Wednesday, September 07, 2005

No sex please, we're teenagers

I was really inspired by the bbc programme the Monastry, earlier this year. In fact, it was searching for comments on this programme that lead me to Jonny Baker's blog, inspiring me to start my own.

Well last night was another bit of religious programming, that sounded like it might prove to be interesting:

No Sex Please We're Teenagers
Tue 6 Sep, 9:00 pm - 10:00 pm 60mins

With a shocking increase in STIs and teen pregnancies in the last decade, two Christian Youth Workers, Rachel Gardner and Dan Burke, are challenging youth culture they're turning everything on its head, and teaching kids how not to have sex.

They've chosen 12 teenagers aged 15 to 17, with more than 50 sexual conquests between them, to launch the Romance Academy. For the five-month project, these teens have taken a pledge saying no to any form of sexual activity.

The project takes them on an emotional journey 5000 miles from home, to America - the home of teenage abstinence. Here they're asked to make the ultimate sacrifice - to give up sex until marriage.

But before that, they go away for the weekend and spend the night together for the first time ever, - but can 12 lively teenagers stick to the no sex rule while they're all under the same roof? Contains strong language. [S]

So what did I make of it? I really liked the challenge to the young people of thinking about what relationships were all about, and it was good to hear positive response coming from those undertaking the abstinence pledge into seeing the sometimes shallow nature having sex. All teenagers have image problems of some sort or another, and quite often the having someone attracted to you helps your 'ego' and this is fuelled by sex, but as these kids were relating, still leaves a lot to be desired. Is this where a deep loving relationship with God can help??

Anyway, was beginning to like the programme, and then they sent them to the US for some ultra conservative teaching on chastity - why????

It was clear that the 'modern, conservative' thinking youth pastor was having problems having the authority of his teaching questioned by the young people, and rightly so in my opinion. Interesting to see one of the US youth group getting a bit upset by this, probably a fear that these questions being posed were giving her questions about the pastors teaching (which can lead to a fear of questioning other aspects of faith, which can be daunting for someone spoon fed the gospel without properly challenging and engaging with it)

There were these US kids giving high fives, saying yeah we don't have sex before marriage cos that's what it says in the bible. Does it? Cos I've never seen it, I've seen passages where men can give back their brides if they aren't happy with them and the girls parents can't prove their virginity before the marriage. I've seen encouragement for loving monogamous relationships...I could go on.

Then this youth pastor was saying you shouldn't even consider starting a relationship with some one if you didn't want to marry them. some of these kids were 14 and 15 for goodness sake. Of course they're not thinking of marriage - i'd be worried if they were. Sometimes I worry that christians rush to get married just to have sex.

And what about divorce and remarriage.

These are real issues and i hope get addressed in this programme and that the kids can learn stuff about relationships. The church should be at the heart of this, the bible uses the analogy of a relationship of lovers as that of God's love for the world.

I'm not saying that chastity before marriage is wrong either, it's just a more complicated thing then seemed to be portrayed from the US hosts.

But I think this programme is worth watching, and hopefully in churches accross the country people will be engaging in these kind of conversations.

there's another good blog on this topic here



Sam said...

I agree with you about the too extreme teaching from America. However, I think saving sex until marriage is an important part of Christianity and people that don't believe this should be questionning how much of a Christian they are - far too liberal! True, the bible may not say it explicity, but it certainly implies it (many times).

moog said...

Don't think you can measure how much of a christian you are, cos if that was the case then everyone would fail. And if you could how would you measure having sex within a loving relationship in comparison to being complacent in living a life such that no changes are made to help fight poverty. You know what I mean. If the church were more united in the essentials of the message of God, celebrating diversity without complaining that you're either too liberal or too evangelical or too sitting on the fence then perhaps we could see the fruits of the kingdom really flourishing....