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Millions to Hear About Jesus Through Super Bowl Ads, But Not All Are Convinced It's What It Seems

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Christian ads set to air during the Super Bowl on Sunday are drawing both praise and criticism for how they’re presenting Jesus to the public.

A company by the name of Haven is paying $20 million to show two of its “He Gets Us” campaign ads during the game, buying a total of 90 seconds, WXMI-TV reported.

The campaign seeks to get the public to reimagine the life and struggles of Jesus by telling his story in a way that people can relate to.

Haven is a marketing agency funded by anonymous sources that reportedly include the family that owns Hobby Lobby and several evangelical groups, according to The Christian Post.

The company has already spent $100 million on commercial slots during high-profile sporting events and plans to spend $1 billion over the next three years, WXMI reported.

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However, not all Christians agree with the way Haven is communicating its message, and others have pointed to the large price tag as a possible red flag.

One person said of the campaign on Facebook, “Its doing ABSOLUTELY nothing but spreading the illusion that our sin is ok because… ‘He gets us’. There’s not one thing in there to encourage sinners to turn away from their sin. Not one word mentioned about Jesus giving himself as the sacrifice for all sin. No mention of Jesus resurrection. No mention of His return.”

Another person referred to it as “watered down victim gospel.”

“This is nothing more than progressive ‘Christianity’ and blasphemy,” one Facebook user commented.

Jason Vanderground, president of Haven, acknowledged some of these concerns to WXMI.

“When people would hear, ‘Oh, you’re spending $100 million,’ they’re like, that’s a lot of money. And I think people are rightly skeptical,” Vanderground said. “They’ve seen marketing be used in ways that manipulated and took advantage of people.”

He continued, “We understand that. We actually think that’s healthy to be skeptical about it. But we look at Jesus and just say he was like the perfect communicator. And he used the tools and the means that he had available to him to get his message out. And that’s all we’re doing here.”

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The group also rejects claims that it’s politically motivated, saying on the “He Gets Us” website that it is “not ‘left’ or ‘right’ or a political organization of any kind.”

 

The self-professed agenda of “He Gets Us” is “to move beyond the mess of our current cultural moment to a place where all of us are invited to rediscover the love story of Jesus.”

“We simply want everyone to understand the authentic Jesus as he’s depicted in the Bible — the Jesus of radical forgiveness, compassion, and love.”

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