Perhaps we can excuse ChristianMingle for a bit of shallowness. After all, they are operated by marketers, not theologians. The site is owned by Beverly Hills-based Spark Networks. The company also owns Adventist Singles Connection, BlackSingles, DeafSingles Connection,CatholicMingle, as well as sites for Mormons, Jews, military members, and plus-size women(and the men who want to date them).
But what about a site that purports to be more theologically rooted like ReformedSingles.com? The verse at the top right of their home screen is Jeremiah 29:11, which says, “”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”” The verse is a favored choice for Christian greeting cards and graduation gifts. But this specific promise was offered to Israel as a reminder that though they find themselves in captivity, God’s covenant with them has not been forgotten. Applying it directly as a divine promise for prosperity in modern Christians’ dating lives requires a feat of theological gymnastics.
Christian dating websites have potential for much good. Several of my friends have met their significant others on them, and in some cases, have even married the partners they met. But the way many of these websites are going about their business is shallow and short-sighted, and we need to be having a serious conversation about if and how believers should participate.
As Internet dating continues to grow in popularity and more Christians participate, we may find that we’ve given up more than our personal information.