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What is the Truth Behind the Divisive Imagery in the ‘He Gets Us’ Super Bowl Ad?

February 20, 2024

Unpacking the Super Bowl Ad Controversy

Super Bowl ads cost 7,000,000 for 30 seconds of your time. Full transparency, I barely watched any of the game or the commercials because, in all honesty, I wasn’t rooting for either team and I certainly am not on team Taylor Swift.

But my attention was grabbed when the second ad of the game was a ‘He Gets Us’ advertisement. And as I dive into my analysis of this particular advertisement, I need you to first ask yourself a simple question. Why was this one of the first commercials you saw? Why would any commercial be one of the first commercials that you saw?

Well, everyone’s focused on the TV at this time. You know, you just watch the national anthem, the coin flip, the kickoff, it’s the beginning of the game, you’re primed and ready to watch.

Now, I just gave you the average cost per 30 seconds of advertising, 7,000,000. But wouldn’t you venture to say that the advertisements at the beginning of the game would cost more than, say, the end.

Now, if a team is getting blown out, if the script calls for it, if you know, you know, no one will be watching and folks will be settling into their food comas after too many chips and guac or they’re just straight up turning it off and getting ready for work the next day.

Questioning Christian organization’s ad presence and funding

So my guess is this particular spot that this viral ad cost was a lot more than $7,000,000. The ‘He Gets Us’ campaign was initially funded by The Servant Foundation and is now sponsored by Come Near Incorporated. This corporation is funded by anonymous wealthy donors.

Of course, how else could they afford that ad space? And their goal, air quote, is to reach the masses and teach them about the love of Jesus, so they say. But think about the money that went into this ad for 30 seconds.

Who is providing this messaging? Because I can tell you straight up, my church, which is the largest in South Florida, you know, most campuses, most active people involved.

We fundraise millions and millions each holiday season in something that we call Heart for the House and the funds are spent being the hands and feet of Jesus, building homes for human trafficking survivors, expanding our campuses and our reach in South Florida, spending money and sending supplies to third world nations, any kind we, like of hurricane we have down here, we are boots on the ground, providing supplies, helping rebuild homes, clear out damage, etc.

You get the picture. And there are plenty of other Christian organizations and churches around the world that have even more funding than ours.

Yet, why is this particular organization spending it on one ad? And how are they generating the money? And from whom? From whom are they getting the funds?

Because I’ll be real with you, before we even turned on the game, I had my guard up when it came to the Super Bowl. This is an event that is known for human trafficking. It was taking place in one of the largest human trafficking cities in America with tons of celebrities throwing up their satanic symbolism.

I mean, you had Beyonce and Jay Z hanging out in the same booth as the former owner of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, and need I say more. To say I believe that this is a mass social programming experiment year after year that millions of people willingly participate in is an understatement.

But there are plenty of other social media accounts and other podcasters who will dive more into this. So let’s circle back to the ad.

So when this ad came up, my discernment spidey senses went on high alert. I immediately felt something was wrong about this ad, like, I can’t even, like, put it into words. I was uncomfortable. It drummed up anger.

The Depiction of Jesus and Promotion of Love and Hate

And if you’re a Christ follower, you know that when the Holy Spirit is with you and present, you feel the complete opposite of those feelings. The Holy Spirit gives you calmness and peace and clarity, literally the antithesis of the vibes that this ad was giving off. And if you did not see this commercial, it may be played again. I don’t know.

I’m sure you can YouTube it. You’ll see people washing the feet of sinners and they are literally using every politically divisive nature that you could think of when choosing who is washing the feet of whom. And I’m going to list every single one of them in case you’ve missed it and all of these images were seemingly AI generated images. They weren’t actual people.

And I just want you to notice if you sense a theme in what I’m about to go through. So you have

  1. a white young man washing the feet of his father
  2. a white pro life woman who was protesting washing the feet of a young white girl’s feet who just came out of a Planned Parenthood
  3. an Asian cop washing the black feet of a criminal
  4. a white preppy looking Regina George esque girl washing the feet of a white punk rock looking girl with short dyed red hair
  5. a white man washing the feet of a Native American
  6. a white woman washing the feet of another white woman who was presumably fighting addiction, alcoholism, etcetera on the kitchen floor
  7. a white man who is working on an oil rig washing the feet of what looks like either an Asian or Native American woman’s feet who was protesting and had her climate change sign
  8. a white woman washing the feet of a Hispanic woman who was holding an infant who just climbed off the bus, presumably from the border. That’s the image it gave.
  9. a black woman washing the feet of a Latina woman’s feet at a protest.
  10. a white woman and man from, presumably, it looked like middle-class America, washing the feet of a Muslim woman while her husband watched
  11. an older white man and black man sitting on the porch, they were breaking bread together in what looked like the deep south. And not only that, there was a Bloodhound at the feet of the white man.
  12. a white priest washing the feet of a young black gay man.

Then the words, Jesus didn’t teach hate come on the screen. He washed feet and then said “he gets us”, Jesus. Love your neighbor, whatever their website is, etc.

Concerns about the false portrayal of Jesus in the ad

And look, everyone knows that Jesus didn’t hate people. Even if you don’t personally follow Jesus, you know that he didn’t stand for hate. So why did this advertisement see to it that this was their messaging?

Truly, it was a lost opportunity. If they were trying to evangelize people, right, by throwing this advertisement out, spending millions and millions of dollars on it, trying to reach hundreds of millions of people watching the game who might not be Christ followers, like, they dropped the ball.

So in my opinion, I don’t think that was what they were really trying to teach. Okay. Because let’s be real, the organization had a different agenda because it clearly wasn’t about trying to clear the air about, you know, Jesus.

Did He promote hate or love? No, we know that Jesus promoted love, whether you follow Him or not. So in all of those scenarios I listed, there were 11 different ones (edit: there are 12), there was not a single white person getting their feet washed by a non white person.

So let me get this straight. Jesus wants us to wash feet. Doesn’t want us to hate. But only white people should be doing the washing of the feet. Okay.

Really? And remember, I asked you, who is funding this? And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out, it’s the left. I mean, heck, even Ken Colwell, who is the CEO for the Come Near Organization, guess what? He uses he/him pronouns in his bio. Need I say more?

So we have a Christian organization, promoting an ad for Jesus and the CEO uses pronouns despite the fact that in the bible, it is very clear that God made a man and made a woman. There are no blurred lines there, but I digress.

Now, if they had any other race washing the feet of a white person, then this podcast episode would be moot. I mean, heck they even went as far like, you wanna talk about divisiveness and how they’re just trying to skew facts. They even went as far to show a black person getting their feet washed by an Asian police officer.

So did you know that Asian hate crimes are up 73%? And I’ll give you one guess, which demographic is doing most of these hate crimes to the Asian population? You only get one guess.

And let’s just flip it. Like, once again, this podcast episode would be moot if the black man was being portrayed as the criminal, right? If he was washing the feet of the police officer, that would get you to question the narrative and truly think like, alright, maybe we should be taking care of one another, but no, like boom, they go right for the divisiveness.

Misrepresentation of The ‘He Gets Us’ Super Bowl Ad and Biblical Accuracy

And, you know, as a Christ follower, there’s nothing that grinds my gears more than when someone is claiming to be preaching the word of God, but doesn’t actually use the word.

There’s one, one reference to Jesus washing feet in the Bible. And guess what? It was the night of Passover when Jesus was surrounded by all of his disciples, his biggest followers, his OGs, his ride or dies, some quite literally.

And yes, this included the one who is about to betray him and he knew about it. He knew about it and he still did it. You know, Jesus wasn’t out there, you know, with his goat soap and loofah, washing the feet of sinners.

He was healing people, but there’s no reference to him washing the feet. Now can we say with 100% certainty that he never did this? Some would argue, no. I argue, yes, with certainty. I can say that because the Bible is purposeful. There are specific stories in there for a reason.

🌟 As a Christ follower, the false narrative of Jesus’ teachings promoted in the ad was a red flag. It’s fascinating how a seemingly pro-religious ad stirred up controversy and misinterpretation.

And if God wanted us to know that this was important and this was something that Jesus did and therefore, we should be doing it, he would have made it so he it would have been explicitly written just like we are told multiple times over and over again, the importance of tithing, we’re taught the importance of do not fear over and over and over again in the Bible till it’s hammered into us.

We would see it in writing. And what we as believers do know is that we are called to repent for our sins. Turn away from it.

That doesn’t mean accepting it. But yet, this ad is promoting a falsehood. One that if you don’t know the word, you may follow and think is the Bible. It’s inaccurate.

And then on top, you know, on top of that, it’s creating this anger and this divisiveness by showing the images of the Native American, you know, the white man washing his feet because, you know, the white man took away the land, or you have the white man and the black man sitting on the porch and you have the bloodhound, which was used by the way, the bloodhounds were used during the Civil War to look for slaves that went missing from the plantation. You think I mean, come on.

The imagery is so on point that if you didn’t see it, then you just must have not been paying attention at all because it was so in your face.

And I’ve talked about this before where I know there are, you know, prosperity teachers out there and false preachers, and their messaging does get people in the door of the church because they paint this image slightly different than what it is.

And I’ve shared that my testimony of this type of situation was when my husband was turning to Christ and he never knew him growing up. Okay? But the two of us attended this massive church event down here in south of South Florida where there were all these fellowship leaders that they pulled in from different churches down here in South Florida and Joel Osteen was hosting the event.

And do I personally think that Joel Osteen has a laundry list of issues? Yes. Am I forever grateful that my husband attended the event with me, and experienced worship music for the first time?

That’s where he saw our current pastor preaching and talking. And, yes, he stood up at the end of the event and shared his public declaration of becoming a Christ follower.

So did that event put on by someone who I think is maybe not one of the best preachers, get him in the door, sure.

But I think we run into a major issue when we’re advertising to hundreds of millions of people that they can sin and still get their feet washed. Like we were literally like affirming their sin.

And the act of washing of the feet, that’s a humbling, humbling experience like the disciples who like I said, the OGs. They didn’t think that they were worthy of Jesus doing that. They knew they weren’t worthy. They knew.

But yet, we’re making it so common, and we’re acting as if that’s just what he did for everyone rather than him showing his love and appreciation for everything that they had sacrificed and done for Him.

And at the end of the day, we’re all sinners, but we should strive to live and walk like Jesus. So we can’t run an ad like this and give people a lukewarm version of Jesus in hopes that they’ll turn to Him.

Because what’s gonna happen is they’re gonna be very disappointed when, A, they realize the TRUTH because the truth is, Jesus has really high standards for how we should walk in life. Does He love us endlessly? 100%. But that doesn’t mean He loves and accepts our behavior.

And if we want people to truly commit to following and accepting Jesus as their Lord and savior, then we need them to know the truth. And He is the truth. He is the way. And we can’t make excuses for poor behavior, any of us. We all need to know that yes, we will be forgiven, but we also must repent.

Genuine Representation of Jesus and His Teachings

We must turn away from that poor behavior if we truly want to walk with Him in the long run. And I encourage you to put on an armor of discernment in this season and beyond.

This world is getting heavy and wild. And while I do believe this was a political ad, I also believe that the enemy uses these opportunities to prevent people from getting to know Jesus because just like in football, the enemy has the playbook.

He was God’s right hand man, which means he knows how the story ends. Just like the writers in the NFL, they know how the game is gonna end. And he’s gonna do whatever it takes to distract you from getting to know God and getting right with God.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this advertisement, my perspective on it, if you agree, disagree, what yours is.

Couple of questions to ponder

  1. What are your thoughts on the responsibility of religious organizations when promoting messages to the public, especially during high-profile events like the Super Bowl?
  2. How do you feel about the portrayal of Jesus and the use of foot washing in the advertisement? Does it align with your understanding of biblical teachings?

 

If you wanna get more of this type of content, make sure you follow me on Instagram at @macrowley. And if you love this episode, let me know by tagging me on IG or even leaving a podcast review. See you next week.

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