Dean Scott started Sovereign Grace Singles to help Reformed singles meet and mingle with other like-minded, and like-hearted, Christians. In the following interview we’ve asked him to give us some more details about his website, and what prompted him to create it.
Reformed Perspective: In preparing for this interview I saw the comments of an Arminian professor who said your online Reformed dating site conflicted with Calvinism. He seemed to think that anyone who believes in God’s sovereignty over all things would just keep quiet and wait for God to drop a spouse in their lap. How would you respond? What is this professor missing?
Dean Scott: I remember that same quote – it was from a Christianity Today article – and I when read it, well, I was embarrassed for the professor who made it. Doesn’t he know Calvinists do evangelism? Why would we do that, if we held the “do nothing – God will do it all” caricature he presents of Calvinism?
But we know God often uses us as the means by which He does his work here are on Earth. That’s why Paul asks, “And how will they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14). When it comes to spreading the gospel, God uses preachers – that is his means.
And consider prayer – I like what Spurgeon said about prayer…
“You have heard a great many Arminian sermons, I dare say; but you never heard an Arminian prayer, for the saints in prayer appear as one in word, and deed, and mind. An Arminian on his knees would pray desperately like a Calvinist.”
In other words, an Arminian in prayer is acting like a Calvinist – asking God to change people’s hearts. But here, too, God presents prayers as a means through which He works. This objection gets even sillier when you ask questions like:
- Does a Calvinist work? Why? Because work is the means God has given us to make money to pay life’s expenses.
- Does a Calvinist shop at the grocery store or does he think food will simply arrive on his plate at dinnertime?
- Does he own an automobile? Why? Because it is the means to get him where he wishes to go.
In that same way, Sovereign Grace Singles (SGS) is the means God can and has used for many couples to find their like-minded mates.
RP: What’s the one-sentence answer to “What is Sovereign Grace Singles”?
DS: SGS’s focus is to bring together Reformed single Christian men and women who wish to meet other Reformed Christian singles for spiritually like-minded, loving relationships, walking together in mutual agreement, based on the words of Amos 3:3, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?” This is the theme verse of SGS.
RP: How did you first come up with the idea for SGS?
DS: I had been single for many years and did not want to be. I wanted a mate who believed the same as I did…Reformed in faith and doctrine. But the Christian “dating” websites were a disappointment at best.
Then in 2004, I was fishing with some members of a non-Christian flyfishing club I was part of. These were nice guys but the way they talked, what they talked about, the smoking, excessive drinking, and more, had me thinking, Wouldn’t this be even better if I could go flyfishing with other Reformed believers? What if I could go fishing with other brothers and sisters in Christ who could be struck by the incredible beauty of a brown trout and be filled with the same need to praise the God who made it?
And that “spawned” (pardon the pun) the genesis of the SGS idea.
How could I go find the fellowship that I was looking for? The Internet! That’s how I could find other Reformed singles! And when the thought hit, I asked myself, “Why not do it?”
SGS was developed and launched in January of 2005. It was a website where Reformed singles could meet for fellowship, service, or perhaps even romance. The first wedding was less than a year later in December and the groom was a businessman who invited me to be their guest at the wedding in Germany! The bride was from India but living in south Florida and their story is amazing and heartwarming to read. I think they have four kids now!
I also met my wife Karen in December of 2005. She was widowed with 4 fantastic adult kids who loved the Lord and she had an incredible extended family and church body. We were married in September of 2006. I have 5 grandkids with another on the way! Three of them are a result of the youngest son, Steven meeting his bride, Sarah on SGS as well!
RP: What can someone joining SGS expect? What specifically do you offer?
DS: On SGS, members can search for friends, activity partners, possible romantic interests and Events in which to participate. There’s was just an Event in Indiana in September promoted on SGS, via group email and Facebook. I’ve made some excellent friends and had some sweet fellowship at Reformed Conferences and Cruises to Alaska and the Caribbean which SGSers have attended. A group of guys and myself went to practice our Second Amendment skills at Frontsight for their 4-day defensive handgun course and had an excellent time!
In addition to Events, and emailing other members within SGS, there is Chat and Forums. Members are encouraged to create their own Event locally and we’d be glad to promote it. If they know of Events in which SGSers might be interested, let us know and we can put it on SGS Calendar.
RP: People online often seem ruder than they’d be in real life. And on a number of Reformed social forums geared to singles, there sometimes seem to be young men intent on impressing the ladies by showing off their theological chops. They start firestorms, attacking rather than discussing, and just generally bring heat but no light. I’d assume that has to happen sometimes on SGS too. What’s your approach to dealing with it?
DS: I know exactly to what you are referring. The place that could occur is in SGS Forums, but I have not actually seen that.
If it were to occur, I would want it to be observed and learned from…to be seen as a mean of getting to know someone. One of the negative things about “dating” is that it is usually two persons alone with little interaction with others, as compared with courtship where the couple is more involved with family, friends and peers. In that context you can learn a lot about a person in the way they interact with others, especially those who might think or act differently than themselves.
Well, in Forums that interaction with others can also take place (even if to a lesser degree than in person) and whatever they reveal about themselves, for good or bad, is, frankly, helpful to everyone else there in the search for a “mate.”
That said, if rude behavior were observed I might contact them, especially if it were extreme. However, again, I have never observed that. I think others involved in the conversation call each other to accountability. It is not Facebook – conversations are far more friendly here.
RP: And what are the costs?
DS: When someone goes to SGS they will be invited to create a Profile by answering questions about themselves such as age, location, Reformed denomination, hobbies, etc. The goal is to allow others to get to know them, learning about them by reading their “story.” There is a search feature to allow you to find others in your country, and that’s free to all regardless of subscription status but if you want to chat or email other members, then they have to sign up for a subscription. The cost of the subscription depends on the length: a month is $19.99, 3 months is $44.99, 6 months is $69.99 and a Year is $89.99. These subscriptions are far less expensive than other “dating” sites.
To find out more, visit www.SovereignGraceSingles.com.