The creators of XXXchurch.com are taking their unconventional campaign out of the gutters into the sanctuaries of the nation's churches: October 9 is National Porn Sunday. The event is the brainchild of two youth pastors who say it's time that the church stop ignoring pornography. "Ten years ago, this was a topic for a Saturday men's breakfast; not anymore," says Craig Gross, co-founder with Mike Foster of the anti-pornography ministry. "In 2005, everybody has either had contact with pornography, or knows someone who has. This is a topic for Sunday morning."
"I think all churches must take leadership in addressing the things that are defeating their members," says Elliott Anderson, pastor of Elgin (Ill.) Evangelical Free Church, "and porn is definitely one of those things. The church should be leading this discussion—not reacting to it."
Leading such a discussion is not without risk. "I thought the Porn Sunday thing was going to blow up in my face," says Gerry Michalski, pastor of Soul Sanctuary in Winnipeg, Canada. Instead, Michalski found his congregation was eager to hear about the spiritual effects of exposure to porn and hope for healing. After the church sponsored a Porn Weekend, Michalski says, "Everybody acknowledged that porn is a problem. We wanted to deal with the issue straight up."
"Addictions of any sort, including pornography, set in motion a compulsion that interferes with daily life," says Anderson, who previously ministered to students as a counselor at Judson (Ill.) College. "Suddenly, the day begins to revolve around that addiction. In the case of pornography addiction, nearly everything in the person's speech and actions becomes sexualized, and everything they do is done through that sexualized screen. ...