Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Not Your Father's Church

For a number of years now, I've been aware of the ministry of XXXchurch.com and their efforts to highlight the destructive nature of pornography. To say that these guys are over the top is an understatement! They have Pete the Porno Puppet, Wally the Weiner, they drive a car called the Porn Mobile, and have a documentary that is currently hitting the film festival circuit entitled "Missionary Positions."

I know, I know, I'm still trying to get my conservative little brain around it all. I'm glad these guys are doing what they're doing - after all, how can you knock a couple of pastors who travel to conventions like Erotica LA (with permission from their wives) and set up a booth to tell porn stars & filmmakers that Jesus loves them? That's pretty radical. And exactly the kind of thing that the Church has fallen asleep on in the past 100 years.

Many don't see porn as a big problem. Think again. A few stats...
  • 25 million Americans visit cybersex sites between 1-10 hours per week (MSNBC Survey 2000)
  • 9 in 10 kids 8-16 yrs. have viewed porn online, mostly accidentally while doing homework (UK News Telegraph, NOP Research Group, 1/07/02)
  • According to the Justice Department, in 1998 there were 28,000 X-rated websites, generating $925 million in revenue. Now, only three years later, there are 280,000 X- rated websites, generating over $10-20 billion in revenue (The Wall Street Journal 26 Nov. 2001)

What really caught my attention today was a letter entitled "Porn Completely Destroyed Me" that came as a link from a newsletter. It happens to be on the XXXchurch site. The letter is interesting, and sad. The comments posted by others are worth the time, too.

Again, this sort of ministry framework is way outside my small town, conservative model. But I'm glad these guys are out there. The Internet has brought porn to a new level, and made it accessible to millions more. I applaud the XXXchurch guys for their efforts to minister in an extremely turbulent and tempting environment (they have a very tight accountability structure built around their ministry). They have some great tools to help us all, particularly their accountability software (free download) that lets your accountability partner(s) know on a monthly basis where you've "surfed." Over 150,000 have already downloaded the software and currently use it!

Now that's engaging the culture and making a difference in my book.

News articles about the XXXchurch guys:

Article from Press Enterprise

Fox News Story

New York Times story

Good Morning America interview


  1. Unfortunately it's not only porn(although that is a huge problem)...the sex chats whether it be chat rooms or instant messaging is taking place just as much (if not more). The other person wanting inappropriate photos either the first chat or later. Outside of the Internet...in real relationships the other wanting things to go further and further physically. There is a lot of focus on the porn, but what about the chats and then "real" life outside of the Internet? No one is really going after that area as much. What has been given as an "answer" is to refrain from premarital sex, but there's a big gray area about everything leading up to that point that isn't usually addressed.

  2. I don't think that topic is being ignored - its just not mainstream. Sure its a huge problem, and though there are no quick and easy "answers" there are some foundational things that need to happen 1) Parents need to know what their kids are up to on the Internet (computers with internet in bedrooms, etc are a dumb idea) 2) personal restraint - if I'm tempted to eat donuts (I am), then I shouldn't hang out at the donut shop...3) search for true meaning of significance - do we really need to know that some stranger gets some sort of satisfaction from us in order to feel like we matter? We DO matter, whether that ever happens or not. Just thoughts. As for porn, a case can be made that it drives much of what happens "outside" the internet in real life - unrealistic expectations and desires that are simply fueled by that industry. Is the the only source? Maybe not. But its one of them, and any light in that darkness is a good thing.

  3. Definitely it is a good thing that they are approaching the porn issue. The real life situations could happen whether someone is involved in porn or not, but could be influenced by our culture. So much of a relationship is placed on the physical aspects to even keep a relationship alive. I would agree with the foundational things that you mentioned. Numbers 2 and 3 catch my attention most of all. If something in this area has become an addiction for a person...personal restraint becomes difficult although not impossible. A person can also know that they matter to God, but desire that to be true to someone of the opposite sex...maybe they didn't receive those words of confirmation as a child or maybe they've been a part of an abusive relationship, etc...so they look for it wherever it can be found whether that be online or in real life. Just some additional thoughts...


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