He Gets Us has been airing ads about how Jesus relates to everyday human life for a couple of years now. The one that aired during Sunday's game features people from apparently opposing identity groups – like a police officer and a black man, a suburban woman and an illegal immigrant, or a pro-lifer and a woman outside an abortion clinic – washing the other person's feet.
"Jesus didn't teach hate. He washed feet. He gets us. All of us," the video concludes.
American Family Association (AFA) Vice President Wesley Wildmon says the message is muddled.
"In some cases, people would say, 'Well, they're using the commercials to point people to their website where they share the gospel,' but they're not even doing that there," he asserts.
According to its "about us" page, He Gets Us aims "to remind everyone, including ourselves, that Jesus' teachings are a warm embrace, not a cold shoulder. That he didn't let pro-this or anti-that opinions prohibit him from seeing the value in all people. He Gets Us invites you to explore Jesus' story on your own terms and at your own pace."
There is no mention of repentance or what Jesus did on the cross for the sins of the world. All of our sins.
Saj George Salgado, a "justice-oriented" social media influencer – likely the very audience the commercial was reaching for – did not get it, either. He did not appreciate the ad's "all lives matter vibes."
"If you read a religious organization's entire website, and at the end of it, you still don't quite know what they stand for – that is intentional," he stated in a TikTok video. "Generally, that is a bait and switch."
He also pointed out that Jesus "couldn't have been a centrist" because "people who play a moderate role … don't get crucified."
Wildmon says the gospel requires repentance to God for one's sins, not to each other for disagreements, and AFA wants to correct the record.
"We are going to respond … with an explicit video of the gospel message, in addition to pointing out some of the things that we find misleading," Wildmon says.
Meanwhile, Jamie Bambrick, a Christian pastor in Northern Ireland, has already put together the Christian Super Bowl ad he says He Gets Us "SHOULD have made." It declares that "Jesus doesn't just get us. He saves us."
Editor's Note: The American Family Association is the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates AFN.net.