Sermon Notes

October 14th – Venom – Media

Media Today

Venom’s parallel to Media (Not sure where this needs to go yet)

Marvel’s Venom: Venom is a character associated with Marvel comics and better yet, Spider man. Venom was initially thought to be a suit by Spider-man. However, he eventually realized that his suit was an alien symbiote that has its own agenda and voice. Peter Parker (Spider man) also noticed that as he utilized the suit  “venom” it was draining him, however it was so addicting due to it powers and convenience that is was hard for him to let go. In fact, he actually gets rid of the suit in an old church where the vibrations of the church bells cause Venom to dismantle giving Spider man enough time to get it off of him. In the movie, Venom’s only host is a guy named Eddie Brock. Venom’s voice which is actually played by the same actor, Tom Hardy, just modified, it constantly talking.

Media (Communication): Voices (Advertisements, broadcasting, digital media, news, politics, etc.

Today we want to talk about the Media, not saying that all Media is harmful or “bad”. Media gives us immediate information at our fingertips. but like Venom, it is addicting and it definitely has its own agenda whether that be sales advertising, corporate agendas, political, and yes, even religious agendas. These voices that are getting into our heads are influencing us whether we like it or not. Today is not about telling you what exactly to listen to, but about how to listen and to be critical and even a little suspicious.


A newspaper of record is a major newspaper that has a large circulation and whose editorial and news-gathering functions are considered professional and typically authoritative.

The day of in-depth reposting in news is being undermined by the need for speed.

Spin / fake News / Click bait

The 24-hour news cycle (or 24/7 news cycle) is 24-hour investigation and reporting of news, along with with fast-paced lifestyles. … A complete news cycle consists of the media reporting on some event, followed by the media reporting on public and other reactions to the earlier reports.

Same facts, two different perspectives

Submitted by Bluesday Afternoon on January 4, 2017

We know Tesla fell short of reaching 80,000 cars delivered for the year. Here are two stories and the opening sentences dealing with the same facts:

Tesla Misses Deliveries by 12%; Stock Plunges

Tesla’s stock plunged by $1.5 billion in after-hours trading on Tuesday following the company’s announcement that it missed Wall Street’s vehicle delivery estimates for the fourth quarter of 2016 by 12 percent.…


Tesla Narrowly Misses 80,000-Vehicle Sales Goal in 2016

Tesla Motors Inc.’s fourth-quarter sales rose 27%—but not enough for the Silicon Valley auto maker to reach its goal of delivering at least 80,000 vehicles in 2016.

Manipulative Strategies in communication

Noam Chomsky, the distinguished American philosopher, political activist and professor emeritus of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has compiled a list of the ten most powerful and efficacious strategies used by “masters of the world” to establish a manipulation of the population through the media.

Not going to go through the whole list but here are some of the top ones. His theory was that a large part of the media is owned and influenced by large corporations and the government.

1) Thanks to biology, neurobiology, and applied psychology, advertisers and media know how the human mind works more than its consumers. There are strategies involved in media communication and advertisements that are intentionally manipulative based on how humans are wired.

2)Diversion- Use entertainment and other media to redirect people’s minds away from important issues and educating themselves on what is happening in the world and in themselves. It is hard to notice significant things when you are overwhelmed by thousands of insignificant stories, shows, pictures, data, etc. The strategy is to keep the mind busy with petty things, so no real thinking or energy goes into social problems. (Whether or not “the system” is pulling the strings. Media is a weapon of mass distraction.

3) Deferring- Introduce something painful or unpopular long before it will be implemented in order for people to feel a sense of ease, acceptance, and hope that it can be avoided somehow sense it is in the future.

“Bad is acceptable because worse has come”

(The government primarily does this according to Noam) Example: News of a income tax is inevitable, but it won’t be for two years. It stings less because it is not as relevant.

4) Overly kind, using language, tones, colors, and music that are more suited for children 12 and under. This causes us to react less critically and to be more open. We are not as likely to consider what is actually in the product or the implications of its use on our lives. We trust the advertisement more. Think about food and drink ads. The music, colors, smiles, etc.

5) Promote mediocrity and ignorance as fashionable, popular, and acceptable. There are many narratives and shows that paint certain mediocre characteristic traits as normal and even “cool”. What would you rather watch after a long days work?

6) Stir up emotions (anger, sadness, fear, anxiety) in order to short circuit critical thinking and rational analysis. Emotions open the door to the subconscious to manipulate behavior. This is also a sales strategy. One side or part of a story can be presented to stir up emotions, but is it the whole truth? What is the whole story?

Depending on what is shown and not shown can determine the story and reaction of the public. Is what we are shown the whole picture? Are the arguments sound, are the promises accurate, is there an agenda?





Adam: The difference between an Apologist Mindset and a Scholars.


One of my biggest takeaways from grad schools came from one of my professors during grad school informed us that there are two types of thinkers. There are Apologetic thinkers and scholars. He assured us that you do not have to go to school to fall into either one of these categories since you will see both types of approaches in universities and outside of them.

Apologists, or taking an apologetic approach means you already have a preexisting belief or experience, and you tend to only notice or give value to the data, information, and experiences that support that belief. Anything that does not support what you already believe gets dismissed, set aside, devalued, or ignored. This can also be called confirmation bias. You seek out articles, stories, etc. that confirm what you want.

For example: I currently work in the fitness industry and fitness and nutrition can almost be as explosive as politics. There are all kinds of diets, Blood Type diet, Paleo Diet, Keto, South Beach Diet, Atkins Diet, “See Food” Diet, (You’ve heard of that right, you see the food you eat it).

Keto is the way to go!! Any new articles on the Keto diet they are all about it.

Hey look at this article on the Blood Type Diet, I’m good. Yeah, but this guy lost 35 pounds body fat.

When we take an apologetic approach we tend to gravitate to familiar and enforcing voices. In the media there are a lot of voices we can turn on to validate our point of view. Some people tend to watch Fox some people tend to watch CNN and each of those stations are giving 100% accurate information and are not biased at all :)!

Scholarly approach: Ideally, this approach tries to understand his or her own bias’, existing beliefs, and preconceived ideas. It investigates and seeks out all sources, information, and data and from there draws conclusions whether they support preexisting beliefs or not. Also, when data comes in they have to re-evaluate what they currently think or previously thought. This takes work and is a little more difficult, but I believe it is a healthier approach to new information.

Scholars look to get the big picture in order to get all the information or as much information as possible to draw accurate conclusions.

-These two type of approaches are not only important to apply to our own lives when hearing new information, but it’s also important to remember that they are at play within the media. The media has an agenda, whether it be corporate advertisements, political stories, religious information, etc. Knowing these agendas better helps us navigate all the voices we hear and reminds us that we may not always be getting the whole story…

-Seek out voices that challenge your current beliefs. For a while I intentionally sought out speakers who I knew held different opinions than I did with an open mind, and I found myself agreeing with a lot of what they were saying.

John Section 3 – A Godly perspective

James 3:5-10 “So also the tongueis a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing.My brothers and sisters, this should not be.”

Proverbs 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death,

and those who love it will eat its fruit.

We have way more information but less objective reporting.

   There is no “fair and balanced”

Debate should be about learning, not arguing

Video (3 Min)– Judges Scalia and Ginsburg

James 1:19-22  My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because our anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.

Romans 12:1-2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ephesians 4:25-27 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfullyto your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. ‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.

Romans 12:20-21 ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him;

if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.

In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wiseas serpents and innocent as doves.

Early church / Gandhi / Martin Luther King Jr /

They all learned it from Jesus.

2 Chronicles 7:14  If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

Psalms 46:10-11 ‘Be still, and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth.’

The LORD Almighty is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Recognize the power of media as a tool, but also recognize the power of God to change the world.

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