As a Christian, I cringe at certain words. There are certain labels that are too demeaning for the Christian and I reckon the Christian cannot afford them. Such words as “Religion”, “rites”, “ritual”, “revenge” to name a few. I feel these words – and more like them – are they which should not be comfortably descriptive of the Christian. They come with their unrefined notions and unwanted baggage. Anyway, permit me to rephrase your latter verses in this first chapter as the Conservatives’ Creed: Eight Lovely Christian Notions the World Hates.
The first is found in verse nineteen (James 1:19) and I tag it as THE REFLECTIVE RESPONSE. In this you say we should have speed breakers for reply; but we should be quick to receive what has been said. Hear fast; speak slow.
If the Christian is to show forth the manifold bounty of GOD in flesh: JESUS, at all times, then the Christian must be quick to hear from GOD, and be gentle in speech to avoid anger. The Christian should – and might I add: must – be sensitive to listen, in adequate speed, to the words of others but must, in turn, be slow and careful in response – weighing all implications in close reflection with the consequence of every word.
The Christian should be conscious not to speak out of wrath because it is not in our place to be overcome by wrath nor is it expedient that we have wrath brewing our replies upon the earth. The Christian is an envoy whose responsibility is to represent the state of Heaven on every issue. In this realisation, wrath becomes far from us because we do not act on our own nor can we allow our reservations influence our speech or act.
As you rightly said, when a human moves in wrath, their actions do not work the work of GOD, they cease to represent the state of Heaven thus, they cannot fulfil the righteousness of GOD upon the earth (James 1: 20).
In the next notion which I found in verse 21, you admonish the Christian to FORSAKE THE WORLD (James 1:21). You don’t say, leave the world in the sense that we cannot live in it long enough to cause change for good; what you say is that as Christians we must abandon the ways of the world, the cultures that beset GOD’s presence and mandate in us; you imply that we let go of the flesh and be fresh voices of the Will of GOD.
You imply that every Christian has a responsibility to lay off the filth of the world, to let go of the wickedness of the world – which is actually the state of not having GOD in our thoughts (Psalms 10:4). James, you say we should constantly ponder on GOD while we are in this world. In doing these, we would becomes outcasts of the world, not living as the world demands but being humble, receiving the Word of GOD, spoken to us and written for us which when received work for the salvation of our souls.
You – not me – imply that every Christian who is “Christian” indeed must be ready to leave the world to live in the WORD. To let go of the world in order to cling to GOD’s word. No Christian can be drenched in the way of the world and expect to receive the musings of GOD’s word without risking being lukewarm and broken apart as a deterrent. I think I can relate to that: the division of our minds to suit all corners of our hopes.
In these first (two) notions, the conservation of Christianity begins. The Christian should always think of GOD before doing a thing because everything done is an act of representing and reprinting the image of GOD on earth; and then to do this, the Christian must abandon the ways of the world in order revive and receive the WORD from GOD which causes us to do as GOD wants us to do.