He Gets Us

A little-known creative agency called “Haven” paid $20 million for two “He Gets Us” commercials that appeared during the Super Bowl, starring none other than Jesus Christ preaching a “cultural” agenda.

The $20M Super Bowl Ad campaign behind the commercials called He Gets Us,” was launched in March of 2022 and funded by anonymous donors and Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, according to the Associated Press. An ad was played during each half of the game; one focusing on “how children demonstrate Jesus’ love” and the other on “dealing with anger, and how Jesus modeled a different way.”

“We think Jesus is a big deal and we want to make a big deal out of it,” said campaign spokesperson Jason Vanderground. “What better way to do that than to put him in the biggest cultural moment that we have the entire year?” The campaign’s advertisements all center around the idea that Jesus “gets us.” According to NPR, the “well-funded” campaign discusses how Jesus “was a refugee, had disdain for hypocrisy, and was also unfairly judged like other marginalized members of modern society.”

“The advertisements were part of an effort to shift away from a negative public perception of Christians, and towards Jesus” said Bob Smietana, national reporter for Religion News Service, in an interview with NPR. Smietana claimed that the campaign was attempting to appeal to groups that may have felt excluded or repelled by the church in recent years, “like members of the LGBTQ community, different races and ethnicities, those who lean more liberal politically, or people who have kept up with scandals of abuse.”

The Michigan creative agency called “Haven” is behind the multi-million-dollar Super Bowl campaign, according to Michigan Live. The Signatry, which operates under a Kansas-based nonprofit called The Servant Foundation, is organizing the funds, the report states.

“Most of our messaging has been about what Jesus modeled, what he taught and what he experienced,” said Bill McKendry, founder and chief creative officer of Haven. “It’s not a back to church campaign,” McKendry added. “But we do believe we are heightening the interest in Jesus, and obviously one of the outlets where people can go is a church.”

McKendry told the outlet the campaign hopes to “raise the respect and relevancy of Jesus” in the United States and cause Christians to “reflect Jesus better in their life.” “How did the world’s greatest love story become known as a hate group?” he said.

McKendry said 75 wealthy donors funded the campaign, which had a $100 million budget last year. The campaign hit $300 million this year, and the goal is eventually to become a $1 billion campaign. McKendry noted that the donors are active “across the political spectrum”  and that “there’s no agenda here other than we just want people to see what Jesus modeled.”

The group’s website describes Jesus as “the world’s most radical love activist” and a “revolutionary figure who challenged the status quo of his time.” The group also paints Jesus as a figure who is “open to people that others might have excluded” and “stood up for the marginalized.”

The website reads in part: “So what could possibly be louder and more powerful than hate? Love can. But not just any love. Confounding love. Unconditional love. Sacrificial love. The love we see in Jesus. This shocking and even revolutionary figure — who challenged the status quo of his time, who spoke out against the religious and political leaders of his day, who advocated for the marginalized and oppressed, but who always, always, always loved others despite their identity, beliefs, or values. Jesus showed us the path to human flourishing and fulfillment was to love others as oneself, even if it costs you your life.”

Online comments to news stories about the ads point out that words such as “sin” and “repentance” and “holiness” are found nowhere on the page, even though faithful Christians insist they are topics central to Jesus’ teachings and life on earth. For its part, the campaign claims that it is not “left or right” leaning and not affiliated with any particular church or denomination.

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 left-wing cultural and political priorities and discard biblical moral teachings. Ironically, Americans who regard the Bible as the “Word of God” and publicly proclaim Jesus as their “Lord and Savior” are often among the “marginalized” in today’s society that the campaign claims are its intended beneficiaries.

It remains to be seen if the estimated 100 million Super Bowl watchers were exposed to a modernized “feel good” Jesus — “all love and no holiness” — who never speaks of “sin” or calls for “repentance”, or the Jesus that the Bible-believing Christian community evangelizes about: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

Jesus Christ is the friend that sticks closer than a brother, but He’s not your “buddy.” Jesus Christ is the very image of “Almighty God”, but He is not the “man upstairs.” Jesus Christ shed his blood to “pay for your sins”, but He’s not going to give you a “wink and a nod” to let you in to Heaven. Jesus Christ is holy, righteous, perfect, and while the salvation He provides is free, it is not cheap. The Jesus of “He Gets Us” appearing at the Super Bowl is not the Jesus of the Bible. You get the lukewarm “Laodicean” Jesus, which is to say no Jesus at all.

“For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.“ (Romans 7:18-19)

When you read your Bible, and hear some of the things that Jesus says, you could certainly make a case that “He gets us”. A Person who is omniscient ”gets” everything. So if “He gets us”, and He does, what’s the message He 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 was on display for 100 million people in the Roman Coliseum on Super Bowl? Nope. You saw a ”refugee immigrant Jesus”, which is to say “no Jesus at all.” You used to see John 3:16 signs during NFL football games when someone scored. But not at the Super Bowl 2023. The creative mastermind behind “He Gets Us” says “It’s not a back to church campaign”, and that may just be the most truthful thing about it.

‘He Gets Us’: $20M Super Bowl Ads Try to Make Jesus Attractive to Progressive, LGBTQIA2S+ Viewers

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: