I went back and edited this after reading Steve's comments. My original post was more sarcastic, and the sarcasm could be seen as directed towards the kids, which is not my intention. I think that so many things in this world fail children--parents, schools, teachers, leaders. God never fails; His Love, and the Love He imparts to us, never fails. True Love DOES Wait, no doubt...it waits, always hopes, always loves, always perseveres. My heart grieves for all the kids making destructive choices.
Most of the kids who signed pledges to wait until marriage to have sex...didn't.
"True Love Waits, a program sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention, is one of the most famous evangelical efforts to reduce premarital sexual activity among our youth. Since 1993, about 2.4 million young people have signed a pledge to wait until marriage to engage in sexual intercourse. Are these young evangelicals keeping their pledges? In March 2004, researchers from Columbia University and Yale University reported on their findings. For seven years they studied 12 thousand teenagers who took the pledge. Sadly, they found that 88 percent of these pledgers reported having sexual intercourse before marriage; just 12 percent kept their promise. The researchers also found that the rates for having sexually transmitted diseases 'were almost identical for the teenagers who took pledges and those who did not.'"
I know how these "crusades," or whatever you want to call them, go. They attract youth groups to arenas for a one-night conference. A few speakers, a 'cool' band, and then the pledge cards come out. Kids who either feel like they'll be looked down upon if they don't sign or who have been emotionally piqued sign the card (and, of course, the 12 percent who kept their word). All of them are now counted in the ministry's numbers as a success. I am simply uncomfortable with that 'crusade' kind of ministry--I prefer one-on-one discipleship. I distrust glitz, crowds, and things that end quickly. I guess I have been burned.
I grieve for teenagers in this country, kids whose parents think they can raise them in the world and then drop them off at a convention for a night to learn not to have sex before marriage. I know I am totally oversimplifying, but there is a sense in which many youth groups as they exist today, and many parachurch ministries for teens--all of it is in some sense absurd, appealing to the flesh, or flitting down for the spiritual equivalent of a one-night stand. Kids need and deserve so much more.
I pray for more good soil for the sower. I pray against the schemes of the enemy to drown children (schools and media are such cesspools). I pray that people will see that what we need to do is FOLLOW JESUS and teach others to do the same.
The Surgery, Part One
3 years ago