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. 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.
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.