Belief Beat

Belief Beat


Fun Friday: Lead Us Not Into Temptation, But Deliver Us From Facebook?

posted by Nicole Neroulias

A New Jersey pastor, the Rev. Cedric A. Miller, has announced that married leaders at Living World Christian Fellowship Church must quit Facebook, due to a surge in adultery among church members who have rekindled old flames or struck up new flirtations through the social networking site. He also recommends that all married people stop using Facebook.

The Associated PressPhiladelphia Inquirer, and Religion Dispatches have more on this story.  

Frankly, after chuckling a bit over the variations of “thou shall not Facebook” prompted by Miller’s sermon, I decided that I’m more surprised that it’s taken this long for a religious leader to go this route. (Perhaps Miller is only the first to make national news.) Off the top of my head, I’ve heard of several relationships that have struggled or succumbed to Facebook-related conflicts. The drama usually stems from someone reconnecting with an ex, but there are also issues with getting tagged in an inappropriate photo, unexpected relationship status edits, privacy boundaries, etc. (Insert your own “poking” pun here.)

The AP wasn’t able to get a comment from Facebook officials, so we’re left to wonder: What does Mark Zuckerberg think? (I doubt that he has a religious point of view here — by all accounts, he’s a secular Jew at best – but he’s a pretty adamant advocate for the free, public flow of information. Then again, he’s not married.) But quitting seems drastic — especially given Facebook’s popularity and networking usefulness (acknowledged recently by a gathering of Catholic bishops). What about sharing a Facebook account? (I do that now, more or less, because my husband can’t be bothered to get his own.) Then again, according to the AP story, Miller had already suggested that spouses share their Facebook passwords, yet problems persisted…

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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Apuleius Platonicus

posted November 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm


Jeez. Is this guy working for Zuckerman or something? Beware of Facebook, because it will help you to get hooked up?!?



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Grumpy Old Person

posted November 19, 2010 at 3:43 pm


Why do the adulterous Christians have to spoil it for the rest of us all the time?
;{O)



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James S.

posted November 19, 2010 at 4:07 pm


This is STUPID.. no, BEYOND Stupid. IF someone is going to be DUMB enough to comit Adultery, facebook is the LEAST of that couple’s worries. That means the marriage is NOT on solid ground in the first place. Temptation will ALWAYS be in a persons life, its HOW you respond to it. Just because this NUTJOB preacher tells his congregation to get rid of facebook because they MIGHT be unfaithful is like an Ostrich with its head in the sand. ANYTHING can be used for GOOD or EVIL. That goes for the Internet as a whole, what, he wants to ban that too because he’s WORRIED someone might look at Porn?
I am so sick of people not being RESPONSIBLE for their own actions and ADULT enough to ACT like a RESPONSIBLE ADULT instead of a hormone raging 17 year old. This preacher instead of going after Facebook needs to start some self evaluation of HIS JOB of tending his Flock.. there will ALWAYS be wolves.. and he cant kill ‘em all.
For the Record.. I’m an Ordained Southern Baptist Deacon.. and a 43 year Christian.



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nnmns

posted November 19, 2010 at 11:15 pm


I think he’s trying to protect his people. It may or may not be a good way to do it, and of course his people have the right to ignore him on this and all things.
I’ve yet to take the plunge; not sure if I ever will.



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MH

posted November 20, 2010 at 9:00 am


What I want to know is where these people find the time? Once you’re married with children keeping up with Facebook seems like a distant priority versus work, cleaning, cooking, child care, home repairs, etc.



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Henrietta22

posted November 20, 2010 at 1:52 pm


From a New Jersey paper on line this a.m. I read that Cedric Miller didn’t need facebook to be part of extra-marital affairs. He was a witness in a criminal case and admitted, that he was ten yrs. ago, in a three-way relationship with his wife and a man who evidently was an assistant, and sometimes the asst. wife was present.



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Robert C

posted November 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm


Facebook = Big Brother



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nnmns

posted November 20, 2010 at 3:21 pm


I wonder how his “flock” feels about that, and whether it was a foolish, backfiring attempt to keep them from learning about his interesting history.
I personally have no problem with him and his wife having adventures if they both freely agreed to it, but not every congregation is so forgiving.



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lilbeanie

posted November 20, 2010 at 6:04 pm


the best churches are the ones that all have sex together… where can I find that religion



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charls t bexcar

posted November 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm


beans… join the christian religion…you’ll have plenty of booty calls



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Robert C

posted November 21, 2010 at 12:37 pm


…..or simply get yourself elected to any office, then you can bugger anything in sight with impunity.



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nnmns

posted November 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm


Witness several family values Republicans.



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Robert C

posted November 25, 2010 at 9:53 am


….or welocme to WLDR Lib Dem radio. All hits/all the time. Starring Bill & Monica L., Barney Frank, Gerry Studds, Gary Condit, Brock Adams, Mel Reynolds, Ted Kennedy and a cast of thousands. We have no values, we’re just regular hypocrites.



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Anan E. Maus

posted November 30, 2010 at 1:31 pm


While the way it is stated may seem ridiculous, there is something to be said for leaving social networks.
Anonymity does indeed produce a lot of craziness…people being bold in less than appropriate ways…and in overtly abusive and disgusting ways.
So, a pastor suggesting that folks might want to sit down to family dinners, go out for a walk in nature and other things that really feed the soul…may not be so crazy after all.



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