Christian anti-porn crusader becomes marijuana advocate

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By Mark Ellis –

Craig Gross

Craig Gross, 43, is the pastor of XXXchurch, an online ministry that helps people beat porn addiction. He’s also come out with an eyebrow-raising public posture in support of marijuana use by Christians.

Apparently serious about this new stance, he launched a website, ChristianCannabis.com, which is set up as a public forum about the issue – and also to sell marijuana products.

On April 20th, he even dispatched a skywriting plane at the Coachella Music Festival to emblazon the skies with the name of his new website.

“And it’s a larger conversation than just recreational or medicinal, legal or illegal, THC or CBD. But a conversation about the emotional, physical, and—dare I say—spiritual effects that I’ve had with this controversial plant,” Gross said in a video about his new effort.

Gross lives in California, where recreational marijuana is legal for adult use. “Whether here, or in other recreational states like Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Nevada – I’ve not heard of or spoken to a single church leader who has broached the topic with his or her congregation” he told Fox News.

Gross with his wife and kids

Gross dipped his toe into the water with marijuana after he found no relief for ongoing, debilitating headaches. He watched a documentary about marijuana’s supposed medicinal benefits, which caused him to entertain its usage.

While he was desperate for help, he was also worried about pushback from Christians with more conservative views on the subject.

“Existential guilt weighed heavy on my conscience thanks to 40 years’ worth of being told that this avenue was off limits for Christians like me, and I didn’t tell anyone about it until – one day – a more powerful conviction overwhelmed my silence: I needed to tell the truth,” Gross said.

Last year, he began taking cannabis-infused mints, which he claims conquered the headaches and also helped him meet God in more powerful ways than he had ever known.

“My head stopped spinning and I heard His voice,” he said. “I got clarity. I got direction. I got out of my head, and I let God into my heart in a lasting, visceral way.”

Gross echoes the voices of some in the Sixties (and later) that found God after taking mind-altering drugs. But most threw the drugs away after they began to follow Christ, because they viewed their body as a temple of the Holy Spirit and did not want to pollute themselves physically, or open themselves up to deceptive, demonic influences.

Before his current foray into pot advocacy, he says he had only smoked 10 cigarettes in his life, been drunk once, and never gone near marijuana. “Christian consensus, it seems, has been to demonize cannabis outright, as though the flower were inherently sinful, in and of itself.”

But his thinking has reversed 180 degrees. “Christians have more freedom in this arena than we’ve traditionally allowed for,” he maintains.

All this begs the question: Has Gross found an answer that has escaped many Christians or is he under a strong delusion?

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