Thursday, May 21, 2009

Don't Touch

The 14th question in our questionnaire reads:
In the last year, I have either held hands or kissed a boyfriend/girlfriend:
A. Never 78%
B. Once or Twice 4%
C. Quite a Bit 6%
D. You really don't want to know 12%

The results turned out not so bad, but perhaps complete honesty could be in question; but we shall give the benefit of the doubt. I would love to say that amongst our Independent Fundamental Baptist (IFB) teens, that immorality was never a problem, but I believe all would agree that this is just not the case. While I believe that our success rate is much higher than that of the worlds, there is still a grave problem amongst our churches.
I recently read that over 1 million teen girls will become pregant this year in the U.S. (Guttmacher Institute) and that 70% of teens will have committed fornication by age 19. Recently, it was surveyed that only 5% of Americans go to a marriage altar pure. Our government spent 50 Billion dollars last year dealing with teen pregnancy. Out of the 1 million pregnancies last year, 520,000 resulted in births, 80,000 resulted in miscarriages, and 400,000 resulted in abortion (
While I am confident that our IFB young people's percentages are greatly lowered, it is an unfortunately increasing problem that parents, pastors, and churches are having to deal with.
Now, let me first say, that if you are a young person that has fallen into this sin, get it right with God. Confess the sin to the Lord, repent, and allow His forgiveness and cleansing. Get things right with your parents and church, and determine to allow the Lord to lead in your life, accepting all consequences, and accomplish something for the Lord.
To those who have not given themselves to this sin, I would counsel: DON'T TOUCH! Our Bible's read in 1 Cor. 7:1
...It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

The reason we see this principle so grossly ignored is due to a lack of discipline in the home as a young child. In the garden, God gave to Adam and Eve everything they could ever desire, but one tree God said, "Don't touch!"
With all three of my children, the very first lesson that we have taught to them is "Don't touch!" Be it a hot stove, electric socket, indoor plant, knife, my glasses, or grandma's knick nack, they each have had to learn "Don't Touch!" There have been many slapped hands as a toddler and rods applied as a young chlid. Why? Because there is going to be a day when I don't have time to explain why they can't touch and they need to obey immediately; or there is going to be a day when they will be confronted with one of the above items and I will not be around, and for their safety they had best learned that lesson.
Parents, rear your children with the knowledge that there are somethings you don't touch. Nothing breaks the heart of a parent, pastor, and church like that of a young person with so much potential that loses their purity. One is too many.
It amazes me how youth pastors many times not only allow it to go on, but even encourage it. As a youth pastor, I learned quickly what to look for: both teens sitting with arms crossed close to each other...are holding fingers. Teens sitting on a bus in same seat or infront or behind each other...are holding hands. Some teens have even used a Bible between them to cover their hands while they commit hand-whoredom. Coats, blankets, hats, garbage bags, all have been used to try and hide the rebellion. Don't be naive.
Our 8 month old daughter reached into my shirt pocket the other day to grab my Gospel tracts. I told her "No! No touch" She withdrew and looked at me oddly and reached for them again. "No! no touch" With a pooched out lip and determined look she grabbed for them again. "No! no touch" was followed by a soft slap on the hand. Big tears rolled down her cheeks and a pouting whimper came from her mouth and she grabbed for them again. "No! no touch" was again followed by a soft slap on the hand. This time it was followed by a full out cry, but her rebellion was broken (for this time) and she laid her head on my shoulder not reaching again for the tracts. Would it be terrible for her to grab a tract? Perhaps not, but there were principles being of which is that there are some things you don't touch. Someday, she will be confronted with much greater temptations, and she needs to have learned that if Daddy said "Don't Touch," then there is a reason, there is a purpose, and it is for my safety that I obey. May all our children learn not to touch.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dating versus Waiting (pt. 2)

After taking a look at the negative side of this issue in the Dangers of Dating, we'll flip the coin and view the positive side of the Wonders of Waiting. As Pastor Burke has already described the idea behind waiting, we'll look at the results or rewards of doing this God's way. The first reward we see is the Fulfillment of Faith. How is that a reward, you may ask. Hebrews 11:6 -

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."

Now let's take and apply this principle to modern dating. First, as a child of God, what is our purpose here on earth? To please him who has created us - Revelation 4:11. With that in mind we must then ask ourselves, Does God have a way for us to please him? Yes, we find the answer in Hebrews 11:6 - through faith. Then acknowledging that dating is a modern worldly practice, can and should a child of God be involved in it knowing that "...whatsoever is not of faith is sin"? (Romans 14:23) The answer simply and logically is - no. The reward is that we know that we have pleased God with our life and we did things according to His plan. Again, realizing the importance of this area, knowing the consequences both good and bad that lie in the outcome of our choices, would God leave us on our own to just muddle through and hope for the best? If so, then He wouldn't be much of a God. But I believe that God does have a plan for every area of our life because God is not the author of confusion, but of peace - I Cor. 14:33.
The second reward is Praise of Purpose. We find an example of this in Daniel 1:8, a familiar verse showing the power of conviction in the life of a young man. How many sermons have been preached on this single verse in praise of Daniel? Too many to count; I'm sure that is not why he did it, but the fact is he is held up for us as an example. How many young lives have been used for just the opposite - an example of what not to do. Would it not be far better to guide our young people down a path that they too may be held up as a Daniel, someone to emulate and exemplify, instead of a Samson, someone to pity and think what could have been. Let us help our young people to purpose in their hearts that they will not defile themselves with the ways of this world, but rather to seek to please God in all they do.
The third and final reward is that of Single-mindedness through Separation. This in itself is not the reward, but it leads to the reward. Proverbs 18:1

"Through desire a man, having separated himself, seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom."

All through the book of Proverbs we are told of the rewards of wisdom. To apply it to this situation let's look at it like this: a typical young person, so pressed by the world's philosophy and pressure from peers, does not separate himself but rather joins in to do what everyone else does. So desperate to obtain the favor of his peers, he will "go out" with anyone just to be accepted. Concern for character and personal qualities is not considered - who can take the time? Who can find a virtuous woman? No one - she is a gift from God, and He doesn't just give that to anyone, but those who seek it. The reward here is that through this single-mindedness, a young person will be given God's best - one with the Choicest of Characteristics. (II Pet 1:5-8)
In closing, we refer back to Hebrews 11:6 - God will reward those who believe Him. So really, to put it simply, it's a matter of do we believe God or not? We can rationalize and bring out all sorts of examples of this, that, or the other; what it all boils down to is we cannot please God without faith - if we trusted Him with our eternal salvation, can we not trust Him with our earthly spouse?