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?
If Jesus helped women elevate their statue in society, then why were none of His Diciples women? I mean Jesus even picked Judas as one of his trusted insiders. Not one woman?
I've thought the same thing... and then I realized that it's because we're hearing the story from only the Men's point of view. After all, he did supposedly meet Mary Magdalene first after the resurrection, before any of his disciples. I think there's probably more to the story. But maybe I'm just looking too much into it.
(Although it's interesting to note, that of all the major religious organizations in the world, we have very little "canon" that comes straight from the founder. It's all written by followers years later, and through the lens of their interpretation. The New Testament, The Buddhist Sutras, the DaoDeJIng, the Analects, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita etc. So I think I'm pretty justified in "reading between the lines" a little. Just a thought.)
If you read the Bible you will see Jesus elevated women time and time again. Jesus invited women to learn at his feet (specifically Mary) a custom that has forbidden. he spoke with women, and alone, and women who were seen as unclean (John 4) Women were part of his entorouge even if they were not mentioned as frequently as Peter. Finally Jesus' resurrection was first revealed to women, they were the first people to share the message of Jesus.
Jesus the son of god or the son of a rapist ?
Are they mutually exclusive?
My question...Are they Christian by name only? Chances are, they were raised in church by their parents, but never made their faith their own. They never made it a true, intimate relationship with Jesus. I bet if they had, they would keep their pledge. Not that people don't mistakes. A lot of people say they are Christians, but their actions don't match. This is just another example of that. There are plenty of amazing, young Christians who are waiting and did wait until marriage.
that's true. My aunt is a REAL christian and she's about to marry as a virgin............no joke............Christ has to keep you or you have no chance
This problem is most acute in Baptist and Evangelical congregations that teach the false doctrine of "faith alone." Of course, if you're saved by "faith alone" then your actions don't really matter. Or at least that's the reasoning that goes on in young minds. Calvin and Luther were both fools.
luther never said actions don't matter. they just don't get you into heaven. "faith alone", yes, but the point is that through that faith you will want to follow god's instruction. it's not a free pass to do whatever you want.
It's the Bible that teaches about "faith alone".
– John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him
should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
– John 3:18 “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already,
because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
– John 3:36 “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not
see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Chip – Please consider the possibility that you don't understand the full doctrinal concept of "sola fide." I would grant that many who claim, "faith alone" also do not understand its implications. Basically, and biblically, I believe, the concept is salvation can only be by faith, but if your faith is not demonstrated by action, then you have real reason to question whether your faith is unto salvation or not. Works demonstrate, but are not causal to, salvation, just like a receipt demonstrates that a purchase occurred, but the receipt itself played no role in the transaction – it only proves that a transaction took place.
No one needs to speak for God, He is able to defend for himself and does not need humanity to explain him, Humanity is there to find belief in him and the salvation that he briings to humanity through his son Jesus Christ by the workings of the Holy Spirit and not through the fundamentalist ravings of world religions. The church belongs to Jesus Christ and no other body can lay claim to it. Anything else is of Satan
Don't forget, Hans: Satan is of God too.
I think the point was that Satan was a creation of God.... But the bible also calls Satan a god... Like in Revelations where he is mentioned as the "god of this system of things" So... Take that for whatever you want.
No, satan is not god. At the beginning of times, there was war in heaven because an angel called Lucifer wanted to seat in God’s throne but is impossible for a creature to take the place of its creator. He will never be God!!!! To God be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
How did Satan decide to take over God's throne? Angels are said to not have free will and only do the bidding of God. That means God made Satan, who was an angel, try and take over his throne. Which means Satan's works are God's works, doesn't it?
As I mentioned earier, The oneness of God (Allah) is a fundamental creed in Islam. One of the chapter's of the Quran outlines this as it is translated as follows: "Say: He is Allah, the One and Only! Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him."
The last verse is important in that we humans should not be attributing any human charecteristics to OUR CREATOR. there is no comparison. The instance we could compare a feature of a human (i.e. a walking being) then we need to realize that this is not OUR CREATOR.
You do realize that "creator," itself is a predicate attributed to God. That is, "creator" itself is human language projected onto the concept of God. Therefore, no matter how you speak about God, you always attribute something human to the idea of God.
I am just saying...
The God of the Old Testament and the New Testament is one and the same without any change in who He is and what He is commanding of mankind. In both testaments God requires a person to obey Him over sacrifices for Him. God also showcases His love in a variety of actions in the Old Testament. God handed down the Mosaic Law and Ordinances of the Tabernacle/Temple to protect relationships between people and to teach people to be alert to the coming of the Messiah who would bring salvation for all who believed. These things also taught man his relationship to God and that he always would fall short of the glory of God until his sin nature was dealt with.
The New Testament simply is a revealing of who God is through the manifestation of God in human flesh. Jesus is the image, the expression of God in heaven. Allah and all other gods are not in the same discussion with Jehovah. In the Old Testament God provided man with the means to approach into His holy presence. The New Testament shows us how God approached man to provide man with the means to become reconciled with God and be able to enter the presence of God freely.
Of course God changed. He went from a long list of reasons to kill people to NONE of them. Very major change.
Jesus (peace be upon him) was a great prophet sent from our Lord. God has is above human charecteristics of getting tired and being hungry. Yet, Jesus (PBUH) possessed both charecterisctics. This in proof that he was human and not the sone of God. Remeber Jesus (PBUH) never professed he was God or his son. That was introduced afterwards. Jesus (PBUH) professed the oneness of God. When he was asked what is the greatest commandment. He (PBUH) says "People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength."
The notion of Jesus as son of God is something that was established under the influence of Paul of Tarsus (originally named Saul). Paul never met Jesus. In fact he was called Saul the persecutor and was an enemy, but later became a disciple, after the departure of Jesus (PBUH). Later, however, he initiated a number of changes into early Christian teachings. Paul is considered by a number of Christian scholars to be the father of Christianity due to his additions of the following ideas:
o that Jesus is the son of God,
o the concept of Atonement,
o the renunciation of the Law of the Torah.
Paul did these things in hopes of winning over the Gentiles (non-Jewish people). His letters are another of the primary sources of information on Jesus according to the Christian tradition. In Acts there are accounts of Peter opposing Paul on some of these topics. Nevertheless, Paul changed the law despite the following from Matthew 5:17-19
“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
What does Paul do. He chnages the law and explains it away by saying if it wasn't for the law I would not have sinned.
The lack of faith in that we exist on this earth only to worship our Lord and Creator contributes to these acts. Adultery comes in many forms. The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) says "God has written for Adam's son his share of adultery which he commits inevitably. The adultery of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the adultery of the tongue is the talk, and the inner self wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it."
I can write many things as well. The fact that something is written does not make it true. Consider that the religious texts followed by so many are said to be the word of god. Just looking critically at obvious errors in those texts can quickly prove that they are not, in fact, the word of any god but rather of men; God is said to be infallible, and so cannot make those errors, since doing so would make him less godly. Eventually people will realize the burdensome restrictions imposed by religion are nothing more than ignoble interpretations of prehistoric fairytales.
The same God of Abraham is worshipped by Jews, Muslims and Christians (including Mormons). Same God, different books.
The word "trinity" does not appear anywhere in the bible and indeed the concept is barely hinted at the Gospel of John.
The idea that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were "one in essence – not one in Person" was first elucidated by Tertullian during the 3rd century.
The main reason Constantine called the Nicene Council was to settle once and for all the ongoing, divise debate between Adoptionists, Sabellianists, and Arianists regarding the nature of Christ's relationship to God.
The full Trinitarian ideology wasnt fleshed out until the Cappadocian Fathers wrapped it up at the end of the 4th century.
But the point is that the Nature of God is wide open to interpretation – that's why there are tens of thousands of sects of Christianity.
Whoopsy – that's a response to JeremyJK
The oness of God (Allah) is a fundamental creed in Islam. One of the chapter's of the Quran outlines this as it is translated as follows: "Say: He is Allah, the One and Only! Allah, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not nor is He begotten. And there is none like unto Him."
The last verse is important in that we humans should not be attributing any human charecteristics to OUR CREATOR. there is no comparison. The instance we could compare a feature of a human (i.e. a walking being) then we need to realize that this is not OUR CREATOR.
You have no authority to warn anyone anymore the crazy guy with the sandwich board who preaches repentence or his god is gonna get the unrepentent
Face it Rick you're seeking God, just in a very negative way. I have no authority in myself you're right. I am obeying what Christ commanded and what the Church teaches. It is not about me, it is about the truth. God sent his Son into the world to further reveal himself and his plan of salvation and restoration. I am not alone or an island. Those who don't believe in God are far outnumbered. Perhaps majority doesnt rule but it shows that humans understand that there is something greater than ourselves. Look around Rick. It is a fantasy to think that something or someone didn't create this.
And yes scripture is man's writings, and God's. The Church doesnt reject that thought
"It is not about me, it is about the truth."
"Truth" should not be used in a religious discussion since neither side can prove truth about God.
The fact that you exist Observer is prove for God. Or did you create yourself ex nihilo?
That fact that I exist doesn't PROVE anything about God. Humanity could have come from a committee of zombies for all you can prove.
If God exists, same question: who created God?
Well you see Observer, that is what makes God God, he is eternal. Now if someone created God, then as John of Damascus pointed out, that being would be God. The truth is, God created us all and also (unlike the deists believe) chose to reveal Himself...so that we would know that he is the Good Shepherd and not a committee of zombies (although that is an entertaining image to ponder, thanks for the laugh).
(1) Atheists are wrong because for anything to exist, something must have created it
(2) God exists
(3) Nothing created God
You are confused. Everything in time and space indicates that it was all created. God is not in time and space.
You are confused. There is ZERO proof that God does or does not exist. You have your OPINION. You don't have proof. You do have wishful thinking.
Jeremy: There are more people who do not believe in Jesus as savior than do. The fact that more people believe in god than do not does not necessarily mean that this belief is valid. How many of them came to this conclusion without family/cultural influence?
Who created God? Thats a very chidish question dont you think?
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.
ANY logic at all destroys the nonsense of the Noah's ark fantasy.
Nowhere does the Bible encourage people to think for themselves.
Really oh wise Observer. Have you read scripture? How about "be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds." How about Christ elevating the position of women in a place and time when women were worthless. What about Jesus calling attention to children in a culture that treated children as invisible? How about Paul writing to Philemon to release his slave? You don't know what you are talking about.
Yes I have read scripture. That's how I know that it supports slavery, the inferiority of women (see the rest of the New Testament), and discrimination against the handicapped,
Scripture does not support slavery but plants the seeds against it in a world that didn't even remotely question the ethics of owning another person. Plus slavery "doulos" in Greek for servant was different in many ways than an antebellum slavery. Secondly, Jesus accepted women and promoted them and worked against their plight. Thirdly, Jesus healed the handicapped and promised restoration. How about you read the rest of the NT
Have you actually read the Bible? It tells how you can beat your slaves as long as you don't kill them (do you beat your maid?). It tells how women are not to speak in church and should ask their man questions later. It says that God doesn't want disfigured people in his church.
For someone who claims to have read the Bible, you missed a ton of it.
"Anyone who can worship a trinity and insist that his religion is a monotheism can believe anything... just give him time to rationalize it."
– Robert Heinlein
wow.so much anger. my absolute fav. vesre in the bible is " he who is without sin, cast the first stone". That about covers it, doesn't it?
Christians are delusional.
Sam Harris is a joke. My favorite part of The End to Faith is when he turns to defending Buddhism. LOL! Thats good stuff. The problem is he is an embarrassment to the New Atheism because he practices Buddhism.
Of course, you can provide support for your statement about Sam Harris? Calling Sam H a buddhist is about as truthful as calling me a muslim.
That's just not right. God is not sending people to hell if they don't know him. SIN is sending people to hell. God has provided a way to pay for that sin through Jesus. Yes it's sad if a person dies in some foreign country that has never heard of Jesus and goes to hell... but it because of sin, not because God sends him there. Why do you think Jesus said "Go into all the World"?
I will not claim that I am not a Christian, for I am. However, I find it funny that was is psychotic and irrational is that which has been a fundamental thread of all of human societies–mythology.
What frustrates me is that we are either in a world of utter fundamentalism (God said...we do) or we are in a world of utter nihilism and atheism.
But where is the middle, the middle that says, sure there is a God. To paraphrase Joseph Campbell, famed mythologist and anthropologist, there are many masks of God... the God of Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Or that of Buddhism or the Gods of Hinduism, etc.
Maybe we can come to realize that the middle is where we should be. What is God or how God expresses God's self is not in my understanding, except that we contextualize our experience of God, of the divine and have been doing so since the beginning of time. This is not psychotic. Neither is it necessarily rational. But certainly not psychotic.
Lets not be extremists, fundamentalists, hypocrites, exaggerators who use excessive hyperbole's. Let us just be human, seeking to "follow our bliss" (Joseph Campbell).
Bliss is for delusional morons.
The bibical defination of adultry requires the woman be married. Any other pairing is not adultry.
No, it's not adultery. It's fornication.
Actually, Jesus says in Matthew 5:27-28 that “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart." This goes for both men and women.
Adultery comes in many forms. The Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) says "God has written for Adam's son his share of adultery which he commits inevitably. The adultery of the eyes is the sight (to gaze at a forbidden thing), the adultery of the tongue is the talk, and the inner self wishes and desires and the private parts testify all this or deny it."
The lack of faith in that our exist on this earth is to worship our Lord and Creator.
What I don't understand is why so many athiests come on here to bash Christian beliefs. Honestly? Learn some tolerance. Maybe you had some bad experiences with Christians but I find it entirely unneccesary to sit here and go through CNN to find religious reports to be judgemental and ignorant on. I am an athiest and I don't understand why everyone seems to be panhandling their disbelief. Who cares if someone believes in God? Let them. Let's be mature here, please.
Thank you Haley! I often wonder the same thing.
I agree. I respect one's right to believe. Respect my right not to.
ah. well it could be all the atheist bashing from the past catching up to haunt you. by you, i mean Catholics. Ever watch Fox news? Every once in a while they bring on an aithiest and bash him and do not accept that they could be wrong...why? Because its in the bible, so obviously its true! :) but anyways, i do agree there should be toleration and acceptance. Makes sense
Fox News is full of a bunch of sadistic extremists.... At least that is what I tend to find. There is only one Christian denomination that I as an athiest have ever felt welcome with and that would be Methodists. Forgive my informal speech but they were very "chill" and loving. Anyway, Fox News is not worth watching. I'd rather not spend an afternoon stewing.
Respect for people is a good thing. Respect for truth is a good thing. But why should there be be respect shown for a system of belief that is founded and nurtured on ignorance and falsehood? Call the christians out. If only a few of them reflect enough to come away wondering why they believe the nonsense they do, it will not have been in vain.
No, you should probably just encourage their parents to arrange a marriage for them. Absolutely only between a man and a woman, or you know, a fifty one year old and a teenaged girl, because marriage means a lot in this country. And God forbids expressions of love that preachers don't scantify, so... all religion makes sense.
Sorry Macion (Doc) I don't. In the OT God is dealing with the nation of Israel under the Law which was given by the grace of God. In the NT God is dealing with all people offering a new covenant (also by grace) under the Law of Love. The Law however is not put away. God's nature does not change. He is still a God of vengence, thus "vengence is mine I will repay." You don't think he is smitey and genocidal (as you put it) in the NT? Read Revelation and the parables of Jesus. You simply do not understand the Christian Faith.
Well Im not surprised given the fact that the adult examples they have of Christian living have become so slack. For goodness sakes, so many churches are more committed to looking like the world so that they can attract customers to their services than they are committed to Christ. This is one more wake up call to the Church in America. What sort of Christianity are we leaving to the generations behind us? No wonder the world looks at us and laughs, believing all that we are committed to is merely a fantasy. Wake up Church!!!
I completely agree!
I agree. Church is too commercialized. It's practically Wal-mart.
JeremyJK– Well Stated.
Oh, Linda. It also says that liars to go hell. I bet you've never told a lie, eh? Funny how legalism works. It always nails the person who espouses it.
Thats whats wrong with todays christians. They're like everyone else screaming dont judge me. I dont have to judge you the word already did. You you dont obey his word your going to hell, and yes liars will be there.
You get to Heaven by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ – not by being without sin. "ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" BUT ... "For it is by GRACE you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the GIFT of God,
not by works, so that NO ONE can boast." AND ULTIMATELY "For God so LOVED the world that He gave his one and only Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in Him will not perish, but have EVERLASTING LIFE".
Be a light in the world Linda, not a dark cloud of judgement.
Linda: you do realize the impossibility of fearing retaliation from a being in which you do not believe, don't you?
Robin. Salvation does come by grace, but grace doesnt give you a license to sin. Repentance means to turn from your sinful ways and live a righteous life. Since when is living a righteous life a work or legalism? Its not a work its a commandment. Where in the Bible did Jesus ever say repent and go to church on sunday and fornicate, lie, cheat and steal the rest of the week. He didn't, he expects you to live righteously everyday. The Bible even warns about people being luke warm, half in church half out. It says he will spue you out of his mouth (vomit). Its bad when you make God sick dont you think?
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