Over 700,000 people have been prompted to go to the He Gets Us campaign’s website as a result of two ads about loving one’s neighbor that aired during the Super Bowl Sunday night. However, while some Christians are praising the ads as “powerful” and “beautiful,” others are sharply criticizing them, characterizing them as “apostasy” and affirming of sin.
“The point of @HeGetsUs is to spark the interest of non-believers, not to present a treatise on Christology in a matter of seconds,” said Justin Giboney, co-founder and president of the AND Campaign. “No sin was affirmed in that commercial, but the human dignity of all people was affirmed. Jesus came to seek and save the lost.”
Some Christians hated the @HeGetsUs ad because they think it’s an insult to show us humbling ourselves to serve people with whom we disagree.
Or they think serving = affirming sin.
Reread the Sermon on the Mount. The culture war taught you to focus on fighting them, not Jesus.
— Justin Giboney (@JustinEGiboney) February 12, 2024
He Gets Us ‘Love Your Neighbor’ Super Bowl Ads
On Sunday, Feb. 11, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in one of the longest games in Super Bowl history. Taylor Swift made it to watch her boyfriend Travis Kelce play, and Christians don’t seem overly outraged by Usher’s halftime performance. However, some believers are lambasting two ads from the He Gets Us campaign, particularly one depicting people washing other people’s feet.
The He Gets Us campaign, launched in 2022, has been featured on billboards and TV ads all across the country. It is fully managed by the nonprofit organization Come Near, which is led by CEO Ken Calwell and a growing team.
The group’s website offers resources such as articles and videos to help people learn more about Jesus and also provides a way for site visitors to connect with local groups so that they can learn about Jesus with other people.
The campaign aired two ads during last year’s Super Bowl, the first time they showed any during the big game, and these also faced controversy at the time. Some criticized the group for spending millions of dollars on advertising instead of helping people in need or for being “woke,” while others expressed appreciation for the campaign.
This first ad shown in this year’s Super Bowl shows a series of images of one person washing someone else’s feet. For example, one image shows a woman washing the feet of a young woman outside an abortion clinic where people are protesting. Other images show a police officer washing the feet of a Black man, a woman washing the feet of her Muslim neighbor, and a priest washing the feet of a gay man.
“Jesus didn’t teach hate. He washed feet,” says the video, concluding by showing the URL HeGetsUs.com/LoveYourNeighbor. The link takes visitors to a page with an explanation of the vision behind the ad and the meaning behind why Jesus washed people’s feet.