Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.
If one’s religion is based on the scriptures of the Judeo-Christian bible, this is a very strong statement. Ask most Christians what items would be included in making their religion pure and undefiled as far as God is concerned. I suspect there would be a great deal of talk about beliefs. You have to believe X. You have to pray Y. You have to confess Z.
What about taking care of orphans and widows? That’s nice for those who feel called to do that sort of thing–I’ve been told.
That’s not the Word found here. The Word found here says that how one devotes oneself to those in need is the substance of pure and undefiled religion before God, the Father.
We won’t even talk about what it means to despise, neglect and abuse the poor.