To The Clergy: This got to be a wake up call.
What is the purpose of the *church?
This is a simple question that can be answered even by a two year old child. The main purpose of the church to provide a place where parishioners can go to worship and receive spiritual nourishment. There are a few individuals who goes to church for some personal reasons. They go to church to socialize and just half fun. Recently, I’ve realize that some extremely perverts can also go to church and do the unexpected; murder the worshippers. We just lost seven lives in the recent Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin, USA. In Kenya, July 1st 2012, Somali Islamist Militants went on a shooting rampage killing 15 people and wounding more than 40 worshippers in two different churches. But then, there is another reason as to why young people e.g. teenagers/youth, attend church. I would have never in a million years, guessed this one. As a health educator, I often like to attend health prevention and promotion conferences. I was glad to attend one on “Community Mobilization”. This conference looked into challenges facing the second largest minority group in United States (African Americans), making them the leading population with the highest number of HIV/AIDs diseases. During the workshop session, the presenter shared some appalling statistics. One particular study result that shocked me, and is still bothering me to this day, is concerning the sex life of teenagers inside the church premises. The research study that was conducted by Community Mobilization, Working together for change , found out that teenagers have a better use of their faithful and perfect church attendance; the highest number of them goes to church to have sex.
So, do you believe that they ‘do it’, and where do they 'do it'?
Well, some believe they “do it’ while others believe they ‘don’t’. If you were to be asked that question, I am sure for those who think they might be doing it, if asked where, they would say ‘of course at their homes’. Wrong! The number one place that teenagers engage in sexual activities is at the church. The church, the holy place. Interesting that the church now serves more than one purpose. It serves as a comfort zone for some teenagers to satisfy their pleasure. As a staunch believer, who respects the Lord’s house, I must say these results were quite disturbing. Why would these teenagers transform the house of the lord into a place for sinning? So parents with teenagers, next time you pre-teen or teenager makes several trips to church even the unnecessary trips, think twice. May be something else is going on there. I am not saying all teens but some of them. This is a wakeup call to all the clergy out there. There is a need to monitor those youth programs, have youth leaders who are completely responsible and faithful to their duties. Sometimes back in our church, the youth leader was questioned for his indecency with the youths. I thought this was a rumor and the pastor never publically acknowledged what had happened. I for once did not believe that anyone could do something horrible like that especially in the church. But then I realized that not everybody goes to the house of God to worship, others goes there to ‘socialize’ and may be get rewarded latter in those hidden rooms meant for choir practice or Sunday School services. I nowadays find myself looking at the youth with an extra “eye” and wonder if the study is true or not. I pray every day that every believer, including me, who goes to church, go there and do what they are supposed to do.
Should sex education be offered in churches and schools?
Parents are faced with tough decisions to make when they have to decide on whether or not to introduce sex education to their pre-teens and teenagers. Children nowadays have many teachers out there; parents, peers, media, internet, teachers at school and spiritual leaders among others. The school districts are also contemplating as to whether it is appropriate to include sex education in their curriculum. The supporters of both sides have valid reasons to corroborate their arguments. Those who support introducing sex education to pre-teens, and teens believe that teenagers will do it anyway whether they teach them or not. So they argue that it is imperative to be on a safe side by teaching them how to protect themselves. Some parents have even gone to an extend of purchasing condoms and contraceptives for their youth. The critics on the other hand, believe that introducing these ideas to their teenagers is one way of opening up a ‘can of worms’. It is like giving them reasons to explore the forbidden fruit. Like most children, everything that they are forewarned against, they will likely than not, to try it anyway. Now, I was personally on the “no camp” until recently when this study definitely changed my view completely on teenagers and sex education. May be it is better to introduce the subject at the right age, at the right time and expound it exclusively; all the negatives and positives of sex, giving them real life examples. That might help to effectively tailor the message home. The fact is, parents need to reach out to their children and exposed them to the real facts before someone else beats them to it. Above all, whatever the good parents think is best for their children; they should act upon that decision. Parents are the ones to deal with whatever situation and circumstances their children will go through, either actively or passively. The decisions and choices made by children will affect their parents in one way or the other. So it is better for parents to guide their children into the right path that they should go and hopefully the clergy will also find ways of alleviating these ungodly practices, especially in the holy places.
*Church – I used the term collectively to mean all places of worship i.e. Churches, Synagogues, Temples, Tabernacles, Kanisa etc.