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Straight Talk

The ’80s saw an explosion of immorality in America. Rather than shy away from topics that might be considered taboo, the Evangel chose to address personal issues of sin from a frank and biblical perspective.

1910s: The early role of the Pentecostal Evangel

1920s: Revival Reports

1930s: A World of news

1940s: World War II: Last-minute deliverance from execution

1950s: Revivaltime premiers on ABC

1960s: Missionary Tucker martyred in the Congo

1970s: Touching lives through Teen Challenge

1980s: Straight Talk

1990s: The Columbine High School shootings

2000s: 9/11

Teenagers need standards, not contraceptives
Their motive may be unassailable, but the method is unconscionable. They would check the rise in teenage pregnancies by handing out 10,000 free condoms to sexually active boys and girls!

It was part of Birth-Control Week, February 12-18, in Toronto, Canada. The theme was, “Play It Safe.” The health department of the city gave out 500 free mugs to health professionals and news media people with such slogans on the mugs as, “Love Carefully” and “Use Your Condom Sense.” …

We have been brainwashed into thinking that instant gratification is the direct route to happiness. We are long on pleasure and short on self-denial.

I think it’s high time we gave our teenagers a lesson on the joys of anticipation. Let us offer our young people the chance to experience responsibility, commitment and moral virtue. Tell them that for their own good and the good of society, it is not wise for them to have sexual relations at 13, 14, 15, 16 or 17, or before marriage. Sex is too precious, too much of a milestone in life to be spoiled by improper use.
— Michael P. Horban, May 20, 1984

God released me from homosexuality
At 17 I bundled up my belongings and went off to a Christian college. I had committed my life to Christ at a church camp and was seeking nourishment
for my fledgling Christian faith. In the assumed security of my Christian refuge, I was skillfully seduced into a homosexual relationship.

My background provided a classic stereotype preparation for homosexuality. I came from a broken family void of positive parental role models. I carried strong feelings of rejection and suffered from a negative self-image. …

Since I was unable to combine Christianity with my lesbian lifestyle, I tried to forget about God. I drank excessively, combining drugs and alcohol to numb the guilt and erase the memory of the God who declared, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you.” …

My relationships were scattered with the wreckage of the lives of others who had sought escape. Suicide statistics were the faces of my drinking companions, and only God’s grace saved me from the same fate.

My efforts to combine the two lives were useless, as was my attempt to forget God. So I tried a third choice. I embraced the lifestyle and immersed myself in militant feminism and political ventures. I marched in parades with thousands of other homosexuals demanding gay rights. I joined others who had come from good families or bad families and ones who still considered themselves Christian. My twisted logic perverted the Scripture to make it fit my lifestyle, and I encouraged others to do the same.

In a moment of quiet desperation, I decided to try God one more time. I visited a small church in San Francisco and confessed my sin and confusion to the prayer group. I began the road of choices that led to freedom. I learned to submit to God. I took responsibility for my actions and authority over the satanic powers that had held me in bondage for 17 years.

My freedom was strengthened by spending time in the Scriptures and attending Bible studies. I was sustained by long hours of prayer with friends who were committed to helping me become the woman God intended me to become.

It’s been eight years since I completely surrendered to God, and He’s responded by delivering me completely from homosexual orientation and action.
— Darlene Bogle, September 8, 1985

Survey shows 43 percent of church kids had sex
More than 40 percent of teenagers who attend conservative churches have engaged in sexual intercourse by the time they are 18, according to a survey released in February by Josh McDowell Ministries.

The “Teen Sex Survey in the Evangelical Church” found that although 65 percent of “churched youth” believed intercourse outside of marriage was never acceptable, 43 percent of those responding to the confidential 4-page questionnaire said they had had sexual intercourse by their 18th birthday. In other age categories, 35 percent of 17-year-olds reported sexual intercourse and 26 percent of 16-year-olds said they had had sex.

A greater number, 65 percent, said they have had some form of sexual contact “beyond hugging and kissing,” according to a report on the survey in the Evangelical Press News Service.

“That’s in the church,” McDowell said. “It’s almost identical to the world around us.”

EP News Service said national polls show that 57 percent of the nation’s 17-year-olds have had sex, as have 46 percent of 16-year-olds and 29 percent of 15-year-olds.

The McDowell poll showed that even churched teens are uncertain about the moral implications of premarital sex. Of those surveyed, 36 percent said premarital sex has no moral implications; more than 20 percent said “sometimes” premarital sex has moral implications.

Church young people are no strangers to pornography either, the poll found. In the six months prior to the survey, 12 percent of the teens who responded said they had seen a pornographic picture or film.

McDowell’s questionnaire was given to 1,438 kids ages 12-18 in Indiana, Nebraska, Missouri, Tennessee and New Jersey. Eight evangelical denominations participated in the survey, which studied teens who regularly attend church services.

Despite the survey’s findings that a high percentage of churched teens have engaged in sex, McDowell said: “I’m convinced that most teens do not want to be sexually active.”
— April 17, 1988

How to have a frank talk with your children
When talking with your children about sex, keep these guidelines in mind:

1. Make certain an ongoing companionship is already intact with your children. This means taking time and energy to be with them, share their thoughts and come to know them as individuals.

2. Speak as a Christian. Many other voices are speaking to the children — teachers, television personalities, scout leaders, etc. Many are not talking from the Christian context. The believing parent comes to the child from the biblical perspective.

3. Chat naturally. Do not be contrived or artificial. Craft the conversation according to your personality.

4. Speak kindly yet honestly about the human body. Its development is God’s gift. Don’t speak in fairy tale language referring to cabbage leaves or storks.

5. Never use obscene language when referring to sex. Such terms need to be explained if the child asks about them. Accent the devil’s misuse of the gift of sex by his attempt to bait humans with lust. Point out the contrast between God’s provision of the body and Satan’s perversion of its use. Slant according to the age level of the child.

6. Move into the sex subject only as far as the child is able to grasp the topic. Do not try to cram in a semester’s learning in one session.

7. Begin the sex subject conversation before the children begin to experience bodily changes. Tell them ahead of time what is going to take place. When

puberty does develop, follow through with further information — all in the context of sex as God’s good gift. Emphasize the biblical morality which maintains that goodness throughout life.

8. Encourage the child to approach the parent when he or she has questions about sex. Tell the child that any question can be asked without fear of it being considered out-of-bounds.

9. Treat the sex subject offhandedly at times. Do not reserve it only for the most serious conversations. By allowing sex to be one of many conversation topics in life, it will be accepted more naturally.
— J. Grant Swank, May 7, 1989

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