I spent some time today visiting the various xxxchurch.com web features. For those who don’t know about it, 3x church is a ministry aimed at educating people to the dangers of pornography and helping porn stars get out of the industry. They visit churches and trade shows trying to bring the gospel to the industry. They have some insight into the fact that secretly many church members already know the industry and buy it’s services. I’ve known about 3x church for some time but spent hours today trying to formulate my opinion on them. I downloaded a podcast episode. I downloaded tv evangelist James Robinson’s interview with the two pastors and a former porn star.
My reason for reading and digesting all this material was a conversation I had with a friend today about their recent run-in with the American Bible Society over the cover art they wanted printed on 10,000 bibles. These were going to be handed out at Adult trade conventions. The cover simply read in 70’s retro art “Jesus loves Porn Stars”. ABS refused to publish, sent back their money and suggested various other titles. 3x church already sells t-shirts with this design and has booths with the design. It could have been a lot worse. They could have had Wally the Weiner, the giant blow-up penis on the cover. They use this gimmick with the sign in front “Do you have the balls enough to quit viewing porn?” The title cover is not so bad anymore huh? So anyway, as my friend and I were discussing this I laid out what I felt was wrong. Jesus doesn’t love people on the basis of their profession right? So why give away a Bible on that basis? And then we discussed all the ministry aspects of how these folks are reaching people and how God alone knows the fruit.
So anyway, the conversation caused me to further education myself about 3x church and its tactics. Here are some observations: the whole thing is very market oriented. They use trendy advertisements to get to know people and strike up conversations. They use Christian and secular media to get their name out there. They rely on other ministries for the follow up work with individuals struggling with pornography. Generally their approach seems to suggest that while pornography is addictive, Jesus is the miracle cure. On a podcast they ask a former porn star whether all the sex scarred her toward future relationships. Her answer was no, and that the whole experience was only one step in a better life direction. Those seem like conflicting messages. Which is it? An addiction or just a hole anyone can get out of? I don’t want to discount miracle cures but it seems to me that if porn is like heroine these guys should be looking to something like the 12 steps and 12 traditions of AA. Finally, it is interesting to me that two pastors who don’t seem to have any real background using pornography could develop such a burden for it. If you look at other ministries like Exodus International or Love in Action, the directors are usually people who were directly influenced and effected by the disease. In this case these guys were just called.
All in all I’m thankful for the work 3x church is doing to talk about pornography where it is needed. Most of all I’m thankful that they’re putting their money where their mouth is offering a way for those trapped in the industry to get out and find work and a better way of life. All that said, it would be very easy on every level to wonder how an industry built on deceit and conning could find insiders willing to stop right away and finally get completely honest. I will be praying for these guys and their work in the future. I’m glad they’re shedding light on the topic of our frail human sexuality. Pornography thrives on silence and secrecy. It is readily available and easily hidden. Faith is only possible in lives capable of rigorous honesty.