February 18, 2023

Subject: Super Bowl, Jesus Christ and “He Gets Us” Campaign: The Lausanne Covenant

Romans 10:9 “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Ed Croteau

“Something tells me Jesus would not spend millions of dollars on Super Bowl ads to make fascism look benign.” This is from New York Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Sunday night.

“This Super Bowl ‘He Gets Us’ campaign shows a moral Jesus who is relevant today because you can emotionally connect to His story. It also portrays Jesus as a refugee and immigrant, which does not lead people to a Jesus that can save them.” These are some objections from evangelical Christians.

What happened during the Super Bowl? Two commercials, one a 30-second spot with children embracing each other and then a 60-second ad showing adults ready to attack each other, with the caption “Jesus loved the people we hate.” These ads aired during America’s highest-rated show – the Super Bowl.

Hobby Lobby’s David Green financed both ads: “I believe once someone knows Christ as their personal savior, I’ve affected eternity.” Seems like David understands Mark 16:15: “Go into the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Why then are evangelical Christians and atheists/leftists so critical of the ads?

The inflammatory part of these ads is the Person they glorify – Jesus Christ. One side associates the Jesus of the ads with fascism, while the other side accuses the Jesus in the ads as only a person to admire.

How does the Bible say we should view Jesus? Jesus tells us: “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6). Then Peter tells us: “Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36). And finally Paul, in this week’s verse, tells us that eternal life is yours by trusting your life in the hands of the Lord Jesus (not the man Jesus) and His physical resurrection: “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).

CS Lewis told us: “I am trying to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either He was, and is, the Son of God, or a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon or you can fall at His feet and call him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

Does the “He Gets Us” campaign present Jesus Christ in the same way as the Bible and CS Lewis? The

“He Gets Us” campaign says “We generally recognize the Lausanne Covenant as reflective of the spirit and intent of this movement, and churches that partner with He Gets Us affirm the Lausanne Covenant.” So, partnering with “He Gets Us” means affirming the Lausanne Covenant. The obvious question: what is this covenant and how closely does it align with the biblical description of Jesus Christ?

The Lausanne Covenant came out of the 1974 meeting of Christian leaders in Lausanne, Switzerland. The Lausanne Movement states its vision on their website: “The Lausanne Covenant served as a great rallying call to the evangelical Church around the world. It defined what it means to be evangelical and challenged Christians to work together to make Jesus known throughout the world. It is a covenant with one another and with God himself. The goal is the gospel for every person, an evangelical church for every people, Christ-like leaders for every church, and kingdom impact in every sphere of society.”

Although the Lausanne Covenant is man-made and imperfectly reflects what God has perfectly revealed in Scripture, it is gospel and Christ-centered. Since “He Gets Us” claims this Covenant as the litmus test for who they partnered with for outreach during the Super Bowl ads, we can say the motivation of “He Gets Us” matches David Green’s life statement and the hearts of Jesus, Peter, Paul and CS Lewis.

In our second article next week, we will examine how effectively the intentions of “He Gets Us” to share the gospel ended up matching what actually happened. Did those who called in to “He Gets Us” to know more about Jesus hear the gospel form those partners to whom those calls were redirected?

Ed Croteau is a lay pastor and resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the LS Tribune, on Facebook and his website www.fse.life.