Guest Author - Dountonia S. Slack
"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ" (Jude 1:3-4 ESV).
Some of these ungodly people do not have to creep in because many of us are inviting/escorting/talking them into the congregation Ė the date that we are "introducing" to the Gospel. Although every Christian is to be about the business of evangelism (Matthew 28:18-20), romance evangelism can be a dangerous trap for the well-meaning Believer. We must be discerning and wise when attractive members of the opposite sex approach us with flattering words, promises they cannot or do not intend to keep, and a seemingly sincere eagerness to learn about Christ (because they just found out that you are a Christian). This may be an opportunity to share a track or connect him/her to a mature mentor (who of course is the same sex as the neophyte) that can dispassionately lead him/her to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Far too often, the non-Believer has an unhealthy inspiration that the Believer is the answer to a new way of life for him/her. This person speaks of wanting something different in life, to be changed, or believes that being connected to/involved with the Believer that miraculously life will have meaning for him/her. The Believer becomes the Savior in the eyes of the non-Believer. Out of heartfelt concern for the soul condition of the non-believer, sheer attraction, or the willingness to pursue a relationship, the Christian is unsuspectingly drawn into a co-dependent arrangement where the Christian is being built up to be something that he/she can never be. And, potentially may negatively impact the non-believerís view of Christianity.
The Bible says to "guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life" (Proverbs 4:23). So many of us have been left wondering how our lives got so out of control with heartache and pain as a result of romantic feelings and the illusion of love. Our criteria for those we expose our hearts to sometimes leave something to be desired. Therefore, we must be careful to examine the real motive behind our motivation to reach out to/help/ evangelize the person to whom we are attracted because it may only be to satisfy our own selfish desiresóto cure loneliness, the need to be reassured of our own attractiveness, the need to be needed, etc.
We are commanded not to "team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between Godís temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God" (2Corinthians 6:14-16 NLT). Romance evangelism does not work. When rightly tempted at the right time with the right temptation, anyone could easily succumb and fall into sin ignoring biblical commands and moral convictions and satisfy the need for friendship/companionship/love/sexual pleasure.
"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?" (Matthew 5:13). Nowadays, Christians look too much like the world. Regardless of what our intentions maybe for dating a non-believer, the temptation is too great and the eternal state of the person we "care" for is too important to be careless in these situations. Dating is not a harmless game we play to simply pass away time. The Christian dates/courts a person to whom they may be married to one day. The world is watching us. The world desires to have the light that we reflect which is why it so important that we point every non-believer to the source of the light that they see in us, Jesus Christ. He is the only one that can genuinely change a personís life. Our job is simply to make the introduction.