Extra Credit #2:
Biblical Values Versus Advertisement Values

Robert Harris
Version Date: July 19, 2000

Background Information

Many of the claims, values, and recommended behaviors made by advertisers are in conflict with Biblical truth. For example, some advertisements encourage the reader to be selfish, lustful, irresponsible, or promise "heaven on earth" or even spiritual knowledge through the use of a product. Many advertisements promote self indulgence, offer happiness through consumption, and proclaim a life without rules, all for the sake of selling something.


For this assignment, find fourteen advertisements that are in clear conflict with some Biblical truth, and for each advertisement, find one or more verses that reveal this. Create a notebook or presentation folder which presents the advertisement on the right side and a page with the verse or verses on the left side. Add a sentence or two of commentary to explain the conflict in each case, if necessary.

(maximum extra credit: 15 points)


Advertisement: seated on a brightly colored couch in a dark room is a sleazy-looking woman in a short skirt staring at the viewer. The woman is smoking a cigarette and holding a martini glass.
Caption: "What you're looking for."
Product: Camel cigarettes.

Biblical verses:
Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord's anger. --Zephaniah 2:3

For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come. --Hebrews 13:14

"What we are looking for" as Christians is not meaningless sex with drunken women, nor even the mind-altering effects of alcohol or the "pleasure" of smoking. (It seems to me a self-condemnation of this product that it is advertised this way.) What we are looking for, as revealed in the texts above, is something of higher value, both in our personal lives (humility, righteousness) and our spiritual beings (the enduring city of God).

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About the author:
Robert Harris is a writer and educator with more than 25 years of teaching experience at the college and university level. RHarris at virtualsalt.com