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Ivory Club Home Page


In Support of Teenage and Young Adult Celibacy and Virginity

Lucid, logical, and rational explanations of celibacy and virginity in the language of a high school girl.

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©1996 G. Edwin Lint
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The Ivory Club Is Born and the Whole World Knows It!
From the Novel Parsonage

Part 1: First Day Of School:
Jessi's Ivory Club Comes to Town


Part 2: News Conference:
The world learns about Jessi's Ivory Club

One Hundred Young People Make Covenants of Sexual Purity

Sexual Purity

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Note: All persons in this story about Ivory are fictional. Any resemblance to real persons is coincidental.

For more information about celibacy and virginity, consult Bible Sex Facts, Part 2: For Single Persons
Ivory consists of excerpts from the full length novel, Parsonage, pertaining to the Celibacy Support Group Called "Ivory Club"


Chapter 8: First Day of School

This is the first day of school for high school junior Jessica Hogan after moving to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania from Ashtabula, Ohio. Her dad, James Hogan, is the new pastor of Wesley Evangelical Church. One of Jessi's first classes is sex education . . .

"Ms. Hockinger, I'd like to say something."

"Yes?"

"I agree that sex is a natural part of life but I don't agree it is as casual as going to the rest room. God tells us in the Bible that sex must be restricted to heterosexual marriage."

"Well, Virgin-ia, do you believe in Santa Claus, too?" Hockinger asked sarcastically with a rude emphasis on "virgin".

"The name is Jessica Hogan and no, I don't believe in Santa Claus."

"Hogan, Hogan . . . Didn't I read in the paper some church over on Wesley Drive got a new pastor by the name of Hogan?"

"Pastor James Alan Hogan is my father," Jessi flashed proudly.

"Well, Miss Preacher's Kid, I suppose your daddy has told you not to have sex until you're married," Hockinger said mockingly.

Jessi prayed for both the wisdom and the protection of the Holy Spirit. It was one thing to be lonely in a crowd. It was quite another to be standing up in front of twenty-five high school kids with the scorn of an adult focused squarely on her. "I don't 'want' to have sex before I'm married, and it's how I think, not just what my dad says."

"That kind of thinking was last heard from right about the time your dad graduated from high school. We've had a sexual revolution, or haven't you heard? We've made a lot of progress since then!"

"Progress? Do you call AIDS, claymidia, herpes, teenage abortions, and an increasing number of children having children-- do you call that progress? I call it regress, right back toward the decadence of a fallen Roman empire!"

Hockinger smiled with false sweetness. "You're entitled to your opinion and to your right to express it. Just know one thing. Even though you are admittedly articulate on teenage sexual mores, you are definitely in the minority. I'm sure that all the boys in this class will agree with me on that point." She smirked around the room but strangely, no one was willing to make eye contact.

That did it! Jessi had never been considered a sex symbol but she was pretty in a wholesome way. Above all else, she was fashionably correct, from her Esprit sweat shirt to her Treetorn sneakers. She jammed her fists in the pocket of her jeans and looked Hockinger straight in the eyes. "As far as boys are concerned, I've always had as many dates as I cared to have, even with my antiquated ideas about sex. And for your information, a lot of other kids feel just like I do.

"Back in Ashtabula, Ohio, where I used to live, we had a group in our school called Ivory and we had one thing in common. We were dedicated to the concept that sex must be limited to heterosexual marriage. The kids in that group came different churches and different races but without exception, we all agreed on total sexual abstinence before marriage."

Now Jessi turned and faced the whole class. "This is my first day at Mechanicsburg High School and none of you know me. This may be a little sudden, but I want you to know that I'm starting an Ivory Club in this school, right here and now. All of you can join or none of you can join but the Ivory Club exists in this high school starting--" and she smacked a clenched right first into her left palm, "starting right now!" Then the little crusader sat down fast and covered her face with her hands, tears starting to flow.

Never in the history of Pennsylvania public education had so many high school kids made so little noise for such a long period of time. Finally a tall kid with red hair, freckles, and a varsity sweater who had been sitting in the right front corner of the room stood and began to clap, slowly and rhythmically. A cute girl sitting across from Jessi stood and joined in the clapping. Then someone in the back of the room, and over in the left rear corner. One by one kids were standing and clapping until the whole class was on its feet and smiling Jessi's way. Ms. Carter-Clarke discarded her papers and walked over behind Jessi, grasping each shoulder in friendly pressure.

At the height of the standing ovation, Ms. Hockinger stuffed her handouts into her briefcase, snapped it shut, and stalked out the door.

The teacher left Jessi and walked to the front of the class. After the kids had stopped clapping and resumed their seats, she said, "Jessica, Dr. Grace Carson is a dear and personal friend of mine. Tonight, I'm going to call her and say that if Wesley's new pastor is half as good a preacher as his daughter, the church board just got a good bargain. And I think I'll see you in church Sunday, too." Jessi was speechless. She had read her new health teacher all wrong.

Ms. Carter-Clarke continued. "Class, I've been hearing about virginity and celibacy support groups springing up in high schools all over the country, so the concept behind Ivory isn't something Jessica just cooked up in a remote corner of Ohio. You heard what some people would call the liberal viewpoint from Ms. Hockinger. And your new classmate just expressed the conservative viewpoint very beautifully, as well as forcefully." Ms. Carter-Clarke sent a special smile Jessi's way. Again considerable applause from the class. "And since you have information from both sides of the issue, you are now better qualified to make your own value judgments about what you will do about sex in your own lives.

"Here's what I'm going to do regarding Jessica's Ivory idea. Unfortunately I don't have the authority to endorse the creation of a school club. And, I don't have the authority to control what you do in your free time, either. So, if you're interested in what Jessica-- or is it Jessi?" Jessi was too full to speak but she mouthed "Jessi." "All right, Jessi-- if you're interested in what Jessi has to say about Ivory, meet with her outside of class time. And Jessi, you can talk to me any time about your project. I'm really interested in seeing how this all turns out."

The bell rang and most of the kids in the health class scattered to their next period classes. But about ten boys and girls clustered around Jessi's desk, eager to learn more about Ivory. The red-haired boy who had started the clapping reached her first, sticking out a bony hand.

"Jonathan King," he said, pumping her arm excitedly. "Everyone calls me Jon. I've been itching to say what you said today since I first got into this class. I've never seen this Hockinger person before but old CeeCee can get pretty liberal herself, sometimes. Congratulations for standing on your own two feet!"

"Thanks, Jon," Jessi said earnestly. "What you did today really means a lot to me. That took courage. Being the first to stand and to start clapping. I'll never forget that." And then on sudden impulse, she stood on her highest tiptoes and kissed him lightly on the cheek. He blushed beet red, making him look very endearing and vulnerable at the same time.

The cute girl who had sat near by grabbed her hand next, saying with admiration. "Oh, Jessi, I'm so glad you said what you said. I've always felt like you do but I guess I was too scared to say anything myself. Oh, I forgot to introduce myself. I'm Cindy Parsons," and she gave Jessi a quick and impulsive hug.

Most of the kids gathered around Jessi's desk had study hall next period so they quickly agreed to regroup there and try to talk some more about Ivory. Mr. Book was monitoring the study hall and Jessi felt comfortable in asking him for permission to work with her group at a table in the back of the cafeteria.

The back door banged and Debra looked up from shaping a meat loaf as Jessi burst into the kitchen. "Hey, Mom! Guess what! We're going to have Ivory in Mechanicsburg! Isn't that wild? Oh, and Mom, meet my best friend, Cindy Parsons. Cindy, this is my Mom."

Debra was astounded. "Jessi, slow down and let me get my breath." Quickly she washed the meat loaf off her hands and opened her arms to Jessi for a big hug. Then she extended the hug to include Cindy, also. "Did you say Ivory and a best friend, all in the same day?"

Jessi nodded. "Isn't that great? I think I'm going to like it here!" she sang in a passable imitation of Annie, while waltzing around the cooking island in time to her music.

"Tell me all about it," invited Debra as she led the way to the breakfast nook. Quickly Jessi recounted the happenings in the health class, in study hall, and on the bus ramp, with numerous excited assists from Cindy.

"Yeah, and Jessi made another new friend today," said Cindy importantly. "Tell her, Jessi."

"Well--" started Jessi with a blush, "there was this cute guy in health class and when I got done making my big speech, he kind of got everybody started clapping."

"Yeah, and we all ended up giving Jessi a standing ovation!" bubbled Cindy.

"A standing ovation," marveled Debra in a whisper. "Well, young lady, you have had yourself one mighty fine day. By the way, What time did you have health?" Debra asked soberly, close to tears.

Jessi looked at Cindy for help. "About one-thirty, Mrs. Hogan."

"I thought so," said Debra softly.

Suddenly it dawned on Jessi. "Oh, I get it. You and Dad were praying for me about that time, weren't you?" She too spoke softly and was equally close to tears. Cindy sat very still with a puzzled look on her face.

Debra nodded in answer to Jessi's question. "Your Dad was pretty late getting home for lunch, and then when he got here, he said he wasn't hungry and just wanted to pray for you. So we did, right where we're sitting now. We prayed together for at least half an hour."

Cindy's eyes were as big as moons and she wasn't entirely sure she wanted to stay any longer. But Jessi jumped up, leaned over the table to kiss her mother on the cheek, said "Thanks, Mom. Love you both!" and then grabbed Cindy's hand.

"Come on, Cindy. Let's go up to my room. You can tell me all about Mechanicsburg and I'll play you some great music." She flashed Debra a wink as she headed for the stairs.

Debra never liked to call Jim at the office but this couldn't wait. "Sandy, I hate to be a bother on Jim's first day on the job but is he available? I need to talk to him, if possible."

"No problem," said Sandy with a laugh. "He's already told us that your calls have the same priority as Grace Carson's and God's. Please hold."

"Hi, Debbie. What's up?"

"Jim, I know you're busy but this'll just take a sec. Guess what happened to Jessi at school today."

After Debra hung up, it was Jim's turn to marvel. A celibacy speech, a best friend, a standing ovation, a cute boy, another Ivory. All on the first day of school? To God be the glory for the great things He has done!



This Ivory excerpt was from Chapter 8: First Day of School, in the full-length novel titled Parsonage.

Parsonage Table of Contents
Links to Other Resources

Disclaimer
About the DiskBooks copyright
How to Download DiskBooks Files
Return to Parsonage Home Page
Return to DiskBooks Home Page
How to Order Disk Copies

For more information about celibacy and virginity, consult Bible Sex Facts, Part 2: For Single Persons

 

Now, more Ivory excerpts from . . .
Chapter 18: The News Conference

Jessi attended the arraignment of her friend, Dave Court, with members of the Ivory Club for the purpose of providing prayer support while Dave's lawyer requested bail. However, the unusual events which took place at the arraignment drew many reporters. When the reporters wanted to know what the Ivory sweatshirts were all about, Jessi had a chance to tell a national TV audience about her celibacy support program . . .

"For those who just tuned in, we're talking live with Jessi Hogan outside the county court house in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Just moments ago, the mother of the victim in a sexual assault case being tried here went berserk . . . " After the update, the Fox News correspondent turned to Jessi with the standard "how did you feel?" question.

"I was scared to death, of course," Jessi answered simply. "And a gun barrel tastes terrible."

"I'm sure it does," chuckled Canfield. Then he came back with a more substantive question. "I understand the gun Carla was using, a Smith & Wesson Police Special, I believe it was-- this police revolver misfired five times in succession. Do you have any idea how something like that could happen?"

"As far as guns are concerned, I know less than nothing. I've never even fired one in my life. But--" The newsman had started to speak but quickly moved the mike back below Jessi's chin. "But I do know something about the power of God. And what just happened in there was a miracle from God's hand. Nothing more, nothing less."

Canfield, knowing he was broadcasting live with no chance for editing before this scenario got on the air, was visibly uncomfortable with the turn this interview had taken. But Jessi wasn't shy about stating her beliefs. As the Fox News mike started to move away from her chin, she gently placed her hand above the news man's hand and eased it back into its original position.

"I just want to say one more thing. I know there will be tests to see why that gun didn't shoot, or why the bullets didn't go off. And I'm positive those tests will show that the gun and the bullets are perfectly okay. That gun didn't go off while it was in my mouth because God wouldn't let it go off. And God wouldn't let it go off because of the prayers of my Mom and Dad, and all my friends who were in there with me."

Canfield gave Jessi a sincere but off-camera wink as he regained control of the mike. "We'll be back with more from the Cumberland County Court House in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, but now back to New York. Shep?"

Jessi just had time to wipe her face and blow her nose when a CNN mike was thrust under her chin. The correspondent was a young woman with red hair and a well-concealed Georgia accent. She introduced herself as Joy Apple. "Tell me about your sweat shirt. I see a lot of the young people who were in the parade a while ago are wearing this kind of shirt. Does it have any significance?"

Proudly Jessi told about the Ivory Club and the lady from CNN seemed genuinely interested, not restive and anxious to move on to another more news-worthy topic. "Does this mean that all of you are virgins and plan to be until you get married?" asked Joy.

"Part of that is true," said Jessi, happy to tell any one who would listen about Ivory. "All of us have taken a vow of celibacy until we marry. That part is true. But Ivory only deals with the future, not the past. So the primary issue is celibacy for the future, not virginity in the past. Right? Celibate, and proud of it. Aren't we guys?" Several Ivory members had gathered around Jessi and Joy Apple during the interview. Their support of the concept of celibacy until marriage was spontaneous and enthusiastic.

True to CNN's style of coverage, Joy was unhurried and thorough in her efforts to learn more about Ivory and the idea of celibacy until marriage. "I understand that celibacy support groups are a growing thing on high school and college campuses. Would you mind if we put your name and address up on the screen so our viewers can contact you if they'd like information on starting such a group in their community?"

"Love to," responded Jessi, thrilled to see information about Ivory on national TV.

As soon as Joy Apple and her camera team moved on to interview Jim Hogan, a print reporter from the "Philadelphia Inquirer" asked Jessi for an interview. This time the questions focused on what Ivory did for its members in support of their continued celibacy. "One of the main things we do," explained Jessi, "is help kids from lighting the fuse in the first place when they first start a relationship. Back when I was in junior high, my dad-- that's him over there, talking with the CNN reporter, my dad gave a little talk on sex for our youth group at church. He called a guy and a girl up to the front of the church and he gave the guy a big firecracker with a fuse about this long--" and she held her hands about ten inches apart. Of course the firecracker was a fake, just a towel roll covered with aluminum foil. The fuse was real, though. Then he gave both of them a pair of asbestos gloves, and they each had to wear a lab apron, too, to protect their clothes.

"Then he said that this was their first date and they were alone. He lit the fuse and told them to pass it back and forth until he said stop. When he said 'stop', the one who didn't have the firecracker had to pinch out the lit fuse with the gloves. Then he said they were on their second date and he lit the fuse again. And again they passed the fake firecracker back and forth until he said 'stop', and they pinched out the fuse again, too.

"Well, after they did this a couple times, the fuse started getting really short. The next time when he said 'stop', the guy had the firecracker and the girl had to pinch out the fuse. But just when she started to pinch if out, BAM! there was an explosion. Actually, it was my mom sticking a pin in a big balloon back stage. It sure made everybody jump!. Made us think, too. Later, Dad said that kissing and petting on a date was like passing that firecracker back and forth. Sooner or later the fuse will get short and BAM! an explosion. I never forgot that lesson with the firecracker."

"So that's what you tell your members?" asked the reporter. "No kissing and no petting?"

"Definitely no petting. That has its place in a marriage relationship because it prepares a couple for having sex. But it has no place for people who are not married."

"What about no kissing?" persisted the reporter. "Isn't that a little unrealistic?"

"We encourage kids to limit kissing to a form of communication. I have a boy friend and we kiss to say hello. We kiss to say good-bye. And we kiss to say we care for each other. But we don't make kissing a major activity on a date. That kind of kissing is for the purpose of sexual arousal and that's just like petting."

By this time, several reporters had gathered and were either writing furiously in their notebooks or poking boom mikes in Jessi's direction as she found herself the center of attention at her own impromptu news conference.

"What makes you such an authority on human sexuality?" asked a young woman in the back row, and her question was covered with the slime of sarcasm.

"I'm not an authority, in a general sense, that is," answered Jessi pertly. But I am an authority on what God has to say about human sexuality, because I read the book!" and she held up her NIV Bible with a pink leather binding.

"How do you know you're interpreting the Bible correctly," asked another reporter in the same vein of sarcasm. "Have you attended seminary?"

"No, not a formal seminary," responded Jessi while keeping a smile on her face and in her voice. Underneath, she was a lot more tense than her behavior displayed and she prayed constantly for the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit. As she talked to the reporters, Jim and Debra, Dave and Patricia, Paul Donaldson, and all the Ivory kids made a big circle which enclosed Jessi and her questioners. Silently and unobtrusively everyone moved into position, and then they all joined hands." The average observer couldn't tell by looking or listening, but Jessi knew in her heart that once again this band of prayer warriors was lifting a volume of prayer on her behalf.

This time, the enemy wasn't in the form of a demon-possessed woman with a lethal weapon. This time she was taking her stand against liberal members of the press. And every prayer warrior in the circle was determined that she hold the banner of normalcy, and decency, and scriptural holiness high.

"What do you mean, 'not a formal seminary'?" asked another print reporter"

"I was raised in a parsonage," declared Jessi proudly, "and I learned what the Bible says from day one."

"And I suppose you were taught that sex outside of marriage is a sin," sneered still another reporter. What had started as a neutral interview was turning into something more gritty as more and more reporters gathered inside the circle of prayer warriors.

"Yes, I was taught that. And I was taught that because it's precisely what the Bible says," answered Jessi archly.

"And how do we know that's what the Bible says?" persisted another reporter. "Why should we believe you, just because you're a preacher's kid?" Well I, for one, don't believe a word of it!"

"Big mistake," whispered Jim to Debra as Jessi whipped her Bible out from under her arm and flipped it open. Now watch this!"

"You can certainly ignore what I say. After all, I'm nobody special. But you can't ignore what the Word of God says. Here, let me show you," and Jessi performed the manual of arms flawlessly on the topic of God's requirement that all human sexuality must to limited to a heterosexual marriage. From Leviticus to Romans to Corinthians and back again, expertly she cited verse after verse that pounded home the ageless truths of sexual purity. She found each verse in a whir of riffled pages. She used a carefully manicured forefinger to point to the exact point on each page where the verse began, and she quoted each verse from memory, complete with book, chapter, and verse.

Many of the reporters began to warm to Jessi, in spite of their liberal leanings. Here was a born-again Christian who didn't fit their stereotype. They liked the way she staunchly stood up for her beliefs and backed up those beliefs with a dazzling display of Biblical swordsmanship. Before long, a Fox News cameraman was poking the snout of his minicam right down on the pages of Jessi's NIV as she pointed out each verse while quoting it. And when Jessi realized what the minicam operator was up to, she played to the camera, holding the Bible at a better angle so he could get a good shot.

Meanwhile, the prayer warriors on the perimeter of the ad hoc news conference maintained their silent volume of prayer. Jim turned to Debra and they exchanged smug smiles. They had never been more fiercely proud of their daughter than they were right now.

Quickly the media people tired of harassing Jessi and her conservative convictions. A few hung around to ask another taunting question or two but Jessi still held her ground. In fact, at no point in the entire exchange did any of the crafty and experienced news people penetrate her defense. "If I was an Olympic boxing judge," said Dave to Patricia, "I'd say she definitely won all three rounds!" Everyone around the prayer circle agreed. Jessi just smiled and said, "To God be the glory."

That night at nine forty-five, the entire Hogan household plus Paul, Dave, Patricia, and Jon King were gathered in the parsonage family room to watch a Fox News special summarizing all that had happened in Carlisle during the day. Ben and Shelly were bubbling with excitement and vowed they would be wide awake for the entire sixty minutes.

"Can you believe it?" squealed Shelly. Jessi's gonna be on TV!"

That was Ben's cue to hop off the arm of the couch where he had been perched while pestering Dave. He and Shelly joined hands to perform one of their ritual chants as they pranced around the area of the carpet where Jessi and Jon were resting with their heads propped on throw pillows.

"Jessi's on TV! Jessi's on TV!" they sing-songed over and over again.

"Yes, and you won't see her if you don't settle down," warned Debra.

But still the twins chanted, too excited to settle down. "Jessi's on TV! Jessi's on TV!"

Debra began a deliberate and measured count. "One . . . two . . . " Before she got to three, the twins were up on the couch between Dave and Patricia, knowing full well that if Mom every reached five in such a count, her promise would become their reality.

Then it was ten o'clock and the program began with what appeared to be a standard advisory for parents of young children, warning that some of the scenes might be too graphic for young viewers. After the warning, the announcer said something rather mysterious, Jim thought. "For the first fifteen minutes of this program, we will be showing you rare and exclusive footage of today's events in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This segment will not be interrupted by commercial announcements. We advise you not to change the channel during this period or you may miss pictures which are not available to any other network, and which we may never show again." Jim glanced at the VDR on the shelf under the TV. The red "record" tally light glowed, confirming that the disk was running in the record mode.

The special segment began with a blank screen and no audio. Suddenly a ghoulish scream ripped out of the TV's speaker and the twins went scampering into their dad's lap, eyes wide and lips trembling. Jim felt an electric charge begin at the base of his spine and terminate in the short hairs at the back of his neck. Everyone in the room gasped as a picture gradually came into focus which showed a glaring and blood-stained Carla crouching on Judge Schwartz's bench and reaching for his throat.

Thus began the most amazing real-life scenario ever shown on network television. Somehow, someone had gotten a television minicam into the court room that morning and had recorded every lurid detail of what had happened. There was Carla, with a firm hold of on each arm of the judge's chair, violently slamming it against the wall, over and over again. There were the officers, finally snapping a cuff on one of Carla's arms. Then the camera zoomed in on the gun being filched out of the officer's holster and hidden in the bunched waistband of Carla's skirt. And there she was, pulling the gun out of her waistband and pressing the muzzle firmly against Jessi's forehead.

Following Carla's opening scream, the audio had been killed as the camera mutely depicted the horrible events. As Jim remembered it now, Carla had been spewing such a flow of non-stop expletives, it couldn't be shown on television, even by the most liberal standards. Now the audio began to come up and praying could be heard in the background. And there was the muzzle in Jessi's mouth and Carla was identifying her victims one by one. Preacher's Kid . . . Big Belly . . . Old Baldy . . . Preacher Man . . . Kink Head . . .

When the audio was potentially intelligible but not fit for broadcast, it was kept too low to be understood, with voice-over commentary. But the rest of the time, the sounds were clear and easily understood. Jim's eyes misted over at the first misfire with Jessi slumping to the floor. And there was Dave's lean, hard body flying through the air like an arrow. And then it was all over but the shouting. And that was there, too.

"Awesome God" was even more awesome on national television than it had been live. The realization that major portions of the civilized world were seeing the power of God overcome the power of Satan was indeed awesome. There it was in its entirety. Every note of "Awesome God". Every link in the victory chain. Every circumnavigation of the court house.

The network cut to commercial and Jon muted the audio with the remote control so they could talk. Jim spoke first. "The Bible says that every eye will see Him when He returns to earth in triumph. I think we just got a sneak preview of just how easily that will be done."

"Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus," said Paul reverently.

Everyone said "Amen", including the twins, who were still wide awake.

This has been a collection of excerpts from the full-length novel, Parsonage, about Jessi's celibacy support group for high school kids known as Ivory. These passages have been taken from the following Parsonage chapters:


Parsonage Table of Contents
Links to Other Resources

Disclaimer
About the DiskBooks copyright
How to Download DiskBooks Files
Return to Parsonage Home Page
Return to DiskBooks Home Page
How to Order Disk Copies

For more information about celibacy and virginity, consult Bible Sex Facts, Part 2: For Single Persons

Links to Other Resources

Teachers-- and parents who are homeschooling--
Download the PennSTAR Master Curriculum

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This product is an excellent tool for creating IEPs and curricula. It consists of the following components:

  • 16 Subject Areas
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