The Millennial Generation and Sexual Sin

The article I link to at the end inspired me to write this blog. It addresses the Millennial Generation’s acceptable sin—sex outside of marriage. For many years now I’ve seen this trend which is disturbing not only because God is dishonored, but also because young people’s lives are being destroyed. I know of evangelical churches where it’s a “given” that young people are sleeping around, if not in high school, by the time they’re in college.

In my book The Purity Principle I write:

The Purity PrincipleSince the time we were young teenagers, many of us have heard lists of reasons for walking in sexual purity. God commands purity and forbids impurity. Purity is right. Impurity is wrong.

True? Absolutely. But it’s equally correct to say purity is always smart; impurity is always stupid.

There it is—what I’m calling The Purity Principle: Purity is always smart; impurity is always stupid. Not sometimes.

Not usually.

Always. You’re not an exception. I’m not an exception. There are no exceptions.

A holy God made the universe in such a way that actions true to His character, and the laws derived from His character, are always rewarded. Actions that violate His character, however, are always punished. He rewards every act of justice; He punishes every act of injustice.

That doesn’t mean God always intervenes directly. This moral law is like the law of gravity. God has set it in place. When a careless driver speeds on an icy mountain pass, loses control, and plunges his car off a cliff, God doesn’t suddenly invent gravity to punish the driver’s carelessness. Gravity is already in place.

Icy RoadIn the same way, God doesn’t need to punish the pornography addict for every wrong choice. The punishment is built into the sin. Shame, degradation, and warping of the personality follow as a matter of course. Scripture describes those who have surrendered to their lust to live in immorality as “receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error” (Romans 1:27, NASB).

That’s the way God’s moral universe operates. We get to choose our own path. But with each path comes inevitable consequences.

The roads of life are sometimes hazardous. But God loves us enough to place warning signs: “Don’t commit adultery” and “No sex before marriage.” We don’t have to obey. We do have to live with the consequences.

This is something that young people, their parents and their churches need to come to grips with. One thing is certain—an unholy world will never be won to Christ by an unholy church.

Here’s the article I think all church leaders should read, and all leaders of church and parachurch youth groups:

The Millenial Generation’s Acceptable Sin

by Barton Gingerich

Every human institution and society has its own list of sins and virtues that contradict the law of God. With the rise of the Millennial generation in evangelical churches, a vice is creeping up into the realms of acceptance, indifference, or at least resignation: fornication (i.e. extramarital sex or unchaste living).

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Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18)


Road photo credit: Ben Earwicker, Garrison Photography, Boise, ID,

Randy Alcorn, founder of EPM

Randy Alcorn (@randyalcorn) is the author of over fifty books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries