07 March 2013
The Right, the Left, and a New Look at Direction
One of the groups I follow on FB is called The Christian Left. I can't say that I always agree with them, but for the most part, we are aligned in our belief that Christ and his teachings are all about love and compassion. So what makes them "left"? We tend to think of the left as more liberal; and the right as being conservative. I even sent off an email to my brother and said, "We are the AOL - The Armenian Orthodox Left" because at our church - our many ministries focus on a more global outreach rather than the usual ethnocentric views of other Armenian churches.
The Left side tends to be more rebellious and radical in their ideas traditionally sharing and distributing the wealth more among the needy. While the Right is more set in their ways, more about growing business and wealth. And then there's the Christian Right. The ones that give the rest of us Christians a bad name. They're the ones that judge (even when we were told "Judge not lest ye be judged." Matthew 7); and they have a lot of hatred in them (when they condemn those that are different from themselves). And so what they are successful in doing is drawing people further and further away from Christ's teachings in the name of Christianity. The way that I defend my faith when I explain their actions is by telling someone who asks my opinion in comparison to theirs? - Their Jesus is not MY Jesus. I mean seriously...we believe that God is Love...Christ is love incarnate...so what Christ is commanding us is what our God is commanding us. It's not just some guy off the street telling us that we should love one another and care for one another. It's God telling us. And if God said it, then that's good enough for me!
Okay, so now, here's where it gets tricky. So, as an orthodox Christian, I adhere to the teachings of Christ. We follow the rules of our faith - what I like to call "Applied Christianity". We believe that Christ is love incarnate. To follow His teachings is to follow a path of love and compassion. We follow the fasting traditions and dietary restrictions of our faith. We feed and clothe the needy and care for those that are suffering. So if the RIGHT is traditionally the ones that are supposedly "conservative"; then shouldn't we be more aligned with the Right? It seems that it all got jumbled up somewhere. The extremists should be on the Left as they've taken the tenants of Christianity and rewritten it to their own liking. And then there are those of us that believe in the true message of Christ who are just practicing what He preached: Love one Another. Take care of one another.
So forget what I said about calling ourselves the AOL - I think we should be known as the OAR - The Orthodox Armenian Right! Just paddling through the flotsam in the sea of life! We should strive to live our faith through action as Christ taught. We are not so much conservative as we are traditionalists - Traditionally, our Christ was free thinking, a non-violent revolutionary, non-condemning, loving and compassionate and forgiving. . Those are the qualities that I work on following in my spiritual path.
So there it is. Something to think about. New definitions. It seems to me that what was Left, is now Right; and what was Right is just, well...wrong.