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September 7th, 2010
09:13 AM ET

My take: Jesus loves porn stars


Editor's note: Craig Gross is the founder of XXXchurch.com and the author of 7 books. His latest two books Eyes of Integrity and Pure Eyes release this week. His previous book Jesus Loves You This I Know explains more about his relationship with Ron Jeremy and other outcasts. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with his wife and two kids.

By Craig Gross, Special to CNN

I met Ron Jeremy at a porn show. A few years later we were sleeping on top of each other in a bunk bed on a tour bus. My family was with me, at times there were swingers on the bus and on occasion had some other pastors as well. We were on "The Porn Debate" tour of 7 cities in 7 nights.

Ron is arguably the biggest porn star in the world with 2,000 XXX rated videos. He claims to have had sex with over 5,000 women.

I started XXXchurch.com 8 years ago, created a software called X3watch that is keeping almost 1 million people accountable online and I am most often known as the Porn Pastor. I have only had sex with one woman who happens to be my wife.

Ron says we are just alike. He has been with 5,000 women and I have been with my wife of 12 years almost 5,000 times.

Just alike… Well not really.

Ron is for porn and I am against porn. We are opponents on stage. In fact we have debated each other over 60 times in the last 4 years. We have debated at Yale, Ohio State, University of Southern California, Texas Tech, and in a few weeks we start the school year off with another debate at the University of Tennessee.

We are opponents on stage but off stage we are great friends. That's really what this is about. Jesus dined with tax collectors and befriended prostitutes. I don't want to be known as the guy who debates Ron, I'd rather be known as the guy who loves Ron.

Love wins. My old pastor in Grand Rapids said that a lot. I have come to realize not only does love win, but love works and love waits.

Last year, Ron was in Vegas for Easter weekend. Before he hit the topless pool at Mandalay Bay, he said he was free so I picked him up in my minivan with my two toddlers in the back, and wife as well, and we all headed to church.

Ron loves worship music. If you don't believe watch this YouTube video.

He loved the song "Let the Redeemed of the Lord Say So."

Ron and I travel quite a bit on for the porn debates.  When we see each other at porn shows across the country we go out and when he is in Las Vegas or I am in Los Angeles , we connect up for a meal or just to hang out.

Ron and I talk about sex, the Bible, marriage, family, kids, heaven, hell, turtles, and so much more. He is never short on words. He has told me he is afraid to die. What if he is wrong and Jesus is really who he said he was?

For the last four years we have hit up college campuses and a few nightclubs with the porn debate. We have never been to a Christian university or a church.

Why not?

I am always the underdog and I kind of like it that way. Although, I think it would be great to bring Ron into my world just a bit, no one invites us.

The great thing about the debate is it is fair. I speak for 20 minutes, then Ron for 20 minutes then we do an hour of questions and answers.

Why is the church so afraid to hear the other side? I think it would be a great outreach to bring the debate to a church but every time I pitch it to a church or Christian college they say, "We could never let him on stage at church."

I don't get it. But then again, these are often the same people who say I should not even be friends with him, let alone on a tour bus with him. I know Zacchaeus was a short dude in the Bible but how can we overlook that story and see the example Jesus set for us to go after people?

Two friends of mine, Miles McPherson and Ryan Meeks have agreed to do the unthinkable. On October 9, Ron and I will do the unthinkable and head over to The Rock, a church in San Diego. A few months later on March 5 we will bring the debate to Eastlake Church in Seattle, Washington.

My friend Ryan is a bit out there. That's why we are friends. He traveled with Ron and me last year for a couple of debates. He said he would host the debate but only if Ron came back on Sunday and shared with the congregation about faith, God and his life.

Ron does not claim to be a Christian.  Why share a church stage with someone that does not claim to be a Christian yet? What can we possibly learn from that?

A whole lot I believe. I believe if Christians and others would listen to more people who are not just like us, and give them opportunities in our environments, we both might experience change.

What do you think?

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Craig Gross.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Celebrity • Christianity • Culture & Science • Movies • Opinion

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soundoff (498 Responses)
  1. CDW

    Whether it be a debate about porn, or abortion, gay marriage, or any other topic, using ancient & easily disprovable superstition as the basis for a position automatically invalidates your position. Is the Bible against porn? Give me a copy of The Lord of the Rings and I'll find something equally valid in there that supports porn.

    September 7, 2010 at 11:30 am |
    • Sipil

      I am truly touched by your honstey and heart. I can't imagine what you went through but I am glad that you found real love and learned to trust and love again. Thank you so much for sharing this I am sure there are others who will be so blessed by your testimony xx Sending you a big hug from the UK from a fellow baker xx

      July 31, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  2. mominwa

    Ron is Jewish. DUH!!!!

    September 7, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • Dorian

      thank you – wondered if I was the only one who knew that. Do you think the Pastor is trying to convert him

      September 7, 2010 at 11:52 am |
    • Robert DiStefano

      So was Jesus! The greatest Jew who ever lived!

      September 7, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • RParish

      Ronald Jeremy Hyatt has the best sub teacher turned porn star story ever! I'll be so pissed if he finds "JEE-sus" jsut because he is getting older and fearing his own mortality. But, hey, whatever it takes for The Hedgehog to get up each morning....

      September 7, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
    • Rich

      Jesus was not the great Jew that ever lived according to Jews. I think I'll listen to them. They seem to know their people better.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
  3. Loren

    Craig, I believe that you are following the rigjt path, the one that Jesus has told us to follow. Thank you for your faith.

    September 7, 2010 at 11:17 am |
  4. Lisa

    @JR2 – You are right. We HAVE to stop judging others. Judge not, lest ye be judged. Love one another. You don't have to approve of a lifestyle to love them. Pastor Craig is showing that to us by writing this article. He doesn't like or love porn, but that doesn't mean he can't love Ron. Those who condemn the person because of their actions are no better and definitely do not reflect the Jesus of the Bible in their personal life. Jesus was about love. Yes, he condemned the Pharisees and the sinners – but he forgave us all in the end and loved those who rebuked him, betrayed him, and denied him. He didn't condemn them, and I can't recall one passage where HE (Jesus) condemned someone to hell.

    September 7, 2010 at 11:02 am |
  5. Ron Jeremy's thing

    I liked "the blonde next door" – Ron was funny in that one

    September 7, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  6. Paul

    I think Ron is just following the bible. Where Christ says it is better to bury your seeds in the belly of a WH*RE than to throw them upon the ground. GO RON !!!

    September 7, 2010 at 10:58 am |
    • Len

      There is not a verse in the Bible that states, "Where Christ says it is better to bury your seeds in the belly of a WH*RE than to throw them upon the ground." You are refering to the comedy of Ron White where he talked about his grandmother catching him doing, well you know the rest. I think if people spent more time really reading their Bibles, some of this confusion and misconception would be eliminated. As to the article itself, so many people confuse love with tolerance. They are not interchangable. You can love someone and still be intolerant to their life style. Look at Jesus's example in the temple. John 2:13-16"The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, "Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father's house a marketplace!"
      True Christianity is not Universal tolerance, it is following in humble faith and belief the Son of Man who died on the cross for all our sins!

      September 7, 2010 at 3:50 pm |
    • NJD

      Yes, but, "intollerance" is not what you're looking for. "Disagree" "Dislike" "Disapprove" those all work. BUt none of those are synonomous with "hate." How many times did Jesus say something to the affect of "hey, what you're doing is wrong. Please stop because it will seperate you from God. But I love you, just how you are. Lets go get some food, I'd like to spend some time with you." He said that stuff ALL THE TIME!!!!!! Now a preacher has the guts to put this into practice and he's wrong because he's not chastizing Ron? WOW!!!!

      September 7, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • Len

      Never said he was wrong. I don't think that he is wrong for doing what he is doing and I apologize if I came across as such. Some of the previous posts touched on this idea of Christianity needing to be more accepting of ALL things. I wanted to point out that you can accept someone as a child of God, love them, nurture them, eat with them, etc. and still not accept/tolerate their life choices. My fear from the responses I read is that people are taking Craig's relationship with Ron to mean that Craig accepts Ron's life as is and doesn't feel he needs to change, because he's a good guy at heart. I think Craig loves Ron as a child of God and walks with him, prays for him, hoping that one day he will change his ways and walk with God as Craig does. Do you see the difference? I'm sorry that I am not a writer and cannot better express my thoughts in words. I will say that I am no better than anyone else and sin daily, so does Craig, and so does Ron. The difference between the two is that one lives in the world (Ron) while the other strives daily to live a life Holy and Pleasing to God (Craig). I hope that this clarifies my Point of View on this article and Christianity. Thank you for posting your comment so that I could better explain myself.

      September 7, 2010 at 4:19 pm |
    • Modern Believer

      @Len... I was getting ready to say the same basic thing that NJD did, but I like how you clarified what you were trying to say. Anyway, what Craig Gross is doing is effectively following the two greatest teachings of Jesus: Loving God and loving his neighbor as himself. As a follower of Christ, I have done the unthinkable and actually have read the entire Bible. What I found is a Christ that loves no matter what and encourages and fosters real change in people through that love. The only people he openly criticized were the Holier than thou Pharisees. Makes one think... That all being said, everything I've seen about Ron Jeremy outside of his porn career suggests he would be a great guy to hang out with, so I can see how Craig gets along with him!

      September 7, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
    • PL

      Paul – To which book, chapter and verse are your referring? Don't believe I have ever read that scripture before.

      September 8, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  7. RUSH

    Gee...Ron's life or the preacher's...yeah, I'll take Ron's

    September 7, 2010 at 10:56 am |
    • Dave

      I'll take the preacher's. He will definately be happier over the long term.

      September 17, 2010 at 1:32 pm |
  8. Diana

    You asked why the church wouldn't want Ron to visit. The problem, unfortunately, is that the church does not want to change, so they would never want him to explain his point of view.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:52 am |
    • NL

      Too many people who are too much in love with their role as today's Pharisee class, I suppose?

      September 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
    • Radtech1

      It's funny you say that. I had a friend in college that I would debate about religious stuff. He's a by the bible type, no drinking, smoking, premarital s-e-x type. Me on the other hand...well, let's just say I've had my fun. One day we were talking about the decline in church attendance. I said "The church needs to change to accept more of what society is doing. Not that all things are ok, necessarily, but that some things (ie. birth control) might not be that horrible." His answer? "The church doesn't need to change, it's society that needs to change." Well, buddy, until that happens (which it won't) the church will become less and less of a presence in people's lives. It's unfortunate that there's such a divide, b/c people could really use some faith right now.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
    • Believer

      So if people are in such need of faith right now, why is it the Church's job to change? Isn't it society that is spiraling downward? If society is heading the wrong direction, then they need to change direction, not the Church.

      To clarify, the bible doesn't say you can't drink, it just says to do it in moderation; and that goes for anything, not just alcohol. Also, s-e-x isn't a bad thing either. So long as it is under the sanctity of marriage and is the complete giving of ones self to another. Not merely for pleasure purposes. The only reason certain individuals put down the Church is because they refuse to learn about it first. They listen to a couple of things that a Christian might have to say and take is as gospel. Just because a Christian takes something a certain way and views it in a negative way does not make it correct. Before you reject the Church, do your research and find the right sources. Learning about the faith is a great journey, it is whether or not you are up to the challenge. "If you KNOW the truth, then the truth shall set you free". Let's find the truth first before we pass judgement on the Church and Christianity.

      September 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      Radtech1,

      You said…..’It's unfortunate that there's such a divide, b/c people could really use some faith right now’.

      You say people could really use some faith right now….Why, are people tired of living in sin and need to figure out how to clean up their acts, or do they want the Church to say, ‘It’s okay, ignore that voice that tells you to shape up?’

      Just what is this ‘faith’ you say people could use right now? If they don’t like the Catholic Church there are at least 35,000 ecclesial communities to search through…..I hear there are some which never speak about sin or any of that…..

      September 7, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
    • MZ

      to believer: the reason is not so much to change the church but to change the way the ideas are taught. Why are churches so afraid to answer questions are thaey afraid they might have to confront a truth about themselves or maybe find out that they are not as secure in their beliefs....always a question should be their to make the belief that much stronger

      September 8, 2010 at 12:35 pm |
    • Believer

      I completely agree that questions make your faith stronger. However, if people ask a question to one person and receive an answer that they don't want to hear, then they completely reject the idea because it is out of the "norm". For example, looking back to the mid 1900's, most couples weren't living together before marriage, weren't having premarital sex, and the divorce rate was lower. Now that new times have come and people are starting to live together before marriage and having premarital sex, the divorce rate is higher and still moving up. These people hate to listen to churches say that it is wrong because it is out of the "norm" of the current society. My question is, why should the church have to justify these such things when statistics speak for themselves? This was just one example of how people judge the church before learning about it because it might not be in the "norm" of society. The way I look at it is, the world is heading south and it isn't going to change, unless the "norm" and the way people view the "norm" begins to change.

      September 8, 2010 at 2:50 pm |
  9. JR2

    I believe that you Pastor Craig are a man after God's own heart. When will Christians begin to understand that our JOB is to win souls for Christ and you cannot do that ONLY hanging out with other christians. We have to lead by example. We have to lead with love and humility. We HAVE to stop judging others. Then and only then will people see us and think, "I would like to know more about their God". Keep it up, Pastor Craig.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:48 am |
    • Colby

      Very, very well said. And Kudos to Craig.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:04 pm |
  10. BibleBelt

    Craig, KUDOS to you for taking the religion out of Christianity and opening the eyes of the church!

    September 7, 2010 at 10:45 am |
  11. Dave

    Kurt Gerhardt, you're right about one thing. Jesus didn't hang out with the Pharisees. They were the religious people who didn't need nor want his help. He didn't spend "some" time with sinners, he spent almost ALL of his time with them. The only difference between Craig and Jesus in this regard is that Jesus often only needed one encounter with a person to completely change their outlook. I'd also say that Craig is reaching thousands of people through these debates who would never go to church nor ever hear the message "hey, maybe you shouldn't look at porn." There's no way he would have that opportunity or that audience without sharing the stage with a Ron Jeremy.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:44 am |
  12. ryan

    Jesus was a fringe member of the culture and his base was made up of the outcasts, the poor and the sick. Jesus would have had a very difficult time getting a seat at the table of the high priests, similar to how someone like Craig is going to have a difficult time getting a seat at the table with the head of a church, a bishop, etc. Christians like to praise Christ as King, however in Christs lifetime, the elites did not see him as such nor did most of the society.

    Craig is what more Christian leaders need to be like. Seeking inspiration from the gospels and applying it to our current world and current problems. He looks to understand even those who disagree with him, to learn from them as he teaches them. This isn't just how education happens, it is how enlightenment happens.

    I left the Church I attended as a child when I was 16 because every time I asked a question, I was basically scolded, I brought a different perspective from the established order, scolded. To think independently was a sin, I am sure not all churches are like this but many indeed are. To not be allowed to question is a dangerous road to travel and to accept what you are told as an absolute is utter stupidity, like sheep being led to slaughter, much like those we fault at companies like Enron who didn't question their management, those who believed that even in a down market they were getting 10-20% returns on their investments from boutique investment firms, or victims of a pyramid schemes who chose to believe the unlikely because it is what they wanted to believe.

    If someone like this was running my church, I would certainly be more inclined to go.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:42 am |
    • Tony

      ryan, try a Unitarian/Universalist congregation if there is one near you. Questioning is not only permitted but encouraged. You might really enjoy the atmosphere.

      September 7, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
    • Peter F

      Some church feel that it is their primary duty to pass judgment on sinners. Wait a second, where did it say that in the gospels again? I feel you. Many "spiritual" leaders in the Christian community forget they are suppose to be shepherding the flock, not beating or whipping them into submission. As a Christian beginning seminary this fall, I feel that so many young seekers/believers have been turned off by this inflated and dictatorial attitude. Thankfully, we are in the midst of an evangelical revolution which, fueled by schools and universities across our nation, is encouraging critical thinking. If you were in my congregation, I would encourage you to ask all the questions you wanted and supply input on our ministry and our attitude toward ministry even.

      That said, I encourage you to find a church, a friend, a blog, anything that you can interact and share your thoughts with that serves as an effective representation of Christ for the purposes of dialogue. You make some good points, and it is people like you that need to show up more often, giving the church reason to check itself before it wrecks itself.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Anon

      Right on Ryan! When I questioned my religion in my early 20's I was told to go to 'confession'. Wrong answer. lol

      September 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • geegle

      unitarian/universalist= confusion, disillusion, belief in nothing.

      This pastor is being obedient to Jesus. Christians, take note and do the same. Those who aren't Christians, I hope someone loves you enough to do the same.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
    • NL

      ryan-
      You are feeling like your spiritual leaders were treating you like a child, right? Like there is some great adult understanding of Christianity that a mere follower such as yourself is too immature to grasp. You probably suspect that they were putting off your questions because they didn't know the answers, and you'd probably be right.

      They really do rely on a heavy dose of Faith to keep everyone in a stupor, unable to let their minds see the obvious inconsistencies and illogical assertions of the religion. The threat of lost salvation also does wonders in keeping the flock in line. You will find that any congregation that promises to "answer all questions to your satisfaction" will likely fall back to giving the questioner rote formulas of bible quotes with the verbal guanantee that

      The beatitudes present only in Matthew are:

      The meek. The text says that they will "inherit the earth".
      The merciful. The text says that they will "obtain mercy".
      The pure of heart. The text says that they will "see God".
      The peacemakers.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:31 pm |
    • NL

      ryan-
      You are feeling like your spiritual leaders were treating you like a child, right? Like there is some great adult understanding of Christianity that a mere follower such as yourself is too immature to grasp. You probably suspect that they were putting off your questions because they didn't know the answers, and you'd probably be right.

      They really do rely on a heavy dose of Faith to keep everyone in a stupor, unable to let their minds see the obvious inconsistencies and illogical assertions of the religion. The threat of lost salvation also does wonders in keeping the flock in line. You will find that any congregation that promises to "answer all questions to your satisfaction" will likely fall back to giving the questioner rote formulas of bible quotes with the verbal guanantee that it DOES put your concerns to rest.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:33 pm |
    • ryan

      I certainly appreciate the suggestions

      Maybe one day I will find my way back

      I disagree with whomever said that any church was a belief in nothing – you can be an atheist/agnostic and have beliefs – often in society we find atheists/agnostics tend to think more than Christians because they are more inquisitive

      The do what I tell you came from my parents, then from the Church, to question parents is one thing, to question the church compounded the problem. To use historical facts and instances from history as an adolescent certainly created conflict and at times to ask questions that 'made a mockery' of discussion was usually frowned upon. Quoting a 2000 year old passage to me, simply was not an answer – an agreement to disagree was not allowed. This preacher is refreshing for this reason. I respect the humility in any person when they can simply say "I don't know." To admit shortcomings and what is short of absolute knowledge is humble.

      Regardless, no religion will have all the answers, the questions any religion seeks to answer, tends to look back 2000 years for answers, to all of our questions. We are looking for answers to the future, here on Earth and for our own souls like what comes after life. These are questions that no one can answer and no one can prove. They are questions of belief and faith. I never witnessed Christs' miracles, nor did anyone who wrote the original scriptures. Some texts were chosen for inclusion, some excluded. Christ was not born on Dec 25th, Christ said nothing about homosexuality, the texts between old and new testaments are greatly varied in many ways – what I am getting at is that man and text are contradictory and have been manipulated over the years to suit human interests, from the allowance of Priests to marry to the forbidding of consuming meat on Fridays during lent, to our modern day political hot-topics. Between manipulation, changes in modern society, and the lost meaning in translation and sands of time – there is no way to really know, if you weren't there, and there is no proof, or what we would consider a modern day burden of proof, then it all must be taken on faith. Galileo to modern scientists in genetics and astronomy -Religion is never on the right side of scientific/educational progression.

      The Pope is not a king, he is not infallible, no matter what form he is speaking in, he is only a man – no more capable of understanding God than any one else.

      When I walked through Vatican Square, staring at what looked far more grand than many of the other palaces I had seen through Europe, as I stepped over the homeless and poor – it was striking. That was never what Christ intended – thousands of miles from the birth-place of Christianity. Tax collectors, tithing, opulence, paying for sins -these were the very things that the text we read -decries, yet the cradle of modern day Christianity is just this. Believing blindly has led to this, whether it is the manipulation of birth-control practices to keep people pro-creating and families large (thus more dependent on the Church) or controlling land -to the throwing of acid in the face of women and children, suicide bombs, stoning, etc – this blind faith and failure to question can lead to terrible things. The church and its members still to a great deal of charity, but war and oppression like charity, from what I have seen, are not a product of God so much as the morals of man.

      September 7, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
    • Greg

      The sad truth is most churches condemn uncertainty. There are churches out there with very open minds, though you definitely have to search for them. Flatirons Community Church in near Denver is one such church. Iif you are ever just looking for a different message

      September 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
    • MZ

      I agree with you Ryan it seemed everytime I question either was "scolded" or was brushed off as being childish. That is more the reason I am not active in religion though I do consder myself religious or spiritual

      September 8, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
  13. Mennonite gal

    this is what needs to happen more.what we are called to do as fellow believers. not ignore these people but rather let them know that we care about them and think there life is a special gift from god.they have worth not in there body but rather there heart,mind and soul.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:41 am |
  14. Danielle

    I think it's a great idea. Christians need to get their head out of the sand. Porn addiction is pervasive in our churches. We can't change what we are unwilling to acknowledge.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  15. John Dacre

    As a friend of Ron Jeremy, I can say this: Ron is actually a very intelligent and well-spoken individual. He has a unique perspective in that he has lived a life that would make the proverbial "Riley" jealous, but has also seen the worst of the worst. He is very open-minded and thoughtful. As far as this porn debate is concerned, I can't think of a more qualified person to champion the side of porn. If one has a chance to attend one of these debates, one definitely should. Ron Jeremy for President in 2012.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:23 am |
  16. Kurt Gerhardt

    Yes, Jesus spent some time with fringe members of his culture but he didn't travel around Israel debating Scripture with them ... and He didn't water down His testimony by loving others unwisely and hanging out with the Pharisees. Craig, you and your outlook need a reality check.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:11 am |
    • NL

      He wouldn't have thrown stones at them, and I doubt that he would have praised any who did, would he?

      September 7, 2010 at 10:28 am |
    • BibleBelt

      He debated the Pharisees and such on a regular basis, and was shown to be well known by at least one Pharisee, tax collecter, and adulterous woman... If you don't open people up to the "what's" and "why's" of things, they never grow.

      Re-read the Gospels and look for the personal relationships Jesus had with the, as you call them, "fringe members". I think you'll be surprised.

      September 7, 2010 at 10:44 am |
    • Juan

      Your right, He didn't hang out with pharisees......but they were preachers and leaders like we find in churches. That's where they were found. He hung out with people the pharisee's viewed as unclean.

      September 7, 2010 at 11:45 am |
    • TammyB

      @ Kurt Gerhardt...Not meaning to sound mean however, your opinion on this seems to be most "christians" outlook, and is the reason I quit organized religion. Most (not all) church goers I met preached love, tolerance, understanding, etc., but only to others that shared their belief, which, I think is contrary to Jesus' teachings. It should be ALL people that one treats with respect, not just other "christians".

      September 7, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
    • JordanOwen

      He Loves Everyone, whether you see it wise or not.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
    • uhurit

      "Loved unwisely"...??? I wonder what this means, and how would Jesus look at someone who claims to be his follower and yet doesn't have a slightest clue about the nature of God's Love

      September 7, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • Beans

      How do you know?...

      September 7, 2010 at 1:31 pm |
    • Dave P

      Jesus looked into the eyes of a prostitute (the only technical difference between her and a porn star would be the lack of filming) and said, "I don't condemn you." If you ask me, this is an important ministry and an even more important friendship.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
    • A. Goodwin

      People like me (agnostic) are purplexed by reglion in the sense that it seems to drive more people FROM God than it does at bringing people TO God. If there is a God, I'd like to know it (him/her..) as being someone or something that accepts ALL – black/white, gay/hetero, good bad...not just those who "claim" to be moral, upstanding people. People love to say that Jeasus/God gave us our "free agency" – unless it goes against their church.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
    • Lauren

      Jesus loved us all so much that he hung on a cross and died...for us *all.*

      If you're claiming to be a Christian, you're claiming to love Jesus. If you're claiming to love Jesus, you're claiming to love who he loved. Which is everyone.

      1John 4:20 "If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen."

      The only "unwise" thing is your comment which basically paints you as a liar. And I didn't say it...God did. Ouch.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:58 pm |
    • Darren

      I disagree-although I do understand your perspective. Love, the love that Jesus had, the love that went beyond frustration, anger, fear, loss, disgust, and discomfort–this is the love that will be there when we don't have anything else. God will be there. And didn't Jesus debate scripture? Didn't He (like a most religious Jews who memorized the Torah and heard the stories during that time) find His way back to the Temple when he was young (12-ish???) and Teach/Debate? This is what I'm thinking–It's a slippery slope when I judge. I know that sometimes when I pull out my judgement I don't always know when to put it back for sake of connecting with another person. God uses us and we don't always have the end result in our consciousness/vision/knowledge. I've never seen a person turn around and change directions (repent) as a result of judgement/anger/name calling–in fact I've seen the opposite in people. I've seen people dig in and start throwing back judgement and criticism as a result of your attitude and philosophy. Does God want us to reconcile our relationships or to remain disconnected. We can still be connected and not endorse someone else's choices.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
    • lanhub

      Someone has to...why not him?

      September 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
    • Mathis

      This is amazing that you say this, because Jesus DID "hang out" with pharisees, to use your language. Sounds like you're the one who needs the reality check.

      September 7, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
    • Hannah

      Wow...the idea that loving others can "water down our testimony" is not Biblical in any way, shape, or form. I believe that Jesus loved passionately and deeply, regardless of what those in the culture around him thought. And notice that when he displayed his love for others, the first people to condemn him were the Pharisees.

      September 7, 2010 at 3:21 pm |
    • sp

      Man, Kurt is getting killed. Why do so many think that Christianity is tolerant. Jesus never came to be tolerant. It not about opinion, it's about absolute truth. He came to change the world to God's standard – not to except man opinion. The people that he hung out with listened to his message that was about repentance and transformation – not because he excepted them for the sake of friendship...

      September 7, 2010 at 3:26 pm |
    • Linda

      This view will ultimately annihiliate your faith. People are leaving in droves. Your faith teaches that you are to convert...but your view of MY way or the highway is driving away the youth. If you open the door, you might let someone in to your ideas.

      September 7, 2010 at 3:40 pm |
    • sp

      So Linda, open up the door based on what. Jesus has already done that based on what he did on the cross. That great act proves his love. What else does he have to do. Now should he swing the doors open to all based on their opinion. As odd as it may sound in the world we leave in today – it is his way or the highway – he has done the ultimate thing to prove his love – isn't this a reasonable request – accept his way. When our young men and women serve in the military do they get to choose there way. If you don't play by there rules you don't enter the military. It's even more so in Christ. He deserves what he is requesting...

      September 7, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
    • NJD

      @linda
      Sorry, but you're wrong. Jesus came to do one thing: show the world God. If God IS love, then the only way to do this is to love. To the woman "caught in adultary" he said "Where did all of your acusers go?" to which she replied "uh, they're all gone." and Jesus said, and I love this, "Hey, I don't condemn you either. Just do us both a favor, go stop sinning." That's it. "I love you, live better, but I love you just as you are." Why is that so hard?

      September 7, 2010 at 3:52 pm |
    • cg10

      You are absolutely right however, what this guy is doing is ministry. He is bring a message in his debates. It may seem risky and uncomfortable, but a true test of your faith is to hear the false arguements or wrong ideals from the lost and then show them the way. Jesus said I am the way, so our job is the show them the way to better living acceptable by God and show them who Jesus is and let God do the rest..

      September 7, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
    • kcheney

      You must remember to Love the Sinner Hate the Sin! Not Hate the Sinner Hate the Sin! How are we supposed to show compassion to a world in need of a Savior, if you are not willing to accept that if not for the Grace of God you were once a Sinner? The problem most Christians have is they have forgotten where they came from and the life they once led. Christ never forgot he was born in to a World of Sin with Sinners, the difference is he came to Sacrifice himself out of Love for Us!
      What are we willing to sacrifice? Remember ,we all have stuff in our lives that does not go away because we say a Sinners Prayer the difference is we are no longer a slave to it, if we truly give our Hearts to Jesus! We can find the compassion to Love unconditionally and care for the brokenhearted and lost then and only then will we be as Christ!
      I believe you and I need to prayer for Ron Jeremy and others we know who need a Savior and that means if these "outcasts" (which I don't like the term ) cross our paths we should show them Christ so they can see we are not just playing church but are the church!! It was said they will know we are Christians by our LOVE so LOVE the unlovable Christ loved us when we were unlovable! Which example do you want to follow yours or Christs? I choose to Follow Christ! God Bless!

      September 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
    • adavis

      "loving others unwisely...." I would venture to say that this is an oxymoron. Loving others is part of the Great Commandment. It would be unwise to do otherwise.

      September 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm |
    • Brian Coles

      Sorry, folks, but Kurt is right. Even though we will strive with people like Ronnie to pull themselves out of the gutter, eventually there is a harvest, a division, a going of seperate ways. Christ didn't say there were "several" ways; he said there is only one way: Him, the Annointed One, and the following of his covenants, ordinances, and his commandments. And getting it on in 5,000 fornications is definitely NOT following the commandments. Read Matt 10:32-39. Very clear.

      September 7, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • Sybaris

      Kurt, YOU need a reality check.

      The texts about Jesus were not written untl at least 70 years after his death. Also, they are not first hand accounts nor do they account for 98% of his existance. There are more complete records of minor Roman characters than the alleged Jesus.

      September 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • St.

      man you can just feel the peace and love oozing out of the "christians" insisting that craig should not be friends with RJ.
      Its a friendship, he is being kind and understanding toward him. He isn't saying I'm going to take up some of the hobbies of my new pal RJ. Craig knows where he stand within himself and his religion. I say thats strength. Its very easy for people who are only surround by "christian" people to stay on the straight and narrow, it takes true courage to go where you may not be wanted or respected or liked and continue to be who you are and be kind to one another. its easy to be nice to people just like you.

      September 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
    • Wzrd1

      Kurt, you should read your scriptures. He DID travel with what was, in that society, the dregs of the populace. He visited and traveled with some of the elite as well.
      He debated with the Sadducees and Pharisees. But, on one point you are correct, he did NOT "water" down his message.
      Frankly, I firmly believe that he would debate with Ron and most likely manage to convert him, not based upon divinity, but due to his well noted oratory skill and logical arguments.

      September 7, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
    • bob

      Or maybe you just need to read the Bible again, because you are flat out wrong. Jesus did hang out with Pharisees and he did debate them publicly. Many stories in the gospels relate specifically these events which you claim did not happen.

      September 7, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
    • LOS

      Kurt: To love "unwisely"? I only recall to love "unconditionally"...I suppose that may seem unwise to many.

      September 7, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • Billy

      NJD wrote:

      @linda
      Sorry, but you're wrong. Jesus came to do one thing: show the world God. If God IS love, then the only way to do this is to love. To the woman "caught in adultary" he said "Where did all of your acusers go?" to which she replied "uh, they're all gone." and Jesus said, and I love this, "Hey, I don't condemn you either. Just do us both a favor, go stop sinning." That's it. "I love you, live better, but I love you just as you are." Why is that so hard?

      This is one of the worst problems with some Christians...stop misquoting scripture and learn some history people! Yeshua (Jesus) didn't agree with the stoning of the adulterous woman because there were no witnesses against her (which is why He asked her where her accusers were). In order for her to have been legally stoned to death according to the Torah, Yeshua's Bible, she would have had to have at least two witnesses come forth against her! And he never ever told her that he loved her just as she was. He told her to go and SIN NO MORE!

      September 7, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • biblistas

      If you are a Christian then Kurt is your brother, Craig is your brother and you should be praying that Ron will be your brother. Let's stop hating and quarreling with people who don't share our opinion and start doing what Jesus did and love: let's be patient and kind; let's put down our pride; let's not be rude; let's not be easily angered and let's not keep a record of wrongs.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
    • Jania Jewell Robinson

      I agree with Kurt! Three things:

      1. Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners (1 Corinthians 15:33)

      2. There’s a difference between being a witness/example and being an accomplice. Craig is clearly an accomplice. Why?

      3. Introducing a principle that is against God’s word to the church or believers is “anti-Christ” as is encouraging non-believer to consider an option different from God’s

      If God were to say, “Smoking is bad for you because it causes lung cancer,” what would be the rational for hosting a national debate about what God said especially if as a believer, you believe God is the final authority?

      Although the word “porn” is not in the Bible there are plenty of related words (lascivious is the heavy hitter) that address what porn (erotica) does to the human psyche and how that affects the soul.

      Even though there are Christians (pastor’s included) out there who struggle with porn addiction, debating the issue is not the answer. The Bible is clear about being abstinent until marriage and that the marriage bed is undefiled (that is, it’s not a place for erotica and whoredom). So single people shouldn’t be discussing pornography and neither should the married.

      If I had to point a finger as why so many are divorced or cheat, I’d name unfulfilled, erotic desires as a primary seed. You wouldn’t desire something obscene unless you’ve been overexposed to it. Unfortunately, in today’s ad overdosed society, everyone (children included) are exposed to sex through soft porn (music lyrics, innuendos in movies, on TV and in publications, tantalizing, scantily clad ads with bare-naked men and women selling everything from body soap to draws). “Evil communications” is why society is so sexually charged and willing to try anything and why, subsequently, teen pregnancy is alarmingly high as is the number of single parents. Why pay for a cow when you can get milk samples for free and in a variety of flavors?

      Twenty years ago, to be a virgin and marry a virgin was an honor as well as an expectation (at least among females). The majority of girls (75% >) realized that having a baby in high school was in no wise cool. Today, it’s cool to have sex in the bathrooms or behind the bleachers while you’re in middle school; with multiple partners, oral/anal/gay and group sex; to swing from person-to-person or pole-to-pole; all in the name of sexual gratification. How do I know? I’m that Christian educator working to keep [your] daughters from showing all of Victoria’s Secrets and your boys from letting Hanes have their way before their time…

      The thing about lasciviousness is that it’s an insatiable desire, which means it cannot be fulfilled. Porn takes what God meant to be pure, loving, gentle, enduring and fulfilling into a circus act with lots of smoke, mirrors and “tricks”! A woman was taken from man’s side and meant to be treated with respect and honor; esteemed in such a way that she’s her best and therefore so is he…Porn debases a woman and men to be slaves to self degradation. In addition to devaluing, there is a demoralizing aspect of porn.

      A man/woman that needs porn to experience the ultimate climax is not very creative at all…

      September 8, 2010 at 3:21 am |
    • Scott

      Kurt, you are right, Jesus did not hang out with the Pharisees. They were the religious community. Instead, he hung out with prostitutes and tax collectors and fisherman. He said I came to heal the sick, not for the healthy. Ron Jeremy is just like anyone else without Christ, he is lost and better yet he knows it. So, do bust this guy for trying to reach folks who most churches would not give the time of day. And by the way, the very folks who don't want this guy in their church are the very ones who are probably watching his movies and trying to hid it from those around them. It is amazing how we judge people who do the very thing we struggle with ourselves. Maybe it makes us feel better, but Jesus warned us about that.

      September 8, 2010 at 8:58 am |
    • Alexa

      You were THERE, were you Kurt? This IS a revelation, please tell us more about the factual inconsistencies of what exactly Jesus did and did not do since you have clearly deemed yourself the all knowing public relations person for Christ.

      September 8, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • iamfound74

      Nicodemus was a pharisee

      December 24, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  17. elijah

    I thnk this is a brilliant view point, I was raised in a baptist and calvary church, and became totally disenchanted by the separetism. Ive found more fufillment and made more friends simply by being able to respect and accept others view points.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:09 am |
  18. Lizard

    Craig and Ron are a good example of how people of every religion, creed, nationality, etc. should act toward their fellow man. Give love, hope and peace a chance!

    September 7, 2010 at 10:01 am |
    • Luke

      How could you possibly say that when Craig wrote software that spies on people's actions on the internet? This software can be installed, for example, by your wife withour your knowledge, allowing her to spy on you. While some may find porn offensive, others find it errotic and use it to enhance their relationships. Personally, I find violence to be pornography, not sexuality. I'd rather he right software that blocks violence.

      September 7, 2010 at 10:07 am |
    • Donna

      The difference between this "pastor" and Jesus is, that after the encounter the sinners and tax collectors had with Jesus, the sinners and tax collectors CHANGED. They did not REMAIN in their sin, they were never the same again! Jesus said, "Now GO AND SIN NO MORE!" If this pastor's influence on the porn stars isn't bringing about a change in their lives, then he is just playing games and not having any eternal influence on them. A true encounter with Jesus will change a person's life and make them RUN AWAY from sin!

      September 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
    • Cazzo

      Makes sense.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
    • whatever 48

      Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all treated each other this way?!

      September 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm |
    • Seraphimo

      What??!! Are you crazy?! How would that benefit our society, the media and our politicians??!! You would take away our shouting points and name calling avenues.....that's just crazy talk! LOL

      September 7, 2010 at 3:31 pm |
    • jo jo

      agreed, 110 percent

      September 7, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
    • NYC Citizen

      Now about those Muslims . . .

      September 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • Lynette

      Donna wrote: The difference between this "pastor" and Jesus is, that after the encounter the sinners and tax collectors had with Jesus, the sinners and tax collectors CHANGED. They did not REMAIN in their sin, they were never the same again! Jesus said, "Now GO AND SIN NO MORE!"

      The Bible does record some sinners and tax collectors who appeared to change after only one encounter with Jesus, but he dined with many more whose eventual lives we know nothing of. Levi had a house full of 'sinners', but only his conversion is recorded– we know nothing of what happened to the others and no general repentance at this large party is recorded. Furthermore, we don't know for certain that those who changed were completely unfamiliar with Jesus and his teachings beforehand. Some of them may have been at multiple dinners or had heard him teaching or had just been out on the periphery of his ministry for a while before stepping into the narrative. It seems unlikely that someone would get up and leave everything they had to follow a man they knew absolutely nothing about.

      Lastly, this pastor is not Jesus. To expect him to work Jesus' miracles is ridiculous. Surely you have non-Christian friends or family members to whom you are still witnessing. If not, is it because you've converted them all or because you've abandoned the harvest fields? And if you've converted them all, why haven't you made new non-Christian friends?

      September 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • iamFound74

      What about the rich man that met Jesus and did not follow Him because he would not sell his possessions and give them to the poor. He was definitely one like many, if not all of us that truley do not follow Jesus' truth, way and most importantly His Life of utterly obeying His father and denying Himself, having all and all ethereal rights.

      December 24, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
  19. 500lb12yrold

    Treat others as you would have them treat you. We as belivers are called minister to others, so we also have to give others a chance to speak.

    September 7, 2010 at 9:58 am |
  20. Luke

    After much thought, I have decided that I would rather hang out with Ron. He seems fun.

    September 7, 2010 at 9:34 am |
    • Jude

      When these debates happen the audience is going to be all church going types – so it feels a little exploitive of Ron to me. Either he's going to be "beat" in the debate thereby bolstering the faith of the congregation or he's going to "convert" achieving the same – either way how is it about Ron? I guess if he wants to do it he's got a reason.

      September 7, 2010 at 11:44 am |
    • rob

      Ron does not claim to be a Christian. Why share a church stage with someone that does not claim to be a Christian yet? What can we possibly learn from that?
      I copied this statement directy from the article. My stand on the issue is : Most Christians do not relize that Jesus Christ was not a Christian! He was a Jew!

      September 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Marc W

      What a great story. This not only starts to bridge the gaps between secularism and religion, it may start to break the walls down. Let's face it, we all have the same concerns, desires and dreams. Why not forget the faith part and just be humans once in a while? And, this is what these 2 are doing.

      September 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
    • Barbara

      I think you are teaching what it really means to be a Christian! Thanks!

      September 7, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
    • pat carr

      That's true. I have met Ron a few times. Much more fun than some christian nonsense

      September 7, 2010 at 3:30 pm |
    • Sweebach

      ¶ Bravo! Morality and church are too often tied - without the church, is there no morality? OK, can we speak of morality in a non-religious context? I believe that porn, adultery, and promiscuity are immoral, and are bad for one's spirit, with or without the church. I am guilty of these and other immoralities. Pastor Gross is to be commended for choosing love over righteousness. Does this seem like a mixed message? Well, I'm mixed about this. How about you?

      September 7, 2010 at 3:34 pm |
    • adavis

      Hi "really." Just wanted to let you know that this IS a blog. CNN just chose to highlight on their front page.

      September 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
    • joseph cecil smith

      jesus would love this view of pornography, and those human souls who work in and view/taste the fruits of this industry... our world needs A LOT MORE LOVE WITHIN SEXUALITY AND SEXUAL EXPRESSION.. Gender, too, is misunderstood broadly.. feminine men, masculine women, all kinds of deep aspects of humanness... in your face, like abortion.. humans trying to outlaw it, while God gives you 20 ways to terminate your pregnancy.. hoping fervently you keep that little genius in the cooker til she's ready to be born.. every major world leader and genius could be surpassed by the keen talents and skills of that kid we kept instead of aborting it.. god wants us to learn to make wiser choices, Porn has a deep message about love within sex, taught mainly by the dark absence of love in porn.. but that is CHANGING fast.. the leading edge of humans evolves with great intent..
      peace

      September 7, 2010 at 5:04 pm |
    • Gary

      @John – Jesus was the 1st Christian.....since he stared out as a Jew and became the 1st Christian, does this make him the most successful Jewish businessman ever? After all, he founded the wealthiest of all world religions.

      September 7, 2010 at 5:10 pm |
    • chipperkeet

      Hey John–

      According to the flock of Reverends I work with (of varying denominations), Jesus didn't claim to be the Messiah. others claimed it on his behalf.

      September 7, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
    • Enzo

      Chipper –

      John 14:6 'Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."'

      So maybe it is not as blatant as saying "I am the Messiah", but I think the meaning is pretty clear.

      September 7, 2010 at 5:55 pm |
    • MLW

      This guy and Ron Jeremy do have one thing in common.... They will both burn in HELL!!!

      September 7, 2010 at 6:30 pm |
    • Monique

      I'd like to know what is the money factor involved here? I'm sure neither of you is discussing this issue for free and travel is not cheap either.

      September 7, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
    • RParish

      Claiming to be a messiah does not make one a christian. Jesus was a dilusional Jew. More likely, his views and words were totally taken out of context. After all, nothing was even written down for at least 3 decades after his death.

      September 7, 2010 at 6:46 pm |
    • TammyB

      @ Really....All news outlets, beit print or t.v., or radio, have "opinion" pieces, or "editorials" and that's what this story is. If you don't want to read one of these opinion pieces or editorials, then don't. No one forced you to. Also, this is a blog...Belief Blog. If you don't like blogs because everyone expresses their opinions, then don't go to the blogs. No one forces you to do that either.

      September 7, 2010 at 6:53 pm |
    • Thoughtful

      Folks, there are four issues here: an Evangelistic effort, a Debate, a Friendship, and Truth.
      First, for good news' sake, the Evangelistic effort: Believers in Christ are to "Preach the Gospel to every creature." Yep, even 'pornstars.' Don't leave them out. Craig Gross' evangelistic efforts may be worthy, and they may not: Kudos to him for trying what others dare not. Truly, this may be done in Christian charity, i.e., love.
      The Debate: 'Doesn't sound like a really informative debate from any angle.' said KD. What is the stated point of the debate, anyway? Craig Gross' article said to sound 'both points of view...' Is that what churches are to do? What Christian churches DO isn't always the purpose of why they formed: Preach and teach the Truth of Scripture. All of it. See Acts 20:27-28; Matthew 28:18-20. NOT invite a differing spirit on 'stage' to lecture opinions. Craig & Ron no doubt make money at this; Churches are non-profit private gatherings who allow the public to attend; they aren't obligated by any of you to let them teach or profit in their houses of worship.
      A Friendship: ~Be not deceived, do not be seduced: Evil companionships corrupt good character and ruin ethics and morals.~ 1st-Corinthians 15:33. When does Evangelizing stop, and 'friendship with the world-spirit' begin? It happens; hardly anyone is insightful enough to judge another as to when. But without judging Craig, or others here as has been done, the standard is already written: Companions will alter character, in the corrupting direction; that's more certain than gravity. Perhaps letting an admitted, unrepentant fornicator fellowship with YOUR kids is an ok thing for some, but please don't "preach" who's going to be allowed to associate with mine, & then call it 'good.' Isaiah 5:20.
      Truth: It's always about truth, isn't it? Since our Creator gave us the Word, the list of excuses is running thin... ~All have sinned=disobeyed God's Law; All have fallen short of God's Glory; Christ became a curse to redeem us... Christ's righteousness is imputed by God to believers apart from their works, not earned by them.~
      So there is hope for everyone that still breathes...

      September 7, 2010 at 7:20 pm |
    • prestonv

      To Jude:
      I see why you might think that only the church-goers would go to the debates, but it actually seems to be a pretty good split. The porn debate came to our university, and there were lots of people on Ron Jeremy's side. In fact, in terms of noise and applause, I'd say there was more support for Jeremy than the pastor.

      September 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
    • mattkerr81

      How come Atheist and “Sunday Christians” sound more Christian than the extremist?

      September 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
    • natemorris1

      @RParish – actually, they have dated a copy of the gospel of Mark from the Qumran scrolls in the ad 40 range, which would be less than ten years from when Christ was walking around teaching. At less than ten years from the date of the events, you would definitely have eyewitnesses left alive. This document would have been easily disproven that close to the events, and would not have spread as it has. The gospels are, or at the very least the gospel of Mark is, by ancient historical standards one of the documents written closest to the events it writes about. Most of the documents we rely on for our historical facts have way more time between the events and the document writing than the gospels do.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:30 am |
    • JelloLover

      Agreed! Also, when the writer speaks of Jesus hanging out with the tax collectors and prostitutes, its no real surprise I assign Ron the the messiah role and the author as one of the undesirables!

      September 8, 2010 at 4:37 am |
    • Lynette

      "Most Christians do not relize [sic] that Jesus Christ was not a Christian! He was a Jew!"

      First, you have a very low opinion of what 'most Christians' know. Most Christians I know are better versed in their religion and its history than people who write 'most Christians' in dismissive internet comments give them credit for. Yes, there are newbies who are still learning and idiots and the willfully ignorant and people who are mostly Christian in name only. Same can be said for any group.

      Second, given that 'Christian' means 'little Christ' or 'follower of Christ' and one cannot very well be a diminutive of or follower of oneself, then obviously Christ couldn't be a Christian. Doesn't mean he didn't found the religion.

      And just as an FYI, the early church saw itself as an extension of the Jewish faith, as did the culture in general. Christians, Pharisees, Sadducees, Herodians, and Zealots (all sects of Judaism) all worshiped at the temple and studied in the same Synagogues. Evidence of Christianity as Judaism is quite obvious in the New Testament, in passages dealing with the early church's debates on whether Gentile believers needed to be circumcised, keep Kosher, and other matters of Old Testament law. It wasn't until Masada, when the Christian Jews abandoned the fight because the Pharisaic sect of Jews (the only other one remaining after the destruction of Jerusalem) declared the leader, Bar Kochba, to be the Messiah. This abandonment led to a slaughter at the hands of the Romans and, thus, to much hatred and resentment since that time.

      It was only then that Christianity really emerged as a religion separate from Judaism. The modern Christian church with all its denominations is the direct descendant of that early Jewish sect and the modern Jewish religion in its various forms is the direct descendant of the Pharisaic sect.

      September 8, 2010 at 11:27 am |
    • Lady Suzanne

      I would also enjoy spending time with Ron. Both guys have thier beliefs and they have managed to look past them and be friends. The world can learn a lesson here.

      September 8, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
    • Zippy

      Short, but so provocative. I wish I had your style.

      September 11, 2010 at 2:57 am |
    • Kace

      Ron's got a better haircut too.

      September 16, 2010 at 6:34 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.