Let me start this by saying, I'm really not trying to be controversial, these are just things I'm thinking through. In no way am I saying I'm right and anyone that disagrees with me is wrong. So please, throw on your hater blockers, and appease me for just a minute.
During the Broncos/Patriots game, I got a text from a friend that asked what I thought about the Focus on the Family commercial that aired.
My first thought?
I wasn't watching the game, so I had to go look it up on YouTube.
It was a bunch of super cute kids, reciting John 3:16. I mean, how can anyone say anything bad about that?
Except I don't think that's the case. I'm really not trying to be negative here, but it bothered me.
Yes, it was cute. I just don't know if it's appropriate to put an ad for Jesus between car and chips commercials. I don't know if it's appropriate to have commercials for Jesus, period. Advertising is a way of manipulating people into thinking that you need a product. Are we to use manipulation to share who Jesus is? While I loved the children and what they said, using kids is especially manipulative. I mean, why not throw in a puppy or a sweet little grandma in a wheelchair as well? It's reducing Jesus to a product that we need.
Something about this list just looks wrong to me:
Toilet bowl cleaner.
The quick fix. The gospel of me. Make my life better and gimme somma that eternal life too.
I know people will say that's not the message of John 3:16. And that's why I say context matters. The message gets muddled in a thirty second slot in the middle of a football games where products are advertised that everyone knows are not truly life changing. It's sending the wrong message.
It troubled me even more when I read what Focus on the Family's spokesperson, Gary Scheenberger, said,"We will hear about shoving religion down people's throats. But if it's okay to shove Doritos down people's throats, and cars and everything else, we have the right to advertise too."
Is this really how Jesus would want himself represented? Was this ad about sharing the love that Christ has for the world, or was this ad about the right to do so? Was it so Christians could give each other high fives? Because when it starts to become about our rights, then something's wrong. We relinquish our rights as followers of Jesus. The world may use any means necessary to control the culture, to get ideas across, to be heard, but we're to embody the life of Christ and resist grabbing for power. Instead of waging cultural wars, we approach those we disagree with in love and humility. Isn't this the way of Jesus?
Does any of this matter? I'd love to hear another perspective. Beyond saying God's Word does not return void because if that's all there is to it, I feel a large Testamints marketing blitz coming on. I mean, does anyone think that this was truly a good idea?