Porn Film Gets Churches Talking

ByABC News via logo
June 1, 2005, 1:47 PM

June 3, 2005 -- -- For more than three years, two young California pastors have spread their message about the pernicious effects of pornography through the Internet, at booths set up at pornography conventions, in a documentary movie making the rounds of film festivals and in national media. Everywhere, that is, but the one place they really wanted -- the nation's churches.

Over the last few months, all that has changed, as one church after another has held events known as "Porn Sunday," inviting Craig Gross and Mike Foster to screen their documentary, "Missionary Positions," and to talk about pornography and the problems they believe it creates in people's lives.

So many churches now have expressed interest in having them come speak, the two have decided to do a nationwide event this October.

They are hoping to have at least 200 churches register across the country to participate in the event once they make the official announcement and launch a new Web site dedicated to the national "Porn Sunday" on June 15.

Their final individual church event will be this Sunday, at People's Church in Franklin, Tenn., outside Nashville, Gross said.

"We can't keep up with the amount of requests to do these 'Porn Sunday' things, so we're doing a national 'Porn Sunday,' " Gross said. "It's crazy, because before three months ago, we couldn't get into a church. Now the doors have opened up at the churches, thanks to one church that invited us in and they said they had one of the best days they've had in church."

That church was Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., where an acquaintance of Gross and Foster, teaching pastor Bob Hill, asked them to make three presentations one Sunday this past January. More than 13,000 people turned out to hear the two men talk and to view the film.

Since then, the presentations have been held at a number of other churches, including Westwinds Community Church in Jackson, Mich., where billboards advertising a "Porn Weekend" drew local controversy and more media attention, and Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, N.C.