Sweet Jesus: Demonic Hot Fudge, or a Bad Joke?

Jesus is More Important Than Ice Cream

By William M Briggs Published on March 29, 2018

The Canadian ice cream chain “Sweet Jesus” was seeking to sneak across the border when some folks caught sight of their name. “Are they really calling themselves that?” they asked.

Yes, sir. They sure are. The name-spotters complained, but the company says it’s not going to change it for anybody. Sure, its blasphemous. But it’s all in good fun, they say. Plus, why should this poor ice cream company be picked on? There’s lots of blasphemy about these days. And doesn’t the thought of gooey caramel sauce make you smile?

Maybe we should forget the name. Most of us can’t be stone throwers here anyway, not when phrases like that have slipped past our own incisors. Mea maxima culpa.

Fine. So forget what they call themselves. It’s the ads that should creep you out.

New & Improved Satanism!

They often feature an upside down cross for the “t” in Sweet, and sometimes a devilish lighting bolt for the first “s” in the name of our Lord. A cup on one ad featured just these two tokens alone inside a blooming black rose, complete with thorns.

Another cup features them on the back of shaking hands. Bowls come emblazoned with the inverted cross, bolt, pyramids, and all-seeing eyes. The signs — sigils? — are on a coffin, too, with a hand slithering out.

It’s only a coincidence, perhaps, that these are the symbols used in Satanic worship.

Help us champion truth, freedom, limited government and human dignity. Support The Stream »

Can’t be, though, can it? Has to be a joke. They’re probably doing this in a spirit of secular “fun.” Who takes this stuff seriously? Even if it does have the same feeling about it as when members of the Satanic Temple claim not to believe in a literal Satan. Yet they go around in greasy hair and spooky names and play with spells.

Aren’t These Kids a Little Young?

Maybe we’re reading too much into this. But what’s with the little girl wearing an antler crown and licking her thumb in a suggestive manner? Is that blood on her palm? Nah. Just looks that way. Strange tattoos on her arm.

And why is another little girl looking vaguely like a vampire freshly back from the hunt? She has bunny ears and a large ring, partly hidden. Then there’s another little girl holding an antler-handled magnifying glass, enlarging just one — all-seeing? — eye.

Has to be a rational explanation that doesn’t involve demons and devils. This is 2018. Why, nobody believes in Powers and Principalities and unseen forces. That’s almost like believing in God!

So skip all that and turn to some good old-fashioned smut. Several of the ads are more than suggestive, and involve certain acts that need not be named (or linked to). These advertisements require no advanced training to tease out their meaning. The Satanism might not have been in earnest, but these images are.

Nobody is Forcing You to Buy

Maybe we’re too sophisticated to swallow what the company is selling. But others are perturbed.

Some have started petitions. One says, “Tell the ‘Sweet Jesus’ chain that you will boycott its ice cream until it changes its name and apologizes to Christians for mocking Jesus’ name.”

They say:

Faithful Christians follow the Second Commandment about not taking the name of God in vain. This means that God’s name should be used respectfully, as in prayer or in blessing. Anything else is misusing his name. Christians believe that Jesus is God and his name is holy. St. Paul in his letter to the Philippians put it this way: “At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow.”

The organizers also noticed what we did: “There are also Satanic symbols interspersed throughout their ads, such as upside-down crosses, lightning bolts, skulls, roaring wildcats, and images that suggest vampires and blood.”

As of this writing, the number of signers is nearing 6,000. Another petition is closing 12,000.

The influential Catholic League is urging Christians to close their purses. “Americans should send the purveyors of this demonic message a Christian message of their own: boycott Sweet Jesus,” said League President Bill Donohue.

We Doubt

The co-founder of the company Andrew Richmond responded to one of the criticisms.

We are conscious of the fact that, to some, our name can be off-putting. That fact is something we struggle with because we sincerely do not wish to give offence or show disrespect in any way toward anyone’s personal beliefs. Neither is it our intention to be exploitative or flagrantly provocative.

Mr. Richmond, we do not believe you.

Print Friendly
Comments ()
The Stream encourages comments, whether in agreement with the article or not. However, comments that violate our commenting rules or terms of use will be removed. Any commenter who repeatedly violates these rules and terms of use will be blocked from commenting. Comments on The Stream are hosted by Disqus, with logins available through Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or G+ accounts. You must log in to comment. Please flag any comments you see breaking the rules. More detail is available here.
  • Putin on the Ritz

    Can’t wait for their Allahu Snackbar line of confections.

    Ice cream wrapped up in an orange jump suit?

    Beard of toasted coconut?

    • Ken Abbott

      “Allahu Snackbar.” That’s actually quite clever.

      • Putin on the Ritz

        stolen!

      • Edward Bonderenka

        Been around for years.

  • Ken Abbott

    I saw one of these stores in the airport at BWI and had to do a double-take when the name of the place registered. Briefly thought about saying something to one of the attendants but can’t think what good it will do; they’re just employees.

  • Patmos

    God is not mocked. You reap what you sow. He’s laid it out the parameters, and it’s not like it’s a burden either, but some love darkness more than the light.

  • Yossi

    I wonder how different things would be if this company made a similar “joke” related to Islam… I’d imagine that the reaction from adherents of that faith as well as the politically correct abhorrence of anything that hints of “Islamophobia” would quickly persuade this company to change.

  • Margaret Anscombe

    I sincerely believe that they wanted to give offense but they don’t want their business to suffer as a result of their decision to give offense.

  • “That is why God, your God, anointed you.” -Hebrews 1:9

    Who is Jesus’ God?

    `

    • Ken Abbott

      The Father.

      “‘Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go, you know, and the way you know.’ Thomas said to him, “Lord, we know not where you are going. How can we then know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you should have known my Father also, and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him.’ Philip said to him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.’ Jesus said unto him, ‘I have been with you so long and have you not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen my Father. How do you then say, “Show us the Father?” Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself, but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me, that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. At least believe me for the sake of the works.'”

      • What is his name?

        • Ken Abbott

          “I AM THAT I AM,” with certain variations. The Hebrew is represented in Latin letters by YHWH.

          • Only The Father, Jehovah, is ontically God Almighty –

            “But to us there is but one God, the Father.” – 1 Corinthians 8:6

            “But now, O Jehovah, thou art our father.” – Isaiah 64:8

            “Thou, O Jehovah, art our father.” – Isaiah 63:16

            “Do ye thus requite Jehovah, O foolish people and unwise? Is not he thy father.[?]” – Deuteronomy 32:6 (Bracket mine.)

            “Thou art worthy, O LORD ( Jehovah: Rev 14:7; Gen 2:3; Rev 19:10; Psa 95:6; Jhn 20:17 ) , to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” – Revelation 4:11

            “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” – Matthew 23:9

            “Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us?” – Malachi 2:10

            “Know ye that Jehovah he is God.” – Psalm 100:3

            “But Jehovah is the true God, he is the living God.” – Jeremiah 10:10

          • Ken Abbott

            The citations are all good ones, but your conclusion is in error. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all ontologically the same essence, three co-eternal and co-equal Persons.

            Examine John 12:37-41 and ponder what the evangelist says when he declares that Isaiah saw Jesus’ glory and spoke about him. When did Isaiah see glory? Hint–look at Isaiah 6.

            “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born, I am!”

          • Actually, John 8:58 correctly reads, “εἶπεν αὐτοῖς Ἰησοῦς· Ἀμὴν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί,” that is to say:

            “Jesus said to them, “For sure, I tell you, before Abraham was born, I was and am and always will be!” ” – New Life Version

            “Jesus: “The absolute truth is that I was in existence before Abraham was ever born!”” – The Living Bible

            “Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Before Abraham was born, I was. ” – George Lamsa Translation of the Pershitta

            “Jesus
            said to them: Verily, verily I say to you, That before Abraham existed,
            I was.” -James Murdock Translation of the Peshitta

            “Jesus said to them: “Most truly I say to you, before Abraham came into existence, I have been.”” -New World Translation

          • Ken Abbott

            All of which substantiates the meaning of the text and Jesus’ claim to be Yahweh incarnate. His Jewish hearers certainly understood him–they picked up stones to kill him for blasphemy.

            Of course, it’s not blasphemy to claim to be God if you actually are God…

          • How?

          • Ken Abbott

            How what?

          • The original Koine text I shared with you completely gainsays your position yet, akin to a Holocaust denier bending truth to fit their agenda, you claim it actually supports your lie. Hence, my question.

          • Ken Abbott

            Slanderous allusions aside, your assertion is factually wrong. The Koine ego eimi is properly rendered “I am,” which is why most properly-translated English Bibles have it that way.

            Max, are you Watchtower? That would explain a great deal.

          • Yet academics fully apprehend that the Greek Present Tense doesn’t match precisely to the English Present Tense. The key discrepancies being that the Koine accentuate aspect while the English stresses tense.

            Additionally, there is an attribute of the Greek Present Tense that English doesn’t possess which is Extension From Past. Every time a Greek verb is in the Present Tense, yet bears an indication of time (such as ‘before Abraham,’ ‘from the beginning’), then the verb must be apprehended as commencing about the indicator of time then continuing into the present.

            It is, thus, better to appreciate ‘eimi’ of John 8:58 as the Greek Present Tense Extension From Past and that is best translated into English with the Perfect Tense just as various other translations have done with comparable passages at John 14:9 as well as 15:27.

            Ancient Greek scholar Kenneth L. McKay writes, “Extension from Past. When used with an expression of either past time or extent of time with past implications (but not in past narrative), the present tense signals an activity begun in the past and continuing to present time:… Jn 8:58 πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι ἐγὼ εἰμί., ‘I have been in existence since before Abraham was born.’ This is a form of the continuation realization of the imperfective aspect, and similar uses are found with the imperfect tense and with imperfective participles.” — A New Syntax of the Verb in New Testament Greek, pp. 41, 42

            Recall that the Jews were inquiring just how long Christ had already been around, not who he was. Grammatically then, his rejoinder should be rendered in such a way as to denote a presence that began in earlier times but persisted into the present. “I am” suggests merely the present while “I have been” accurately renders the connotation of the original Greek.

            On this point, scholar A. B. Davidson states: “The translation ‘I am’ is doubly false: the tense is wrong, being present; and the idea is wrong because ‘am’ is used in the sense of essential existence. All those interpretations which proceed upon the supposition that [I am] is a name of God…must be set aside…the nature of the [Hebrew] verb and the tense pre-emptorily forbid them.”– The Theology of the OT, in “The International Theological Library” p. 55.

          • Ken Abbott

            It is not hard to understand why there have been many who have not wished to make the connection that John makes between Jesus and Yahweh. One cannot make this identification outside of a trinitarian understanding of the Gospel itself, as one can certainly not identify Jesus as the Father in John’s Gospel, hence, if Jesus is identified as ego eimi in the sense of the Old Testament ani hu, then one is left with two persons sharing the one nature that is God, and this, when it encounters John’s discussion of the Holy Spirit, becomes the basis of the doctrine of the Trinity! Indeed, many of the denials of the rather clear usage of ego eimi in John 8:24, 8:58, 13:19 and 18:5-6 find their origin in preconceived theologies 18 that are nearly unitarian, subordinationist, or so enamored with naturalistic rationalism as to be antisuper-natural. An interpreter who is unwilling to dismiss the words of Scripture as simply “tradition” (and hence non-authoritative) or to interpret Scripture in contradiction with itself (as in a violation of strict monotheism in the positing of a being who is quasi-god, mighty, but not “almighty”) will be hard pressed to avoid the obvious conclusions of John’s presentation. Lest one should find it hard to believe that John would identify the carpenter from Galilee as Yahweh Himself, it might be pointed out that he did just that in John 12:39-41 by quoting from Isaiah’s temple vision of Yahweh in Isaiah 6 and then concluding by saying, “These things Isaiah said because he saw His glory and he spoke about Him.” The only “Him” in the context is Jesus; hence, for John, Isaiah, when he saw Yahweh on His throne, was in reality seeing the Lord Jesus. John 1:18 says as much as well.

            It is self-evident that such a far-reaching and in reality astounding claim as is made by the Lord Jesus in John 8:24, 58 is hard to accept outside of the highest estimation of His person. Indeed, Augustine wrote,

            “…the whole unhappiness of the Jews was not that they had sin, but to die in sins…In these words, ‘Except ye believe that I am,’ Jesus meant nothing short of this, ‘Except ye believe that I am God, ye shall die in your sins.’ It is well for us, thank God, that He said except ye believe, and not except ye understand.”19

            But can the usage of ego eimi withstand that much weight? Though being a “scholar” does not guarantee infallibility in judgment, it should at least provide assurance of factual understanding. Given this, the scholars seem to feel that it can.

            Leon Morris has written,

            ” ‘I am’ must have the fullest significance it can bear. It is, as we have already had occasion to notice…in the style of deity.” (in a footnote on same page:) “ego eimi in LXX renders the Hebrew ani hu which is the way God speaks (cf. Deut. 32:39; Isa. 41:4, 43:10, 46:4, etc.). The Hebrew may carry a reference to the meaning of the divine name Yahweh (cf. Exod. 3:14). We should almost certainly understand John’s use of the term to reflect that in the LXX. It is the style of deity, and it points to the eternity of God according to the strictest understanding of the continuous nature of the present eimi. He continually IS. Cf. Abbott: “taken here, along with other declarations about what Jesus IS, it seems to call upon the Pharisees to believe that the Son of man is not only the Deliverer but also one with the Father in the unity of the Godhead” (2228).”20

            Warfield has written concerning this,

            “…and again, as the most impressive language possible, He declares…: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am,” where He claims for Himself the timeless present of eternity as His mode of existence.”21

            The great expositor J. C. Ryle noted,

            “Let us carefully note what a strong proof we have here of the pre-existence and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ. He applies to Himself the very name by which God made Himself known when He undertook to redeem Israel. It was “I AM” who brought them out of the land of Egypt. It was “I AM” who died for us upon the cross. The amazing strength of the foundation of a sinner’s hope appears here. Believing on Jesus we rest on divinity, on One who is God as well as man.

            There is a difference in the Greek verbs here employed which we should carefully notice. The Greek for “was” is quite different from the Greek for “am.” It is as if our Lord said, “Before Abraham has born, I have an existence individual and eternal.” “22

            Luther, like Augustine before him, wrote in no uncertain terms:

            “The Lord Christ is angry below the surface and says: “Do you want to know who I am? I am God, and that in the fullest sense. Do as you please. If you do not believe that I am He, then you are nothing, and you must die in your sin.” No prophet, apostle, or evangelist may proclaim and say: “Believe in God, and also believe that I am God; otherwise you are damned.” “23

            A.T. Robertson certainly did not see any linguistic problems here:

            I am (ego eimi). Undoubtedly here Jesus claims eternal existence with the absolute phrase used of God. The contrast between genesthai (entrance into existence of Abraham) and eimi (timeless being) is complete. See the same contrast between en in 1:1 and egeneto in 1:14. See the contrast also in Psa. 90:2 between God (ei, art) and the mountains (genethenai).”24

            And finally, William Hendrickson put it rather bluntly:

            “The “I am” here (8:58) reminds one of the “I am” in 8:24. Basically, the same thought is expressed in both passages; namely, that Jesus is God!”25

            This writer feels that there is no way that John could have been any more obvious in his intention to invest in ego eimi a significance far beyond the simple function of identification that it can, and does at times, perform. In 8:58 the Jews pick up stones to stone Jesus. The other two times this occurs are right on the heels of claims to deity as well – first in John 5 where Jesus has just claimed equality with the Father both by calling God His own Father in very special terms as well as claiming the same right to work on the Sabbath as the Jews understood to be God’s in upholding the universe; secondly in John 10 after Jesus claims that He and the Father are one in their role of bringing salvation to God’s elect – His “sheep”. In both instances John spells it out clearly that these claims were understood to be claims to equality with God – can 8:58 then be different?

            In John 13:19 the introduction of the phrase in correlation with the revelation of future events just as is found in Isaiah, even to the point of nearly quoting the LXX rendering, is far too specific to be overlooked. And in 18:5-6, John repeats the phrase in verse six to make sure that the reader understands the reason for the soldiers’ falling backwards. And why would the soldiers fall backwards if not for the awesomeness of the words of Jesus? Some of the naturalistic explanations brought forward for this incident are so ludicrous as to be absurd. John’s meaning cannot be mistaken.

            If each of these instances were examined solely in a vacuum, separated from the others, without any thought of the entire book of John, one might see how their collective significance could be missed. But this is not the way of scholarly interpretation. These statements are not made in a vacuum – they are placed in a book that is rich with meaning and purpose. It has been well said that John intends the entire Gospel to be read through the “interpretive window” of the Prologue of 1:1-18. Given the teachings of that passage, can one seriously doubt the meaning of ego eimi in the above examined passages? It would seem not.

          • 1. Modalism

            2. Latin Trinitarianism
            2.1 Divine Life Stream Theories
            2.2 Relative Identity Theories

            3. Social Trinitarianism
            3.1 Functional Monotheist Social Trinitarianism
            3.2 Trinity Monotheist Social Trinitarianism
            3.3 Perichoretic Monotheist Social Trinitarianism
            3.4 Group Mind Monotheist Social Trinitarianism

            4. Mysterianism
            4.1 Negative Mysterianism
            4.2 Positive Mysterianism

            So, of all these, which particular styling of the Athanasian Creed’s Trinitarian doctrine do you subscribe to and why?

          • Ken Abbott

            Sorry, Max. I don’t have the time to bandy words with a Jehovah’s False Witness. This conversation is at an end.

          • “That is why God, your God, anointed you.” Hebrews 1:9

            Who is Jesus’ God?

          • You still have your chance at salvation. Say it with me: Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior, is the Son of God. You merely have to believe, and go forth and sin no more. The way has been opened for you, but you must open your eyes and follow the path.

  • Andrew Mason

    It all comes down to who is being insulted, and who is taking offense. If it were Muslims targeted for offense then it’d be banned, but since it’s Christians it’s supposed to be okay. Contrast that response to a shoe company that released a niger-brown version of some product. There was a massive furor because oh no it’s a “disgusting racial slur” and the company subsequently said it was appalled to discover said term had been used as it’s completely unacceptable and contrary to corporate policies. So one company uses a blasphemous name that is highly offensive to Christians (and Muslims who believe Jesus was a prophet) and try to claim it’s no big deal, while another company incorrectly uses a euphemism for black, it’s the end of the world, and everyone is falling all over themselves to backtrack and apologise.
    .

    • Ye Olde Statistician

      Niger is the name of a river, and of two countries (one Latinized as Niger-ia). It does not have the requisite two g’s. It can be offensive only to illiterates, much as “Indian red,” the color named after a clay from India, was condemned because of a false folk-etymology connecting it to American Indians.

      • Ken Abbott

        Or those of niggardly intellects, I imagine.

        • Alice Cheshire

          It’s interesting that closed captioning will knock parts of words that might offend, yet the other day the full “n” word was both said and in the captioning. That’s what happens when machines substitute for thought.

      • Andrew Mason

        I used niger rather than the double g version as some sites including this ban the latter for reasons I’ve never understood. I honestly don’t see the issue as long as you use it appropriately and inoffensively. Pretty much any word can be offensive if used incorrectly, though there are a few words that can’t be used inoffensively – the F word for instance and variations thereof. Both versions of niger have, as far as I’m aware, the same etymological basis so if one is supposedly offensive, both ought to be.

  • This company is disgusting and despicable.

  • Alice Cheshire

    I can only LIE in this box or moderation takes me out. Thank you soooooo much for making people LIE. You call yourself a church… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. You are nothing and I’m sick of so-called “great caring people” encouraging LIES.

    • Ken Abbott

      Um. Alice, can we help you with something?

      • Alice Cheshire

        Yes, tell me why everything that concerns even what is in the article getting thrown into moderation. Tell my why an honest post with factual information goes into moderation, even though I carefully used wild card keys so I wouldn’t discuss anything to do with what people do in the bedroom. Yet, I’m required to avoid all those things and just make bland comments like “Horrible company”. It’s okay to label the company bad and awful, but not to actually address the topic. I don’t understand at all why.

        • Ken Abbott

          Since I’m not a moderator here, I can’t comment on the specifics of what’s apparently not getting through. Perhaps it’s word choice. I encourage you to try again. English contains many strong words that can get your point across.

          For what it’s worth, I certainly don’t see Mr. Briggs soft-pedaling the offense of this company’s actions. And other posters here have used “disgusting,” “despicable,” and “offensive” to describe it.

          • Alice Cheshire

            I tried THREE times, changing out words, removing links, etc. Nothing worked. I don’t use profanity and I know that words concerning certain bedroom activities are not allowed. Yet the comment was not allowed. It was not offensive, just informative but it seems information is highly regulated here. Which bothers me a lot. Thus, the rant.

          • Ken Abbott

            I can empathize. Several weeks ago I wrote a post regarding something that some of the site moderators might have thought unduly provocative. At first it bothered me greatly that I was being “censored” for my stated views. Then I reworked the post, citing a hugely respected authority in support, and it went through.

            It also helps me sometimes to remember that I participate as a guest here, and that some other sites I used to frequent eliminated comments altogether due to misbehavior. While entirely understandable, that sapped my interest in those sites, and I don’t visit them nearly as often anymore. I hate to think that might happen here.

  • Ye Olde Statistician

    When did such distancing comments as “Neither is it our intention to be exploitative…” become common? Why not just say “Neither is it our intention to exploit…”

    • Edward Bonderenka

      Yes, make the lie grammatically cleaner.

Inspiration
God Knows Best, Even When He Foils Your Plans
Liberty McArtor
More from The Stream
Connect with Us