I Care...About Protecting Children
by Arlene Allen, National Women’s Ministries Director
The Assemblies of God national Women’s Ministries Department is joining other evangelical ministries in introducing a new campaign, “I Care ... about protecting children,” to call women to prayer and action. The number of incidents of sexual abuse of children and young people is rapidly increasing. We must protect our children from sexual exploitation, whether by exposure to pornography or media messages, by being molested, being stalked by predators, or being sold into sex slavery.
Our goal for “I Care” is threefold. First, we are calling women to passionate and persistent prayer. We as Pentecostal believers know that prayer changes even the worst of situations. Psalm 5:4-6, NLT, says, “O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness; you cannot tolerate the slightest sin. Therefore, the proud will not be allowed to stand in your presence for you hate all who do evil. You will destroy those who tell lies. The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.”
Our second goal is to educate parents of the dangers that face this generation of children and youth. Parents must know the facts, then take action steps to protect their families. The third goal is to occasionally call the “I Care” members to action when they need to let their legislators and others in decision-making roles know how they feel about a vote or decision that leaves our children unprotected.
WE MUST ACT NOW
...because of the avalanche of pornography exploiting our children and youth through advanced technology such as video cell phones, PDAs, and iPods:
• Children can access pornography on the Internet
• They can do so anonymously
• They can do so through purchased phone cards
• Children can take sexually explicit pictures of themselves and/or others, send the photos to each other by cell phone, or post the photos on the Internet. To possess or distribute such pictures of children 17 and under is a felony and leads to serious legal problems and massive moral and spiritual struggles.
...because of the constant sexual stimulation and experimentation of children and young people in America:
• The average teenager is exposed to nearly 14,000 sexual messages a year. Less then 2 percent of these have any reference to abstinence, self-discipline, or concern about sexually transmitted diseases.
...because of the dangers of sexual predators:
• Parents must understand and teach their children about the tactics of sexual predators who use the Internet and how widespread this problem has become.
• Parents must teach their children not to share any personal information with a stranger (anyone they don’t know personally) on the Internet.
• Parents must encourage their children to tell them immediately when anyone on the Internet begins to talk or write about sexual behavior. Children must know that parents trust them and will not discipline them if they are honest about these issues.
...because of the ways the evil one uses sexual brokenness, guilt, and shame to destroy the spiritual life and strength of God’s people, especially young people, and destroys their relationship to the Church:
• Sexual brokenness and guilt undermine faith and confidence in God.
• Sexual brokenness and shame weaken the desire for fellowship and prayer.
• Sexual failure neutralizes the desire for Scripture and obedience.
• Sexual failure destroys their passion for worship and sharing Christ with friends.
The sexualization of America will get much worse before it gets better. And it will never get better unless God’s people humble themselves, seek God’s grace and strength, and join together as salt and light, determined to confront this evil in every way our democratic and legal system allows.
The “I Care...about protecting children” campaign will be carried out by e-mail, which will save thousands of dollars each month on printing, letterhead, and postage. By sharing your e-mail address, you will receive an e-mail once each month from the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Family with the prayer focus for that month. Information will also be shared to help parents to become wise in protecting their children.
The National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families was founded in 1983 as a nonprofit organization that aims to equip and empower Christians to take an offensive position in the battle for truth being waged in the area of sexual ethics. Your e-mail address will not be shared with any other organization and you may unsubscribe at anytime.
To subscribe to the “I care...about protecting children” campaign, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and show “I Care — Sign Up” in the subject line of the e-mail. To receive more information, contact the national Women’s Ministries Department at 417-862-2781, extension 4060.
Together, we can work to protect our children and families.