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?
These so called christians need to go back and read the Bible. All fornicators will be cast into the lake of fire. Times may change but God doesnt. His word stands forever.
God doesn't change – except for when Old Testament rules were rendered moot by The New, right?
God doesn't change and you display your lack of understanding of scripture and the Christian faith by stating such a rhetorical question. God does not change. He offers a new and better covenant. That does not change his nature. However, everything (other than God) changes because of Christ.
So you really don't see any qualitative differences between the OT vengeful, officous, smitey, genocidal God and the loving, forgiving God of the NT?
Doc see response above
Basically what you're saying is that God doesn't change the rules, except for when He does.
Oh brother. Nice try Doc. God does not change. His nature does not change. Who he is does not change. That was the original argument. But if you want to change the playing field then fine. Yes God can change the rules (to use your word). But that doesn't change who God is. Yes he does offer a new and better covenant. He can do that and thank Him, he did.
God's nature does change – this is evidenced by his vastly differing behaviours and demands between books like the OT, NT, Book of Mormon and Koran. I know of no way of determining a being's nature save for an examination of their actions.
Who God is does indeed change, as he went from a incorporeal being who spoke directly to humans (though sometimes via intermediaries such as incendiary foliage) into being a human Himself to communicate the new rules of the game.
The Triune God was not dogma until some 300 years after Christ's death, so I'd say that qualifies as a significant change in who He is.
linda: my girlfriend is going to be coming home from out of town tomorrow. we are going to fornicate repeatedly. if your god does not like it, too bad. bronze age comic book heroes do not concern me
The god of Mormonism and Koran is not the Christian God as established by the Church and discontnuity with scripture. Secondly, once again God's behavior does not change but the covenant does. He renews Israel in the Church and goes directly to the Gentiles as the Jews were supposed to do. Once again God is still vengeful and smitey as you said evidenced by Jesus' parables and Revelation and judgment. The Law is still alive for those who reject Christ and they are still under it. God's nature has not changed. The Council of Nicea did not establish the Trinity as dogma but recognized its apostolicity within the catholic Church. That is, it far proceeded Nicea. See NPNF Series 2, Vol. 14.
Your mockery of God will soon come to an end when you bow down to him as he sits before you in all his glory. Then we will see who is the comic book hero.
JerermyJK: I cannot fear retaliation from a being in which I do not believe. So, your empty proxy threats are laughable.
The funny thing is Rick that Truth judges regardless if you believe in it or not. God will not dismiss you because you say to him, oops I just didn't believe in you. Your lack of belief does not make Truth any less valid or, well True. Truth doesn't feel threatened by your arrogance. Despite how foolish you think God is...you will still be judged by Him and will see who the fool is.
Jerermy: Spend a lot of time on your knees, do you? Too bad, free people do not need salvation. But, slaves sure do
Jeremy: I do not feel god is foolish. I feel god is non-existent. So, bloviate all you wish, I am unmoved. Also, truth is truth whether or not you believe in it either.
When logic does not work, make (empty) proxy threats. I suppose they will convince some.
You are purporting to know the mind of god, and I am the arrogant one?
"...you will...see who the fool is."
You have already identified yourself
I am not threatening, I am warning you of the truth. Secondly, Christianity is logical, even though elements of it require faith. But it is informed faith girded by logic. Lastly, if what i am saying is so empty and illogical, I wonder why you guys always engage in conversation with us crazy people. I think its because you know deep down what the truth is and you are trying to convince yourselves otherwise. You keep coming back. If it is so illogical...walk away and just let it go, let it go.
I don't know the full mind of God because he is incomprehensible beyond what he has revealed about himself, namely through scripture. Yet I do know what his mind is any many things because of what he has revealed of it.
Right, not "threatening", just "warning". I see the differenc clearly. I cannot speak for others, but I engage with you crazy people is that it reinforces my perception that you folks are idiots. Perhaps scripture is man's writing, not god's
God gave us free will to worship him or not. You may mock and beleive hell is some far off fairyland, but its only one breath away.
"You may mock and beleive hell is some far off fairyland, but its only one breath away."
In your opinion.
I am religious, but I am a free man, using my brain. I sometimes listen to priests, but personally find their critical thinking ability sub-optimal. most of the times, I also just don't agree to what they say. I believe in personal responsibilty. using condoms is just fine.
I like the T-shirt print: "we are waiting". Haha, good laugh, it should read "she is waiting".
honestly, what should a healthy young man wait for? and why? or a woman? only a good religious brainwash will accomplish that. And for no reason? how prudish do you have to be? people in our age have an education, manners and access to condoms. so what is bad about doing it? it's only human.
Does this rally include priests and the little boys?
The wages of sin is death. I fear for Christians who are so compromised. Satan is looking to kill, steal and destroy.
The wages of sin is death, but after taxes are taken out, you're just left with a sort of tired feeling
And that goes for the rest of you "educated" athiests...when you get what is posted translated, then come back to me and talk as I will know you that you are simply not speaking of your rear end.
Religion, to me, is just foolish. It's a huge waste of time and money. Believe if you want, but if I ever decide to "join" anything I'd definitely go with the religion that promises 72 virgins. I mean that's just sounds like my kind of F.N. Party!
"you are simply not speaking of your rear end."
Who was talking about their butt?
@That's what's up:
If religion is such a big waste of time, why exactly are you here? And commenting to boot?
The question is not how long we face temptation. That's irrelevant. If Christ has died for your sins, your desire will be to serve Him, not to be selfish and fornicate. If you can claim to love Jesus, and yet continue in sin, then you are not a Christian. "Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are children of God, and who are children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother." -1 John 3:4-10
The Bible is very clear that if you are saved, you will not be at peace with sinning.
Free people are not concerned with being "saved"
"Little children, let no one deceive you"
Including those preaching on CNN Forums
If Christ 'died' and was then 'brought back to life' did he really die? Also, did it even matter if he knew that he would be coming back again? where was the sacrifice? Sounds like he got to butter his bread and eat it too.
"If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us."
Also from 1 John.
Faith is not something you earn or something you work to keep.
Let us be reminded that in God's eyes every sin is created equal.
the bible: the gospels were started to be written atleast 50 years after christ by people who never met the man then refined over the next 2000 years by man who left out many controversial books that didnt sit well with the vatican. the book of a religion that was word of mouth for the 1st 300 odd years. yea it must be true ae got to follow it word for word ae ...... give me a break its the biggest selling fiction book ever
Come one come all, see the fantasticly real god! feel its touch, warmth, the burn, feel the god that you have been without for so very long! come with me and you will see a true sight to behold more then anyother and the best part is, no special offerings are needed, no place of whorship, just an open hand of life and death. This is the one true god as we know any form of gods on earth. This is the one and only creation that can bring life and death by simple existence. It knows more about the history of our planet then our planet itself. It is what scorned the jews in the dessert not an invisible creation of man! This is what people see when they claim to have seen the light! Only two special days a year, and we get a bonus show of dissappearance and reappearance every so often. My God has shown me the path that lay before me, and said not to me to follow one or the other but instead left it upon me to make my own choice of which way to go. The most important thing about my God is that is has children, but they are not to be whorshipped as they are rivals in the cosmos for the love of my God. The closer you are to my God is not always the safest however, as is being the furthest away. Both have a negitive affect. My God knows math, and science, most importantly knows balance, and teaches without teaching. But my God does scorn the ignorant! Come and whorship with me that which has been whorshipped by the greatest people ever known, whorshipped the longest by the most people in history. Come feel the warmth of my God, and know what it is to live with God always there to shining a light on you. I call my God the SUN. Others have called it Aton the sun disk, but that was 3000 years ago in Egypt, even then the whorship of the SUN was an ancient one long forgotten by the Eyptians at that time. E ven if you wish not to follow belief is not needed as proof of my God is there, all around you, in every thing you touch shows its power. Go in the light, and be with God, our SUN!
lets feel the warmth of others more often but with a bit of caution. The God Sun is also hot but burns when nearing upon.
The goggles–they do nothing!!
OMG frank, thats fuking great, i love the simpsons! they tapped barts treehouse string phone in order to find milhouse! love it!
Dude, are you a complete psycho or are you being sarcastic and showing how psycho other religions are. Either way, one sounds just as stupid as the others to me.
Now excuse me, I have to pay homage to the Great Unicorn King as he is a jealous Unicorn King and will burn my eyes out of my head if I don't make an offering of burnt gremlin innards by 1:32 P.M. standard Unicorn time.
i laugh at this article.... The reason why, is because these young people are not old enough yet to worry about the promise of a afterlife.... Hopefully their views on this issue wont change and science will prevail, instead of their parents biblical belief system. Time to grow up Churches, heck even the Catholic church is evolving, THAT'S CRAZY I KNOW
so you're a Scientologist? Now THAT is crazy
Just shows you know NOTHING about Scientology! How Ignorant to talk about something you have no Clue about. Scientology is CRAZY.... But I can say that because I have done the research and know what they believe. Just because the commenter mentioned science you automatically assume he is involved in Scientology? No he just mentioned Science in general which has been the main thing that conflicts with Religion the last few centuries. Reading about Science does not make you lumped into ANY Religious group, if anything it tends to draw you away as you see Contradictions. Also if you knew about Scientolgy you would find its ideas are no scientific and just as far out there as Christianity just in a different way. All religions are crazy in their own way and that why they Require Faith and Belief.
Whether Scientology is way out there or not, who are you are anyone to say whats right or wrong? You can believe in your faith110% but the FACT is NONE of us truly know what the truth is and we will not know till we die. Everyone should be free to believe what they want...
jcooktwo, why do you think the path of faith is easy just because in some churches, they appear to be going that way. I struggle to be faithful with each new day. That's even biblical. And our new church start is far from being part of any "in" group, at least that's how I see us. The church is a who, not a building. It's a people, and some Christians unfortunately give all of us a bad name. Fortunately there is grace and forgiveness for us all.
Hope you all have a GREAT new day!
Sheila, pastor of New Day United Methodist Church in Mansfield, TX
"and some Christians unfortunately give all of us a bad name."
The bible does not teach or support 'women pastors'. 1Timothy Chapter 2: verses8-14 and Chapter 3. There are other verses that point out this biblical teaching. And there are reasons for that, which is never a chauvinistic notion.
Suppose there is very strong scientific evidence whose implications conflict with your beliefs and/or desires, especially deeply held ones. As a skeptic having a passion for truth (even if never fully attainable), I have, from time to time, accepted the unacceptable and learned to live with it. Evidence based beliefs can cause internal conflicts, at least for a while. This is not true with faith based beliefs. For skeptics, "truth" is based on evidence. For believers, "truth" is based on faith, not evidence. No conflict. No problem. It's easier.
Don't worry; this note will not affect you beliefs. You have faith.
I also wish you a great day.
Actually, most christians give christians a bad name. Then entire catholic church is a bunch of child molesters and their enablers.
Recently, a gay couple was attacked... by one of the boy's father. Do you really think any christian is worth more than dog meat?
Guess if we told those lovely young Christian people that when you were told about "Jesus Love " teachings and faith was not about releasing our desires for physical love....for "Mary" was chaste..and should be taken as an example by the young females...all male prophets & messengers were chaste in love of GOD... "The true love is to love for your brother man as you would love for your self" to spray around you love by good deeds of lending hand or charity or generating businesses which kind of live and let live...it is like a seed of a good tree that man can use it's shade,eat from it's fruit....it is that what we ought to do as the Hadith states that even if you were told that life is ending on earth still you are to plant a seed or a sapling...it is sad that people treasure huge amounts in banks,living on it's interests rather than investing in running business to creed that tree which adds to your balance on the date of judgment...we have to overcome racial issues and hates will will only lead to the total distraction of human race and earth all together immediately or in a length of run...!! GOD Bless to all...
I find it incredibly difficult to believe that Mary, a married Jewish woman was "chaste".
I wish you people would be more respectful of religions. I don't go to the atheist blogs and bash them for not believing, so why come to the religion section of a website to bash us? Religion is not a fairy tle and we chrisitans don't appreciate the disrespect
I went to a site for Christians who were no longer Christian and did not bash although there were a LOT of Christian bashers there trying to convert even me!!!!! I found my new friends to be respectful, loving, and kind. I learned a lot from them. I think a lot of them knew the Bible even better than me, and I have a Master's of Divinity degree!!!!! :)
To be a Christian who is no longer a Christian,is virtually impossible unless you are misrepresenting the term Christian.To have left a denomination,thinking you were a Christian is a possibility,or qualifying oneself as a Christian based on your own understanding but without a real relationship with God.These are those that appearing at judgement would be rejected because God never knew them.As to Bible knowledge ,you need to know God to know the Bible, neither education,memorization or doctrinal awareness qualifies a person with Bible knowledge.The demons can quote the Bible.Real knowledge comes from a relationship with God.It is impossible for a non believer to truly know the Bible better than one of Gods own.
There is NO scripture in the Christian New Testament that says Jesus 'used drugs'.
Stop making junk up
He is your comment from other perspectives. Try and figure out why you don't see it the same.
"I wish you people would be more respectful of pedophiles. I don't go to the Adult-lovers blogs and bash them for not believing, so why come to the pedophile section of a website to bash us? Pedophelia is not a fairy tale and we pedophiles don't appreciate the disrespect."
"I wish you people would be more respectful of abortionists. I don't go to the anti-abortion blogs and bash them for not believing, so why come to the abortion section of a website to bash us? Abortion is not a fairy tale and we women with the right to choose don't appreciate the disrespect"
"I wish you people would be more respectful of muslims. I don't go to the Christian blogs and bash them for not believing, so why come to the muslim section of a website to bash us? Islam is not a fairy tle and we muslims don't appreciate the disrespect"
If you cannot see the folly of your words, then either you are blind or just stuffed so far into your Christian box that you can no longer see the world around you.
If you were truly concerned by the fact that so many people were "diluted" into something that's not true (religion), wouldnt the more productive strategy be to have a rational dicussion amongst people with differing opinions, rather than come on here simply to be malicious. One draws more flies with honey than vinegar.
@Anonymous – dude (gal), you are concentrating on a wrong thing. Being a teenager, what you said you are, pay more attention to your academics. It's the time you can lay foundation for your future studies and career. The fairy tales wont help you getting into college, nor they will finding your place in this society. Work hard and believe in yourself, not the sky-fairy.
Oh, and if along the way you have fun experiencing things beyond your studies there is no harm in that, it's only a part of growing up.
What a strange comment. At least at Harvard, religion doesn't conflict with academics at all. In fact, our valedictorian two years ago became a Catholic nun right after graduation.
If we base our morality on the people around us we are all in big trouble. There is only one truth and standard to which we should hold ourselves accountable and that is Jesus and The Word of God. Nobody said it would be easy, but if we have no moral absolutes (which we certainly do), than everything is just a free-for-all. I choose to still hold Jesus as the author and perfecter of my faith ~ and not look around me to see how I'm doing. With him, there is love, grace, power, mercy and forgiveness. Everything I need to make it through any situation.
Shirley, our LAWS are based on the morals (ethics) of the people around us and your statement was idiotic at best.
Oh you're so right! How did civilization exist before Christianity? The barbarians! Oh wait... ethics was a huge topic for the Greeks. Chinese and Arab civilizations had law and order without Christianity. Ever hear of Hamurabi's code? He wasn't Christian but certainly attempted to create a moral kingdom.
Your argument is bunk.
Polis, I would be quite cautious alluding to Chinese and Arab ethics. You obviously have neither lived in either China or the Arab Gulf States. You might also want to brush up on your Roman and Greek history a bit. I'd recommend some of the most famous classical historians. Herodotus, Xenophon, and Thucydides would make for a great start. Some Plutarch and Caesar wouldn't be half bad either.
@False dichotomy = naive advice: Perhaps you should brush up on the moral history of Christianity. Witch burnings any one?
Well if as "Isaac Newton" says he predicts that life will end on 2060 so guess those young should not wait and have to enjoy life before end but still they have to do it legitimately....
what should a Christian parent or youth pastor do? ... should they stop even trying?
Since nobody decided to answer the christian fool who asked this.
Yes, they should stop even trying. Teenagers have wised up, they don't believe in their parents fairy tales anymore.
Awww, is the rebellious teenager still angwy at his mommy and daddy? How adorableeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
I don't know, how about *educate* them. Telling a teenager "don't do such and such because I say so" is the same as telling them "gee, I really think you should go do such-and-such." Why not be open with them- talk to them about STDs and pregnancy. Talk to them about what happens when your classmates and teachers and friends start thinking you're a sl_t. I bet those things will have much more weight than just saying "God says it's bad."
Education would be good except cults do not educate – they coerce and indoctrinate.
good one Cute!
Interesting how a discussion over waiting for marriage gets a comment telling a person who wants to wait to die. Air can have all those things done to it, so can relationships. Look into smartmarriage.com, non religious site and you find a volume of information about happiness in marriage, which has a lot to do with fidelity. Faithfulness is a charater trait and so starts before marriage. By the way nope why so bitter to attack someone you don't know? ignorance just has to learn, anger and bitterness take more effort to change. Best o luck nope.
..they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind..
today, that may as well be a trip to the nearest refrigerator at 1am.
To Answer: My mom is living proof that Jesus heals. My family lived in West Africa for 10 years when I was a child. My mom became very sick with malaria. At the time (1999), the highest parasite count a Cameroonian doctor had ever seen among Cameroonians was 4,000 parasites per cubic millimeter of blood. My mom's malarial parasite count was off the charts: 36,500 parasites per mm3. The doctors looked at each other in wonder and asked, "Why is this woman still alive?" In the intensity of my mother's illness, my dad knelt by her bed and asked God to bring her parasite count down from 36,000 to 35,000 to 34,000...He was grieving and did not know how else to pray at the time. One night, he came out of her bedroom looking very haggard. He told us that Mom wanted to fight and live, but that if she died, it was because Jesus wanted her with Him. He read us Romans 8:38-39, "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Then, I saw my dad cry for the first time in my life.
One of the miracles of this true story is that my mom's parasite count dropped from 36,500 to zero in 3 days!! Jesus healed her! While my mom was having Arsumax pumped into her system by IV because she was too sick to take the medication orally, she had a dream. In her dream, she was walking down the valley of the shadow of death, with Jesus by her side. As she walked toward death, though, she noticed that there were many ropes pulling on her arms and legs – tugging her away from death's valley. She understand later that the ropes were the prayers of God's people. Brothers and Sisters in Christ were praying all over the world that she would be healed. God heard and answered.
But what was as equally amazing to me as Mom's miraculous healing was what she said to me a couple of days after she was out of harm's way. She said this: "Of course God did a miracle in healing me. But, if I had died, it would not have been any less of a miracle because being face to face with Jesus is the most amazing miracle that could ever happen to someone." I eagerly await that miracle!
I only got through the first line before I just KNEW you was gonna tell me you were my rich aunt and needed to put money in my bank account....So i didn't read the rest...
its funny you say jesus healed her, but then you mention Arsumax, which kills malaria. did you mean that jesus is modern drugs?
No, I do not mean that Jesus is equivalent to modern drugs. Jesus used modern drugs to help heal her. The doctors told us that, in a case like my mom's, it was rare for her parasite count to drop down so quickly to zero in only 3 days. I realize this story is not the same thing as Jesus saying to a dead girl, "Rise up," and she is raised to life. Or Jesus healing the blind. There was no medicine in these situations, but there are miraculous aspects to my mom's story (such as the example listed above). Also, she did not experience blackwater fever or any other liver failure, which people usually have with such an extreme case of malaria.
So why can't Jesus ever heal an amputee? I assure you that there are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and children that prayed to God to help save their loved ones missing limbs... yet it's never happened. And as far as "Jesus using modern drugs to heal" comment, that's outrageous. Why would anyone say an invisible man healed them? Give a little credit to modern medicine. I mean really... if I can administer someone drugs like that would you call me Jesus too? I like that. Sorta has a ring to it, ya know?
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.