Sex and Our Youth

Sex and Our Youth September 18, 2012

This past Sunday, our church began a study called “Developing a Theology of Sexuality.”  We began it with fear and trembling, knowing we are moving into complex waters.

We invited parents and teens and pre-teens.  We made it clear:  no youth or pre-teens without their parents.  This must be a multi-generational discussion.

The idea for this sprang from a message series I did last January and February on why we lose so many of our young people when they get into and beyond their high school years.  One of the reasons is that we have persisted in teaching them a shallow theology, full of absolutes and magical stories, and which does not hold up under more rigorous examination.  So they enter young adulthood with almost no spiritual anchor at all.

A couple of years ago, the state of Texas approved class on sex education came to the Krum schools.  What the high schoolers heard was “If you have sex before marriage, you will go to hell.” Since most of the students were already sexually active, they were not able to receive any other information as helpful.

A few days ago, I spoke with the facilitator of that program and mentioned to her what my teens told me about it.  As it turns out, it was the youth themselves who had come up with the phrase, but because it involved religious matters, the facilitator was not permitted to discuss it in the schools.

This information needs to come from churches.  Frankly, with schools unable to address the spiritual component of human relationships, and especially when it comes to sexual activity, they are unable to address this in a healthy and holistic manner.

I hear lots of talk about “biblical marriages.”

But it’s just not all that cut and dried.  Yes, we all have a picture of the ideal–but we are also living in an age when most marriages don’t take place now until the partners are in their late 20’s and early 30’s.  And any honest pastor will tell you that these days, we rarely celebrate marriages where the couple have NOT already been living together for some time.

We need to address this openly.  So we are.  And I invite your prayers, comments, questions, concerns, and any help you can give.

As we told the first group, they are the test group and there to help us “perfect the process.”  We are United Methodists, after all.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • David

    Some weddings celebrate the beginning of a marriage. Some celebrate a marriage that began a while before. So the best response is to celebrate!

  • David

    Some weddings celebrate the beginning of a marriage. Some celebrate a marriage that began a while before. So the best response is to celebrate!

  • d

    The Title to your example should be:

    “Marriage and unions found in the Bible, Some NOT God approved.”

    They missed a few.

    Mother with son.

    Father with daughters

    Brother with Sister.

    And we can add a few unions and marriages found to day all in process, being challenged in the courts because:

    “As long as the union/marriage is between two consenting adults it is no one else’s business” that include brother with brother and sister with sister.

    USA Courts:

    Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558

    Reverend James Bevel vs. State of Virginia

    MONTANA v. HALL, 481 U.S. 400

    Germany

    The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France ruled Thursday to throw out a case brought by a 35-year-old Leipzig man convicted to three years in prison for engaging in an incestuous relationship with his sister.

    The court said rulings by the German courts had not represented a violation of the “right to respect for private and family life,” as petitioner Patrick S. had claimed.

    Leipziger Volkszeitung

    Daryl Lindsey

    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/11a0307p-06.pdf

  • d

    The Title to your example should be:

    “Marriage and unions found in the Bible, Some NOT God approved.”

    They missed a few.

    Mother with son.

    Father with daughters

    Brother with Sister.

    And we can add a few unions and marriages found to day all in process, being challenged in the courts because:

    “As long as the union/marriage is between two consenting adults it is no one else’s business” that include brother with brother and sister with sister.

    USA Courts:

    Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558

    Reverend James Bevel vs. State of Virginia

    MONTANA v. HALL, 481 U.S. 400

    Germany

    The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France ruled Thursday to throw out a case brought by a 35-year-old Leipzig man convicted to three years in prison for engaging in an incestuous relationship with his sister.

    The court said rulings by the German courts had not represented a violation of the “right to respect for private and family life,” as petitioner Patrick S. had claimed.

    Leipziger Volkszeitung

    Daryl Lindsey

    http://www.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/11a0307p-06.pdf

  • Richard Rudesill

    The graphic above does not address cultural realities present in Biblical days we no longer deal with. When women had no legal rights, the men were called upon to care for them financially and legally. What if he died? Then his brother or closest relative would levirate marry her, which was not marriage per se, but marriage to provide her financial and legal needs. It was never understood to be otherwise. A man would have to marry a woman he raped to 1) deprive him of his choice in marriage, and 2) he now had to provide for that woman for the rest of his life! Ditto for slaves and concubines. Our society no longer has either. So we cannot lift this out of the Bible, ideal or not, and then say we cannot have an ideal of marriage. The first one is the only real option in our society (although I do not think it is a bad idea to force men who rape women to provide financially for the victim for the rest of her life, unless he dies first). Polygamy was used for political purposes, and while the Bible does not outright comdemn it, it does seem to make clear that it was the general downfall of those who practice it. Also, the wives subordinate to the husbands thing in Genesis 2 is not faithfully read. I see women and men as both trying to dominate one another as a result of the fall, not as a God-given directive.

  • Richard Rudesill

    The graphic above does not address cultural realities present in Biblical days we no longer deal with. When women had no legal rights, the men were called upon to care for them financially and legally. What if he died? Then his brother or closest relative would levirate marry her, which was not marriage per se, but marriage to provide her financial and legal needs. It was never understood to be otherwise. A man would have to marry a woman he raped to 1) deprive him of his choice in marriage, and 2) he now had to provide for that woman for the rest of his life! Ditto for slaves and concubines. Our society no longer has either. So we cannot lift this out of the Bible, ideal or not, and then say we cannot have an ideal of marriage. The first one is the only real option in our society (although I do not think it is a bad idea to force men who rape women to provide financially for the victim for the rest of her life, unless he dies first). Polygamy was used for political purposes, and while the Bible does not outright comdemn it, it does seem to make clear that it was the general downfall of those who practice it. Also, the wives subordinate to the husbands thing in Genesis 2 is not faithfully read. I see women and men as both trying to dominate one another as a result of the fall, not as a God-given directive.

  • Will pray for you and the group. I understand completely about the school thing and them not being able to address any questions. I often find myself in the same position when students have questions. Thankfully, I can answer when asked directly by the student about a religious issue. I just can’t start the conversation about it to start with. I usually answer the questions with only facts and not opinions. I then tell the student to ask me outside of the school setting if they need to know how I feel. As for your program, I do hope that it will be something that many will participate in. We need more education instead of condemnation. Now days young people want information and if it comes with fear and a promise of hell then they are less likely to listen to what you have to tell them.

    Keep up the good work Christy.

  • Will pray for you and the group. I understand completely about the school thing and them not being able to address any questions. I often find myself in the same position when students have questions. Thankfully, I can answer when asked directly by the student about a religious issue. I just can’t start the conversation about it to start with. I usually answer the questions with only facts and not opinions. I then tell the student to ask me outside of the school setting if they need to know how I feel. As for your program, I do hope that it will be something that many will participate in. We need more education instead of condemnation. Now days young people want information and if it comes with fear and a promise of hell then they are less likely to listen to what you have to tell them.

    Keep up the good work Christy.

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