Julian Freeman

Freed to live through the death of another.

Tag: Culture

Why All the Violence?

What Do You Think?

It’s been a violent year or so, hasn’t it? It seems like everywhere we turn there is more news of more horror and more violence. Why? Where does it come from?

If you ask 100 different people, you’ll probably get 100 different answers as to why there is so much violence in our society. To be sure, it is a complex issue and there are many factors involved in every act of violence that appears on our newsfeed.

In looking for root causes, we must always be wary of over-simplification and sweeping statements. Nevertheless, some factors are more important than others — even if they are not immediately obvious.

Mother Teresa’s Take

In 1994, Mother Teresa gave an historic speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. In it she sought to answer, ‘What is the great destroyer of peace and bringer of violence?’

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Plagiarizing God

We are copycats. In one sense, we can’t help it. We were created to be image bearers, reflecting the likeness of the one who designed us.

But you don’t have to live long before you learn that there are respectable kinds of copying and there are dishonest kinds. If I’m writing out a thought, for example, and cite the authors and sources that inspired me, I honour them. If, however, I use someone else’s work and don’t give them credit then I am an idea-thief and I dishonour the original writer.

Gospel on Prime-Time TV

Hasn’t it ever struck you as funny that the TV shows and movies which make the biggest impact sound somewhat familiar? From Jack Bauer to Batman, hero after hero must sacrifice himself in a noble way, be misunderstood, and ultimately ‘die’ alone. (In the case of Batman, he even ‘rises again’ as we’re about to see in theatres.)

Even the recent conclusion of the TV series House, MD wrapped up with none other than the oft-misunderstood Gregory House ‘laying down his life for his friend.’ And this is supposed to be original? For those who endured the four seasons of the should-have-been-one-season series Prison Break, you saw that in the end the hero (who already had to enter into his brother’s prison to save him) finally had to pay the ultimate price and give his life for his friends.

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Good News / Bad News

The Numbers

Just recently someone linked to a news article in the Atlantic Wire reporting on a study of teen sexual activity (conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services). Surprisingly, the report suggested that there has been a significant decline in the number of individual teens engaging in the act of sex in their teen years. That’s great news!

Declining Numbers

Here’s something remarkable: In 1988 it is reported that 60% of males in their teens had had sex at least once; as of 2010, that number had dropped to 42%. That’s quite a drop!

A Reflection

My first response was to be quite encouraged by this report. I was also encouraged by the fact that many of the teens who had not had sex cited ‘religion or morals’ as the reason. There is much to be happy about here.

But as I looked at the chart longer, something else jumped out at me. The significant drop in numbers of males having sex in their teen years is not matched by the girls. While there is decline, it’s not nearly keeping up. For the first time now, as of 2010, there are more teenage girls having sex than there are teenage boys. As a father of three girls, that absolutely crushed me to consider.

I suppose this is somewhat to be expected as feminism has become less of a movement and more mainstream culture. After all, movies like Black Swan and Sex and the City seem to be all the rage. As our culture continues to tell our girls that it’s good and helpful and healthy to pursue sexuality ‘without consequences,’ I guess it’s only natural that eventually girls will listen.

The sad truth, however, is that these numbers aren’t movies. They’re not characters who cease to exist after the 1.5 hour romp of fun and exploration. They are people who are being wounded & scarred by these inappropriate sexual experiences that will change their lives (and the lives of their future spouses) forever. It is simply tragic.

Where Are the Fathers?

As I think about the fact that more teenage girls than boys are having sex, one question comes to my mind that I cannot shake: Where are the fathers?

Where are the fathers of these girls who are willing to tell them the truth about the love and intimacy and the intertwining of souls that God intended sex to be for? Where are the fathers who are involved in their daugthers’ lives enough to know who they’re dating and where they are when they are out at night? Where are the fathers who are willing to tell their girls the truth about boys and hormones and selfishness and sin? Where are the men who will protect the daughters God has given them?

I pray that God would give me grace to be the kind of father that my girls need me to be so that they don’t fall prey to the seduction of the world and the lies of consequence-free living and meaning-in-relationships. All of this is a good reminder to me to pray for my girls, beginning now.

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