What does an Agnostic, Christian and Porn Star have in common? All three were at the Exxxotica Porn Convention this past weekend. We each attended for our own reasons, but our choices brought us together at one of the largest sex conventions in America. Yes, I am a Christian and I carve out time every year to spend an entire weekend with porn stars, porn producers, porn addicts, sex vendors and thousands of customers from every walk of life. Guess what? I walk away still a Christian, firmly grounded in my faith, but always closer to the reality that God loves. I met and interacted with hundreds of people, but two “chance” encounters with an agnostic and porn star left a deep impression upon my heart.
I bumped into Ron Jeremy, known as the “porn king” at the check in desk as I was holding conversation with three guys I have known and spoken to for the past four conventions. They refuse to believe that a group of Christians could show up to love without an ulterior motive. They were gently harassing me and challenging my “true” intentions. Knowing that Ron is familiar with www.XXXCHURCH.com and is good friends with the Founder, Craig Gross, I jokingly asked him to put these guys in their place and he did. A famous Jewish porn star that has participated in 2000 sex films, told these hecklers that our Christian group is authentic and that we practice what we preach. While Ron and I continued the conversation, a friend of his made a lewd sexual comment and Ron immediately stopped him, and scolded him for speaking like that in front of a pastor – me (lol.) I am not a pastor, but it certainly was kind that he was looking out for me!
Ron is being relentlessly pursued by a God who knows him by name and fiercely loves him. We Christians so often want to see an end result that we miss the beauty of the process. Ron spontaneously shared with a group of christians, who were at the convention for training, about his near death experience last year and how he called out for God. Then he played his favorite song on the harmonica, Amazing Grace. (see video clip) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0NEANxm9Bg&feature=youtu.be
“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found; was blind but now I see.”
One of my most memorable moments at the convention was a conversation I had with a beautiful young lady named Heather. She stopped by our booth for a t-shirt and opened up about being an agnostic, which led to a meaningful, respectful conversation. There was something so special about her and I was drawn to her like a mother to her child. She was kind, tender and thoughtful and she kept thanking me for being so nice. I took her picture in front of our “Jesus loves porn stars” background and she asked for several books of hope. Heather was intrigued by the message of the book and wanted to share with her friends. The book is filled with scripture and encouragement and I was delighted she wanted to read and share it. After she walked away I noticed she tagged me on twitter with her picture, and only then did I realize Heather is well-loved porn star who had a booth at the convention. Because I was postured in love and kindness, my new friend, the porn star walked away excited to read the word of God. She was unknowingly drawn to God because we offered her a God who was drawn to her.
God has a crazy, amazing journey for each of us and as I continue to step out, trusting Him to guide my steps, I am constantly amazed how awesome He is. He is bigger than a church building, a pot luck dinner or a home group meeting. His love is not reserved for a select few, but He died so that all may know Him. The agnostic may not believe Him; and the porn star may not be interested in Him; but God is relentlessly pursuing both with a radical love that defies understanding. His love is so compelling that a porn star held onto it in his darkest hour; His love so authentic that an agnostic took not just one, but several “Little Books of Hope” to read and share with others. His love is so inclusive that a christian showed up at a porn show to share it. I may not see Heather or Ron again, but I know God continues to see them, pursue them and cross their paths with crazy christians who aren’t afraid to love big!
“And the greatest of these is love”
“Shine Bright – You are loved!”