Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the father, is this: care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. — James 1:27.
One could read the above as being critical of organized religion. There is plenty of that criticism going on these days. Some of the prosperity churches give religion a bad name, a few priests have stained the reputation of their church by engaging in disgusting practices, and some church leaders have refused to acknowledge problems within their organizations and have hidden them from public view.
Perhaps, the author of the above verse meant it to be directed at the individual. Each of us is called to care for our neighbors, and to keep ourselves “unstained by the world.” The latter is not as easy as it sounds. The same is true for the collective body/church to which we choose to belong. There are many wonderful benefits to being part of a church, but we must try to be part of a church/collective body that is “pure and undefiled.”