Did you watch the Super Bowl this year? If so, did you see Jeep’s commercial featuring Bruce Springsteen? The commercial was called “The Middle” and featured Springsteen visiting a tiny chapel that purportedly stands on the site of the exact geographical middle of the lower 48 states. In the ad, Springsteen tells us that the chapel never closes and is open to all. He even reverently lights a candle in there at one point. His closing words in the commercial are as follows:
We need the middle. We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground. So, we can get there. We can make it to the mountaintop, through the desert, and we will cross this divide. Our light has always found its way through the darkness. And there’s hope, on the road, up ahead.
Unfortunately for Jeep and for Springsteen, the ad ended up going over like a lead balloon because of the crater-sized problems associated with it. First, it seemed downright strange that an ad about a chapel that never closes wouldn’t make one mention of prayer, the Bible, or God. Is that place a chapel or a vaguely religious barn? Second, Bruce Springsteen in no way, shape, or form exemplifies the blue-collar “middle” of America. No rock star with a net worth of approximately 500 million dollars who hobknobs with elites, campaigns for Democratic candidates, serves as an LGBT activist, and masquerades as a “common man” gets to play that role. Third, as we found out in the days following the commercial’s airing, Springsteen had been charged in his home state of New Jersey with a DWI on November 14, 2020. For obvious reasons, that little tidbit of news was kept buried until after Super Bowl Sunday and the airing of the commercial. After all, what car company wants as its spokesperson a guy who just got charged with driving while intoxicated? That certainly would have provided a completely different backstory to an aging celebrity stoically riding around in an old jeep as part of a commercial about how to fix America. It’s no wonder that Jeep pulled the ad off You Tube as soon as news of the DWI broke.
I myself couldn’t help but see the divine irony of the whole scandal. It was as if God was shouting out to America, “I’m not looking for people who want to assemble on the compromising ground called ‘the middle.’ I’m looking for soldiers who will take their stand with My written word and live their lives based upon its clear teachings in the face of a society that is marked for judgment.”
And as for that all-inclusive, non-judgmental, “hippie type” Jesus that so many people love to talk about, they might want to read ALL of His quotes and not just cherry pick a few that suit their purposes. In one of those quotes, He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through Me” (John 14:6, N.K.J.V.). In another, He says, “He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad” (Matthew 12:30, N.K.J.V.). In another, He says, “….because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth” (Revelation 3:16, N.K.J.V.).
I don’t hear much “middle” in any of that, do you? That’s why I won’t be taking Springsteen’s advice anytime soon by joining him in the worldly middle. I don’t consider myself a radical extremist, and you needn’t bother looking for me in any of the footage from the recent siege of the Capitol Building, but I understand full well that serving Jesus and remaining true to the Bible places me firmly in the minority of society. That, I know, is my earthly station, not in the middle but in the minority. I will say one thing, though, about those of us in that minority: we know full well what to do inside a chapel, and it sure ain’t light a candle.