I snapped this today...
In many ways this sums up ideology within religion. People become a commodity that is used to further a myth system that in turn continues to raise the powerful and destroy the oppressed.
In order to do this the ideology has to marketed and promoted to draw people in to its system. In our culture and climate the market is fierce and extremely volatile, so your ideology has to be attractive and competitive.
So you hang it there, dress it up and lure people in with false promises of success, happiness and fulfillment; buy into this ideology and all will be well.
Now I see this in religion and within my own religious tribe called evangelicalism, but I also see it within the political and secular landscape. Indeed it is all around.
The ideology that the terorists adhere to in Iraq is a myth of utopianism. The slaughter of Gazans by Israel is an ideology of security. Advertisers rely on us buying into the ideological myth that materialism will satisfy. And religion can be no different in falling into the trap of ideology.
Jesus speaks a better Way though.
The Incarnation reveals a God who will not be framed and drawn into ideology but who unveils the truth of who He is and who we are through the grit, grime, joy, beauty and brokenness of this world.
The truth is that God is not a commodity to be used to fix you up. God is not found within the violence and retribution of the world that falsely declares 'peace', but is in the acts of compassion, forgiveness and prayer. The truth is that the freedom God promises is discovered in those very acts in relationship with Him and with each other. This is not some utopian freedom but a freedom to be truly human in the reality of this broken world. It is a freedom found in God's very Self.
You are not a resource to be used but a person created in the image of God. You are uniquely beautiful, marred by the reality of sin and yet called to your uniquely beautiful self discovered in the Life of Jesus.
Don't be a commodity on the rack of ideology. Be human and see the beauty of our unique and common humanity.