Orthodoxy is not a way of life – Orthodoxy is The Way of Life

Published by Jacob P Varghese on

The Orthodox Church, is the most ancient and oldest Church in the world, founded by Jesus Christ. Its beginnings chronicled in the New Testament, which has deep and lasting roots in Christian antiquity and is steeped in rich Biblical tradition.

The Orthodox Church is the Church, which has preserved untainted, the genuine teachings of Jesus Christ, the very teachings delivered to every subsequent generation of believers, that came down the centuries, from the Holy Apostles, explicated and carefully interpreted by their legitimate successors, their disciples and the Holy Fathers, through Apostolic Succession, traditioned and conserved, unaltered, preserved and accepted by the early Christians.

It is the life of faith, inseparable from that concrete, historic apostolic community and constituting and encompassing the whole way of life, to Jesus Christ, the Way. The early Christians, or early Church was labelled as the Way.

Orthodoxy – The Way of life
The New Testament testifies that Orthodoxy is the Way of Life. Our Lord and Saviour Himself showed us the Way, the Path for us to follow, tread and imitate. St. Thomas, Lord’s daring disciple enquired with Jesus, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”Jesus answered, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life”. No one comes to the Father except through Me (Jn 14: 6). This Way, is the Way, that was Prophesied as the ‘Way of the Lord’ is the Old Testament Scriptures (Is. 40: 3) and found its fulfillment in Gospels.

A voice of one the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him’ (Matt. 3: 1; Mk. 1: 3, Lk. 3: 4; Jn. 1: 23). St. Paul, the chosen vessel of our Lord, calls the followers of Jesus Christ as the Way, before and after his conversion as an apostle of Christ.

Saul the Arch-persecutor, refers to the followers of Christ, as the Way. ‘Meanwhile, Saul was still breathing out murderous threats against the Lord’s disciples. He went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus, so that if he found any there who belonged to the Way, ………’ (Acts 9: 1-2)

Later after being appointed by Jesus Christ as His chosen vessel, the same Saul (St. Paul) while in Ephesus mentions the followers of Christ as the Way. 9 ‘But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So, Paul left them. He took the disciples with him a, ……… 23 About that time there arose a great disturbance about the Way’. (Acts 19: 9, 23)

Subsequently after his arrest in Jerusalem, speaks in his defense and acknowledges that he had persecuted the followers of the Way of Christ. 4” I persecuted the followers of this Way to their death, arresting both men and women and throwing them into prison, …” (Acts 22: 4)

St. Paul in his defense speech to proconsul Felix confesses that he worshipped the God of the fathers of the followers of the Way. 14 “However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. …………………”, (Acts 24: 14) and Felix had accurate knowledge about the Way. 22 ‘Then Felix, who was well acquainted with the Way, adjourned the proceedings. (Acts 24: 22).

In all the above instance the ‘Way’ is written in the upper case. This goes on to prove that the early Christians were known as the Way of the Lord. Thus, Orthodoxy is the Way of the Life to the Truth. Orthodoxy is the way of Christ, in Christ, with Christ to Christ. Orthodoxy is the Way (Jesus), of the Life  (Jesus), to the Truth (Jesus)

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