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Published: Monday, 4/26/2010

No controversy here

ELECTRONIC billboards around town that flash messages about God, sex, and seminars are supposed to grab attention and spark discussion. But stir unremitting controversy? Not so much.

CedarCreek Church, a local megachurch that aggressively markets itself, is behind the recent advertising campaign aimed at high school students and a subject of prevailing importance to them. Through hard-to-miss billboards, TV commercials, and outreach at area high schools, the church hopes to draw teens to its Perrysburg campus for seminars about sex and God, including one Sunday.

Far from promoting promiscuity or passing out condoms, CedarCreek intends to balance what kids hear all the time in popular culture about sex with traditional Christian concepts such as abstinence and reserving sex for marriage. Student ministries director Ben Snyder says the goal is to explore a healthy sexuality from God's viewpoint, apart from the barrage of cultural images that treat sex as everything from meaningless fun to something shameful.

Teenagers could be drawn to a lot worse. And since nearly half of high school students are sexually active, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, programs that attempt to mitigate that behavior with thoughtful, even scriptural, perspective would seem more constructive than controversial.

If mixing showy with spiritual helps reduce rates of pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, and abortion among teens, churches such as CedarCreek should advertise away.

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