What do you get when you mix a decent low budget romantic comedy with nominal Christianity? Christian Mingle: The Movie of course!
The trailer reflects essentially the substance of the movie. 30-something year old Gwyneth Hayden (aka “Gwynnie”) is living the dream: she has a high powered corporate job working with Mr. Peterman from the show Seinfeld, she jets sets around the world at a whim, eats only at the best of restaurants, hangs out with the trendiest friends that are in their 30s and still playing the field, and is not tied down by a man or children.
Yet, something is missing in her life. “The truth.” It is sorta shadowy and all, and being that she is a VP for a Marketing company, truth is a malleable concept. Oh yeah, she also needs a man!
So, not knowing she is looking for “life changing love,” she finally gets frustrated with dating immature idiots and decides to settle for a dog. Little does she know, the ads for the website ChristianMingle.com are going to change her life.
Making up that she is a Christian on her profile, she attracts a handsome and successful momma’s boy that is of course a legit Christian. By the third date, she’s already giving away some kiss action and they are so smitten with one another, Lancelot is ready to present her to his parents. After lunch at the Steak and Shake rip off called Steak and Cake, Gwynnie gets the news that her boy toy is about to go on a mission trip to Mexico (is it missionary work when the Gospel has already reached a land 500 years ago?).
Worse yet, his old squeeze, which happens to be a blonde Brontosaurus (seriously, her neck is significantly longer than her head) is going there too. Both her, and Lancelot’s had-one-too-many-face-lifts mother expose Gwynnie for who she is: a false professor in the faith!
And this is the dilemma: Gwynnie’s got a God-shaped whole in her heart. She’s told it’s not good enough just to believe there’s “a God out there.” One needs to be “really serious” about it and know a “peace” that comes with really knowing God.
This is where the wheels come off on the movie. Where’s the Gospel?
“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21). Why did Christ have to become our sin, in fact a curse (Gal 3:13), for us? Because “there is no one righteous, not one” (Rom 3:10).
Why is there no one righteous, there are plenty of good people out there, right? No. “[T]here is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins” (Ecc 7:20). God is perfect and to be in His presence we must be perfect. “You must be blameless before the Lord your God” (Deut 18:13).
Gwynnie never confronted any sort of sin. She merely noticed that she lacked peace and happiness. Christ does not bring what the world sees as peace and happiness. “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (Matt 10:34). “If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:21).
Unlike what Gwynnie finds in the movie, God is not there to give you inner peace. He’s not there just to make sure you feel good and are loved. Read the New Testament. These are promises nowhere in the Scripture. No wonder, the movie could not quote any of their peace and love passages.
God may bring you peace, but that peace comes from a true knowledge of Him. Christ paid the full penalty of your sins when you deserved no mercy and to be thrown into hell forever. Every thought you have is continually towards evil (Gen 6:5), even your prayers and righteous works are done with imperfect motivations for your righteous deeds are like filthy rags (Is 64:6).
God does not judge by outward appearances but looks at the heart (1 Sam 16:7). He knows how far short we fall for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). But Christ paid the penalty for your sins that you can never pay. He lived a perfect life, fulfilled the Law (Matt 5:17), and paid the full penalty for our sins (Col 2:13). If you want to know how one may give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thes 5:18, Phil 4:12), look at your own sin and what you deserve. When you see how great a redemption was accomplished for you by Jesus Christ’s dying on the cross and resurrecting from the dead for you, then you will truly understand what it means to be grateful. It is this gratitude that brings peace.
None of this is “too heavy” for the Christian. Put your faith in Christ, hope for the things unseen (Heb 11:2), for nothing you can do can save you. Christ does not promise your life will be a bed of roses, but He has shown us true love by dying in our place, because we literally deserve to be on that cross for eternity. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
May we fall down and worship our King, Jesus Christ the Lord, our righteousness and our God. Amen.
On a side note, my wife and I actually met on Christian Mingle 5 years ago. We have been married for a little more than two and a half years. God has been extremely good in giving us increased insight into our own sin and has so abundantly increased our love for Him, and by His Spirit manifested our faith in more good works than ever. And He is true to His promises and He will continue to be, for this is why He saved us (Eph 2:10).
No one deserves to be nailed to a cross forever. No one asks to be born. Nobody deserves eternal torture. Not even Hitler. Jehovah is a God of justice. The wages of sin is (eternal) death. The gift of salvation is eternal life in paradise.