James 1:27 – True Religion
James 1:27 – Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look afterorphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Sometimes we take hold of an issue using scripture to inflict injury on others. In fact in some cases weaken the faith of those whose faith is already at its lowest. There are matters of faith, growing in Christ, being filled with the Spirit, walking in the light, being generous, kind, courteous, friendliness and joyful which we are not being emphasized and cultivated amongst believers in the church. Rather, some are emphasizing and handing down external laws of how to dress and this ONLY to women. Those whose dress code satisfies the Pastor are accepted and automatically holy.
The very sad part of this type of religiousity is that it causes segregation. Women have been sent back from entering church because they were wearing trousers, or not wearing a head gear or covering their head.
Let me caution that those who are strong MUST bear with the weak, while the weak learn of Christ. We must back all our teaching with scripture and insist on the whole of scripture lest we imprison those whom Christ has set free. We must teach our church ushers, sides men and women to be polite, kind and cheerful in handing down your church rules (which in all likelihood Jesus NEVER mentioned). We must be careful NOT to send away people from church simply because they fell short of our human standard. We must focus on the things Jesus pointed out as priority, that all might come to Him. Please don’t drive people away, you might be driving away Christ. On the last day you will say but where did we see you and feed you or visit you or give you drink? He will say whatever you did to any of these little ones you did to me. And there are many of these little ones who have little or no faith in Christ but are seeking, who need help to grow but are being sent packing.
Kindly train your church as a whole to be welcoming, friendly, loving, kind, courteous and loving to all so that we may win people to Christ. They will learn Christ with good teaching and a loving preaching NOT by laws and by our church standards and expectations.
We still have memories of how Mama Gloria, was denied entry into the Cathedral on the day of my enthronement as bishop of Jos on 9/2/92. She did not meet the standard and expectation of the ushers of the church. Any church law handed down sternly without Love, truth and grace will win nobody to Christ. In addition I still wonder why the stricter laws are focused on women only!
One of my jokes is how I wish we will include in our so called church laws and expectations to cover driving out those who lie, cheat, steal, slander, backbite, envy, kill and all evil and maliciousness who are sitting in the church but are well dressed and have met our church standards and expectations.
This message is to call us to focus and emphasize on the teachings of Christ and draw people to Christ where they may find grace to transform their lives and appearances.