I don’t even know where to start. The emails have been pouring in this week as people watch by the thousands me get body slammed by Ron Jeremy. Some think it is funny, some don’t understand and several still have to criticize. Never in a million years when I first walked into a porn show 5 years ago did I think I would someday get in a wrestling ring with the biggest man in porn. For those of you that don’t understand wrestling (WWE style) is not reality just like porn isn’t reality. The night of Unscripted I laughed standing in the tunnel watching and listening as the wrestlers would exit their match. They would not even be into the tunnel and already be high fiving their opponent and talking to each other about the match, replaying it in their conversations, talking about the moves and the take downs and what they could make more entertaining the next time.
If you would have been in the green room, you would have watched as Ron picked me up and practiced the take down with me prior to going out, making sure he did not hurt me but making sure it look like it did. I was wearing tights. I was going to get into a ring and do this, why? Well, I guess what I would rather ask is why not? We are willing to do just about anything short of sin to get this message out. Does everything make sense? Does it have to.
Ron and his agent Mike picked me up today at the airport in Baltimore as we had a real porn debate scheduled tonight at the University of Baltimore. We drove in the car, I pulled up my lap top and showed Ron the video clip of the match and he could not get enough of it. He watched it a few times and we all had a good laugh.
A year ago, we filmed a commercial called “Pete The Porno Puppet” with pornographer JimmyD. Why? Because JimmyD wrote to us and saw something that intrigued him enough to volunteer his time and resources to help out xxxchurch. For me, it was never just about the commercial. Years later, I got to officiate the wedding of JimmyD’s daughter on the beach in Santa Barbara, why? Because we became friends. When we were filming the commercial, could we see down the road and eventually foresee officiating a wedding? No.
The debate last night was different. Sure, the crowd was hostile, the questions were similar to debates in the past, the event was sold out. It was different because last night I was invited into Ron’s world just a little bit more. Normally, Ron and I each arrive, head to the debate, do the debate, go to dinner, hang out, then fly home. Today, was different. Ron’s agent had lined up a gig for Ron after the debate. Ron was to make an appearance at a new night clubs in Washington DC. They invited me to join them and I agreed. We head down the highway and pulled over to grab a bite to eat prior to the show. I am a fan of a few restaurant chains; Bahama Breeze, Texas Road House, but the car stops at Hooters. My wife and I don’t frequent Hooters (although I did learn today that kids eat free). Still, not where I choose to eat. Ron and Mike however do dine at Hooters. So now I have a decision to make. Do I sit in the car? Do I ask them to drop me off at the restaurant across the street while they eat. Do I alienate myself from this guy who has become a friend by saying, “I’d love to eat with you, I just can’t do it here.”
I don’t know what you would do, but I went inside. We sat down and shared a meal. The crowds followed just like they do at any restaurant with Ron, but this time it was all the waitresses, the manager, the supervisor, everyone in a Hooters uniform at some point interrupted our dinner and wanted a photo with their camera phone. I ended up taking most of the photos for everyone. One of the waitresses was not working but was there picking up her paycheck or something and came by asking for a photo and was with her son. Her son was maybe 9 or 10 year old. She asked Ron for a photo and I ended up taking the photo of Ron, her, and her son. Then she said, can you take one of just Ron and my son? Why? I can’t answer that. I don’t know. I went to the bathroom and just prayed for that waitress and her son.
I wonder what it would have been like to hang out with Jesus. To join him for dinner and watch the circus that I am sure was created all around him. I think of Zacchaeus who had Jesus over for dinner because Jesus just invited himself over one day.
A few weeks back, Don Golden said to me, “All you can do with Ron is keep inviting him into your world.” He was talking about the great commission when he said he thought it was less about preaching to people and just calling people to a confession, and more about inviting the lost into your world and sharing your friends, family, beliefs with them overtime. That gave me a new outlook. That excited me when he said that, because Ron is open to experiencing my world. He has met my family, my friends, pastors of mine, and now as he invites me into his world, the question is what is my response?
How far do you go? Is it a give and take relationship with the lost, is it a trade for trade arrangement. I will go to Hooters with you, if you go to church with me? I don’t know. I just come back to anything short of sin. Ron didn’t invite me to dinner to try and drag me down or trip up my testimony. He invited me to dinner at one of his favorite restaurants just like I have done with him in. Is there a line? Sure. But dinner at Hooters didn’t cross it for me.
The question we kept answering at Hooters? What are you doing tonight in Maryland? We are doing a debate tonight on the issue of pornography we both said. And, then everyone wants to know who the opponent was. They were repeatedly surprised when Ron points across the table at me.
Sure in our world most opponents don’t gather for dinner together before a match. I guess that is my first lesson learned tonight. I would rather be a friend then an opponent any day of the week. Christians have way too many opponents. We as christians gather together in our groups way too much, stay inclusive in our circles way too much, devise game plans and strategies for reaching our opponents way too often, come up with emergent lingo, which our own do not even understand. When in reality I believe what would make Jesus happier is just being friends. “Hey Zacchaeus, tonight I am coming to your house for dinner….” Those disagreements, those points we think we need to prove, those sins we think we need to call out, I believe most of the time will fall on deaf ears unless you are friends.
After the debate, my friend Jonathan joined up with me and we headed to DC. We were taken to the back of the club. We were given special ALL ACCESS VIP Ron Jeremy lanyards and ushered into a crowded night club. It was approaching midnight. I don’t do this stuff. I have two kids and a wife. Jonathan who joined me has three kids and a wife. The lanyard made people assume I was part of the team. I sure was not security, come on, we have seen what I look like in tights. Was I part of the team? Yes in fact I was. The announcement of the sound system was loud and clear, the man of the hour had arrived. We stood off to the side and just let everyone do their thing. Ron was hounded for a few good hours. Photos, autographs, you name it. We just stood off to the side. I watched the crowd slowly fade as we went into the night. And eventually Ron sat at an empty couch, exhausted, and the party was nearly over. I knew eventually all the craziness would only last a few hours, it would eventually come to an end. It is all temporary, the fame, the sex, the girls, the life and eventually it all will go away not just for Ron but for everyone. Then what?
Ron looked at me and said, “Pull up a seat.”
I John 2:15 says… Stop loving the evil world and all it has to offer, for the world offers the craze for sex, ambition to buy everything you see, and pride that comes from being wealthy or important. The world is fading away quickly along with everything it craves but if you do the will of God you will live forever.
By 2:30 am the club was empty. I stayed. Why? because when all these things fade away what is left is only Faith, Hope, and Love. I gave back my all access pass and headed back to hotel, but realized we are on the same team. I don’t need the lanyard anymore to see that. The differences about porn we will leave to the debate, but in life, Ron Jeremy can not be an opponent. He must be a friend, and friends share friends and invite each other into their world. We’re more alike than different, we both have struggles, challenges, etc, but when it comes down to it, the only difference between Ron and I is that I have a relationship with Jesus that Ron doesn’t have that yet. But we’ll keep sharing dinner, sharing our friendship, and sharing our lives, and maybe one of these days we’ll have that in common too.
Pray for the upcoming porn debate tour as Ron and I share a bus for 7 days as we go from Milwaukee to New York and as we share our friends and our worlds with each other. Both of us would love to see you out on the tour.