Tag Archive for: hypocrisy

Sincerity and Purity

Armodoxy for Today: Sincerity & Purity

Throughout his ministry, Jesus associated with a wide variety of people. You could say that his circle of acquaintances – friends, associates – was diverse. Jesus was often criticized by the religious community of the day for this association with sinners. We read in scripture, (Luke 5) that the Pharisee rebuked Jesus for eating with sinners, to which Jesus responds, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.”

In fact, Jesus tolerated and associated with everyone. Most notably many remember that he forgave the adulterous (John 8) and included the tax collector (Matthew 9) in his inner circle. The tax collector, we should remember, was considered among the lowest of the low because he was a Jew collecting taxes for the oppressive Roman government. Yes, he accepted them all, but for one. The one person for whom Jesus showed contempt and criticized was the hypocrite. The hypocrite was the one who said one thing with his mouth and lived another way with his life. The Pharisees were the teachers and keepers of the law. They knew scriptures backwards and forward, they gave a tenth of their income to the Temple, but Jesus called them out as “blind guides.” (Matthew 23) He said, 27 “You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

For Jesus, sincerity and the pureness of heart is central to being in the Kingdom of God. His invitation to become as children (Matthew 18) was an invitation to sincerity and purity of heart.

(For the last couple of days we’ve been looking at the phenomena of Arev Children in Yerevan.) Fr. Gregor, who founded the Arev Children after his child was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, works with these children daily. He has formed a theatre, where the Arev Children perform by reciting poetry, playing music and dancing. But their greatest asset is their sincerity.

According to Fr. Gregor, “It is not possible to be next to the Arev-children and not learn from them to love and see only the good in people.”

As we spent time with the Arev children, Fr. Gregor’s words resonated with more and more meaning. The children are pure and sincere. They laugh, they smile and they hug, and there is nothing insincere about any of their expressions. Every bit of the love they share comes for the deepest depth of their soul.

In these children we see only good. We realize how superficial our lives have become because we identify people by what we observe on the outside. God, looks into the depth of our heart and sees what is real. We refer to a child as having Down Syndrome while God identifies them as the ones who love, laugh, smile and hug with complete sincerity. Fr. Gregor’s Arev Children give us a chance to see beauty that comes from the soul. We understand the value of sincerity and how it is missing in the world. We now understand the words of our Lord Jesus as we read in Matthew chapter 18:

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.… See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

Learn more about the Arev Children at their Facebook page

Here comes Hope & the Sun

Next Step #563: Vernal Equinox: Here comes the Sun, here comes hope: Sunrise service. Tragedy in New Zealand: Sacred and the Profane. Raw thoughts about fear, hope and changing our expressions in the age of terror. Words of caution on hypocrisy. What happened to down-time during Lent? Disney, Fox and the Star Wars ride. Asking Prager, really? Modern day Phariseeism.
Jesus is Love by the Commodores
Reclaim Gomidas 2019
AC202: Gomidas
Reclaim Video Invite
New Zealand Terror
Christ at our Doorstep: Last Station Stop
Prodigal Son
Dishonest Steward
Disneyland Hotels Sold Out
Cover: Here Comes the Sun, Fr. Vazken 2019
Technical Director: Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for InHisShoes.org
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Stuck on the Bridge: When Tools become Toys

Next Step #122 – October 7, 2010

Hypocrisy and khash (patcha) are not for the weak at heart. Orthodoxy is not for saints alone! What happens when our tools turn into toys and we lose sense of purpose in our lives? How to discuss hypocrisy WITHOUT being accused of hypocrisy? Fr. Vazken explores the different dimensions of the Church, giving, forgiving and BECOMING the Body of Christ today. Is there a “LIMIT” to wealth? Bill & Melinda Gates spend their money on charity – and how! John Lennon’s legacy further explored and the Highway Patrol 10-4 Parade. Archbishop Kaloustian’s Bridge metaphor. A look at the expanding programming at Epostle.net on the eve of the Las Vegas convocation at Media World Expo (http://www.blogworldexpo.com)
Song: “Would Jesus Wear a Rolex” by Ray Stevens (Link to Song)
“Image” by John Lennon, performed by John Bayless “Bach on Abbey Road
Ani’s Bubbles: “God’s Cake” http://scrubsmag.com/author/AniBurr 
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for https://epostle.net

updated 041821 mm

One Wish: iPhone, iDuduk, Wealth, Health or Light?

Next Step #110 – July 15, 2010

The Light of Transfiguration – one wish, what would it be? Health? Wealth? Or… ?; On the ethical and church issues with Apple’s iPhone mess, and a listen to iDuduk and iShvee (http://youtempo.com/). Looking beyond the corporate nature of the Church and avoiding the lies and hypocrisy Jesus warns against. Finally – some answers regarding Fr. Vazken’s nerves– was it the Gor concert?  Coffee? Vuvuzelas? Or the Highway Patrol?
Song: Sonya Varoujian’s “Breeze” from the Janabar album;
Ani’s Bubbles: “An angel smiling on you” (http://scrubsmag.com/author/aniburr/);
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net

updated 040921 mm