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I have happened upon a very sobering trend here in the last few weeks.
As you may know, I have recently thrown my hat into the dating scene. And by that, I mean, diving head first into the deep end without water wings, or a contingency plan.
But in my quest for the spark to my fancy, I have come face to face with a startling reality that, I fear, is a precursor to the way of the future.
Go with me here…
Dating apps are evolving. They’re realizing that, as they’re becoming more widely used, people are now demanding more than just a catalogue of faces with a name, age and job title. Users want more information. So – thank goodness – the dating profile is expanding to show a bit more of a person’s personality. And many of the sites now feature “Religion” as one of the options, which – for a Jesus-loving girl like me, is the very first thing I check.
And friends, let’s just say that my field research…it’s taken the wind out of my sails.
Swipe after swipe…would you know that probably 50-60% of the profiles I swipe through list either Atheist or Agnostic as their religion?
Yeah – 3 out of 5 profiles.
Now, let me pause for a moment, and say that – I have nothing against people who are atheist or agnostic! A person’s religious beliefs are their own to make, and every person – no matter of religion, race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation – is deserving of love and respect and kindness.
It’s just, for my husband-seeking purposes, being a fellow Christ-follower is a non-negotiable for me.
So understandably, I’m taking note of the discrepancy!
But 3 out of 5. I mean, it started out as a joke – How come all the hot guys don’t believe in God?!
But then it became — Oh wow, the majority of guys don’t believe in God.
And that, friends, was a sobering moment.
Now, let’s pause for a moment to recognize that I live in NYC, where – sure, it’s not the midwest or the Bible Belt. But, to be honest, I don’t think this trend of post-christian identity is specific to the Big Apple.
What happened, that people are more inclined to believe in a horoscope sign than our Heavenly Father?
But it’s true – at least in my generation, when it comes to religion, people are either None or Done: They want none of it, or they’re done with it.
Which, frankly, communicates to me that we, as a church family, have done a horrible job of making people feel welcome, feel accepted, feel heard, feel protected, feel not judged.
That’s on us, frankly. Because who wants to spend time in a community that makes you feel inadequate or sinful or ostracized.
But that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. A post for a different day.
But all of this, illuminates that, we’re living in a society where, there is no “Capital T” Truth anymore. Everyone is entitled to have their own truth. The “My Truth” mindset has resulted in the dissolution of The Truth, and we wind up with 71 genders on Facebook as a result. #JustSayin
But what does this mean? Is the church going to have to go underground? Are people in the future going to have to worship from behind closed doors, streaming a speakeasy church service through their Apple TV from an encrypted dark web address?
How are we to navigate a society that no longer recognizes our place under God?
It’s going to take faith. A lot of it. A faith that can withstand persecution, ridicule, humiliation, and prejudice. A brave faith that refuses to back down in the face of unthinkable acts of religious violence and shootings.
It’s going to take strong communities and fortifying relationships.
And it’s going to take courage to live out our faith, in a none and done world.
So what does all this mean for my dating pursuits? Well, it just means that I’m going to have to just look harder. And perhaps, look elsewhere. And go where the Jesus-loving men hang out. Because they’re out there. They may be harder to find, but if there’s one thing I can bet the house on, it’s that God is in control.
And I can strive and search all I want, but at the end of the day, God is going to bring Mr. Right into my life. I am absolutely sure of that.
Sounds like I should actually be working on patience more than anything else.
What do you think? Have you noticed a similar trend in your area?
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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