Two young ministers have taken a provocative approach to combating pornography.
Craig Gross and Mike Foster have launched what they bill as “the No. 1 Christian porn site,” and taken their message to the heart of the adult-entertainment world.
The pair took a booth at the annual “Adult Video News” trade show in Las Vegas last week, the showcase for the multibillion-dollar porn industry that includes its own “Oscars” for categories such as “most outrageous sex scene.”
“If Jesus were walking the earth today, we think that He’d be here, too,” Gross told the Los Angeles Times. “After all, [He] hung out with prostitutes and stuff.” Gross and Foster were there to talk about their new website, which aims to help people leave the porn industry and get free from Internet-porn addiction.
Gross said they did not go to judge. “What good would that do? We decided the best thing to do was to actually be in the show and try to talk to the people in the industry in a professional and respectful manner and not be confrontational.”
Gross and Foster hope their XXXChurch.com site might draw cyberspace surfers looking for pornography. They say they recognize the name might offend some, but they chose it because “it’s provocative and memorable. We have combined the seedy and the sacred for a purpose. We wanted the name to stick in the minds of millions.”
The site includes a “prayer wall” where visitors can post appeals for prayer, free “accountability software” that tracks a computer’s users’ Internet travels, and a sign-up form on which supporters pledge to be accountable about their own struggles and be honest about “the dirty little secret.”
The new ministry is backed by the pair’s friends at Crossroads Christian Church in Fullerton, Calif., where Gross is on staff.
“As a church and a ministry, it is very near our hearts to help people overcome sexual addiction and to help them have healthy sexual boundaries with other people,” senior associate pastor Jud Wilhite told the Times. “Obviously, this ministry is directed right at that and going right into the middle of that arena, trying to be a light.”
At the AVN show, the XXXChurch booth was wedged between a company advertising explicit Japanese cartoons and another selling gay sex films, the Times reported. Some in the industry dismissed the ministry, said the newspaper – but it did find one actress who prayed the rosary each week and said, “I believe in prayer and God. It makes me a better person.”
At their website, Gross and Foster say the church has “an incredible opportunity to be a place of true healing and restoration for hurting and broken people in regards to pornography. But it must first be bold enough and care enough to take on the dirty little secret.”
They say they are trying to tackle Internet porn head-on: “We believe that if the pornographers are using the Net to promote their product, then we need to use the Internet to promote our message.”
Charisma News Service is a division of Strang Communications.