By Ada Nicholson Brownell
Moral depravity and the underlying lack of faith in God cause greater risk to the under-40 crowd today than the economic and political earthquakes shaking our nation.
Somewhere hidden beneath the heartache of virginity lost, beneath dead or diseased bodies of people who died or suffer from sexually transmitted diseases, beneath the millions of babies aborted, beneath children born into poverty because their unwed mother couldn’t provide for them, and beneath the tormented conscience, is one of the most special things God created for humankind—intimacy between a man and woman.
God didn’t plan for it to be abused. Yet, today’s evils revolve around immorality.
Of course, sin happened. Sin began in the Garden of Eden and trails every generation. It seems evil encroaches over the United States today like a deadly gooey fungus threatening to contaminate our whole society.
“This might be the most wicked generation in history,” says Jim Bradford, General Secretary of the Assemblies of God.
Some say sex education promotes illicit sex. We’ve read studies that blame contraceptives. Others lay the problem at the feet of the media, parents and even the church.
After years working with youth and as a newspaper reporter covering the problems immorality causes in society and reporting the discouraging statistics, I believe the following helped put our youth in peril.
If you start dating at age 12 and don’t marry until the mid-20s, that’s a long time to practice self control. Can anyone who kisses and hugs the opposite sex for that many years expect to be morally pure?
Young people – even Christians – have trouble with self control if they wait until after college to wed, especially if they are in love and alone often. Sexually-active unmarried Christian youth sometimes feel God will overlook their sin because they will marry eventually. Scripture doesn’t give any excuse, but warns about the disastrous consequences of such sin.
GLORIFYING ENTICING ACTIONS AND CLOTHING
Being “sexy” is contrary to the teachings of Jesus. Jesus said if we lust in our hearts, it’s the same as committing adultery. While many women don’t feel lust when they dress in tight or revealing clothing, they cause men to lust after them.
Let’s teach our young women to be classy instead of sexy!
TOLERANCE OF SINFUL LIFESTYLES.
We should love the unwed mother and her child, but we should not put these women in places of leadership in the church until they accept Christ and live an exemplary lifestyle an acceptable time.
Even if he’s repented of sexual sin, so long as a man doesn’t pay child support for his children, he should be barred from lay ministry as well. Teach that if a young man wants sex, he should take responsibilities that go with what God created, which means self control or marrying the girl with whom he wants to be intimate and sticking with her until death parts them—the most romantic and loving action in life.
We need to love sinners, but if they claim to be a Christian and continue to practice a sinful lifestyle, we should shun them (See 1 Corinthians 5:9-13).
This generation views shows in their own homes that would be against the law in times past. On weekends and evenings it’s almost impossible to view anything without nudity, sex, vulgar language and violence.
The selling of sin is no accident—it is by design. Norman Lear, creator of TV shows “All in the Family,” “Maude” and others, in the 1980s intended with his writing to savage television evangelists, including Jerry Falwell, founder of the Moral Majority. Then he had another idea. He founded People for the American Way to use television and other means to counter evangelical Christian beliefs. Lear brought controversial television that glorifies sin to prime time, and other writers and producers who shared his beliefs caught the vision.
The church as a whole took little notice. In fact, many watched Lear’s subtle and not so subtle messages. But most of us now participate in the peddling of smut whether we view it or not because anyone who has cable or satellite TV subsidizes pornography.
I am a fervent believer in freedom of the press, but I resent helping to bring filth to the masses—particularly youth. If people want their minds and their lives filled with sin, let them pay for it.
I’ve written the Federal Communications Commission, City Council and the cable provider protesting forced subsidizing of smut for consumers who only want stations and networks with 24-hour news, weather and G-rated entertainment. I wrote letters to local pastors trying to get them involved.
I’ve also contacted television networks about indecent programs.
The internet brings more moral temptations for this generation. Even church people are addicted to internet pornography and participate in illicit relationships online. (Notice I didn't identify them as "Christians." Anyone who is not living as Jesus taught is not a Christian.)
FAILURE TO PREPARE YOUTH FOR SPIRITUAL BATTLE
The first mission of the church is to preach the gospel. When we do, we train each generation about the spiritual armor and weapons God provides to help us be victorious. We also need to give them a glimpse of the Enemy. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil.
Our utmost goal is that every person experience salvation, the infilling of the Holy Ghost, and that they love God and others. Each of us needs to be exposed to scriptural doctrines such as divine healing, the reality of hell, that Jesus is the only way to Heaven, the Bible is God’s inspired Word, and know details about Christ’s imminent return.
Many churches underestimate the spiritual desires of young people.
Mormons have no seminaries, yet most Mormon youth spend two years as a missionary—and they are prepared for it. For a newspaper religion story, I visited one of these preparation classes which met early in the day before school. I could hear the excited kids shouting memorized scriptures and portions of the Book of Mormon when I entered the building.
Muslims whisper the Call to Prayer in a baby’s ears soon after birth, and keep teaching the child. And we wonder why they are so dedicated to their religion?
We, who have the TRUTH, seem to have forgotten how powerful, exciting and wonderful the Word of God is.
The Word has every answer this generation needs.
FAILURE TO COUNTERACT SECULARIST TEACHING
Belief in God keeps many a person out of immorality.
I taught my first session on the Bible and Science to a class of about 30 high school students when I was in my mid-20s. The course, written by the late Donald F. Johns, helped solidify my faith as well as the faith of my students. Some accepted Christ.
Over the years I used Josh McDowell’s “Evidences for Your Faith,” and similar teachings for ‘tweens, high school and college classes, and young marrieds. Without fail, I saw conversions, students’ faith blossom, and spiritual growth.
Faith and a genuine encounter with God bring awareness of sin.
FAILURE TO POINT OUT SIN’S CONSEQUENCES
Sin is dangerous! Unless covered with the blood of Jesus, sin sends you to hell but also drastically affects life on earth. Sexually transmitted diseases can ruin a person’s future, his health and maybe even take his life. These diseases cause infertility, cancer, liver problems, even blindness and death. Some STDs are incurable.
Illicit sex also causes emotional consequences. Physicians Joe S. McIlhaney and Freda McKissic Bush, authors of the book, “Hooked,” say neuroscience has discovered sexual activity releases a chemical that impacts the brains of developing adolescents and young adults. These chemicals cause an emotional bond between partners and when this bond is broken, the youth suffers depression and difficulty with bonding in future relationships.
Teen pregnancy is another consequence that affects youth, but also impacts the child and a young person’s parents and grandparents. Abortion has devastating emotional and physical consequences as well, not to mention the death of the unborn child.
We reap what we sow and youth should know Satan comes to steal, kill and destroy.
As a parent are you warning your teens?