What is true Christianity?
An essay donated by Stephen Fretwell
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
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
Originally posted: 2007-AUG-30
Latest update: 2007-AUG-30
Author: Stephen Fretwell