TV advertisement for ‘Jesus, All About Life’, to be screened tonight

A new advertisement for the ‘Jesus, All About Life’ campaign, will be shown tonight (Sunday, 27/9) on mainstream TV channels, which cover the greater, Sydney area.

It is a new ad, replacing earlier ones used by the campaign in other areas – the changes resulting from recent market research. You can view the ad on the ‘Jesus, All About Life’, wed site.

I’ve watched it a few times – and, I’m not sure what sort of impression it will make. It ends with ‘Jesus has answers’. I guess it encourages people to ask their Christian friends what the answer is to the main issue: why does a good God allow pain, suffering and fear; along with joy, happiness and peace. Well, I think, there is no satisfactory answer for those who don’t have a relationship with God. Maybe, I’m wrong?

If you have time, please have a look at the advertisement and tell me what you think?

***

On the same topic, the Weekend Australian newspaper (26 September 2009), contained an article written by Caroline Overington. Here are some of the interesting things, she wrote: ‘THEY argue about pretty much everything else but every Christian church in Australia accepts that Jesus is central to their faith. Without him, they’ve got nothing. …

The campaign is being billed as the largest and most expensive marketing exercise for Jesus in Australia and it features a television commercial …  The TV ad shows ordinary Australians asking the eternal questions — “How are we to live? Why should we have to die?” — and being encouraged to seek answers from Jesus. “

Campaign co-creator Daniel Willis said those with “negative feelings about the church” were being targeted. “We’re raising awareness of Jesus the man, … “. ‘ 

I thought to myself, well, Caroline shows a more profound understanding than most when she writes, ‘Jesus is central to their faith. Without him, they’ve got nothing.’ Then Daniel Willis heads in another direction by being reported as saying, ‘We’re raising awareness of Jesus the man.’  That latter statement should not be left, to stand alone, it must always be supported by, ‘ … and, our Lord and our God’.

[John 20:24-29 (NLT): “Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”  But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”]

Is there anything wrong with swearing?

A week or so ago, the Australian media contained reports that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had resorted to swearing to strengthen his disapproval, of fellow parliamentary members complaining, about a cut to their annual printing allowance.

News Limited has reported: “Australia’s Kevin Rudd has refused to apologise for repeatedly swearing during a meeting with factional bosses earlier this month, saying the “robust conversation” was consistent with Labor Party traditions. A number of MPs copped some expletives when they visited the prime minister’s parliament house office to object to plans to cut politicians’ annual printing allowances by 25%. The prime minister said in the presence of three female MPs: “I don’t care what you f***ers think“.

Today, I was listening to a couple of commentators on a local Christian radio station talk about this case. One comment stood out – that probably his habit of swearing in this, and similar cases, was due to his uncontrolled anger. Anger resulting from having his authority or views questioned by others within his sphere of influence.

The second point raised was that it’s not uncommon to hear swearing in the workplace, yet at the same time there was an increasing awareness of workplace bullying and the need to address this issue by providing a safe and non-threatening work environment. Consequently, the Prime Minister should lead by example, control his language – and not go with the mob, in regard to traditions (which should be left back in the past where they belong).

The last point is this, Kevin Rudd is recognised by the community as a Christian politician – and there are many news clips of him attending a Sunday church service, especially when he is travelling overseas.  One thing, I’ve noticed over the years, is that most Christians don’t normally swear. It may take some time, and a lot of help from the Holy Spirit, but people who follow on the heels of Jesus – don’t seem to swear that much. Even if, they hit a finger with a hammer, and an expletive escapes their lips – they are quick with an apology.

As it is with most of these habits, it’s the reason for the swearing, that highlights if there is anything ‘wrong’. If it’s the result of anger, or impatience, or a type of power-play to intimidate others-  it’s really an expression of their pride. Their opinion, time or position is more important than that of others; and, perfectly summed up in the phrase, ‘I don’t care what you think’. Pride is one of the worst of sins. In summary, a humble heart does not swear in anger or impatience, their love for people erases the desire to intimidate or threaten others.

What do you think?

Media

I’ve just had a quick scan of the various mainstream media outlets.  My main interest was to see if there was much reporting on the start of the ‘Jesus, All About Life’ campaign.

I didn’t find much at all, which given the first flush of signs I would have thought may have captured some-one’s attention in the media world.

Yet, I think that the more I looked, the more I realised that there was little reporting in the media, of anything to do with Jesus. Is it my imagination, or have others noticed the same thing?

Jesus – all about Life

In my area (the general Sydney and surrounding areas, New South Wales, Australia), a campaign has started, called; ‘Jesus, All About Life’.

The major Christian denominations are involved, including Catholics – and that’s a first in many regards. Last Friday, many churches put up ‘Jesus, All About Life’ signs, all of a similar design – to show the unity of the Christian message.

In addition, a lot of supporting material has been distributed, and most of it , is very good. I like the main theme: ‘Jesus said, “I have come to give life in all its (spiritual) abundance’ [John 10:10].

Here’s an extract from the campaign’s eight page booklet: ‘So what is this life all about? There are three basics: 1. Being secure. This doesn’t mean personal security so that nothing will ever go wrong, but the security of knowing that God loves you and cares for you. It means you don’t need to be afraid of being alone or of what’s going to happen at the end of your life. God promises to look after us now and in the future. 2. Having a point. Living can feel pointless. You get up, go to work, find something to fill in the day, then go to bed, day after day. In the end you ask – “what’s the point?” Jesus said that life is firstly about following Him and then about helping others. 3. Joyful living. Much of what we do can actually stop us from experiencing joy. When people get older, it’s so easy to look back after 30 or 40 years of work and ask, “Is this it?”

Surely there’s more to life? Jesus tells us that when we live our lives in line with what He said, we will be able to look back and see that our life has meaning and purpose.’ Only one comment 🙂 , instead of the heading ‘Being Secure’, I would have preferred, ‘Life, in God’s love’.

Today, I drove around my local area – with some hope that I would see lots of signs – I didn’t – but, I did see a few.

Here’s an excerpt from the campaign’s web site: “…  a prime-time media campaign that presents the words of Jesus to the community, will run from September 15th for six weeks … “. The media campaign is about getting people motivated to ask Christians – ‘what is this all about?’  The outcome is for Christians to share their faith with other members of their community.

In summary, I though that the words of Rev Graham Fairbairn, about this campaign, in his weekly bulletin, captures well, the vision of this campaign: “The Jesus. All About Life campaign, while not directly challenging the stereotypes people have about us as Christians, is designed to present Jesus as a person who is worth listening to (because He is God, my addition) and whose claims are worth considering. When we are seeking to engage with outsiders about the Christian faith we need to listen carefully to what they think and say about Christians and the Church – are we too judgmental or hypocritical or moralistic? At times we need to agree with them about the failures of the Church to live up to the standards and values of Jesus.

But we also need to present the real Jesus to them as we meet him in the Gospels. Their attitude to Jesus is far more important than their attitude to us. He is the one who challenges all of us to leave the comfort and security of our own habits and preconceived ideas, to consider his call to live in a way that is radically different, and to submit to his Lordship, knowing that when we do so, his grace and mercy will fill our loves and overflow from us to others.”