Statements that Holiness preachers frequently hear from those who live a life of sin are, “You’re judging me!”; “Leave me alone.” “Only God can judge me”. Of course the first statement is wrong because sin is already judged by God. Ministers are simply the messengers who are trying to help sinners avoid the Lake of fire which is the ultimate outcome of sin. When sinners make the statement about God’s judging their sins they are usually referring to the Great White Throne Judgment when sinners, death, and Hell will be thrown into the Lake of Fire. What sinners may not realize is that a form of God’s judgment has already fallen on the earth. One of the agents that God uses to show mankind that it is living a misguided life is known as Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STD’s. If people would just acknowledge the truth, they already know that sex outside of marriage is already condemned. Yet mankind continues to row their little boats, doing their own thing and screaming louder than the voice of reason and the voices of ministers so that they don’t hear the truth. Recently I had the opportunity to talk to a group of students from age 13 years and up about the scourge of STDs in a seminar entitled: The Consequences of Wrongful Living-the Continuing Rise of STD’s Among Our Youth. I have decided to share the seminar in my blog so that others might be able to see the hand of God and His judgement of sexual sins.
Today’s post is Part I of a II Part series. The best resource for this presentation is the website of the Centers for Disease Control: WWW.CDC.gov. In addition, I found a book by Anita Nelson, M.D. and JoAnn Woodward, RNC, BSN, NP, entitled Sexually Transmitted Diseases A Practical Guide for Primary Care to be most helpful. Information was shared from my book, Strolling through a Rose Garden Called Life-Living Holy from Birth to Death, published in 2011 by Xulon Press. Many of my examples were taken from my own personal experiences as a Holiness preacher, speaker and author, Clinical Nurse Specialist, School Nurse Practitioner and RN for the past 46 years.
By the time young people graduate from high school, almost two-thirds have had sex. Nearly 40 percent of sexually active students did not use a condom the last time they had sex, and one in five drank alcohol or took drugs before their last sexual intercourse. Such risky sexual behaviors can have serious health consequences. The 2013 CDC report states that:
- Approximately 26 percent of all new HIV diagnoses are among young people aged 13–24 years.
- Teens and young adults have the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) of any age group. Americans aged 15-24 make up just 27% of the sexually active population, yet they account for 50% of all new cases of STD’s. Looking at all new cases by disease, the youth make up 70% of new gonorrhea cases, 63% of Chlamydia; 49% of HPV, 45% of Genital Herpes; and 20% of new syphilis cases.
3. Three in ten young women become pregnant before they reach the age of 20.
Young people, some of you may not be at all surprised at these numbers because these are the people that you walk and talk with every day. These are the real life and real people issues that you have to deal with. We want you to know that here we value you and your stand for Christ. You are holy and clean young people who love God and it is your desire to have Him pleased with your life. What we intend to do with this seminar is to equip you with the information that you need to withstand the fiery darts of the devil. We want each of you to be able to stand against the wiles of the enemy and against your own flesh. Remember that the devil is not your only enemy; you also have the flesh to deal with. But you can do it with the help of the Lord.
Let’s take a few minutes to socialize. I want you to get up, get out of your seat and meet and greet as many people as you can within the next three minutes. Shake hands, quick side hug, or say “hello”. Go all over the room if you need to and greet your neighbors. Then, when you’re finished, please return to your seats.
Did you enjoy that few minutes of greeting? Now, if the people on the first row would please stand. If anyone shook hands with this group please stand up. (This activity continued until nearly everyone was on his or her feet). Please note that almost everyone is standing. This is how a communicable disease or a disease that is “catchy” is spread. And if the front row people had an STD and were in intimate contact with other people in the room, eventually everyone in the room could be affected by it. I noticed that a few of you caught on to what the activity was all about. You refused to stand up because you did not want the stigma of having touched an individual although you really had. That also happens in individuals with STDs. Very often they have an STD, have passed it on to someone else, but refuse to tell anyone because they just don’t want the stigma that is involved.
Introduction of Topic
You should be at least thirteen to be in this seminar because I’m going to be open with facts and stats that younger people might not be ready to hear. You should all know by now that God ordained sex between a man and a woman in a marriage relationship. He said in Hebrews 13:4 (KJV) 4 Marriage is honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge. There is a tendency for young people to think that sex and sexual intimacy started when you became a teenager, but I assure you that it has been here all along. Otherwise, how would you have gotten here? God has specific guidelines about when sex is approved and it is never approved outside of marriage. We know that heaven is the ultimate goal and outcome of living a holy life. We also know that there are benefits right down here when we live a clean and holy life. In the same manner, just as Hell is the ultimate consequence for living an unholy lifestyle, there are consequences for living an unholy and unclean lifestyle right here on Planet Earth. One of the consequences of a wrongful sex life is sexually transmitted diseases. Whether it is a drip, a pox, a rotting of flesh, a wart or a non-healing sore, God has made it clear that He is not pleased with unmarried sex.
What exactly is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI)? According to the CDC, STDs and STIs are a group of contagious diseases or infections most commonly transmitted “from person to person by close, intimate contact.” Woodward says although most of this contact has traditionally been sexual intercourse, many categories of sexual practices permit transmission from “person to person.” That means transmission from mother to newborn is also possible. Babies can get a sexually transmitted disease through an infected mother as it passes through the birth canal. What brings all of these diseases or infections together into a group is the fact of how they are passed (from one person to another in intimate contact) rather than symptoms, or even whether or not they are deadly. For example, if someone were to get a disease from oral sex, even though they did not have sexual intercourse, they still got the disease.
Some of the diseases that I am going to mention today did not exist or were at least not discovered until a few years ago. But with the free love attitude and negative behavior of the 70’s, the advent of the pill and the “liberated” sexual attitude of people today, the number of STDs has gone through the roof. There are 25 known STDs today. I am going to list them first in alphabetical order, give an overview of the ten most frequently occurring in America and then talk about the deadly ones in more detail. Here is the list of twenty five that are presented by the CDC and recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO) listed in alphabetical order.
1. Bacterial Vaginosis (BV). This is the most common vaginal infection in women between the ages of 15 and 44 years of age. There is an imbalance in the normal balance of bacteria in the vagina. A new sex partner or multiple sex partners upset the balance. It is not truly an STD but having BV can make it more likely that you will get an STD like HIV, chlamydia and gonorrhea. One can lower the risk of getting this infection by abstinence, limiting partners to one and not douching.
3. LGV (Lymphogranuloma Venereum)
5. Genital Herpes
6. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
7. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
10. Enfermedades de transmisión sexual
12. Genital warts
13. Hepatitis (mainly B). Hepatitis A is chiefly acquired through the fecal/oral route; B via sexual route; C is frequently acquired via the parenteral or IV route.
14. Chancroid (Haemophilus ducreyi)
15. Donovanosis (Granuloma inguinale or Calymmatobacterium granulomatis). As this infection progresses, there is scarring and blockage of the lymphatics which produces enlargement of the vulvar area. Although correct treatment can stop the infection, long-standing infection can cause genital deformities such as color change, narrowing of the urethral, vaginal, and anal openings and massive swelling. Loss of sexual function can occur because of the damages.
16.Non-gonococcal urethritis (NGU)
17. Staphylococcal infection (Staphylococcus aureus; MRSA)
18. Tinea cruris “Jock Itch”
19. Yeast Infection
21. HTLV 1, 2 – venereal fluids
22. Cervical cancer
23. Molluscum contagiosum. This disease is often found in institutions and communities where there is overcrowding, poor hygiene, and poverty. 24. Mononucleosis.
25. Kaposi’s sarcoma
Young people are very much at risk for STD’s because of unsound and invalidated myths.
Myths that the Youth (and some adults) Hold Today
- “Oral sex is not sex.”
Many of you will recall that President Clinton even made a statement indicating that he had not had sexual relations when he was charged with oral sex with Monica Lewinsky during his presidential term in 1995 or 96. The affair and its repercussions, which included Clinton’s impeachment, became known as the Lewinsky scandal.
Oftentimes young ladies perform oral sex, even unprotected oral sex, so that they can justify in their own minds that they are still “virgins”. Some even allow anal sex for the same reason. They feel that as long as their hymen is intact they have not been involved in sexual activities. My answer is, “Oh no, not so!” Participating in this activity just bumped you out of the virgin group. At the end of the seminar one young man stated with a scowl on his face, “I just refuse to believe that oral sex is sex”. He chose to remain unconvinced but he is responsible for the information that he was given. (There will be much more on oral sex and its negative consequences later).
- “Douching after sex washes away any chance of getting an STI.”
If that were the case someone would be rich if they discovered such a great cleansing product. The fact of the matter is some douching can make the individual more susceptible to STD’s because douching washes away some of the “good” bacterial flora.
- “All STIs are curable.”
Ask someone with (HSV-2). Herpes is known as the disease that keeps on giving because there is no cure; HIV/Aids is also incurable and it can take your life.
- “You can always tell if someone has an STI.”
Unfortunately you cannot tell if someone is infected just by looking with the natural eye.
- “These things will never happen to me.”
This is one of the biggest problems among teens. They live in a big imaginary bubble that they create. They have this “magical” thinking that just because they say that a thing will not happen that it will not happen. Follow this conversation that I had with a high school student who found herself to be pregnant:
Her: “I thought that I couldn’t get pregnant”.
Me: “What made you think that? Were you having problems with your cycles?”
Me: “Were you having unprotected sex?”
Me: “Something must have made you think that you couldn’t get pregnant”.
Her: “I just thought that I couldn’t get pregnant.”
This ends part I of the Seminar. Part II will continue in the next post.