Thoughts on the “He Gets Us” campaign and the Super Bowl commercial

Published 3:47 pm Wednesday, February 14, 2024

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When I first saw it, it scared me for a minute. All the symbolism was familiar to my Free Will Baptist heritage. It was pictures of someone washing the feet of people from controversial backgrounds that differed from normal Christian ideology.
I have participated in the literal washing of the feet of others, but it was other Christians. I have participated in figuratively washing the feet of others and it has been other Christians and non-Christians.
The images and main purposes of this commercial ad according to the creators were “to try and invite anyone, no matter what they believe, to explore the story of Jesus.” I agree with this purpose, but I also believe that this type of commercial can cause much confusion to both the believer and the non-believer.
To the believer, it appears to be saying that we need to work better at reaching people who have differing opinions or lifestyles than we do. That we are only showing hate and not love. So, we need to change. I believe this is true for some believers who don’t live fully by the standards of the Bible, but I believe that many true Christians do show love to the unbeliever, it is just not accepted as love because it is not what the unbeliever wants to hear.
If I tell an unbeliever, out of love for their soul, that they were created in the image of God and that what they are doing is sinful and wrong, I am often viewed as spewing hate speech and intolerance.
To the unbeliever, it appears to be saying that Christians need to love you for who you are and accept your chosen lifestyle and choices because Jesus does. He gets us, you don’t. So instead of saying Jesus can save you from your sinful choices, it appears to say that Jesus understands your sinful choices, and it’s okay.
I believe that this is a deception that has all the good intentions but can do a lot of harm to both the believer and the nonbeliever.
We are warned over and over in the Bible about false teachings, and we are charged to stand firm on the Word of God. Paul told Timothy:
2 Timothy 4:1-5
1. I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:
2. preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
3. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions,
4. and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.
5. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
The Bible also teaches that a Christian who stands firm on the Word of God will be hated. Jesus said:
John 15:18-19
18. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
19. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”
Hatred is wrong by both the Christian and the non-Christian. 1 John 3 tells us that hatred is a sin. I agree with the “Jesus Gets Us” movement that says, “Jesus didn’t teach hate.” But it is not hate to tell someone the truth of the Bible. That is actually the truest love there is because you are trying to save them from an eternity in hell.
John 13:34-35
34. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
35. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Penn Teller once said in an interview:
“I’ve always said that I don’t respect people who don’t proselytize. I don’t respect that at all. If you believe that there’s a heaven and a hell, and people could be going to hell or not getting eternal life, and you think that it’s not really worth telling them this because it would make it socially awkward—and atheists who think people shouldn’t proselytize and who say just leave me along and keep your religion to yourself—how much do you have to hate somebody to not proselytize? How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?
What I believe is that Jesus loves you, no matter who you are. That Jesus died for you because of the love He has for you. But He also said that we need to turn from our sinful actions and lifestyles and follow Him if we want to go to heaven. We have to believe that Jesus is God’s Son. That He came, He lived, He died, He rose again, and that one day He is coming for those who choose to walk away from their sins and follow Him.
You cannot follow Him and continue in your sins and believe that you are okay and right with Him. He invites all to His table, but not all will accept the invitation.
We cannot call right, what God has called sin. He gets us, and He wants us to change our ways and follow Him.
Darren Walker is the senior pastor at the First Free Will Baptist Church in Washington.