Practicing Pure Religion

Practicing Pure Religion September 28, 2018

Nursing homes residents live in one of the loneliest places on the planet, and many of them feel scuttled by family and society.

Scuttled by Society

We are a society in which people seem to be disposable, and it’s become acceptable. Abortion is one example, but, when someone reaches an age where they can no longer care for themselves, and family is not able to care for them either, they must either pay for in-home care (if they can afford it), or they have to go to a skilled nursing home. Either way, there is a whole new world awaiting them. And since their care costs so much in nursing homes, any wealth or property they have can quickly evaporate, leaving little or nothing for them or for their families after they’re gone. It’s one of the most heartbreaking things about our society. When we get so old that we can no longer work, and eventually, no longer take care of ourselves, we are forced to make some hard decisions. Some of these decisions fall into the hands of their children, many of whom are given power of attorney. It can be a long, lonely road for seniors, or for those who are in an accident and have to recuperate in a nursing home. It’s not because of the staff because the homes I visited are staffed by supportive, caring people, and the cafeteria foods are just as good as home cooked meals.

A Lonely Place

I’ve been visiting nursing homes for about 10 years now, and I always notice when someone new comes in. When I see someone new, I make an effort to introduce myself, and since most of the new residents usually sit by themselves in the dining room, I try to single them out and sit down and talk with them, however, that’s only if they want company. I tell them my name and then tell them a little bit about the place they’re now staying. I can’t imagine how fearful it must be to go to a place where they don’t know anyone, so I try to make them feel welcome, so at least they know one person. To get sent to a place where you don’t know anyone, and where everything familiar to you has been taken away, must be a very difficult adjustment.

Pure Religion

James 1:27 tells us what religion is all about, and it’s focused on relationships, not rituals or traditions. James writes, “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.” Keeping oneself unstained from the world takes yielding to the Holy Spirit and a lifetime of the sanctifying work of the Spirit, but visiting orphans and widows is as easy as finding the nearest nursing home. Since these people cannot come to church, we bring the church to them. I remember asking them the question, “How many of you are widows or widowers?” All but one hand went up. Then I asked, “How many are orphans,” and every hand was raised. The local nursing home or assisted-care living center is full of orphans and widows, and it’s the perfect opportunity to practice “pure religion.” Over time, we have grown to love them, and they have grown to love us, so it is a win-win for everyone.

So Much to Share

I talked with one centurion a few years ago who had fought in World War II and ended up fighting in two theatres (Europe and the Pacific), and the stories he told me about the hardships they faced were startling. Even at home he said they were rationing just about everything, but almost the entire country cooperated and made the war effort successful. He lost several of his best friends in the war, and he was the last living member of his marine unit. Today he is with the Lord, but I would have never found all of these fascinating things out if I had not sat down and talked with him. I found that since he had just turned 100, he had no family around. Even his grandchildren had died, so a visit meant something very special to him. He had so much to share but few to share it with, and I learned so much about history. Either way, his eyes light always light up when he saw me or one of our church members. To many of them, it feels like they’re in prison. They just want to go home, but they aren’t free to come and go as they like, in most cases, so in a way, they are prisoners…prisoners of their old age. The last I read was about 60% of the residents never have anyone visit them, including family. I guess out of sight is out of mind. On a recent Mother’s Day visit, I noticed an elderly lady sitting there crying, so I asked her why she was crying, and she said her daughter lives 5 blocks away and she won’t even come see her on Mother’s Day. That was heartbreaking. It seems that the love of many has grown cold, just as Jesus’ prophesied (Matt 24:12), and that many are without natural affection today (2 Tim 3:3).

Conclusion

Nursing homes residents live in one of the loneliest places on the planet, and many of them feel scuttled by family and society. The staff at most nursing homes I’ve visited are excellent in the performance of their duties. They are typically underpaid, understaffed, and overworked, so if not for the compassionate care that the staff provides, residents would indeed feel like they’re sitting in prison. It takes a special person to serve these men and women. The staff is the closest thing that many of these residents have to family. They do the best they can with what they have, so my compliments to nursing home and assisted-living centers staff. The ones I’ve visited do an excellent job, going above and beyond. They live out what James 1:27 says, and visit the orphans and widows in their affliction.

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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  • Glory

    Colossians 3:12-17, NIV

    12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

    15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

    Thank you for visiting the shut-ins, Pastor.

    We are all spiritual orphans without King Jesus Christ who adopts His people into the family of God.

    The King James Version has verse 14 as:

    And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

    • pud

      You’re a mental orphan…your critical faculties abandoned you long long ago never to return

  • pud

    Fertile hunting grounds for you eh jack? You’re not satisfied with the malleable minds of the young and impressionable, the gullible and stupid…Noooo! Go for the lonely old folks and offer them your snake oil and ridiculous nonsensical promises of youthful bodies in the hereafter. How despicable.

    Couldn’t your “god” rid them of “loneliness” jack? Restore their youth and health with a blink of his mighty eye? Or is your “deity” impotent, unwilling or a moral monster? Has to be one of the three doesn’t it? Or can you fabricate some nonsense to rationalize it?

    Now tell everyone what a “spirit” is…..waiting…c’mon jack…define it and show that such a thing exists….waiting

  • Glory

    When you visit the home again Pastor be sure to let them hear a spiritual tune or two like Worthy Is The Lamb by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir on youtube. Play it right off your phone.

    They also like those little cards with encouraging bible verses that you get at Christian bookstores.

    • pud

      How about leaving them alone and keeping your cult bullshit to yourself?

      • Andres Desaya

        Hey, watch your words!

      • Well said, Pud! The problem is that Glory is so “up herself” in her crazy cult that she can’t keep her “cult bullshit” to herself. She claims to be an “evangelist”. She FEELS COMPELLED to spread it.

  • Glory

    I still say that we ought to ban anti-religion opponents from this blog comments section, Brother Jack.

    This is a teaching blog not a debate center.

    Christians submit to God as their authority on life and God says philosophy is vain.

    So why waste a minute learning the murky ways of philosophy when we can obey God and demonstrate that obedience to the world by being different from them and not submitting to philosophical rules?

    Why should traditional philosophy rule in a Christian environment?

    God made the human mind. Philosophy is just a secular byproduct of the human mind.

    God knows better than men and I’m sick and tired of people forgetting that and giving into the world’s demands and ways instead of drawing attention to God’s ways which are much better.

    All grace to you, Pastor. Have a blessed day!

    • pud

      Up for some book burning too?

      • Well said Pud! Glory is a nut case and urgently needs to visit a qualified psychiatrist.

        • pud

          If this “glory” thing had its way they would be slaughtering people day in and day out….

          2 Chronicles 15:13 ESV / 99 helpful votes
          But that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.

          Luke 19:27 ESV / 94 helpful votes
          But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”

          Deuteronomy 17:1-20 ESV / 48 helpful votes
          “You shall not sacrifice to the Lord your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever, for that is an abomination to the Lord your God. “If there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones. …

          2 Chronicles 15:12-13 ESV / 44 helpful votes
          And they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul, but that whoever would not seek the Lord, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether young or old, man or woman.

          John 3:16 ESV / 32 helpful votes
          “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

          Leviticus 20:27 ESV / 32 helpful votes
          “A man or a woman who is a medium or a necromancer shall surely be put to death. They shall be stoned with stones; their blood shall be upon them.”

          1 Samuel 15:2-3 ESV / 30 helpful votes
          Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

          Exodus 22:19 ESV / 30 helpful votes
          “Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.

          Matthew 10:34 ESV / 29 helpful votes
          “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.

          Leviticus 20:13 ESV / 29 helpful votes
          If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

          Deuteronomy 17:2 ESV / 27 helpful votes
          “If there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant,

          Deuteronomy 17:2-5 ESV / 27 helpful votes
          “If there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the Lord your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it, then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abomination has been done in Israel, then you shall bring out to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones.

          Revelation 21:8 ESV / 26 helpful votes
          But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

          Exodus 20:13 ESV / 26 helpful votes
          “You shall not murder.

          2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV / 25 helpful votes
          In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

          Deuteronomy 17:12 ESV / 25 helpful votes
          The man who acts presumptuously by not obeying the priest who stands to minister there before the Lord your God, or the judge, that man shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.

          • Andres Desaya

            For those who believe that God’s nature is slaughtering people all day, their belief might actually might happen to them, “for behold, for the day will come when the arrogant and evil doer will be set ablaze like in a furnace”. Malachi 4:1, also, in these furnace ” there will be ngashing of teeth as they are thrown out.” Luke 13:28..

            But for those who beliefes that God hates sin but loves us and died in the cross for us “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him shall have everlasting life”. John 3:16.

            Mr. Pud and Mr. John Arthur, CHOOSE what to believe and follow because God has TWO characters, He saves those who trust and believes He is good and a Saviour and He slaughters them all day if they are “arrogant and evil doer”. Choose, choose and choose…what character of God will befall on you. Choose wisely with love and fear of God…try not to explain of what you already know, choose…it’s your right to choose..

            GLORY to be God!! with His saving nature or his damning nature.. people choose wisely.

          • pud

            How about not “believing” anything especially nonsensical gibberish from some stupid ancient BOOK written by no name superstitious delusional religious lunatics? How about accepting certain propositions to degrees of certainty based upon actual evidence and not what some crazy person you don’t know wrote 2000 years ago?

          • Andres Desaya

            There is an evidence that the Bible tells the truth…the name “Pud”..”First of all you have to understand that at the end scoffers will come scoffing…” 2Peter 3:3.
            What evidence more do you need. Everytime you scoff at believers…you become the evidence. Go to the mirror now and see your face…and tell yourself, “Andres is right, I see now the evidence, it is me”. Don’t be scared now always thinking about this and unable to sleep at night. Repent and believe God. Otherwise, this is always how you feel everytime you see yourself at the mirror…

          • pud

            LOL! Can you dress and feed yourself?

          • Andres Desaya

            Yes, I can feed and dress myself also more than that, I have posted to remind you that evertime you use the mirror, you see in your face the evidence you are looking for that Bible tells that truth (a scoffer! like you if you don’t change, everyday pud, you see the evidence)

          • pud

            Wow! That’s some rock solid evidence there! Let me know when you win the Nobel Prize for proving the gibberish in the buybull true!

          • Andres Desaya

            Now, you see.

          • Aren’t you delusional? Why is is your god so pissed off that he gets angry over the smallest things. Does he suffer from temper tantrums? Does your god need to attend anger management classes?

          • Andres Desaya

            No, I am not delusional.
            Actually, we believe God is patient and a loving God, king David says, “a compassionate, loving, patient, slow to anger abounding in devotion” Psalms 103:8. He is offering everlasting life, it is wise to accept than to throw it away.
            ***
            But He could be angry too! that is known fact.

  • Glory

    Oh I still see blocked users popping up behind me on this blog. Probably some atheists trying to re-engage me.

    But silence is golden.

    I have no way of knowing which one of the atheists may be Satanists impersonating an atheist. I only have their word and they may be lying.

    I don’t wish to listen to the devil any more than that weak priest in the Exorcist who listened to that Regan/Devil should have listened to her. He ended up throwing himself out of a window so the evil couldn’t enter and indwell him.

    So why start entertaining evil ideas at all? We all have a choice whether or not to do that.

    So choose to believe God and guard your heart from evil. It is the only one that you’ve got and are you really going to let evil people destroy it?

    If you think Satanists don’t impersonate atheists then you are wrong. Go read “ Satan and Marx “ by Richard Wurmbrand. It shows how Marx wrote Satanic inspired poetry and other things.

    And if you laugh at this then you are really careless about guarding your own heart.

    God would have supplied you with some help in doing that but if you really think you are strong enough to stand up to evil then go ahead. Go it alone atheists and learn it the hard way from this hard, evil, cold world.

    • You definitely need to visit a qualified psychiatrist.