(He Gets Us) “Trust Jesus…” [4]

a mystical möbius — curating facts, ideas, text, and media to create a contemplative space.  



Rorschach blots


Last week, we left off with my point regarding a curious thing the He Gets Us campaign seems to reveal:

I’ve been working here for a while now on making a point that is not readily/easily received. Namely, that extremism is toxic, dangerous and frequently harmful, no matter which ‘side’ is wielding it. Apparently, each side has little difficulty seeing the extremism of the other side; however, seeing the extremism of one’s own side appears rather more difficult for many (Matthew 7.3; Luke 6.41-42).



The He Gets Us campaign is whatever it is. Only the creative team and those with the authority to approve the creative output know for sure what they intend for the ads to accomplish. They say they mean to present Jesus sans the toxic things that have become attached to his story. I take their claim to that effect at face value. It’s fascinating that both extremes seem to project their own conception of Toxic Jesus onto the ads, as though they were reading Rorschach blots. 

Imagination spark



The campaign is what it is, but my imagination soars regarding what it might/could be. My idea on this is a reflection of what we’ve observed with regard to reactions to the ads. Let’s call the following imaginative mash-up on this a “thought experiment.”

Have you ever seen one of the many ‘family-tree’ diagrams of the evolution of Christian sects/denominations? They typically begin with the Great Schism in 1054 and trace the many offshoots and subsequent schisms that follow from there through time. These diagrams reveal that the number of Christian-sect “begats” rivals those in the genealogies of the Bible. Save this information for a minute. 

What if the ultimate point of the Pentecost story is that Jesus brings unity in diversity? What if the point is that, with Jesus (and his way of love), we don’t all need to be on the exact same page speaking the exact same language? What if it is simply being with Jesus that creates the tie that binds us all together in Christ? 

What if someone spent a billion dollars for an ad campaign just to share Jesus’ love story and connect people to folks in their communities who are simply with Jesus and not necessarily of a particular top- down imposed ideology or orthodoxy? What if the process connected people who identify themselves as  LGBTQ with Reconciling Ministries churches and ministries? What if the process connected people who identify themselves as traditional with Good News churches and ministries? What if, as on the Day of Pentecost, Jesus is enough and makes a way to meet each person in their own local context, in their own authenticity?

What if we worked to connect people to the Jesus in whom they see themselves, and trusted Jesus to sort it all out? I mean — recall the begats diagram — what would cause anyone to think that the goal of Christianity is a unified ideology with everyone on the same page speaking the same language? How could that even possibly be the idea?! Because, all indications are that it will never happen; we’re headed in the opposite direction at a swift pace. My sense is that the story in Acts 2 says as much in its own way. 

A little triangulation

Dr. Robert Hunt is the Professor of Christian Mission and Interreligious Relations; and 
Director of Global Theological Education at Southern Methodist University: Perkins School of Theology. He published a brief article last week — please read: They Just Don’t Care — that provides an illuminating take on the evangelistic context within which the U.S. church finds herself. In response to a comment made under the social media post linking his article, Dr. Hunt wrote:

We meet them where they are, or we won’t meet them at all.


Is the Christian hope that we’ll all be the same or that we’ll abide in peace and love?

Acts 2… Jesus, healing natural divisions… the Spirit embodying an embrace of cultural difference… unity in diversity. 

Control or liberation?

What if we dropped the notion of the Church’s mission being to connect people to a particular understanding of Jesus? What if the task were to connect people to Jesus? Period! What if we just trust Jesus to sort the rest out? 

Next week: Divine Darkness [reprise]. [this post ~750 words (3-min. read)] 


Your thoughts? 




3 thoughts on “(He Gets Us) “Trust Jesus…” [4]

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