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?
Those are some pretty lame excuses for kids having s3x.
==========@AntonLaVeyDavidJohnson======= Did you get the post on answer to Luke 13:31-34? I posted it, but I
I have no idea what you are talking about. This is why I quote what the person says and then my response.
60% of the time I'm right 100% of the time. Statistics can be misleading. When you look at divorce rates among Christians and how it can be equal to non-Christians, when you actually narrow down into 1) does this person actually attend church regularly 2) how often does this person read their bible, etc...the similarities start to dissapear. I would be interested to see from this "study' how many of these people are actually Christians vs just "Christians".
Your opinion of what makes a Christian is irrelevant.
No True Scotsman fallacy. Look it up.
Anyone and their mother could call themselves a Christian, doesnt make it true. If I walk into McDonalds and call myself an employee of McDonalds, does that make it true? If I call myself a hamburger am I then a hamburger?
Christianity a religion, which is a belief system. I can prove you are or are not an employee and I can prove you are not a hamburger. These are facts. Try proving someone is not a Christian. That is opinion. Try again.
Well since christians like to think marriage belongs to them...kinda makes them liable for the divorce rate. And last I checked, there were about 2 Billion people in the world who call themselves christian. Tell me, how do you distinguish between fake christians and real ones?
I would have thought it was obvious but to be a McDonalds employee, McDonalds must agree. Declaring yourself a christian or a hamburger (identical delusional acts in my opinion although I grant that a hamburger does have some redeeming qualities...) does not require anyone else's agreement.
IIf I go to McDonalds every day, go in the back, flip hamburgers, take people's trays to them, who is to say I dont work for McDonalds? If I call myself a member of PETA, yet you see me eating steaks all the time, going hunting and killing animals, bathing in chicken blood, are you going to believe I am a member of PETA? No.
McDonalds (and all employers) and PETA (and most, if not all, organizations with a formal structure aka constitution) have a formal mechanism to determine someone's status. Anyone that claims to be an employee or a member, when they are not, is committing a fraud (even if not in the perfectly legal sense). What is the equivalent mechanism to become a "certified" christian? Who are you to determine that anyone claiming to be a christian is not?
Ultimately I'm not, that is between them and God. What I am saying is that there are indicators that you can use to sway you one way or another in determining if someone should be grouped with "Christians" in a study or not.
Man that is one hilarious backfire attempt to draw a comparison. You would go to the back of a McDonald's to flip burgers for NO PAY? That is revealing! If there were more people like you coming from the religious side out picking the fruits you would solve your illegal immigrant problems! I would love to create a company and grind you religious nuts to the bone to make whatever I'm going to make millions on and I won't even have to pay you! Nice. Please become my employee!
Why do you think that being a follower of Jesus makes you perfect. We still make mistakes and do stupid things. All the righteousness in me amounts to a pile of filthy rags. When we make a mistake we pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and try to get back to doing the right thing.
“Why do you think that being a follower of Jesus makes you perfect?”
By telling others they are living in ‘sin’ and are going to hell if we don’t start believing and acting they way they do. The best part.. they all think their own particular cherry picked version is the right and only way.
FACT #1 Michele Bachmann's husband, Marcus Bachmann, is gay.
FACT #2 He tried and he tried and he tried, but he couldn't pray away his own gay.
FACT #3 Michele Bachmann has never seen her husband naked.
The physical trumps the meta-physical every time. Social modeling is a powerful and valuable tool, but when it contradicts fundamental physical reality, it merely commits suicide, slowly or quickly, as the base may be.
Abstinence has always been a farce. But whereas prior to reliable widely available contraception its contradiction was generally expressed in marriage, today it's primarily expressed as blatant hypocrisy.
==========@AntonLaVeyDavidJohnson======= Did you get the post on answer to Luke 13:31-34? I posted it, but I don't see it.
Bo is too stupid to figure out the word filter.
Using a phone is no reason to not use Reply.
Doc Vestibule is an idiot and wrong on all accounts
That a mighty harsh statement to make without anything to back it up.
Please provide a proper refutation if you wish to be taken seriously.
Ad hominem attacks do not make for a very civil or useful debate, Mr. Poopy Pants.
Mind pointing out on what specifically and why? If you can't (which I'm going to as.sume is the case) you are a child with your fingers in your ears going "lalalalala" because you don't like what Doc has got to say.
Which is a shame, because Doc is generally a pretty good poster with well thought out points.
Okay lets go down to casey's level of understanding....YOU ARE A PO OPY MOUTH CASEY
JV provided a very well though out refutation to the first part of my post.
You should take some notes from him.
Wow..really? News flash your human just like every one else.
My first girfriend was religous. She put out more than any other. I also noticed that more drugs were used among her group of friends than mine. If I remember correctly her one friends Danya loved circle jerks AND this was right after she wen to church!
Nice talk about your girlfriend: ever heard of respect and discretion? Keep acting like that and she will be your last girlfriend: no one likes their ex talking trash about them.
Lol.. really? So whats his girlfriend's name? For that matter what is Dan’s last name, if Dan is even his real name? Somehow I think both he and she are safely anonymous in this situation.
P.S. I’ve been dating the same girl for 6 years. We live together and have been sleeping together for the same length of time. She reads her bible (something most Christians don’t do) and goes to church regularly. It’s not trash if its true.
Does she really read it or just cherry pick the happy parts like many Christians do?
She reads it but she also cherry picks like the ALL do. If you think you’re not, you haven’t read the Bible. I’ve called her out about this even though it is against my own self interest. She gives the same old cop out reason the rest do. I’m not perfect..blah blah. I love her and she in my opinion is a great person. If she chooses to ‘skip’ portions of a primitive superstation then so be it.
All religions should be demoted to philosophy – good or bad. Take away organized religion's charity status and their tax status and make them pay taxes like any other business. Non-profits are rife with abuse of their tax status. Let's see if they are as well funded afterwards.
But if you called it philosophy then it would still qualify as an educational organization, which are tax free as well.
Yor are wrong. I push the donors to our mosque to take their tax receipts but most of them refuse and they only take it when I insist on it. So most people donating to our mosque are not looking for tax breaks due to the donation.
Religion is philosophy. No single one is proven. It's all about morals, the human condition, and so on. Though, religion definitely serves a good purpose for society, the way people have distorted every religion is sickening. It should not be about convert or die or go to hell and burn for eternity, it should be about respecting other's individuality and appreciating diversity in belief as the most important aspect of a "Maker" to depict. Still it is not the way it is, and I refuse to subscribe to any of them. And yet I sometimes wonder how crazy and cutthroat things could or may be if we did not have religion to quiet and control the masses, I really believe some people could not control themselves because the might not get into "heaven". ...CRAZY!
The three abrahamic desert blood cults should be demoted to the mythology section in museums.
Put simply, we are christians not saints. Give unto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's, give unto God that which is God's. But I do understand that some will go to any length to demonize divinity. Such is the world.
Just as some will go to great lengths to demonize lack of "divinity"
Yea.. my GF uses the same cop out.
Stop being such prudes.
Call it however you see, but God's word has never been wrong before. There will be a day of Judgement. All will give an account.
Even you! We're are all human and if GOD expects us to be like him and be perfect then he shouldn't have created us! Or started over with another Adam and Eve!
You mean the bible? Of course it's been wrong.
What Nominus said.
David, get a clue. There are hundreds of errors in "gods word" and it even contradicts itself. Start learning here:
Fscking ignorant Christians...
David, you're an idiot.
Here's a quick example of the Bible being patently WRONG:
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field; which indeed is smaller than all seeds. But when it is grown, it is greater than the herbs, and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in its branches."
– Matthew 13:31–32
Mustard seeds are not the smallest of all seeds. This was known even 2,000 years ago.
Mustard plants are not mighty trees
Birds do not generally nest in them.
Then there's mention of unicorns (Isaiah 34:7), half man half goat beasts (Isaiah 13:21 and 34:14), flaming snakes (Numbers 21:6), seven headed dragons (Revelation 12:3) and serpents that can kill just by looking at you (Jeremiah 8:17).
When you hear ignorance like this, you just don't bother to address. Some people are too delusional and stupid to communicate with. lol
Confusing man's writing with "God's Word", are ya?
This seems to be common with christians
The mustard seed referred to is the black mustard plant. It is an annual and grows up to ten feet tall. It is not planted in gardens, but in fields. This parable is during a conversation. It reads "...all your seeds...", Not all seeds or all the seeds. A big difference. Good luck with the word games with God. The light of God really is better than fighting to stay in the dark.
Thank You Rick!!!
Good job dismantling the mustard seed bit.
You done teacheded the Doctor today. I didn't know about the black mustard plant.
Now how about all those absurd animals?
Plus the locust from Revelation that wears armor and a tiny little crown and has the face of a man, the hair of a woman, the mouth of a lion and the tail of a scorpion.
Hey, i know it can be confusing (the reference of the mustard seed in those verses) but a few things have to be understood to get it better. First, when Jesus said the mustard seed was the smallest seed he was refering to the seeds that were sewn in that area of Palestine at that time (he says 'which a man took and planted in his field'). That mustard seed would have been the black mustard seed which can grow into trees that are almost 4 meters tall (and could house birds). Basically, it's important to note that Jesus was speaking to regular people (not just religious leaders of the day) and using an easy analogy (like sewing seeds) so they could grasp what he was telling them.
As far as the other verses mentioned, I read them and you must have mis-labled the verse, none of them (except the mention of the 7 headed dragon) talk about what you say. For example, the snake that can kill with a look – the verse mentions a snake but says that it's bite is venomous. As far as the dragon goes, those verses are written by a man who saw a vision of the future. The man states often that what he sees are 'signs' and the 7 headed dragon is not really a 7 headed dragon, it's an image to explain what will happen (he goes on to explain that the 7 heads (with crowns) depict 7 rulers of the day. This is akin to another area that mentions a dragon (representing the devil) who sweeps 1/3 of the stars from the sky. This doesn't mean a giant dragon will flick 1/3 of the stars to earth, it's refering to the angels (1/3 of the angels) that Satan took with him from heaven during the fall. Angels are often refered to as 'stars.'
Anyways, sorry for the long reply.
The bible has more contradictions than Swiss cheese. The sheer number of mental gymnastics/cognitive dissonance that Christians have to do to make it compatible with reality is ridiculous.
The Bible clearly refers to bats as birds, and can only account for a few thousand years of history when the rocks outside tell us themselves that they are millions of years old. God's word says that you're not supposed to talk to women when they're on their period. Do you anticipate you'll go to hell for that, too? God is an irrational and spiteful, petty being, if you believe the Bible. Who can make all heaven and Earth and stars, but is concerned enough about you eating crabs that he'll make you suffer for all eternity for it. If he didn't want me to eat crabs, he shouldn't have made them so tasty.
Christians with STD.......
I think more explanation of the term "religious identification" is necessary here. Lots of people call themselves "Christians" with no real understanding of, or commitment to, Biblical doctrine or the teachings of Christ. Of the Christians I know who actually practice their faith (that is, who regularly attend church, study the scriptures, and are willing to reject popular notions of morality in favor of Biblical ones), very few - I'd estimate 30% or less - lost their virginity prior to marriage (although they typically married in their early 20s, a few years earlier than non-Christian friends who typically cohabited for lengthy periods prior to marriage). Allowing people to self-identify as "Christian" without some sort of objective measurement of that the term, in my opinion, vitiates the usefulness of the "virginity statistics" being presented.
Curious, then, to know who you think should be admitted to the club?
Why don't you just admit that Christianity and abstinence programs don't work? The real sad part of this story is that Christianity is responsible for the systemic shut-down of Planned Parenthood, the single biggest preventer of unplanned pregnancy, with a bunch of scripted sound bytes prepared by their masters. You would think that those pro-lifers (aka: anti women's choice, but let's kill people on death row without conclusive evidence crowd) would want to prevent unwanted pregnancies if they really cared about the abortion rate. The irony is overwhelming.
Is there a test? Who would really pass that? "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."
There's no checklist. Each of us gets to decide IF we follow, WHAT we follow, and to what extent. Some do, some don't, some don't care. Others just want to be happy and live their own lives without anyone -"puritans" or "deviants" – breathing down their necks berating them for their personal choices. The Jesus taught you to Love your neighbor as you do yourself. There seems to be an awful lot of self-haters out there these days!
good thing i'm a pagan, a "religion" that has preceded christianity by thousands of years, and will outlast by thousands more
Rene...You are generalizing. I am a prolife and anti death penalty person. I work at a prolife pregancy center where the majority of workers are VOLUNTEERS and our money comes from donors...which is extremely opposite of government funded, for profit Planned Parenthood.
Allowing people to self-identify as "Christian" without some sort of objective measurement of that the term, in my opinion, vitiates the usefulness of the "virginity statistics" being presented.
You see your problem with your own words? It is your opinion, not only on the point you made but also on the valid identi-ty of what a christian is. Spell out every detail of what it means to be a christian!
Like color of hair? Eyes .. etc. Weight, height.. what kind of clothes? What areas of their bodies they can shave? Tattoos allowed? Disabled? Missing limbs or must be ALL limbs or no christian license for you! How old you must be? Can you be a virgin or not!? Are you excluded if any members of your family have had an ab-ortion?
You see your actual christian is a false scheme to exclude the -unwelcomed- for your religion. It does not exist. This pure christian / true christian is so full of horse man-ure! Anytime you people spew that out you're looking to single out traits that you want to disas-sociate your little group from others.
$ex is a natural part of life. Why try to keep people from doing it? You know when your ready especially if your not pressured about it. And The Bible was created to control the Masses anyways. So, stop preaching it. God loves everyone regardless of what you do. Otherwise he isn't an all forgiving God and he doesn't love ALL his children. Why try to fight Nature?
Goddess Priest..you are 100% correct. Our biology and desires are screaming for it. However, that doesn't mean that we should be irresponsible with such a beautiful thing.
I am not saying waiting until your married, but why not be choosy on who you give yourself to?
S*x is an amazing thing and should be treated a such. When you connect with someone on that level it can be a wonderful experience, but it also has potential for physical and emotional consequences if not treated with respect.
This of course is my opinion and I respect yours as well.
you sir have something i thought was extinct in the world today. common sense
Moxioron... I believe this too. I mean one should not do it with just anyone. Wait for that person that is on the same level as you. Someone who looks to be someone for your future wife or husband. If all looks good then. By Mother Nature let it be.
Simplify it a little more... you can label "the deed" as many, many things, ranging from spiritual to erotic to lustful. But, in the end, it serves a single, simple purpose: procreation. Say what you will about humans and their separation (superiority, as some mistakenly believe) from other species... in the end, we're just animals trying to keep the species going. The rest is human and society based, and is arbitrary.
GP, religion is about transcending nature. As Confucius said, man differs from animals only by a little, and most throw that part away. Those 80% of "Christians" are probably among that most, as are those like you who abhore the idea of rising above your natural impulses.
So it makes perfect sense to draw a line at waiting for someone who looks like they are your future spouse but Christians are ridiculous for buying into the ridiculous notion of setting a goal of waiting until the wedding day? Why is one moral line acceptable but the other one is ridiculous? Or is it the idea that a higher power has set the line?
Also, Goddess, why is the idea that love will not just endorse behavior but actually have an interest in shaping behavior so inconceivable? Do you have kids? I love them dearly and would do anything for them but part of my job as a parent is to shape their behavior. Wouldn't God be somewhat like a parent?
Wait, you mean that young Christians are actually human, too?? I'm shocked. Accordingly to the liberal media, TV, movies, Hollywood, etc, they are supposed to be hate-filled, two-faced cyborgs! I can't believe that they may actually succomb to their own weak moments..... WHAT A SHOCKER!
Well, you are uptight.
Christians continually prove they are hate filled, two faced monsters...without the help of the liberal media.
"Tolerance" is completely foreign to them.
""Tolerance" is completely foreign to them."
No they know of tolerance, they want people to tolerate christianity, but cant tolerate other religions.
Obveously many people who "label" themselves a Christian arn't really the type of "Christian" who are actually living their life by Biblical standards. Waiting is beneficial- you can either wait and reap those benefits or don't wait and suffer the pains of it. There are alot of people who are waiting.
Or Jack, you can not wait and still have a fine life. What is good for one person isn't necessarily good for all.
Jack, go read up on the No True Scotsman fallacy. Don't come back 'til you get it.
Norbert, there are many true Christians. It's just a small percentage of the people who self-apply the label.
Wow, Biblical standards, the (supposed) mores of people who lived 2,000 years ago. Nothing more relevant than that
Erik, get a brain. Same comment to Jack applies to you.
Following the old testament can make you psychotic criminal. If you follow the new testament then you're a schizophrenic that's still screwed up in the head.
I'm a Christian, 19, male, and believe it or not a virgin. I'll admit it's been very very difficult at times, but my future wife will likely thank me for being loyal to her before I even knew her. I understand that other relationships can work, but if it's within my power to show my future wife how much I love her, I will do so. I know there will probably be people that give me crap for this post, but please understand, I abstain out of respect for myself and others. Where am I at fault?
You've made a great choice and your marriage will benefit massively from it. Don't buy the lies that you are missing out on something good- what THEY are missing out on is the amazing feeling of giving yourself to your wife and her giving herself too you after waiting for each other.. THAT is rare and indescribably special and an AMAZING foundation for a marriage. God bless you mate
But don't hate yourself if you find someone you really like and end up in a physical relationship. You are at an age when what is important one minute may be completely unimportant the next. Just try to be a good, honest person and you should be fine.
it's easier when nobody wants to do it with you
More power to you. It is your choice and who cares what anyone thinks about it. It is your body and if you choose to wait, then why let the opinion of others weigh in?
As long as you are not self righthous about it, then you march on brother.
I've only had se.x with my wife, though we certainly did not wait until marriage. I am that rare male that has been with one woman only(I am 46 now). However, it has had no special meaning. I have no regrets, on the other hand I do not think it is any big deal. To each his own.
I waited & even though it did not work for me, & I almost alway advised young couples to live together at least a year before marriage, so they can really know the person they are marrying.
I hope you find the right girl for you.
you're future wife won't be thanking you when you're terrible in the sack from having no prior experience.
Are you planning on finding a woman who is also a Virgin? That's going to slim down your pickings BIG time.
There is a reason why christian women cheat on their husbands that waited. Does this mean they do not love their husbands? Of course not. It just means they need to find a man to fill certain needs not being met. You have a Porsche and a driver who always does 55 mph...the Porsche wants to be used how it was intended to be used.
I think what you are doing is great. I wish I waited. Before I met the man I am spending the rest of my life with, I had a few serious boyfriends and slept with them. If I had known that I would have found something far greater, I would have waited. But I was living in the moment. For most people, that lifestyle is perfectly acceptable. I'm not judging by any means, but I now have personal regrets with the decisions I made in my past, because I wish I could say I gave him something so personal that could have only been for him, had I used different judgement. Stay strong. If this is your choice, I commend you.
GOOD FOR YOU...as it should be!! A fellow Christian
How can you be loyal to someone before you meet them?
Veritas: "I wish I could say I gave him something so personal that could have only been for him,"
Well, it sounds like you did just that. You gave him the sum of what you were to that time that you committed to him.
Don't beat yourself up. While I am certainly not an advocate of profligate s.ex, it seems to be quite taken out of proportion to its importance. In some cultures a woman won't even let a man see her face until marriage... in some even a kiss or a touch on the hand is enough to besmirch 'purity'. Peace.
You can’t Rick. That phrase is just to reassure the insecure.
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.