Perhaps I am not the best one to write this blog and should leave this to my girlfriend who is in college for this topic, but I had some thoughts I would like to share about Publicity and Advertising and how it relates to a Christian in perhaps a way you have not thought about it before.
P & A id often referred to as Marketing and indeed marketing is all a form of manipulation. Some forms of marketing are very clear in their intent to try to get you to react in a certain way whether it is to or not to buy, vote or not vote, do or not to do, day or not to say, think or not to think, etc.
Other forms of marketing are more manipulative and although the intent is not obvious, the marketing is designed to subconsciously force you to react in a way that you perhaps did not even know the marketing was causing.
Marketing is mainly visual, and auditory causing you to react based on what you see and or hear. These senses create a feeling within you that the marketing hopes pushes you react in the way that they intend you to react.
The scary thing about marketing is that you cannot escape it. Signs on the side of the road, calls to your phone, TV, radio, internet, on vehicles, in the sky, on the ground, on clothes, anything that an advertisement or publicity message can be put on and I do mean anything!
So, is marketing sinful? Of course to advertise is not a sin, but it seems that the concept itself has become very corrupt and you can make clear connections between the way marketing works and the way Satan works. In the same way that marketing constantly strives to get into your mine to force a reaction, Satan takes every opportunity to do the same. In the same way Satan will try to tempt you without even knowing it, so does many marketing schemes.
How come some of the most clever and attractive marketing strategies are for ungodly products and services such as, alcoholic beverages, cigarettes, and unwholesome activities? Even product and services that are not ungodly by themselves use ungodly marketing strategies that are sexual and vulgar. You have all heard the phrase “sex sells” and indeed it does. Many marketing strategies with no shame and hiding nothing will openly use sex and naked or nearly naked attractive models. While other marketing schemes may not be so bold, they still hint at sexuality to get your attention and keep your mind on their “message”.
So what can we do?! The problem for us Christians is that even if we succeed in not looking and thinking much about sinful influence, it still sticks in our minds and will make us more susceptible to thinking in ways and about things we shouldn’t each inevitably leads to sin. To battle an extreme enemy who uses extreme methods, we must have an extreme faith. Rest assured Satan is taking every opportunity to defeat you, so we must take every opportunity to fight back. What are some extreme things we have to do if we hope to stand against this attack?
We must avoid the following areas where marketing can turn into temptation to sin, while being honest with ourselves about what we know tempts us:
Ø Websites that contain content or ads
Ø TV shows or channels that contain commercials
Ø Magazines with articles or ads
Ø People who talk about things that lead you astray
Ø Songs that suggest ungodly behavior
Ø Ungodly radio stations
Ø Ungodly Literature
Ø Choosing to turn your head and not look at images you know tempt you
Isn’t this silly though? I mean this is just not realistic or Biblical to take such precautions is it?
whatever things are true,
whatever things are noble,
whatever things are just,
whatever things are pure,
whatever things are lovely,
whatever things are of good report,
if there is any virtue and
if there is anything praiseworthy—
meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject man, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit.
Abstain from every form of evil.
1 Peter 2:11
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul
We have fooled ourselves into thinking that it is ok to watch the TV shows we watch, to listen to the music we listen to and to read the things we commonly read, yet we struggle with sin and wonder why. Most of Satans attacks through advertising are sexual in nature since (sex sells), and we have to be honest enough to admit that suggestions of sexual activity and even seeing more skin or tighter clothing of a member of the opposite (and sometimes same) sex will begin the temptation that leads to sin.