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?
Both my husband and I were virgins when we got married a year ago, I was 24 and he was 22. We are both college educated and had dated other people before we met. We are both mormon and decided long before we ever met each other that we would wait until we were married and it happened. It happens a lot, you just don't hear about it.
No, it doesn't happen "a lot". Did you read the article? Do you know what "statistics" are?
They're those things that help us measure what is fact, and what is not.
Oh, wait. I'm talking to someone who follows a faith founded on polygamy, supernatural underwear, racism, gods living on other planets, magic plates, and baptizing dead people. You're far beyond the realm of "facts".
It may not happen "a lot" statistically wise, but I agree. There are enough who still believe in these basic Christian principles taught in the Bible to be examples to others. And yes, anyone who sincerely UNDERSTANDS first of all that they've committed a sin, and sincerely repents will be forgiven. And those who honestly don't understand, and only God is the judge, will eventually be given a chance to understand, repent and come unto Christ if they choose to.
WELL GUYS IM A 24 YEAR OLD CHRISTIAN VIRGIN! I AM BY NO MEAN PERFECT AND HAVE HAVE MY SHARE OF MISTAKES BUT I AM PROUD AND HONEST AND CONFIDENT THAT I AM A VIRGIN! I AM ENGAGED TO BE MARRIEDTHIS DECEMBER TO A WONDERFUL WOMEN WHO HAD A CHILD AT 16 OUT OF WEDLOCK. I MET HER IN CHURCH THE BABY WAS ONE WHEN WE STARTED DATING 4 YEARS AGO. I AM HERE TO SHARE THAT GODS LOVE CAN CHANGE AND TRANSFORM AND MOST OF ALL FORGIVE! ME AND MY GIRL HAVE BEEN PURE THIS WHOLE TIME AND I CANT WAIT TO DECEMBER LOL! ITS POSSIBLE WITH CHRIST! DONT BELIEVE THE HYPE! CHRIST DIED AT 33 A VIRGIN CUZ THE WORD SAID HE DID NOT SIN SO THIS HOLE WELL ITS HARDER IN THESE TIMES IS WACK! GOD BLESS YOU ALL! ITS NEVER TO LATE TO MAKE IT RIGHT!
Well, congratulations on the upcoming wedding. Hopefully, you will not be a dud in the sack for your betrothed
way to wait! I commend your integrity!
Congratulations! May the joy, thrills, and happiness that God intended for you to experience with the special woman that God made just for you and no one else, exceed your greatest expectations. God made woman to be attractive to man and vice versa. That is the natural plan for man and woman on earth. You said no to the tempting fruits of fornication and lust and have emerged a better, stronger and wiser man. Don't go to bed or wake up angry. You never know when either of you may be called back to your eternal home. Love your wife as Christ loves his people –slow to anger and quick to forgive. I give you my blessing for happiness always.
They're not waiting because they don't believe what the bible says about marriage and lust. It makes you wonder why this article calls them Christians if they don't follow Christ's teachings.
How do you know that they don't believe the Bible if they don't wait until marriage? Are you trying to say that no "true" Christian has fallen into temptation and strayed from Christ's teachings? Maybe you should go read the Bible again and see what it means to be a Christian again.
As a believer and a follower of Jesus! There is such a deception. This really grieves me. Well actually the Bible does prophecy, that everything we are seeing will happen, before the second coming of Christ! I also want to verify something... A CHRISTIAN is a person who have repented of their sin and commited their life to Christ that means they desire to follow Him with all of their heart. Just because a person goes to church or sits on a pew every sunday does not make them a Christian! A Christian is a person who follows Jesus and His ways in everything they are and everything they do. Its a devotion from the heart!!! You can be a religious nut but that does not mean your heart is devoted to Christ! Because Christianity was not meant to be just another dead religion. but its a way of living and it sets us free for those who truly accept and follow Jesus. There is a higher and better way to live than to give in to our sinful nature. Jesus came to redeem us from Sin. Grace is given to break the power of sin and live a pure and holy life style. Grace is not given so we can remain in bondage and sin and hope it will be covered.
Are you capable of saying anything in words that are your own lol!
Honey they are my own. I truly believe it with all my heart. I would not try say stuff here to sound all spiritual if i really did not mean it!
What makes you think man has this "sinful" natuire?
Wow, what a wasted life! Spending all that time and energy worshipping an invisible and non-existent deity! How totally sad to see humans behaving like delusional zombies......sad, sad, sad......
Actually dear Sue its more of waste of time to live and worship yourself and all the idols we create... Those who think they are free without God are really not free... They are bound and enslaved to sin which leads to death. One day we will all face our creator wither you believe it or not. It is still true those who are living for themselves cannot be together with a Holy God that is why there had to be a sucrifice made and Jesus gave His life so we can be reconciled to God... I worship because I love Him. I know what He has set me free from... He is truly worth all of my heart and devotion... I was dying and Jesus healed and set me free... No one or nothing can take this truth away... However saying all this there is grace and its available to those who are willing to turn away from their destructive ways and turn to Jesus... Before I came to know Him I was one of the biggest mockers or Christ... I would make fun of Him and people who believe what i now believe... One day however God opened my eyes to see Truth!!! Since that day my life has not been the same...
Hey Rick.It says so in the Bible. I believe the Bible is God's word and manual to us humans.. It states in many passages that our nature is sinful... Actually if you like go read the book of Romans in the new testament... It talks about what you asked... It explains about what that sinful nature is... and how mercy and grace is available to us..
Jane: What bronze age man thought is of no consequence to me.
"One day we will all face our creator wither you believe it or not."
We will never face any creator, whether you believe iit or not.
But, if the cult of human sacrifice works for you, go with it
Hi Anon.. I watched the video you posted here... I want to ask you what make you believe that what this man is saying is true? People trying to figure out God in their own wicked mind and pride... First of all He is blaming everything on God... Who said that God is the one who allows all this people to die... There is also a devil... He comes to kill steal and destroy... There is sin in the world and we all have free will... I cannot make you worship my God. Yes there is consequances for sin... but there is Mercy and Grace and it is available to everyone. There is deception and the truth is that this man is truly decieved and those who follow Him are like wise decieved also...
Rick We will... and its true! I choose to believe the words of Jesus! Because there is truth in them.
Well, believe what you will. It may be a fine characteristic of faith, but it is pretty weak as a debate technique
"People trying to figure out God in their own wicked mind and pride"
"First of all He is blaming everything on God"
Actually, he is commenting on man's view of god.
More specifically, the commentary was about the Christian view of god rather than god
Hey Rick.It says so in the Bible. I believe the Bible is God's word and manual to us humans
Hey Jane, interesting thought. You say that the Bible is a "manual" for us humans, but what about the fact the humans wrote the Bible, and not God? I've always found it interesting when people say this. How can a Bible that was written by humans, truly be used as proof of religous concepts that were created by humans? I'm not looking to criticize you, I am someone who believes in God/Higher Power, but I don't believe that man-made religions have all(or even any) of the answers.
Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God. 2 Corinthians 4:4
Ladies, asking your man to wait is great way of determining commitment. If he doesn't respect that, or tries to push you into something you don't want, you can be sure that he doesn't really care about your opinions...
Ladies, demanding that you both wait until marriage is a great way to drive away normal well adjusted men and end up with a domineering religious nut case
or possibly end up with a guy who respects you and what's important to you...
Excellent commentary. The act of fornication among young Christians is both sinful and risky. First, there is the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy and the lifetime responsbility that comes with raising the child. Secondly, and equally challenging, is the risk of nasty STDs if the man or woman has been around the block once or twice and has been dishonest about their past. The thrill of courting and dating helped to build strong faithful relationships in the past and can do so today. Let's bring back the good old days!
Thank you :). I agree. Love waits... Lust does not! True love honors purity and holiness. It respects and covers. It protects and cherishes. It does not defrauds or exploits. The thing is in our own power we are not pure... we are all fallen. This is why Jesus had to come and die for us to redeem us from sin. Those who repent and receive this TRUTH by His grace by faith He gives power to over come evil. He knows we are weak and fallen that is why we all need Him. Once you taste truth and purity you do not want to go back to the old ways and lifestyle even when tempted God gives us grace to say no. Because there is a better way. The pleasures of this earth are nothing compare with the true pleasure and fullfillement that Jesus gives to those who love and follow Him. This is not just some kind of fantasy it is True and available to everyone. A lot of people never experience that because religion does not satisfy... But relationship with Jesus does!
It seems as if your Godgasms are as obscene as heck!
"This is not just some kind of fantasy"
That is exactly what it is
My partner and I have been together since we were 19, we agreed we wouldn't eat any food that was wonderful and delicious until we were 29. So, while other people lived life as it was meant to be lived, and had delicious and fun barbeques and stuff, we ate nothing but stale wonder bread and drank nothing but tap water for ten years.
It was worth it!
Yes, but think about all those dozens of people who died from eating tainted spinich or got food poisening from their hamburgers!! You have saved yourself from the risks you might encounter in the world of gourmet foods!!
The thing is, YOU didn't wait, so the only thing you have to go on is your experience. If it worked for you, great.. But there's no way to know which way is "better." I waited, and I'm fine, I don't feel like I missed out on anything, because I have s
However, I have a friend who didn't wait. She got pregnant, and her boyfriend ditched her. Waiting, I think, is a way of determining commitment...
Right, Sammy, no one ever took off on a pregnant woman AFTER marriage
Well, heck, god walked out on Mary after he knocked her up.
I'm not saying it HASN'T happened. But if a guy can show a commitment (like marriage) he's more likely to be committed to other aspects of the marriage too. (Like child raising.)
Jesus is watching me fwap? I'm going to bite that peeping-tom creeper lol!
S E X can be dangerous, risky, scary, fun, enjoyable, amazing, painful, emotional, non-emotional, for procreating and recreating. The attempted hijacking of it by religion is outright blasphemy and I know, if there is a sentient creator who instilled these desires in us then we are slapping him in the face every time one of you religious zealots try to force others to obey your version of morality.
The bible says " Do not fornicate"
@ XANDANIA: Doesn’t the commandment actually say don’t commit adultery. So fooling around when you’re single is ok. Or are you going to convieniently interpret adultery to include anything you don’t like
Jesus wouldn't have had to say anything directly in his context about premarital fornication – in his culture marriage happened early and was a given. There wasn't a 10 to 20 year wait between puberty and marriage like there tends to be today in the West. If Paul and the other NT authors weren't authoritative, there is no reason to listen to Jesus, because they were the witnesses and friends of the witnesses of the resurrection. That said, just because a bunch of people aren't living up to the standard of the faith doesn't mean God changed his mind to suit our hormones and our culture.
Just because a belief system holds a natural physical urge to be immoral doesn't mean the urge is wrong.
Rick-The sanc_ti_ty of desire is to be upheld and that would mean a husband and wife. If not, then what differentiates a Man be from a Dog/Cat?
You are 100% correct. The urge is not wrong. Acting on it is.
There is no grey in God's system. He knows we are a fallen creature and welcomes us back when we repent (turn the other direction).
So, my daughter will not go the hell if she decides to "do it" before marriage. Ultimately, it would damage her and her eventual marriage. But the loving God would welcome her back once she admitted the wrong.
Sky: We have choice over whom we do it with.
@sky – "what differentiates a Man be from a Dog/Cat?" Well, lets see...
Opposable thumbs. Less hair. Bigger brains. Able to use cell phone. Able to make cell phone. Man does not poop in the yard (most of the time) and washes hands since we know about germs. I could go on, but you get the point. There are lots of things that "differentiate" us and your "slippery slope" logic is beyond stupid. Anyone who thinks people will marry dogs if gay marriage is allowed or thinks we will be no different from the animals because we give in to our innate desires needs to have their heads examined...
The question this article has raised is whether Christians are waiting. Morals can never be driven by man, it can never be dictated by me, no body can look down on anybody else, all are equal in the eyes of God. Having said that, what do the scriptures say about waiting, it simply says do not fornicate, which means you are a much more superior being to cats/dogs. Only those of the animal kingdom have random relationships not human beings.
Those who are called to be Christians should take the scriptures seriously in this regard as it affects society in a very big way and has serious consequences to mankind.
"Morals can never be driven by man"
Morals were created by man
Yes, for those who don't believe in the Bible, morals are self made.
sky....not necessarily true..other religious traditions that do not accept the bible have their own guideline as to moral behavior. what makes yours more valid? because you believe it? well, folks in other cultures believe their text as much as you believe yours. Are their moral guidelines man made but yours are divinely inspired?
So you’re going to put words in his mouth and speak for him on everything where he was silent? Seems to me that if the eternal god and creator of the universe thought something was important, he would have mentioned it; unless of course he was just a mortal preacher and didn’t know the future
If Christianity wants to remain relevant, it needs to focus on what Jesus said, and not what Paul or the Old Testament said. Jesus didn't say anything about waiting until marriage. He was more concerned with helping the poor, the sick, and the vulnerable among us.
Relevance is relative. If one does not build their lives with a solid footing on the word of God, it is irrelevant and futile.
The bankruptcy of moral values facing today is because of generations that have turned away from God.
"The bankruptcy of moral values facing today is because of generations that have turned away from God."
The bankruptcy of moral values facing today is because people accept other's views of God
What else do you get from a society that has removed God and prayer from schools and media that peddles its voy_eur_ism on young minds? unless soemthing changes we are headed towards a moral disaster.
"What else do you get from a society that has removed God and prayer from schools and media that peddles its voy_eur_ism on young minds? unless soemthing hanges we are headed towards a moral disaster"
1. If you want your children to know God and prayer, teach them yourself. It ain't the business of the schools to inculcate children (yours or anyone else's) with your view of God .
2. It seem that your belief system results in the peddling of voy_eur_ism on young minds, After all, isn't it the good Christian folk who are always screaming about upholding morality and concerning themselves with what goes on in other's bedrooms?
3. Your warning of a moral collapse is as spotty as the rest of your argument
You folks look down your noses on those who don't accept YOUR view of morality. What incredible gall.
Not sure which planet you are living on, but on planet earth today everything feeds into the s*e*xual frenzy of young minds, this coupled with a society working very hard to get God out of the picture is going to surely have its consequences. Unfortunately, that generation will have no one else to thank for their bankrupt inheritance but the depraved society of today.
"Not sure which planet you are living on, but on planet earth today everything feeds into the s*e*xual frenzy of young minds"
Agreed. And this going on long before your grandparent's grandparents were born. That is the nature of people coming into puberty.
"a society working very hard to get God out of the picture"
You are free to worship whichever god you want to. You are not free to surrender your parental duty of teaching your children about God to the school system. It is not their responsibility. While we are at it, if you want the school system to teach kids about God, which story do you want to be taught? Thor? Vishnu? If you say you want it to be the Christian god, which view of it? The Baptists? The Mormons? The Catholics? Maybe the Amish. Or the Mennonites....come on, now, got to get working to get the school system to teach the god of YOUR choice. There have been thousands of gods in the history of man. Heck, even Christianity has a thousand or more different denominations. Make up your mind. This is important stuff, get working, the future of the young people is at stake.....won't somebody PLEASE think of the children?
"is going to surely have its consequences"
And those would be what?
"Unfortunately, that generation will have no one else to thank for their bankrupt inheritance but the depraved society of today."
Oooh, "bankrupt inheritance", "depraved society"....fiery words....
Bah. Throughout the history of mankind, humans have always "adjusted" religion to suit their own desires. Why do you think there are sooooo many versions of protestant Christianity? It's the age old "I don't like what THAT church told me, so I'm just going to choose a new church or start my own."
and that will end up coming right back around to bite them in the butt.
Christianity is about finding a meaningful relationship with Christ.
It is not about Protestant/Catholic versioning etc.,
It is not about the broad way of life, it is a narrow path, how many truly are willing to take that path?
Screw Jesus, even a clown can offer better advice.
It is a very selfish world....people do what they want when they want without regard for others. Guys talk about this like your test driving a car well just remember a car driven a lot by other people will not always be kept in the same shape as when you drove it. I don't know about anyone else but I prefer a NEW car to a cleaned up used one. LOL
I too think the car analogy is quite poor since the "car" is also test driving the driver and can also bring past driving experience into the mix.
However, it is probably good to know if your driving style is a good fit. Is your experience more like a 4-wheel drive adventure or an automatic on cruise control? A turbo-charged tankful or an old sedan running on fumes.....
The church tells people to have more children.
Tell me again where do children come from.
Children are a 'Gift' from God.
Well he is quite the benevolent god isn't she?
Here I am an unrepentant atheist without a shred of respect for the god of the old testament and yet I am gifted with two healthy and intelligent children.
Or maybe its just biology?
You probably look at children as product of 'biology'.
A believer values every child and knows that their child is a precious 'gift' from God.
Children are gods punishment for giving into carnal desires. That’s why so many Christians are against birth control
Absitinence is the key, not telling children that should have s_e_x and tell them to be safe. Really? indirectly you are advocating children to have s_e+x?
MarkinFL, the bible says that God causes both the good and the bad to drink of the same cup of wine but the "dreds" (the bitter stuff at the bottom of the glass) is left for the bad to take. It also says that God is merciful, He causes rain to come on both the good and the bad. God is benevolent and He loves us very much, whether you believe in Him or not.
If you spat on your father and said u didnt believe in him anymore, would he take you off his will? If you read the bible, God says ...will a mother forget her suckling child? even if she does, I will never forsake you.
so the kids are God's gift indeed and He loves you and He,S GOT YOUR BACK until the day the lights go out....and then, you're on your own.
@True – "A believer values every child and knows that their child is a precious 'gift' from God."
A believer values every child as a gift from God unless that child was born to a brown or yellow parent in the middle east/east or grows up and rejects their parents faith, then they are despised as little ungreatful b a s t a r d s who not only don't deserve to live but deserve to be tortured for eternity in the most cruel ways immaginable. Woo Hoo!! You guys are just so loving!!
It's "dregs" by the way, not "dreds' though some peoples dreds do smell like the stuff at the bottom of the glass. As for the rest of your post, you must worship a different God then most Christians because they all seem to worship a real "Richard".
At the end of the day, character is measured by the value a person places on virtues of life.
"Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live as well as think"
Very True, look at society today filled with lies and hatred. Marriage has become a sham. People cheating on their spouses, parents not being good examples for their children, abandoning them. Divorces rampant, adultery and p_o_r_n destroying the lives of people and destroying culture. What a sad state we are in.
True: And this is a new thing? Tell us all about how godly we were when we owned other human beings. Tell us how godly we were when females were second class citizens. Tell us when were godly people.
Why not care to read the Bible in entirety to see what message God is trying to communicate to Man. Unless you read the text(Bible) fully you will never comprehend the truth.
True: Are you speaking of the message of bronze age man?
I test my car before i decided to spend majority of my time in it. If its feels good, i am in it for the long run and if it doesn't feels good, then move on for a nicer one.
As the saying goes..."one man's poison is another man's food"
I've never figured this one out. As a man who married at 29, I can say that my wife and I were both still virgins. Something wrong with us? Our four children don't seem to think so, and my wife seems to think I have everything I need to have. I can't believe all the children on here who somehow think that not being able to keep their own organs in check is some kind of virtue, and that those who wait are somehow wrong.
It's worth the wait, I can tell you. And after many years of marriage, I still think it was worth the wait, and sometimes I think that several times a week and/or twice a day.
"not being able"?
Its called a choice. It is only an inability if you are fighting it. Virginity is no special virtue.
I happen to be quite happily married (16 years) with two children and I have zero regrets that we did not wait until we were married. Frankly I'm seriously glad we did not wait.
Scott said "your children agreed with you and your wife said she had everything from you", are you a fairy tale writer ?
I have news for you: most of them weren't waiting 30 years ago either. They just pretended they were. I knew too much about what was really going on in my Southern Baptist youth group including who was scared they had just gotten pregnant. The difference now is that young people aren't as hypocritical as we were.
30 years ago or 50 years ago or 70 years ago. This is not something new folks. It just used to be better hidden.
I think you just hit the nail on the head.
In the past, the pervasive sense of guilt and shame that permeated the American psyche encouraged discretion amongst those who did what came naturally.
That subconscious puritan ethic is what kept gay people firmly entrenched in the closet as well.
There were just as many naughty bits rubbing together in our parents and grandparents era as there are now.
It isn't that the old generations were more moral – they just had more respect for privacy.
The best way to start a marriage is with trust and self discipline. Couples who wait know they can trust their partner to be faithful after marriage.
Faithful Before Marriage = Faithful After Marriage
You go on believing that.....
Do they have unicorns where you live?
Do you have any data to back that up? oh yeah you're probably republican so of course you don't
Until one spouse realizes that the other spouse is lousy in the sack and goes off looking for the BIG O elsewehere
Because anal copulation isn't cheating?
Really? The Church wants to tell ME how to use my body?
Maybe the Church should focus on how NOT to use young men's bodies.
come on guys. This is about God our father who made us, loves us, died for us to get us back again. The church has flaws, lots of it, thats why it isnt the church that saves, its beleving in Jesus christ and accepting Him as the Lord of your life...it is God who is perfect so look at Him. Read the Bible guys, its so awesome, its all in there!
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.