Christian Mingle: Rethinking

Jon Merritt, at RNS:

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 ConnectionBlackSinglesDeafSingles 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.

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Larry S

    back before my daughter met/married her husband – she tried out a similar website.
    the dating scene is difficult for Christian singles.

    “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.”

    for starters I think on a Christian “meet and greet” dating site a person could identify either their egalitarian or complementarian beliefs. Cut through a lot of bs that way.

  • Candie Blankman

    I would be interested in hearing what “more” Jon Merrit believes we may be giving up.

  • TJJ

    It is a dating website. It may have more self identified Christians on it than other sites. Thats it. Who is expecting it to be anything more that that? Seriously. A Bible verse on the web page means nothing. Merritts post is silly.

  • Ally

    The thing that has amazed me about Christian Mingle is the fact that they seem oblivious to the fact that by misusing a Jars of Clay song they’re making certain a large percentage of their target audience will never use them… But if they’re owned by a company that owns all of those, then I’m not as shocked by it actually (though I am still amazed at the bad business decision I believe such a advertising choice is!)

  • Edwards4321

    There is something deeper afoot here – This is being funded by deep pockets. In many markets CM is buying up ad time and pushing out the likes of: E-Harmony, Ashley Madison, etc.
    With a moniker of “…find God’s match for you…” they remind me of the televangelists of the 80′s who did little but promise God’s devine blessing – while fleecing the followers for tens of millions.


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