Berean cogitations

Friday, October 20, 2006

My thoughts on "The #1 Christian porn site"

Yesterday, I came across This is a ministry that attempts to minister to the porn-addicted and those who are caught up in the porn industry. They also provide a wonderful tool called X3Watch, a software utility that notifies an accountability partner whenever you visit a website with questionable content. I've never used this program myself, but it sounds like a wonderful idea.

Having said that, I do have some grave reservations about this ministry. For one thing, their website prominently describes themselves as the "#1 Christian porn site." Of course, they mean this in a tongue-in-cheek fashion; however, I think this choice of term is unwise, to say the least. For one thing, I think it's deceptive to describe oneself as a "porn site" if your true intent is to help people break away from sexual snares. Second, people who come across this site -- or a mere description of it -- are likely to develop the wrong impression. For these reasons, I think that their choice of terms is unwise at best, and arguably less than honest.

Some of their other tactics indicate a lack of wisdom as well. For example, many of their products use the slogan, "Jesus loves porn stars." Is this true? Certainly... but stated in that manner, many people are likely to take this as an endorsement of pornography -- or at the very least, acceptance thereof. (Is this an overreaction? I don't think so; after all, many defenders of homosexuality proudly proclaim that "God loves gays!", which clearly implies that homosexuality is okay in God's eyes. By the same token, declaring that "Jesus loves porn stars" is likely to be taken as an endorsement of their work.)

I've also read that their primary evangelistic tools are copies of a Bible paraphrase (The Message) with "Jesus loves porn stars" emblazoned on the cover. I've already expressed my concern about the slogan, but I have reservations about their choice of reading material as well. The problems with The Message are well-documented, and by no means minor; it's a very loose paraphrase that takes tremendous liberties with the Biblical text. In addition, I think we're on dangerous ground when we preferentially promote Bible paraphrases over more accurate translations. If you want to use a readable version, then the NIV would be a much better choice. (I'm not have a huge fan of the NIV, since I prefer the accuracy of the NKJV and the NASB. Nevertheless, I think it's a better choice than the horrible Message paraphrase.)

In summary, I think that has laudable goals and they provide some helpful tools. Nevertheless, but I have grievous concerns about some of their tactics. I think the Slice of Laodecia blog has some helpful comments on this issue as well, and I recommend reading what they wrote.