I am not making this up, there is actually a ministry out there in the evangelical world called “Hookers for Jesus.” I found out about this ministry when I watched Mark Driscoll debate Deepak Chopra and Bishop Carlton Pearson on Nightline Faceoff. If you haven’t seen the debate yet follow the link and watch–its worth your time and I think Driscoll did an excellent job defending the faith and exposing the absurdity Chopra’s relativism. Anyway, Driscoll’s debate partner was a woman named Annie Lobert who is the founder of the Christian Ministry titled “Hookers for Jesus.”
After watching most of the debate, I sense that Lobert is a genuine young woman of the faith and it seems very clear to me that God soveriegnly and powerful intervened in her life to save her from destroying herself through prostitution and reconcile her to Himself. She seems to have a real and vibrant faith–praise God for the work He has done in her life!
However, I was shocked to read that she is the founder of a ministry called “Hookers for Jesus.” I must confess that I know very little about the ministry as I was more than a little reticent to type “Hookers for Jesus” into Google to find out more! So if you know more about this ministry, please feel free to let me know in the comment meta! While I don’t think that there is much in a name, names are not unimportant–often times they communicate something about our ministries etc. In this instance I think that is surely the case. “Hookers for Jesus” sounds like a group of prostitutes who get together and talk about how they prostitute themselves for Jesus. Let me say that I know that is NOT the case with this ministry because Lobert is a former prostitute. By the grace of God she is no longer living in that destructive lifestyle!
Like I said, I don’t know much about Lobert’s ministry but from what she said in the debate, I gather that it is aimed at getting the gospel out to prostitutes and seeking to help them out of prostitution and into a saving-relationship with Jesus Christ. I am all for that. I think it posts some obvious risks for someone like Lobert, but I respect her heart to get the gospel out to people who are in slavery to sin as she was and I respect her desire to share her powerful testimony. But let me kindly say that the name of her ministry is poorly titled.
I know what some are going to say–the title is edgy and gets attention and will open doors for ministry . . . there is something in a title, but not that much in a title. I think the best titles communicate exactly what our ministries are about. If its a ministry to help women out of prostitution, call it “Helping Women out of Prostitution” or “Taking the Gospel to Prostitutes.” But “Hookers for Jesus” just sounds terrible and doesn’t communicate what her ministry is really all about.
Furthermore it makes light of a very serious sin issue in our world. Hooker is a derogatory slang word for prostitute. I am not saying that we should dignify prostitution in any way, but I don’t think calling prostitutes “hookers” is appropriate as it makes light of a deeply dark sin issue. Further, if they really hope to reach prostitutes for Christ, why would they want to use such a derogatory and unseemly word in their title?
I feel the same way about XXXchurch. I am glad that they are out there and trying to reach people in the pornography industry for Christ, but what a terrible name! It sounds like a sacreligious haven of pornography. Again, the little I know about XXXchurch is that that is NOT what they are all about. I think they are trying to do a lot of good things for the kingdom, but their title is just bad! Again their title makes light of a very dark and dangerous sin issue. Especially with their “Jesus Loves Porn Stars” Bibles. Yes Jesus loves everyone, even people deep in sin (that is everyone apart from Christ by the way), but He is also just and unless such people repent and believe they are going to experience the just and loving discipline of the Lord for all eternity (Matthew 25; Luke 13; 1 Cor. 6:9-10).
Anyway, I would be interested to hear what you think about these ministries. I think XXXchurch perhaps presents more problems in terms of temptation, especially for the men involved. That said, on the whole, I appreciate people trying to shed the light of the gospel into such dark places, but these titles are just not helpful!
Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment meta as I professedly know little about these two ministries beyond what I have heard on TV.