Donny's Ramblings

To Mr. Anderson and Mr. Friel from "Way of the Master"


The following letter was written a few minutes ago in response to the audio clip heard here, in which Todd Friel Bashes XXXChurch. As I say below in the comment’s section, I have no opinions pro or con about Way of the Master. All I know about it is that Kirk Cameron is somehow involved and that Todd Friel does a radio show for that ministry. Beyond that, I know very little about it. I’ll assume it does the world some amount of good in one way or another. Bashing on X3 is all I’m addressing with this letter.

Mr. Anderson,

From your website I understand you are the General Manager of Way of the Master Radio. Howdy. 🙂

Many months ago I watched a video response on You Tube to Rob Bell’s Nooma video “Bullhorn Man”. Since I’d only recently become a Christian at that time, and had no idea who the man in the video was, I kind of brushed him off as yet another judgmental Christian the likes of which I’d hated during my 9 years as a porn producer. I found his arguments petty and, well, argumentative. My impression was, “This man just doesn’t ‘get it'”.

Doing a google search for Todd Friel a few minutes ago, I discovered that the man criticizing XXXChurch in an audio clip I just heard on X3’s website is the same man I heard ripping on Rob Bell all those months ago. The first thought in my mind was that a person who must spend their time publicly criticizing and pointing out what is wrong with other ministries must really not have much of one himself.

That, however, is a bit judgmental of me. And I’ve learned that being judgmental of the judgmental is still… judgmental. I have to constantly remind myself of that, because everything inside of me wants to scream words like IDIOT into the face of people who would rather tear down those who are out making a difference, instead of getting off their lazy “Christian” butts and reaching into gutters to pull out those who are passed out in the mire.

All I can say to this fellow is that not all of us are going to ever agree on what Jesus would or would not do. If you’d like pure honesty, I’m not much of a fan of Pete the Porno Puppet, but I do think it’s a very big mistake to devalue and discredit the entire ministry of XXXChurch because of one’s opinions of such a puppet. Pete’s purpose was served when Jay Leno heard of the Pete and Ron Jeremy clip and told the entire NATION about Out of the millions watching that night, if ONE person took a trip to the website and found hope for a porn addiction it was all worth it. The ONLY people “offended” or upset by Pete are other Christians who think it is “inappropriate”. Aren’t we supposed to be the mature ones? How can we go into the gutters and pull out the sinners if petty things like this offend us so deeply? Like Dr. Bill Giovannetti, Pastor of 2,000 member Neighborhood Church in Redding, California and Professor at Simpson University (a Christian university) always says: Christians need to give up their right to be so easily offended!

What I DO know from personal experience is that for the last two years of my porn producing career, the perspectives I had on what Christian are was changed by the staff of XXXChurch. There were always Christians standing outside the porn conventions holding up signs telling me that I was heading to hell. I’d pass by and give them a one finger salute. Their message was NOT getting through.

But there were these guys inside telling me and those around me that there was NOTHING we could EVER do to make God love us any less. NOTHING. And over the course of two years I gave them a lot of hell on their website and on my blog. They responded like Jesus would have responded. They turned the other cheek, and offered more of the same message: “There is NOTHING you could EVER do to make God love you ANY less”.

I saw a vision of what a Christian SHOULD be in those men and women, and it opened my heart up to receive the message God wanted me to hear.

To Todd:
My dear Mr. Friel, as you are questioning whether or not a ministry is producing fruit… kindly allow me introduce you to a man who produced more than 2 million pornographic images and hours and hours of video, who hated Christians with a passion and did everything he could to cause them grief, and who has been completely changed by God’s love and the willing “vessels” he put into that porn producer’s life, and who is now 3 months into Seminary, on his way to becoming a Pastor:



Donny Pauling

24 thoughts on “To Mr. Anderson and Mr. Friel from "Way of the Master"

  1. For the record:

    I have no opinions pro or con about “Way of the Master”. All I know about it is that Kirk Cameron is somehow involved and that Todd Friel does a radio show for that ministry. Beyond that, I know very little about it.

    I’ll assume it does good in the world in some way or other. Bashing on X3 is all I’m addressing with this letter.

  2. Donny: It seems to me Mr. Friel has spent too much time behind the microphone and/or has run out of “entertainment” for his audience for which he is responsible to keep “entertained” with the long, long hours of broadcasting. And I wonder just what his job is – to “entertain” with whatever he wishes to babble away at, or to present the ministry of “Way of the Master” which is the same as the XXXChurch – to reach the lost with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    One other thought: I’m not all that taken with Pete the porno puppet either, however he is aimed at a specific audience to reach. I AM deeply offended by pornography and its evil results on human lives. I’m wondering if Mr. Friel wasn’t trying to express this “reality,” if ever so poorly. We, too, need to give up our right to be easily offended. We are on the same team.

  3. Donny,

    Take it from a olf fogie in the Lord.

    The biggest critics of Christians doing the Lord’s Work are from Christians, usually.

    Especially if it ain’t Christian looking enough…

    Fundamentalists are freakin’ horrible about this.

    Been there, did that, got the t-shirt.


  4. So, they went after xxxchurch again on Friday:

    Best I can tell they have a big problem with Wally the Wiener, which seems to be the motivation for the attacks.

  5. Well done Donny! Thats perfectly written and speaks volumes on how far you have come. Thats how this issue should have been handled in my opinion, but thats neither here nor there.

    Awesome Job!

  6. Hey Donny,

    You rock 🙂


  7. I agree Donny. YOU ROCK!

  8. My first thought in response to this entry was to post a link to a funny (humiliating) video of Kirk Cameron…then I remember John 13:34-35

    34″A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    Donny, thank you for another great post and for continuing to show wisdom in your walk. You are truly an example of the work God is doing through XXX Church. I appreciate their message of love rather than condemnation, compassion rather than judgement. I know that I would not be saved without people declaring those ideals to be the true face of Christ.

  9. Donny,

    I have to say… I was absolutely infuriated by “The Way of the Master”. And I’m completely delighted in your response.

    Hopefully they won’t brush it off. I’d love to hear an apology from them.

  10. Sadly it’s kind of the way of WOTM radio to have this whole negative attitude. They spend large amounts of time focused on anything “progressive” or different from their idea of fundamental Christianity.

    I’m stoked that XXXchurch got to you, and glad I stumbled across your blog.

    Look forward to continued reading.

  11. Well said Donny.

    Jesus never called those lost in their sin a “brood of vipers”, it was the religious hypocrites he reserved those words for. Now he never neglected to challenge those lost souls to leave their life of sin, but it was always after he met them with grace, right where they were.

  12. I have problem with the big Wally the Wiener and I’ve question some of XXXChurch’s methods. But, who else is address the problem of porn and porn addiction (on a national level) besides xxxchurch? I applaude what xxxchurch has, is and will do. My recovery began has a result of connnecting with people on the xxxchurch prayer wall. Suddenly there was a world were I wasn’ alone and I could tell me story without the condemnation of Christians!


  13. Donny,

    Like Bill Giovannetti whom you referenced, I am also a Christian & Missionary Alliance Pastor of a larger chruch and a professor at a C&MA college (Crown College). I teach NT and apologetics.

    Though I never produced porn as you have experienced, I was a drug addict and dealer for many years, embracing all that life style knows- obviously including porn, etc. I understand….

    Donny, I praise God that you have been saved and are studying for ministry. Your email also showed some Christian maturity and restraint. Frankly, if it didn’t, I would be playing Maddon Football with my son and not bother writing to you. 🙂

    As a professor of apologetics, I need to gently admonish your overt pragmatism. To put the matter rather crudely; if I go evangelize prostitutes by sleeping with them, and one gets saved, are you ready to tell my wife it was worth it? Of course not. We all know and agree that the end does not justify the means. Or, say I preach and reach thousands for Christ, but neglect my family so that my own kids turn from Christ- does this glorify God? Of course not. Why? Because the means of ministry and life matter. The means or process should glorify God just as much as the results. It is not uncommon for less than honorable means to accomplish marvelous results (Phil. 1:15-18). So, while the results may be praiseworthy, the means may or may not be so praiseworthy. A certain ministry could lead me to faith in Christ, or nourish my walk with Christ, and yet be a ministry with serious problems.

    We are encouraged to be discerning about those doing ministry. I find it interesting that you are not a fan of Pete the Porno Puppet. Why? Do you also have concerns about the big inflatible penis which advocates the missionary position? Do you have any concerns about young men working with XXXChurch going into porn conventions to witness and no doubt battling the temptations and images that are forever imprinted on their minds? These seem like obvious concerns to me. Is it so wrong to have a discussion, or even have someone question whether these are good and God-honoring methods in evangelism?

    In sum, a ministry should seek to have God glorifying results, and God-glorifying means to obtaining those results. For a Christian radio program like “Way of the Master” to discern and discuss whether a ministry is accomplishing these objectives seems reasonable. While you may or may agree with the Host’s views, having the discussion and helping others exmamine our ways before the Lord seems like a good thing.

    Why is this so offensive to you?

    With gratitude for you hearing me out,
    A brother in Christ Jesus,


  14. Bruce,

    I appreciate your taking the time to write to me. You’ve raised quite a few questions that require an answer.

    In regards to “the ends justify the means”, that is definitely not what I am saying. I happen to know the men and women involved with XXXChurch pretty well, and I can tell you that the example of the prostitute would not in any way come close to comparing to the type of work done by X3.

    The issue XXXChurch is known for addressing is very “adult” in nature, is it not? I’m not saying that pre-adults don’t struggle with porn, but in general this is considered a more mature issue. That being the case, the target audience needs to be kept in mind, and obviously Pete the Porno Puppet was not REALLY targeted at children.

    But why am I not a fan of his, you ask? I’ll answer that first:

    Ron Jeremy is a man I really like. Despite what he does for a living, I can clearly see the man inside is beautiful. He stops to talk to the homeless on the streets. He makes sure every person seeking an autograph receives one. He doesn’t have a bad word to say about anyone. He is very likable. Ron is simply a slave to sin, just as all of us are/have been, and he needs to be set free. Ron and Craig (pastor of XXXChurch) have become friends as they travel the country together debating the topic of pornography on University campuses. Ron’s been “caught” reading a Bible when he doesn’t think anyone is looking. Ron is being loved unconditionally.

    It is my opinion that their relationship was one big contributing factor in that video’s release. BUT, I am not a fan of the message Ron spoke in the video. The message wasn’t complete, and being raised in church, I know how judgmental Christians can be if the “right” message isn’t delivered. I knew that the way the video was edited left X3 vulnerable to just the type of judgmental criticism WOTM dished out to them. X3 in no way thinks porn is okay for “consenting adults”. Ron’s words were not X3 words. OBVIOUSLY, some Christians need this clearly spelled out. Others are mature enough to know it without explanation.

    It was hoped that video would be aired in the adult entertainment industry as well as in secular circles. It was never meant to be broadcast in sanctuaries. With the target audience in mind, the whole perspective is a bit different. The target audience was reached the night Jay Leno exposed his television audience to the commercial, and some in the industry did indeed remark on Ron Jeremy making a commercial with XXXChurch. If too much “Christianese” had been inserted, the target audience never would have been reached.

    Wally the Wiener was also NOT a prop that was meant for church congregations. He was part of the XXXChurch booth at an AVN show in Las Vegas one year. He was created to draw attention. Those inside the show were challenged to “have the balls to stop looking at porn”. He was meant to be controversial. Again, he served his purpose and got conversations started. In fact, ONE of those conversations was with ME. JR Mahon challenged me that year to just give up ONE WEEK of looking at porn. I told him I couldn’t do that since producing it was how I made my living. JR talked to me for a very long time, telling me that I knew deep inside where I needed to be. Had Wally not been standing tall above all the other booths I might not have gone to talk to them during that show.

    So, context needs to be considered before judgment is passed on X3. Can I see the point of those who criticize? Certainly. But I really think “mature” Christians should seek feedback and clarification from X3 before dismissing the entire ministry as invalid. And they should do so nicely, rather than contemptuously.

    Does X3 make mistakes? Absolutely. But let me ask you, is it better to stumble from time to time than to never walk at all?

    I’ll soon post another response to other issues you mentioned in your comment. This one is getting rather long.

    – Donny –

  15. Bruce,

    I’ll now answer this question:

    Do you have any concerns about young men working with XXXChurch going into porn conventions to witness and no doubt battling the temptations and images that are forever imprinted on their minds?

    When I was in the business, I used to throw that exact same question in the faces of XXXChurch staff. I knew Churches would be grilling them on this issue. I loved accusing them of just wanting to be in there on the show floor with us.

    But the truth of the matter is that you will totally GET IT if you ever choose to volunteer your time with them at a show. It is not attractive inside those doors. It is sad and disgusting. It really, truly is. In fact, I’d be willing to bet that many porn addicts would greatly reduce their attraction to porn if they went to one of those conventions and paid attention to what they saw.

    Married X3 staff members take their wives with them. There are prayer teams working during the show. There is plenty of accountability in place. A level of trust is given to those who choose to attend: “If you don’t feel you should go, don’t go”. I don’t go because I am just not ready to be back in that atmosphere… too many memories! I don’t know if I will ever go again, but I can assure you that sexual temptation was not an issue for me at those shows even when I was in the business. It’s simply not an atmosphere that is tempting to me, or to those who choose to serve.

    There is one more question you raised that I’ll answer next.

    – Donny –

  16. Bruce,

    You concluded with this question:

    Why is this so offensive to you?

    What is offensive is the manner in which the host chose to pursue X3. If you take the time to do an internet search for “Todd Friel” you’ll likely notice he is quite confrontational with both Christians and non-Christians. In one video I saw Mr. Friel badgering a non-Christian to the point that the surrounding crowd asked him to be nice to the guy and to stop calling the man he was interviewing a liar.

    This, in my opinion, ISN’T the “Way of the Master”.

    Mr. Friel could have invited X3 to his show to discuss the issue and asked for clarification, rather than immediately going on the attack.

    His attacking nature, Pastor Bruce, is what I find offensive. That type of behavior is one of the things I hated about Christianity while growing up: so many Christians turn on their own people and are constantly trying to point out why everyone else is not “Christian” enough.

    Many people have emailed WOTM to complain. Perhaps they’ll extend an olive branch and have X3 on their show to discuss this. That would be a nice gesture and a step in the right direction.

    – Donny –

  17. Donny,

    Thanks for your open and kind dialogue. Your responses are wise, cordial and thoughtful. I totally hear your heart. Again, I so thrilled that you gave been saved from porn, and that you are practicing wise discernment about when and where you should personally witness to people enslaved in porn. As a former addict, even though it was over 20 years ago, I have no desire to go to any party, etc. where people are doing drugs today. I talk to plenty of drug addicts without going to a party where everyone is getting high. I totally understand you being careful about this.

    I was surprised to learn that WOTM read part of my letter on the air yesterday, I hope that will not hinder our discussion- that was their choice.

    OK, I will attempt a kind response to your posts.

    First, you are not the first person to listen to Todd Friel on the radio and feel that he is offensive at times. Part of this is the sometimes edgy nature of WOTM, and part of it is due to the unfortunate realities of communicating via email, radio, etc. I have seen Todd Friel witnessing on live radio at the Minnesota State Fair, and to see his facial expressions and the concern in his eyes creates a whole new dynamic that is missing from the radio show.

    Second, you explained your position admirably with respect to this being a hard industry that requires a more mature audience approach. I hear you, and sorry, I cannot agree. The means or methods of ministry need to be just as honorable as the goals or results. Pete the Porn-Puppet; Wally the Weiner; the video, etc. seem to go well beyond the scope of Ephesians 5:3-4 and Philippians 4:8-9. I have a hard time seeing the apostle Paul going to Corinth with an inflatible penis, a porn puppet, advocating the missionary position, and challenging the people whether they have the balls to turn away from their immorality. Can you see Paul paying money to have a table in the one of the pagan temples where there was open immorality all around him, and then having the above stated helps to promote Jesus? Good grief, the Christians were discussing whether they should eat the meat from these places, let alone go there and pay to have a booth to witness. There must be better ways to reach people hardened by the porn industry. XXXChurch is obviously very creative and well intentioned, surely they can come up with an approach that is better and less compromising to reaching those enslaved by porn.

    Third, again I hear you about how unattractive a porn convention must be, about the team approach taken, about a husband and wife going together, about accountability and prayer, and about some simply not being going for whatever reason. I do not doubt any of this in the least- and I am sure that it is taken seriously. Like a fireman walking into a fire, I am sure precautions are taken to go attempt rescue operations. I figured you would like this analogy. I do get it. I just still cannot agree. And in the end, perhaps that is where will end up- cordially disagreeing.

    Participating in a porn convention reminds me of 1 Corinthians 10:14-31. You will no doubt read these verses and conclude that some have freedom to go. I read these verses and conclude that this is not constructive, and that it is participating in open sinful immorality. You and I both know how images imprint themselves on our minds, whether we like it or not.

    Strategically, this whole thing is unnecessary. Just as I do not need to go to a party with drugs to witness to addicts, I do not see why a person needs to go to a porn convention to witness to those addicted to porn. There are other ways that place those doing evangelism in far less danger of compromising.

    One more small thing. Sometimes those involved in evangelism get a bit prideful against other Christians, especially when anything they do is questioned. I have watched those invovled in obnoxious forms of street evangelism get very prideful about their work and about how nobody else gets it. Their methods are simply not open to critique and/or review by other Christians. Any would be critique is dismissed and labeled quite negatively. Yet, we need to permit the Body of Christ to speak into us doing ministry, and we need to listen with a heart to learn even if the rebuke seems unnecessarly harsh.

    This leads me to thank you again for listening- I greatly respect and appreciation you for reading and thinking about these things.


  18. The Way of the Master is part of the ministry of Ray Comfort – a New Zealand evangelist who used to have a church about three kilometres from where I’m writing this (8006). He is big on the theme of “preaching the gospel the right way”. I don’t know anything much else about TWOTM. I pretty much agree with the sentiments you express in your blog about how the church needs to address the problem of judgementalism. I just get sick of all the religious theological debates in the church, at least the church I attend keeps a simple focus on the truth of the gospel without complicating it or getting tied up in debates about different theologies.

  19. just finished reading the rest of the comments, the ones that do strike me are the people who question why some Christian ministries spend all their time attacking each other, it’s true. I’m leery even of churches that promote themselves as “the new thing” and implicitly better than other churches, they have the same problem. I don’t bother with the “discernment ministries” and others that go around criticising churches and ministries. In the most part we don’t really know how to interpret the Bible well enough to say that one theology is better than another and I wonder why people spend so much effort into developing and promoting different theologies when it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference whether people believe them or not.

  20. One more comment….having discussion is a good thing, BUT NOT IN PUBLIC. That is the biggest and most important thing, for example does your church air its dirty linen in public? They would soon tear themselves apart if they did. One thing I spent a lot of this year learning was nonjudgementalism and how it works in a group or organisational dynamic, you simply CANNOT earn the right to make adverse comment to people who do not trust you and are not willing to open their hearts to you. Why is it any different in the bigger church? If a church organisation has learned that they need to keep their disagreements inside their four walls, then why are some churches eager to leap outside there to criticise other churches and ministries? We are all supposed to be believing in the same thing and we should be keeping our disputes between each other instead of broadcasting them for the whole world to see.

    I think the reality of someone using a radio show to criticise another ministry is political, and they run the same risks as any politician, of polarising people, which is not good. Leave it to the professional politicians and just stick to preaching the gospel.

  21. I am a truck driver and listen often to “Way of the Master” show. Initially I was upset by Mr. Friel and his confrontational and satirist nature, but continued to listen because I found the topics discussed to be real and worth discussing.

    I actually found this blog by surfing and looking for “Way of the Master” info. Donny, I especially have enjoyed reading both your and Bruce’s comments.

    From my limited study I cannot always discern right and wrong for other Christians and (I think) Paul discusses that some things may be sin to some while not to others.

    Christianity is an organized religion, but it is more about a personal relationship with our Creator who became a man and suffered for my sin. Not only mine, but the entire population of the world past, present and future. The Bible is our guide to know and serve Him to the best of our abilities. It gives us truth and from it we can learn discernment. At this point in my personal growth I appreciate the fact that not all Christians agree on everything and not everybody just gets in line and follows.

    When it comes to motivation and God’s work I am sure as I can be about anothers heart that Mr. Friel is compasionate. Hecan be abrasive, but I hear his compassion and he is the first to admit he is a wretch and often claims to be the “biggest” sinner. He is thoughtfull and allows for people to confront him about his beliefs and methods. He publicly questions his own pride and methods and desires to show compassion while being confrontational.

    Bottom line to me is we all suffer from pride and sometimes we allow it to damage God’s work He is doing through us. Somewhere within me it is probably my pride that wants my meandering thoughts to be posted for others to read.

    I love God and am thankfull for our differences and yet if I were forced to choose between your two arguments at this time I think Bruce’s comments are closer to my convictions. Why? It may be because of my back ground and who I am, but it also has to do with the idea that through Christ we have freedom from the Law but it is in the Law we can find freedom. As Christians we want to allow Him to do His work through us. As we grow in Him our sins change or at least what we are aware of changes. We are never to be self-righteous yet always searching and growing in our faith and walk. Always judging (i.e. discerning) yet not being judgmental.

    I look forward to meeting you both (and Mr. Friel) someday in heaven.


  22. i also was drawn to Christ when he melted my heart in a movie theatre one afternoon. i saw passion of the Christ and i realized that there are alot of dimwitted Christ followers out there, because they did not represent the God i fell in love with that day. I felt loved for the first time, and to know he loved me even though i was in sin and so he died for me to erase my sin brought me to tears. thats the message we need to get out. The cross is the good news. Conversations on hell dont go over well unless its put into its correct context, which you cant do with someone on the street in a 2 min. conversation. The best book i have read about christianity to date is “Unchristian”. Awesome. it totally and completely captured how i thought of christians. Peace.

    One in Christ,

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