Young Adults are clearly surrounded by sexual influences like never before. I cannot imagine how I would cope in this context if I were 21 again. I am sure I would need exceptional grace to remain chaste and pure if I were single.

A new Barna Group study reveals that a growing number of young people are leaving the church because their church experiences related to sexuality are too simplistic. This particular study found that young adults question how to live in purity while immersed in a culture that values hyper-sexuality over wholeness. Turning to the church for answers too often results in a list of forbidden activities with very little explanation about how to keep from doing them. Students and youth pastors say if the church is going to reach young adults, it must focus on the internal instead of the external. 17% of young Christians who responded to the Barna study said they made mistakes involving sex and felt judged within the church as a result. My personal experience says that this number is likely much higher. 

How can we change this? I suggest we develop a better understanding of anthropology, i.e. the doctrine of humankind. I also believe that we must regain a deep commitment to the real humanity of our Savior who was tempted in every way common to us. When we believe human persons are made in God's image and that Jesus is the ideal human person who lived in love and faith (and of course purity) then we are at least headed in the right direction again. Jesus did this by the power of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit given to us to live in faith, hope and love. 

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  1. Fr. Merrin December 22, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Very important for our time. I’ve been trying very hard to get couples to live separately before marriage. Very difficult because many only view sex without love as a sin. Not sex without commitment as God puts forth. I ask this question to the man, “What are you looking forward to about marriage?” And to the woman I ask, “How will your wedding night be different than all the nights before it?” Very few have a believable answer and they are often frightened by the idea that there is nothing different about marriage and the wedding night. In their fear I come in and say, “Let’s change that and create something to look forward to.” I have had a 50% success rate, but all the couples that do separate, thank me on their wedding night. Easier to do with the couple. Still working on how to get it into preaching.

  2. Jack December 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

    From what I am reading it appears that Universalism is the ultimate destination for ALL people.

  3. John H. Armstrong December 23, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Reading where? In the wider culture or here? I am not saying such at all.

  4. cary December 23, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    What are the inherent purposes of the act? I am sure you are much wiser than and experienced than I in this arena but i find it particularly hard to ignore this question either.
    As a young man still who grew up in this culture and was embedded in the issue personally before recognizing the truth of the matter this question was to me central…
    In Christ

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