XXX Church Founder Promotes Psychedelic Drugs and the Occult

Illustration by Sharm Murugiah

Deconstruction has been a hot topic in Christian circles for the past several years, as cultural currents have swept away many popular “Christian” celebrities who once claimed Christ. These apostates are branches that were never attached to the vine of Christ and have been exposed as unregenerate by the storms of life. Unfortunately, many of these apostates are also false teachers who carry away church members with their worldly philosophies and false teaching. The Apostle Paul warned the church at Colossae that they needed to be rooted in Christ, rather than the teachings of such men.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.  Colossians 2:6-8

Craig Gross, a self-styled “pastor”, founded XXX Church, an anti-porn ministry that set up “church services” at pornography expos. Gross was known for his shock and awe rhetoric, a strategy that led to a “Pancakes and Porn Roadshow” to visit local churches with the same message that was presented at porn conventions. The ministry also published a flamboyant New Testament Bible entitled, “Jesus Loves Porn Stars.”

At the same time, many discernment ministries warned against the idea of a so-called church renting space at a porn convention. Such an arrangement is equivalent to a man paying for a visit to a strip club or brothel with the alleged intent of proclaiming the Gospel to the strippers and prostitutes. XXX Church is wrought with folly on so many levels. A 2013 interview between a Vice reporter and Gross revealed that while XXX Church sought to provide pornography addicts with self-help for their addictions, the teachings and convictions of Gross were not rooted in a Biblical Sexual ethic.

In early 2019 Gross departed from XXX Church and started Christian Cannabis, an online forum that marketed Cannabis products to Christians, as a tool that “makes it easier to worship”, as Pulpit and Pen reported in April 2019. The platform began with the goal of destigmatizing cannabis use amongst Christians but quickly moved to promoting a form of psychedelic Gnosticism. Orthodox Christianity promotes scripture as God’s primary revelation to man, but Christian Cannabis’ heretical cannabis track never mentions scripture. Rather the track directs you to find God within yourself through the conduit of drugs.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Bad Christian Podcast in late 2021, Gross details that while he was actively preaching against pornography as part of XXX Church, he was inviting Christians to experiment with marijuana in his home. At the same time as Gross’ Christian Cannabis launch, Gross was approaching atheists for spiritual advice on whether or not to experiment with psychedelic drugs as a means to a spiritual experience.

Between 2013 and 2019 more Christian friends of mine have been at my house trying cannabis for the very first time over dinner, having a night of laughter or whatever as Cannabis started to shift me into a softer space, started showing me discoveries about who I was.

I started meditating with it. I started listening to music and getting lost in god there’s something else here. And so when my friend Matt, you fast forward to 2019. My friend Matt sends me a book. He’s like “yeah I know you’re doing cannabis; what about psychedelics?”

And so I read the book. I’m a quick start. I read it in a night. I sent out an email to my mastermind group, “Anyone know Michael Poland?” Somebody writes back right away, “yes”. I said can you connect me. I sent him an email and said, “Hey, I’m a pastor and I’ve explored cannabis from a spiritual perspective a recreational perspective, a medical perspective, but what about psychedelics. You seem to be an atheist, but you wrote this book and you said ‘people that are spiritual have more profound experiences with psychedelics.’ What do you think about this crazy pastor exploring psychedelics from a spiritual perspective?” And he wrote back, like, “The best of luck, yes, go.”

And so within 10 days, I found somebody through a friend, another leader in this space. They say the medicine finds you once you bring it into your awareness and you start listening it will find you. So I’m not gonna name names. But I end up, yes, near Austin Texas, and I sit with somebody who used to be addicted to Heroin. I sit with somebody who’s been a guide now for several years for people, and he sat with me on a dose of MDMA with his wife as they held the space, as they sat there and journaled, and I had an eye mask, a playlist, and I was able to cry. I was able to explore, and I f****** found myself.

Christian Cannabis is merely the tip of the iceberg of Gross’ heretical exploits. Gross’ personal website contains a catalogue of projects that promote the use of psychedelic drugs and the occult. He even takes time to speak to any synagogue of Satan that will host him, as can be seen in an interview with Harvey Carey of Citadel of Faith, who declared Gross one his “heroes of the faith.”

Gross promotes psychedelics through Drug Camp and Decriminalize Nature, organizations that are dedicated to the legalization and mainstreaming of psychedelics. “Meet Delic” a convention sponsored by Drug Camp, promotes the syncretism of faith, drugs, the occult, and all kinds of worldly debauchery. Gross merely exchanged the attendance of porn conventions for the attendance of drug conventions.

Spiritual Plants, another of Gross’ projects encourages drug users to use psychedelic drugs as a conduit to find god within themselves.

Entheogens are compounds, typically plant medicine, that elevates states of consciousness and gives humans a felt experience of their unity with the Divine. When used with intention and respect, these spiritual plants can show you a side of yourself that you’ve never seen before. The Divine.

The deconstruction of Craig Gross from porn pastor to pot smoker to drug promoter to a promoter of the occult shows that when warning signs are present in the life of a so-called Christian leader, and the ministry of that leader does not reflect the teachings of scripture, believers should run far away. Gross was never a pastor. He has always been a charlatan at heart. Those who follow in his path are on the road that leads to destruction.



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