3. The Lack of Personal Responsibility
John Leo, writing in U.S. News and World Report, in an article he titled “Decadence, the Corporate Way”, states’ “Advertisers are focusing more and more on the emerging market of people who do only what they want to do, that is, people who yearn to be completely free of all restraint, expectation and responsibilities. This is a familiar ’60’s product now tinged with ’90’s pessimism. So a socially subversive, pro-impulse, anti-rules and anti-restraint message is casually being built into more and more advertising campaigns, often with the help of hired psychologists.” That secular editorialists have noticed this trend should really not surprise us. Consider the following:
“Resist much; Obey little.” (Code West clothes)
“Just Do It!” (Nike)
“Life is short – Play Hard!” (Reebok)
“Life is a game – Drink it up!” (Gatorade)
“Life is a journey – Enjoy the Ride.” (Nissan)
“Be your own Rock.” (Prudential Insurance)
“Be your own dog.” (Red Dog Beer)
“Peel off inhibitions Find Your Own Road.” (Saab)
“Sometimes, you gotta break the rules.” (Burger King)
“Nothing is taboo; break all the rules.” (Don Q Rum)
“Relax. No rules here.” (Neiman Marcus)
“Our shoe conforms to your foot, so you don’t have to conform to anything.” (Easy Spirit shoes)
“We are all hedonists and we want what feels good. That’s what makes us human.” (Nike)
“Living without boundaries.” (Safari, by Ralph Lauren)
“Your world should know no boundaries.” (Merrill Lynch)
“It’s not trespassing when you cross your own boundaries.” (Johnnie Walker Scotch)
From cars to hamburgers, shoes to investment firms, clothes to department stores, alcohol to sports drinks, the theme of no accountability is being preached. Solomon had this in mind when he told the young man to live in whatever way he pleased, but that in the end, he was accountable to God. This’ by design, is never mentioned in these commercials. The more men and women Satan succeeds in getting to live life “to the full,” the more will miss eternal life. And this same pervasive theme of no rules, boundaries, responsibility or accountability is being heard dozens of times daily by ourselves and by our children. Wall Street is clever and knows which minds they have to reach. But a young mind won over to this type of thinking is not just a future customer of a product, but perhaps a rebellious teenager who will turn his back on the things of God, because he has been taught by Satan to think like the world.
The believer DOES have boundaries within which he or she must live. Instead of living with the philosophy of “just do it!”, the Christian more often than not has to “just say no!” We are told to “flee youthful lusts” (2 Tim 2:22). We are told to “flee fornication” (1 Cor 6:18). We are told to flee the love of money, covetousness and erring from the faith (1 Tim 6:10). We are commanded to “be holy” (Eph 1:4, 5:27, 1 Peter 1:15-16, and 2 Peter 3:11). Paul says “they which live should not from henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him Who died for them” (2 Cor 5:15). He also reminds us that we are “bought with a price”, and must live to glorify God (1 Cor 6:20). Our obedience is a sign of our gratitude and appreciation for our salvation, for “the love of Christ constrains us” to live godly lives (2 Cor 5:14). God makes it very clear in the O.T. that He views obedience of much more value than sacrifice (1 Sam 15:22-23). Partial obedience in His eyes is disobedience, and to Him, is the same as witchcraft! The Lord Jesus once asked, “Why call ye me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not the things which I say?”( Luke 6:46). So the child of God must live a life of obedience, within the boundaries of God’s Word. We must be different than those around us. But to be different, we first have to think differently. The social rebellion and chaos of disobedience is caused by many factors, sin being the primary one, but we can start to see how so many young people have been trained by Satan to think the way they think, by studying these ad slogans. David Oliver once said, “Rebellion is the spirit of the day, but we must remember that rebellion is never God’s way.”
4. The Glorification of The Sins of Darkness.
When the Lord Jesus was here, He made the very perceptive statement that “men loved darkness rather than life, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). It should be no surprise to us, then, to realize that most of the social and moral crimes are committed .under the cover” of darkness. The world comes alive at night – not just for its pleasures, but for its crime. Men and women seem to work in the day and party at night. And at night the sins of robbery, rape, murder, immorality, drugs and drunkenness are rampant. Is it any wonder to us that when our Savior suffered terribly for our sins on Calvary, that He suffered in darkness? Yet many ad slogans not only glorify the night, but the wrongs that occur.
Consider the following:
“Some people embrace the night because the rules of the day do not apply.” (Bacardi Black)
“The night belongs to Michelob.” (Michelob beer)
“The taste of the night.” (Bacardi Rums)
Another example of this type of thinking is the new line of clothes called Bad Boy clothes. Their slogan is “Bad is an attitude.” The New Testament is replete with exhortations for the child of God to be characterized by “good works,” yet in this age the teaching is just the opposite. But good is still obedience and submission, and bad is rebellion and disobedience.
Fox TV states, “You are what you watch.” Yet this network continues to run two popular shows: “the Simpsons” and “Married with Children.” The first is a cartoon written by a man who also has out a series of cartoon books mocking Hell and making light of eternal punishment. The show mocks and ridicules traditional values and of ten glorifies wrong behavior and rebellion. The second show spoofs everything that a family is supposed to be. Yet the quote says, “You are what you watch.”
Many more examples could be given, but they are all being orchestrated by the same conductor. John Leo also states, “The ordinary commercial messages of corporate America are probably playing a most subversive role. The drumbeat of rule-breaking slogans has a devastating effect. Our commercial culture and the advertising industry are not just at war with traditional values. They are at war, too, with the possibility that new common values will emerge from the current social chaos.”
What then, is the responsibility of the believer? How To we protect ourselves, with the help of God’s Spirit, from letting the world’s values become our values? We must constantly retrain and renew our minds not to be conformed to the world, nor to think like the people in it. Wrong think11 affect the future not only children but of the assemblies as well. We must not only take stock of what we think about, but of how we think. Compare the next ad slogan you see or hear to the Word of God. Use the Bible to teach you how you should think. If we, as Christians, are thinking as the world thinks, then Satan has control of our minds. If he has our minds, he has us as well.
Alas, that I should ever have failed in love to Thee;
The only One who never forgot or slighted me!
O for a heart to love Thee more truly as I ought:
And nothing place above Thee in word or deed or thought.