Jesus, Jesus, make me a match!

Now and then, as part of my ongoing commitment to social research, I surf through a few of the online dating sites, looking over profiles and reading what people say about themselves.

Something I've noticed: in the sections describing an "ideal match" people are starting to be more candid. "I'll be honest," they mostly go, "the person I'm looking for is physically fit and pretty good-looking."

Who does this rule out? Just about everyone, since you know the sentence goes on in the writer's mind, "with a million dollar job and no bad habits." Who's got a chance to get this date?

We're talking in lots of churches about raising our standards, expecting more. "We're a 'come-as-you-are church," said one of our priests in a new member class this weekend, "but not a 'stay-as-you-were' church."

I think a good evangelism line would read like the dating profile. "The kind of person Jesus is really looking for is strong, committed, well-read in Scripture, knows his or her talents and can use them to build the Kingdom." It just needs one tag that the dating site will never have; this detail sets the two apart-- "and with Christ, you-- no matter who you are when you first walk in-- will become that person."

Online dating is about seeking someone who's already perfect, which is at best an unreliable idea. The supposed perfection leads to the relationship. The church takes whatever people we find and invests massive amounts of time and love in them. Thus the relationship leads to the perfection.

No comments: