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How “He Gets Us” Doesn’t Get Jesus and the Gospel

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton
The Truth Network Radio
February 24, 2024 2:00 am

How “He Gets Us” Doesn’t Get Jesus and the Gospel

The Christian Worldview / David Wheaton

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February 24, 2024 2:00 am

GUEST: Tom Buck, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church (Lindale, TX)

Back in 2022, we were interested to learn that a non-profit foundation, funded to the tune of $100M by mostly anonymous donors, had put together a marketing campaign called “He Gets Us” to, in their own words, “rediscover the life and teachings of Jesus, the world’s most radical love activist?”

Hmm, the life and teaching of Jesus has never needed to be rediscovered, as it’s right there in the Bible for all to read. And Jesus as the “world’s most radical love activist” is not how Jesus described Himself. He called Himself the “Son of God” and the giver of eternal life.

With these hints of the campaign’s view of Jesus, it wasn’t surprising that their “Brand Jesus” marketing ads appearing on television (including the Super Bowl), social media, Times Square billboards, and well, almost everywhere, portrayed Jesus as a social justice hero who gets us because He had a “teen mother” and was a “refugee” and was “cancelled” as three of the ads portray.

But hey, “An ad for Jesus is being viewed by millions during the Super Bowl and how could that be anything but good? God can use anything!” so the refrain goes.

The problem is, and it’s a problem of the greatest significance, that the real Jesus Christ of Scripture is being misrepresented in the He Gets Us campaign, along with His main message: “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:10).

The Biblical gospel of God’s holiness, man’s sinfulness, Jesus’ substitution and resurrection, and Christ’s command to “repent and believe the gospel” is either not clearly presented or is obfuscated by the heavy emphasis on Jesus as a role model who gets our problems and predicaments.

The false Christ and gospel being presented by He Gets Us is all the more pernicious now that the organization is funded to the tune of $1B. Yes, you heard that correctly, one billion dollars to portray a skewed version of Jesus.

Tom Buck, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, TX and Director of Expository Workshops for G3 Ministries, joins us this weekend on The Christian Worldview to discuss why Christians need to be aware of this wrong presentation of Jesus and the gospel and proclaim the truth about who Christ is and how sinners can be reconciled to God through Him.

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How he gets us doesn't get Jesus and the Gospel. That is the topic we'll discuss today right here on the Christian Worldview radio program where the mission is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.

I'm David Wheaton, the host. ministry. You can connect with us by visiting our website, thechristianworldview.org, calling toll-free 1-888-646-2233, or by writing to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota 55331. Back in 2022, we were interested to learn that a nonprofit foundation funded to the tune of $100 million by mostly anonymous donors have put together a marketing campaign called He Gets Us to, in their own words, quote, rediscover the life and teachings of Jesus, the world's most radical love activist, unquote. Hmm, the life and teaching of Jesus has never needed to be rediscovered, as it's right there in the Bible for all to read. And Jesus as the world's most radical love activist is not how Jesus described himself.

He called himself the Son of God and the giver of eternal life. With these hints of the campaign's view of Jesus, it wasn't surprising that their brand Jesus marketing ads appearing on television, including the Super Bowl, social media, Times Square billboards, and well, almost everywhere, portrayed Jesus as a social justice hero who gets us because he had a, quote, teen mother, and he was, quote, a refugee, and he was, quote, canceled as three of their ads portray. But hey, an ad for Jesus is being viewed by millions during the Super Bowl, and how could that be anything but good? God can use anything, so the refrain goes. The problem is, and it's a problem of immense significance, that the real Jesus Christ of Scripture is being misrepresented in the He Gets Us campaign, along with Jesus' main message that he said in Luke 19, for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. The biblical gospel of God's holiness, man's sinfulness, Jesus' substitution and resurrection, and Christ's command to repent and believe in this gospel is either not clearly presented or is obfuscated by the heavy emphasis on Jesus as a role model who gets our problems and predicaments.

So here's an example. The following He Gets Us ad shows all kinds of images of families fighting and screaming at each other, and then culminates with the tagline, Jesus family was messy too. He gets us.

He gets all of us. There was a family. They played together and laughed together, but they weren't completely alike. And as they grew older, their opinions widened and they distanced from each other. Conversations became heated. Reunions became more and more uncomfortable. Brother aligned against sister. Birthdays were ignored.

Gathering stopped. Because each had to be right. And again, the headline at the end of the ad is, Jesus family was messy too. He gets us. He gets all of us. And of course Jesus gets us.

And of course Jesus gets us. But what is left out of these ads is how we can get Jesus, how we can be reconciled to Him through repentance and faith in who He is and what He did. The false Christ and gospel being presented by He Gets Us is all the more pernicious now that the organization is funded to a tune of one billion dollars.

Yes, you heard that correctly. One billion dollars to portray a skewed version of Jesus. Tom Buck, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas, and director of expository workshops for G3 Ministries, joins us today on the Christian worldview to discuss why Christians need to be aware of this wrong presentation of Jesus and the gospel and be more intent on proclaiming the truth about who Christ is and how sinners can be reconciled to God through Him. Let's get to the interview with Tom Buck where he first shares how he came to saving faith in Christ. Tom, thank you for coming on the Christian worldview radio program today.

You were on the program about a year and a half ago, June 25, 2022, to discuss Rick Warren's push to have female pastors within the Southern Baptist Convention. One question I didn't ask you that day, and a question I often ask first-time guests, is how and why did you come to saving faith in Christ? Just give us a brief faith story and what your life is like now. Well, I was raised in a home that took me to church from literally from the moment I was born. So I grew up hearing the gospel, and at a young age, I understood enough about the gospel that Christ died in my place for my sins and that he rose again. And I shared with my parents that I wanted to go and talk with the pastor and make it known that I wanted to put my faith and trust in Christ alone. And they were a little concerned that I might be too young, you know, as kids often make decisions and then later turn from that.

So they kind of put it off. But one day coming home from church, I just told them, I said, I believe I'm a Christian now. And they said, well, you know, asked me what happened. And I said, I realized I didn't need anybody's approval to get saved. I said, I just trusted Christ to save me, confessed that I was a sinner, that he had died for my sins and rose again and asked him to save me.

And I said, I believe he has. So that's how I came to know Christ. And so I've been a Christian most of my life and obviously decided to go into the pastorate.

And this March, I will have been a senior pastor for 30 years and will have been involved in some level of ministry, even while I was going to seminary and some churches for 40 years in June. And so the Lord has been good to me and I'm thankful for how he has changed my life. Whether I serve as a pastor or not, he saved me and now he uses me in this way. It's just an incredible blessing. Well, praise God for that. And thank you for sharing with us how God reached down to save you.

Pastor Tom Buck is with us today here on the Christian Real View, the pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas, also the director of the expository workshops for G3 Ministries. Tom, just one more personal question before we get to our topic. I don't know much about the story, but I've seen it online and so forth, that you and your wife Jennifer have really gone through a difficult period the last, I think it was about two or three years, when Jennifer did some writings about some issues you had early on in your marriage and how it was sent off to an editor and somehow shared before it went to publication. I may be getting a lot of the facts wrong there, but maybe you could just briefly share with us, because this has been something I've seen a lot of different people talk about on social media and so forth. Tell us about that situation. Well, unfortunately we don't have three hours that you might take for that, but really what happened is in 2016, my wife and I were talking. We're seeing everything go on regarding the Me Too, Church Too movement, and there was a lot of talk about how that God can't restore these things, and these people need to be pushed out of the church or move on.

They might be able to be saved, but they can't serve again. And the Lord just really put on her heart a desire to tell our story that we've been telling for years in our church about the early years of our marriage that were difficult because of my not understanding how to lead as a godly husband. And so she wanted to counter that with saying, here's a story of God's redemptive grace. And so she wasn't really sure what all to put in there.

There were some private things that happened to her before we were married that factored into some of her thinking and that happened to me before we were married. And so she just wrote everything out and gave it to Karen Pryor, who was a significant figure in the SBC and also an editor or not an editor, but I should say published things and was a writer. And so we asked her if she would give feedback to Jennifer Rickles. I had Karen help me in the past with something that I'd written, and we had an amicable relationship, and Jennifer gave it to her, and that was in twenty sixteen. And there's a lot of reasons why it never got around to getting all the feedback.

Jennifer wanted never got published. But during the next year, Karen Pryor endorsed three voice, which was promoted LGBT issues, as you're probably aware and your listeners are aware. And I confronted Karen about that. And that put us sideways with one another because she wouldn't repent. And I called for her to be removed from her position at the ERLC, the Ethics Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Commission, as well as encouraged Southeastern to not hire her. And so that was in late twenty sixteen, early twenty seventeen. And then we had totally didn't think any more about Jennifer's rough draft that she'd written until twenty twenty two, when there were some people who were upset with me about my outspokenness in the SBC and about a variety of issues over the last few years. And it's a long story of how it came to be.

But I guess the only way you could put it is political enemies. I didn't even know who those would be at the time. Got a hold of Jennifer's rough draft to the only person that had it was Karen Pryor. And her boss was Keith Whitfield at Southeastern was also privy to that, it seems, because he was somehow connected with the rough draft being given to the news agencies in order to smear me. And so that's what happened. And so I was painted as an abuser. There were things in Jennifer's rough draft which had not even been edited.

That was a very, very rough draft about that happened to her in her past that outed things that happened to her before we were married. It was just an atrocious thing that took place. And so we have been trying to get to the bottom of this. And with all the evidence that we have, which is unbelievable how much we have, the SBC and Southeastern has decided to not address it and to do nothing about those who were involved. People can find out the full context of the story by going to Kuiper Belt Productions, which is K-U-T-I-E-R. They did a documentary on what happened to us. Thank you for clarifying that because things have trickled out over the years and it's just a complete betrayal of trust and what's taking place. And the non-response is very telling as well. Well, we just hope and pray that that can be resolved in a biblical way and those who have committed offense can come to repentance and be held accountable for breaching a trust like that. That's terrible.

Very sorry to hear that. Tom Buck, our guest today here on the Christian Morovian, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas. Now let's move Tom to the topic we're mainly going to discuss today, which is the He Gets Us campaign. We did a program on this back in October 8th, 2022.

So now we're about a year and a half on from that. And I actually think this is quite a significant campaign that's being put on, especially when you know the dollar value behind it. But just as a little background for those who may not be familiar that maybe they've seen an ad on the Super Bowl for He Gets Us and so forth, but just Wikipedia, consider the source, but just kind of generally give you an idea. I don't think anything in this what I'm going to read in these two paragraphs has been disputed, but He Gets Us is an American religious advertising campaign formerly operated by the Servant Foundation.

It was first launched in 2022. The campaign's stated goal is to reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible. Its campaigns are designed to cater to younger demographics and religious skeptics via allusions to present day social movements with an emphasis on values such as inclusion, compassion, and radical forgiveness.

Two more paragraphs. Jason Vanderground, a consultant involved with the campaign, described the approach being taken by He Gets Us as one intended to transcend politics. The advertisements were initially funded by the Servant Foundation, as I read earlier, which is a nonprofit donor-advised fund which does business as called The Signatory. Most individual donors to this campaign have chosen to remain anonymous. One of the campaign's backers is David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby.

Now here's where we're getting to the dollar amounts, Tom. One hundred million dollars was spent on the campaign initially. In 2023, Vanderground, who is the consultant involved with the campaign, stated that the organization intended to spend one billion dollars on the campaign within the next three years. As of early 2024, the campaign was under new leadership and no longer affiliated with the Servant Foundation.

Instead, it is overseen by a new nonprofit foundation named Come Near. Tom, what are your thoughts on this He Gets Us campaign in light of how much money is being spent on it? I guess in one sense I would start here. If that billion dollars being spent actually represented and portrayed Jesus as He is seen in Scripture, and portrayed the Gospel as it is rightly declared in Scripture and proclaimed in the Word of God, that addressed the topics of what is a sinner? What did Jesus do to save sinners?

What do I need to do to be saved by Jesus? If that's what the billion dollars was spent on, we'd probably have a different discussion, because then it's about, you know, is this the best way to go about doing that? But right out of the gate, that's not what they're doing. But even if they were doing that, I agree that when we think about that kind of money being spent, it seems to me that it would be best to put that into effort of Gospel-centered churches that are proclaiming the Gospel week in and week out, that are seeking to reach people for Jesus Christ. It would be better invested in those churches. But I would say that a lot of these multi-faith groups that are a part of this, many of those places aren't preaching the Gospel week in and week out as it's declared in Scripture anyway. It seems to me that they're trying to re-market Jesus, which is leaving to reinvent Him, to the lost world.

And I just think it's a failure and a bad idea from this get-go. Tom Buck, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas, is our guest. We'll take a brief pause for some ministry announcements and tell you about some resources we have available for you. Stay tuned.

Much more coming up on the He Gets Us campaign. I'm David Wheaton, and you are listening to the Christian Wheelview radio program. David Wheaton here, host of the Christian Wheelview, to tell you about the Overcomer Course for Young Adults, held June 21st and 22nd at beautiful Stonehouse Farm in Jordan, Minnesota.

Age 18 to 25 is a highly transitional time. The convictions developed and the decisions made during this crucial stage sets one's course for years to come. In eight sessions over two days addressing life's most important issues, such as God and the Gospel, right thinking and living, relationships in marriage, vocation, the local church, and more, the Overcomer Course is designed to help young adults gain clarity and conviction on God's plan and their purpose in it.

There will be plenty of time for interaction and discussion as well. You can find out more and register by calling 1-888-646-2233 or by visiting thechristianworldview.org. What is the Christian Wheelview radio program really about? Fundamentally, it's about impacting people, families, churches, with the life and eternity-changing truth of God's Word. We know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message that saves us from God's wrath, by God's grace, for God's glory.

And we know the Bible is the inspired Word of God, providing the only way to think and live to the glory of God. We are a non-profit listener-supported ministry. If you would like to help us impact listeners with the biblical worldview in the Gospel, consider becoming a Christian worldview partner who regularly give a specified amount to the ministry. As a thank you, Christian worldview partners automatically receive many of the resources featured on the program throughout the year. To become a Christian worldview partner, call us toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or visit thechristianworldview.org. Welcome back to The Christian Wheelview. I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website, thechristianworldview.org, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry.

Our topic today is how He gets us. The marketing campaign doesn't get Jesus and the Gospel. And Tom Buck, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas, is our guest. Tom, the name of the non-profit organization that is directing it is now called Come Near. And I went to their website, and they actually don't even have a developed website.

And so then they have a link over to their LinkedIn page, and all they have there is just one page. Again, for a one billion dollar ad campaign that this organization, Come Near, is running, they have no developed website, a single page on LinkedIn that just says, Come Near is a non-profit organization committed to sharing the life and love of Jesus in thought-provoking new ways. Its expertise includes non-profit management, donor relations, research and innovation, marketing and communications, and coalition development. Come Near leads all aspects of the He gets us movement in partnership with a dedicated network of collaborators.

Company size, two to ten employees, five associated members. Again, running a one billion dollar ad campaign. Do you know anything about this organization, this non-profit organization called the Come Near organization? Who are the main donors?

And what Christian leaders that maybe we would know about are openly promoting this He gets us campaign? Well, I don't know anything about that particular group. As you said, you can't even find anything out about it very much other than that one page. And I haven't even seen that much. I think it is extremely telling that upfront saying here are the people that are behind it.

But let's talk about the people that we do know because they've said something one or another. So you have the family that's connected with Hobby Lobby. Is it the Green family? Is that correct?

Am I right on that? And I'm saddened by that because I think they're sincere Christians from everything I can see. They stand for the Christian values that we would regarding issues of abortion, LGBT issues. In fact, that's kind of an interesting part of the story that here they are trying to reach people within those kind of camps, if you will. And those people have found out about the Green family being involved and they hate it because of that.

So it's really not accomplishing anything because if you stand for the truth of the gospel, the truth of scripture, the people that are trying to build a bridge to are going to hate it. But probably the biggest name that's involved is Ed Stetzer. Ed Stetzer has been huge behind this, trying to get the Southern Baptist Convention.

That was one of their big hooks that they had. And I don't know if you knew this or not, but I interrupted that whole relationship between the SBC and He Gets Us by exposing what was going on before the relationship got fully moving forward and the SBC ended up pulling out. Kevin Ezell, the president of the North American Mission Board, was completely all in on this with Ed Stetzer. So there are deep Southern Baptist roots because Ed Stetzer is a Southern Baptist within this campaign, and they would have all been in it together had it not been for some of us who exposed what was going on.

Well, I'm very glad you did as we're going to see as we get more into this. Now, Tom, I know you're a big football fan, so I know you watched the Super Bowl. You love the Dallas Cowboys. They didn't make it this year. Or the last 30.

Exactly. But the ad that He Gets Us aired during the Super Bowl, again, an ad at the Super Bowl cost $14 million per 60 seconds this year. And I think they had at least two ads, if not more than that.

So they spent at least, I think, $28 million this year at the Super Bowl. And they have about 40 ads out, and you can see them at their website, He Gets Us. And this was an ad on foot washing, based on Jesus washing the feet of His disciples. And then they tagged their ad this way on their website. They said, the night before He died, Jesus washed the feet of His friends and enemies. Plural enemies. I don't think that's accurate.

It was a totally unexpected act of service that symbolized so much more. Now, I'd play the ad for you, but there's no actual dialogue in the ad. It's a song from the famous rock group back in the 80s, INXS, the Australian rock band, They Can Never Tear Us Apart.

That was a song, it's a non-Christian rock song about a man's love toward a woman. And so this is what they put on there about never tear us apart. And so they have images throughout the ad. I know you've seen it, Tom, because I've seen you write about it. And it's a 60-second ad, and it's a 60-second ad.

And so this gives you a couple bullets on what kind of images come up. Before dinner time, you can see a traditional family meal in the background being prepared. There's a mother and a late teen daughter.

They're in traditional kind of dress, like dresses. And then there's a late teenage son with bleached blonde hair in jeans and a t-shirt. So he kind of looks like the outcast in the family. He's on his knees, washing the feet of his father, who's seated in a chair. And he's dressed like your typical sort of Leave It to Beaver father with a cardigan.

It's like a patriarchal family. So that was the first image. The second, and there's about 10 or 12 images in this 60-second ad. The second one was you have a Hispanic police officer on his knees, washing the feet of a standing, well-built young black man in a tank top on an inner city street that's full of garbage and debris. The next scene is of a white high school girl. She's an attractive white girl in a traditional skirt. She's down on her knees, washing the feet of what looks like an androgynous person.

I think it's likely a transgender person with dyed red hair. And they're in the school hallway. And then later on, you have a white woman at an abortion clinic, washing the feet of a young white woman, presumably going into the clinic behind her to get an abortion, while at the same time, in the background of the image, you see a group of all-white abortion protesters with signs in their hand, just standing at a distance, presumably disinterested in washing feet, but only interested in quote-unquote protesting.

It goes on from there. There's also an image of a Catholic priest pouring water on a black man's feet at the beach. The end line of the ad culminates by saying, Jesus didn't teach hate.

He washed feet. Then the tagline for the campaign is, he gets us, he gets all of us. You watch this ad. And what are a few of the things that this ad, as you saw it, Tom, is communicating during the Super Bowl in front of the largest audience in television history?

First of all, I said after that, that $14.5 million is a whole lot of money to spend on wood, hay and stubble. That's how I feel about it in one sense, that whatever they did is going to burn up on Judgment Day because it does not represent either the gospel, it misrepresents the gospel, misrepresents Jesus. The whole campaign, from what I've seen that they say, is to reinventing, if you will, the perception of Christians, what they consider to be legalistic Christians, which is why you have painted in the background in that these Christians who are protesting abortion, as if they don't care about people, they just care about their stand against abortion. And it certainly may be true that there are some people like that, but they portray all of them to be that way, except for this one person who's washing the feet of this, we might assume, woman that was going to go into having an abortion, or maybe one of the workers that are there.

But here's the problem. They're not really reinventing Christians, they're reinventing Jesus, because it's not true the way they portray it, that Jesus washed people's feet. Well, let's first of all remember that, yes, Jesus did wash the feet of the disciples that night, and one enemy, but whatever it was that Jesus was doing, even in washing Judas' feet, which John's gospel does not tell us anything about the motivation behind Jesus doing that with Judas, but we know this, it wasn't to build a bridge to Judas of pre-evangelism, as what they call these things are.

And we need to build a bridge to the lost, we need to show compassion to the lost. This is the way you do pre-evangelism, that they'll come to, if they like us, or if we make them think they'd like Jesus, it'll bring them to Christ or be open to the gospel. What we do know in the gospel, John, from Jesus' exchange with Peter, is that Christ was using this as a means to let the disciples know that he, Jesus, was fully aware that one of them, Judas, was not a true disciple. And John doesn't make the emphasis, Jesus' compassion for Judas, he makes the emphasis that Jesus knew that Judas was betraying him. And he even says there to Peter, not all of you are clean, and John clarifies what he meant by this is Judas not being clean. So there's the only time that we ever have in scripture Jesus washing anyone's feet, and they're trying to make it about the fact that, well, Jesus would show this kind of compassion or do this kind of act to the most heinous of sinners, and maybe that's what they're doing by looking at the fact that Jesus washed Judas' feet there. But let's remember that when it came to the woman Bill Repute in the gospel, it was not Jesus who washed her feet, it was she who washed Jesus' feet. So I think what they're trying to do is to portray that, well, Jesus had compassion for the lost, and that is certainly true.

We should have compassion for the lost. But in the way that they portrayed it in that ad, it comes across as if he completely overlooks the sin. In fact, that priest in the ad appears to be washing the feet of someone who is dressed and in the appearance of someone that's in the LGBT community.

There seemed to be a gay man who the priest was washing. There is no confrontation of sin, that's part of the gospel. There's no calling for repentance, that's part of the gospel. I don't understand why they want to portray a false gospel and a false Jesus to the world. It's not going to lead to the salvation of anyone if they simply believe that he gets us Jesus. In fact, I would say anyone who believes solely in the he-gets-us Jesus will go to hell. And that would be because the Jesus they are presenting and portraying is not the Jesus of Scripture who said clearly when he came into ministry, repent and believe in the gospel, or to Nicodemus, you must be born again. That message is nowhere in this campaign.

And this leads well into the next question, Tom. I went to their website where they have all their ads listed there, and I didn't listen to every single one, granted, but I didn't see one with any kind of caption that would lead me to believe it was about the primary message of the Bible or the gospel. 1 Corinthians 15, where Paul writes, "'Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.'" So here he is saying, here's what the gospel is, verse 3, "'For I deliver to you as of first importance,'" so here's what's of first importance in the Christian faith, "'what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.'" But Tom, in response to this, and you see some of the comments online that people are for or against these ads with that he gets this campaign, I think most evangelicals would say, well, if there's a commercial about Jesus in the Super Bowl, and this much money is being spent on this, how could that possibly be a bad thing?

How would you answer that, Tom? Well, it's always going to be a bad thing if it's not clearly portraying Jesus as he's in Scripture. And so they keep talking about Jesus told us, you know, it's the greatest love story or whatever of that nature regarding Jesus.

Well, Jesus told us what his story is and what his message is, and that is, "'Repent for the kingdom of God is at hand.'" So their messaging is not the gospel, their messaging is not who Jesus portrays himself to be. I think a lot of Christians watch these commercials, and because they know so much of the gospel, their mind just fills in the blanks to things that the ad itself is not specifically saying. And Christians need to watch these ads as if they didn't know anything about Jesus, as if they didn't know anything about the Bible, and if they do that, they'll come away knowing this is not the Jesus that's portrayed in Scripture.

I think that the problem is that those who are running the messaging that he gets us, I don't think they believe the gospel. Back when it first came out, I was suspicious when I went to their web page because there was nothing about the gospel at all on the he-gets-as-sight. And so I went into their portal where you can ask questions, and another guy did it too that I didn't know at the time he was doing it, and we compared notes later. And I asked the question, what if I'm a transgender person who's wanting to find a transgender-friendly church that will not tell me I need to stop being transgender, they'll just accept me for who I am? Well, they ended up connecting me with the church, and they emailed me and said, you can come just as you are. We don't judge you for being transgender. Well, you know, that was a great opportunity for them to say, listen, we love you, we want to share the gospel with you. Transgenderism is something that will send you to hell like every other sin will, but you cannot continue to live in that.

They didn't offer that. There was no gospel, no mission of sin whatsoever. And in fact, they said to me specifically, I put all this up publicly on Twitter a couple of years ago, they said to me, they said to me specifically that Jesus loves you just the way you are. My friend, pastor, who went in, and he asked about thinking about having abortion the next day, and would you pray for me before I have my abortion? And this person talked to them and prayed for them, and in writing back to them, and essentially just told them, prayed for peace for this person.

Never tried them to get them not to have an abortion. So it wasn't just that they were washing the feet of this pastor, so to speak, that was, you know, saying, you know, these other things about, I'm thinking about this account, you know, basically present themselves as a woman doing that. Everybody was more upset about that. The pastor did not come forth and complain about who he was, but they weren't just washing the feet of this person. They were basically whitewashing their sin. And that's the problem with he gets us. It's not that they are saying that we should be willing to wash feet of sinners. We most certainly should. The problem is that he gets us whitewashes their sin. And frankly, there's very little mention, if at all, of sin in their ads or on their website. Tom Buck is our guest today here on the Christian Real View.

We're talking about the He Gets Us campaign. We'll take a brief time out to tell you about some ministry announcements and resources. Stay tuned.

We have much more coming up. I'm David Wheaton, and you are listening to the Christian Real View. The heart of God-rejecting man yearns to get back to Babel, creating a world where man rules apart from God.

Evidence for this is all around us, and Revelation says this is where the world will end up. On Friday, April 12th, Christian journalist Alex Newman will join us for a Christian Real View Speaker Series event at Beacon of Hope Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, to speak on the topic of how the push for global governance utilizes environmentalism, the educational system, economic policy, and more. You can come for a donation of any amount, but seating is limited, so you need to register in advance at thechristianrealview.org or by calling 1-888-646-2233. Doors open at 6 p.m. Alex Newman speaks at 7 p.m. with Q&A to follow. Be informed to think biblically and live accordingly.

Hope to see you Friday, April 12th at Beacon of Hope Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. We've largely lost the honor and the nobility and the glory of biblical manhood, and so many young men are not trained to be a leader, a protector, and a provider in a Christ-like way. That then creates the actual end product of young men who don't know how to be a man. So we've largely lost the script for what being a biblical man is. That was Owen Strand, author of the excellent book, The War on Men. This is a book for the entire family to read, understand, and then pursue what biblical manhood is.

The War on Men is hardcover, 256 pages, and retails for $29.99. For a limited time, you can get a copy for a donation of any amount to The Christian Worldview. To order, go to thechristianworldview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233 or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Welcome back to The Christian Worldview.

I'm David Wheaton. Be sure to visit our website, thechristianworldview.org, where you can subscribe to our free weekly email and annual print letter, order resources for adults and children, and support the ministry. Our topic today is how the marketing campaign called He Gets Us doesn't get Jesus and the gospel. And our guest is Tom Buck, the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Lindale, Texas, and also the director of expository workshops for G3 Ministries. Tom, I'm just going to play one more ad from the He Gets Us campaign. And by the way, all these ads are posted on their website, hegetsus.com, if you want to watch them for yourselves. This one is entitled Refugee, making the headline of the end that Jesus was a refugee.

Listen to this, and then I'll follow up with a question. There was a mother and a father who had a son. They lived in a small village and didn't have much money, but they were happy. One day they heard the head of their country was sending soldiers to their town because he thought they were part of an insurrection. The young family decided to flee. They grabbed only what they could carry and ran. They hiked for days wondering if soldiers might still be following them.

They were scared, hungry, and exhausted. But they were far away from the atrocities taking place in Bethlehem. That's all Mary and Joseph wanted, a safe place to call home. You get the point of the ad. You think it's a family perhaps from Central America who is fleeing persecution and war and trying to come to America and therefore we should let them in, but then you find out it's Jesus himself who was quote-unquote a refugee when Herod sent his soldiers to Bethlehem to try to kill all the children under two years of age because he was trying to kill any threat to his throne through the life of Jesus.

Jesus and his parents had to flee as quote-unquote refugees to Egypt for a short time. So the question for you, Tom, is there seems to almost be a political angle on these ads with all the illegal immigration that's coming into this country by the millions and that somehow that should be encouraged and accepted by Americans because after all Jesus was a refugee as well. Do you sense a political angle to these ads, Tom? There's no doubt that I believe that's what's taking place. They're not overtly saying that, but you would have to be blind as a bat and have it less than a three-digit IQ to think less different than that. It's clear that that's what they're doing. They've told you already on their web page that what they're doing is they're looking at the culture, they're examining the culture and speaking to how they think Jesus would address that or how he can be put into that and I think what they've done is they've exegeted the culture and they fashioned a Jesus that's palatable to that culture and they fashioned a Jesus that they believe will address the concerns that they have with the current cultural arguments that are going on, political arguments are going on within our culture.

We've seen from Ed Stetzer who's huge in this, he's been very open about on these types of things. There's no doubt in my mind that they want to paint those who believe that we should have immigration in our country, we should want folks to come in, we certainly want to help those who are true refugees but what they want to paint those of us who say but it should be legal and we need to make sure they really are refugees, they want to paint us in some way as being unloving, uncompassionate, out of step with the gospel and so they have to reinvent a new Jesus and the reason they have to is because Jesus made it very clear that we should obey the laws of the land. The word of God makes it very clear that we should be a lawful society and that Christians should uphold the law in society and so they take Jesus and they reinvent him and make him something that the Bible does not say he is, to make him like someone who's traveling from another country in just a refugee camp going across the land to come to America. They're using that imagery to compare to what happened with Jesus when King Herod issued a death warrant not just on the head of Jesus but on the head of everyone that would have been his age at the time in order to get rid of Jesus he was willing to kill thousands of babies and they're willing to take that story and prostitute it for the sake of pushing their political agenda.

You're right, that is shameful to use the account of Jesus needing to flee Bethlehem with his parents in their flight to Egypt and therefore considering him to be a refugee and comparing that to today in America that we need to allow more refugees, more illegal immigrants into this country because that's what Jesus was. But just changing gears here in the last few minutes we have with you and it's on a somewhat related subject. Recently at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles there was a Q&A, an open Q&A with John MacArthur which is kind of remarkable now at his age. At age 84 he stands up there by himself and answers all questions from the audience and one of the questions was about the drift that tends to take place with Christian organizations and specifically mentioned were the Gospel Coalition and T4G, the conference known as Together for the Gospel which I don't think is even running anymore. But let's hear how John MacArthur answered that question and then I'll follow up with you. Both of those organizations, well T4G is basically non-existent.

They bought into the deceptiveness of the woke movement and the racial baiting that was going on a couple of years ago and it literally put them out of existence. I was thinking the other day how interesting it was that the last panel discussion that I was on at a T4G event was to honor R.C. Sproul who had died. The T4G guys wanted to honor him with a panel and we spent an hour and 15 minutes and it was just beautiful tributes to R.C. from all of us who knew him so very, very well. And the strange irony was a year later they did the same thing for Martin Luther King who was not a Christian at all, whose life was immoral. I'm not saying he didn't do some social good and I've always been glad that he was a pacifist or he could have started a real revolution. But you don't honor a non-believer who misrepresented everything about Christ and the gospel in an organization alongside honoring somebody like R.C.

Sproul. This was a symptom of the impact of the woke movement that basically displaced that whole organization. That was really, it was over after that. Well, the gospel coalition kind of followed the same pattern and today the gospel coalition is propagating just about anything and everything, good, bad, and indifferent. So no, I wouldn't feel comfortable with the gospel coalition. These amorphous evangelical organizations without diligent, fastidious, vigilant leadership to keep them faithful to the truth of Scripture, just wander off into everything and they become, I guess in a sense, useless as an entity. There would be people in all of these that are still good people and honor the Lord, but the inability to discern what was really going on broke them into pieces. And the gospel coalition is like Christianity today. It's Christianity astray. Again, that was John MacArthur in a Q&A at his church recently talking about drift within the evangelical movement and organizations. If you think about it, drift happened even in the time of the first century in the churches that the Apostle Paul established.

He knew that savage wolves, as he said, will come in and try to get them off track. From being a pastor for so many years, Tom, and being involved with some parachurch organizations as well as you are with G3, how do you keep a church or a parachurch organization on track for the long term so it doesn't go sideways like some of these other ones have? It's moving away from just giving lip service to the things we believe and being willing to pay the price for the things that we say we believe. For example, we would all say that we believe that the Scripture alone is sufficient, but then what happens is, whether it be he gets us or it be T4G with some of the things that they have allowed to infiltrate their ranks, rather than Scripture being solely sufficient and sticking with the Word of God alone, they begin to read Scripture through a cultural lens. They begin to allow the cultural things like critical race theory begin to impact how they talk about the Gospel.

They try to bring those things together, at least from my perspective, having been very close to some of the people involved with T4G, not as much with TGC, but T4G as far as my closeness goes with guys there. But Colossians makes it very clear that we have to be careful, beware of allowing worldly ideologies to infiltrate. Scriptures are clear to us on the dangers that are out there, and so you have the worldly ideology of Wokism, or critical race theory intersectionality, that is there in our world that is a worldly ideology. Paul tells us to not allow ourselves to be infected with those ideas so that it begins to tank the Gospel. Every single time, if a worldly ideology is introduced into the church, there may be well-meaning people who say, you know what, we'll make sure that the Scripture stays superior over that. SBC said that when they brought in what's been called Resolution 9, infamously known as that, that was introducing intersectionality and critical race theory as helpful.

They said a helpful and useful tool. T4G was doing the same thing in practice. Every single time that someone has said we're going to stick with the Gospel, but we're also going to understand that there's some good worldly ideologies or things about that. We can chew up the fish and spit out the bone. Every single time, within a short period of time, you will find that it flips, and the Scriptures become subordinate to the ideologies that have crept in. There's a reason why God has warned us about that, and whether it be T4G or TGC or the Southern Baptist Convention or whoever it may be, none of them have made sure that they not only say that they believe the Scriptures are sufficient, but they practice it.

And practicing it means that we don't allow those things to creep in, even to come alongside the Gospel to help prop up whatever we think needs to be propped up. And the reason the MacArthur and his institutions that he's been involved in so far, including his church, that hasn't happened to them is because he has walked the walk as well as talked the talk. And MacArthur has made sure that when he says the Scriptures are sufficient with his mouth, he makes sure that the practices of his church and institutions he's involved with, that what they do every day matches with that. So well said, Tom.

And even John MacArthur, who has been in pastoral ministry for so long and been faithful for so many years, Satan is relentless and will always try to bring those in who will compromise on the most important issues of God and Christ and the Gospel. Tom, thank you for coming on the program today. If you'd like to find out more about Tom, we have him linked at our website, thechristianrealview.org, including his very active X or Twitter account as well.

Now, just a few quick follow-up thoughts on this topic about the He Gets Us campaign. Sometimes a church's or Christian organization's statement of faith isn't helpful to read, because it may sound orthodox as you read it, but the practice of the church or organization is far from orthodox. If you go to their website, hegetsus.com, they have a very vague, insufficient set of beliefs posted on their site, likely because they're trying to not offend their overly wide group of contributors, and because they have a, quote, fear of man to leave out anything that could offend anyone. When that's your posture, though, you'll never be faithful to God in Scripture.

So here's what they say on their site. They say, quote, He Gets Us has an agenda. And what would that be? Well, here's a paragraph. How did the story of a man who taught and practiced unconditional love, peace, and kindness, who spent his life defending the poor and the marginalized, a man who even forgave his killers while they executed him unjustly, whose life inspired a radical movement that is still impacting the world thousands of years later, how did this man's story become associated with hatred and oppression for so many people? And how might we all rediscover the promise of the love his story represents? Those are the questions at the heart of He Gets Us.

Did you notice all the code language there? Jesus wasn't just a man, and he was truly a man, but he was truly God as well. He didn't teach unconditional love toward religious hypocrites and toward the unrepentant. He didn't spend his life defending the poor and the marginalized. He spent his ministry preaching the gospel mainly. His life didn't inspire a, quote, radical movement. Christianity is not a movement. It's the kingdom of God on earth.

And then how did his story become associated with hatred and oppression? This whole campaign has a stench to it, that we are not like those theologically conservative Christians who are the real haters and oppressors. We're for forgiveness and, quote, unconditional love.

But they'll never mention the hard truths of scripture, that man is sinful and headed for judgment, God is holy, Christ died for our sin, he is the only way to be saved, and that he commands all people everywhere to repent. Jesus does get you. He gets us.

Hebrews 4 says, we don't have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. He gets our predicament. But our greatest predicament that he gets is our sin against him, the holy God.

And he's just. Every sin will be punished. And here's his grace. Jesus paid the death penalty for our sin by dying on the cross.

Or we can choose to pay that eternal death penalty ourselves. But to receive this offer of forgiveness and reconciliation, we must repent and believe in Christ as the perfect Son of God and his atoning work on our behalf on the cross. If you have more questions about that, go to our website and click on the page, What Must I Do to Be Saved, or just give us a call toll free. Thank you for listening today to the Christian Real View and for your encouragement and support of this nonprofit radio ministry.

Until next time, think biblically, live accordingly, and stand firm. The mission of the Christian Real View is to sharpen the biblical worldview of Christians and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. We hope today's broadcast encouraged you toward that end. To hear a replay of today's program, order a transcript, or find out What Must I Do to Be Saved, go to thechristianrealview.org or call toll-free 1-888-646-2233. The Christian Real View is a listener-supported nonprofit radio ministry furnished by the Overcomer Foundation. To make a donation, become a Christian Real View partner, order resources, subscribe to our free newsletter, or contact us, visit thechristianrealview.org, call 1-888-646-2233, or write to Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. That's Box 401, Excelsior, Minnesota, 55331. Thanks for listening to the Christian Real View.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-02-24 04:44:54 / 2024-02-24 05:04:55 / 20

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