (Jesus speaking), that "I am the way, the truth, and the light." Thus, the scriptural definition of true would be specified in the "before God and the Father" part of the first writing, since Jesus only spoke (or so He said) what He heard the Father saying.

So, the scriptural wisdom to the question, "What is the one true religion?" is "to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world."

Three acts: visiting orphans in trouble, visiting widows in trouble, and keeping oneself unspotted from the world.

The third requires some meditation. Since it is in scripture, we would look there for what is meant. The word, "keep" there is mostly used in conjunction with "keeping the commandments." This, in turn, again referring to scripture, means "Obeying My voice, to observe carefully all His commandments...." (Deut 28:1). Thus, taking God's commandments (imperative voice statements in scripture by God the Father, or His Son, Jesus, or the Holy Spirit), and asking Him for a prophetic or "voice" interpretation of what to do in response, is keeping. Doing this to get or stay "clean" from worldly ways is true religion.

The command in scripture (from the Holy Spirit) about "church" is to "not think beyond what is written." I Corinth 4:6. Insofar as Christian churches might be seen as reflecting the Christian religion, "true" churches would have no buildings, names, programs, senior pastors, eminent leaders, etc. None of these things are written.

So, the biblical answer to the question, "What is the one, true religion?" has this answer: It is a group of people who think and act like a family, every one carrying on and guided by a continual two-way conversation with God Himself, in covenant relationships with Him and one another (joints in the body), who regularly visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and regularly take steps to find out ways that they are or might be defiled by the world and take biblically authorized steps to either get clean from or prevent such defiling. It has no name, no administrative organization, no property. Just loving relationships with others who privately and personally regard themselves as being in that "religion" or body.

The biblical test, incidentally, of whether one is a part of the one true religion, given in James goes like this:

"If anyone among you thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one's religion is useless."

The world spots us with false notions of religion. We can tell whether or not we are so afflicted by reviewing our conversation at the end of the day. Did we bridle our tongues, or did we say things we wish we had not said? If the latter is true, any religion we see ourselves a part of is false. "Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues." Rev 18:4.

Of course, this whose response is based on an affirmative answer to the question, "Has the most High God revealed His heart, mind, and ways in the Scriptures?" That, too, is a good question, but showing that the affirmative answer is the one that is most probably correct, and the one that sensible, responsible persons ought to bet their life on, showing this to be true is another essay.

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Originally posted: 2007-AUG-30
Latest update: 2007-AUG-30
Author: Stephen Fretwell

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