Any adult who interacts with young people is invited to attend the “Why Belief Matters” seminar scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Tifton’s First Baptist Church. Josh McDowell, who has given over 23,000 lectures in more than 40 years, will present the program.

Bill Hughes, FBC’s youth director, said parents, teachers, business owners, law enforcement officers and others who work with teenagers should find the lecture helpful.

“The message will be primarily about why the students make the moral choices they make,” Hughes said. “They make their decisions based on what they believe is the truth.

“We as Americans believe there is no such thing as absolute truth and that is not right.”

Hughes said McDowell has been conducting a nationwide tour this year and trying to focus his seminars on issues parents of teenagers face. McDowell isn’t an evangelist, Hughes said, and adults from all cross-segments of the community can benefit from the seminar.

In a press release from McDowell, he expresses his alarm at the results of the Josephson Institute’s “Ethics of American Youth Report” that concluded that only a four percentage point difference exists between the actions of Christian youth and non-Christian youth in incidents of cheating, lying and violence.

“It’s not that families and churches haven’t taught their young people right from wrong,” McDowell stated, “It’s that our young people have interpreted those truths through a distorted belief system. And it is these distorted beliefs that are at issue.”

According to information in his biography, McDowell once considered himself an agnostic, believing that Christianity was worthless. He later changed his mind and received his master of divinity degree from Talbot Theological Seminary. In 1964, he became a traveling representative of Campus Crusade for Christ International and remains with the organization today. He has given more than 23,000 lectures at over 1,000 universities in 107 countries and has spoken to over 10 million young people in live events. He has authored or co-authored 98 books.

McDowell and his wife, Dottie, live in Dana Point, Calif. They have four children and one grandchild.

Tickets for the event are $10 in advance and $12 at the door on Sunday. For advance tickets, call FBC at 386-1643. Hughes urges anyone interested in attending who can’t call the office today during normal business hours to leave a message letting planners have a name and number of people who will be attending. Also, reservations can be made by e-mailing him at Those who call or e-mail in advance will be able to pay $10 per ticket at the door.

To contact city editor Angie Thompson, call 382-4321.

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