Bible Society, pastors at odds over ‘Jesus Loves Porn Stars’ cover

.- Two California pastors and the American Bible Society are at odds over a cover design the pastors have requested for 10,000 copies of the Bible which they plan to distribute to those entrenched in the pornography industry.

Pastors MikeFoster, 35, and Craig Gross, 30, are the founders of XXXchurch.com, a Corona-based anti-pornography Internet ministry. As part of their ministry, they also meet with and hand out free Bibles to porn stars and their fans at adult film conventions. They say they typically giveaway 1,000 copies of the New Testament at the conventions, according tothe Los Angeles Times.

However, they thought a Bible cover containing their popular tag line; "Jesus Loves Porn Stars" would triple their distribution. The American Bible Society rejected their idea.

American Bible Society executive Barbara Bernstengel said that while the society applauds the pastors’ outreach, "the wording is misleading and inappropriate for a New Testament cover. She suggested several alternatives, but the pastors rejected them.

Gross said their slogan is not misleading. Jesus does love porn stars and the message doesn't insinuate that he loves pornography, he said. Rather, the "Jesus Loves Porn Stars" cover would help get the New Testament into the hands of those normally shunned by Christians.

The pastors told the Los Angeles Times that this incident is a typical clash between old school Christianity with its rigid structure and traditions and an emerging brand practiced largely by younger Christians who focus on relationships, spiritual experiences and bringing the Gospel to nonbelievers through bold, sometimes edgy marketing.

Richard Flory, a sociologist at Biola University who studies new Christian movements, told the newspaper that the society should not jeopardize its larger mission by publishing a Bible cover that it believes will be divisive.

The pastors admit that the cover is controversial but says that if it gets the Good News in people’s hands, then it’s a good thing. They told the LosAngeles Times that they are in talks with other publishers to get their Bible printed.

XXXchurch.com was founded in 2002 to fight addiction to internet pornography ,especially among Christians. Their intentionally controversial website, billed as the "No. 1 Christian Porn Site", includes free "accountability software" to flag questionable sites visited by users and podcasts featuring interviews with ex-porn stars turned Christian.

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