Tertullian's Advice to eHarmony?

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of The Christian Post or its editors.

While eHarmony - the multimillion dollar matchmaking enterprise - tries to dodge criticism for vowing to launch a gay dating site in response to a lawsuit filed by a gay man, some national headlines are playing to eHarmony's "ethical dilemma."

How so?

eHarmony and its founder Neal Clark Warren have built their behemoth on Christian values – only matching men and women since 2000. Their past honorable endeavors make their recent decision to capitulate puzzling – to say the least.

What is as puzzling are some of the headlines announcing eHarmony's decision - as if eHarmony was caught between a rock and a hard place. Some of those headlines read:

Lawsuit Forces eHarmony To Match Homosexual Couples eHarmony Forced To Match Homosexual Couples Dating Firm Forced To Include Gays eHarmony Forced To Offer Same-Sex Dating

Now hold on there! eHarmony was not forced to do any such thing. To be clear, eHarmony was forced to respond to a lawsuit. They were forced to give depositions, but eHarmony has not been forced to "match homosexual couples" nor "offer same-sex dating."

eHarmony has chosen to launch their gay website by March 31, 2009.

eHarmony has argued "it was best to settle this case." eHarmony has stated that ongoing litigation was "unpredictable" and no doubt costly. (To its credit, eHarmony had fought the lawsuit for three years.) eHarmony may declare their expertise of matching men and women is too vital to jeopardize. And eHarmony may insist their employees have to earn a living.

But none of these "justifications" hold water - not even the last one.

Tertullian of Carthage, an early Christian theologian and moralist, was also the pastor of a church in North Africa about 200 years after Jesus Christ was born. Many historians recount the story where some of Tertullian's church members tried to justify their burning incense to pagan gods as they entered their workplace. They told Tertullian "even though we are Christians, we won't really honor pagan gods." Tertullian asked, "Why would you do that?"

The people said, "Because we have to work to buy food to eat!"

Tertullian then asked "Why do you have to eat?"

They replied with astonishment "Because we have to live."

Tertullian, who had been converted to Christianity by witnessing the uncompromising courage of Christian martyrs, looked at them and said, "No! You don't have to work, or eat and you don't have to live. The only thing you have to do is be faithful."

Some readers will find this concept irrational. Is it?

Oswald Chambers wrote "God will tax the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us when we obey him." Had eHarmony not caved, we would have witnessed a blessing – the form of which only God knows, but God cannot bless disobedience.

It is an awful thing to fall out of harmony with the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us!