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.
CNN's Belief Blog – all the faith angles to the day's top stories
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?
I think there is a lot to be said for the information in this blog. I am a youth and young adult pastor (ages 12-40). I know the acceptable social aspects of s-ex in our society lead to difficulties with scripture. I think there's as much a problem with the way many Christians treat the scriptures out of context. Relevant magazine is trying to help spread light on this issue and how we relate s-ex into our current culture. I don't believe that God is dead or that the Christian scriptures don't have relevance to life today. By accepting scientific discoveries and by applying them to our faith, we are not trying to "keep our God alive," but coming to a better understanding of how our God created and currently operates in our universe. One of the cultural tragedies in my opinion lies in the demand of culture for Christianity to be open minded and then, when we are, being told we're hypocrites for not sticking to our guns. I want to be fair to the secular culture, but I would hope the secular culture would be fair in return.
There is no denying that scripture has many (if not more) instances of multi-wife relationships. However, what many (Christians and non) forget is the Bible is a "sacred history book." It's the story of people who were real and had the opportunities to succeed and fail in the "best plan" strategy of God. Adam and Eve were created to be helpmates for each other. Whether they are metaphorical or real (which I think they probably were) they are an example of what God considered best for humanity. It was humanity's choice to have multiple wives, not God's command or plan. However, the Bible will respond to humanity's error and still give guidance to how to best achieve a successful life and relationship with God. Even if humanity chose polygamy, even in the New Testament, one of the requirements for eldership (those most respected and put into leadership) was they have only one wife. It's still God's best plan, whether we accept it or not. And regardless of whether we do, God is still going to love and work to bring about right relationship between humanity and himself.
I think, whether you believe in God or not, the safety of a person's health and the safety of someone's relationship with their partner are good enough reasons to wait. God had a good plan. We chose a different one. God works with us to help us have relationship and redemption even though it's not the good plan. That's the story of the Bible. As for humanity... I think we're lazy (myself included). We want what we want, when we want it, whether it's the best thing for us or not. Aren't we capable of doing what’s best for us rather than just satisfying one hunger after the next... whether s-ex or something else? Can't we be more than chemistry and desire? I believe God created us to be great and to live in right and meaningful relationships with each other. If you were capable of obtaining the best option for anything in your life, why wouldn’t you choose it? I think that’s at the heart of God for humanity… I feel that God’s plan (in original form) is best. Even if you don’t believe in God, it’s still the best option, for safety physically and safety in relationships.
Statistically, as one poster said, it's "safer" to remain celibate. Is it easy... of course not! I think Relevant magazine makes a good point that our internal chemistry and our culture don't line up with each other. I don't think that's God's fault… we create our culture. Science has also shown chemical maturity is happening at younger ages than it did even in ancient times... which can't make it any easier. Still… why do we sell ourselves short of being able to wait? Why would we not want to wait? First and foremost in my mind, is the huge problem in our society with divorce and broken homes. We want to think it will be ok, but I work with children and young adults every day and the damage from this epidemic is so deep and widespread. I feel one factor in the problem is 80% of our young adults have had multiple partners, creating a comparison inside their relationship and weakening of the commitment to their partner. If it's the only s-ex you've ever had, it's the best s-ex you've ever had. If we were committed with our bodies to one person, our heart and efforts to maintain a relationship may have a better chance of commitment. I don't feel like "kicking the tires" is a good way to figure out your s-ex-ual compatibility with people and true relationships cannot be built on using each other in that way. However, our culture promotes the casualty of s-ex as the accepted norm. It’s a disconnected and empty gratification, rather than a mutual and empowering act of love between two people. It’s sad and disheartening to me that people would choose the emptiness rather than the fullness. It’s like if given the true and free choice between a tv-dinner and a gourmet meal, we choose the tv-dinner… because it’s cheap, quick and easy. Yes the other takes work or costs a lot, but we all know… it SO worth it… and we save and plan for meaningful opportunities to share it with other people. This is just a meal, why can’t we treat our lives like that?
Perhaps they just feel that bronze age "scripture" is not relevant to today
It's a well-established fact that waiting to copulate until your mid to late twenties can have adverse psychological effects on the person practicing abstinence. If people were still getting married at 14 like they were 2000 years ago, abstinence would be a great idea. As it stands in today's culture, it is damaging to the psyche of the person practicing it.
I do apologize for the length... I had no idea how long it was until I posted. I do understand that the Christian scripture seems old and out dated... but it's a story of a people that we learn from and do our best to follow the contextualized contexts of. If the scripture from the bronze age isn't useful, then we as well need to throw out philosophy from Plato and his contemporaries. I don't think the age of a writing determines it's usefulness, whether belief is connected or not, there is logical and useful life-guiding information in the scriptures. I would like to know where you source the psychological damage for people Blake. I am going to research myself, but you could make it easier on me. :-)
Yes, there are *some* words of wisdom for beneficial, productive human behavior in the Bible, as there are in many other scriptures and writings. There is, however, not one shred of evidence for the supernatural beings nor events in that book, nor in any of the others.
Friend, your post is written with much care not to offend.... But I want to tell you that you can't deal with human sinful nature, walking softly for fear of stepping on it's toes.... You can't teach it to be responsible, and chose what is good and noble over what is not.....It can not improve itself, it has to die in order to gain life..... God does not tell human race , chose what's best, because it's good for you, but He says, chose life, becaue if you don't, you WILL DIE. I read your post, and it is fine writing...... But God's word, it's Truth, , and the testimony of His Spirit are very DEFINING! See what I mean by that in my post on pg.19.
waited until i was 29 for all of the classic reasons. then, i made my own mind up. a lot of people will disagree with me, but thats my decision.
Waited until I was 24 for the same. then, made my mind up.
prism: obviously, the christian youth don't believe the bag of lies they have been sold
So amazingsteve, i take it you have never seen a blind man healed, or a deaf woman being able to hear again all through the name of jesus christ. Nor have you heard that demons flee at the sound of Jesus. or my favorite one, a man cured from AIDS (a disease that has found no cure) through the Lord Jesus Christ. Atheists and those who refuse the bible/jesus disregard it because you dont know whether or not it is true. I had the same doubts, but after seeing the works of God. What other God can do that? none. Jesus is the Way, whether you like it or not. If you want to live and doubt and believe there is no God or that Jesus isnt the way and risk the chance of missing out in heaven then that is your choice, but God gives no mercy or grace to those that deny him. I would hate to miss out on something great, because of the stubborness of myself. just sayin
Yes because the medical community has record of these amazing events. You do realize the amazing events like you see at a Benny Hinn presentation is staged. lol
Schizophrenia is a complex mental disorder that makes it difficult to:
• Tell the difference between real and unreal experiences
Schizophrenia symptoms usually develop slowly over months or years. Sometimes you may have many symptoms, and at other times you may only have a few.
As the illness continues, problems with thinking, emotions and behavior develop, including:
• Strongly held beliefs that are not based in reality (delusions)
• Hearing or seeing things that are not there (hallucinations)
I am more perplexed by CNN's articles about "the deed" that don't allow the word associated with "the deed" to appear in comments....than anything it says in the Bible.
Because christianity is a lie and the only reason some people are christians is so others dont persecute them.
Really? So others won't persecute them? Well then they made the wrong choice my friend. Just take a look at these boards. Christians are called stupid, mentally ill, hypocrites.. The list goes on and on. Seems like it'd be easier to be an atheist.
The reality doesn't match up to the ideal in most things. The point of christianity has always been to acknowledge this and move on. That being said, what really get's me is the parents of these 20 year old's can't give up their materialism and success worship because "its just so hard in our culture" but they can demand young people go against their God-given biological urges or feel like outcasts in their churches. You can't imagine it would be God's plan to have a society where there is 15 years between puberty and marriage.
Like all of life´s major events, Christianity has no answer to meet the situation. Christianity offers "do nots" & "no-no´s" but never a workable answer. Instead, Christians are given fairy tales and non-sense ideas that leave followers isolated and lost. Religion is not an answer to anything, except hatred. Better to lead life and worry less!
So you want to marry girls off at thirteen so they won't be tempted by young boys. Right. That's not weird or anything.
At one time it was not weird: during the time the New Testament was written. It was the cultural norm, actually, for girls to be betrothed (engaged) at 13, and married at 15. This is the challenge of trying to New Testament advice make sense in 2011. What was once the norm is now illegal. But we are expecting young people to be celibate until marriage at 25 years of age. No matter how much they try to obey this, most will fail, and maybe feel guilty because if it.
haha thank you. I mean, I don't want to be a big jerk....but american christianity is just so weird.
If you believe in the Christian God then you believe he created all of us in his image. He created us to procreate, he created us to have a biological drive to get the procreating started young to spread the species. I see this "religious" affectation with purity, monogamous relations and saving yourself as contrary to the being God created called man. God never said to any one "marry then bed and never bed another". The bible has so many references to pologamy, incest, adultry that when it turns around and suggests that a better life is Monogamous and virtuous it comes off as hypocritical and the direct opposit of our natural instincts (which were created by God unless you want to give instinct to the devil). This hypocracy is actually hurting our youth and dumbing down our society on an emotional and physical level IMO.
People won't take you seriously when you quote from a comic book.
Thank you...needed my morning chuckle. When I see people raise their bible and quote it as if it has authority...your quote comes to mind. lol
The problem is that this is completely against nature.
So is lying! Just ask a kid if he hit his brother. Since the fall we had to fight lots of things that are "natural". It makes us a better person to learn constraint.
Instead of "the fall", it was more like "The Rise"... as we primate mammals developed more complex brains and thinking abilities.
Sign #1: They have a pulse.
Guaranteed that the vast majority of the small minority that are actually waiting are at least, uh, enjoying their own company, if you know what I mean. Which is just as big a sin as premarital you-know-what (hypocritical CNN censorship), so what's the difference?
Chris B., the difference lies in the consequences, i.e., steal $5 from your mother's purse equals being grounded for the weekend–stealing $100,000 from a bank equals over a decade in prison. Yeah, they are both sins, but the consequences are drastically different.
And why is "knowing" yourself a sin? The only possible way that I can think of is because you are lusting. Even then, I can't find anywhere in the Bible that talks about unmarried people lusting.
@HmmmmInteresting Where in the Bible does it say not to j@ck off?
If I'm not mistaken teh commonly refferenced passage for banning the act of master-debating is where it commands that "a man shall not allow his seed to fall wasted onto the ground" or somesuch verbage. Someone who has it open or better on their mind can give you the passage, but the smart money says either leviticus or dueteronomy.
Chris, it's automatic keyword blocking – see CLBUTTIC.
- Genesis 38:9-10 “But Onan knew that the children wouldn't belong to him. So every time he made love to his
brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground. He did it so he wouldn't produce children for his brother.
What he did was evil in the Lord's eyes. So the Lord put him to death also.”
My church just discussed this topic this past week. I thought they did a really good job. Watch if you care..
I don't care.
Watched that video. Do you really think that that was dealing with it? More of the same old cr@p1
Uh....because it feels good?? Duh.
Word of the day: Hypochristians.
Bigot! HATE SPEEEEECH!!!!!!
Science and Evolution.....I think it's sad that when well over half of the country doesn't believe in macro evolution, that Huntsman and other public figures are so quick to jump on the evolution bandwagon. I've done a significant amount of research on the subject, and while there is no real question that micro evolution exists (i.e. small changes/adaptations in a species over time), there is no real evidence to support macro evolution (i.e. a species morphing into a completely different species over time). Case in point, if macro evolution exists, then where are all of the missing link/transitional forms? They don't exist!!!!!!...and the most prominent evolutionists admit this. I would be willing to debate any scientist on this subject. They may hold to thier belief that they sprang up from an ape....but I for one believe strongly in a divine creation.
The church may be full of hypocrites. But there's always room for one more.
@Ron Have you ever seen a penguin? Have you ever seen a sea lion? They sure look like in-between species to me. Sea lions don't have feet or hands/paws yet they don't have fins either and they get along fine in the water and out. Have you ever heard of the lungfish? It is a fish that has both lungs and gills. While I do believe in macro evolution, I still believe God started it all. It doesn't have to be one or the other.
One thing non-Christians never seem to get is, people trying to living a Christian way of life like Jesus taught are just as susceptible to sin as any other human. Nobody is perfect and everyone will fall short.
You said; "Science and Evolution.....I think it's sad that when well over half of the country doesn't believe in macro evolution, that Huntsman and other public figures are so quick to jump on the evolution bandwagon. I've done a significant amount of research on the subject, and while there is no real question that micro evolution exists (i.e. small changes/adaptations in a species over time), there is no real evidence to support macro evolution (i.e. a species morphing into a completely different species over time). Case in point, if macro evolution exists, then where are all of the missing link/transitional forms? They don't exist!!!!!!...and the most prominent evolutionists admit this. "
Biologists,paleontologists, anthropologist among others have also done a significant amount of research on the subject. Gee, I wonder who is right? LOL
Macroevolution = Lots of Microevolution + Lots of time.
Here is a list (not complete) of transitional fossils:
Keep in mind, that if a god created each organism once, in its present form, there should be NO transitional fossils. Why would there be? Did an all perfect god need to keep creating organisms until He got it right?
You statement about most prominent evolutionists admitting there are no transitional fossils is bogus.
Your god is very unlikely to exist.
@Joxer the Mighty
You said: " While I do believe in macro evolution, I still believe God started it all. It doesn't have to be one or the other."
Many believers are now embracing an old earth and evolution. This is because there is so much evidence that the earth is billions of years old, and that all the organisms on the planet, are the result of evolution.
Some even say the bible has been misinterpreted in the past. This is necessary, so their new beliefs will not be contrary to what's written in the "good book"
This is a last ditch effort to save their god. LOL
I have way more respect for believers who stick to their guns and claim a young earth and deny evolution. They are wrong. They are idiots. But, at least they are consistent.
YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!!!=====================> (from p. 23)
Read carefully, as this may save your life or that of someone else.
: The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill ( 8.7% failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute.
Added information before making your next move:
from the CDC-2006
"Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."
"Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-
Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.
"Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'"
Which is exactly why we should have comprehensive s-e-x education in our schools. To anyone with an honest view of human nature, the whole abstinance approach was an obvious failure from the beginning. Now even those that want to fool themselves and others have to acknowledge that it is useless if even fervent young Christians can't manage it much better than the rest of the population.
From the Guttmacher Insti-tute:
FIRST-YEAR CON-TRACEPTIVE FAILURE RATES
Percentage of women experiencing an unplanned pregnancy
Pill (combined) 8.7
Tubal sterilization 0.7
Male condom 17.4
Periodic abstinence 25.3
Ovulation Method 3.0
No method 85.0"
The failure of the Pill as noted above results in one million unplanned pregnancies every year because women basically fail to take it once a day as prescribed on the box in big letters. Added se-x ed in schools would be great but the larger issue is stupidity and/or basic literacy.
The failure of the male condom results in another one million unplanned pregnancies every year basically because many men, as per Guttmacher, fail to use them even though they have them in their pockets or billfolds. The issue then is stupidity and/or being in a drunk/drugged state before and during inte-rcourse.
Yet, in the bible, in the old times men were allowed and encouraged to have multiple wives. Today, this is frowned upon by the "Christian Way" and is in fact illegal in the U.S. My point is, what is written is NOT the defacto point of the WORD. The WORD is to preach faith and believe that there is only one true GOD. Did I have s-e-x before marriage? Absolutely! Am I going to he-ll for it? No. Genesis 1:28 "Be fruitful and multiply." Did he say "Now, tell your children, no s-e-x before they get married." ... I didn't think so.
Are you kidding me? Have you even read the Bible? You obviously have a great skill in selective reading, because that is one of the main messages of the entire Book. To have missed that would either mean you are a moron or you are looking for a reason not to believe it. Obviously your reply is misinformed, don't post things intended to belittle others when you have zero facts straight, idiot. AND NO WHERE DOES IT SAY HAVE MORE THAN ONE WIFE. You are seriously the dumbest person I think I have ever seen. One of the TEN COMMANDMENTS is do NOT practice adultery. Care to explain that in terms of your post, genius?
Jesus message can be summed up in two points: Love God and Love people. Everything else is just cause for argument. In our culture it is acceptable to have s3x before you are married, end of story. At the same time, waiting to have s3x is the less risky choice and therefore in my opinion the better one. Weather you do it or not is up to you, your partner, and, if you believe in him, God.
None of what either of you are saying is in accordance with anything in the Bible whatsoever. If you are going to make an argument about Christianity, you can't leave out the handbook guiding the entire religion. Also, you cannot sum up thousands of pages and messages in 4 words, it's preposterous to even suggest that. Just because it's acceptable in culture means nothing! If you actually read the book, you would know the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, which 100% ruins your arguments. Please stop posting such stupid, ignorant things.
Four words is overkill. One word is plenty: tripe.
Poor, worthless, and offensive? Really? Unbelievable.
Have you read the Bible? What EXACTLY does it say is the "sin of Sodom and her daughters"?
Christians are worried about their dwindling numbers, the last resort is to have their brainwashed children start breeding.
Or in the South they just keep it in the family
In point of fact I have read a good portion of the bible, very recently (working my way through it front to back now). Got to say, not an easy read. BUT, to answer your contention, I can't think of anyone from Genesis other than Adam who only had one wife. Most of the figures had several, and some of them even produced children with their wive's handmaidens. I also believe Leviticus discusses how to treat multiple wives. SO, in short, yest it does. If you would like to contend that the NT bans polygamy, fair enough I don't know it well enough to discuss; but more than half of the bible allows it.
Adam, read through the scripture a little closer. It will show you to refrain from using your tongue (keyboard) to hurl insults at people. They might not know the Bible as well as others, but to call them ignorant idiota and stupid is classless.
@Adam: the story about Sodom and Gomorrah 100% ruins itself if you read the whole story, what god’s chosen holy man (Lot) and his 2 daughters get up to after god destroys the cities for being naughty. Talk about hypocrisy!
Yes the biggest practiced religion in the world is in need of repopulating their numbers
Because of population increases etc. the Muslim religion is the fastest growing religion. Christianity appears to be shrinking.
Dwindling because people are drinking, smoking, murdering, and just about every wrong thing they shouldn't be doing. There would be more Christians, more happiness if people weren't so messed up nowadays.
Why didn't CNN post my rant on abstinence?
Given the rant topic you probably inadvertantly used the word s-e-x. Good way to get around it, any time you're spelling a word that MIGHT be controversial, skip a vowel.
probably because you actually spelled out s3x or something like it. You can't actually spell the word out, you have to fudge it.
Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
p-orn… as in p-ornography
pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.
Does the truth hurt?
Your as an intolerant idiot as those you choose to bash.
Wait, John Lennon was Jesus?
Satan, Jesus, God, Al Gore....it all fails the test of logic in the video.
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.