Walking in the Right Direction A column by Bill Ellenberger for The Daily Herald

Bill Ellenberger is founding president for the ministry Faithful Path in Tyrone. He was born and raised in Tyrone. Faithful Path is a ministry to support church lay-leaders without pastors to assist in the process of finding their next pastor. Bill, who is ordained, also speaks to final year seminary, Bible College & Bible institute students as to what to expect as a new pastoral
candidate. He is known by his peers as a visionary leader. You can reach him via email at Bill@FaithfulPath.com or visit their website at: www.FaithfulPath.com.

Morality Struggle with Young Adults – Part I
Over the years, we have come to realize that we are different from one generation to another. We view life and the role we play different from our grandparents, parents, and our children. We are unique for sure.
How this generation to generation play out when it comes to morality? A recent study has concluded, shows us some interesting results about X’er generation who are now in their 20’s.
“American society has become more intrigued by moral issues in recent years, as evidenced by the fact that 55 percent of adults discuss moral issues with others during a typical week. But a nationwide survey by The Barna Group indicates that Americans have also redefined what it means to do the right thing in their own lives.
Researchers asked adults which, if any, of eight behaviors with moral overtones they had engaged in during the past week. The behaviors included exposure to pornography, using profanity in public, gambling, gossiping, engaging in sexual intercourse with someone to whom they were not married, retaliating against someone, getting drunk, and lying. A majority of adults had engaged in at least one of those eight behaviors during the past week.
Cussing is Common
The most common of the eight behaviors evaluated was using profanity in public. Nearly three out of every ten adults (28 percent) admitted to using such language. Two out of every ten adults (20 percent) had gambled in the past week (including the purchase of a lottery ticket) and almost as many (19 percent) admitted to intentional exposure to pornographic images. Slightly more than one out of every ten adults had gossiped (12 percent), gotten drunk (12 percent), or lied (11 percent).
The least common of the activities tested were having sexual intercourse with someone to whom the respondent was not married (9 percent) and 8% percent said they had engaged in some form of retaliation during the prior seven days.
The survey showed that admission of adultery was far less common than was admission of sex among unmarried adults. Just 1 percent of married adults said they had sex with someone other than their spouse during the past week. In contrast, 21 percent of single adults indicated they had sex with someone during the prior week.
Young Adults Ignore Traditional Morality
One of the most stunning outcomes from the Barna survey was the moral pattern among adults under 25. The younger generation was more than twice as likely as all other adults to engage in behaviors considered morally inappropriate by traditional standards. Their choices made even the Baby Boomers – never regarded as a paragon of traditional morality – look like moral pillars in comparison.
For instance, two-thirds of the under-25 segment (64 percent) had used profanity in public, compared to just one out of five Boomers (19 percent). The younger group – known as Mosaics – was nine times more likely than were Boomers to have engaged in sex outside of marriage (38 percent vs. 4 percent), six times more likely to have lied (37 percent vs. 6 percent), almost three times more likely to have gotten drunk (25 percent vs. 9 percent) and to have gossiped (26 percent vs. 10 percent), and twice as likely as Boomers to have observed pornography (33 percent vs. 16 percent) and to have engaged in acts of retaliation (12 percent vs. 5 percent).
Liberals Differ from Conservatives
On average, adults who describe themselves as “mostly liberal” on sociopolitical issues were twice as likely as those who describe themselves as “mostly conservative” to participate in activities that conflict with traditional moral perspectives. In particular, liberals were five times more likely to participate in unmarried sex (20 percent vs. 4 percent), more than three times as likely to view pornography (30 percent vs. 8 percent), more than twice as likely to lie (21 percent vs. 8 percent) and to get drunk (17 percent vs. 7 percent), and twice as likely to engage in retaliation (13 percent vs. 6 percent) and gossip (17 percent vs. 9 percent).”
“Do not join a crowd that intends to do evil. When you are on the witness stand, do not be swayed in your testimony by the opinion of the majority.” Exodus 23:2
I once read that, “Our world is full of things that can hurt us and are intent on thrusting themselves into our lives. Be wary of friends who coerce.”
Next time we will conclude the morality struggle to include the breakdown of gender to the results of the study.
Stay close to the Lord, Bill

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