By John Blake, CNN
(CNN) –True love doesn’t wait after all.
That’s the implication in the upcoming October issue of an evangelical magazine that claims that young, unmarried Christians are having premarital sex almost as much as their non-Christian peers.
The article in Relevant magazine, entitled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It,” cited several studies examining the sexual activity of single Christians. One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.
While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex - slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization.
The article highlights what challenges abstinence movements face. Movements such as “True Love Waits,” encourage teens to wear purity rings, sign virginity pledges and pledge chastity during public ceremonies.
Yet many of these Christian youths eventually abandon their purity pledges, Relevant’s Tyler Charles concludes in the article. Tyler talked to people like “Maria,” an evangelical woman who said she wanted to wait until marriage to have sex.
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But she said she started having sex with her college boyfriend when she turned 20 because nearly everyone, even most of her Christian friends, were having sex.
It seemed everyone in my life, older and younger, had “done it.” In fact, I waited longer than most people I knew and longer than both of my sisters, even though we were all Christians and came from a good home.
Relevant theorizes about why it’s so hard for so many young Christians to wait, including the saturation of sex in popular culture, the prevalence of pornography and a popular “do what feels good philosophy.”
Yet the article also asks a question that rarely comes up in discussions about abstinence movement. Relevant notes that in biblical times, people married earlier. The average age for marriage has been increasing in the U.S for the last 40 years.
Today, it’s not unusual to meet a Christian who is single at 30 - or 40 or 50, for that matter. So what do you tell them? Keep waiting?
Scot McKnight, author of “The Jesus Creed,” and "One.Faith: Jesus Calls, We Follow," acknowledges that young, single Christians face temptations that their counterparts in the biblical age didn’t face.
He tells Relevant:
Sociologically speaking, the one big difference – and it’s monstrous – between the biblical teaching and our culture is the arranged marriages of very young people. If you get married when you’re 13, you don’t have 15 years of temptation.
So what should a Christian parent or youth pastor do? How do they convince more young Christians to wait until marriage, or should they stop even trying?
What would be terrible would be to spend three or four years “waiting” in order to appease the Bronze Age Christian sky-god, only to elevate oneself out of the silly supersti.tions of Christianity in your late 20s and look back at all the fun you missed out on in your early 20s due to the silly nonsense of this outdated faith.
To any thinking Christian kid out there, I have some news for you. You will quite possibly rise above the Christian supersti.tion as you get older and are more able to think for yourself and the influence of your family wanes. There is no cosmic voy.eur in the sky stalking you and your lover, waiting to record a black mark on your heavenly “rap sheet” should you have $ex. Do what you want. Life is short. Just make sure you take the adequate protections to avoid an unwanted pregnancy.
To any Christian kid who lacks the mental faculties to rise above the supersti.ition (s)he was indoctrinated with as a small child, probably best you don’t breed.
Christians could try the ole castrate themselves method as mythological Jesus advocated. Reminds me of that Heavens Gate cult.
Colin, stop preaching...your sermons are atrocious.
encourage them to marry when their young.
..Its a personal choice "." And all choices have consequences.
It seems soon enough in the future it will become as less than 16 years that youth would want to marry...!
I suggest that anyone reading this article go to http://www.christopherwest.com and read about theology of the body. You will know why what is going on is so tragic. The way God created us is so beautiful. Even sacred and we have made it trash.
"theology of the body" LOL! What a nut
Was it beautiful when he created us with a nearly worthless, unnecessary organ that can occasionally kill us? Or was he distracted during that part?
HellBent, why are you asking me? I am sure your version of Godless evolution has the answer. By the way I am not against evolution as a theory.
ignorance is bliss isn't it. You won't even go there will you.
Gerarld, I'm there right now. There is nothing remotely factual or based in reality on that site. Feel free to inform me of what I'm missing. Why dont YOU show some desire to learn and research opposing viewpoints? oh, because you are dogmatic, that's why.
Seriously, Gerald. everything on that site begins with "well I'm a christian, soooooo" "Pope john paul said, sooooooo"
Is that your idea of a well researched and thought out argument? No wonder you are a christian, meh.
I've been to far more sites that disagree with me than agree in my life. Glad your there. Why don't you open your mind a bit. Why don't you take your blinders off and look at the damage done by this s – e – x for all free for all society? You wouldn't even admit if the site had some valid points.
Your right who cares who said it. The point is what is said. Why don't you try engaging your mind? That may be hard for you I suppose.
Gerald, first off, dont call me 'benny'. Your sarcastic tone is not appreciated. secondly, if you expect me to believe something, without ANY facts to support it, well, then you're probably a christian. Some of us, Gerald, actually like facts and independent research. "the pope says it's true" is not evidence, sorry sir, but you're either not very bright, or very poorly educated.
"open your mind! Believe what I do, because I said it to be true, without ever thinking about it!" –Gerald.
gerald, this is my point on religion. Nobody or nothing should impose whatever values to anyone for whatever reasons. If two people love each other dearly, NOTHING should claim what they should do or shouldn't do. What they do is completely their OWN business. Love whether it lasts forever or not is a very beautiful memorable experience and every moment should be treasured. Jesus needs to stay out of the bedroom and stop wagging his finger. Happiness is life's greatest gift, and nobody should surrender it for the sake of something as hypocritical as religion.
Yes, you atheists have to assert your superiority over the mindless Christian. I acknowledge that. God bless you man.
I actually said the opposite. But out of bigotry toward Christians you can't allow that and so you must twist what I said to prove your superiority. I think you are probably feeling inferior in reality. You seem to be saying if a Christian says it ignore it. There is alot of science you should be ignoring as well. Christians have come up with far more truth in nature than atheists.
Gerald, you appear to be a very rude thoughtless person. I believe I already asked you to call me by my name, not a mockery of it. Yet you refuse. This seems to be a trend with you. You dont care at all about other people, you dont even respect other's opinions. It seems that your religion has made you an ignorant, uncaring person. No shock here.
And noboby should have imposed anything on hitler and stalin. Whatever made them happy was fine one might argue if we go to the extreme of what you are saying. Is love what someone does to another? Seems the case. Is it more loving to get your jolliesnow or wait until the time is right. Love always has the concern for the other above self. The opposite of love is actually not hate, but to use.
Gerald, you also jump to absurd conclusions. are you sure I am an atheist? you might want to ask next time, before jumping to the kind of thoughtless conclusions you seem so keen on. You are right about one thing, I am intellectually superior to you. That is for all to see.
"I am, and always have been, a catholic" - Adolph Hitler, Mein kampf
You start off with "what a nut" and then tell me how rude I am. How intellectually superior you are? Your funny. God bless ya man.
"HellBent, why are you asking me?"
I'm asking you why god bothered to give us an appendix because you claim the way that god created us was beautiful. How do you reconcile that in your head? We're highly inefficient, fragile beings – if there was some designer guiding the process, he(she/it) was clearly intoxicated.
I also love how you seemingly insult "godless evolution" (is that like godless gravity?) and then say you are not against evolution "as a theory". Care to explain what you actual position is?
godless is the key word.
Gerald, that is because I went to the site, and noticed that there is no information of any value on there. It is a website based on SALES. By the way, Gerald, it's all VERY expensive. So here you are, directing traffic to a website that charges people for information with no backing. Yes, that makes you a nut. Also, Stop with the whole "I'll pray for you" nonsense. We both know you are attempting (poorly) to be insulting. We also both know you will not actually pray for me. "dear god, please enlighten 'ben' from the internet enough to buy a bunch of audiotapes from the website I posted"
You belittle yourself, and god.
Gerald: Also, just to inform you, there is a difference between the words "you're" and "your". If you expect people to take you seriously, you might want to learn how to write above a 3rd grade level.
Ben don't bother going to their sites. It's always the same rehash concept of "won't you kindly pay attention to what I have to say?" "You'll learn something" – it's the thinnest of veneer in tactics to convince someone that they are nice so then can educate you in why you should believe and accept religion.
It's much like this "why won't you listen and just hear me out? why not? Are you afraid that I might be right? I could be helping you in find real salvation you know?" Won't you kindly look at it? – This is a guise to attack your emotions.
It's bullcrap! Just slug em in the face and be done with them.
In essence – what I failed to type prior was – shove off. All of this routine is just fancy preachings. You nuts should all be hanged.
Jesus claims that good Christian people shouldn't do it to make ugly people who cant get any feel good about themselves.
I know because I’m one of them. *cries*
You're handsome to me, James.
I have never met anyone who waited until they got married to have s-x that regretted it.
that's because you dont know anyone that actually waited. You know people that *claim* that they did. remember Britney Spears? LOL
Incidentally, I've never met anyone who DIDN'T wait that regretted it. That includes me, but then I don't have any ridiculous surrogate for morality being shoved down my throat.
Dusty's right.... I've known a number of close friends who waited for marriage and not a SINGLE one regretted it. I'm 29, Christian and STILL waiting..... and STILL not regretting a thing.
I predict LT will die cold and alone. Seriously, you're going to lose your looks and no one is going to want you. All because you believe a book written by primative humans who didn't know that birth control would one day be invented. Also, again, you know people who CLAIMED to have waited. I once dated a girl who told me she would wait, didn't stop me from doing the deed. I bet she told everyone she was still a virgin too.
That's most likely because they have no idea of all of the wonderful experiences they're missing out on.
New world > old values
It goes to show how hypocritical and pointless these morality systems are. What is the point of rules if 80% of the people cannot obey them. Wait, I know, it is to enslave a population, since 80% are always 100% guilty, they can be extorted.
@ lee, God can just take the 20% and leave the rest...get it????? :)
My daughter and I were reading the bible, before bedtime, when we came across this:
Jesus had healed a woman on the Sabbath:
Luke 13 31:33 KJV
31The same day there came certain of the Pharisees, saying unto him, Get thee out, and depart hence: for Herod will kill thee.
32And he said unto them, Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected.
33Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem.
Jesus said, because He is a prophet, He could not be killed outside of Jerusalem. Seems clear on this...
Yet, Jesus WAS killed outside Jerusalem.
Calvary or Golgotha was the site, OUTSIDE of ancient Jerusalem’s early first century walls, at which the crucifixion of Jesus is said to have occurred.
My daughter is questioning the whole Jesus was the Messiah and Son of God Shtick. I am appalled. Whatever will I do?
I'm sure there is a spin to this. Please share.
I was totally dumbfounded.
Jeruslaem was a term that applied to the city AND the entire region surrounding the city during that time!
Also, note that He was indeed sentenced to be crucified in Jerulsalem, even though the cruicifixon was completed outside the gates of Jerusalem.... this was to fulfill the previous set temple process of sin offerings.
"Without the shedding of blood, there is NO forgiveness!"
Sounds like your daughter might have a level head on her shoulders even with your brainwashing. Sounds like you're going to have some fun trying to explain contradictions and hypocrisy to your daughter.
I wish her luck...you, not so much.
The bible is a history book – written by MAN ! The stories were written to teach the masses who were illiterate. Yes there are good lessons in the bible – but it's not God's word!
er...no. The bible HAS some history in it, but it is NOT a history book. There is no historical evidence, for instance, that the entire egyptian army was swallowed up by the red sea.
I'm with ben on this one... historical references does not make for history. Something written in the past may make it a part of history, but only if it's verifiable should we trust it as an historical reference.
Our modern day history books actually contain facts. Dates and specifics. That is why they are not heavily questioned. Mistakes in our history books are scrutinized for their accuracy (most of them).
They just can't take he risk of going blind
CNN keeps deleting my posts. Very unholy of them.
Gee, now that we don't get married at age 16, people aren't waiting! Imagine that.
Eh, they probably weren't waiting back then, either. There were just a few more "immaculate conceptions" in those days.
If people learn to love themselves and learn how to recognize true love, then they will not be in arbitrary relationships that waste their time or lead them into promiscuous behaviors. Morality will be irrelevant because you will only accept and be with the person who truly loves you. When someone truly loves you, they will marry you. Listen to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R33vMQBvWjk
the fact that god forbids it is what makes it so much more tempting and satisfying. thank you jesus. :)
I bet many Catholic priests are thanking Jesus for turning them into pedophiles.
Hell, you are gettin" me all hot and sweaty, JamesRaynor!!!! Forgive me, Lord, I'm givin' in to temptation.
You won't be thanking him on that day.
How many abortions have you caused? Women have you used? Children have you left in single parent homes? Or will you? You are the type that spreads aids and stds all over the earth. Are you proud of these things. God will not be mocked! Eternity is a long time to pay for these things. Repent.
Is that funny?
@gerald, you better start worshiping Allah instead if you're so afraid of going to hell. If you had read the Quran, you'd know the Islamic hell is a much worse place than the Biblical hell.
For gullible people like you, Islam might be a better religion. LOL!
Your a funny guy. That's gonna be a long bad dream no matter who is right for you.
I've caused no abortions, used nobody, or left any children in single parent homes. I will repent as soon as I feel the holy spirit pop out of my a sshole.
@gerald: actually, friend, your god WILL be mocked. It's going on all the time on these forums, maybe you forgot? Here look, I'm doing it right now!
Your god is silly and nonexistent, and he makes people feel guilty about things they don't need to. If he did exist, the way you guys portray him, he sounds like a jerk.
@gerald, lol, How do you know there isn't a god who would punish gullible believers of religions but reward people who think for themselves. If that's the case, you're doomed and I'd be fine. LOL!!!
Gerald, Thanks for standing for God's law. All we can do is pray for these folks and hope the learn the truth before the truth finds them. TEXAN, I ask that you change you blog name as you are not an appropriate ambassador to that great state. God is good and Jesus is Lord! Open a Bible and read it before you open your mouths and say it.......
@Joe Clark – Yes I recommend reading the Bible too. Don't just read whatever appeals to you, but read the whole thing.
Sooner or later you would come across verses like 2 Kings 2:23-24.
You're welcome to join the discussion on the last page to explain why your god is so immoral.
guppy, so sorry you have a problem with the author of life judging life. It's his game not yours.
God is immoral? Not the one true God. Thanks for the invite, anyways. You'd rather sit around a disprove God by lumping them all together, without reading into any of them. Go on and fill me in on this immorality. I cna garantee you it doesn't involve the God, the Father of Jesus. You keep lying to yourself and everyone else......
@gerald – So your life is a game of an imaginary being?
Oh man I can't help but feel sorry for you!
@Joe Clark – Of course your god can never be immoral according to you. I know how the Christian mind works because I used to be one. Yes, God's prophet cursing 42 kids and they immediately died, but that's a COINCIDENCE to you. LOL!!!
Trust some Christian who never could get any himself to tell young people they shouldn't do it. Of course they should, and a lot.
Mastrabation just doesn't cut it, does it??
Why deny yourself a fundamental human urge?
Take proper measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
God in His Word doesn't say, "do what everyone else is doing but in moderation," but rather, "follow what I am telling you will result in true happiness for your life today and forever and I will help, if you ask." Doing the right thing is often hard, but fighting the control of the enemy of God is that way until you choose. Did anybody mention that affairs are common later in marriage and that is where no one tells you you may be heading... or much much worse. However if you ask a 20-something, they haven't lived long enough to know that.
Man continues to think they can violate God's law without consequence. Look at all the unwed mothers, children without a father in the home,divorce, abortions, etc. etc. and you can see that America is hurting because of their inability to committ to one another in a married relationship. Premarital s-x has also been linked to higher divorce rates. Kids from divorced families do worse in school and are much more likely to be involved in crime and drugs. fact.
Kindly remove your head from your a**,
There is no god.
That part about divorce and school and drugs, gerald? Don't tell that to my sister the doctor. My parents divorced when I was 10. My sisters and I are the first women in our family to have college degrees, and not one of us has a drug problem. There are a lot more drug problems and a lot less education among the progeny of the aunts and uncles who stayed married. Individual success and failure hinge upon many elements, not just marital status.
So this is why girls from conservative Evangelical families have higher than average teen pregnancy rates. The religious girls say they are one thing and are really something else, so God has them knocked up. At least the naughty liberal girls are honest and so God keeps their tums flat.
Gerald, you sound like you could use a little "s-x" yourself. It works wonders to relieve all the stress of feeling superior to everyone and sitting in judgment of others until that cold, cold heart of yours shrivels up and turns to stone. Get thee to someone who is willing to have s-x with you.
Texas, gerald can't even get it up anymore. That's why he resents it when others do.
You should have stuck to critiquing my spelling. At least your post on that issue held some truth about me.
tallulah13 – One anecdote does not a case make. The FACT is that the research supports what I have said. Yes there are cases where it is not the case. My sister is one who had 8 kids and did a heroic job of parenting by herself when her husband had a pipe fall on his head wiping out his memory and giving him serious migraines. All of her kids have turned out very well thought it is clear that the divorce had effects on them as well. But I don't go by anecdotes. I do however see far more troubled youth in broken familes than I see cases like my sister and your family. Again the research strongly shows that children from divorced families in general do not fare nearly as well. If that offends you I am sorry.
Texan, I am married and have 5 kids. What do you know. Not much.
Seriously, Gerald. Get a hold of yourself – literally. It's fun and it might just relieve some of that hostility you have toward your fellow humans. If God didn't want us to have s-x he would not have made s-x feel so dang good. Try it. You'll be loads more fun to be around, you'll smile more, and you might just stop being such a judgmental pr-ck.
I don't have any hostility toward you or anyone else on this board. You are clearly mistaken about me again. What are you suggesting? I cheat on my wife?
amen, brother. Don't let all these god-less heathens get you down with all their slams and insults. They will get their "reward" at the end of this life and they won't like it. Broken families are the biggest problem facing our society and it is because too many people can't control themselves and their urges.
Actually, broken families tend to be because people get married when they shouldn't (due largely to religious reasons), or don't use proper birth control (once again, due largely to religious reasons). I'm having trouble figuring out how you could blame this one on the nonbelievers.
OMG – get an education
I didn't blame it on non-believers did I? I actually agree with your causes of divorce in part though there is not one cause. Now tell me, how does the causes of divorce negate the effects on children which is my main point that seems to be going right over your head?
Nope, Gerald. I said "get a hold of YOURSELF". I never suggested 'cheating" on your wife. Sheesh. Odd that your mind went right to that, though. Frankly, if God and all his "perfect" people don't want me because I had s-x and I'd have to hang out in heaven with s-xually-repressed, judgmental Christians, then give me h-ll because I'd rather hang out with the sinners. I get my 'rapture' every time I have s-x. Or are you saying that at the 'end of days' there's s-x in heaven for eternity?
Texan, seems you are doing far more judging of me than I have done of you. You have your nose turned up far more at me than I do you. I agree s – e – x is good. Even great, even sacred! You don't know me in the slightest.
Apparently a bible rammed up the @$$ fixes everything.
Dang it, posted this in the wrong place the first time
@gerald: see buddy, I was talking to saychoss in that last post, and he/she/it seemed to imply that us heathens were the cause of some of this. Perhaps I misread. As for the children, my point is that in a world minus religion, there would be fewer broken families (from, for example, divorce) Broken families = bad for children, yes? So, for this and many other reasons, religion = bad for the children.
Anon, thank you for your great and intelligent addition to this conversation. I do hope they give you your diploma by your third try at graduating.
Christians could try out the method of castrating themselves as a ticket guaranteeing to their magical and paradoxical paradise.. Even mythological Jesus advocated eunuch-ism.
Failure to provide the stated FACTS by way of stating sources and on which set of facts you have based your answer on is a fallacy of proof.
Until then you have not the facts but rather opinions that you are supposing as facts. Make a note of that Gerald.
i'm waiting... but its not by choice. :(
Put down the Starcraft. Chicks just don't dig Realtime strategy.
- From the article: "Today, it’s not unusual to meet a Christian who is single at 30 – or 40 or 50, for that matter. So what do you tell them? Keep waiting?"
For love? Yes. You can actively look for it, and better yourself, but ultimately it's a gift.
For $ex? That's up to the person. You can just take one's body for self gratification.
– From the article: "How do they convince more young Christians to wait until marriage, or should they stop even trying?"
We should teach kids about commitment and responsibility. They will then decide what to do on their own.
I dated an extremely hot girl from when I was 16 until 20. We were both Mormons, but I really wanted to have $ex because I felt that my love was sincere. But, today, I'm glad that she stayed strong. I respect her very much. We are still friends. She's a psychologist and I'm in medical school. We would have destroyed our lives if she had got pregnant at that age, and we would certainly be divorced by now. Our differences became more evident as the years passed.
The solution to that is contraception
The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.