Sεxual purity remains a big deal for some Christians. However 80 percent of single Christians are reportedly having sex outside of marriage. In July 1994, over 210,000 young people decided to abstain from sεx. They each placed a pledge card at the National Mall in Washington D. C. as a testament to their commitment. Thereafter, millions more participated in the “True Love Waits Movement,” which involved teenagers from across the globe. Those who “fell by the wayside” with regard to sεxual purity were reminded of the healing and restoration powers Jesus has to offer.
The movement called, “True Love Waits” some twenty years ago, has been renamed to “The True Love Project.” In video format, students learn the relationship between sεxual purity and the gospel message. Clayton King is the author and speaker for this unique method of Bible study. According to Ben Trueblood, director of student ministry at LifeWay Christian Resources, “Purity is possible because of Jesus – and is for Jesus. Jesus is the destination and our worship of Him needs to take center stage.”
The Christian Post stated: “The evidence that an overwhelming number of young, unmarried Christians have slept with someone outside of marriage, suggests that the movement has struggled to convince its target population of its message. Not only has nearly every star ditched his or her ring, a 2011 Relevant Magazine poll revealed that 80 percent of young, unmarried Christians have had sεx and that two-thirds have been sεxually active in the last year. Facing the reality of these numbers, King said he wants to make sure that the new curriculum preaches a strong message of grace.”
One of the co-founders of the movement Richard Ross, who is now a professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary stated: “The refocused message has been inherent in True Love Waits from the beginning.” Jim Hester, the other founder, partnered with Ross in implementing the initiative in 1993, using a napkin to write his ideas on, over a drink of coffee.
Over time, some 3 million students have taken the “True Love Waits” pledge. HIV/AIDS once at a rate of 30 percent is now below 7 percent in Uganda – all since the implementation of the program.
Clayton King stated, “I was part of the movement when it began. I spoke at one of the very first True Love Waits Disciple Now weekends. The importance of carrying on the legacy cannot be overstated. In the midst of a culture that is sεx-saturated, today’s generation needs to clearly see how the gospel impacts their purity and how their choices in purity are about more than their sεxual decisions,” Trueblood said.
“God has used True Love Waits in an incredible way for two decades, and now He has opened the door for the True Love Waits message to be restated, to once again point people to the gospel through this very important issue in our culture. Purity can be understood within the concept of worship. This is about a lifetime of purity. This is not a temporary thing, hoping a husband or wife will show up. Rather, this is something that I can do for my King,” said Ross.
The new 8 session Bible study by Clayton King, the youth evangelist and pastor at New Spring Church in South Carolina, brings the importance of sεxual purity to front and center all over again, but still maintains the original message of sεxual purity. In teaching the Biblical concepts of Creation, the Fall, Redemption and Restoration, the Bible study will provide students with a foundation that will build upon later studies that relate to sεx and purity. In a nutshell participants “will be challenged to live a pure life in Jesus’ power. That means being found faithful on judgment day, not just refraining from sεx,” stated Trueblood.
“I want people to know they are pure because Jesus purified them from sin, not because they have perfect behavior and have never had intercourse or looked at pοrn. “The good news is that temptation, lust, porn, sεx, shame and guilt are no match for the grace Jesus offers us. Point kids to Jesus. Only He has the power enough to grip their heart and their will,” said King.
Nothing can wipe a sinner clean like Jesus, concurred Trueblood, King and Ross. LifeWay Films is scheduled to release a movie this year on the True Love Waits crusade.