The Blog of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship

February 05, 2013

The Evilest App Ever

By: 
Adam Jeske

Do you secretly want to have sex with a bunch of your Facebook friends?

Too cowardly to have a real relationship, to actually know and be known?

Can’t be bothered to commit to love and care for someone?

Trying to blow off the relationship (or marriage) you’re in?

You just need Bang with Friends, a new Facebook app. I found out about it from this Fast Company article. You log into the app using Facebook and then pick Facebook friends with whom you’d like to have sex. If they join Bang and also pick you, you are both notified. And then, presumably, you have sex.

Never before has it been so easy to wreck your life. (Click it to tweet it.)

Never before has it been so easy to hurt your loved ones.

Never before has it been so easy to screw up your relationships. (Pun intended.)

Never before has it been so easy to load yourself up with so much baggage that you’ll never really be happy with your sex life.

These are now true for all of us. Apparently, three twentysomething men in California built the app to find casual sex and help others do the same. Word has been spreading quickly since it launched nine days ago, with 260,000 registered users in the first eight days (source).

One Facebook user wrote, “Sad state when an app for this exists, as well as when it is well received. This is evidence of the rapid decline in the marriage rate and marriage quality these days” (source).

In response, one of the app’s cofounders called such people “prudes.”

As of today, I am proudly and happily a prude. (Click it to tweet it.)

The currently unnamed founders say that they are just representing what happens in real life, that they want to take the awkwardness out of our sexuality.

Many things that happen in real life are not good. We’re sinful people; we act on desires without thinking about consequences down the road. Many actions, even ones we choose, are not harmless to ourselves or others, despite seeming that way.

Never before has a new technology so blatantly unleashed our sinfulness, our selfishness. (Click it to tweet it.) Hooking up does not respect the other person. Sexualizing a friendship doesn’t bring you closer together. It blows you both up. (Click it to tweet it.)

Consider how many quality friendships will be ruined because of just a connection made on Bang, not to mention an actual hook-up.

Think about the middle-schoolers and high-schoolers you know. Do you want your 13-year-old child or sibling banging their friends? Can you fathom the ways this app will affect their future dating relationships and their marriage?

InterVarsity staff work with hundreds of college students all over the U.S. We see firsthand the life-shattering effects of casual sex and sexual brokenness. Imagine how much this app will increase that pain on campus.

Reflect on how many married people, foolishly “checking it out,” will cheat on their spouse. They will have to deal with guilt, remorse, worry, and likely an eventual admission that they’ve broken a promise to the person who is closer to them than anyone else.

I wonder how many abortions this will lead to, how much heartache Bang with Friends will cause.

Want to give the best Valentine’s Day present ever?

Promise the one you love that you’ll never join Bang. (Click it to tweet it.) 

 


To voice your protest, post this: 

Shame on you, @Facebook! 13-year-olds don't need to be told to #bangwithfriends. http://bit.ly/11HGw5Y #happyprude

Or post something similar on Facebook, tagging their page by typing @Facebook in your post.


 

Adam Jeske has served in Nicaragua, China, and South Africa and regularly contributes to Relevant. With his wife, Christine Jeske, he has written This Ordinary Adventure: Settling Down Without Settling. He blogstweets, and serves as the Associate Director of Communications for InterVarsity.


Read more biblical truth about dating, sex, and relationships that honor God:

When to Say Yes: Relationship Advice for Women

How to Have Sex: Relationship Advice for Guys

3 Things About Sex, Dating, and Jesus

Comments

This is hilarious. "Outrage". It isn't even a good app, let alone worth writing about. It is probably just an exercise, self promotion for the developer(s) so that when they're sitting in the interview with Zynga (or whoever) they have a credible response to, "what apps have you created, how much interest was generated" etc etc. They will probably even site your blog with commentary like, "I (we) even manged to invoke some good old fashion paranoid rage from those zombie Jew on a stick worshipers."
Well, the app does actually exist. And the interest was already there. And as I commented below, I happen to think there are still some things to be outraged about. It's not limited to an app that exists to enable people to secretly connect with people they know for sex. I'm outraged about a lot of evil in the world--war, famine, human trafficking--and I'm outraged that there's evil in me, too. I'm selfish, too, and (to use theological language) prone to sin. If we don't talk about evil, how will we increase good?
I see you're following the long tradition of outraged christians providing free publicity to people and things they profess to hate (or is that "love, but not approve of"?) Think "Last temptation of christ" for example, a truly awful film that succeeded beyond belief (if you'll pardon the expression) purely because of crowds of outraged nutters with placards standing outside advertising it. Without outraged christians like you to quote, my newspaper in far off Australia wouldn't have had enough to make a news article out of a simple app, (if it even came to their attention), but thanks to you, this app has received free publicity the likes of which they couldn't buy in Australia. Well done! Celibate atheist downunder
I'm not unaware that more people might hear about this app from my writing. But I am not arrogant enough to think that my blog post is getting it into the news in Australia. Much more prominent outlets have been covering it. Rather, my aim is to raise some important questions in the conversation about the app. I still happen to think there are things worth being outraged about...
I'm pretty amazed that this app exists. I am also pretty amazed at the flack you are getting for writing this article. Of course we are called to be "prudes" -- 1 Corinthians 6:18 says we are to FLEE sexual immorality. Keep up the good work and I pray that people will listen to you and avoid this problem!
I support and agree with the effort to shine light into this outrageous and dangerous app. Although the nature of the app is not new, as a way to encourage promiscuous sex, one should take into account its broad access to millions of users as young as 13 or less, also the fact that the app is allowed by this successful worldwide (and supposedly righteous) company endows the app with a false impression that its use, and therefore this behavior is fair. Allowing this app to exist may have far deeper bad consequences that it appears. It can open a very dangerous road to all sort sinful behavior involving minors, prostitution and who knows what.
I found this helpful and informative, thank you for writing it.
yeah
"Just publishing this article Posted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 5th, 2013 at 3:46 pm Just publishing this article will lead countless scores of weak Christians into sin. May God have mercy on us." I suppose it could, but are we suppose to just avert our eyes from the problem and never acknowledge it until it pertains to us? The article was written with good (I think?) intent, but I agree that it certainly could have been worded better.
I think this article will be more damaging to young Christians than the "Bang Your Friends App" will be. It is very clear that the "Bang Your Friends" app is a moral nightmare and probably makes it easier to sin. Young Christians will clearly see that. And its existence might cause a small % of on campus Christians to fail. What is not clear is the incredible lack of wisdom and terrible view of sin, grace, and temptation that is displayed in this article. Jesus does not call us to be prudes. He calls us to be disciples. A wise, experienced Christian can read between the lines of this article and see the basic "point" that the author is trying to make. A young or new Christian in their late teens or early 20's might not be so discerning. And, at such a crucial point in their theological development, reactionary fluff pieces such as this will only train them to be shallow Christians that will be "easily scorched" (Matthew 13 - Parable of Sower). God did not save us to "not sin"... He saved us to glorify Himself and to rescue us from sin and darkness. This article reduces the Christian message to moralism and legalism.
To say, "this article will be more damaging to young Christians than the 'Bang Your Friends App' will be" is a severe over/mis-statement. "Thank you" to the writer for speaking with bold, clear language that gets a person's attention & gives them something to wrestle with. I'm so grateful (as mom to a 16 year old boy) to know this app exists. I don't see this article as trying to "train" but to "warn." This app is dangerous & calls for a clear warning like the surgeon general gives cigarettes: "This product is dangerous & can lead to (in this case, spiritual, emotional, even physical) death." "Young people" aren't really that fragile. In the long run they appreciate a person with a strong stance & will disrespect the one who soft-peddles the hard core truth. And the truth is, this type of behavior will ROB them of relational joy in the future – it's worth an attention-getting shout out that gives fair warning. Maybe a nice follow up to the warning would be an article that "teaches" God's gracious plan for friendship, sex, & marriage -- with a portion on how to find healing & restoration if they've already "banged their friends." The first step is to stop doing it. Well, at least that's what Jesus told the woman caught in adultery. "Go & sin no more." Thanks again to the writer.
I respectfully disagree, though I can see the point you are making. I think in many ways you are underestimating the intellectual and spiritual understanding of new and young Christians. And I do not think this article errs on reducing the Christian message to moralism or legalism - just because the author is confronting a serious travesty, and note, the author is not saying that only Christians should stay away from this app, does not make it legalistic. Sugar-coating our language when discussing issues of evil in the world does not make it easier for young or even non-Christians to swallow it. The point of this article is not to give deep theological insight into the evils of this app; rather, the point is to inform and confront a large scale reality of our culture and to invite us into thinking more about its implications and its severe consequences. I say this as a young Christian in my early 20's. I am 22, in fact. And I have been following Jesus for a short span of time considering my age - and I understood the message and the point of this article, and I agreed with every word. Jesus brings freedom and restoration to broken relationships, he does not want me to bang all my Facebook friends. I am discerning enough to understand that.
Thanks for reading and for your thoughtful reply. How would you more helpfully caution people about something like this?
That's really the best valentines day present EVER? Like it or not, we live in a society that is rapidly changing and redefining sex and love. so-called christian influences and media remain absent from the conversation by framing every conflict in the same 'them vs us' argument we have heard for generations. It is very easy to remain reactive, condemning, and irrelevant rather than address the complexity of relationships.
Thanks for chiming in. I know that love and sex are being rapidly redefined. Some of those ways may be helpful and healthy. I don't think that this app is one of them. Please note, too, that this is very much written to "us" *and* "them", that this is of concern to me as a husband and a father and a friend. I am saddened by infidelity regardless of who is involved. Thirteen-year-olds don't need something like this. I may be naive, but I think the culture would still be with me on that one. Do you think BWF is a good thing, a helpful thing? Do you think it will help us have more happy and healthy relationships with each other?
That is really sad and disturbing. Thank you Adam. We can pray its owners find the light and delete this darkness.
This is a bit sensationalist, don't you think? "Never before?" Is there anything new under the sun? Especially the technological sun? It's been a while since I've browsed the internet without AdBlock plus on, but I'm pretty sure those ads that sell "Hook-up with singles in your area" are still showing up in the sidebars and banner ads of email accounts everywhere. The internet has been making sexual immorality easier since the beginning. I really find the "never before"s problematic, too. Sin starts in our mind ... and it's never been hard to lust. All sorts of screwed up perceptions of sexuality have to be in place before an app like this can be successful. And claiming that casual sex "wrecks your life" without really qualifying what that means, and suggesting you'll never be really sexually satisfied (what about forgiveness, healing, new creation, a transformed mind?), and waving the "prude" flag, isn't really communicating what Jesus wants for us - which isn't right behaviour because of self-righteousness or fear - he wants our love (which happens to result in obedience). And "just imagine," "consider," "reflect on," ... you're implying your audience would never sin like this. As though all good Christians understand why God calls us to sexual fidelity and there's nothing to explain. But wouldn't it be more edifying if this blog was for human being who are tempted? You're making it an "us vs. them," "Christian vs. heathen sinners!" thing. Instead of thinking about all the sin those sinners might do why not develop an argument about why Bang With Friends is NOT giving what it promises, that casual sex isn't the good we (humans) (can) think it is. That might equip the InterVarsity student to talk with their friends at college who are curious about it, to help them make right choices, that point them towards what (Who) will truly satisfy, who will truly give them the connection, the self-worth, whatever it is they are mistakenly seeking through casual sex. Eh? Let's redeem this as a news item and use it as an opportunity to imagine ways we can discuss this with friends that shows them Christ's love, instead of an opportunity to shun the nonbeliever, and act like sin is this shocking thing (it shouldn't be surprising to Christians who understand the Gospel).
I do think there's something new here, and so do the news reports about this app. While our own selfishness and lack of integrity in relationships is certainly not new or surprising, this new tool invites more of both. It's secretive, with people you know, and through a platform that most people are on. And while I tried to draw my readers' minds to the possible societal impact over the long-term of this app, there's real, immediate personal consequences, too. And I readily admit that I'm no better than people around me--I know my own selfishness better than anyone else's. I like your idea about helping others see why BWF is not giving what it promises, equipping people on campus to deal with it. Do you have a place you could write and publish it? I think just raising awareness of this is important. But I would also love for us to step from this news item to more ongoing, helpful conversations.
Hmmm. How about the wording and the way your thoughts are conveyed? I'm not saying you should censor yourself, but diplomacy never hurts to help the cause...
I've been reflecting on this. How does diplomacy fit with an appropriate outrage that something that will cause great pain has been launched? I want to communicate clearly and effectively.
The problem is that your perceived outrage isn't matched by other people's perception of the general opinion. Meaning, you think a lot of people are really mad or shocked by this while others see your opinion as over-exaggerated because no one around them is shocked. Hmm, diplomacy in this case would be using words that are able to be explained away if anyone is offended, yet solid enough to be used to argue your case without being obviously ambiguous. The main problem lies in where your intent is. Your desire to communicate clearly and effectively is indeed a good thing, but are you being clear about your own opinion, or clear about "everyone's outrage"? I think that's why some people might see this article as "sensationalist", though I think that's also an exaggeration in itself.
I wonder what the app does with age limits. Could it be violating any laws? How does this intersect with US law on statutory rape - or the laws of other countries, for that matter? I wouldn't be surprised if Facebook shuts this one down before long. I think this is just begging for trouble. It's horrific, though.
Just publishing this article will lead countless scores of weak Christians into sin. May God have mercy on us.
I think having frank conversations shine light into the darkness. I think there is strength in knowing about something like this beforehand rather than stumbling across it as individuals. Do you have ideas about how to help one another in such a situation?

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