Christian starts dating site for Seventh-day Adventists
Concerned about the loneliness of single Christians during the pandemic, Randy McLean, a devoted Seventh-day Adventist, decided to create a dating site exclusively for those within the denomination.
Launched in April 2020 in the United Kingdom, JA Singles has approximately 7,000 subscribers who are searching for a meaningful relationship which will lead to marriage.
"So far we have had two persons who got married last year and they are very happy. We are glad that the site was able to help in joining them together. This ties in with our mandate of not only offering a service but also being a ministry. We have also made several other happy connections. Our goal is to help people meet the right people with the right values, to form real and deep connections with, rather than a whole lot of shallow, unimportant ones," he said.
McLean said he was overseas when the idea came to him. After much consultation with the Almighty, he decided to build the site. He said it has the blessings of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, its family life department, and the East Jamaica Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Persons were able to gain full access to the site but a 15-pound subscription fee is required to access certain sections. While all single Christians are welcome to search for love, cross-denomination dating or marriage is not encouraged. McLean told THE WEEKEND STAR that a six-month workshop was held to give presentations to educate single Christians on this and other issues.
"A lot of relationship fail because they fall away from Christ, and if Christ is in the centre of the relationship then both parties are joined together for their love for Him. If two people are connected and they have different values and faith, then there is going to be a big problem. What we try to do as an organisation is educate people as to the repercussions of getting connected to someone who has different value systems from them," he said.
"We do not tell persons what they should do, but we can advise them according to the Bible. It's factual that when you have children you are going to need to decide if they to go to a Saturday and Sunday church. These things will cause rifts in the family and it is needless to go into something that will cause a rift," McLean added.
He said they have also turned down subscriptions and requests from persons who are either not baptised or practise a different religion.
"You can be in the same domination and still be unequally yoked. We have non-Christians, Muslims and persons of different religion reaching out but we explained to them that it is a Christian site," McLean said.
After a vetting process, which includes emailing the church that a member attends, a 10-day period is usually given for persons to know each other online and each party is free to move on to another interest if their requirements are not met. Once physical dating has begun, the potential couple is encouraged not to kiss or touch in a sexual manner before marriage, as this can lead to other things.
"It's not everyone who can manage certain emotions. We are all human beings and God created us with desires and each of us was made with a desire for someone else ... but a couple should be married before they enter on certain grounds," McLean said.