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?
Hopefully sometime soon more people will wake up and realize all this waiting for marriage among other religious crap is just a way for religious leaders to control our minds. Opiate for the masses. Makes them easier to manipulate.
Sorry Doc but you missed the "double" meaning of what Jesus said. He spoke of occurrence of two different times in Matthew: 1) regarding His 2nd coming and 2) the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 A.D. The Old Testament and Revelation prophecies didn't end with Jesus, in fact He fulfills or brings them to a point where they can be completed.
The OT prophecies are clear about the season, not the day or month, when He will return. One sure sign that has never happened before in history but happened in 47: the re-creation of a nation once it was totally eliminated: the re-birth of the nation of Israel and the restoration of a dead language: Hebrew.
This is the "generation that shall not pass away...tic-tok tic-tok tic-tok
I grew up as a catholic In Lithuania, all my friends are catholic, at least nominally, but personally I don't know anyone who waited until marriage... It's just like with contraception and masturbation. Even priests don't really care about that too much.
Which is very likely the foremost reason why church memberships rates are rapidly in decline, and not just for the Catholic church.
In my opinion, the church and all of its denominations need to come together and have another schism based on the very basic teachings. Otherwise, this is exactly like what the Catholic church, for instance, was doing when it was selling 'forgiveness deeds' during the Medieval Age in Europe. And that means adherents like you - who are also free to claim whatever they want, whenever they want while claiming to worship whomever they want - are to be ex-communicated.
People who take their beliefs seriously, however many of them there are, ought not to be persecuted because of those like you.
But the strong will survive (and even thrive, regardless).
Oh well, here is another end of time for you. End of time is personal. Each time the Spirit of Jesus changes a person's life an end of time passes. Therefore, an end of time can be as repetative as the changing of a life to be more like Jesus the Christ.
You cannot be a Christian and have s.e.x outside of marriage or for other that procreative purposes.
It's not supposed to be about fun. That's the problem. We're not animals who can't control ourselves. We have a brain with executive function. We have the ability to make moral decisions. You just can't be a Christian and have the att.itude, "If it feels good, do it."
Well, there's your problem. Humans ARE animals. That's why we have the same methods of procreation as other animals.
Biologically humans have an animal nature, but spiritually humans are far from animals. Plus, humans have a much more developed brain with the executive function that I mentioned above. We can choose not to give in to our base desires.
You keep on telling yourself that, George. I feel sorry for you, because you somehow think being a human is a bad thing.
Tallulah, correction: you're an animal, if that - those claims I don't deny. And that also implies you ought to be treated as such. But I think that would be much too benevolent on my part or that of those who think along similar lines.
I however, would like to say I'm a freely-thinking human being and individual; one of the very, very, VERY few - the Galileos you f-ilth persecuted, the 'witches' you burned, the 'enemies of the state' you sent to the gulags, the n-iggers you hung –think not 1% like the OWS de-generates, but more like the .1% and even less - we're your masters, and we'll survive and whether the countries we're living in are Saudi, the US or North Korea. ;)
You were kind of incoherent, so I'm going to try to cut to the chase here. You believe you are special. You also believe that you have been persecuted. You somehow believe that I am persecuting you. You claim to be my master. Of course, you can't be bothered to provide examples of your suffering, or your superiority. In fact, if you hadn't told me how special you are, I'd suspect you're just another anonymous buffoon with a bloated sense of your own importance.
Frankly, I don't know who you are, don't care who you are, but if you are human, you are an animal. Sorry. That's just how the DNA rolls.
You obviously haven't read the Bible, because once you are married you are free to basically have as much s ex with your wife as you two want.
"It's not supposed to be about fun."
Apparently, for some it is about overwriting natural desires to comply with bronze age mythology
I see that User is talking trash again.
"I'd suspect you're just another anonymous buffoon with a bloated sense of your own importance. "
He is also making empty anonymous threats.
User: Go home and get your shinebox, boy
But what you don't realize is your argument is way more scary than not waiting. Se.x is bad, wrong, shameful, hurtful, destructive, ect, ect, and then you get married and all of a sudden it's beautiful, right, purposeful, and so on. You want us to believe that giving into your nature is wrong, but yet you also claim your god created us with that nature. If he was perfect, wouldn't he have created us to not have se.xual desires until we got married?
Instead of shaming and scaring people into waiting, you can educate how to not be destructive with se.x and use it as a tool for expressing love and enjoyment. It's not easy, if you try, to see how nonsensical your arguments for waiting truly are.
Humans are a species, and are not naturally monogamous. It's ingrained in our DNA to mate with as many partners as possible to further our species.
Waiting just isn't any fun...I'm all about havin fun
Never buy a car without taking it for a test drive. You might get a lemon on your wedding night. It would be horrible to marry someone and then have to divorce because they were a lousy lover.
"Waiting", as this article calls it, has nothing to do with being Christian. It's a way for the power-hungry shamans of Christianity to terrorize their followers, but Jesus never said to 'wait'. Arbitrary 'moral rules' like this are common in religions that have the exertion of authority by a self-appointed leader, who uses the rules to his personal advantage - see Warren Jeffs.
Jesus condemned lust, condemned, and said the only acceptable reason for divorce was Adultery. That's from the book of Mathew, the other books say it's a sin numerous times. I agree that most organized religions, and "Christian" groups seem hypocritical, and that's because they are. I am Christian, I believe marriage is definitely worth the wait, forget the rules, forget the consequences, just look at the shared intimacy that can only be had between two individuals. It's amazing.
I'm a 28-year-old virgin and I can tell you, it's not that difficult to wait. Stay in the Word and guard your heart (sight, hearing, speaking). Most importantly, be equally yoked with your suitor. If he doesn't believe in waiting, you may compromise. Remember, waiting until marriage is your WORSHIP to God. That's all it is. He said people who love Him will DO His Word. Your life and marriage will be blessed. Stay focused.
WHAT IF YOU NEVER GET MARRIED?...WHAT WAS WAITING FOR?
If you never meet Mr Right, the plum becomes a prune
Great for you Brie, You will definitely be blessed your abstinence and standing steadfast in the word. Keep up the awesome Worship.
can I have your phone number?
I know of quite a few never married 30 and 40-something year old Christians.
Why stay so focused? Does that include Oral or Annal too?
Someone ought to slash dear Ricky's throat for his trailer park values - this f-ilth ought to be gutted like an animal (though I'd never do such to an animal).
Oh, and waiting has nothing to do with Christianity.
(And that's for his/her/its 'values' alone).
There are plenty of other reasons that would justify such an act.
You're lucky the police can still protect you as law and order hasn't been declared illegal yet due to one tolerant, and 'progressive' reason or another, Ricky. ;)
User: Come and get me, pendejo.
I hope karam serves you swiftly.
User: If you're going to talk like a B, I am going to have to slap you like a B
"I'll tell you what, Barb, when they stop claiming to know what god thinks, then I will stop pointing out their pompousness" and added, "Or....when they stop quoting scriptures to those who don't accept the authority of those words"
Can I point out that you are lumping all Christians together? You are not able to tell me that every single Christian is pompous and every single Christian says they know exactly what God thinks and the exact authority of words coming from Scripture.
You will have pompus people etc etc from each religion you come across. And you will run across people who are not truly what their religion tells them to be–although they may preach it. I apologize that you have run into some of those Christians. That is a shame. I hope you have met some that can be a good influence and positive friend.
you are right. i am lumping them together. and that is intellectual laziness. i apologize. just as (some) theists lump all who do not believe what they do into the same pile
I waiting until I was married and now that I am married, I cannot imagine NOT waiting! It's wonderful for our marriage that we are the only ones to have that experience with.
COMPLETELY Agree. That's also been the case with my wife and I.
My wife and I chose not to wait, and we have had as equally amazing experience, I'm sure. You don't have to wait for marriage for se.x to be amazing and a beautiful thing with someone you love.
I suggest you never wait and use lots of toys and machines that vibrate.
Wait if you want to, don't wait if you choose not to. Just don't act like you are somehow superior because you waited. Recall the story of the tax collector and the pharisee in Luke 18.
Cant stop water where it wanna go.
Gotta drive the car before you buy it.
Times change, welcome yourself to the 21st century.
People have changed, they don't uphold the biblical principles as they once did.
alock: apparently, cultures change. part of that change is religion
"... If you get married when you’re 13, you don’t have 15 years of temptation."
This is interesting. I used to think that marriages happened earlier in the past as well. Actually, its quite a common mistake. Marriage age has fluctuated over time and level of industrialization in a society. Women during the Industrial Revolution in England often didn't marry until their mid- to late 20s, much like our current average. Women in rural France pre-industrial Revolution married even later, usually having to wait for one or both of her parents to die in order to have enough of a dowry (e.g. bed, linens, pots and pans) to be able to start her own home and support the raising of children.
During both of these time periods, the rate of illegitimate births was incredibly low – in the range of 1 to 2%. Not sure if that means there was more successful abstinance being practiced, but something was definitely different. Of course, one would also have to factor in such variables as nutrition and disease when considering how many pregnancies ended in spontaneous termination due to lack of a sustainable environment – that would have been a much greater factor than our current state where people are generally healthy and well fed.
Still a fascinating topic.
Wow, that was more interesting than the article itself. Thanks for sharing!
That is very interesting. Nothing is ever constant. It's also important to note that the issue of abortion was unlikely to be as big of an issue during the times you speak of. Abortion wasn't even regulated/illegal until the 19th century in the U.S. and other places. So it may have been practiced by women quietly, especially if there was strong stigma attached to having a child out of wedlock
Christine: You're missing the point that because they waited until they were married back in those times, there was no need for an abortion.. that's how it should be. If people were a little bit more responsible and not so permiscuous today there would be no reason for people to think that they needed an abortion.
As a Christian, I wish more people would try to convince others of their faith through actions rather than message board debates. I think we're doing more harm than good.
i think you are correct
If you had faith you would not have to have the debate......it is already decided by GOD.
pat: perhaps not all people debating accept your concept of god
What? Please add something of substance next time.
I think Rick is a very rude person. He shouldn't be making fun of someone's believes and the Bible. Use your common sense and morales and stop attacking people.
I'll tell you what, Barb, when they stop claiming to know what god thinks, then I will stop pointing out their pompousness
Or....when they stop quoting scriptures to those who don't accept the authority of those words
Rick, write a book if you have so much to say. It's exhausting to try and read each of the comments, and then your 3 separate responses. At least wait until you've thought of everything you want to say and then put it in one response. Please, don't write one, then sit at your computer fuming until you need to right another. Count to 10. I've heard that works for a lot of people with anger management issues.
I find it very rude and offensive that christians are not respectful of my beliefs. Christians using their religion to dictate social and moral issues as well as telling me I'm an idiot and going to hell because I no longer believe christianity to be truth. So when christians stop condemning me to eternal dam.nation, I'll stop expressing my belief that they believe a fairy tale.
Rick, quoting scriptures is what Christians are suppose to do to unbelievers. Why do you think Paul was treated the way he was, spreading the Gospel... and Jesus he was hated by many for preaching the gospel. I agree that some Christians can be too judgemental but you need to seperate Christians from Church folks... not everyone who goes to church is a CHRISTian... as the Bible says " not everyone who cries Lordy Lordy will enter into Heaven. Being a Christian is not having religion but having a RELATIONSHIP with God, a personal relationship. I think it is wonderful for young couples to save themself for marriage, Christians or not.
Paul and jesus were hated, as you say, because they were breaking the social norm. They were going against many thousands of years of Jewish tradition. But then again, maybe they were right, since christians went on to murder millions in the Crusades in the name of christ and the expansion of his kingdom. Or maybe they knew they would oppress women, and African Americans, and eventually ho.mo.se.xuals. But I digress.
To many of us nonbelievers, it isn't a matter of separating true christians from false ones, it's a matter of coming to the conclusion that your religion is fallible. And that to use it as a means to control social and biological control. If you want to believe in it, that's fine. But don't force your beliefs on other people.
@Rick – I know a guy named Rick. And he might even make a statement like that. Is that you, Rick? Rick?
But, seriously, isn't that the problem? Across the three biggies and all the other smaller religions, most likely, it's not hard to find those that are so sure of their interpretations that they are effectively equating themselves with God. Think about it . . . when you have all the answers, tell others where they're wrong, force your beliefs on others, etc. then you are saying through your actions and words that you know the mind of God so well that there is no room for doubt in your words and deeds. And that, if you're honest, is equating yourself with God.
I'm a Christian who, more and more, is leaning towards some type of agnosticism. God is a big mystery in many ways. There is much we don't know and that should make us unwilling to force our beliefs on others. Yet, unfortunately, that is what often happens. Christians should look towards the message of love and tolerance in the Bible, yet it's often the opposite message that Christians put forth. That's very unfortunate, but it seems to make so many Bible-thumpers feel good about themselves and feel righteous. But feeling righteous and being righteous aren't necessarily the same thing. I'd suggest Christians be doubting Christians . . . you don't need to doubt in God and Jesus . . . just doubt your ability to understand it all and judge it all. Instead, be more open to other opinions and be more tolerant. There's is much justification in the Bible for open-mindedness, but I know Christians who are proud of their close-mindedness.
Plus in the last days, like myself, they will love to eat their own doo doo.
Ah yes, the eating of feces. Another unmistakable sign of the Lord's return.
I love you.
THIS VERSE IN 2Timothy3 SAYS IT ALL : But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be LOVERSD OF THEMSELVES, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, WITHOUT LOVE, unforgiving, SLANDEROUS,WITHOUT SELF CONTROL, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, LOVERS OF PLEASURE rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
6 They are the kind who
Yep...them last days......been coming for quite a while.....annnyyyyy time now......
Exactly. I mean, as if being self indulgent is something that is new, not going on for the last few million years. And from a different perspective, most scholars will tell you that when Paul wrote this letter to Timothy, it was about the current situation and next coming few years as the church was coming under persecution, not a few thousand years later.
(2 Peter 3:3-4) 3 For you know this first, that in the last days there will come ridiculers with their ridicule, proceeding according to their own desires 4 and saying: “Where is this promised presence of his? Why, from the day our forefathers fell asleep [in death], all things are continuing exactly as from creation’s beginning.”
Wow, Kevin...,you can quote a book. Very impressive.
How is Jesus' return coming? Stuck in traffic?
I think my favorite of these catastrophic prophecies is the "disobedience to the parents". Good lord, what a prominent foretelling of endtimes. There's been a rising number of time-outs, so obviously Jesus is coming back!
WorshisSnowyWhite: Right. Prophesizing disobedience to parents is like propheizing dark following light, or rain eventually falling. Way to go out on the limb
@WorshipSnowyWhite, nonbeliever & Rick, when you look at the prophecies regarding the last days one at a time it can be said this has always happened, your very right. But it is quite different when you take all the Bible prophecies regarding the last days and put them together. Doing so gives you a composite as detailed as a fingerprint. The world has never ever fit the Bible composite of the last days as it does now. Absolutely all of the hundreds of prophecies the Bible said would take place have done just so . . . in our day! Here is a very good article that points out some of those fingerprint lines. http://www.watchtower.org/e/bh/article_09.htm
Kevin: Not a convincing article at all.
You do realize that the 'letters' that make up the majority of the new testament, were written at a point in time where followers believed that jesus would be returning in their life time, correct? The world will never fit this 'bible composite' because it does not apply to our era, wasn't even meant to be. Most scholars believe that these majority of "prophecies" have already taken place, hundreds of years ago...and we are still waiting on your jesus to return. So please, have a better argument lined up than that next time.
“Children, it is the last hour; and just as you heard that antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have appeared; from this we know that it is the last hour.”
—1 John 2:18
That was 2000 years ago.
Jesus was supposed to come back in the first century.
"Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled."
– Matthew 24:34
The biblical definition of a generation can be found in Psalm 90.
"The years of our lives are 70; and if by reason of strength they be 80 years, yet most of them are labor and sorrow; for life is soon cut off and we fly away."
26 Psalms 90:10
This is confirmed in the Gospel of Matthew.
"Therefore all the generations from Abraham down to David are 14 generations; and from David down to the Babylonian captivity are 14 generations; and from the Babylonian captivity down to messiah, are 14 generations."
– Matthew 1:17
Matthew is using the Psalm 90 definitions of Generation in order to tell a specific chronological story.
Jesus didn't come back.
Christians have been waiting on tenterhooks for the Second Coming since the Bible itself was written.
Many have prophesied the exact time of date of His return and ALL have been wrong.
George Rapp said it would be September 15th, 1829.
William Miller predicted October 22, 1844. Jesus’ failure to arrive is known as “The Great Disappointment”. Many of his disillusioned followers went on the found the 7th Day Adventist Church, who are still patiently awaiting His return.
Charles Russell, 1st President of the Watchtower Society told his fellow Jehovah’s Witnesses that Jesus would be back in 1874.
Rudolf Steiner maintained that from 1930 onwards, Jesus would grant certain people psychic powers to enable them to witness his presence in the “etheric plane”.
Herbert Armstrong, Pastor General of the Worldwide Church of God said 1975.
Bill Maupin managed to convince his followers to sell all of their worldly goods in preparation for Jesus’ return on June 28th, 1981.
Benjamin Crème stated that on June 21st, 1982 Christ would make a worldwide television announcement.
Mark Blitz, Pastor of El Shaddai Ministries says it would be September 30th, 2008
Jerry Falwell said it’d happen between 1999 and 2009.
Harold Camping is telling everyone that the Rapture will happen May 21, 2011 after failing in his first predicted date of 1994.
Conversely, many believe He’s all ready come in the form of Sun Myung Moon, Emanuel Swedenborg, Baha u llah, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, David Koresh, Hailie Selassie, John Thom, Arnold Potter, William Davies, George roux, Ernest Norman, Krishna Venta, Ahn Sahng-Hong, Jim Jones, Mashall Applewhite, Hulon Mitchell, Wayne Bent, Ariffin Mohammed, Mitsuo Matayoshi, Jose Luis de Jesus Miranda, Inri Cristo, Thomas Provenzano, David Icke, Shoko Asahara, Hogan Fukinaga, Marina Tsvigun or Sergei Troop.
It would appear that the much lauded Jewish carpenter has been thoroughly dead for 2000 years and will remain so.
Thank you for taking the time to do that which I did not have the patience to.
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.