Saints, we should be concerned with evangelism, but we should also be concerned with doing evangelism biblically. The He Gets Us Campaign does not practice biblical evangelism, and it does not present the biblical Jesus. We in the PCA should be seriously concerned that our leadership is even considering cooperating with such a Campaign, much less promoting and defending it to our Churches.
I don’t get the “He Gets Us” Campaign. If you aren’t familiar with this organization, be prepared to hear denominational leaders promote it in the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).
The campaign has a noble goal to “reintroduce people to the Jesus of the Bible.” Based on recent surveys like Ligonier’s on The State of Theology, it is clear that those outside and inside the church need a reintroduction to the Jesus of the Bible. There is growing confusion on a range of topics from the inspiration of Scripture to misunderstandings on gender and sexuality. The campaign organizers should be applauded for their passion to reintroduce people to Jesus. Sadly, I am not so sure that the Jesus they want to introduce is the one found in the Bible. There are a number of red flags on the campaign’s website.
About the Campaign
Let’s start in the “About Us” section. If you were hoping to find out who is behind this campaign, you would be disappointed. All we are told is that “a diverse group of people passionate about the authentic Jesus of the Bible” (emphasis mine) started the campaign. At the very bottom of this section, it says that the “He Gets Us” campaign is an initiative of the Servant Foundation. If you Google “Servant Foundation” you will find this: https://servantokc.org/the-servant-foundation It is an endowment fund controlled by the Church of the Servant’s Foundation Board and the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation. The Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation is dedicated to “empowering you to invest your resources to do long-lasting good in the world. From writing wills and estate plans to caring for single mothers and orphans, we empower you to commit your resources to do good that echoes for generations.” This is confusing. Is the whole initiative an outworking of one Church? Is it funded by the Methodists? If the latter, then which ones, since they are currently splitting? Finally, the Church of the Servant doesn’t tell you much about their beliefs. The Church’s “Our Beliefs” section tells us only that they love Jesus and that he died as a “demonstration of God’s redeeming love.” There is no statement on why Christ’s death (i.e., the Atonement) was necessary. Jesus’ death did “demonstrate God’s redeeming love,” but Scripture repeatedly says he died for my sins, which is not mentioned in the statement of belief on the Church’s website. Such clarity is likewise absent from the “He Gets Us” campaign site.
[PCA Polity] Editor’s Note: after initial publication of this article, a reader noted the following. “HeGetsUs lists “Servant Foundation,” not “The Servant Foundation.” This matches “The Signatry” which does business as “Servant Foundation.” “The Signatry” is involved in all sorts of broadly “Christian” work and functionally anonymizes where the money is coming from – basically a dead end for anyone wondering who is funding the campaign and what their theological convictions may be.” Of course, the ambiguity of the founding and accountability structures in place for the Campaign does nothing to address the concern of the author (or editor) of this piece.
One more thing worth sharing from the “About Us” section is that it says, “We’re also not affiliated with any particular church or denomination. We simply want everyone to understand the authentic (emphasis mine; there’s that adjective again) Jesus as he’s depicted in the Bible – the Jesus of radical forgiveness, compassion, and love.” This is confusing based on what I said above about this being an initiative of “The Servant Church.” It is also confusing with regards to why they keep referring to an “authentic Jesus.” Who is He?
According to the “About Us” section, the “authentic Jesus” is characterized by the following values: “radical forgiveness,” “compassion,” “love,” “radical compassion,” and he “stood up for the marginalized.” His sacrificial death, teaching about hell, and emphasis on holiness are apparently not important enough aspects of the “authentic Jesus” to be worth mentioning. Finally, the emphasis of the Campaign is on Jesus’ humanity, “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.” Though they say they affirm Jesus’ full humanity and divinity, they again stress this is not all too important because “We’re simply inviting you to explore with us at He Gets Us how might things be different if more people followed his example.” So what kind of things does He Gets Us want the world to know about the “authentic” Jesus?