The latest corporate brand pandering comes from Sprite, who have dropped this video on social media, pushing the concept of “you are not alone.” It’s emotional and powerful. And it’s advertising a concept of freedom.
Freedom from what?
For four thousand years, the Torah has given mankind a law, faithfully handed down from generation to generation. The law is how mankind, as the only moral free agent on this planet, should conduct ourselves, and individually, our responsibility toward our Creator and to each other.
In this law, and in the embodiment of the Law, the Savior who was prophesied hundreds of times in the Old Testament, and fulfilled all of them, we find freedom, community, and purpose.
Jesus Christ fulfills our need to “never walk alone.” The Church fulfills the need for community. The Commandments fulfill the need for purpose. In relationship with Christ, we find purpose, peace, freedom, and our reward.
The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 10, “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” For those with same-sex attraction, you are not alone. For those who feel their bodies do not match what they feel to be their “identity,” you are not alone. These temptations and feeling have been around since humanity first walked the earth.
Jesus came to free us from what binds us, but not from experiencing the temptations of this life. Through a deep relationship with Christ, all temptations are put beneath our feet. This doesn’t mean they don’t exist. It means they are placed under our authority in Christ.
But the freedom that is being advertised in the Sprite ad is a different kind of freedom. It’s the freedom from God’s law and the responsibility of being a free moral agent on earth. This is a freedom that the Bible says leads to death: Proverbs 16:25 “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”
It appears to be right that finding community with like-minded people who share the same attractions, but no relationship with God or His Law, will fulfill our needs of community, peace, and purpose. But this almost never works out. The suicide rate among LGB youth is three times heterosexual youth, and 40% of transgender adults reported a suicide attempt (92% before age 25).
Before you say this is the product of family rejection, or failed prayer, or predators in the church (all of those things are real, terrible, and have a major impact), remember that today’s youth overwhelmingly support LGBT rights and equality. It’s no longer a big deal in schools for a boy or girl to come out as gay. It’s not a big deal for a girl to want to experiment with being a boy. Some parents even encourage their young children to explore transgenderism.
Some parents celebrate other kids dressing in drag, or going to licentious displays at pride parades. The actual truth of many of these parades is much more depraved and sexualized than the clean version presented in the Sprite ad. In this community, things that the LGBT community condemns the church for are celebrated, like targeting children and grooming them for sex, or outright pedophilia.
One of the prime purposes of GLAAD is to prepare youth for a life partner of the same sex, including graphic depictions of the sexual acts they will perform. These are brought into the classrooms and presented to children too young to understand the implications of these life choices. In fact, the LGBT community is planting temptation into our youth.
Temptation binds the human spirit. The purpose of these ads is to bind kids and shame parents into allowing it to happen. The freedom they are preaching is freedom from God, which to the Christian is not freedom but bondage.
There is no reconciling worldviews where one man’s garden is another man’s prison. It takes an act of the heart to demonstrate the love and the power of the Gospel to those who reject God for their own ways.
I wonder how the corporate leaders who approved the Sprite ad would respond to another major brand advertising freedom and pride showing parents beaming when their children emerge from baptism waters? I think we all know the answer.
Pray for our society, and pray for those who choose the way that seems right, but leads to death. Pray for them, and love them.