Thursday, September 29, 2011

Why Young Christians are not waiting until marriage

By John Blake, CNN

(CNN) –True love doesn’t wait after all.

That’s the implication in the upcoming October issue of an evangelical magazine that claims that young, unmarried Christians are having premarital sex almost as much as their non-Christian peers.

The article in Relevant magazine, entitled “(Almost) Everyone’s Doing It,” cited several studies examining the sexual activity of single Christians. One of the biggest surprises was a December 2009 study, conducted by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, which included information on sexual activity.

While the study’s primary report did not explore religion, some additional analysis focusing on sexual activity and religious identification yielded this result: 80 percent of unmarried evangelical young adults (18 to 29) said that they have had sex - slightly less than 88 percent of unmarried adults, according to the teen pregnancy prevention organization.

The article highlights what challenges abstinence movements face. Movements such as “True Love Waits,” encourage teens to wear purity rings, sign virginity pledges and pledge chastity during public ceremonies.

Yet many of these Christian youths eventually abandon their purity pledges, Relevant’s Tyler Charles concludes in the article. Tyler talked to people like “Maria,” an evangelical woman who said she wanted to wait until marriage to have sex.

But she said she started having sex with her college boyfriend when she turned 20 because nearly everyone, even most of her Christian friends, were having sex.


It seemed everyone in my life, older and younger, had “done it.” In fact, I waited longer than most people I knew and longer than both of my sisters, even though we were all Christians and came from a good home.

Relevant theorizes about why it’s so hard for so many young Christians to wait, including the saturation of sex in popular culture, the prevalence of pornography and a popular “do what feels good philosophy.”


Worldwide study shows more kids are having SEX

LONDON (Reuters) - Young people across the globe are having more unprotected sex and know less about effective contraception options, a multinational survey revealed on Monday.

The "Clueless or Clued Up: Your Right to be informed about contraception" study prepared for World Contraception Day (WCD) reports that the number of young people having unsafe sex with a new partner increased by 111 percent in France, 39 percent in the USA and 19 percent in Britain in the last three years.

"No matter where you are in the world, barriers exist which prevent teenagers from receiving trustworthy information about sex and contraception, which is probably why myths and misconceptions remain so widespread even today," a member of the WCD task force, Denise Keller, said in a statement with the results of the study.

"When young people have access to contraceptive information and services, they can make choices that affect every aspect of their lives which is why it's so important that accurate and unbiased information is easily available for young people to obtain," Keller said.

The survey, commissioned by Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals and endorsed by 11 international non-governmental organizations, questioned more than 6,000 young people from 26 countries including Chile, Poland and China, on their attitudes toward sex and contraception.

The level of unplanned pregnancies among young people is a major global issue, campaigners say, and the rise in unprotected sex in several counties has sparked concern about the quality of sex education available to youngsters.

In Europe, only half of respondents receive sex education from school, compared to three quarters across Latin America, Asia Pacific and the USA.

Many respondents also said that they felt too embarrassed to ask a healthcare professional for contraception.

"What young people are telling us is that they are not receiving enough sex education or the wrong type of information about sex and sexuality," spokeswoman for the International Planned Parenthood Federation, Jennifer Woodside said in a statement.

"The results show that too many young people either lack good knowledge about sexual health, do not feel empowered enough to ask for contraception or have not learned the skills to negotiate contraceptive use with their partners to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies or STIs (sexually transmitted infections)," she said.


DEAD SEA SCROLLS are now Online!

ERUSALEM — Five of the main Dead Sea scrolls, containing some of the oldest-known surviving biblical texts, were on Monday put online as part of a joint project between the Israel Museum and Google.

The project gives the public access to ultra high-resolution images of the ancient scrolls in a format which is easily searchable, with the magnified text revealing details previously invisible to the naked eye, a museum statement said.

So far, five of the scrolls have been digitised as part of the $3.5-million project which uses space-age technology to produce the clearest renderings yet of the ancient texts: the Great Isaiah scroll, the Community Rule scroll, the commentary on Habbakuk, the Temple scroll and the War scroll.

By visiting web users can view all of the text, as well as a translation tool and other background information on the documents, the museum said.

"We are privileged to house in the Israel Museum's Shrine of the Book the best preserved and most complete Dead Sea Scrolls ever discovered," Israel Museum director James Snyder said in a statement, describing them as of "paramount importance" for the world's monotheistic religions.

"Now, through our partnership with Google, we are able to bring these treasures to the broadest possible public."

The 900 biblical and other manuscripts, comprising some 30,000 fragments, were discovered between 1947 and 1956 in the Qumran caves above the Dead Sea and photographed in their entirety with infra-red technology in the 1950s.

The parchment and papyrus scrolls contain Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic writing, and include several of the earliest-known texts from the Bible, including the oldest surviving copy of the Ten Commandments.

The oldest of the documents dates to the third century BC and the most recent to about 70 AD, when Roman troops destroyed the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem.

Read more

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

'700 Club' Responds to Pat Robertson Alzheimer's Comments

Addressing the outrage over Pat Robertson's polarizing comments regarding Alzheimer's disease being a "kind of death" that would make divorce permissible, Robertson's show, "The 700 Club," issued a statement to concerned viewers through its Facebook page.

In a comment published on "The 700 Club" Facebook page Thursday, the program moderator wrote:

Thank you for sharing your concern about Pat Robertson's response to a BringIt On Question about a friend's wife in the late stages of Alzheimer's.

Having had many close friends struggle through Alzheimer's, Pat has seen the devastating impact that it has on not only the spouse with the disease, but especially the caregiver whose quality of life also becomes completely debilitated by it.

While the anger over Robertson's comments has failed to subside, many comments on "The 700 Club's" Facebook page reflected a wide range of opinions, ranging from anger over Robertson's alleged Bible misinterpretations to slight agreements with his viewpoint. One commenter also defended Robertson because he is an "anointed man."

Sheryl Lynn believed Robertson grossly misinterpreted Scripture, writing in response to "The 700 Club" Facebook statement, "Sorry Pat, you blew it this time! Your OPINION/teaching is NOT BIBLICAL." Lynn also quoted Malachi 2:16.

Robin Webb said that Robertson was essentially condoning "cheating," insisting the former televangelist was "biblically wrong."

Webb added, "All he has managed to do was appease the guilt someone was feeling for seeing someone else while his wife is dying. A sin is still a sin. Cheating while you are married is still cheated regardless of whether the other spouse is ill and dying or not."

People reacting to the Facebook statement who had experience with Alzheimer's, either from working in health care or having family members who have suffered through the disease, were mostly against Robertson, saying that even though Alzheimer's can be very painful on everyone, it is necessary to stick by that person's side.

Kay Wilson Seiler said, "As a former home health nurse, I've seen the devastation of Alzheimer's, including physical aggression, but I can't advocate a 'use 'em up, throw 'em away' attitude."

Debbie Vogel said, "Alzheimer's is a terminal disease, just as heart disease and cancer are terminal diseases. Both of my parents suffered with this disease. I find it very offensive that someone would claim my parents were ‘kind of dead’ years before they finally died."

However, some were on Robertson's side, saying that even if he made a mistake, he should not be chastised because of his past reputation.

"Who are we to judge for only God can judge, are you without sin?" Tina Sauls wrote. "Cast the first stone. Pat shared his opinion, but he is a mortal man, yet he is an anointed man, and God says do no harm unto my anointed, this includes slurs."

Tim Cawthon, who has had personal experience with Alzheimer's, disagreed with Pat but still defended him.

"My Mother had this disease for over 10 years before it took her life," Cawthon said. "We never had the thought of walking away from it because she needed us and we needed her. I heard the response that Pat made on the news (Nightline). Everyone misspeaks from time to time and I believe that this is what he did...we still love him."

Meanwhile, others believe that Robertson had a point, saying the evangelical's words were taken out of context.

Debi Andrews Rogers said, "I regret everyone took this out of context. The point was that this person was DATING. I have seen it many times as a nurse. I respect those who do stay but I also have seen Alzheimer's people be very cruel and mean and bite and kick. He was very clear to provide safe custodial care of loved one. But if you choose to date you should not be married as that is adultery. It is a hard answer."

Earlier this week, Robertson advised, without citing any Scriptural support, that a married man dating another woman because his wife was suffering from Alzheimer's "should divorce and start all over."

"I hate Alzheimer's. It is one of the most awful things because, here is a loved one, this is the woman or man that you have loved for 20, 30, 40 years, and suddenly, that person is gone. They're gone. They are gone. So, what he says, basically, is correct," the Christian broadcaster said.

Read more at the Christian Post

It's a CRIME to have Bible Study in your HOME in a California town

A southern California couple has been fined $300 dollars for holding Christian Bible study sessions in their home, and could face another $500 for each additional gathering.

City officials in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. say Chuck and Stephanie Fromm are in violation of municipal code 9-3.301, which prohibits “religious, fraternal or non-profit” organizations in residential neighborhoods without a permit. Stephanie hosts a Wednesday Bible study that draws about 20 attendees, and Chuck holds a Sunday service that gets about 50.

The Fromms appealed their citations but were denied and warned future sessions would carry heftier penalties. A statement from the Pacific Justice Institute, which is defending the couple in a lawsuit against the city, said Chuck Fromm was also told regular gatherings of three or more people require a conditional use permit, which can be costly and difficult to obtain.

“How dare they tell us we can’t have whatever we want in our home,” Stephanie Fromm told the Capistrano Dispatch. “We want to be able to use our home. We’ve paid a lot and invested a lot in our home and backyard … I should be able to be hospitable in my home.”

Read more at The Blaze

Largest PRO-LIFE Evangelistic Project

“Paradigm shattering! A most powerful message that will change and save lives!” ~ Johnny Berguson - Pres. Kingdom, Inc.

“As one who was scheduled to be aborted, this astounding video struck me at my core that this is needed more now than ever. It is more than is a vehicle of God's voice to this generation, and must be seen!” ~ Ron DiCianni

The “180” project is the biggest evangelistic project we have ever attempted. On one day in the near future, 1,000 Christians will mobilize and give away 200,000 copies of a DVD that proclaims the gospel clearly, and does it biblically. This will be done in 100 of the nation’s top universities, again, in one day. Most of the 1,000 are not your average Christians. Many of them have been through our “Ambassador’s Academy.” This is three days of intense hands-on training, where they learn not only to do one-to-one, but to preach outside the comfort of the walls of the Church…in the open air—like John Wesley and Whitefield, Spurgeon, Jesus, John the Baptist and Paul did. On the day that the gospel is given out to 200,000 people through the “180” DVD, many of our graduates will boldly stand up and proclaim the gospel in the open air.

This isn’t political action, something which I grew weary of many years ago. I have signed many petitions in the hope of seeing political change, but have instead seen issues like homosexuality, promiscuity, pornography, blasphemy, violence, and abortion do nothing but escalate to epidemic proportions. Every four years there is excitement about Christian candidates, in the hope that these will be the ones who will turn our nation back to God. We have even tried to convince secular America that we were established as “one nation under God,” and they couldn’t care less.

READ More at the Christian Post

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Refuge Encounter Weekend

The Refuge - Encounter Weekend by Refuge-TCB
Without a script or narrative, this twenty-six minute film takes you to Vinton County, Ohio in the community of Albany. Nestled back in the hills, and over two bridges is The Refuge, which is the second phase of a thirteen-month program where men learn to trust and love God and one another; turning their lives completely around in the process. Once a month, men from all three phases of the program meet at the farm for a weekend of fellowship, fun and worship. This film is just a sample of what can and does happen during those memorable weekends.