To celebrate its 200th anniversary, the Bible Society Australia has teamed up with Coopers Premium Light. The brewery has created a special batch of “light beer” which features the Bible Society's logo, and has Bible verses on the cases. This new brew is coupled with a video campaign showing a Gay Victorian MP Tim Wilson and conservative Christian MP Andrew Hastie discussing their views of Same Sex Marriage. The video includes several lingering shots of the beer bottles, and a rather comedic host who is clearly trying to “keep it light”. It ends with both parties toasting to the Bible Society with their Coopers Premium Light and congratulate it on its bicentennial. The expressed purpose of this campaign, according to Bible Society Australia, is to reach more Australians with God’s word by specifically asking: “…Australians to try “Keeping it Light”.
Let me say, I have great admiration for any organization that has committed itself to making the Bible available around the world for 200 years. Let me also hasten to say that few things go down better than a cold beer after a hot days work in the Australian sun.
But “Keeping it Light”? Really? Promoting “Christianity light” through a comedian host and beer drinking politicians presenting “their views” is the very thing that inoculates many people from hearing and taking God and His Word seriously. Is “Keeping it Light” really what God has asked of us, particularly when it comes to the cultural moment’s trajectory regarding Same Sex Marriage?
How about “Keeping it True”? A lost world does not need “Christianity light”. God’s view is the one that matters. The world needs to hear and know the undiluted Truth. That Truth is in the person of Jesus Christ, apostolically disclosed and discovered in the Bible. A lost world does not need gimmicks, and the Bible needs no defence or shameful marketing campaigns masquerading under the guise of creativity. As C.H. Spurgeon said, “Defend the Bible? I would as soon defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself ”.
That “unchained lion” roars: “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord…” (2 Cor. 4:2-5)
May both the Bible Society Australia and Coopers Brewery re-think what they are asking Australians to do.