Would God Approve of ChristianMingle?

CHRISTIAN MINGLEToday is Valentine’s Day. For the happily married among us, it’s probably not that big a deal. Because when you have someone you love, who you’re doing life with, every day is Valentine’s Day.

Things are different for singles looking for love: Those who’ve never experienced holy matrimony. Those who once were married but – for one reason or another – sadly parted ways with their spouse. Those who have lost a beloved husband or wife to illness or other tragedy.

As I reflect upon Valentine’s Day, I am reminded of a sermon I heard a couple years ago while visiting a church in suburban Washington, D.C. The pastor talked about the epidemic of loneliness; about the millions of good men and good women desperate for a Godly relationship who, through no fault of their own, hadn’t found the right person.

The message clearly struck a chord with the singles in the congregation that morning. For I observed many of them gently weeping. And I my heart broke for them.

So what would I suggest today if a lonely heart asked my advice?

I would encourage them to stay in faith; to take comfort in the knowledge that, as the Psalmist wrote, the Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

And I would suggest that they check out ChristianMingle.com, the nation’s leading Christian-based dating site, which boasts more than 8 million registered members.

The Washington Post published an attack piece on ChristianMingle last month. Post staff writer Paul Farhi went off on the web site’s slogan, “Find God’s Match For You.”

“How does it know whom God wants to hook you up with?” Farhi mocked. “And is it kosher to invoke God’s name to selling a dating service?” he added, sneered.

Well how does Farhi know what means the Almighty might employ to bring two people together, including a Christian dating site? And when did God anoint the Post writer to authorize (or not authorize) the use of his name in an advertising slogan?

I have no relationship whatsoever with ChristianMingle. But it seems to me the web site is providing a welcome online service to Christ followers who are single, who are looking for someone who shares their faith, with whom they might ultimately share their lives.

The testimony of couples that met through ChristianMingle speak to the dating site’s fulfillment of the promises it advertises.

California couple Anthony and Jessica met last March on ChristianMingle. Though they lived an hour and a half drive away from each other, said Jessica, “we knew God had a bigger plan for our future and so we decided to date despite the distance.”

Oklahoma couple Ryan and Stephanie connected on ChristianMingle last  February. “I had been frustrated for a while,” said Ryan, a pastor, “because in my position it is really hard to meet women. So I thought ChristianMingle could be a place where I might be able to find love. I came across the profile of a very beautiful blonde woman with an amazing light about her that totally intrigued me!  

Florida couple Kristen and Josh also made a love connection on ChristianMingle a year ago. “We had both been divorced,” said Kristen, a single mom and a solider, “and had concerns about meeting someone new.  After a month of exchanging emails, chatting, and talking on the phone, we finally decided to meet.  Our first date was a success and we have been together ever since!”

Anthony and Jessica, Ryan and Stephanie and Kristen and Josh all have wedding dates this year. Their success stories, and thousands more like them for which ChristianMingle was the facilitator, suggest  to me that God may very well be  using the web site to bless lonely Christians looking for love.

Petraeus is Worst Disgrace Since Bill Clinton

THE GENERAL AND HIS MISTRESS ENJOYED THEIR ADULTERY FOR A SEASON, BUT NOW HAVE HELL TO PAY.

I worked in the White House during the first Bush administration. I remember that the president was so mindful of being above reproach when it came to interactions with female staff, he often wouldn’t even make direct eye contact with them.

He was an upright man, who took seriously his wedding vows to honor his wife and “forsake all others.” He took to heart the words of the Apostle Paul, who warned those of us who endeavor to lead righteous lives to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

David Petraeus obviously did not heed the Apostle’s counsel. Otherwise, he would not have resigned this past Friday as President Obama’s CIA Director, following the revelation of his adulterous affair with Paula Broadwell, the home-wrecker who co-authored his biography, “All In: The Education of Gen. David Petraeus.”

The retired four-star Army general, who met Broadwell when she was an Army Reserve officer, has disgraced himself like no high-ranking federal official since former President Bill Clinton (who not only made direct eye contact with female White House staffers, but also even more promiscuous contact with a certain White House intern).

Now I know that roughly one in five men have committed adultery at least once in their married lives, according to surveys.

I also imagine that at least half of married men have, at some point, been some place, like a “gentlemen’s club,” or done some thing, like have an “erotic massage,” that may not rise to the level of adultery, but certainly dishonors their wives.

Because it’s fairly common for men to be unfaithful to their wives, because it’s even more common for men to dishonor their wives, doesn’t mean it should be accepted as a fact of life. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect more of Gen. Petraeus (or any of the rest of us married men, for that matter).

It’s all about whether we’re going to follow Christ, who admonished “that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Or whether we’re going to fall into the snares set for us by our enemy, the devil.

It all gets back to the Apostle Paul’s counsel that we “take captive every thought.” For every sin, every stronghold in our lives – wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy, gluttony – began as an unGodly thought.

Indeed, Petraeus didn’t immediately plunge into his adulterous affair with Broadwell.

First he entertained lustful thoughts about her. Then he imagined himself trysting with the scarlet woman. Then he put his thoughts into action, setting into motion the events that led to his current ignominy.

For those among us who, like Petraeus, have secret sin in our lives, let the ruin of his heretofore distinguished career, the probable destruction of his marriage, be a cautionary tale.

He enjoyed the pleasures of sin for a season. But now he has hell to pay.

Christie Punts on Same-Sex Marriage

JERSEY GOVERNOR HIDES BEHIND VOTERS

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie pulled a Nicole Scherzinger today.

The former Pussy Cat Doll front woman, a judge on “The X Factor,” a singing competition airing on FOX, was at the center of the most controversial moment during the reality show’s first season when she could not bring herself to choose between two contestants, tearfully punting the decision to the viewing public.

Christie, a Republican, pulled the political equivalent when he vetoed a bill that would have allowed homosexual couples to lawfully wed in Garden State while, at the same time, calling upon Jersey’s Democrat-legislature to put a referendum on same-sex marriage on the state’s November ballot.

“I am adhering to what I’ve said since this bill was first introduced,” Christie stated, in his veto message. “An issue of this magnitude and importance, which requires a constitutional amendment, should be left to the people of New Jersey to decide.”

Please.

Christie is dressing himself up as a populist, who seeks only to do the people’s will. But the reality is the governor is trying to serve two masters – the homosexual lobby and the Christian evangelical community.

His wishy-washyness certainly hasn’t won him the favor of Jersey gays and lesbians.

The governor’s veto, said Jersey Assemblyman Tim Eustace, one of two openly homosexual members of the state’s Legislature, “makes it clear, in uncertain terms, that he doesn’t think my family, and thousands of others, are equal in the eyes of the law.”

The Garden State’s social conservatives can’t be especially pleased with the governor either.

Not when his veto statement declared that he is “adamant that same-sex couples in a civil union deserve the very same rights and benefits enjoyed by married couples – as well as the strict enforcement of those rights and benefits.”

If Christie, a Roman Catholic, actually feels that way, he should have just manned up and signed the Jersey same-sex marriage bill.

He would have lost the political support of this Christian evangelical. But at least I would have respected him for standing on principle.

Promoting Adultery on Valentine’s Day

WEB SITE SLOGAN: “LIFE IS SHORT. HAVE AN AFFAIR.”

This is what passes for editorial judgment at USA Today, the self-described “nation’s newspaper:” A splashy front page Valentine’s Day story amorally informing readers that web sites catering to “‘discreet’ encounters” are thriving.

A “‘discreet’ encounter,” for those of us of who prefer straight talk to euphemism, is an extramarital affair. For much of the past 3,500 years, since Moses descended Mount Sinai with the Ten Commandments, it has generally been considered forbidden fruit.

Not so much anymore, according to USA Today, which shamelessly featured the founder and CEO of Ashley Madison, a Toronto-based web site that unabashedly aids and abets  adulterous liaisons.

“The day after Valentine’s Day is one of our biggest days of the year,” boasted Noel Biderman, who launched his site 10 years ago, under the slogan: “Life is short. Have an affair.”

Biderman explained that, on Valentine’s Day, “People are disappointed by their spouses’ lack of effort and they feel especially undervalued when there is a societal expectation of romance.”

So Ashley Madison steps in and assists the disappointed, undervalued spouse in hooking up with some stranger; in violating his or her sacred marriage vow.

What particularly galls is that Biderman insisted that he actually is saving, rather than destroying, marriages. He maintained that an adulterous affair actually is a “marriage preservation device” and suggested that his web site performs some sort of public service by facilitating adulterous affairs.

In the time of Moses, Biderman would have been stoned – and deservedly so.

Alas, in our social nihilistic times, that wily serpent rates a front page story in USA Today.

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