The Trap of "He Gets Us"

The Trap of “He Gets Us”

This past weekend, as millions of people were watching the Super Bowl (myself included), paying closer attention to commercials than during our normal television watching, one advertisement probably caught the attention of many of you. We’re used to advertisements for beer, movie trailers, and cars we can’t afford, but this one had the name “Jesus” in it. So, you might have stopped what you doing, paused your trip to the kitchen to get a snack, silenced your conversations as you anticipated a biblical message of love and gospel hope. What we were subjugated to was a 60 second lecture on dangers of hate and how we need to imitate Jesus’ love by washing the feet of others.

You may have seen this ad and agreed with its message. You might wonder why anyone would take issue with this sort of commercial. You might have thought, “shouldn’t we strive to be less hateful and more serving to others?” However, there are several things wrong with this message, and, as Christians, we must practice discernment and hold things up against scripture to see if they are true.

Yes, Jesus took the posture of a servant and washed, not only the feet of his friends and closest followers, but he also washed the feet of one enemy, Judas. So, in that sense, we could point to the ad as being an accurate portrayal of Jesus’ attitude. However, to only represent Jesus as someone who loves and serves people no matter what, is categorically false. Jesus did, and does, love people in their sin, but he always calls people to repent and turn from their sin. In no way does Jesus ever accept or condone sinful behavior. And this is the problem with the “He Gets Us” campaign.

It doesn’t take much research to find assertions of love, acceptance, and forgiveness of the “He Gets Us” website. They have numerous articles that include statements such as “Throughout our shared history, Jesus has represented the ultimate good that humankind is capable of aspiring to.” It does take a good bit of digging to discover that nowhere do the people behind #hegetsus ever acknowledge Jesus Christ as the perfect, sinless Son of God who came to earth to be the ultimate sacrifice for sin, dying for those who would believe in him and who was resurrected and now sitting at the right hand of God, pronouncing judgment upon the world. In short, nowhere does this movement ever preach the true gospel.

And this is the trap of “He Gets Us”, and the social gospel movement as a whole. On the surface it sounds good. It uses language that most Christians would not be opposed to. Christians should desire to help those in need. Christians should not promote hatred of any person. Christians should be known for their practices of love, grace, and forgiveness. But that is not the gospel. These are effects of the gospel, but they in and of themselves, are not the gospel. Serving someone is not sharing the gospel. Practicing benevolence and charity is not sharing the gospel. To share the gospel, is to tell people about their need for a Savior because of sin, and how Jesus Christ died on our behalf and was raised from the dead, and then call people to repent of their sin and follow Christ.

Without a true sharing of the gospel, people are not given hope of salvation. In fact, they are given something much more, a hope in themselves, a hope that if they would just promote love over hate then Jesus will accept them. This is why we must speak up when we hear false gospels being promoted. It’s why the Apostle Paul wrote so many of his letters to churches, to warn them of the dangers of embracing a false gospel. One of Satan’s strongest weapons is to present false gospels in the hopes that it will distract them from the truth. May we practice discernment and point people to the true Jesus that they may find salvation and eternal life.

Soli deo gloria,
Pastor Brian

P.S. If you want a better message of hope, check out this video here.

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