Saturday, May 23, 2009

ENVYING MYTHS IN A TECHNOLOGICAL WORLD

"Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness;" (1 Tim. 4:7)
Myths persist even in an enlightened age. Something said by Gerald Grow HERE in his writing on Advertising and Envy, sparked this thought that the modern mythology that must be addressed by Christians is no better found than behind the cameras, makeup and studio sets of Hollywood and 5th Avenue ad agencies.

The stage is a world of make believe. Behind the faces are brothers, friends, mothers, cousins, who went to school with us and grew up in our hometowns. But they now live bigger than life. They have screen names and new bodies that are sculpted to create and feed the myth that they are special. The red carpets are rolled out so that they leave stage to be treated like royalty (another myth). The makeup is a myth. The public relations are a myth. Everything is perfectly choreographed to increase their fame and wealth.

Grow writes: "From a variety perspectives, different writers have concluded that advertising is the consumer culture's version of mythology. Such is the theme of Leymore's book, Hidden Myth: "No society exists without some form of myth. Once this is realized, it is not very surprising that a society which is based on the economy of mass production and mass consumption will evolve its own myth in the form of the commercial. Like myth it touches upon every facet of life, and as a myth it makes use of the fabulous in its application to the mundane." (156)

In the New Testament, myths were a fiction in opposition to the Gospel. Christians were told to have nothing to do with myths, even to expose them. Grow points to the unreality of the modern myth that is depicted by the dramatic but unreal images in commercial television. And the myths that are presented create an unreal and impossible thing to attain. We can then choose to idolize and envy them, desiring to be like them. Or we can see them for what they are, myths.

The idols that parade across our television sets and other forms of mass media rival that which stirred the spirit of the Apostle Paul. He said to the assembled philosophers that there is only one true God who lives in heaven. A wise person with eyes wide open will look at the images portrayed on TV sets with a wary eye. There is very little on it that is real and worthy of so much envy and adoration. When the facade, the myth is peeled back, what remains are people who need to know their God in heaven.
"30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath givene assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead." (Acts 17:30,31)

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