We’ve all seen the late night famine relief reports that come on TV often showing small children with flies hovering around them and bellies distended. There’s usually a relief worker there or a ministry leader desperately appealing for support and prayers. It is often difficult to watch the scenes especially the one’s that show children living in absolute squalor. You can’t help but be moved with compassion.
But then there are those other late night infomercials and preview commercials. You know the ones featuring “Girls Gone Wild” or the “uncensored” Jerry Springer episodes or the attractive young woman you can call and become “friends” with over the phone. For us guys those scenes evoke a different reaction. They aren’t so easy to shake loose, and if we aren’t careful we’ll find ourselves drifting onto those channels late at night just to catch a glimpse and be aroused.
But think about it, in both instances our response should be complete and utter compassion! In the case of impoverished children it’s obvious, these are things that broke the heart of Jesus and should also break ours. In the case of the not so impoverished, scantily clad, seductive ladies in the commercials let me suggest that this is what broke the heart of Jesus also. Remember how Jesus responded to those who criticized him for hanging out with “sinners”, His response was, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor but the sick”. The word compassion occurs in many different forms in scripture and is often translated as “mercy”. There are a number of occurrences where Jesus himself is “moved” with compassion for not only the hungry, sick, and lame but the “lost”.
Craig Gross and the team at XXXChurch.com often get slammed for their ministry to those in the porn industry. Their brow-raising approaches, and unorthodox strategies have often been the subject of much controversy. But let me suggest that what motivates them is a deep and authentic compassion for broken, and hurting people. Sure it’s hard to see the surgically enhanced, rich, and famous porn stars in the same way that you see the impoverished and dying children in a third world nation. But both are the subjects of Jesus love and compassion and should be for the church as well. The porn shows, infomercials, commercials, and junk e-mail should evoke deep empathy and compassion. There isn’t a severe physical need that is going unmet, but clearly there is a severe spiritual need that is lacking. I think Craig and the gang get that. They get that condemnation and isolation aren’t really the answer to reaching lost people. They get that while not everyone can do the ministry that they do it is desperately needed because everyone, even porn stars need Jesus!
It raises the question of how we deal with those who willfully choose a dark path? Not only do they willingly choose it they seem to bask in it without any visible remorse or sorrow. How do we minister knowing that some will accuse us of endorsing the sin when all we’re trying to do is love the sinner? I think 3XChurch has the right idea. Without being reckless and clearly understanding your calling, go to where lost people are. Go to the porn shows, move to Las Vegas, and debate the porn stars and tell them that Jesus loves them and can bring them new life. You go 3XChurch!