Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Does Jesus love porn stars?

The answer to that question has got to be "yes." After all, it's bedrock Christian doctrine, held by all this side of Fred Phelps, that God loves us all as His children and wants us all to be His. Now this is not at all the same thing as "Jesus loves what porn stars do" ... duh. And it doesn't mean that a porn star who loved Jesus would keep being a porn star ... double duh. After all, Our Lord both saved the women caught in adultery and told her "go and sin no more."

This is not advanced exigesis of Von Baltasar in the original German. This is fairly basic Mere Christianity, one would think. But apparently not for some. XXX Church describes itself as the "#1 Christian Porn Site" but it's really a ministry to the porn industry and to those suffering from pornography's effects. Some people don't like that. From the news article:

But some believe there are better ways to attract potential converts.
"Christ would never compromise or stoop to their level. Mary came to him, remember? He didn't go to the whore house using words like sex and porn," said a typical entry in the hate mail section of the XXXchurch website.
"It's nothing but a gimmick to you, an excuse to mingle with the perverts. You talk more about porn than you do Jesus Christ," it said.
Mahon admits his ministry has received mixed reactions in the Christian community. "When we first started this thing four years ago, some people looked at us and thought we were working for the devil," Mahon said.
The young ministers also had trouble finding a publisher for their porn-fighting Bible. The American Bible Society, one of the oldest Bible publishers in the US, refused to print it.
"Out of a sense of propriety, ABS felt that the wording 'Jesus Loves Porn Stars' was misleading and inappropriate for a New Testament cover," the company said in April.

I can understand a certain "not my style" reaction to the gaudy New Testament covers, the free translation style, the nonobservance of certain forms of social piety, including such deliberately provocative phrasings as "#1 Christian porn site." There's an instant knee-jerk backlash among some Christians, understandable to a degree and borne of one too many guitar Masses or visits from "Bishop" Spong, to anything that looks too modern, not that old-time religion. (But c'mon ... Christ would never use the word "sex"; and coming from someone who does feel comfortable using the word "whore.")

But I think what many current Christians, especially those who do not or have not struggled with ... ahem ... sexual compulsion, do not realize is what "reaching people where they are" means. Excessive surface piety and a condemnatory attitude (in this day and age of socially-approved libertinism, at least) only pushes away. David Morrison once criticized a right-wing Catholic columnist on the issue of same-sex-attracted priests, saying that her heresies and attitude and arguments were, effectively if not intentionally, counter-witness. Here's his description of the mental dynamic of a proud sexual sinner in his comment fields.

Father before, and even after, I came to belief in Christ I used to have a little box in my mind into which I put "Christians" and attitudes I understood to be "Christian." While the little box would not have provided me the sufficient argument to intellectually defend eschewing Christ, it was enough of a disincentive to keep the question from arising. That is what I think this sort of thing does, just like [Fred] Phelps' signs, they put one more brake on, one more brick in the barricade.

It would be one thing if there were any porn on the XXXChurch site or links thereto, or if they were pushing bad beliefs. But all that is at the site is perfectly orthodox in content, there's free anti-porn software for downloading. Yeah, there's a flambuoyant or impudent style to it all. But this site's critics cannot get blinded by such inessentials, the things on which that modernist heretic St. Augustine said there should be liberty. And y'know what ... whatever self-promoting streak Mahon and Gross have (and they clearly have one) ... at least they're there. They're at porn conventions, trying to minister to those most in need of Him and those whom I (and millions of other Christians obviously) have helped corrupt through my own sin. And ask yourself honestly ... if you're far-gone enough to be degrading yourself for money, on film and tape for all the world to see forever -- is the title "Jesus loves porn stars" make you more or less likely to open a book than "Porn stars are evil."

2 comments:

James said...

Has anyone checked out www.starvingjesus.com?

It is also from the guys over at XXXchurch.com…

They say some pretty crazy stuff…like people are stuck in the“Christian Ghetto” and that some people would say “Church Sucks.” I heard a pastor got fired after using some of stuff from the website in a sermon.

What do you guys think about all this stuff, whacked out or legit?

ZachD said...

"I heard a pastor got fired..." is a silly and unsubstantive thing to say.

I agree with the comments stated in this thread . . . [paraphrased] xxxchurch is out there and making a positive impact on others' lives.

Check out their 'prayer request' section. This ministry does good work. Time to get past childish symantics!

xxxchurch discerned a need, and went for it! Where is YOUR similar example (asked of the general audience)?