You’re gonna have to serve somebody

propaganda 1A couple of days ago, ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) blew up a shrine in Mosul, Iraq that commemorates the burial place of the Jewish prophet Jonah.  I am pretty sure that there was some accompanying press release from the terrorist group supporting the action as part of their goal to cleanse the state of Iraq from what they consider corrupt and blasphemous Islamic and Christian idolatry.  (There was a Christian church on the site many years ago, so an obvious attack on all three major religions.)  Now this group is not the first misguided bunch of souls to twist the word of God into something God never intended.  (We all know about the grief and sorrow caused by the crusades and inquisitions.)

What makes people do these types of things, presumably in the name of God?  It just seems that throughout history, mankind has always been subject to some form of propaganda.  (Propaganda is a form of communication aimed towards influencing the attitude of a population toward some cause or position.)  In the extreme, it is sometimes seen as a cult.  (A cult is a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object.)  I guess a zealous devotion to Christ and His teachings might be seen as ‘cult-worship’ by some people, even those that consider themselves Christians.  I would not be surprised if some of my longer term friends and even some family members think that I have become a bit of a Jesus Freak over the past several years.  But, I have also come to the conclusion that we all ultimately align ourselves with some sort of propaganda over the course of our lives.  We are always the target of some cause or movement that sees us as a potential member.  Whether it be religion based, economically based (think advertising), socially based (think social media) or culturally based (think ‘American Dream’), it can all be seen as some form of propaganda in the true sense of the definition,  (And, as Dylan so wisely wrote, ‘You’re gonna have to serve somebody.’)  It all comes down to which propaganda you adopt as your own.  So, I guess you can say that Jesus is my Minister of Propaganda and here is my mantra:

Our Father          (my relationship with God as His child)
Who Art in Heaven          (A state in which I am destined to be as a child of God)
Hallowed be Thy name     (I will have no gods before You)
Thy Kingdom Come         (You will deliver me from my earthly struggle)
Thy will be done               (I submit my own will to Yours)
On earth as it is in Heaven            (You rule supremely)
Give us this day our daily bread      (You provide for my every need)
Forgive our trespasses                  (I am a sinner and You have forgiven my sins)
As we forgive those who trespass against us       (Allow me to forgive others always)
And lead us not into temptation               (Give me the strength to resist turning my back to you)
But deliver us from evil                                 (Protect me from satan’s deception)
For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are Yours now and forever    (They sure are!)                

What’s yours?

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