Doritos Instead of Christ

A Los Angeles church decides to make the big time by producing, writing, and directing a Doritos ad to enter a contest to win loads of cash and tickets to the Superbowl.  The church in question is Mosaic, which (after doing some digging) is a Southern Baptist church which is headed by Erwin McManus

The reason that I bring the Doritos ad to this forum is in part because when doing research for the post immediately before this one, it was curious to me why my link to www.erwinmcmanus.com lead me not to a page about none other than Erwin McMaus, but instead brought me to a screen with a single screen shot (above) and the words “We need your vote.”

What has occurred is that the creative powerhouse that is Mosaic teamed up to win a bunch of money.  What better way to “get out the vote” but to replace your website with a forum to collect said votes.

So What??

Good question!  The old adage “where there’s smoke there’s fire” may come into play.  First there is the issue of a desperate attempt at cultural relevance.  The trap of relevance is that pop culture moves so quickly that there is always so much to catch up on.  It also implies that the Bible and the message of the Gospel is not relevant.  I will absolutely agree that the Gospel is not relevant in an organization that avoids talking about sin and instead cremates the term and instead heralds the terms “issues” and “mistakes,” which become a creamy way of avoiding the truth of the total depravity of humanity and our need for a Savior.

From my research (including following McManus’ podcast and reading all but one of his books), I have grown more and more concerned about the presentation of the message of the Bible.  It would seem that he generally uses Scripture to gloss over his own salient points of wisdom rather that speaking out of the text.  He takes a historical exposition of a battle of King David and makes it into how we need to step out and do stupid things and that God will save us.  What this misuse of Scripture does is claim that our situation is as significant as the story of the nation of Israel, which God chose to use in fulfilling his plan of bringing Christ into the world.  Forgetting Christ does not make a historical battle story relevant to my life.

But then it goes further.  Phil Johnson over at Pyromaniacs featured a long conversation about McManus’ lack of presentation of the Gospel in his messages.  In fact those involved in the conversation were not able to produce any examples where McManus presented the Gospel or even mentioned a need for repentance.  It seems that as Doritos have taken the place of the opening page of www.erwinmcmanus.com, the Gospel has been replaced by… well, I am not sure what to call it.

No Gospel = No Church

My contention is that a sermon that lacks the presentation of Jesus Christ and his self-sacrifice for the remission of sin is NOT a Christian sermon.  I will further content that if an organization whose leadership does not call its people to repentance of sin and does not present the Gospel as a solution for the state of human depravity is NOT a church.

How can I make such statements?  Tell me how a “church” with out the Gospel is any different from spending an hour with Oprah once a week.  How is this experience any different from attending a convention of humanitarians?  What different work does this organization do than that of United Way or the One campaign?

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About Aaron Gardner

Aaron is a counselor and student of the Bible, passionate about sharing the good news of Jesus Christ. He lives in central Indiana with his wife, one-year-old son and their two dogs. View all posts by Aaron Gardner

7 responses to “Doritos Instead of Christ

  • Ryan G

    I truly wish i could think of something to add… but you’ve said it all so much better than I could have… I have nothing to add. 🙂

  • Boz

    Did you laugh at the ad though?

    I thought it was very witty, like one of those “worlds greatest commercials” compilation shows.

  • Thelma

    Aaron I can’t think of a better way to have a fund raiser, can you? Seems like a good use of resources to me 🙂 Of course I really can’t address how the church see Jesus because I have neither read the books or attended the church.

  • Aaron

    It IS a great fundraiser… if they win. The commercial cost $3,000 of money that may have been put into offering plates at the church, which is quite a gamble if you ask me.

    Source: http://adland.tv/commercials/doritos-casket-2010-30-usa

  • Thelma

    That is a gamble :/ but all fundraisers are.

  • msjbear

    Let’s be clear, first of all: the pastor of Mosaic used NO CHURCH MONEY to fund this project. He owns a production company that is not connected with the church, and together with friends who invested their OWN MONEY, they created this film. And if they win the money IS NOT going to the CHURCH, it is being split between all who were involved.

  • Jason Williams

    so Erwin McManus was at the GLS last week and spoke about this very issue. As usual with finger pointing, neither the pointer nor the pointee is 100% correct.

    Exhibit A) Erwin McManus started his message by saying scripture from Ecclesiastes was wrong, incorrect, not true. Whoa!

    Exhibit B) When responding to accusations about the commercial and the endless requests that it be about the church, he said “but it was for Doritos…”

    I draw 2 things from this : a) Erwin McManus is not afraid to step outside the Bible (and maybe he should be by my reckoning) and b) the world outside of Erwin McManus’ camp seems incredibly short sighted by insisting that a Doritos commercial speak to a life commitment to faith in Christ.

    Finger Pointers – put your finger away and Erwin, keep struggling with the Bible – looks bad when you publicly denounce it…

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