If the 'He Gets Us' ad was missed field goal, Bambrick scored touchdown

If the 'He Gets Us' ad was missed field goal, Bambrick scored touchdown

If the 'He Gets Us' ad was missed field goal, Bambrick scored touchdown

Using the wildly popular Super Bowl to put Jesus in the closely-watched ad lineup could reach millions of people, but what if the “He Gets Us” group misfired on getting its best message out there?

Or, worse, what if its intended message was one of acceptance of behaviors and lifestyles the Bible clearly teaches against?

Critics say Jesus could have been better presented to the masses in those precious few seconds last Sunday and some say the ads are veiled propaganda for the Jesus-was-a-hippie political Left.

Super Bowl ads carry a hefty price tag, running $7 million per 30 seconds, according to National Public Radio.

The “He Gets Us” foot-washing video posted on its website is 60 seconds in length. According to HeGetsUs.com, the group is managed by the nonprofit “Come Near.”

Advertisers, those who can, pay that price because of the game’s enormous reach which for some Christians begs the question, “This is the best you’ve got?”

The ad depicted quick flashes of one person washing the feet of a second person who was clearly suffering or otherwise in need of compassion and acceptance. It closed with the message, “Jesus didn’t teach hate. He washed feet.”

Deace, Steve (Blaze TV) Deace

But what does that mean? Depending on a person's political leanings, "hate" means different things to many people. It could mean Nazi graffiti on a synagogue but also the Dobbs abortion ruling and razor wire on the southern border.  

Iowa-based talk show host Steve Deace called the ads “well-meaning but soft-headed.”

“The presentation of Christ that more people will see than any other this year, take all the best sermons we have, all the best ministries we have, and they don’t hold the jockstrap of the reach of that event last night,” Deace told his audience Monday. “Does anybody wash the feet of the redneck in Alabama who drives a truck and has a MAGA sticker on the back as he pulls over to one of the many strip joints? Anybody pull over to help that White Nationalist redneck get his feet washed so he could be loved into the Kingdom, too? No grace for him. It always only went one way, to the Left, and that’s how you know it was a scam.”

A tearful alternative

Jamie Bambrick, the associate pastor at Hope Church, Armagh, Northern Ireland, posted his version of “He Gets Us” to his X page Tuesday morning, which went viral. It has accumulated more than 1.8 million views with 8,000-plus re-posts.

The one-minute video took him approximately an hour to produce, he said on X, but has brought tears to the eyes of many with its testimonies of people who have experienced a life-changing encounter with the risen Christ. 

Why is it affecting so many? Because it is true that Jesus engaged with broken people but Bambrick’s “He Saves Us,” version of “He Gets Us” focuses on his healing power to forgive sin.

The video shows snapshots of people that viewers won’t fully appreciate until they see the overlaid text that they’re looking at a “former gang leader,” a “former jihadist,” a “former KKK member,” a “former drug user,” and more.

Bambrick said on American Family Radio Wednesday that he was motivated to act by what he called a “massive missed opportunity.”

“He Gets Us” donors are not listed at its website, but in 2023 Hobby Lobby founder David Green told Glenn Beck that his family was helping to fund the ads for last year’s Super Bowl.

“If you put millions of dollars into reaching hundreds of millions of people, you should convey something that gets to the heart of the gospel,” Bambrick told show host Jenna Ellis. “I know there are limitations in trying to do that in 60 seconds, but I felt grieved over seeing that, frustrated."

Bambrick, Jamie Bambrick

In his video, Bambrick took direct aim at his expensive Super Bowl competition. "Jesus doesn't just get us," his message reads. "He saves us. He transforms us. He cleanses us. He restores us. He forgives us. He heals us. He delivers us. He redeems us. He loves us."

Echoing the misgivings of many, Bambrick said the "He Gets Us" ad approved of the actions and beliefs of today, which are sinful.

"As opposed to what the Gospel is, which is Jesus does not come just to support us in our sin but to save us from it.”

In a statement to Newsweek, a spokesperson for “He Gets Us” said “our intent is to share the authentic love Jesus showed with anyone and everyone.”

The spokesperson added, “Our ads this year kick off a year-long focus on loving your neighbors, 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.”

According to USA Today, representatives of “He Gets Us” held a day of service in the Las Vegas community the day before the Super Bowl.

A group of current and former NFL players participated, delivering groceries and hot meals and also leading a kids’ football clinic.

‘He Gets Us’ checks some of the boxes

“He Gets Us” checks the service to others box of Christ’s commands but may also come with a “buyer beware” component, Bambrick said.

“I view this as a potential left-wing ideology toward a Christian audience as well. I don’t know that this was just evangelism toward unbelievers,” Bambrick said. “It may well have actually been intended in part to shift the conversation leftwards within believing Christians.

“You need to respond to (culture), but part of the response is demonstrating that the true gospel is a better message. The message that Jesus saved us from sin is phenomenal, and how that bears out in peoples’ lives is an incredible fruit.”