Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Denominational Dating Game

By Alexander Samuels

I was checking out some of the Web news sites on my computer recently when suddenly my eyes were captured by a Google Ad I had never seen before. The ad read, "Date Sexy Baptist Singles in Your City." Now even though I'm a happily married man . . . I just had to see what this was all about.

So I clicked on the link and was immediately welcomed to BaptistFriends.com ("Where Baptist singles feel at home!"). BaptistFriends.com declares that it is "The best dating site for Baptist [sic] in the world!" The site goes on to say, "Join BaptistFriends.com to begin the most wonderful online dating with millions of single Baptists in the world—where you can have both love from God and from us!" This was followed by instructions on signing up for the online service.

I think singles' ministers have something to worry about. Let's face the facts: Most singles involved in the singles' programs at churches are there for one reason and one reason only—to meet Mr. or Ms. Right. Most churches certainly cannot offer thousands and thousands of specimens to choose from. Can't you just see huge numbers of single people fleeing Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic churches to join the Baptist singles in taking advantage of this amazing offer!

I am a Reformed Presbyterian and I believe that my denomination should quickly take advantage of this strategy since the Baptists have shown us the "light." Instead of Sunday school, we should set up a computer lab where the singles in our church can meet to go online and check out ReformedPresbyterianSingles.com. This could be similar to the setup at the church in Wales where they installed wireless Internet service in order to keep the congregation from becoming bored with the sermons. (See "Keeping the Congregation Connected" and "Keeping the Congregation Connected—Update.") After all, we don't want to bore our singles with Sunday school lessons and Christian activities when their primary goal is to find a spouse. We could lose members!

I apologize for sounding so cynical, but am I the only one who sees that teaching and preaching the Word of God is running a poor second or third in most of our churches? It is the Word of God that has held my marriage together during tough times. It is only the Word of God that can assist you in making a wise decision when choosing your mate. I really am absolutely for Christians dating and marrying other Christians. But first, please learn from your pastor or Christian teacher the wisdom of the Bible in order that you know what your Christian priorities should be.

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