You hear James 1:27 quoted a lot, to the effect that “pure religion in God’s sight means we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles.” I wish we heard the verse quoted more often in its entirety. I suspect that “and refuse to let the world corrupt us” is an equally important word — perhaps more so because it is so often ignored.
If the air around you is toxic, don’t you breathe through a filter? Pop culture is toxic, yet some Christians want to cut out parts of the filter.
James 1:18 says God makes us his own children, his choice possession, by giving us his true word. Verse 22 says that word is a message to both listen to and obey — and if we aren’t obeying, we are only fooling ourselves. Verse 21 urges us to get rid of all the filth and evil in our lives and humble ourselves to the point of accepting God’s true word for what it says.
Listening to the untrue word of our culture stokes the fires of our own evil desires, which ultimately leads to death. (vv.14-15) Pop culture’s toxic fumes cripple our minds and twist our hearts. We no longer think Christianly and we cajole others with the notion that God’s true word doesn’t mean everything it says. We portray God’s true word as weak, when in fact it is strong enough to save our souls.
Pure religion in God’s sight includes refusing to let the world corrupt us.