Who Are “He Gets Us”
If you go to their website, hegetsus.com, you will not find a clear answer to that question. Under “About Us” they state, “He Gets Us is a movement to reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible and his confounding love and forgiveness. We believe his words, example, and life have relevance in our lives today and offer hope for a better future.”
What is their Underlying Objective
The best way to answer that question is to pull a quote from their website. It reads, “Our hope is that you see how Jesus experienced challenges and emotions just like we have. We want to provide a safe place to ask questions, including tough ones…. Ultimately, we want people to know his teachings and how he lived while here on Earth. And this will be a starting point to understanding him and his message.”
Pre-Evangelism – An Acts 17 Movement
I would call He Gets Us basically a movement focused on pre-evangelism. The emphasis is on Christ’s humanity, not His divinity. Christ, while on earth, was fully God and fully man, a hard and unwelcome concept for many seekers and unbelievers. So, this ministry takes a step back to focus on the humanity of Jesus, how he understands our pain and frustration, rather than the Christ side of Jesus, full of commands and demands from Scripture.
It really brings up the issue of the definition of witnessing and evangelism in America today.
Is There a Plan of Salvation from “He Gets Us”
When you search for the word “salvation” on their website there are only two results.
The first is titled, “Jesus chose forgiveness”. It offers the point that Jesus forgave those who put him on the cross. It ends with the quote, “Even when rejecting hatred and resentment was hard, Jesus chose forgiveness. He offered that forgiveness freely, and his call is for us to do the same.”
The second is titled, “He Gets Us has an agenda” and offers the large-lettered statement, “How did the story of a man who taught and practiced unconditional love become associated with hatred and oppression for so many people?”. The copy goes on to state that ideology (by which they mean theology) is both divisive and contrary to Jesus’ ministry, that it is just another tactic used to “intensify our deep cultural divisions”. They state that “Our agenda is to rediscover the love story of Jesus. Christians, non-Christians, and everybody in between. All of us.”
Clearly witnessing and evangelism must include the plan of salvation whch is absent from this ministry’s website. But, is there a need for a precursor given today’s cultural climate? Is He Gets Us presenting a method of relationship building in advance of the gospel?
Salvation is not part of the Program
This ministry is not going to “save” anyone. But that is not its intent. He Gets Us is designed to reshape the view of Jesus from a God of commands and moral absolutes that appear contrary to our conditional ethics, to His humanity, filled with love and compassion for everyone. There is no attempt to convince one to view Christ differently. No Biblical references to 1 Corinthians 13, the love chapter, or Luke 10:27 on loving our neighbors. He Gets Us is focused on stating their view, without debate, that we all need to love others, regardless of who they are, as Jesus did.
The focus is on horizontal relationships (man to man) rather than defining or establishing a vertical relationship (man to God).
So the answer is no, the plan of salvation is not to be found on the website. Clearly, their version of pre-evangelism is a version of progressive Christianity focused on breaking down social barriers and strengthening human relationships rather than spiritual ones. However, He Gets Us does promote contacts through a chat application, email, and phone. One would hope and pray these individuals have the knowledge and freedom to transition to the gospel if given the opportunity.
A Biblical Illustration
In Acts 17 Paul, in Athens, recognized that the “city was full of idols” (Acts 17:16). So, he began where his audience was when he said,
Acts 17:23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you.
Paul, knowing those in attendance at the Areopagus had an interest in spiritual things, but little knowledge of a singular supreme God, choose to start at the beginning, with their worship of an “unknown god”. It was an initial step in relationship building. However, Paul, unlike He Gets Us, took theology much further, focusing on the need for a verticle relationship with God and the impact of His judgment on mankind (v. 31).
A Biblical Christian Perspective
To be honest, I am torn in my view. Spending $20 million on an advertising campaign, introducing He Gets Us to the public during the Super Bowl is a dramatic move. However, in their attempt to be slick and cater to a fast-paced demographic, much of the video left more people confused than having a clear picture of what He Gets Us is all about. Regarding the title of this post, so far, I am not convinced that “We Get Them”.
The ministry is being criticized by both evangelicals and those with a secular ideology.
Many evangelicals, and Christians in general, believe the movement is wasting money that could be used elsewhere for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, ending in the plan of salvation.
Many with a secular viewpoint see the same waste of funds that could be better spent on social programs aimed at equity and equality. Further, though much of the funding comes from anonymous sources, Hobby Lobby and others who have been outed are tagged with supporting an agenda of anti-LGBTQ and pro-choice.
Time will tell if the funding and an approach focused on the humanity of Jesus will transfer to the full Christology of Jesus. If it does, then, praise the Lord. If it does not then, sadly I am not sure $20 million and more costs to follow will be seen by Biblical Christians as good stewardship.
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