What Would Jesus Say To The Red Bull Team?

“Ha ha ha! That was a good one guys. Thanks for the free publicity. Now let me show you what really happened.” And He’d wisk them off back in time to the raging Sea of Galilee, put them in the tossing boat, lob them a Red Bull each and say, “Okay. Off you go then. Let’s see if it really gives you wings.” (See Matthew 14:23-33).

Let me give my non-South African readers a little bit of context. Earlier this week Red Bull launched an advert in South Africa with Jesus and two of His disciples sitting in a fishing boat. They get bored fishing so Jesus gets up and starts walking on the water. His disciples ask Him how is it that He can perform such a miracle, to which Jesus responds that there’s no real miracle, but that they just needed to know where the stepping stones were. Now I didn’t see the advert myself (I don’t watch TV) and I’m working off a newspaper article that I read, so my details may be a bit off. But this was the jist of the advert.

Rightfully, some Christians are a bit upset about the whole thing. The truth is advertisers never take the mickey out of any other religion except Christianity. And for the first time, the advertising standards authority has received an overwhelming number of complaints. This is a huge plus for Christian solidarity.

But at the same time I think that sometimes we are a bit too serious. I mean, if the advertising guys at Bells Whiskey had to come up with an add where everyone got to Heaven and St Peter said, “Give them all some bells” and an angel pulled out a bottle of Bells Whiskey, we’d all have a laugh. But others would say that we’re promoting alcohol abuse, ‘conveniently’ forgetting that Jesus said He’d drink of the fruit of the vine (that’s wine) again in Heaven one day (see Matthew 26:29). I’m not saying alcohol abuse is a good thing. What I am saying is that maybe our perception of Jesus is a bit off (or misguided).

Instead of focusing on the positive spin-offs, we’ve jumped up and down and declared upsetness. Here’s how I see it:
1. Christianity just got a major bout of free publicity
2. It’s a great conversation starter with unbelievers
2a). Wow. Did you see that new Red Bull advert? What did you think of it?
3. It’s a great conversation starter with believers that can challenge our own personal beliefs, propelling us into finding out more about God
3a). Do you think Jesus really walked on water?
3b). What do you think it’ll take for us to be able to walk on water?
4. It makes Christianity approachable

Of course I have my own concerns and the ‘negative’ impact that this advert can have on many Biblical concepts. But boy, does it give us an opportunity to set Christ as Lord in our hearts and to be ready (prepared) to give an answer to everyone who asks us to give a reason for what we believe (see 1 Peter 3:15). But Peter goes on to say that we must do this with gentleness and respect.

How do you feel about this advert? How do you feel we should be responding? Would you be able to give an answer to the question of miracles in the Bible? You can leave a response by clicking here.

my name is darryl
and this is what i have to say

Scripture references:

Matthew 26:29 (NIV) I tell you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it anew with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV) But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,

Matthew 14:23-33 (NIV)
(23) After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, (24) but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. (25) During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. (26) When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. (27) But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (28) “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” (29) “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. (30) But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” (31) Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (32) And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. (33) Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”


About Darryl Schoeman

My Personal Life : challenge leads to thought and thought leads to change More than the Apostle Paul, I can say that I am the chief of sinners (really really really). But I love God and I love the Bible. So I try to live my life with the constant realisation that God is PERMANENTLY with me (yes even when I sin), and seek His presence in everything that I do (except when I sin) and in everything that happens. I share this with others so that they too can believe it and then seek to live it.

Posted on March 14, 2012, in Christianity, In The News and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Darryl… You’re a bit off here… Jesus or Christianity do not need a ‘spin-off’… Christianity – ‘approachable’… A starting point for a conversation? – we have the GOOD NEWS not just an energy drink! Big difference between having a glass (or two) of wine and giving out whisky perchance..? The ad was taking the mickey out of Jesus and we can use that good old armband test on this one – What Would Jesus Do? Do you think He would love this ad? I don’t think so…

  2. Thanks for the comment Luke.

    This has much to do with that whole hype thing I was talking about in my last post. People, and even more so Christians, very easily get ‘up-in-arms’ over one or other thing without taking the time to think through what it is that they’re really getting up-in-arms about. Christianity has been and always will be at the forefront of secular attack. I don’t think it is going to go away soon.

    For me, this post is about engagement with a lost world. I’m simply pointing out that as God, we need to use all things and work it for the good (Romans 8:28).

    God bless

  1. Pingback: Red Bull advert: How the Bible says we should be responding « Off The Deep End

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