Yesterday someone alerted me a to ministry that encourages women to date non-Christians in order to save them. I had to see it to believe it, and here’s a little taste of what I found…
“Hello, my name is T—! As you can probably tell, I’m a Christian woman who loves Jesus Christ and cares for all humans, even the wicked. What you probably don’t know is that I’m hot. My picture below isn’t really that good. I want to use my beauty for GOD, and want to encourage Christian women (my sisters in Christ) to do the same, according to the Great Commission. So, I created this web page for information regarding the calling of Missionary Dating. First of all, it helps that you’re good looking. Romans 12:1 says “to offer your bodies as living sacrifices.” Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), it makes sense that we should use our beautiful bodies to glorify HIS name, the Holy Spirit will work the strongest since He’s in our body, right? That’s the best position to be in! Not only can we date hot guys (as only hot Christian girls could do), but hopefully we can lead them to God and help them get saved from the burning fires of Hell. I’ve outlined a few tips to help you get a date off to the right start, step-by-step. Jesus saves through hooking up with cute heathen guys!”
Now, I think the person who created this did it as a joke, but the sad thing is that a lot of people actually think it’s real. Numerous Christians have subscribed to the website thinking it’s not only legit, but Scriptural, so I think this is a good opportunity to address some of the issues here, since dating non-Christians is a rampant practice in the Church…
1. “I want to use my beauty for God”–The idea here is that beauty is a some kind of spiritual gift that we should use to spread the Gospel in much the same way that one uses their gift of preaching or teaching. The first major problem with that idea is that we have no basis for it in Scripture. We don’t find a verse that lists spiritual gifts as “preaching, teachings, speaking in tongues, and looking pretty.” But even more problematic about this idea is that it forsakes modesty, and buys into the lie that our bodies are to be ogled by any guy that wants to enjoy them. While it’s ok to look nice when you’re single, we have to be guarded about unleashing our beauty, because most guys won’t look at us and think “What a beautiful reflection of the image of God.” Most guys will look at us as get hot in all the wrong places. For this reason, our beauty is not something we should treat casually–it is VERY powerful, and should be guarded. We should only share the fullness of our beauty with our husbands, so the idea of using such a powerful thing like our beauty to lure guys is not only un-Scriptural, but playing to a man’s sin. Beauty is not a bait–it is a gift for our husbands.
2. ” The calling of Missionary Dating”–Ok, God does not call us to missionary dating. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. We are instructed NOT to be “unequally yoked” with unbelievers (2 Cor. 6:14). Earlier this week, I even stumbled upon, what I believe, to be the very first warning against missinary dating. It’s in Genesis 24, where Abraham instructs his servant to find a wife for Isaac, but tells him to not look among the Canaanites. Why? Because they are not godly people, so Abraham doesn’t want his servant even *looking* there. The reason for this is that all throughout the Old Testament we see that whenever the Israelites intermarry with non-Israelites, worship of God inevitably declines. God-centered faith is consistently compromised and perverted by other religions when the godly are yoked with the ungodly. We must therefore resist being so arrogant as to think we will not make the same mistakes. Those stories are there for us to learn from them.The reason that dating non-Christians is so full of pitfalls is because your feelings skew your objectivity. You end up compromising your beliefs because your emotions clouds your thinking, and it becomes difficult to sort out right from wrong since your heart feels so strongly. And the moment you lose your Scriptural footing, you will surely slip. So while God has used unequally yolked couples to lead someone to Christ, that doesn’t mean we should walk into temptation. God could also use a hormonal 20 year old to save strippers, but that doesn’t mean I’m gonna start sending my guy friends into strip bars.
3. “Since our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), it makes sense that we should use our beautiful bodies to glorify HIS name”–What’s deceptive about this thinking is the idea that we can somehow engage in this kind of evangelism, without letting your own emotions, interests or desires get involved. Unfortunately, this is simply not the case. Getting attention from guys is like a drug for girls, and once they get it, they will do a lot to keep getting it. In this way, missionary dating can subtly become all about you, instead of the person you’re trying to “help.” It’s no longer about their salvation, but meeting your needs. And what is even more dangerous about this practice is that the you can always justify your actions with the lie that you’re doing it for “their sake,” and this lie enables you to perpetuate the sin. As I said, you eventually lose all your objectivity, and you’re no longer able to discern whether you’re doing it for yourself, or for the person, so you can’t distinguish what is right or wrong. And to be quite honest, people who missionary date are really only doing it for themselves all along. To so blatantly disregard Scripture does not reflect the heart of one who desires to honor God, but it does reflect the heart of one who wants to date whoever they want.
4. “To offer your bodies as living sacrifices.”–Here she seems to be implying that when we date a non-Christian, we use our bodies as a witness, but dating non-Christians is quite the opposite. We should date the kind of people we would marry, and if we want a marriage founded on Christ, then we should only have dating relationships based on Christ. Even most non-Christians do this to an extent–we all date people with similar values to us, and there are some things that simply aren’t worth sacrificing. There are some things that even a non-Christian would not give up in a relationship. That being said, the one thing we should never sacrifice, the one thing we should never compromise on, is Christ. But if we casually push Christ off to the side and put something else at the center of our relationships, then we preach the message that Christ is not that important to us, and that our fulfilment comes from something other than him. So in Romans 12:1, when we are called to be “living sacrifices,” we are called to sacrifices non-Christian relationships, NOT Christ. By NOT dating non-Christians and standing our ground, we show the world that Christ is our priority, and that is a much more powerful witness.
When all of this is said and done, the ultimate problem with this thinking is that it’s a way to get around the things we don’t like in Scripture. It’s basically justifying doing anything that you want, and sanctioning it with God’s Word. This is NOT how we are to read Scripture. We should never approach Scripture with a conclusion and then fit verses to agree with us (Which is exactly what she did–the verses she cited have NOTHING to do with dating, and are taken completely out of context).
But in addition to that, what upsets me is that this young woman is unwittingly setting her sisters up for heart-ache. God didn’t give us those parameters because He’s a stick-in-the-mud who doesn’t want us to have any fun. He gave us those passages for our own protection. He knows that non-Christians will not recognize our beauty as a divine reflection–they will probably only see our beauty as an object to be used. A guy may seem wonderful and charming at first, but the absence of Christ in his life will eventually shine through, and it will be ugly. God wants to protect you from that.
So please please please watch out for this kind of teaching. It’s easy to point to these websites and call them wrong, but when Mr. Non-Christian Hunk comes along, it will indeed be hard to resist, and that’s why we need to start now in conforming our hearts to the truth of Scripture, rather than perverting it to say what we want it to. As 2 Corinthians reminds us, “For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and idols? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?” When it concerns flirting to convert, the answer is a resounding, “Nothing.”