ReligionNewsBlog.com • Item 23584 • Posted: Friday September 4, 2009
More articles on this topic: XXXchurch.com
Jesus loves Gays, Porn Stars and Crooks
LAS VEGAS, NV (ANS) — Two pastors have launched a movement to renew the meaning of the phrase, 'Jesus Loves You.' They have already hit the road in a book tour to show that Jesus loves Gays, Porn Stars and Crooks.
"Whether you are a porn star, pastor, soccer mom, criminal, homosexual or skeptic — you are dearly loved by Jesus," says Pastor Craig Gross. Although we live in a world that divides, Jesus unites us all."Pastors Craig Gross and Jason Harper aim to refresh the phrase "Jesus loves you," which to many has become an overstated Christian cliche, in their new book 'Jesus Loves You … This I Know' (Baker Books, ISBN: 978-0-8010-1329-4, $17.99), which released nationwide on Sept. 1, 2009.
According to a media release from A. Larry Ross Communications, the authors kicked off a nationwide tour on Sunday, Aug. 30, with a stop at Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, KS, where they attended a service to model love to the church, known as a hate-filled group notorious for offensive protests.
After learning that Westboro members were picketing an American Idol concert later that evening to target season eight runner-up Adam Lambert, Gross and Harper traveled to the concert venue as well to demonstrate that Jesus loves all people.
Mirroring the tactic used by Westboro, the authors brought an opposite message of love, not hate, holding signs that read "Jesus Loves the U.S.A." and "Jesus Loves Gays."
The message of Gross and Harper resonated with many American Idol fans, sparking the Twitter movement, #GodHatesHate, which became the No. 1 trending topic on Twitter during the evening of Sunday, Aug. 30. Using video feeds, tweets and photos, the authors continued showing love using #JesusLovesYou.
"We hope our presence at the American Idol concert contrasted that of Westboro's," said Harper, director of community outreach at Capital Christian Center in Sacramento, CA.
"People need to know that the love of Jesus accepts individuals where they are in life, not where society thinks they should be."
Gross and Harper planned an unconventional national book tour, coinciding with six different chapters in the book. The tour will take the authors to six cities across the nation, connecting them with specific groups of people that have often been neglected by the Church.
"Rather than planning your typical book tour, we took the money allotted for promotion to execute a bold campaign that confronts hate with love," says Gross, founder of Fireproof Ministries, The Strip Church in Las Vegas and TripleXChurch.
"We want people to know and see that it does not matter who you are or what you have done, Jesus loves you."
Subsequent tour stops will take Gross and Harper to Las Vegas on Sept. 30 for "Jesus Loves the Glutton" (www.freebuffetwednesday.com), Los Angeles on Oct. 7 for "Jesus Loves the Porn Star" (www.porndebate.com), and Detroit on Oct. 11 for "Jesus Loves the Disconnected". In Detroit, the authors will renovate a house and then give it away to provide hope for a family affected by job loss (www.freehousesunday.com).
Gross and Harper will conclude the tour with stops in Folsom, CA, on Oct. 23 for "Jesus Loves the Crook", during which they will visit Folsom State Prison to teach a chapel service and Atlanta on Oct. 30-Nov. 1 for "Jesus Loves the Outcast". The authors will have a booth at the Atlanta Pride Festival to apologize for the way religious people have too often treated the homosexual community with hopes of receiving an uplifting response from participants in the festival.
Unconvinced as I am of people's willingness to hear this message, anything that stands in opposition to Westboro's particular brand of insanity, is OK by me.