Friday, June 30, 2006

Jesus Loves Porn Stars

While traveling this week I heard this pastor respond to what I thought was a little too "over the edge"; that is, handing out a bible at a porn convention with the above title on the cover. But after I heard him discuss his ministry and the tactics, I thought of Jesus going where the sinnners were, and His way with them. The pastor explained that he started his ministry four years ago after seeing on TV a Bible-thumper shouting at the convention attendees, warning them they were all headed for Hell.

Here's a news item on the story.


Who would you be? The bible-thumper, the conventioneer minister, or the person who just stays away from the whole darn thing?

Sir Chuck, riding through dangerous ground

7 comments:

  1. I would say that "bible-thumping" is overused and in inappropriate circumstance. It may be, like less harmless errors* a result of a desire to feel "heroic" and a boredom with the routine of modern life*. Nontheless "bible-thumping" does have an occasional place.
    In any case the "Jesus loves porn stars" is I think an example of throwing your pearls before swine. That does not primarily refer to the plausible opinion that porn stars are swine. Rather it refers to the fact that it is offering up Christ's message in a way that is degrading to it. Attempting to witness to porn-stars is "all very well"(to use a useful English phrase). To do it in a sacrilgeious manner is not.
    It is also ineffective. It is well known that those who bother to convert choose churches that take themselves seriously-Evangelicals and Catholics have more converts then the "gay-preacherian" denominations have. Thus any attempt to, "make Christianity relevant to the modern world" beyond changes in presentation is an exercise in foolishness. Christianity is not suppossed to be relevant to the world-it is supposed to ask that the world become relevant to it. And unbelievers know that too and even respect it more. A jackal gets no respect even from the lion.
    Of course the worth of a church should not be measured in it's ability to attract converts, but also in what they are converting to. Nontheless in this case the two are not separate. No one will really respect a church that doesn't respect itself.



    * I read somewhere that that may be one of the attractions of extremist political movements

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  2. Attempting to witness to porn-stars is "all very well"(to use a useful English phrase). To do it in a sacrilgeious manner is not.

    What do you consider sacrilegious part, Sir Jason? The title on the cover of the bible, or the evangelism display at the porn convention? Or something else I'm missing?

    It is also ineffective.

    Generally speaking, you're probably right, Sir J. But what if the life of just one attendee of the convention was changed by meeting the pastor and subsequently reading the bible offered? Would that make the ministry effective enough to be worth the effort?

    Thus any attempt to, "make Christianity relevant to the modern world" beyond changes in presentation is an exercise in foolishness. Christianity is not suppossed to be relevant to the world-it is supposed to ask that the world become relevant to it.

    How would this ministry be any different than the modern "cowboy" churches, the motorcycle gangs for Christ, or the common street ministry to homeless people? They all reach sinners where they happen to be. I didn't get the sense that the Word was being diluted in any way to accomodate the habits of the porn stars...it was just being presented in a less-threatening package that might peak their curiosity enough to get them to read it. Obviously, only those under conviction would have the interest; but you'd have to guess that at least some of them would be under conviction for their life style, wouldn't you?

    Sir C, under conviction more than once before turning to Christ

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  3. What do you consider sacrilegious part, Sir Jason? The title on the cover of the bible, or the evangelism display at the porn convention? Or something else I'm missing?
    _______________________________
    Really both but especially the later.
    "Jesus loves porn stars" can mean either A) Jesus loves people although they are porn stars, or B) because they are. However the context implies B.
    As to the second what they are doing is implying that the Bible is an appropriate item to sell there.
    __________________________
    How would this ministry be any different than the modern "cowboy" churches, the motorcycle gangs for Christ, or the common street ministry to homeless people? They all reach sinners where they happen to be. I didn't get the sense that the Word was being diluted in any way to accomodate the habits of the porn stars...it was just being presented in a less-threatening package that might peak their curiosity enough to get them to read it. Obviously, only those under conviction would have the interest; but you'd have to guess that at least some of them would be under conviction for their life style, wouldn't you
    _______________
    Cowboy Churches and Motercycle gang churches are a cosmetic issue. Being a cowboy is a legitimate profession and the type of "motorcyle gangs" that go there are mostly old men who like motercycles, rather then "gangs". Ministering to homeless is a thing the church has always done in one way or another.
    I tend to feel that this method implies not merely charity but condoneing that lifestyle.

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  4. Generally speaking, you're probably right, Sir J. But what if the life of just one attendee of the convention was changed by meeting the pastor and subsequently reading the bible offered? Would that make the ministry effective enough to be worth the effort?
    ________________________________
    Sir Chuck is right in pointing out the value of a single soul. However that must be counted against the fact that others would be driven away by disgust. Moreover what would that person have converted to? Would he have converted believing he had accepted a faith that allowed one to be a porn star?
    In any case that question is in a sense secondary. It is pointing out that the basic justification for that activity is flawed. The real point is that it is dishonoring to God.
    To make an anology, suppose a priest were to give Communion to someone he knows is a Mob chieftain-perhaps one whose minions are commiting crimes while he is taking Communion. Should he do so in the hope that the mobster would be saved? Of course not; he is not helping the mobster, he is deluding him-and he is dishonoring God.
    There is a fine line between ministering to "publicans and sinners", and accepting their behavior. Sometimes it is hard to know where to draw the line but there is a line to draw.

    Sir Jason the Longwinded

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  5. I think we can draw the lines from the example Jesus gave. He did go to sinner's homes, and he befriended them. But where you wouldn't have seen Jesus was witnessing in the prostitution rings.

    I agree that the condemning tactics weren't right, but I think this guy might be going a bit far in the other direction. There are some Christians who put up sites at porn-type web addresses hoping to catch porn surfers with the Gospel message. I don't see big problem with that, though I'm not sure it's the most effective method either.

    Who would I be in those three categories? The person who stays away from the whole thing. I think Christian men, no matter how strong they are, should protect themselves.

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  6. Welcome to the Table Round, Sir Josh. Jousting with you tonight from Poland!


    But where you wouldn't have seen Jesus was witnessing in the prostitution rings.

    Sure of that, Sir J? Seems to me several of the women Jesus talked to in the Biblical record were shady ladies. I don't think they were as "out there" as the professionals these days, but it was the same business, none the less. And by the way, they seemed to be the most grateful people Jesus saved, weren't they?


    I think Christian men, no matter how strong they are, should protect themselves.

    Right you are, there, Sir Josh. Got to be armed for the mission. Very few could serve in this capacity and dwell safely in the Lord all the time. We owe that brother a healthy portion of prayer.

    To Sir Rev JR Mann!

    Sir C

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  7. I would not say that no one is ever called to such a ministry, but it would not be me or anyone I would influence.

    The temptation of what one is likely to see at such a convention could make a Christian stumble and seriously fall.

    There are many places porn stars can go to find the Lord, if they are really looking.

    "But he said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be persuaded even if someone rises from the dead.' " Luk 16:31

    Sir John, watching out for little brother

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