[Editor’s note: Author Craig Gross is cofounder of XXXChurch.com, a website created to make people aware of all the issues about porn and provide Christians with accountability and hope. The organization has recently completely covered a Toyota Scion xB in a graphic containing their website and slogan: “Porn site for the entire family.” They affectionately refer to this car as the “porn mobile.”]

On Sunday, Dec. 14, we took the porn mobile to Mosaic Church in Los Angeles. Mosaic is one of the most cutting edge churches in Los Angeles and is lead by Pastor Erwin McManus. Ever since I read Erwin’s book, The Unstoppable Force, I have wanted to attend this church and see what it was all about. I love this book because Erwin is not afraid to talk honestly about the Church and some of its weaknesses. If you haven’t read this book, you need to pick it up.

Here are some quotes from the book:

The Church became a fortress from the world rather that the hope of the world.

The Church, at best, fell asleep. It might be fair to say that we lost the power to transform culture.

People are rejecting Christ because of the Church!

Are we too much about us getting fed and too little about us exercising our faith?

If those who prepare for leadership are looking for the safe place, who will lead the Church into dangerous places?

The truth of the matter is that the center of God’s will is not a safe place, but the most dangerous place in the world!

So, I arrived at San Gabriel High School where Mosaic meets on Sunday mornings and parked the porn mobile in the parking lot with all the other cars. I attended the service and really loved the vibe and the heart behind it. I ended up talking to the men’s leader at the church after the service about XXXChurch. He told me he was pumped about what we are doing and has read some different articles about us. He told me he is interested in working together in the future. Meanwhile, my wife told me she was going to pick up our 9-month-old from the nursery and then go to the car to feed him.

I stayed behind, and she headed to the porn mobile. When she arrived, she found three people surrounding the vehicle and a note on the car. The note read: “You are more than welcome to come back to this church, but please do not park the car here or bring the car at all.” She tried to enter the car and was harassed by one of the three people. He kept telling her that XXX is a dirty word and should be taken out of the slogan. She kept telling him that it was a good thing and that the website targeted people struggling with pornographic issues. He kept mumbling and wouldn’t leave. So, she got into the car and proceeded to feed our son.

While she was in the car, a different man came over and started talking to the “mumbler” with whom my wife had just spoken. Then, the “mumbler” said, “Yes, she’s in there,” and then the other man walked over and started pounding on the window trying to get her attention, apparently wanting to discuss the car. My wife ignored him and was starting to get really upset. She tried calling me on my cell phone, but I still had mine off for church.

When she was done feeding our son, she waited until it looked like the coast was clear. Then she got out of the car to come find me. The parking attendant came over and told her that he wanted to give her a heads up. The police had been called because a bunch of people complained that the car was inappropriate and there were children around. The parking attendant asked what the website was about and was relieved that it was nothing bad, but a good thing. He told her a lot of people were asking him about it and were angry.

Then, the man that was banging on the windows came over and interrupted. He started an argument with my wife, who was still holding our 9-month-old. “Talk to my husband,” she told him, and tried to walk away.

He kept talking and said, “I don’t want this to discourage you from coming back to our church, BUT …” and then continued to talk about how disgusted he was by the vehicle. My wife told him that I was a pastor and that we were against pornography. He didn’t even listen and couldn’t see or comprehend such a thing. He said young kids will see the car, and it is not appropriate. My wife mentioned to him that on our way to church today, we saw three provocative billboards for strip clubs advertising on the freeway. He said, “Well, if you are an advocate against such a thing like you say you are, why are you just like the strip clubs and promoting it to young kids?”

I wrapped up my discussion and headed to the car to meet my wife, unaware of all that had gone on. My wife was visibly upset and got more upset when I started laughing at the stupidity of the whole situation.

As I walked toward the car, the parking attendant informed me that the police were on their way, and we should take the car and leave.

“This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard,” I said to him. “Why am I going to leave and try to escape?” We stuck around for a few minutes, and sure enough, the police car entered the parking lot. I started taking pictures of the whole scene and was hoping he was going to try to handcuff the vehicle.

The men’s leader with whom I had been speaking walked out to the parking lot, not knowing what was going on, but to check out the porn mobile. He saw what was going on and ripped up the note, threw it away, apologized and shook his head in disgust.

As I drove away from the church that day, a few thoughts ran through my head:

What if I was a porn producer and involved in this “filthy” XXX industry and drove my company’s vehicle to church because I was searching for God? Shouldn’t the Church embrace and welcome me no matter what I do, what I look like or what kind of car I drive? Wouldn’t you be thrilled that a “true seeker” had entered your property? In a perfect world, you would expect and hope that was the case. But, in reality, the very thing that Erwin had spoken out against in his book had happened at his own church.

The truth of the matter is that the center of God’s will is not a safe place, but the most dangerous place in the world!

The Mosaic Church, an amazing place of worship with a passionate leader who gets what church should really be, has become a safe place with members who are scared of all the dangerous places. We truly have become a fortress from the world rather that the hope of the world.

If the porn mobile gets this kind of reaction at Mosaic, could you imagine the response it will get at a conservative church in the Bible Belt, or at other churches around that area? To be honest, I can’t wait to see what will happen, because you can be assured that we will take the car to these safe places to encourage the Church to truly be the hope of the world, not a fortress from the world.

Jesus says, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call sinners, not those who think they are already good enough.”

Have we become too healthy in our churches?

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