Should Christians Date Online? The following are sermons by Dr. Caldwell for anyone who would like to dive deeper into the wisdom and discernment needed in contemplating using dating apps and online services, also here are sermons that discuss the standard for Christians as they consider whom they should date and whom they can marry:
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Should Christians Date Online?
Is it wrong for a Christian to use a Dating App or an Online Dating Service? Is it sinful to search in these places as a Christian with good intentions looking for someone who could potentially be a spouse someday? What if there are no good choices where I live and I meet someone through one of these services outside the area I live, would this be an impossibility?
In this episode of the Straight Truth Podcast Dr. Richard Caldwell and host, Dr. Josh Philpot discuss these questions and seek to answer them with a biblical perspective. Dr. Caldwell brings his years of experience as a pastor who has married and counseled numerous couples to the table. Together they give us food for thought and encourage us to consider carefully what is said and why it is said.
Dr. Caldwell begins by saying that he doesn’t believe that we can say it’s sinful for a Christian to use dating apps or online dating services. He comments that he even knows couples in recent years who have met that way and by God’s providence it has worked out in their favor, they both love the Lord and they have a good marriage today. So he says we can’t rule apps and services out.
Christians Must Think About the Standard for Marriage
However, he does say that Christians must think about the standard for marriage. For a Christian, the biblical parameter is set, it’s fixed. The standard or parameter for marriage is ‘in Christ’. As Christians, we are to desire to find someone who is in the Lord. If you are eligible to be married and the person you meet is eligible to be married by biblical standards, and they are in the Lord, then you can pursue dating them with the potential of marriage. Then when you find that you both love the Lord, you’re compatible, that you love one another and want to get married, you can do that according to Scripture. Yet, if you have used a dating app or online dating service, how will you know if someone is in the Lord?
How do you or can you know what their fruit is compared to just their profession? How will you know if the evidence of genuine spiritual life is being manifested in their life? He reminds us that we have to know them, we have to be able to spend time with them. The dating app or online service might make the initial introduction, but you’re still going to have to be able to spend time with them to know these things. Where this will become more difficult and incredibly challenging is if you meet someone that lives outside your city, state, or even country.
Dr. Caldwell reminds us that what is most important is what we believe as Christians. Questions will need to asked about what each of you believes, it’s just not enough to say, "I'm a Christian and they are too". Beginning questions would include: what does this person believe about God, Jesus, God’s Word, His Church, marriage, etc.
The Local Church as the Place to Find The One
There will be 1000’s of subjects that you need to talk about and find out whether you agree on them or not. This is one of the primary reasons that Dr. Caldwell believes that a Christian looking for a spouse will never do better than their local church as the place to find the one whom they will someday marry. It’s in the local community of faith that you have the opportunity to get to know each other, a place where you are living life together as Christians. It is also here that you share in one another’s lives and go through ups and downs together. By the time you're ready to consider dating someone here, you already know something about them, and maybe even about their family, their way of life and their belief system.
Understanding these things becomes very important when thinking about preparing for marriage. Knowing how marriage has been modeled for a potential spouse will be helpful. This enables you to know how they will navigate the difficulties and conflicts that come with marriage that typically aren't there when dating.
One other thing Dr. Caldwell recommends and emphasizes strongly for those pursuing marriage is pre-marital counseling. He tells us that this cannot properly take place if a couple is involved in a relationship outside the local church. The counseling wouldn’t be effective in that sense, because then it isn’t just about the two of you getting to know each other. As Christians, pre-marital counseling ought to involve someone who knows and loves both of you, someone who will probe into the very depths of your lives.
This counseling is done by someone who comes with the Word of God, someone who has spiritual wisdom due to years of walking with Christ, someone who has a long term marriage that is proven, and someone who understands the difficulties and conflicts that are involved with every marriage.
This person needs to be able to look at the two of you face to face and ask you some very difficult questions. They need to be able to press on some issues that you need to think about, things that you wouldn’t ordinarily think about. Dr. Caldwell suggests that this person should be a pastor, and ideally he would be your pastor at the church you are a member of.
About The Straight Truth Podcast
The Straight Truth Podcast: Christian Opinions in an Increasingly Secular World. Join Dr. Richard Caldwell, Dr. Josh Philpot, and their guests as they discuss news events, current affairs, and cultural issues from a Biblical point of view. Find the truth at www.straighttruth.net
The Straight Truth Podcast is a weekly opinion show hosted by Dr. Richard Caldwell and Dr. Josh Philpot. Straight Truth is available as an audio podcast on iTunes or as a video podcast through YouTube or Vimeo. The duration of the podcast is approximately 10 minutes. We release new episodes every Thursday.
The topics discussed in the Straight Truth Podcast are current events, matters that challenge traditional Christian values, and questions submitted by audience members. Dr. Caldwell, Dr. Philpot, and their guests seek to answer these questions with Biblical truths and from a Christian conservative point of view. The Holy Bible is the inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word of God; it alone is and will be the basis and authority of
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