One of the first columns
I ever wrote for the Partial Observer was about two youth pastors from Southern California churches. These guys were involved in pornography, sort of. Actually, their desire was to keep folks away from porn, especially kids. They solicited the help of a porn producer to put together a public service advertisement encouraging kids to steer clear.
Well, Mike Foster and Craig Gross (www.xxxchurch.com
) are at it again with a documentary called "Missionary Positions" and events in area churches called "Porn Sunday". The idea is simple. Pornography is one of the hottest industries out there and it is not harmless fun. Pastors Mike and Craig are saying that they are combining the seedy with the sacred. They have received much criticism from both the porn industry and the church. They expected to be attack by the porn industry but the church attacks hurt. They fought back with a force of ringing endorsements and corporate sponsors such as National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families, Integrity Online, and Zondervan, a Christian publishing house.
One Midwest church tried the first Porn Sunday in January 2005 and were able to attract 13,000 to viewings of the documentary and discussion of films. The church encouraged dads to attend with their teenage sons. And it worked. Craig and Mike began traveling to do Porn Sundays in churches all around the United States and Canada. After a while, the number of churches requesting them to come and speak were so numerous that they had to do something different. Hence, today, October 9th is National Porn Sunday.
The issue is bigger than most folks realize. Close to 1,000 pornographic movies are made every month. 800 million pornographic movies are rented annually. That is 2.2 million rentals each day. When it comes to porn on the internet, it is harder to avoid it than find it. Sites with soft porn and the hard core photos, are available with just a couple clicks of your mouse. If you're looking for it, you can find more than you could imagine. If you're on a cyber-stroll, it is sure to pop up in any number of places.
And the issue is not just a problem for the little old man in a trench coat. In a recent survey that I took at our area high school, I asked students about how many of their friends have admitted to going to a porn site on a regular basis. The numbers were in the 40% range. It has even caught on in junior high schools where the number is 25% admit to going to these sites. You have to wonder how many have been and just wouldn't admit it?
Mike and Craig will be hanging around Willow Creek Church in a Chicago suburb on October 9, the day dubbed as National Porn Sunday. These guys may not be in a church near you soon but hopefully churches and pastors will be able to address the issue one way or the other. It is time for the church to be willing to address the tough issues of the day. And this issue is a big issue for many.
It takes guts to do what these youth pastors are doing. And it takes guts for a pastor or church board to address this issue from inside the hallowed halls of the churches of America. I hope they reach hundreds of thousands, even millions of men, women and youth with the message that, as their web site proclaims, porn sucks.