News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

SPPP banner.png
He Gets Us/Youtube screenshot
He Gets Us/Youtube screenshot
USA News

Christian Super Bowl commercial divides Christians

by Lydia Davies

A Christian commercial about Jesus that aired during the Super Bowl on Sunday has divided Christians and viewers around the world.

This year's American Football final, which took place in Las Vegas, Nevada was one of the most-watched television events in the United States.

According to Nielson ratings, it's estimated that it attracted 99.9 million viewers and was broadcast into over 180 countries and territories in more than 30 languages.

Many tune in for the halftime show and the premiere of new commercials, which are often high-budget productions featuring celebrities.

The commercial, which allegedly cost up to £15.9m ($20m) to broadcast, showed a series of images representing people from different backgrounds and experiences washing the feet of the other. The one minute commercial included scenes of a woman outside a family planning clinic and a person attending a protest, having their feet washed, a reference to the story of Jesus washing his disciples' feet. The commercial ends with the phrase, "Jesus didn't teach hate. He washed feet."

The Christian organisation behind the commercial, 'He Gets Us', stated that its goal is to "remind everyone, including ourselves, that Jesus' teachings are a warm embrace, not a cold shoulder."

While some embraced the message that “Jesus did not hate anyone”, others were concerned that the advertisement justified certain sins.

Zach Lambert, pastor of Restore in Austin, Texas told Premier Christian News he wholeheartedly embraced the commercial campaign.

“I think that I have some natural hesitancy around any kind of Christian advertising in general. But the long ad that showed in the first half where it was the foot washing and all the different scenes, my natural kind of hesitancy melted away a little bit. At that point I was very compelled by it, I thought that it was a really positive message overall”.

He acknowledged the divide the advert has caused within the wider Church, especially between the Christian politically right and left. 

“The advertisement was...nobody's over anybody, in fact, we should all be serving others and washing each other's feet, just like Jesus did, and Jesus would never hate anyone,” he added.

 “I think that made a lot of folks on that side, very angry.”

Others didn't respond so positively to the commercial campaign. Joel Berry, editor of conservative satire publication The Babylon Bee, wrote on X that he believes the commercial was "strictly following oppressed v oppressor intersectionality guidelines" and trying to either "sell Jesus to leftists" or "cynically" use Jesus to "sell a political movement."

"The 'He Gets Us' commercial might seem harmless to some, but it's obviously part of a psyop to trick Christians into thinking Jesus is fine with sin & apostasy. It's the opposite of what our world needs right now," Pastor Ryan Visconti published on X.

Andrew T. Walker, a Southern Seminary theology professor, posted that the commercial "framed evangelism with a leftward tinge, communicating the respectability of certain sins over others in our culture."

However, US political commentator Michael Knowles posted on X: "Am I the only conservative Christian who didn't totally hate the 'He Gets Us' ad? Yes, it speaks 'woke-ese.' It's not for us; it's for secular libs. There's a risk it leads to heretical complacency. But if it gets some lost lib even to consider Our Lord, I'm not totally opposed."

A spokesperson for "He Gets Us" responded to the criticism in a statement to Newsweek on Monday, writing that "our intent is to share the authentic love Jesus showed with anyone and everyone."

"Our ads this year this year kick off a year-long focus on loving your neighbours, which will come to life through service events, art, advertising and engaging content, and experiences that bring people together. While we may use different words or methods than others, we hope that it compels people to be curious and explore Jesus' story.”

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us
Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email