Monday, December 04, 2006

Ideology and God part 2

I'm a big fan of the current crop of US crime shows, CSI, without a trace, and crminal minds. we get them late in the UK so apologies to US readers, but last week criminal minds (was a feb edition in US i discover!) ended with Mandy Patinkin delivering a great quote from French playwright Eugene Ionesco. "Ideologies separate us. Dreams and anguish bring us together."
this spoke to me very much of what i was grasping at in my earlier post on 'is God and idealist'.

the Ianesco quote has quite a web presence, much of it quote sites but there are some other pearls on them from Ianesco, but also some comment worth checking. I am not surprised others are grabbed by it too!

for me it says this: ideology is that thing people create when they want the answers sown up so they can say who is right and who is wrong, or in or out, or good or bad....ultimatley ideology is the means of exclusion of making a world of division of 'them and us'. but it says more than this, 'dreams and anguish unite us'. now the last part for me makes clear sense, the common struggle of the human expereince draws us togehter, often releases compassion, even for those we thought we despised or feared despised us. but what of those dreams? do our dreams unite us? on a superficial level perhaps not, indeed my dream may be your nightmare...and the state exists to make sure it does not become so, but struggles to acheive this....indeed should it achieve this? but at another level there is something here, when i get beyond the dreams of persoanl indulgence, of my own comfort, and begin to dream fro all, of the world i wish all could share, of my dreams for justice, for peace, for laughter and delight in life for all....are these dreams that really do unite us?

for me this is what the mission of God is about, the ushering in of the kingdom, the dream of jusitice love and life for all creation and not just humanity at creations expense or one person's at the expense of another's. i am reminded from preaching recently about Halloween and the Allhallows season, that Paul reminds us we have no human enemies, and Jesus tells us that our enemies are indeed to be treated as out friends, not the ideology that divdes, but the dream of the kingdom come on earth as in heaven that unites and blesses all and soothes our common anguish.

but does the church live I live this?


Chris said...

Wow! A wonderful Advent post!

And here I am trying to prepare a sermon for Sunday ... More food for thought!

1 i z said...

Reminds me of the concept in the Kevin Smith film Dogma about the difference between beliefs and ideas.

Mike Kazybrid and Andrew Wooding said...

It's not quite the same, but I like this quote from actor and stand-up comedian Ken Campbell:

"Don't be a believer. Be a supposer."

He was saying that when you decide you believe something you have closed your mind to alternatives. But if you are a supposer, then you have an open mind.

If we were all supposers instead of believers, I wonder if there would be more unity in the world.

Andrew Wooding

Tim Coleman said...

Maybe an Ideology is a way of answering the question: "How should we live?".
The danger is that it can drift into: "This is how YOU should live". Or worse: "If you don't live this way then you cannot be a part of us".
It seems to me that 'Ideology' has got bad press; I believe that it is a proactive approach to life, whereby we attempt to determine how our lives should be ordered for the benifit of all. However I also believe that an ideology that fails to recognise the depth and range human experiance is a dangerous one. The problem with 'Ideology' is that it is faceless; its a set of precepts that may be generous but in the end it is still 'fixed'. Perhaps the best 'Ideology' is the one that answers the question: "Who shall we follow?" Because only a living being is able to understand the needs of another and who better to understand the depth and range of human experiance than the Creator who entered his creation and lived as one of us?

Steve said...

thanks for the comments

Chris did any of it end up in your sermon? did you wish it hadn't ;o)

Liz, would love to know more about that quote from Dogma, seen and loved the film but can't remember that point.

Andrew...thinking about this one, i get the point about closed minds and open minds, but perhaps 'suppose' sounds too bland for me, do people get passionate and live lives that make a difference off the back of what they suppose? which i think is why i liked the idea of dream in the Ianesco quote. of course the problem is that people can get passionate and other people suffer as a result, hence the original post. certainly though i think it is really important to know ones beliefs are always provisional, i have more to learn and must therefore not be too dogmatic about that i think i understand.

Tim, how we live is i think key. but this is where i think Ideaology can let us down, peoples lives are i think often motivated by ideaology, but does it's very nature as 'idea' orientated tend to create that facelessness you speak of?

Pastor Phil said...

"he dream of jusitice love and life for all creation and not just humanity at creations expense or one person's at the expense of another's."

The kingdom of God has an economy (if it can even be called that) which is not a zero-sum game. The gains on one side do not have to match the losses on another. In the Kingom what is goood for one is definitely good for all. Yet we live as though this dynamic were not true, because we do not fully see it in action on earth. God have mercy on us!

Trees said...

You gave me a lot to think of here Steve! (Typical).
I've been thinking a lot about Christmas and how 'worldly' the celebrations can appear but have found within that a new cause for celebration. People ARE celebrating Christmas, those of all faiths and none, in their own way.
I'm struck by Jesus' ability to meet us where we are. I find it amazing that in every Christmas celebration, no matter where it falls on the religious-non religious scale there is a spark of the divine, an element of Jesus waiting for discovery.
I seem to have used the word 'celebration' rather a lot, you'll have to forgive me, all this thinking malarchy hurts my brain!

Steve said...


i agree about God's economy. but getting thiss across i find really hard sometimes...i think this might be next blog topic, partly spurred by your comment, so thanks, but also e expereince of doing some radio shows over christmas and being unhappy about some of the things i found myself saying, trying to get people not to assume that evangleism was about promoting my view in opposition ot everyone elses but as something that might actually be about good news for people where ever they are coming from.

Trees for me evangleism is all about finding that divine spark an faning it into flame. i work with the assumption that it's there in everyone if only we have the eyes to see...

Trees said...

Hey, like the new layout Mr H.
Couldn't find your e-mail to request christmas ramblings but would still love to catch up with you both sometime.