Student opinion – The Super Bowl commercial hurts the Christian message

On Super Bowl Sunday, millions gathered around their television screens to watch Jalen Hurts and Patrick Mahomes lead their teams in one of the greatest battles in sports history, but this game wasn’t the only thing making headlines. Many were surprised to see a pair of commercials that promoted Jesus Christ with the simple tag, “He gets us, all of us.” While many celebrated the fact that Jesus was getting attention and praise on national TV, many people— both conservative Christians, like myself, and those on the liberal side — were highly critical of both the commercials and the company behind them. 

My specific criticisms of the commercials deal with the content — or lack thereof — in the commercials and the content found on the website itself, as well as the intentions of the creators of these commercials.

A visit to the “He Gets Us” website will reveal a slew of articles and videos dealing with topics like love, forgiveness and even AI. What is strikingly missing, however, is a central tenet of Jesus’ own message: the repentance of sin. When you search for the term “repentance” on the website, you’re met with a page reading, “Sorry, nothing matched your search. Jesus may have all the answers, but we’re still working on it.” To well-versed Christians, the lack of anything dealing with Jesus’ message of repenting from sins and turning to him is especially concerning.

One article claims that “Jesus didn’t want us to act like adults” while taking a message that Jesus preached out of context, as well as ignoring other scripture like Hebrews 6:1. Other articles intentionally misrepresent Jesus as a “refugee” and an “activist” — both claims that are not true. His parents were the refugees, and he spread the gospel for hearts, not politics.

Additionally, in one article, the organization admits that those who helped make the content on the website, “though not Christians, share a deep admiration for the man that Jesus was” and were working to explore Jesus and his teaching “from a modern lens to find new relevance.” This way of exploring Christ’s message opens the door for, at best, misrepresentations and misunderstandings of the gospel, and at worst, the potential for outright heresy. 

Many Christians have defended these commercials, using Philippians 1:15-17 as a foundation, saying, “Well, we may not like the methods, but at least the gospel is still being proclaimed.” The major issue with this attitude is that it is simply not true. There is not one place on the website, not one article or a single video that talks about what the message of the gospel is and how one can find salvation in Jesus Christ. One can only find a message of Jesus’ character without his work.

The gospel cannot be proclaimed if it is not present. 

While these commercials could open the doors for some to find the true, biblical Jesus, they run the risk of creating the very kinds of believers that Jesus warned us not to be. In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus said there would be those who will come to him on the last days, saying, “Didn’t we do all these great things in your name?”  And Jesus will reply, “Depart from me, for I never knew you.” 

If someone only knows Jesus from what they see from the “He Gets Us ” campaign, they may end up being told they never knew him at all. 

Hughes is an opinion writer for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on Twitter

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