.- John Ellis and the Christian rock band Tree 63 traveled all the way from South Africa to join nearly 5,000 Colorado area youth who packed the Denver Coliseum for massive youth rally sponsored by the Denver-based Pure by Choice ministry. According to Pure by Choice, the group is a ânetwork of faith based partnersâ who work with young people around Colorado to âadvance the counter cultural purity revolution honoring Godâs plan for life, love and healthy relationships by promoting a lifestyle of sexual purity.â
A jetlagged Ellis spoke with CNA Sunday night and shared a little about what makes the bandâs performance at this yearâs Pure by Choice rally so special.
A new parent himself, Ellis came from what he calls âan unchurched, secular music backgroundâ, and became a Christian at age 23. Because of this, he is acutely aware of the kinds of pressure that todayâs teens face.
âComing out of a secular background, Iâd already committed every carnal sinâ, he quips. But he also believes that itâs precisely this understanding that puts âweight behind his messageâ, and allows him to minister more successfully at events like Pure by Choice.
Christian speaker and comedian Keith Deltano, the nights keynote speaker, told CNA that he realized some time ago that his comedy âcould be used as a tool other than just making people laugh.â
He stressed to the youth Sunday night that the Church is always âportrayed as being anti-sexâ¦Weâre not anti-sex.â He added that there is a proper time and place for sex in Godâs plan, namely, marriage.
The coliseum erupted into wild cheers as Deltano yelled, âVirginity rocks!â and âGodâs plan is sexy!âChoosing purity
Near the end of the night, thousands of young people, donning purity rings and white Lance Armstrong-like bracelets, stood and made a public pledge to live the virtue of chastity.
Led by a priest and local pastor, the youth were told that, âif God isnât first in your life, then this pledge isnât possible.â
Briana Agar, who works with high school youth in Boulder, called the event âa great opportunity for youth to come together and be encouraged by one another.â
âI like that theyâre encouraging them not to sell out to cheap attention gained by sexâ, she added.
Indeed, finding the right way to teach youth the true Christian meaning of sexuality has long confounded parents and youth leaders alike.
But in a culture saturated by sexual images and temptation, many are grateful that Pure by Choice is taking on the challenge.
George Ketchel, a Denver area youth minister, referring to the Holy Fatherâs unprecedented ministry to the worldâs youth, said that perhaps the surest way weâve seen to preach the real meaning of life and sexuality âis an 84-year old man saying âI love you.ââ