In my last post, I defended the right of Tim Tebow and Focus on the Family to produce a Super Bowl commercial that is decidely “pro-life.”
Now, I will present the other side of that coin.
While I will always defend their right to produce this commercial, Focus on the Family and Tim Tebow are, in my opinion, making a huge mistake.
A Super Bowl commercial costs somewhere between 2.4 and 2.8 million dollars. Yes, I said million. Can you honestly tell me that this is the way that Christ would want his followers to spend that kind of money?
Okay, I’m running a risk here. Some will surely say (and perhaps rightly) that I sound a lot like Judas Iscariot in John 12, criticizing a gracious gift of worship. Perhaps that is exactly what I am doing.
But there is a difference here. Was it truly necessary to use this kind of money to make this offering?
Mary’s anointing of Jesus was an act of pure, selfless humility, offered without any consideration of the audience or the agendas that they might have. She offered it to an audience of one, as an act of pure worship.
This is a multi-million dollar expenditure at a time when people, especially children, are suffering at an alarming rate just off our coast. Would it not seem that this money needs to go to Haiti rather than to CBS for a 30-second spot?
Not only does it potentially take away from that cause, but it runs the risk of making believers look as if they are blinded by an agenda. The unintended message is that, “We care more about our cause than we do about the suffering of our neighbor.”
As I stated in my opening post yesterday, I fully support the rights of Focus on the Family, Tim Tebow, and the donors who contributed to this effort. I do not believe the commercial is divisive or intended to divide. It makes a valiant attempt to tastefully handle a “touchy” issue. And I am convinced that the motives of those who are producing it are sincere. They have good intentions.
But the path to destruction is paved with good intentions. Our Christian resources are limited and the entire world is watching how we use them. A few suggestions for how this commercial might make a more positive impression:
1. Forget the commercial and let Tebow speak on his own: Tebow has singlehandedly taken over the media coverage at the Senior Bowl. He can scarcely blow his nose without someone shoving a microphone into his face. He could use those free opportunities and save the money for something else.
2. Cancel the commercial and contribute the money to Haiti: NOW and other women’s organizations have given this thing enough publicity that it has taken on a life of its own. Put the ads on the internet (it is already near the top of the search engines) and give the money away in the name of the greater good. This would create a ton of positive publicity.
3. Include Haiti relief (or some other charity) in the ad: What better way to finish up a celebrate life/pro-family ad than this: “We want you to show your concern for families who are suffering right now by donating to _________.” WorldVision.com? American Red Cross? Perhaps you could kill two birds with 2.8 million dollars.
I fully support the message and the purpose behind this commercial. The Lord often leads people in strange directions to do some strange things, and all believers must carefully listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. I cannot say that the Spirit is not leading the efforts towards this commercial.
But I have to think that the Spirit can lead us to more creative uses of 2.8 million.