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Idol Chatter

Craig Gross and Mike Foster, a.k.a. “the porn pastors” and founders of XXXChurch.com, are at the country’s largest porn convention this weekend, the Adult Expo in Las Vegas. They’re there to remind customers, producers, and porn stars that Jesus loves them, too. Gross and Foster, former youth pastors, started their self-proclaimed “#1 Christian porn website” in 2002 in an effort to tackle the issue of pornography from a different angle.

These men (as well as their wives) are initiating dialogue about sex and pornography within the church (in a Christianity Today survey, 33 percent of pastors said they have been to a porn site) as well as with the porn industry itself using unconventional strategies. One of those strategies has been for the porn pastors to rent exhibit booths at major porn conventions in an effort to build relationships with people in the pornography industry so as to affect change from the inside out. Their one-of-a-kind ministry (be sure to go their website and read about their “Save the kittens” campaign) has also gotten the attention of everyone from Howard Stern to “Playboy” magazine. Even harder to believe, a porn filmmaker actually helped the two men create a documentary about the ministry last year, called “Missionary Positions.”

If you are curious or skeptical about the credibility of this ministry, XXX Church has a blog on their website to journal Gross and Foster’s encounters at this year’s Expo. And on a personal note, I know many in the church community doubt their motives and question their methods, but I spent a day with them at a porn convention in Los Angeles (I was there strictly for journalistic purposes!) and was truly amazed at the impact they are having.

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