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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. Liz

    Facebook doesn't 'cause' adultery. Ignoring your spouse and taking them for granted does.

    November 20, 2010 at 9:43 am |
    • NL

      How about ignoring your spouse while fooling with your facebook account?

      November 20, 2010 at 3:16 pm |
  2. More stupid crap

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    November 19, 2010 at 11:18 pm |
  3. Edward Nashville, TN

    People will make bad decisions with or without facebook. Maybe it opens another avenue to it. Saying facebook is bad is like saying the devil made me do it. No you did it cause you wanted to.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:26 pm |
  4. Life In General

    I don't think it has to do with anything but human nature. We are all prone to sin, we all make mistakes. I think marriage isn't taken seriously anymore. I know from my experience of friends around me, if the going gets hard in their marriages, they find someone else, but that person eventually isn't so great either and so on and so forth, they move from one person to the next thinking they are going to find this fairy tale man. But unfornately, not matter what kind of relationship we are in, people are going to come across obstacles. The grass is never greener on the otherside. No matter what, you have to nuture it and care for it, if its not green then your not putting enough work in either. Any relationship takes work whether marriage or friendship. I don't think its necessarily technology at all but its what the world thinks as acceptable these days.

    November 19, 2010 at 3:08 pm |
  5. HASINAI

    That's right, blame a system and not the people responsible. What a crock. I understand the concern but not the logic. Those people were going to cheat, they just needed the chance to do it! While Facebook may make it easier, Facebook is not responsible for the actions of users....the users are responsible for their own actions. That's like blaming a casino for someone spending all their money. That casino did not force that person to go there, they did it on their own free will.

    November 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm |
    • JPopNC

      You don't get the point, do you? He is NOT blaming FB, he's holding his own church leaders accountable. That's the problem with the "non" religious. So quick to mock, ridicule, and demean anything and everything labeled "Christian" that you miss the truth in that he's asking them to do this so as to lead by example. Sharing an account or sharing a password is simply a matter of trust. Trust in a marriage is a good thing, secrecy is not.

      Even in this article the columnist with Religion Dispatches magazine makes light of the pastor's intentions, but then goes onto say she understands his motives. Typical reaction, "let's mock" but then, "oh, not too bad of an approach".

      I've been a Christian in a conservative Baptist Church for 30 years and not once have they told me what to do and/or not do. This pastor isn't doing that either, he's simply suggesting ways to the leaders of the church how to lead by example. The key words here are "lead". He's just doing his job and a fine one too I might add.

      November 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm |
    • rant

      JPopNC, I would reread this article. It clearly states he is demanding that the 50 church leaders delete their facebook profiles or resign. How about guiding the followers. Teach them what it takes to have a successful marriage. Although I have been married twice, my 2nd marriage is has lasted almost 23 years. The best years of my life and I count my blessings every day.
      We have a very open and honest relationship. My best advise to anyone married is to love each other each day like its the last. Keep open communication at a maximum and always be truthful. Good or bad... no matter what. Spoil each other...

      November 19, 2010 at 9:44 pm |
  6. Its my mind and Ill think what I want

    Read Icculous!
    Seriously, I left a church back in the 70's because of that sort of mind control stuff. I was reading the new york times and one of the flock told me it wasnt "christian". So much bulls hit in religion. I believe in God too.

    November 19, 2010 at 11:48 am |
  7. rant

    Facebook or any other social medium is not the problem. A relationship failing is most often a lack of communication between the people involved. Being a spiritual person I am saddened that this was not the message that this pastor did not address. I do not go to an organized religion for this very reason.

    Case in point... a pastor who I had known for a few years left his wife of 12 years for another woman in his congregation. He was removed from his position after counseling many in the church on how to work on their marriages. Too bad he did not listen to his own advise. Another reason I do not attend any church is that they ask you to blindly follow their word... Religion has caused more wars and deaths because of this in history than facebook ever did.

    And so what religious book shall we follow. They all claim to have the word of God that was written by a man. Shall we follow a religion that allows their preachers to molest children and then hide the fact? The saddest part is that is was the leadership of the church that facilitated these child molesters by hiding the truth and moving them to another church to again hurt our children.

    Honesty and communication with your significant other is the only way to avert disaster in any relationship. Teach that!

    November 19, 2010 at 11:01 am |
    • JPopNC

      Rant...."honesty and communication"....excellent point! That's EXACTLY what the pastor here IS trying to get across...honesty and communication. He's asking the leaders of the church to demonstrate TRUST by sharing their password with their spouses. Honesty builds trust, right? This action demonstrates there's nothing going on behind anybody else's back...again, honesty and trust. This can't hurt a marriage can it? Unless of course the other spouse has something to hide. My wife knows every password I have on every device I have. Not that she needs it, but if she had a concern, she's welcome to check and see herself. This in turn, helps keep me honest and builds her trust in me.

      And...one thing my church definitely teaches is not to put your faith in any person because at some time that person will fail. It's a given....it will happen. Even Paul told his followers not to go by his example, but rather look to Christ as the ultimate example.

      Also, the Bible says that pastors, priests, etc are to be held to a higher standard. In James 3:1 it says "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly". So, for those priests/pastors who have done bad things, there is definitely a special place set aside for them.

      November 19, 2010 at 4:05 pm |
    • rant

      JPopNC,

      From what I read, He is asking the leaders of the church to delete their facebook profiles or suffer the consequences. Perhaps I should reread the article. I would never mock anyone's beliefs because that is ones personal choice and would go against what I believe.

      Reminds me of a little story someone told me a while ago... God and the devil were walking down a path and god saw something shiny. He went and picked it up and said to the devil... look its truth... and the devil says wonderful... let me organize it.

      The god I believe in would never have anyone start a war in his name and yet if you look back in history it has been repeated over and over in his name under an organized religion. Even today in the name of Allah... we see it.

      My God does not care if we have a facebook account or not... he only cares what is in our hearts

      November 19, 2010 at 6:45 pm |
    • rant

      After rereading the article it does say
      "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."

      The definition of Demand is an act of demanding or asking especially with authority I am sure many will blindly follow his demand.

      You made a lot of excellent points JPopNC, but as many others has said Facebook is not the reason for failed relationships. We need teachers of Honesty, integrity and communication as the key to having a good marriage or a good relationship

      November 19, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
  8. Al

    Oooo, you think I can get a hot lil' hook-up on Facebook?

    /logs in

    November 19, 2010 at 10:54 am |
  9. JustPlainJoe

    Why does CNN continue to pander to these self righteous religious pastors with their idiosyncratic world views and primitive views of humanity? This is not news just another example of ideologic stupidity.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:42 am |
    • JPopNC

      So the pastor is "self righteous" because he sees an issue with his friends and asks the other leaders in the church to demonstrate how trust in a marriage can help strengthen it? Really?

      November 19, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  10. notyourname

    It's interesting–my pastor encourages us to "friend" him on facebook (even though we're in a large church and I've never had a personal conversation with him). I find both practices regrettable.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:34 am |
  11. Peter

    I am amazed at the folks who don't believe in God (or Jesus). I really feel sorry for you and hope that you can learn to listen to your inner self. However I'm really sick of your moronic comments! You flood the world with crap. It's one thing to not believe, yet it's another to spread your bull. So, do everyone a favor and stick a sock in it. You don't have the mental capacity to have something called Faith. Faith is the whole point. It seems unless you can see it, it's not real to you. Regardless, in my opinion the Pastor is spot on. It happened to my marriage and to the marriages of 4 couples I know. While it may not have been intentional, Facebook is evil. Check your facts...over 20% of failed marriages mention Facebook in the divorce papers. Facebook is for narcissists. It ruined my life, my children's life and it will ruin many more in the future. If people were really your friends, you have stayed in touch with them anyway.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:28 am |
    • bol-anon

      Faith does not depend on one's mental capacity. If it did, every educated person on this site as well as outside will have the faith that you seem to be referring to.
      Faith is a gift, it comes from God, not from human intelligence.
      I do not blame those here who mock God and Jesus and proudly proclaim they DO NOT believe.
      If God has them in His book, then one day they will be humbled and brought to Christ by the Holy Spirit.
      If their names are not in God's book, then their judgment is already done. Finished. The Bible says they are condemned already.
      People like them makes me wonder that God still gives them air to breathe.

      November 19, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  12. Maria

    Yawn! This is so boring...Zzz!!!

    November 19, 2010 at 9:05 am |
  13. Damien

    Can't anything be considered adultery? One has to realize that its not the thing that causes adultery but rather the person that acts on it. I could say that going to work is putting me in the place to commit adultery because there are attractive women. I could also say that seeing attractive people on the street would be putting me in a place to commit adultery. Its the people who want adultery that will be harmed by facebook, in which case, facebook isn't the problem.

    November 19, 2010 at 9:02 am |
  14. CW

    To all,

    I'm rather disappointed in all the responses except for Gorilla's response. Its true Marriage takes work...to be married in the first place and say you love someone means that you put them first. If all married couples would just follow THE BIBLE and one chapter in particular 1 Corithians 13(Love definition) there would be no di-vorces.

    @ NL

    Now....you can blastpheme GOD all you want but the simple fact is that one day....Judgement Day....you will wish you could eat all the words you have spoke against THE BIBLE. Unfortunately it will be too late then....please repent....ask for forgiveness and believe in that Jesus died for your sins. Its your choice....eternal life...or eternal H-E-L-L.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:59 am |
    • NL

      CW-
      Do you make these little public service reminders for your own pleasure, or because you believe God wants you to? If you believe God wants you to, do you see yourself being rewarded some time in the future for making comments like this?

      November 21, 2010 at 12:34 am |
  15. Historian

    Maybe the message should be "know your limits" it is unwise to put a bottle of booze in front of a person with a drinking problem. Why shorten the fuse that would lead to an explosion?

    November 19, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  16. Brad

    Don't forget to outlaw dancing, pastor. That's what all the naughty kids are doing these days.
    Just look at the Situation and Bristol Palin – dancers. Coincidence? I think not.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:56 am |
  17. AGeek

    My car encourages me to go places I didn't want to go. Like to bars and strip clubs.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:54 am |
    • PAGANGRL69

      LMAO...Maybe you shouldn't be allowed to Drive?...lolololol-Just kiddin...Do whatever the "Hell you want"....It's your life your Free Will..."So Be It"...even though it's funny...Good example(smiling!!!)
      Blessed Be Always!!!

      November 22, 2010 at 7:59 am |
  18. Loud Noises

    "Not everyone is brave enough to say they love Jesus. I am brave enough. Click "Like" if you agree."
    I get so annoyed with religious posts on facebook. So if this pastor gets all the religious freaks off of facebook, then good for him.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  19. Gorilla Guerilla

    What I'm seeing in the comments section is rather dissapointing. What I'm seeing is that most people are foolish, naive, blame-casters, or some combomation of these. Here are 5 simple steps to a successful marriage (learned the hard way):

    1) Build the trust. Just because your spouse trusts you with one thing, doesn't mean they trust you with all things. Build the trust betwen you until your spouse has no problem trusting you in all things. I'm willing to bet that the majority of the "problems" in the marriages mentioned in this article were based in trust. It does not say that the Facebook user commited adultery, but that Facebook created problems in their marriages. I have been married for a few decades now, and have an active Facebook acct with almost all my ex's and ex-flames as "friends" on it. This is not a problem because I have built the trust with my wife.
    2) Build the love. With a mutual trust come a mutual care. That care builds into genuine love. You don't have to be "in-love" with your spouse, but you do have to LOVE your spouse. People fall in and out of love all the time, but when you ganuinely love someone you care for their well being, both physical and emotional. This care is what helps to build the strong bonds that a long term relationship relies on.
    3) Be honest. Nothing in this world can hurt your partner more than the slightest of dishonesty. A little white lie does more to undemine the bonds needed in a relationship than almost anything else. It violates the trust, and harms the love. If you have an old flame as a friend on Facebook, be honest about it. If you have a problem with your partner having an old flame as a friend on Facebook, be honest about it. Which brings us to the next, and probably most important step...
    4) Communicate. You don't have to be a William Shakespere to communcate effectively, or even eloquently with your partner. And communication is much more than dinner table chats and phone calls. Communication is an all encompassing interaction between you and your spouse. Think about it, your partner doesn't have to say a word, but through known signals (or lack there-of) they can communicate their feelings of the moment with you. A simple gesture, the look on their face, even eye contact tell you 100x more about their feelings than the words coming from their mouth. Good communication skills are esential to building a good relationship with strong bonds.
    5) Finally, be available. Nothing sours a relationship more than being "unavailable" to your partner. If they have had a long day, listen to them when they tell you about it. It may not seem that bad of a day to you, but that earnestness does more for building your relationship than ignoring them. Be a kind attentive ear, a shoulder to cry on, a participant in joy, or in short an active partner in their lives.

    I summation being a loving, caring, available and trustworthy partner does more for building your relationship than anything else. And here is where I must disagree with the man of the cloth above. The problem isn't Facebook, it is just a symptom that brings the true problem to the surface. The problem is the relationship between these couples. If you have a good relationship with strong bonds, you needn't worry about trivial things like who's a "friend" on Facebook.

    Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
    Just my two cents...

    November 19, 2010 at 8:48 am |
    • Brad

      Nicely put!

      November 19, 2010 at 8:58 am |
  20. John

    Nowadays Faith and godliness is not about removing adversity and temptation it is about remaining strong in the face of temptation

    4 Christians it is taught that Jesus remained strong in the face of the adversary not that he removed the adversary

    With that said I theologically disagree with this pastor's teachings but I understand what he's trying to accomplish.

    November 19, 2010 at 8:43 am |
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