Armodoxy for Today: Original Message
For the last 15 years I have been sharing a podcast called “The Next Step.” It is a weekly show, approximately one-hour long, that looks at trends in life through the lens of Armenian Orthodoxy. While I comment about different issues of faith and life, I always try to leave the audience with something to ponder, to stimulate thought and introspection.
One of our listeners once reviewed our show and wrote, “You don’t have to check your brain in at the door to follow Armodoxy.” This became a catch phrase in our intro and our promos. I was honored and flattered that the listener had expressed himself in this manner.
The Christian Church, and in particular the Armenian Church, has a rich Tradition with a message that is timeless and universal, that is it speaks to everyone. And as our population is becoming more learned and expressive, the Church has to keep up and share the message of Christ as an essential calling to the world.
In her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, Rachel Held Evans writes of the Bible, If you are looking for verses with which to support slavery, you will find them. If you are looking for verses with which to abolish slavery, you will find them. If you are looking for verses with which to oppress women, you will find them. If you are looking for verses with which to liberate or honor women, you will find them. If you are looking for reasons to wage war, you will find them. If you are looking for reasons to promote peace, you will find them. If you are looking for an out-dated, irrelevant ancient text, you will find it. If you are looking for truth, believe me, you will find it. This is why there are times when the most instructive question to bring to the text is not “what does it say?”, but “what am I looking for?” I suspect Jesus knew this when he said, “ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened.” If you want to do violence in this world, you will always find the weapons. If you want to heal, you will always find the balm.”
The Bible is one book, from beginning to end, of God’s love for His creation. The Bible was not written with the intention of skipping around from verse-to-verse, quoting one statement and justifying it with another passage. Indeed, the Bible can be used to promote a wide variety of ideologies, and for this reason alone, it is important to seek and find the oldest of all traditions, namely, the Armenian Church, to hear and find the original message.
The oldest and most essential message of the Bible comes to us from Christ. While portions of the Bible predate the Birth of Jesus, the oldest message is revealed at His Nativity. It is the message conveyed by the angels, who proclaim the presence of Christ in the World. “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14) This message does not need qualifiers. It does not need to be explained or justified. It is the object of Thy Kingdom Come. It is the Will that needs to be done on earth as it is in heaven. And we find our purpose within the Kingdom as those who make His Will happen on this earth.
We end today with the prayer our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to pray, Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.