* * * If you're reading this, you're interested in dating. In our society, dating has become something of an obsession. It's just something you do if you're single and of age (and that age is quickly dropping) in America. In fact, depending on which statistics one believes, the divorce rate for professing Christians may actually be than for Americans as a whole.You've done it, you're doing it, you'd like to do it, or you need to teach somebody else how to do it. It is considered the natural precursor to marriage, and is generally considered something to be desired, whatever form it might take. If you were to Google the word "matchmaker," you would receive something in the neighborhood of 21,200,000 responses — with a few of these outfits claiming to be Christian, but most making no such claim. As evangelical Christians, we're called to be distinct in the ways we think and act about all issues that confront us and those around us. Granted, not all of these people are evangelicals, but we're not doing so well either.The answers he brings may be different from anything you've heard before.The topics he's going to be dealing with are ones in which equally committed Christians have found different biblical interpretations.Scott Croft is an elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church where he teaches a seminar on friendship, courtship and marriage.He is also an attorney who is used to tackling tough questions.
At Focus on the Family, we've offered a range of resources and expert advice bringing biblical principles to bear in this area.I have to start by explaining the theological doctrine that drives the approach I want to outline (and advocate).That doctrine is called the of Scripture (which states that the Bible is the authoritative Word of God, it's true, and it contains no falsity or error)..action_button.action_button:active.action_button:hover.action_button:focus.action_button:hover.action_button:focus .count.action_button:hover .count.action_button:focus .count:before.action_button:hover .count:before.submit_button.submit_button:active.submit_button:hover.submit_button:not(.fake_disabled):hover.submit_button:not(.fake_disabled):focus.u-margin-left--sm.u-flex.u-flex-auto.u-flex-none.bullet. Content Wrapper:after.hidden.normal.grid_page.grid_page:before,.grid_page:after.grid_page:after.grid_page h3.grid_page h3 a.grid_page h3 a:hover.grid_page h3 a.action_button.grid_page h3 a.action_button:active.grid_page h3 a.action_button:hover.grid_page h3 a.action_button:not(.fake_disabled):hover.grid_page h3 a.action_button:not(.fake_disabled):focus.grid_pagediv. " or "What do you do when you live hundreds of miles from your family?"The goal of this series of articles, beginning with this introduction, is to provide our readers with a place to bring those questions.Indeed, the central issue we need to confront — and the reason I write and speak on this topic — is that when it comes to dating and relationships, perhaps more than in any other area of the everyday Christian life, the church is largely indistinguishable from the world.That truth has brought immeasurable emotional pain and other consequences to many Christians.Worse, it has brought great dishonor to the name of Christ and to the witness of individuals and the church. For Christians, the Lord has given us His Word, and the Holy Spirit helps us to understand it.We have brothers and sisters in Christ to hold us accountable and to help us apply the Word to our lives.