The dust hasn’t fully settled yet. Two Super Bowl ads costing $20 million with the message that “He Gets Us” have pushed people’s buttons. Not all in a good way.
Before we look into the “down and dirty” responses to the ads, let it be known that MOST Super Bowl fans liked them. According to USA Today's annual Ad Meter, the “He Gets Us” ads (I have trouble calling them that) ranked one of them in the Top 10 and another in the Top 15 out of nearly 50 ads on Super Bowl Sunday.
Those messages went out to an estimated 100-plus million people. According to the website, the “He Gets Us” campaign seeks to "reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness.” One of the funding individuals is the co-founder of Hobby Lobby, David Green. Those who didn’t approve of the ads likely did not find Hobby Lobby’s full page Christmas ad to their taste either.
Anyone following this story would know that U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC as she is known), was repulsed by these two ads. In her own Twitter words she said, “Something tells me Jesus would not spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign.”
If for some reason you didn’t watch the Super Bowl, or didn’t see the commercials, you can easily find them. The first ad urged viewers to be more childlike and featured kids of different races. The second showed images of violent confrontations before sharing this message: “Jesus loved the people we hate.”
Did you resonate with AOC’s charge of making “fascism look benign?” Didn’t think so—assuming you are a person of reason.
In contrast we had the Super Bowl halftime show. I did not watch. But I’ve read the “reviews,” with sports talk radio taking tons of calls on Rihanna’s crotch grabbing and, well, you would know if you saw it. No comments from the New York Congresswoman on this, however.
But what I found particularly interesting were some of the comments from the so-called Christian community. According to Breitbart news, “Online commentary suggests the Christian community does not know whether to be hopeful or apprehensive about the upcoming ads, knowing that the Jesus of the Bible is often replaced by what Bible-believing Christians view as a false social-justice-warrior portrayal of Jesus to further leftwing cultural and political priorities and discard biblical moral teachings.” Ouch!
A friend who gives me frequent commentary on issues of the day sent this:
“Certainly a Person who is omniscient 'gets' everything. So if 'He gets us,' and He does, what's the message He is sending? That we are sinners, lost, headed for a fiery Hell, sheep who have wandered away, creating nothing but filthy rags as our best work on our best day. That's what Jesus 'gets' about all humanity, no exception. That's what the Bible teaches. Now, is that what's going to be on display for 100 million people in the Roman Coliseum Super Bowl tomorrow? Nope. Tomorrow you will see 'cool Jesus,' 'refugee immigrant Jesus,' which is to say no Jesus at all.”
My personal view is that the ads were powerful, accurate, and likely presented in a way that will draw interest to learn more. That is all we can ask of an invitation to discover what it means to follow Jesus. So I oppose those within the faith community who have criticized the campaign’s efforts.
As for society at large, after those living in Jesus' times witnessed His miraculous healings and assurances of forgiveness, His closeness to the Heavenly Father was simply too much to handle. So He had plenty of haters. It is why He told His disciples, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19 (NIV)
AOC and others find plenty to hate about the Christian community. It should come as no surprise. Jesus gave us a clear warning.
That’s Forward Thinking.
You can find a number of YouTube episodes and podcasts of Mark’s program, Moving People Forward at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCosyuBzdSh1mXIas_kGY2Aw?
For more information on the Elfstrand Group, please visit www.elfstrandgroup.com
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