Guinness uses "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" in "Empty Chair" commercial

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Rob Fall's picture

of the dedicated empty POW\MIA chair at every Legion Post meeting and dinner.

R.K. Fall

Sergeant at Arms, A.L. Post 238, Pacifica, CA

 

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

Anyone know why they picked that song?

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?

Ron Bean's picture

Will churches now quit singing "Leaning" because of its association with beer?

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan

Rob Fall's picture

Oh, what fellowship

Oh what joy divine.

Chip Van Emmerik wrote:

Anyone know why they picked that song?

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Mark_Smith's picture

The song IMHO means they are leaning on the long arms of the soldiers...kinda blasphemous or catchy, depending upon how you look at it.

Rob Fall's picture

catchy.

Mark_Smith wrote:

The song IMHO means they are leaning on the long arms of the soldiers...kinda blasphemous or catchy, depending upon how you look at it.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Mark_Smith's picture

From the book summary on amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Search-God-Guinness-Biography/dp/1595552693/

"The history of Guinness, one of the world’s most famous brands, reveals the noble heights and generosity of a great family and an innovative business.

It began in Ireland in the mid 1700s. The water in Ireland, indeed throughout Europe, was famously undrinkable, and the gin and whiskey that took its place devastated civil society. It was a disease ridden, starvation-plagued, alcoholic age, and Christians like Arthur Guinness—as well as monks and even evangelical churches—brewed beer that provided a healthier alternative to the poisonous waters and liquors of the times. This is where the Guinness tale began. Now, 250 years and over 150 countries later, Guinness is a global brand, one of the most consumed beverages in the world. The tale that unfolds during those two and a half centuries has power to thrill audiences today: the generational drama, business adventure, industrial and social reforms, deep-felt faith, and the noble beer itself."

 

 

I have no problem that in 1750 a group of Christians brewed beer because the alcohol killed the pathogens (maybe they boiled the water as well???) and that beer was less worse than whiskey. The thing is, it is 2014, and chlorine does that now! No more excuses!

 

 

Mark_Smith's picture

The Mormons use the KJV...does that corrupt a good thing? No. When the world steals your good thing, that is not association. When you drink a Guiness beer because you think you are supporting missions...that is bad association.

Rob Fall's picture

agency that commissioned the commercial and the production that made it are no doubt American, the ad its self reflects the differences between American and Irish beer cultures.  As best as I can find, Guinness is only brewed in Ireland.

Hoping to shed more light than heat..

Darren Mc's picture

"Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" is also featured in the soundtrack of the recent "True Grit" (2010, I think) remake. There are a few other Gospel songs featured, but "Leaning" is the most prominent piece of music in the movie. It is sung over the closing credits. The ad makers might have gotten their idea from that movie. The style and pacing is very similar.

By the way, if you haven't seen Guinness's "wheelchair basketball" ad, it is inspiring as well:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Vxjh6KJi8E

No wisdom, no understanding, and no counsel will prevail against the LORD. Proverbs 21:30

Mark_Smith's picture

The commercial, while Guiness (ie Irish), is meant for an American audience. That is why it is an American bar and an American military member who is gone. Therefore, it is built on the standard media and cultural line that EVERYONE drinks a cold one to be cool and relax. We have clean, treated water. Drinking beer and other alcohol is a worldly behavior in our culture.

Shaynus's picture

The song was also used in the Jeff Bridges remake of True Grit in 2010. The song gained notoriety then. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anhPfU3WGXk

I find the beer aspect to be less interesting than the simple fact that hymns are used in advertising and movies at all. This reminds me of how Tim Keller likes to describe America as a "Christ haunted" place. A good portion of the audience wouldn't know that tune at all, but those who did would immediately be transported to a certain feeling of faith, trust and hope, even if they didn't remember the words to the song. At very least, it's nice to have a peaceful commercial. 

I also think the commercial is great for returning vets. About at year ago in DC I was getting out of the metro on my way to work, and I was stopped by a soldier who was clearly just back from Afghanistan, duffel bag and all. He urgently asked me where McDonalds was, and he had tears in his eyes. I pointed to it and he almost jogged. I say let the soldier have a Guinness. These guys have been through a lot. 

 

Jim's picture

I have a son who returned from Afghanistan in early June. He was away from his wife and daughter for 11 months. I can attest that as a parent we "leaned on everlasting arms" as we prayed for him throughout every day of his deployment. 5 in his unit of 90 were injured in combat (a single incident of an incoming RPG attack). One of those five was severely injured to the point of death but thankfully survived (but with serious life altering injuries). Moments before that attack my son was at the point where the RPG landed. 

There was absolutely no beer drinking from the time of his leaving (July 2013) until his return. He enjoyed a cold one (he requested a Pabst Blue Ribbon). Good for him! 

DavidO's picture

Shaynus wrote:
I find the beer aspect to be less interesting than the simple fact that hymns are used in advertising and movies at all.

Not too surprising in True Grit, at least.  In the book, Mattie is a Bible-referencing Presbyterian who takes time out of her thrilling narrative to try to persuade the reader to adopt the doctrine of election.

I too am now a member of the Southern Church. I say nothing against the Cumberlands. They broke with the Presbyterian Church because they did not believe a preacher needed a lot of formal education. That is all right but they are not sound on Election. They do not fully accept it. I confess it is a hard doctrine, running contrary to our earthly ideas of fair play, but I can see no way around it. Read I Corinthians 6:13 and II Timothy 1:9, 10. Also I Peter 1:2, 19, 20 and Romans 11:7. There you have it. It was good enough for Paul and Silas and it is good enough for me. It is good enough for you too.

Bert Perry's picture

Regarding how beer is made, the actual "brewing" process is when the malt (germinated barley seeds and other sugars) is boiled with the water.  So yes, the alcohol purifies it, but before that, it's purified by the brewing process.  It can be contaminated by pathogens from the air if the brewer is not careful, but today's beer is also generally pasteurized to prevent this and other sources of spoilage.  For this reason, and because the hops (bitterness) also preserve it a bit, it was judged to be a safer drink than water.  Along the same lines, whiskey was also used to kill pathogens in water (the old sailor's drink of "grog", hence "groggy", was made with whiskey or rum and water), and was generally not drunk straight as today.    The Pilgrims landed in MA instead of VA in part because they were low on beer, and the first Indians to greet them surprised them by asking, in English, if they had any.

Interestingly, regular Guinness "stout" is actually a fairly light beer with a similar alcohol % to Bug Light or PBR.  Just a lot more taste, and most of what you can buy over here is actually brewed in Canada.

And the company?  Well, this is interesting, and the family/company does have a great history this way, but they've also been commended recently for supporting homosexual rights.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

to a returning vet is to give them a Guiness or a Pabst Blue Ribbon?

My problem is the beer is being used as a symbol of American culture, as well as going to bars. It is the new "apple pie". That alone should give Christians pause that alcohol is a cultural idol in America.

 

Bert Perry's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

to a returning vet is to give them a Guiness or a Pabst Blue Ribbon?

 

If they have no problems with alcohol and would appreciate it, I can't see why not.  What was our Lord's first miracle, after all?

The only quibble I'd have with PBR is, well, Jesus made good wine, and from all accounts I've heard, the fine folks at Pabst leave a little bit to be desired in that department.  But if my son had just dodged death in Afghanistan and that was the first thing he wanted, sure.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

Bert Perry wrote:

 

  But if my son had just dodged death in Afghanistan and that was the first thing he wanted, sure.

Well his  buddies made fun of him for wanting PBR. But it was at his house and he bought the beer. I suspect he bought the cheapest for some reason 

Mark_Smith's picture

Culture leads you to think "dodging death" earns you a beer! And you think that's ok?

Kevin Miller's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

My problem is the beer is being used as a symbol of American culture, as well as going to bars. It is the new "apple pie". That alone should give Christians pause that alcohol is a cultural idol in America.

Is regular old apple pie a cultural idol?

Jim's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:
Culture leads you to think "dodging death" earns you a beer! And you think that's ok?

I've said this scores of times on Sharper Iron ... publicly from the pulpit and in SS class: "Moderate drinking is a fringe issue. Total abstinence is a recent American phenomenon. Who drinks in the privacy of their homes is their business not mine. I commend Christians who totally abstain. It's a safe choice. Christians who drink ... if you can't drink in moderation, it's sinful"

 

-------- On True Grit (the 2010 version): A great movie. We might go to the movie theater 2-3 times a year (so far this year = none). It was a great date movie with my wife and the scene where "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" was used (as I recall the all-night ride under the stars where Rooster carries the stricken Mattie to safety) was a real tear jerker!

Bert Perry's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

Culture leads you to think "dodging death" earns you a beer! And you think that's ok?

Mark, the Bible contains any number of accounts of Godly celebration where wine was served, from the miracle at Cana to the return of the prodigal son to the Last Supper--you couldn't drink the "fruit of the vine" nine months after grape harvest if it wasn't fermented in those days.  So yes, if I am to believe that the Bible is without error in its autographs, and that modern translators can translate "yayin" and "oinon" correctly, that the Bible clears a place for the use of alcoholic beverages during celebrations.

Not drunkenness, not pagan revelry, not making a brother stumble, but yes, definitely a glass or two for celebration.  And nothing against those who do abstain for various reasons; let's just remember that it's not a Biblical requirement.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

is a little reflection before thinking that alcohol is a safe choice for a Christian in the America of 2014. Also, this thread is about honoring veterans given a Guiness commercial using a Christian hymn. Is that not mixing together the sacred and the world? Should we be ok with that as Christians?

 

As for apple pie...has anyone who ate 3 pieces of pie ever killed a family on the highway from driving drunk?

Bert Perry's picture

Mark_Smith wrote:

is a little reflection before thinking that alcohol is a safe choice....<snip>

As for apple pie...has anyone who ate 3 pieces of pie ever killed a family on the highway from driving drunk?

You're mixing drinking with drunkenness, Mark.  The Bible makes clear that there is a difference.  

Besides, while it's not just three pieces of pie, heart disease does kill 600,000 Americans annually, according to the CDC, including many who die when a man has a heart attack while driving.  Alcohol only kills 88,000 (same source).   Diabetes kills about 70,000 annually and is implicated in about 210,000 deaths.

So if the death toll from alcohol is a reason to proscribe wine, then a death toll nearly ten times higher ought to be a reason to ban the church potluck, no?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Mark_Smith's picture

and you are mixing me eating myself to death with killing someone else with my behavior!

 

I am wanting to talk about the thread issue of if the hymn "Leaning" is appropriate for a commercial and what that means about the connection of alcohol with American culture.

 

Mark_Smith's picture

is that even if you think the Bible allows Christians to imbibe responsibly, or even perhaps drinking to the point of getting a buzz to reap the joys of alcohol that God gave, that American culture so idolizes alcohol that it is best for a Christian to abstain to keep a good witness for all.

But I really want to keep this discussion to the thread topic about using the hymn in a beer commercial. Kapeesh?

Mark_Smith's picture

I am not a Christian (or I am) and I drink cuz its fun and I want to do and you can't stop me. Besides, didn't Jesus make wine?

 

 

 

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