He Gets Us Ad Sparks Debate Leading To Alternative Ad

Jon Croft profile image
by Jon Croft
He Gets Us Ad Sparks Debate Leading To Alternative Ad

In the commercial world, sometimes the answers and the questions seem skewed, and coming from a mind that doesn't always seem interested in authenticity and truth, but instead framing reality to favor the product being sold, the message often gets lost. But whatever product being sold seems to be getting more and more convoluted these days. Social media seems to effect the confusion of these "what is the product" and "who is the consumer" moments, once we learned that we (the user) often aren't even the consumer now, but the product itself.

Rallying behind movements and mobilizing clicks often becomes the aim, instead of actually selling what we'd consider to be any sort of traditional "product," like milk, or a "service," like delivering some takeout, or fixing something in your house. Now, we have started selling "ideas," and our branding becomes the ideological god of that idea. It is far more cultish and ideological, in these strange mixed up days, where we can't even trust the most trustworthy of institutions. So, what "faith" are we selling, now?

That is the question for many Christians who saw the "He Gets Us" ad that aired during the Super Bowl this year. Does the sentiment in this ad actually reflect my faith in the Jesus I know, or is it just a foggy outline of a "nice idea" that isn't found in the Bible at all?

This frustration is being expressed, all while many other Christians seem "to get" what the advertisers were trying to say, and they're okay with that. Nevertheless, I think the reason this debate is happening is because many think they could do better. But, then people have responded to this call-to-action to say something like, "hey, why don't you go ahead and make a better commercial, then."

One will need to observe the postures, the language of the oppressed, and the intersectionality present in the ad. And then one will need to compare this to what you read in John 13 to notice what some may be talking about. How it maybe failed to communicate, and how it maybe communicated all too well what people suspect they were really trying to say. Watch for yourself.

Here is the ad.

Gotta love that INXS cover.

Yes, but...

Obviously we're allowed to have a discussion on what we're seeing and what we wish that we could have seen instead. We are not required to just accept the way that artists or corporations decide to depict themselves in their ads. So, have a discussion! Tell us what strikes you as odd.

The Babylon Bee starts us off!

I'd prefer not to say too explicitly what I think of the ad, since I have respected friends on both sides of the aisle here. And my opinion isn't going to blow anyone's mind here, anyway, except to say that many mistakingly believe that the lesson for his disciples was to service others around the world regardless of any extenuating circumstances. I'd have to differ with this thin take.

Instead, I think this lesson is about us (and Peter) trusting the savior to travel into the deepest, darkest, most sinful part of your life in order to bring spiritual cleanliness and healing. I believe the signs of this lesson all point in this direction, a true spiritual (deepest, darkest inner part of you) healing despite our uncomfortability due to cultural privacy norms. This means that instead of physical cleanliness, it was about something more complete... a spiritual clean-up. It's why when Peter asked for a full-body cleaning, Jesus scolded him. Peter was thinking it was about the flesh. It wasn't.

And instead of it being a simple lesson of humility or service of leadership, it was about an uncomfortable intimacy that people of this time and place all found to be culturally "improper." Jesus was using another example of spiritual cleansing, in contrast to the Jewish legalism (or the outward expression of the Jewish laws) that emphasized cleanliness. Jesus said it MUST be done, or he has no part with him. In other words, he can't be saved. This is a sign of spiritual cleansing.

If we don't let Christ heal our inward man (flesh not required) we cannot be saved.

So, no I don’t think it was just a simple lesson for leaders to serve. That is part of it, but this is occurring in another context that many many people do not see. The idea is for those of us who have dirt to clean... spiritual dirt... to let Him clean us up, and heal us.

Additionally, we have to see clues of how Peter and the disciples reacted to Jesus' teaching. They didn't like it, but Jesus was teaching them to expose themselves to him and to each other on another level.

Inward exposure, like a confession.

This discussion has raged on social media since then, but the best reaction to this was found on Jamie Bambrick's X and YouTube, in which he cut a different ad which I think solved many of the inadequacies of the official ad.

He took them up on the offer. Others spoke about washing feet, and Jamie did it.

Here it is.

Jamie Bambrick is a Northern Ireland influencer who has put out some really incisive and informative videos on Christianity and Culture. He also discusses feminism, politics, and how to reform our culture.

And I think he gave the most concise answer on why the first ad just wasn't enough, and that some artists are more talented and can explain more complicated themes and subject matter with a fraction of the dollars, while others require millions of clams, and still fall flat.

Be humble all you want. But if you can't communicate why we serve, and who it is we serve, and what difference a man like Jesus makes... it isn't the gospel. And yes, we can do better. Quite literally.

Yes it does.

I hope you enjoyed this article! Did you come out on the side of "pro" or "anti" as it comes to the "He Gets Us" ad campaign? Do you think we can still be loving examples of God and disagree with one another on our chosen methods of expressing the faith? Let us know on our socials, or down below (with subscription).

Jon Croft profile image
by Jon Croft

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