Bryan and I spent Sunday sharing some of the stories from Friday
and Saturday with the people at Tides Church. Tides was home to me for
two years prior to moving to Michigan. I actually interviewed Bryan at
church this morning and got his take on his first ever porn show. I
will have that up soon on the site.
ABC World News Tonight spent a good part of Friday with JR, Bryan,
Brandon, and me at the booth and did a sit down interview with me about
Here is a link to the video and a copy of the article. http://www.abcnews.go.com/Video/playerIndex?id=2117600
Hope you enjoy!
By DAN HARRIS and FELICIA BIBERICA
June 25, 2006 —
Christians agree that the Bible
commands them to “go and make disciples of all nations” and that Jesus
“came to invite the sinners” to be his followers and “save people who
are lost.” But a new Bible with the words “Jesus Loves Porn Stars”
emblazoned on the cover has ignited a debate about how far is too far
when it comes to spreading the word.
This weekend at the erotica convention in Los Angeles, Pastor Craig
Gross, who runs an anti-pornography ministry, handed out hundreds of
“Jesus Loves Porn Stars” Bibles. Gross, in his “porn-mobile,” is a
regular fixture at porn conventions. His anti-porn Web site is
provocatively entitled XXXChurch.com.
“I believe Jesus, he’d be in the show with us,” Gross said. “He’d be
mixing it up with these people. ‘Cause he doesn’t look at them as porn
stars, or porn producers. He looks at us as all the same.”
While the porn professionals seemed to like the new Bible, many of the companies licensed to publish Bibles do not.
The American Bible Society, one of the country’s oldest bible
publishers, wrote Pastor Gross a letter refusing to print his Bible
“out of a sense of propriety,” saying the “wording … was misleading and
“People just freaked out,” Gross said. “These Bible companies are
going, ‘Wait a second. I’ve never seen something like this and I don’t
know if we can do this.’ ”
Gross says his unconventional measures are what it takes to reach people today.
“We’re trying to reach a new audience and so we can’t just do things
like our parents did, like the generation did before us,” he said.
Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological
Seminary and a popular Christian radio host, agrees evangelicals need
to take risks to save sinners, but thinks that Gross’s Bible cover goes
“These younger guys seem to say that older evangelicalism is just
out of touch,” Mohler said. “In a rush to be relevant I think these
guys have crossed a line that I would not cross and I would not
Mohler thinks Gross’s Bible may end up as just a kitschy keepsake.
“I just have to wonder what people think when they see that cover,”
Mohler said. “In other words, are they expecting the Bible or are they
expecting something else?”
For Gross, the main thing is that people just open it.
“Whether it’s a joke, whether it sits on the table and they make fun
of the thing, I think if someone cracks this thing open, that’s our
prayer, that’s our hope, then their lives will be changed,” Gross said.
What makes this new Bible doubly controversial is that some say it’s
not a Bible at all. It’s called “The Message” — part of a new breed of
Bible that veers from the standard translation to put the Gospel in
modern language. There are now comic strips, even a Bible you can read
in one sitting, which some find offensive.
“It is, after all, the word of God, and there’s no way to package it
as just another book,” Mohler said. “It’s not just another book.”
Mohler says he admires what Gross is doing, but just has questions about how he’s doing it.
“If they have another approach, if they have another idea, come join
us,” Gross said. “We’re here riding solo here. There’s nobody else
doing this. … Sure we’re gonna maybe make some mistakes along the way
but we’re trying.”