college sex scene and the gospel. by bigplew
April 8, 2008, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

by Mike Plewniak

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal talks about how college students view sex. The author did a survey of 2500 college students and found some interesting results. She writes this:

“Interestingly, most of the study respondents do identify with religious traditions that have rules about sexuality. But, with the exception of evangelicals, American college students see almost no connection between their religious beliefs and their sexual behavior. This radical separation of religion and sex tells us important things not only about the power of the college hookup culture but also about the weakness of religious traditions in the face of it. Perhaps the various church leaders would be interested to know that their young people are longing for the kinds of guidelines and rituals for dating that religion can offer. It might make them more willing to actually explain church teachings on sex and engage the students in honest discussions about how to foster healthy, fulfilling romantic relationships.”

It’s amazing to see the vast difference between what college students desire (loving, meaningful, devoted relationships) and what they experience (selfish, undevoted, hook-up relationships). What’s amazing is they want more meaningful relationships, yet “only 7% said that they felt that their friends wanted to reserve sex for committed, loving relationships”. I think the answer lies in the doctrine of sin that lives inside of our hearts. I also think there is something inside most of the students in this article that says there is something more joyful and meaningful out there (even though they have no idea how to get to it). The only way to get there is through the gospel of Jesus Christ — which saves us from our sins and frees us to live joyful lives in obedience to God’s word.

As you read the article, you see how relationships effected by the gospel are appealing to the students (even after reading Josh’s book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye) yet they do not see the connection to the gospel. Hopefully, as you men live out godly lives and demonstrate true love and true friendship, it will give you an opportunity on the campus to make the connection for them — it’s the gospel that sets us free!


2 Comments so far
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I read this article prior to seeing your post and have to admit that I just swallowed (without even the slightest critical thinking) the author’s “cultural influence” explanation for the gap between what the students wanted (meaningful relationships) and what they pursued (selfish relationships). After reading your post, I can clearly see the doctrine of sin as being the true explanation for the gap and, therefore, the connection to the gospel. Your post reminds me of how critical it is that we actively practice biblical discernment. Otherwise, we will simply fall into secular ways of thinking like the article – and if we think like the world, we will eventually be like the world. In addition, when we fail to identify the world’s true problem as being sin, we miss out on the opportunity to help the world make the connection between their problems and the gospel. Thanks for helping me grow in discernment.

Comment by Chris Trump

My generation wont stand for tradition, they won’t stand for religion. Neither the non religious or the “religious” like the word “religion” anymore. Christians my age would rather call Christianity a Relationship (I do too).

The church has almost nill’ power in the lives of Christians and non believers my age (18). The only thing that can reach them is the power of God coupled with example.

“Example is not the main way to persuade others, it is the only way.”

Everyone is tired of being told what to do, you can sense it in the counter church culture that not only includes non believers but Christians as well.

Do you really want teens and college students to have meaningful relationships and not spontaneous “hook-ups?” Is that was the church really wants? In that case, the church is going to have to start leading by example and not by words dictated from the pulpit.

We must stop telling people “dating” is a dirty word. What young people need is Christians to show dating can be done in a Godly fashion.

I have “counseled” many of my peers on their dating habits, and I can tell you that none of the words I have said, none of the scriptures I have put forth have had as big of an impact as my actions. I can tell my friends not to drink underage and do something they will regret with their girlfriends, or I can go on a double date with them and show them that they don’t NEED to do that to have a good time, to develop a good relationship.

Too many Christians are afraid to be courageous, to let their passion seethe through their actions. We tell our youth groups not to go to the parties in high school. not to get involved in all the dances, the prom, the hype. But what that does is it keeps the LIGHT out of the world.

God sanctifies us and separates us from the world. But what that means is we are no longer OF the world, not that we are no longer to be IN the world. Where is the Salt and the Light when Christians won’t go to the parties to show non believers that living a sanctified life is a greater thrill than “hooking up” or anything the world has to offer?

We have effectively taught the Christian youth that things will be better if they simply stay away from sinners. All the while we are forgetting that Christ only stayed away from one thing in His life – and that was the religion, the Pharisees. We forget that Christ went to the parties, chilled with the sinners and tax collectors, that Christ shined light into a dark place from with-in that dark place. He didn’t dally around outside telling people not to sin. No, He showed them how not to sin – showed them the light, a better way of life.

Lastly, to sum up my point:

Why is it that teens aren’t happy with the way they behave, especially in their sexual ethics? Because they know they want something better, but don’t have anyone to show them how to obtain it. Bad company corrupts good character, and I must ask the question, where is all the good company that should be uplifting and encouraging one another in such a dark place?

Comment by jamesthayer

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