Porn Again
Leadership's upcoming interview with Craig Gross from The Strip Church.

The winter issue of Leadership is still a few weeks away from your mailbox, but the editors have already started working on the spring issue. They're still refining the topic, but it will be something about ministry in a culture of brokenness and addiction.

In a few weeks Skye Jethani and Brandon O'Brien will be traveling to Las Vegas to interview Pastor Craig Gross, founder of XXXChurch.com - "the #1 Christian porn site on the Internet." Craig has been on a mission to help the church talk more openly about the epidemic of pornography and provide support for those seeking to escape its grip. He's also recently relocated to Las Vegas to start a new ministry called The Strip Church.

Here's a video of Craig Gross being interviewed about his ministry to porn addicts and producers.

Jethani and O'Brien will be talking with Gross about how ministry needs to adapt to a culture where vices are becoming more prevalent and more acceptable. They may also connect with other pastors in Sin City to hear how churches are wading into these cultural currents. They'd like to know what questions you have for Craig Gross, and what the editors of LJ should ask churches on the front lines of the vice wars.

January 05, 2009

Displaying 1–10 of 21 comments

Casey05

October 29, 2012  4:30pm

Thank you for making the sincere attempt to speak about this on www.outofur.com . I feel very strong about it and would like to read more. If it's OK, as you achieve extra extensive wisdom, may you mind including extra articles similar to this one with additional info? It will be extraordinarily useful and helpful for me and my friends. regards

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Jerry Bishop

April 10, 2009  10:44am

My son is attending a church that uses pornographic pictures to bring "healing" to the addicted. They call it "bringing darkness into the light." They say if you study these images you will understand the truth behind porn and "the truth will set you free." The innovator of this belief is a recovering sex offender. The pastor seems deluded. Any thoughts?

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J.

January 16, 2009  3:35pm

Diseases come from invading virii and bacteria. Bad habits come from bad choices and become addictions over time. One here is what is biblically referred to as "sin", the other is a medical condition. Diseases can be healed by medicine and/or prayer, sin is not healed, it needs to be (1) admitted and confessed; (2) repented of, meaning a change in life - stop doing it; and (3) warned against and pointed out where a sinner might be saved. Of course, "who are you to judge?" or "who died and made you god?" is a most common saying where "human weakness" is blamed in self-defense. And even supposed-to-be "Christians" use those lines, where they refuse to break with sin. The Truth sets free. The "modern gospel" advocates "life enhacement" over Truth. If it makes them feel bad, it's not of god, it says. Sin flees Truth. I was into watching porn and doing alcohol, drugs and smokes, and only by God's Grace, was i able to (1) admit and confess the sin, (2) repent of the sin, meaning to turn life around and do it no more; and (3) when the sin wants to overcome me, pray unto God the Trinity to take it away - sometimes with tears. If these guys at XXXChurch are for real, there shall be a true repentance following, from those the Holy Ghost opens up to the gospel of Jesus Christ. As for me, i pray sinners hear the Truth and come to repentance.

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Jeff S.

January 11, 2009  9:31am

For the past 20 years I have lived in Dallas, and in that time I have been actively involved in three local church bodies in addition to two large mid-week Bible study groups led by very well-known pastors/Bible teachers/authors. Prior to that, I was very involved in a very well known evangelical church in Southern Cal.(Moved geographically within the metro area, was single, got married, had kids, etc. I'm defending not staying in the same exact local church for the past 30 years.) I'd like to point out that all six of these evangelical Christian bodies/groups/churches were very *non-condemning* and non-judgemental toward men and women struggling with sexual sin. They all acknowledged that it is a powerful temptation, something that we don't quite understand and often underestimate, and they all acknowledged that many men in the group and some women in the congregation could be struggling with the problem. They held firm to the conviction that it is indeed a sin with devastating consequences, but they offered hope and encouragement, and at a few of these Bible studies and churches, there was time devoted to testimonies of people recovering from their problems, and there was time for prayer and offering of support, as well as urging for people to seek Biblical counseling, and all of these churches had their own separate counseling departments/ministries, as well as hosting recovery groups. I'm getting tired of reading about the stereotype that "evangelicals" do nothing but condemn and hate. I don't know what evangelical churches the critics have in mind - I'm sure there are some old-fashioned churches out there, and maybe there were more of them in the past that left some deep scars, but my experience at evangelical churches has not been condemning nor "backward" at all.

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K. B. Haught

January 10, 2009  11:57am

I respectfully submit that the terms "life interrupting problem", "sexual dysfunction," "addiction" and "bad habit" used in this thread are inconsistent with giving hope or healing. For what hope of healing is there to call something a disease or dysfunction when there is no cellular disorder to identify and repair? What hope is there for a person to be told his strength to overcome must come from his own will . . . the same will that strong arms his conscience and sacrifices job, family, faith, and finances to the gods of temporary lust and pleasure? Although it may not be what the counselor intends, these descriptions carry such implications, and the cry of the counselee becomes, "I want to stop, but I can't." There is love in using words that point the counselee to the truth, the truth that it is sin which enslaves and dominates the human spirit–not a problem, not a dysfunction, not a disease, not an addiction. These latter things, being either inaccurate descriptions or depending on self to overcome, have no cure. But sin can be overcome through the leaning on the Spirit of Christ. When we counsel that one can overcome sin in one's own strength we negate the cross and imply a self-righteousness possible apart from Christ–which is impossible. We mislead the counselee to trust in his own strength for hope, away from the truth that we can neither save nor sanctify ourselves. To call sin as sin therefore, is neither cruel nor judgmental. It is loving and hope-giving. Therefore, I have come to prefer terms such as "sin enslavement" or "life dominating sin" to truthfully describe the issue and accurately point the counselee in the only direction which gives hope for freedom.

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still

January 07, 2009  10:09pm

Question: Alcoholism and pornography are cast in the same addiction mold. The 12-Step Program has worked well for Alcoholic Anonymous because of its 3-prong approach: spiritual, psychological and community. Does XXXChurch carry out similar, if not the same, program for its converts?

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Roger Becker

January 07, 2009  7:51pm

I live in Portland, OR, capital of strip clubs per capita in the U.S. What would be your strategy for seeing the church take them on- to help diminish their number, and to see those that work there reached for Chist? Roger Becker Eastside Foursquare Church

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Joseph

January 07, 2009  2:50pm

I am grateful for their ministry though I am concerned that their methods are more practical rather than theological. There is a goal of stopping going on bad sites as opposed to biblical repentance and trusting in the finished work of Christ for their safety. Porn blocking software does not make one right with God nor does it provide assurance to a struggling Christian. But all the same there is room for a pragmatic approach within the context and bounds of a theological and Biblical one.

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Patrick Gann

January 07, 2009  11:44am

I think Gross has a great ministry, but I'd REALLY like to know what guidelines and accountability are in place for the men and women who serve in the ministry. I mean, these people from XXXchurch go to big Porn conventions and everything, they're certain to see plenty of provocative (and fully nude) images. It would also be good to know how, and to what extent, the people who "minister" also struggle, even while in the ministry. They can't be perfect.

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secretkeeper

January 06, 2009  9:18pm

The church today is not capable of addressing the topic. There is no safe place for sex addicted leaders to go for help. It seems the pattern is exposure, then repentance (or shame), then maybe healing. Families fly apart, wounds run deep and wide. I applaud XXXChurch. First Church of Whatever will never open up on the topic, except for passing condemnation.

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