Evangelical group facing backlash over Super Bowl Jesus commercials: report
Silhouette of Jesus during his crucifixion (Shutterstock)

According to a report from CNN, two commercials that will run during Sunday's widely-viewed Super Bowl are stirring up a hornet's nest of opposition from Christians which has the spokesperson for the evangelical group behind the ads attempting to calm the waters.

At issue are the ads using the tagline "He Gets Us" which has some Christians complaining they are too vague and not true to the Bible, while others say they miss the mark with the very demographic Christian evangelicals need to keep church attendance up.

According to CNN's A.J. Willingham, "The campaign is arresting, portraying the pivotal figure of Christianity as an immigrant, a refugee, a radical, an activist for women’s rights and a bulwark against racial injustice and political corruption. The 'He Gets Us' website features content about of-the-moment topics, like artificial intelligence and social justice," adding, "But certain details about the 'He Gets Us' ads have set off alarm bells among young people and those skeptical of religion, two groups the campaign is specifically to attract. Some of the campaign’s major donors, and its holding company, have ties to conservative political aims and far-right ideologies that appear at odds with the campaign’s inclusive messaging."

In particular, complaints are being raised about funding that comes from controversial Hobby Lobby founder David Green.

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According to Jason Vanderground, spokesperson for He Gets Us and president of creative marketing firm HAVEN, "Funding for the campaign comes from a diverse group of individuals and entities with a common goal of sharing Jesus’ story authentically."

That is not keeping critics from airing their grievances to the heavens.

According to Dr. Kevin M. Young, a pastor and biblical scholar, the ads won't do much to convert non-believers.

“Young people are digital natives who understand the difference between slick marketing and authenticity,” Young explained before adding, “Megachurches, mega-events, and mega spending on marketing is seen as money that could have been used funding community programs and advocacy for the oppressed – such as refugees, LGBTQ+ individuals and abortion rights – and the poor.”

Young insisted young people want to see action instead of mere words from evangelicals, explaining, "Young people want a church that will put shoe leather to their faith and do something for those in harm’s way; those who the church itself has harmed.”

Add to that, CNN's Willingham wrote, some Bible believers are unhappy with the ads too.

According to the report, "Other Christians have criticized the campaign for a different reason altogether: for being too vague and apparently de-emphasizing Biblical teachings and Jesus’ holiness."

You can read more here.