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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. notyourname

    Correction s/their/they're/

    November 19, 2010 at 8:31 am |
  2. notyourname

    It's amazing how many atheists troll the CNN belief blogs... I guess since their not going to church they have nothing better to do with their lives.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:31 am |
    • NL

      And Christians don't think that talking about religion with others in your spare time is a good thing?

      November 21, 2010 at 12:43 am |
  3. Ch'bazz

    Jesus stole my bike!

    November 19, 2010 at 8:30 am |
  4. trixen

    Sheesh.. Whatever. If your marriage sucks, it's time to end it. Why should both of you spend the rest of your lives being miserable when you could be happier with your exes? LOL

    November 19, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  5. n0gard13

    Those people that cheated did so, not because of facebook, but because they either weren't happy in their current marriages or because they were happier with the people they reconnected with. Those marriages, while they would've lasted longer had one of them not been on facebook, would've probably ended in divorce anyway, seeing as one of them wasn't happy or fully satisfied with the relationship.

    Facebook, in other words, saved the couples from months, possibly years, of unhappy marriage. It's like ripping the bandaid off, as opposed to dragging it out.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:21 am |
  6. slaka

    He must have committed adultery to know that Facebook encourages adultery.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:09 am |
  7. slaka

    No Facebook does not encourage adultery. How does he know this?

    November 19, 2010 at 8:08 am |
  8. safwhit

    This is one of the dumbest articles I've ever read. Instead of the simple minded pastor teaching his congregation about self control and honesty within the religion, he chooses to ask his followers to separate themselves from social networking. What if a man/woman began a new job with his/her old high school "lover"?? What if his/her old lover started attending the same church as the married couple? Should that person now quit the job or church because it could lead to temptations?? A smart pastor & one that actually understands his religious purpose would teach people about honesty, self control, improving marital relationships and how to avoid adultery. Avoiding Facebook is definitely not the answer

    November 19, 2010 at 7:58 am |
    • slaka

      That pastor needs to preach the bible and stop worrying about Facebook.

      November 19, 2010 at 8:10 am |
  9. aaroncarr72

    Seriously? Folks, come on. Does anybody actually read the full text of articles anymore? Did anybody read the LA Times article? Where does it say that the pastor called Facebook ontologically evil? He never did. What he said was that nearly 20 couples in 6 months have been involved in affairs that have been facilitated by Facebook, some of them church leaders. So what he's asking (and this was a bit unclear in CNN's telling) is for everyone in the leadership of the church to delete their Facebook accounts. He explicitly stated that he would not make the same demand of the entire congregation. This is not the case of a pastor being scared of new media. It is the case of a pastor seeing a particular thing that has been very damaging to his local church body and asking leaders to abstain from that thing which has incredibly damaged a good chunk of the church. It's a little thing called discipline. I get that some people don't like discipline, but it's been an active part of church life since the 1st century CE. Now y'all get off this pastor's back for trying to do what he thinks is right and discipline his church into becoming better Christians.

    November 19, 2010 at 7:43 am |
  10. John - Altanta

    Facebook is a communications tool, just like the telephone and going to Church is. Let;s al stop going to church and we won't be tempted by meeting all these people there. Typical of the Christian right to react to everything new with fear and ignorance.

    November 19, 2010 at 7:34 am |
  11. Carla

    This pastor is going way over the edge, in my opinion. Everything one does in life. exposes him/her to temptation. It is about YOU turning from, not eliminating everything that could cause you to stray. I think I would not go to a church that demands such things, as this one does.
    I have been happily married for along time, and wouldn't trade my husband for nothing in this world.
    I had a situation that happened about a year ago, and I must admit, it was tempting, but I completely cut it off up front. My commitment to my God and my husband, and my own self respect, came first.
    People need to be responsible for thier oown actions or inactions.
    Not control by somebody else.

    November 19, 2010 at 7:33 am |
  12. JH1

    I vote that we ban phone books. There's the potential to look up old girlfriends and boyfriends there. 411 is also out of the question because it's just plain evil.

    November 19, 2010 at 7:32 am |
  13. Mike

    From some who had two marriage end in divorce, I have this to say, if either you or your spouse wants to cheat, they will. Facebook is simply the new way of meeting someone. In the 50's and 60's it was the milkman, or repair man. In the 70's it was the all about free love. The 80's was the office romance. Where as the 90 and early 2000, it was internet chatrooms and dating sites, which incidently if where both my ex-wife found thier flings. Now, people want to blame Facebook or even My Space. Come on people, if someone is looking to have an extra martial affair, they going to find a way to do it.

    November 19, 2010 at 7:29 am |
  14. jerry

    and in the last days many shall depart from the faith and turn to fables

    November 19, 2010 at 7:26 am |
  15. Dan

    I love all the atheists who come on here telling us that religion was developed to controll people who can't think for themselves then spout the same rhetoric, the same way, using the same tired words and then claim that they think for themselves. LOL.. Comical

    November 19, 2010 at 7:26 am |
  16. LiberalNN

    I take it this pastor isn't aware of Ashley Madison.com?

    November 19, 2010 at 7:18 am |
  17. AGeek

    And the priesthood encourages pedophilia. I'm failing to see his point.

    November 19, 2010 at 7:04 am |
  18. Muneef

    Intentions are that matters and not technology.. Intentions become before the use of any technology.. Each technology has to sides or two sharp ends one is for good purpose and the other for bad purpose and intentions are for what you intend to utilize it...

    November 19, 2010 at 7:02 am |
  19. Alert Citizen

    Is this not trying to control our personal rights?

    November 19, 2010 at 6:34 am |
  20. bol-anon

    A lot of things wrong with this picture.
    First, a truly regenerate person (sorry for the theological word) may be tempted but will resist the temptation with no help from any rule from any church of any pastor.
    Second, if I were the pastor of that church I would get down on my knees and ask the true Owner of the church to purge His church instead of me meddling in the members' personal lives. That is, if I were sure of my own relationship to Christ. Unfortunately, there are a lot of "pastors" out there who probably called themselves to the ministry instead of being called into the ministry by the Savior, and in due time they will be exposed, either by the failure of their theologies and doctrines, the failure of their members' personal lives (such as this one) or the failure of their own personal lives (such as the recent "pastor" who said he was and have always been gay, and such as the likes of Ted Haggard).
    I am glad I have left these kinds of churches behind.
    I used to be a member of a church where young men and young women were REQUIRED to inform the pastor if they were courting, or if somebody not a member of the church were courting the young women, or if a young man in the church had his eye on some young woman not in church, and where a tenth was a REQUIRED obedience and more than a tenth plus offerings qualified you into the "inner circle" of "faithful" members, and where you were asked to stand and clap your hands in thanksgiving when the pastor and his "deacons" walked onto the stage or podium at the beginning of worship proper.
    Stuff like these happens not because of Christ, but those who "purport" to belong to Christ and then begin to do things their way.

    November 19, 2010 at 6:23 am |
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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.