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Pastor: Facebook is encouraging adultery
November 18th, 2010
01:20 PM ET

Pastor: Facebook is encouraging adultery

A New Jersey pastor is asking married  members at his church to delete their Facebook accounts because he says it encourages adultery.

The Rev. Cedric Miller of Neptune  made the demand after 20 couples at his church ran into difficulties after a spouse reunited with an old love interest, the Los Angeles Times reported in an article.

The article, which quotes an Associated Press story, says Miller had asked married couples in his church to share their Facebook passwords with spouses, but couples still ran into problems.

Miller, pastor at the Living Word Christian Fellowship church, says he’s now demanding that 50 married church leaders delete their Facebook accounts or resign.

Anthea Butler, a columnist with Religion Dispatches magazine, says Miller is invoking an old theme in fundamentalist and conservative churches: that any new media - like movies, television and radio - is  sinful.

What is interesting to me is that the conservative Christian cry used to be stop watching porn on the internet, or  your kids would be pimped out on the internet by perverts. Now, social media has become the latest “sinful” activity.

Still, Butler in her column entitled, “Facebook: Internet Highway to Hell,” says she could sympathize with the pastor.

So I am not surprised that the pastor is demanding all of his leadership cease and desist from Facebook. After all, looking up an old flame or your teenage dream à la Katy Perry is just the first step down the road to perdition - especially if your home life isn’t exactly what it used to be.

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Ethics • News media • Pastors

soundoff (346 Responses)
  1. Dan

    I agree completely with this pastor. I have been thinking more and more recently that facebook is not a good thing. I am a married man who is faithful to his wife, but it is difficult to avoid looking at all the images that are available on facebook. Jesus said that if you look with lust, you are guilty of committing adultery.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • chettmoses

      if it isn't facebook then it'll be something else.....elvis shaking his hips, women wearing skirts, T.V., music, movies, magazines, the internet, Shakespeare, not to mention famous artist's like Michelangelo and his David or Picasso and his "the dream", the city, women working.....all have pushed boundaries that religious folk fought to prevent. I'm not a Christian and I would never have an affair, cheat, murder or steal, with or without FB......I'm happy to have the freedom to explore the world and the intelligence to make the best decisions with or without Christ.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:58 pm |
    • Dan

      Without Jesus you will die in your sin and go to hell. God does not want this to happen to you. He sent his son, Jesus, to suffer and die for your sins. If you reject Him, you are truly lost forever. If you will turn away from your sins and follow Jesus Christ, you will be saved. Your life here will be over in a very short while. Please consider what I am telling you.

      November 19, 2010 at 12:26 am |
    • Jen

      Sounds like the right thing for YOU to do, to remain faithful to your wife...remove yourself from situations that would cause you to have a problem but, not everyone has a problem with it...but it is totally respectable for people who do, to stay away from possible situations : )

      November 19, 2010 at 12:30 am |
    • Dan

      Hi Jen,

      Well, remaining faithful to our spouses is kind of an obvious (right) thing to do – don't you think? I don't know if you're a Christian or not. I hope you are. That is my hope for everyone. Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven.

      November 19, 2010 at 12:57 am |
  2. Jerry

    Wouldn't it make more sense to demand that they behave themselves?

    November 18, 2010 at 9:37 pm |
    • Jen

      right? so silly to say remove the temptation and not "Get control of your temptation" ....same thing as over eating, over watching tv...over shopping...over talking on the phone...the list goes on and on...i guess the only answer is to lock yourself in the closet where there is no temptation....NOT going to happen! Just behave!!!! : )

      November 19, 2010 at 12:29 am |
  3. Gary

    adultery encourages adultery period. Don't blame the tool, blame the fool.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
  4. Karen

    SIN causes adultery, not FB

    November 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
    • Dan

      Jesus said that if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If facebook is causing people to sin, they should delete their account. Don't you think it's much easier to sin when you place yourself in a tempting situation? Listen to wisdom – run away from temptation!

      November 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
    • smack

      Jesus was mocking pharisaical righteousness. he knew that hands don't cause sin. he knew it was the heart.

      but i do agree with you that if something is a true temptation it is wise to get rid of it.

      personally, i think this pastor made a mistake for calling for all his people to lose their facebook, it ought to be more of a case by case decison

      November 18, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
    • Dan

      Smack,

      Jesus never mocked anyone. He meant what He said. Would you rather enter into Heaven maimed or into hell with your whole body? This is exactly what Jesus said.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:10 pm |
    • smack

      when he says cut off your hand it was taking pharasaical righteousness to the obvious extreme. if your sins can be washed by ceremonial cleansing, then by all means, no sacrifice by Jesus necessary.

      but Jesus made it obvious that sin isnt caused by the means of the sin. eyes dont cause sin- the heart does. and a blind person can lust... ya know?

      November 18, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  5. Jewls

    Yes... um.. because the idea of working on one's relationship, being honest, having personal growth... all those things don't contribute to a good relationship and life. Only ignorance contributes to a good life. Ah... Christianity. Yum.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:23 pm |
  6. js

    What's the over/under on how much time between now and the day this pastor gets arrested for molesting a dead goat?

    November 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
  7. Fade2Black

    That's akin to blaming the gun for pulling the trigger. Perhaps a gun is a bad example, for many consider guns solely as objects of destruction. A better example then are cars. By this pastor's own logic, we should ban all cars because they have the potential to invoke harm. Don't go after the vehicles, go after those who aren't responsible enough to operate them. Facebook is a vehicle; it's not the driver. Ordering members of his church to delete their Facebook accounts indicates to me that the pastor lacks faith in others' abilities to resist worldly temptations, and to a certain degree a lack of faith in his own ability to address the real issue at hand. The article cites 20 cases of members being reunited with old loves, but fails to indicate what percentage that figure represents. But regardless if it's 20 out of 2,000 or 20 out of 200, the bottom line is the pastor fails to address the real issue, which is infidelity. The culprit is the transgressor, not Facebook. Perhaps if he spent more time preaching how one can strengthen a marriage, especially during trying times, he would actually be an effective leader. Of course, where's the publicity in that?

    November 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm |
    • Dan

      Part of strengthening a marriage is to remove as many temptations as possible. But you seem cynical towards the church in your comment? Sorry for you that you don't know Jesus yet. I hope you will get to know Him while you still can. He's the only way to Heaven.

      November 18, 2010 at 9:52 pm |
    • Julian

      @Dan – Removing temptation is such a half-assed approach. Overcoming the pull of temptation is a far more productive goal. If you handle the problem by hiding from it or avoiding it, the problem still exists and will rear it's ugly head again at some point down the road.

      November 18, 2010 at 10:04 pm |
    • Dan

      @Julian

      This is from the Bible:

      "My son, pay attention to my wisdom,
      listen well to my words of insight,
      that you may maintain discretion
      and your lips may preserve knowledge.
      For the lips of an adulteress drip honey,
      and her speech is smoother than oil;
      but in the end she is bitter as gall,
      sharp as a double-edged sword.
      Her feet go down to death;
      her steps lead straight to the grave.[a]
      She gives no thought to the way of life;
      her paths are crooked, but she knows it not.
      Now then, my sons, listen to me;
      do not turn aside from what I say.
      KEEP TO A PATH FAR FROM HER,
      DO NOT GO NEAR THE DOOR OF HER HOUSE,
      lest you give your best strength to others
      and your years to one who is cruel, "
      (Prov 5:1-9)

      November 18, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
    • Buddha

      @Dan so stay away from that but its ok to molest alter boys as long as they are not married? or of legal age?

      November 19, 2010 at 12:36 am |
  8. Tony

    Pastor's going to have some problems if his church leaders decide that it may be time for a new pastor. I'm sensing a member's only meeting being held before Christmas.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:12 pm |
  9. Thomas Joel

    What part of the Internet doesn't. In the old days if you cheated on your spouse with someone in your neighborhood, everyone would know. These days, you can cheat with a complete stranger or in a completely disguised manner and there is no penalty from your community.... until you are caught.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm |
  10. publius enigma

    Facebook doesnt encourage anything. It is a reflection of society.

    November 18, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
  11. Colleen

    just a thought...does he have an opinion on those 2 Alaskan twits with the foul mouths...they are supposedly very Christian...

    ..as well as their mother...

    November 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
  12. Crazy8

    I facebooked your mom...and she liked it.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • Bill

      : )

      November 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm |
  13. Andy 666

    I love it !!!! The less religious people there are on the internet the better. Yes, Facebook is sinful and you will perish in hell for all eternity. Now go away.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:53 pm |
    • Colleen

      just a thought...does he have an opinion on those 2 Alaskan twits with the foul mouths...they are supposedly very Christian...

      November 18, 2010 at 8:56 pm |
    • chettmoses

      very much agreed...the world might be a better place without organized religion........

      November 18, 2010 at 9:07 pm |
    • Jewls

      *laughs* I'm with you there! The internet is dangerous... leave it to those of that want to do something with it.

      November 18, 2010 at 9:25 pm |
  14. LJ

    Hey Everyone - let's friend him!

    November 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  15. anotherchristianpointofview

    I am a Christian who loves Jesus and fully believes in his death and resurrection- but this guy, while his intentions may be good, is off his rocker. This is like saying telephones (or e-mail, or snail mail) encourages adultery...

    November 18, 2010 at 8:49 pm |
  16. Keith Peters

    Delete you FaceBook account or resign? . . . . . Then they should all resign. All together... All at once.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:47 pm |
  17. John Baptist

    Actually it is language that encourages adultery, with help from alcohol.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
    • Jewls

      Oh yes, totally agree with you! Though without language, how would we define sin and figure out who to punish?

      November 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
  18. kims

    Facebook os just an inanimate blog. People commit adultery, and always will, Facebook or not.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:43 pm |
  19. d23

    I think you might as well say that *writing* causes adultery. And thinking. Many pastors would prefer we did neither of those either.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm |
  20. kent

    it always amazes me how broadminded satan and his followers are. They claim they are free thinking and open minded, when in reality they just want to be able to sin without having to call it sin.

    November 18, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
    • E-Nevada

      LOL! I guess God must be a sinner, too, since he created Satan in the first place. Or all babies born are, somehow, followers of Satan since all humans are born to sin.
      People like you is why I STAY OUT of ANY church, synogogue, temple, mosque, etc.

      November 20, 2010 at 8:34 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.