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Find God’s match for you

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You’ve heard it again and again: “Find God’s match for you-Christian Mingle. So singles, and possibly discontented married, are told that the Creator has predetermined a soul-mate for them. Wouldn’t that be nice--to know that there was someone out there with God’s stamp of approval? In this time when incompatibility and sometimes abuse emotional and physical abuse results too often children with separated and in divorced parents.
This ad poses questions that even the naïve should have, such as:
If God already had it figured out, why do you need a dating service?
If God knows who is a match for you, why not skip dating and engagement and jump right in to the bliss of a God-blessed union rather than risk a God-damned unhappy coupling?
If an all wise God has a match for you, why not for everyone because that would prevent so much pain?
If God has a match stored up for you, she, he or it must be very busy with over seven billion souls out there longing for the best there is for them?
If God cares so much, isn’t it amazing that my match is located near and not on the opposite side of the planet?
If God has it all planned, do I have any say in it and how can I know if my preference might be wrong?
If God knows best, you and I don’t need any sex education or the contraceptive technology, do we?
If God has a match for me, does she, he, or it have a match should I mingle with only Christians?
Pardon me, God, for raising these questions. I’m sure you don’t approve of doubt, but others have posed them with research backing.
“Atheism & Divorce: Divorce Rates for Atheists are Among the Lowest in America: Why Do Conservative Christian Defenders of Marriage Get Divorced More Often? by Austin Cline, indirectly posed these questions in his newsletter
“Conservative Christians of all types, evangelical as well as Catholic, tend to link their conservative brand of their religion with proper moral behavior. By far the most popular context is marriage: they claim that a good, solid marriage is only possible when people acknowledge conservative Christianity's claims about the nature of marriage and gender roles. So why is it that Christian marriages, and especially conservative Christian marriages, end in divorce more often than atheist marriages?
“The Barna Research Group, an evangelical Christian organization that does surveys and research to better understand what Christians believe and how they behave, studied divorce rates in America in 1999 and found surprising evidence that divorce is far lower among atheists than among conservative Christians - exactly the opposite of what they were probably expecting.
11% of all American adults are divorced
25% of all American adults have had at least one divorce
27% of born-again Christians have had at least one divorce
24% of all non-born-again Christians have been divorced
21% of atheists have been divorced
21% of Catholics and Lutherans have been divorced
24% of Mormons have been divorced
25% of mainstream Protestants have been divorced
29% of Baptists have been divorced
24% of nondenominational, independent Protestants have been divorced . . .
The highest divorce rates are in the Bible Belt: "Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Oklahoma round out the Top Five in frequency of divorce...the divorce rates in these conservative states are roughly 50 percent above the national average" of 4.2/1000 people. Nine states in the Northeast (Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Maryland) have the lowest divorce rates, averaging just 3.5/1000 people.
“Barna isn't the only group to arrive at these numbers. Other researchers have also found that conservative Protestants get divorced more often than other groups, even more often than "mainline" Protestants. The fact that atheists and agnostics divorce less often than other religious groups was, however, surprising to many. Some have simply refused to believe it.” http://atheism.about.com/od/atheistfamiliesmarriage/a/AtheistsDivorce.htm
Cline isn’t the only one to challenge the notion that Christian marriage is more lasting. Nov 1, 2013 08:00 AM EST Atheist marriages may last longer than Christian ones: Research suggests American divorce rates are highest among "Bible-believing" Christians by Valerie Tarico, AlterNet
“When I was young, a slogan made its way around my church: The family that prays together stays together. Tom Ellis, former chairman of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Council on the Family boldly claimed that “born-again Christian couples who marry…in the church after having received premarital counseling…and attend church regularly and pray daily together… experience only 1 divorce out of nearly 39,000 marriages.”
“But then came data. According to research by the Barna Research Group over a decade ago, American divorce rates were highest among Baptists and nondenominational “Bible-believing” Christians and lower among more theologically liberal Christians like Methodists, with atheists at the bottom of the divorce pack. When the findings were made public, George Barna took some heat because Christians expected the difference to be more dramatic and to favor believers. Ellis suggested that maybe Barna had sampled badly. Perhaps some people who called themselves born again had never really devoted their lives to Christ. But Barna held his ground, saying, “We rarely find substantial differences” [in the moral behavior of Christians and non-Christians].”

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