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Is God going to hook me up online? Assessing Christian Mingle and 'soul mates'
January 7th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Is God going to hook me up online? Assessing Christian Mingle and 'soul mates'

By Thom Patterson, CNN

(CNN) - Has God taken an interest in the computer dating business? Does he (or she) have a username and password?

You might think so, if you’ve seen TV ads for the subscription-based dating website christianmingle.com.

The announcer says confidently: “Find God’s match for you.”

Really? Is God going to hook you up online? Cue the blogospheric debate.

"That's awfully bold to presume they already know who God wants you to marry," tweeted @Jessie_luvJesus recently.

"... SMH [shaking my head] these folks should be ashamed," wrote @EWebb424.

The tagline has been creating a “misconception” that God works exclusively through Christian Mingle, says spokeswoman Ashley Reccord.

Launched in 2001, Christian Mingle now boasts more than 5 million members, 40% of whom joined within the past year, according to the site (Full disclosure: Christian Mingle advertises on CNN.)

Members can register free and are asked to answer several questions based on religious background and personal preferences. Based on those answers, the website offers profiles of potential matches.

A search on the site for “soul mate” among women age 18-80 came up with 1,000 profiles, including one from Florida.

“I’m in search of the man God has for me,” writes the 35-year-old woman. “I’m looking for my best friend, my soul mate, and someone to share life’s greatest moments with.”

A 39-year-old woman in Colorado Springs, Colorado, wrote, “I still believe in true love … a soul mate. I am reasonable. I understand that there is not a perfect man out there … but one who is perfect for me.”

Says Reccord, the Christian Mingle spokeswoman: "God can orchestrate and use the medium of Christian Mingle to allow people to find their match for one another on the site. He may or may not use that means, but he can use that means."

So does that mean the cliché is true, that some matches really are “made in heaven?" Does God, if you believe there is one, pre-select us to pair up as life partners, as "soul mates?"

The Bible has little if anything to say about the matter, according to many religious writers and leaders. But several high-profile religious commentators have strong opinions about the idea:

–Soul mates do exist, according to some religious voices who cite the Jewish Talmud.

–Many Christians believe God helps people create their own kind of soul mates.

–Some say the Bible's "language of sexuality" supports the concept.

–Islam rejects the notion of soul mates, according to Muslim leaders.

–Many say belief in soul mates has negative consequences and can even be harmful.

Some of those warning about the dangers of the soul mate idea are Christians.

"If I get to heaven and I hear God say he had someone picked out for me, I'll believe him," says Lisa Anderson, host of "The Boundless Show," the evangelical Christian group Focus on the Family's podcast for young adults.

"But it seems that this soul mate idea is really breaking up a lot of marriages and it's keeping a lot of young adults single."

Anderson says that believing in soul mates sets up two possible worst-case scenarios: a revolving door of marriages or a lifetime of being single.

Many young adults, she says, make this mistake: They think if they marry their “soul mate” then the marriage will be easy and wonderful. Then if the marriage turns rocky, game over; they suddenly decide they've picked the wrong mate. The marriage ends and they return to square one, searching for someone else to fill the soul mate role.

On the other hand, searching for a soul mate can be tragically intimidating, to the point of indecision.

"We're seeing young adults – X-ers and millennials - absolutely paralyzed and unable to get to marriage because they want to do it right," says Anderson. "They don't want to be their parents' generation ... the largest divorce generation in history."

Yada yada yada

But other evangelical Christian opinion-makers back Christian Mingle’s idea of an divinely ordained match.

"I would be scared to jump off a theological cliff and say we’re intended for one specific person," says Christian author Dannah Gresh. But based on the Bible’s “sexual language,” she doesn't dismiss the possibility.

The Old Testament’s original Hebrew text uses the word "yada" to imply the act of sex, says Gresh.

However, yada doesn't necessarily mean having sex in a literal sense, says Gresh. It means "to know," "to be known" or "to be respected."

She says yada biblically links the concepts of sex and the soul. "Sex is about a soul connection in its truest form," says Gresh, giving credence to a possible connection between God and the soul mate concept.

Not quite, says Bible scholar O. Wesley Allen of Lexington Theological Seminary. "The intimate knowing implied in [yada] is created through the act of sex, not as something that leads to union," Allen says.

A biblical companion to yada is the Greek word "ginosko," says Gresh, which is found in the New Testament. The Bible's original text uses ginosko to describe an "intimate soul connection between a husband and wife in the act of marriage," she says.

But she says the Bible also uses ginosko to describe a deep, intimate connection with God.

Gresh is giving too much weight to these words, Allen says. The fact that these words are used in dual contexts does not imply - or even suggest - the possibility of divinely ordained matches, according to Allen.

Gresh stresses that she does not believe God has intended matches for us. "However, I think there can be a really good theological argument made for exclusivity - once you have found someone you choose to love," she says.
On this point, says Allen, Gresh is on strong scriptural grounds.

A soul mate and a spare

Judaism, meanwhile, specifically includes the concept of soul mates in the Talmud, a collection of writings that constitute Jewish civil and religious laws.

According to the Talmud, before a soul comes into the world it is paired with a bashert, or first match, which is the first soul that you’re supposed to end up with, says Rabbi DovBer Pinson, of the New York-based IYYUN Center for Jewish Spirituality.

“If everything works out you’ll end up with that person,” says Pinson. Jewish tradition also includes a “second match” for every soul, which also could end up as a soul-mate relationship.

The names of everyone’s first and second matches are written down, “We just don’t have access to that information, because they’re written down in the spiritual plane” – or heaven, Pinson says.

The Kabbalistic tradition, rooted in Jewish mysticism, spells out clues to recognize whether your partner is your soul mate. If a partner is helping you overcome your negative traits and negative challenges while helping you pursue your positive traits, that person is your soul mate, says Pinson.

“It means these two souls originate from the same soul root and they’re meant to be connected to each other,” he says.

The Islamic faith, meanwhile, rejects the soul mate concept. "The words 'soul mate,' that you are meant to be with this person forever, there is no concept like this in Islam,” says Imam Mohamed Magid, president of the Islamic Society of North America.

Infinite knowledge allows God to know which partners end up together, but it’s up to people to sustain their marriages and stay together, Magid says, because “the concept of a soul mate in Islam would put the fault of divorce on God."

Are you telling me to 'settle?'

Shaunti Feldhahn and her husband, Jeff, have created their own industry with their popular books, required reading for Christian premarital counselors at thousands of churches.

But she says their marriage, which has produced the million-sellers "For Women Only" and "For Men Only,” was not necessarily preordained.

"If I'd gone to a different graduate school I may have never ended up marrying my husband," she acknowledges. Feldhahn says there probably isn't “one perfect soul mate” for each person. For her, the bottom line is that "whoever you end up with ... God knows what the eventual outcome of your life is going to be."

The flip side of that is God has also given people free will.

“We have every right to screw it up if we want to - and sometimes we do,” Feldhahn says.

However, if couples follow God’s general principles about relationships, it’s possible they can enjoy the same benefits as so-called “soul mates,” she says.

Don’t focus too much on the search for your perfect mate, according to Feldhahn, focus on leading a Christian lifestyle and things will work out fine.

As for Christian Mingle’s “God’s-match-for-you” tagline, Feldhahn says it could mean “Meet the person who’s going to end up being your perfect match - because that's what you're going to make it."

Is Feldhahn telling single folks to stop searching and to “settle” for the best person available?

“No,” she says. “That implies that the person cannot be the person you need. If you both live by God's principles, you will both become the people you need to be.”

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Islam

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soundoff (2,002 Responses)
  1. kat

    What makes "a Christian lifestyle" better than a "good morals lifestyle? My late husband was Jewish (and I'm not), and I always wondered how a "nice Christian" differed from a nice Jew, a nice Muslim, a nice person. So what IS a Christian lifestyle? (For the record, if you haven't guessed it, I find the concept insulting to everyone of differing faiths/practices!)

    January 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Chrism

      I'm sorry for the loss of your late husband. I think I see how you are looking at the phrase you take offense to but I don't think that's what was implied or meant. This phrase was used by the couple who write books and they are writing them to Christians so they are simply encouraging the Christian to live the life they already acknowledge they are called to. I don't think that is meant to imply someone else cannot live a moral life. And indeed Christian belief is that God created all people and wrote morality in their hearts and "whoever is upstanding among the nations is acceptable to God."

      January 7, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Dennis

      Kat,

      If morals are based on faith or belief then the type of faith makes a difference. Many religions want people to be good but by what standard are they measuring against. Good is related to what standard is being used. As far as a Christian lifestyle, there are many "so-called" Christians who do not live a moral life. I am sure that the same can be said for all religions as well. But while I don't think it should be about putting others down I do think it is about elevating our expectations about how we treat our spouses. While many people would not agree with me, including some Christians (by action and not word), how I treat my wife is supposed to bring honor and glory to God. If I am to love my wife as Christ loved the church, it means that I should be willing to give up my life for her. Basically, Christians should view Christ as the example of how to behave. Unfortunately, some "alleged" Christians hear about the benefits of being identified as a Christian but don't want to do the work that is a reflection of their faith in God. I believe that if a person faith has no impact on them, then it is worth nothing. It is easier, not impossible, for two people with the same belief system to do well together.

      January 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm |
  2. adrifter

    I try to ignore the TV commercials and tried not to open this story, but how can you ignore the advertising claim "find God's match for you." How does Christian Mingle back up such an amazing statement? Does God himself match up the singles? If the Almighty is not personally doing the work, how does Christian Mingle learn God's intentions? Is it by e-mail or does someone in the company talk directly with God? A burning bush of matchmaking, perhaps? I've got no problem with a Christian seeking to date or marry another Christian. That's their business. However, a company claiming to know God's plan and then selling that knowledge is preposterous.

    January 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Marks from Middle River

      I do believe that the commercial sorta scolds Christians for waiting for God to do the match making.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
  3. Rachkath

    I joined this site not because I am the world's most devout Christian, I'm not. I'm a Catholic who hates the Pope. I joined because my last experience with an agnostic, atheist or whatever the hell he was made me realize I care about traditional values when it comes to dating. I do not believe in soul mates (as ordained by God, I don't think s/he cares that much about my life). I just saw the add on CNN and even then, I thought it was Christian Match vs. mingle. LOL! I know agnostics who believe in soul mates. I'm just looking for a man who makes me feel safe.

    January 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • KeithTexas

      Rachkath – Take care of yourself, if someone is treating you mean they don't deserve your company. My wife and I are Catholic and don't really understand the way the Evangelicals think so some of this stuff is just silly to us. We didn't meet in Church; we are very different with very different interest. We are good friends, we love being together, we talk a lot, and we laugh a lot and have cried together many times. We have been together for 38 years; find a friend that you love to spend time with, the rest will take care of it self.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
  4. Dave Wyman

    This is an article pandering to the masses. It wouldn't be so bad except it posits in the headline that there's a sky-daddy watching over us.

    January 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
  5. Richard Harris

    Do atheist believe in Love?

    January 7, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Sam Dawkins

      No, they don't.

      They are sad,lonely people who are still trying to figure out if Love exists .. ;)

      January 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm |
    • Dave Wyman

      Do atheists believe in Love? Well, you're an atheist, apparently, for every religion except the one you believe in. Do you, as an atheist, believe in Love?

      January 7, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • tony

      Does the "miracle of life" believe in condoms?

      January 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Atheist#1

      I can't see love u moron therefore love cannot exist!

      January 7, 2012 at 6:53 pm |
    • Atheist Dave

      There is no soul, no love, no meaning. Nothing, u get it?
      We believe in "se xy times" though...

      January 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Sam

      No we don't. If it cant be explained scientifically it doesn't exist. We also don't tolerate anything that even resembles religion and its delusions in whatever form they take. This includes the idea of love.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Observer

      According to their deity Steve Hawkings- Woman are the greatest mystery, they are still deciphering the 'mysteries' of a woman.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Steve

      Richard: Yes. I am an atheist and I love my wife – who happens to be Christian – very much.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Wholly Mary

      Poor deluded Sam.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Reality Check

      Married my "soul mate" over 24 years ago. The only thing I can say that I regret, is not marrying sooner. I am agnostic.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • jespo

      Yes, we do, and with all the boundless freedom of not being tethered to restrictive dogma meant to keep the ignorant enslaved.....Sam I Am WHo Am....shame on you...

      January 7, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • 5thApe

      We don't * believe* in it, we experience it just like anyone else. Its part of the human condition is case it slipped by you.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Rachkath

      The last guy I dated sure didn't believe in love He just claimed he did. He is an atheist and a cynic. I'm an agnostic, Pope-hating Catholic (by birth). I question it all, I find Atheism depressing but to each his or her own. I think that if one believes in monogamy (as I do) and lives in a large nameless, faceless metro area, there could be worse places to find a mate. I joined 3 after my last experience (secular, Christian and the computer picks them for you) I actually find the concept of a soul mate to be more eastern sounding (Hindu/Buddhist) than Christian. I see an implication of reincarnation in the term.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • A Believer

      The scriptures tells us ,

      Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love-1 Corinthians13:13

      The Christian understanding is that love comes from God.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  6. tony

    Sechs sells.

    January 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • GAW

      Do you mean Goldman Sachs?

      January 7, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  7. Dayna

    Well, someone is making a ton of money making people believe that God is sending them to Christian Mingle. I laugh at the commercials. However, I do believe there are good opportunities to meet great people online. I think it's better than some of the places people meet people. I also believe there are people well suited together. I'm a Christian Liberal, my guy is a Muslim Liberal (I go to church. he goes to the mosque) Do we have different beliefs? Yes! Do we care about people. Yes! God? Yes! I'm told we should not be together because he is Muslim and I am Christian. Hmmmm, to be honest, he is the closest thing to a solemate that I've ever felt could exist. Just go with your heart (and your head).

    January 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Becca

      You got the right Idea. I just bet GOD has no Idea how to use a computer let alone make a TV commercial. GOD has no solemates for us. We make our own choices and the path we take and if we take the wrong path then we have to deal with it. God does not care if we are white and with a black mate or he does not care if we are Cathloic and with anyother religion. To many people tyr to rewrite the Bible and it has already been rewritten so many times it is just like a story book now. I feel this is a desperate measure for these so called Christians to make money. If you rally think about it that is all they care about and I think it is just awful they have that ad on TV for a solemate call us. SUCKS big time. I think these Christians need to go pray to their GOD and not worry about finding their SOLEMATE!

      January 7, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
  8. JimmySD

    "Faith experts"!?

    Is that sort of like a tooth fairy expert?

    January 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
  9. Doug Dickerson

    Well, apparently God takes sides in football games so why not dating and marriage? Seriously, this is just part of the general silliness of the fraction of Christians who believe God intervenes in each and every event of their lives. Constipated? Pray for a divine laxative.

    January 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  10. marc

    No god is not going to hook you up because he does not exist

    January 7, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
  11. RichardSRussell

    God picks your partner? YGBKM!
     
    But I guess nobody ever went broke betting on the gullibility of religious believers. After all, anyone who reaches adulthood and still falls for the story of the Big Sp00k in the Sky (who provides less evidence of his existence than Santa Claus does) is clearly a chump ripe for the plucking.

    January 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  12. Wally

    I took it that CNN, in their lead, was simply and, in my opinion, accurately expressing cynicism regarding the sites implication (in their advertisements) that somehow they have a monopoly on the "mind of God" regarding one's "right", or "Godly" choice of a partner.

    January 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • pdou

      A fair question to ask yourself is why CNN chose a Christian dating website as the target for such a cycnical critique, when they've never touched other religiously oriented dating sites – all of which share the same basic proposition based on religious faith.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  13. Henry

    I'd love to read the disclaimer on that website which you have to agree to in order to use their service (something the site must use to protect the company from being sued if God made a mistake and matched up a crazy violent guy with a nice timid girl).

    January 7, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Reverend Right

      Go read it, then. Quit acting like a fool.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
  14. S101

    God is tyranny of the mind. Tyranny in its human manifestation has brought nothing but misery to people.
    Free your mind of tyranny.

    January 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • pdou

      Yawn! Time for you to go back to your occupy tent and take another bong hit comrade.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • J-Pap

      What does his reply have to do with Occupy, Communism or smoking pot?

      January 7, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
    • Lee Strain

      Exactly S101! Thankfully, slowly but steadily our society is leaving Dark Age thinking behind. Then there are those like pdou who is a mindless moron. Sorry, did I offend you and your imaginary friend in the sky? lmao!

      January 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • GAW

      This guy sounds like a conspiracy theorist to me. Wake Up! Wake Up! Free! Free! Free!

      January 7, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • S101

      Lee,

      The guidebooks () for the way out of tyranny of the mind is even more tyranny. That's simply not possible.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
  15. government cheese

    For being nonreligious, CNN has more stories about religion than any other site. Can you say intolerant?

    January 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Jessy

      It comes with the job of being unbiased. CNN has to give a platform to all sorts of people (including crazy ones like the Birthers, Deathers, etc.) or else people will just judge them for being too liberal... oh wait.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • AdmrlAckbar

      Polarized belief and political stories bring in the web traffic cash is why

      January 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • scott

      "For being nonreligious".......What do you base that comment on, your own bias and ignorance? CNN is a new organization in a religious society.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • pdou

      @AdmrlAckbar – Excellent point!

      January 7, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
  16. Vicky

    It's for Jesus freaks who can't get a date lol. Get real they are after your money lol

    January 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • friedpotatoes

      No, Vicky its for Jesus lovers who want to marry other Jesus lovers. They dont want non-Christians on their site, so you dont have to worry about them getting your money. Stop the hate!

      January 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  17. pdou

    What's interesting to me is that CNN never previously stepped up to do a column on other religiously oriented dating sites such as JDate or Muslima.com. Also interesting is the introduction of the article that smacks of ridicule: "has God taken an interest in the computer dating business? Does he (or she) have a username and password?"

    This is clearly just another example of anti-Christian bigotry in the lame stream media. And then, of course, you get all these sub-human cretans jumping on the bandwagon with their anti-Christian rants on this board.

    January 7, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • Jim

      The ridicule seems to be aimed at the website and the concept of god playing matchmaker online.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • pdou

      @Jim – no Jim, you are wrong. The article is clearly taking a swipe at Christians under the guise of critiquing and postulating (rather cynically) about the proposition based on religious faith contained within the site. The CNN author wouldn't dare do the same with Muslim or Jewish sites. The timing of this article is also interesting from the standpoint that Romney and Santorum are in the lead among GOP candidates.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Adam Morva

      That's right. Dehumanize people for committing the victimless crime of (what you perceive to be) ridiculing your religion. How christian of you, my dear. Here, take this torch and this sharp object and wipe them off the planet.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • lol.

      it's funny when somebody calls other people cretins and spells cretin wrong.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • pdou

      @Morva – how enlightened of you to claim that disparaging a relgious faith is victimless. Good to see that you think enough of yourself to stand in as the moral arbiter of this board. To attack one's faith is a dehumanizing act in and of itself. Too bad your liberal perspective doesn't acknowledge that.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • pdou

      @lol – misspelling aside, I suspect you're the kind of person that would also find a dangling shiny object amusing.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • J-Pap

      pdou
      @lol – misspelling aside, I suspect you're the kind of person that would also find a dangling shiny object amusing.

      Like a cross around someone's neck perhaps?

      January 7, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
    • johnp

      Amen pdou; But I would urge you to not get caught up in this blog, because you are dealing with dead blind people that have choosen to be enimies of God. So let them be.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • NavyDoc17

      In response to your comment pdou, other religion based match services haven't received media coverage because, to my knowledge, they haven't purported the preposterous statement that amount to, "God is working through our computer servers." "Find God's match for you"? Anyone who believes that line will get exactly what they deserve.

      There would be no coverage if they simply stated the truth... they're a dating service meant to connect like-minded individuals with similar beliefs.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • pdou

      @J-Pap – we don't find a golden crosses to be amuzing. Rather, it's a bitter sweat symbol of the recognition we share in a being higher than ourselves from whom we derive solace and strength and to whom we are answerable. What do you believe in besides yourself and all that's wrong with the world. Feel sorry for you...

      January 7, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • pdou

      @Navydoc17 – point taken. But I do find it very hard to believe there wouldn't be an article if the site only sought to match compatible Christians – especially in this electoral year.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  18. Rick

    As a Christian husband, I'm commanded to love my wife like Christ loved the Church – not because she earns it, deserves it, or because she is my "soul mate" but because God commands me to. This is called unconditional love. How liberating it was when I got to this place of love! Loving her unconditionally has made her my soul mate – and me hers.

    January 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • lol

      1) that's called slavery, which is the exact opposite of something "liberating";
      2) people cannot love on command. if you think you can love your wife because god told you to, you are lying to yourself, just as you are lying to yourself in telling yourself there IS a god, despite the complete lack of evidence for one.
      3) please dont breed. if you already have bred, please convince your offspring not to breed.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • fda

      we are all slaves whether you want to admit it or not. YOU were born into slavery. Check out UCC law.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • shut up, herbie

      herbie....shut up.

      January 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • What ?

      ahh...... doing it because God "commands" would NOT be "unconditional", genius. That's about as close to being "forced" as one could imagine for a "believer". Love her or go ta hell. Doesn't she have any inherently "lovable" qualities. You better hope she doesn't see this.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • What ?

      And furthermore, there was no "church" when Jeebus was alive. It was formed after his death.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Rick: So if god didn't command you to love her, you wouldn't? It doesn't make sense. Both my boyfriend and I are Atheists and our love for one another isn't due to being commanded, it is due to mutual respect; common interest; an enjoyment of each others company...we are best friends and we wouldn't have it any other way. The point is that we do not need a deity in our lives in order to have the feelings we do for each other and we do not feel a deity of any form is necessary for a normal human emotion to be in place. Human emotions such as love; hate; happiness; sadness do not come from anywhere but within our own minds...we control how we feel, nothing else does. I find it sad that people like you don't see it that way. The church and the brainwashing they have instilled in you have done damage to who you are and if you stepped away from that dogma you might actually see what I am saying.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
    • scott

      God commanded Rick. Sure he did Rick.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • JohnR

      Love on command is not even remotely the same as unconditional love. Indeed, it's hard to see it as any form of true love.

      Unconditional love isn't a great idea, either, of course.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:30 pm |
    • J-Pap

      God: Rick, I command you to stop believing in me.

      Rick: But then how will I make choices with my free will?

      God: Trust in yourself, not in me. You'll do fine. Haven't you noticed that everyone else who doesn't believe in me seems to be just fine, plus they get an extra day in the week do as they please and a saturday night to enjoy themselves past 10pm. Its win win Rick.

      January 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • johnp

      Rich you have spoken well and understand truth. These guys ridiculing you will never understand. My wife and I experience the same joy and peace in our marrage you know. You are a Blessed man!

      January 7, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Dennis

      For those who are attacking Rick, Christians believe that Jesus set the example of what true love is, i.e., to be willing to die for somebody. To love your wife as Christ loved the church means that I should be willing to give up my life for my wife.

      January 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
  19. D. Allen Snively

    Trust me ...it's all about the money... We don't need the to pay to find our soul mate

    January 7, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  20. fda

    Dr. Imbert has attempted to count the number of stigm atics, with the following results:

    1. None are known prior to the thirteenth century. The first mentioned is St. Francis of Assisi, in whom the stigmata were of a character never seen subsequently; in the wounds of feet and hands were excre scences of flesh representing nails, those on one side having round back heads, those on the other having rather long points, which bent back and grasped the skin. The saint's humility could not prevent a great many of his brethren beholding with their own eyes the existence of these wonderful wounds during his lifetime as well as after his death. The fact is attested by a number of contemporary historians, and the feast of the Sti gmata of St. Francis is kept on 17 September.

    2. Dr. Imbert counts 321 stigm atics in whom there is every reason to believe in a Divine action. He believes that others would be found by consulting the libraries of Germany, Spain, and Italy. In this list there are 41 men.

    3. There are 62 saints or blessed of both se xes of whom the best known (numbering twenty-six) were:

    St. Francis of Assisi (1181-1226);
    St. Lutgarde (1182-1246), a Cistercian;
    St. Margaret of Cortona (1247-97);
    St. Gertrude (1256-1302), a Benedictine;
    St. Clare of Montefalco (1268-1308), an Augustinian;
    Bl. Angela of Foligno (d. 1309), Franciscan tertiary;
    St. Catherine of Siena (1347-80), Dominican tertiary;
    St. Lidwine (1380-1433);
    St. Frances of Rome (1384-1440);
    St. Colette (1380-1447), Franciscan;
    St. Rita of Cassia (1386-1456), Augustinian;
    Bl. Osanna of Mantua (1499-1505), Dominican tertiary;
    St. Catherine of Genoa (1447-1510), Franciscan tertiary;
    Bl. Baptista Varani (1458-1524), Poor Clare;
    Bl. Lucy of Narni (1476-1547), Dominican tertiary;
    Bl. Catherine of Racconigi (1486-1547), Dominican;
    St. John of God (1495-1550), founder of the Order of Charity;
    St. Catherine de' Ricci (1522-89), Dominican;
    St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi (1566-1607), Carmelite;
    Bl. Marie de l'Incarnation (1566-1618), Carmelite;
    Bl. Mary Anne of Jesus (1557-1620), Franciscan tertiary;
    Bl. Carlo of Sezze (d. 1670), Franciscan;
    Blessed Margaret Mary Alacoque (1647-90), Visitandine (who had only the crown of thorns);
    St. Veronica Giuliani (1600-1727), Capuchiness;
    St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds (1715-91), Franciscan tertiary.

    4. There were 20 stigma tics in the nineteenth century. The most famous were:

    Catherine Emmerich (1774-1824), Augustinian;
    Elizabeth Canori Mora (1774-1825), Trinitarian tertiary;
    Anna Maria Taïgi (1769-1837);
    Maria Dominica Lazzari (1815-48);
    Marie de Moerl (1812-68) and Louise Lateau (1850-83), Franciscan tertiaries.

    January 7, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • What ?

      Why none in the 21st Century, who can be subject to scientific scrutiny ? Ever hear of "hysterical" symptoms ?

      January 7, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • GAW

      And what does this have to do with Christian dating sites? Are you trying to say that there should be dating sites for people who have had stigmata?

      January 7, 2012 at 6:46 pm |
    • Chrism

      @What writes "Why none in the 21st Century?" What the answer to your question is there are none in the 21st century because Google does not yet exist. Google is simply a figment of your imagination. It has no actual place in reality. For if it did exist, there would obviously be a real person named Zlatko Sudac who would be a Croatian priest who has stigmata. Now obviously since you have told us that person doesn't exist, it naturally follows that google does not exist.

      @What you also ask about hysterical symptoms. I did study those in medical school, but I don't think you know much about them or you would know the sheer impossibility of that many numbers of people having the same symptoms all of whom were highly functioning many times clergy with no manifestations of psychological disorders whatsoever. Please let me know if I can answer any other of your medical questions in particular.

      January 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • What ?

      The question remains, why would a deity have to resort to to that nonsense to "prove" itself to us. It's preposterous. The wounds in most cases are not even in the correct anatomical places where the "crucifixion" wounds would have had to be, (or even in the SAME places as seen in your Shroud of Turin).

      January 7, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • Chrism

      Did you ever think it was simply a painful gift from God to enable a particular person to be holy?

      January 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm |
    • What ?

      no

      January 7, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Chrism

      sorry for my sarcasm earlier. If you're interested, try looking up Padre Pio. You might also be interested in the experiences of American GIs in WWII when they flew missions over San Giovanni.

      January 7, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
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