The Great Porn Debate: Craig Gross vs. Ron Jeremy

Valentine’s Day inspires the romantic in all of us and while some turn to roses or a thoughtful gift, some turn to pornography. Some people believe that it will “spice up” their love life. The truth is that pornography is destructive to not only those who watch it, but those who are involved behind the scenes as well. We caught up with Ron Jeremy and Craig Gross five years ago when the Rock Church hosted The Great Porn Debate.

Ron Jeremy, the porn industry’s number one star of all time, and XXX Church pastor, Craig Gross travel the country and debate pornography. The audience is able to ask candid questions and the duo talk about the topic from their perspectives. Throughout the debate, Craig shares the stats on pornography, which are staggering. Unfortunately, the numbers are not that much different amongst Christians.

  • 1 out of 5 mobile searches are for pornographic content
  • The porn industry generates $13 billion each year in the United States, which is larger than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined!!
  • 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least one time per month
  • 12 years old is the average age a child sees pornography for the first time
  • 20% of 16 year olds and 30% of 17 year olds have received a “sext.”

The debate has been to over 50 universities. However it was the first time that a church had hosted it. While the Rock Church experienced some push back, we appreciated how Pastor Miles McPherson framed the event, “I think its important for us to acknowledge and recognize the elephant in the room and stop acting like it’s something the church can’t talk about. The Gospel is bulletproof…and we need to have it address every issue there is. When you have half the men and 1/6 of the women in your church watching pornography and you don’t talk about it, that’s a problem. We just decided to take the issue head on.

Ron was born in New York and graduated with a master’s degree from Queens College. After he graduated, he taught special education. He always had dreams of being an actor, but he never thought he would be an adult film actor. Ron shared with us about his beliefs on God and a supernatural experience he had.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:43-45

All present, omnipresent, Creator. He’s the one that knows that’s going on. It’s very interesting thing, because…people always say, ‘Why does He allow such horrible things to happen?’ He places us in certain situations and says, ‘Here humanity, get a load of this.’ He’s got a great sense of humor that’s for sure. I’ve absolutely felt his sense of humor…I’ve had situations where it had to be the Lord or an angel or something, because it couldn’t be explained by coincidence. That Kinison story is certainly one of them—the car miraculously skips over trees and comes to a stop. Sam says, ‘Do you believe in God now, Ron?’ I mean we’re upside down in this car and I said, ‘You go to great lengths to prove a point.’ Sam’s brother goes, ‘Sam wasn’t the one proving the point, Ron.’ Pretty serious stuff-he was a Pentecostal minister too. –Ron Jeremy

 Many people cannot believe that Craig and Ron are friends at the end of the day. They not only enjoy grabbing a meal together, but Craig has invited Ron to church with his family. Even though you might not have a porn star in your circle of friends, we appreciated Craig’s insight on the importance of reaching out to people that are different than us.

“Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.” 1 Thessalonians 2:7-9

“We’re opponents on stage…but that doesn’t define us. There’s this friendship. I care about Ron; he knows my family. My son won a turtle at Circus Circus. Ron loves turtles, and my son said, ‘Dad, give this to Ron.’ We need to be around more people that don’t act like us and believe like us, rather than check them off on a scorecard and say, ‘Okay I invited them to church and they didn’t come.’ Jesus sought people like Zaccheus out of a tree. Here was a broken thief and Jesus said, ‘Hey, I’m having dinner with you tonight.’ I think the more we can go after people…we see that the message of Jesus doesn’t divide; it unites…When there’s trust, that’s when we have influence on the most people.” –Craig Gross

Risen Reflections

  1. Do you or someone you know struggle with pornography? Check out XXX Church. They have lots of great resources including devotionals, filters for your computer and encouraging stories.
  2. Who can you be a friend to? Pray and ask God to show you someone he wants you to be a friend to. Remember it’s okay if they don’t have the same beliefs as you do. Find things that you have in common or check out a hobby that they enjoy. By spending time together you will have opportunities to share your life and the gospel with them.
  3. Are you and your significant other having issues? Turn to a professional counselor or a trusted friend who can help you work through the things you are dealing with. It is a process and it can be difficult, but you will experience truth and healing that will enable you to love each other more fully.

 

To read our entire interview about The Great Porn Debate with Ron Jeremy and Craig Gross click here

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