Bang With Friends – What Parents Need to Know

Bang-With-Friends-300x250Recently I wrote about an app called Snapchat that I wanted parents to be informed and aware of. It’s an app that can be found on most teenagers smart phones and allows them to send pictures back and forth. Snapchat makes it easy for teens to be involved in sexting and sending sexual images to each other. If that isn’t enough, there is another app parents need to know about called Bang With Friends. The name says it all.

Bang With Friends is an app that works through Facebook that lets you identify which of yours friends from the opposite sex you would “bang” (for parents that have no clue what that means, it means have sex with them). It’s completely anonymous until a person who you clicked “bang” for clicks “bang” for you. Then it connects you two together so you can do what the app intends for you to do-meet up and bang.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that this is an app teenagers, or anyone for that matter, should not be messing with. There is no value in it what so ever! It doesn’t seem like this app has blown up to the point of an app like Snapchat, but I’m sure it will eventually. But it’s out there and teenagers, have access to it. Research show that 100,000 hookups have already taken place with the help of this app.

If you are a parent and you have a teenagers that has this app installed, please be the parent and do something about it! If they have no clue what it is and are not using it, inform yourself and be ready to address it if it ever comes up. Lastly, student pastors and youth workers, let’s expose this crap for what it is. It’s sexual immorality and promoting sex in a way God did not design it.

Jonathan McKee, a student ministry blogger, wrote an excellent post on this app that I would recommend you take a look at.

Note: I am not trying to promote inappropriate content and images in this post by posting links to the app’s website. My goal is to inform parents and youth workers about this app.

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Snapchat – What Parents Need to Know

Every now and then a app comes on the scene that gets everyone’s attention, especially teenagers. Recently a new app has come on the scene which can probably be found on the smart phones of most teenagers. It’s called Snapchat. Snapchat is a new app that makes sharing photos with your friends quick and easy. It’s basically texting, but with photos. You can control how long your friends can see your photo as well. Also, you can add text to your pictures. Sounds great, right? Before you answer that think about the doors this opens for teenagers. In a teen culture that is already saturated with sex, using social media for things like sexting has become a huge problem with teens. In the past, teens were using text messages to have sexual conversations with others and maybe sending a photo or two via text. Now through Snapchat teens can send pictures much easier and quicker which opens the door even wider for things like sexting. Here is why this app will make sexting more popular among teens. Because of the timing feature, allowing a user to set a time limit their photo can be seen, adds a false security that their picture will not be posted all over their school. In the past this has been a huge problem. A girl would send a nude photo to a boy which would result in that boy sharing that photo throughout the school. With Snapchat’s time limit, teens will feel “safer” sending nude photos. I may be coming down too hard on this new app and only thinking about the bad effects of it, but I really believe apps like Snapchat will increase the rate of teens engaging in sexting. And the problems with sexting are numerous, but one that I will mention is the way teens view it. To them it’s not bad because your not actually having sex. Your just talking and sending a photo or two. They fail to see, and parents fail to see, that sexual immorality in the Bible isn’t just referring to intercourse, it is referring to anything sexual outside of the covenant of marriage. So how should parents respond? Should they punish their child for downloading or using this app? Should we just make moralistic rules for this app like we have done with other “bad” things in our culture? I suggest parents, and student pastors, should respond in a few ways to the phenomenon of Snapchat. First, remember this app is a morally neutral thing. By that I mean the app itself is not bad or good. What makes it bad or good is the way one uses it. It’s the same as the internet. The internet itself is not bad, it’s the user that either uses it for good or for bad. So parents should be careful to instantly make rules for their child to “not use this app.” If they feel like that is needed, than go for it, but I suggest parents have a talk with their child about the heart of the matter, which is how are they going to use it. It’s a app they can use to either bring glory to sinfulness or bring glory to God. Focus on the heart not just outward rules and regulations. Second, stay informed. Most parents wouldn’t even know if their child is using this app and if they were or were not sending nude photos. Parents need to be intentional about learning the popular trends within teen culture (click here to view a few tools to help you do just that). [Question] What are your thoughts on Snapchat? How can we encourage teens to use it in a way that brings glory to God?

Teens, Movies, and Sex

I recently ran across a Fox News article that appeared on the Youth Culture Report. In a nut shell this is what the article says:

A new study has found that sex scenes in movies have an impact on the sexual behavior of teens who watch them.

The article goes on to say the following:

Those who had been exposed to the most sexual content in movies had become sexually active at younger ages and were more likely to engage in risky behavior, the study reported.

You can click here to read the rest of the article. Basically the article explains that research shows that teens who are exposed to sexual scenes in movies are more likely to participate in sexual activities. Before I go on, let me just say, this is research and research is not always perfect. Just because a teen sees sexual scenes in movies does not mean they will defiantly participate in sexual activities. But research does reveal some truth and trends. This research shows that teens who are exposed to sexual scenes are more likely to participate in sexual activities at a young age.

So how do student pastors, youth workers, and parents respond to something like this? How should this affect the way we watch movies as well as how we direct our teens to watch movies? Here are some thoughts I would like to share with fellow student pastors as well as parents.

1. Filter the movies you watch with God’s Word. Teens need to understand that God’s Word is relevant to every part of their life, even movies. Not only teens, but adults need to filter the movies they watch through God’s Word. Here are two verses that should help you with this. In Psalm 101:3, the Psalmists says that he “will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless.” Probably one of the best verses to help you filter movies through God’s Word is Philippians 4:8. Paul tells us to think on things that are  true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellence, and worthy of praise. God expects us to watch movies Biblically.

2. Don’t trust the movie ratings. This has been something that has bothered me for a long time. Christian parents and teens determine what movies they will or will not watch based on its rating. The problem with that is movie ratings are established mostly by non-Christians and in a non-Christian industry. So why should we think movie ratings help us make Biblical choices on what movies we will watch? Don’t get me wrong, ratings do help us make wise choices, but God’s Word is a higher authority and is more relevant to a Christian teen than the movie rating.

3. Parents, youth workers, and student pastors need to be consistent in their movie watching. Many times parents and student pastors encourage teens to not watch certain movies, but then they watch those movies themselves because they are more “mature.” I’m guilty of this myself. My prayer is that God will help me be consistent in my teaching and conduct of life. If I believe a certain movie is not wise for a Christian teen to watch, than I should think very carefully before I watch it. We need to keep consistent standards.

These are just three things that I have been thinking through in response to this article and research. Please don’t think I am going all “legalistic” about this, because I am not. I am thankful the Gospel frees us from legalism and in Christ we have freedom. Movies and Christians is a broad subject that is not a simple “black and white” issue. It’s an area we need to follow the Holy Spirit’s direction and be discerning based on the principles revealed in God’s Word.