Go Forth and Spread the Good News!… but Not On Facebook November 18, 2010

Go Forth and Spread the Good News!… but Not On Facebook

***Update***: It turns out Rev. Miller admitted to having a threesome with his wife and a church assistant. I don’t care what he does in his bedroom, but I don’t recall threesomes being endorsed by the Bible as a way to show love to your wife. (And people go to this guy to get marriage counseling…?)

Rev. Cedric Miller is telling church leaders at Living Word Christian Fellowship Church that they need to delete their Facebook accounts or resign from the church. And the rest of the church should just follow their lead:

“I’ve been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half,” Miller said. “What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great.” While Miller has advised couples to give each other their Facebook passwords in the past, this is the first time he’s called for an outright ban. Of the 1,100 members of the Living Word congregation, Miller claims that 20 couples have approached him for counselling over Facebook-related marital woes. The married pastor also adds that he plans to practice what he preaches: this weekend, he’ll be cancelling his own account.

Yes, Facebook is the real problem… not the cheaters themselves.

I wonder what else Rev. Miller will force his staff members not to do next so that their marriages can stay sunny and rosy and wonderful…

  • Don’t go out by yourself. (Single people are everywhere.)
  • Don’t be in close proximity to another human (unless your spouse is right there with you).
  • Don’t ever think about going on Craigslist.
  • Don’t go on the Internet. Ever. At all.
  • Don’t even bother turning on the computer. (Nothing good can come of that.)
  • Don’t use iPhones because we know what you’re going to do with that camera feature…
  • Don’t text message anyone. (Your inevitable sexting will make the Baby Jesus cry.)
  • Don’t watch television because there may be salacious TV shows on the air. (Have you seen Bristol Palin dance?)
  • Don’t call old friends. (Conversations lead to temptation, temptation leads to affairs, and affairs lead to atheism. Obviously.)
  • Don’t go to church. (There are single parishioners and they desperately want a spouse.)

The whole premise of deleting your profile on a social networking site because you might get tempted by other people on it is silly. If your marriage can’t handle Facebook, maybe your marriage shouldn’t have happened in the first place.

I wanted to email Rev. Miller to get his thoughts on some of this but his website doesn’t even have a contact email address… This guy is not very tech savvy. Maybe that’s why he’s blaming technology for the failings of his congregation instead of the people who are going back on their wedding vows.

(Thanks to Erin for the link!)


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  • send him a fax!

  • Claudia

    Your list is tongue in cheek but I’ve seen all but the last two things said by especially conservative religious folks at one time or another.

    When I was in Jerusalem I lived in the Orthodox quarter and I happened to pick up a free newsletter, in English, that was the same as any church newsletter but for Orthodox Jews. There was a column on there by a rabbi talking about the dangers of the internet. Apparently there was a controversy going on about whether homes should not have an internet connexion at all or whether it’s groing convenience and neccesity warranted the risk of having it there, under very strict restrictions. I forget which side he was on, but I clearly recall that even the “pro-internet” side treated a net connexion like one would a nuclear power plant; useful, but extremely dangerous and requiring a lot of vigilance.

  • Said it so many times before, religion doesn’t make you good and lack of it doesn’t make you bad. The simple truth is that if you need all these restrictions imposed on you in order to keep you on the straight and narrow then your moral standing is pretty low. People who face temptation daily and ignore it, without restriction and without promise of reward or fear of punishment, are the only ones who are truly good.

  • Fingon Celebrindal

    “Yes, Facebook is the real problem… not the cheaters themselves.”

    Guns are the real problem… not the people themselves.

  • No doubt this is part of the whole “you can’t be friends with people who have parts that are different from your parts” thing also. Social media has opened up a lot of relationships that might traditionally be frowned upon, and that is no doubt causing problems. But rather than help people navigate through and learn how to deal in a healthy way with this, the only option offered is to shut it down.

    Of course, when you spend the bulk of your “sanctity of marriage” time ranting and raving about teh gays instead of actually, you know, strengthening marriages, what does one expect?

  • Eric

    This is pretty common practice in churches to demonize technology by ignorant people. Then there is the qualifications to even counsel I question.

  • It’s logical. Just ask Kirk Cameron.

  • JoeBuddha

    Next step: Wives should only leave the house accompanied by their husbands, they should dress head-to-toe in layers of cloth so no-one will be tempted by them, men should only work in places segregated by sex, and so on.

  • Luciferadi

    Oh, my goodness, Zachary Moore. Thank you for that video; I can’t stop laughing. I love how the sexy girl picture pops up randomly on a seemingly innocuous website about boating, because porn is EVERYWHERE, mwahahaha! And the end is truly horri-funny: “Okay, Lord, no more addictions . . .” (I’m glad he wasn’t addicted to puppies.)

    Wait . . . my fiance is a personal trainer . . . does this mean I have to go on a rampage with a baseball bat at Planet Fitness? I don’t think I’m in good enough shape!

  • mikespeir

    It says a lot about his teaching when the members of his own congregation can’t police themselves.

  • Having been both Muslim and Christian, I’ve always said that these religions have a great deal in common. For the most part(not completely), it’s a matter of degree, not of kind.

  • Don’t go to church. (There are single parishioners and they desperately want a spouse.)

    LOL!

    and stop twittering each other! I don’t even know what that is, but it sounds dirty.

  • cypressgreen

    Rev. Cedric Miller is telling church leaders at Living Word Christian Fellowship Church that they need to delete their Facebook accounts or resign from the church.

    If he’s not on Facebook himself (or on the computer at all), how will he know who is? LOL

  • Matto the Hun

    Don’t go to work either. Tawdry office flings, don’t you know.

  • And I always viewed Facebook as an instrument of Christian evangelism. Experiences may vary. For me, I befriended a bunch of old high-school classmates on the lead-up to a high-school reunion and most of them happened to be evangelical Christians. All they do is talk about Jesus. Of course half of them are divorced… Probably Facebook was to blame.

  • Um, could he not suggest they set all their privacy settings to friends only? And not seek out/friend anyone not in the church?

    Of course, as Jeff already pointed out, they miss a fine venue for evangelizing. I’m wondering if they sequester themself from all temptation, how do they testify?

    Zachery, that clip was funny but also disturbing. I want to take that dude’s wife aside and say hon, run for your life. If you have not yet made any babies with this fruitcake, don’t. If you have, take them and leave. If he flips out like that over a popup ad he could have just x’d out, you do not want you or the kiddies to be deemed the next thing that temps him.

  • MH

    Someone needs to teach the reverend about sampling bias.

    That said I am a non-Facebooker, largely because I don’t want to waste time dealing with it.

  • Bradm

    I don’t think the minister’s suggestion is horrible. Certainly not worth an entire post mocking him. And based on my own anecdotal evidence, social media ARE involved in someway in a lot of cases of cheating. That doesn’t mean they are the cause of cheating, but they certainly could exacerbate a tendency or problem.

    And I read the article and I saw no place that he blamed technology. He just says that there is a downside to Facebook. And he’s right – just like there is a downside to all technology.

    And as Fingon Celebrindal suggests above, you are treating technology like a neutral tool, but it isn’t. I’m assuming Hemant, based on your view of Facebook, that you are against gun control of any sort. Afterall, guns don’t kill people, people do. And the whole idea of putting limits on people’s personal liberty with respect to guns is silly. If our society can’t handle guns, it shouldn’t exist in the first place.

  • Is this not the same rationale used for committing women to Burkas and locking them in the back rooms of the house?

  • Valhar2000

    And based on my own anecdotal evidence, social media ARE involved in someway in a lot of cases of cheating.

    You think social media are involved in cheating? That’s nothing: try lymph nodes! Every single person who has been involved in an extramarital or otherwise illicit sexual or emotional affair had lymph nodes, many of them in use throughout the affair!

    The implication is clear: lymph nodes will destroy your marriage!

  • Flah the Heretic Methodist

    Likening the internet to guns is a disingenuous argument. Last time I checked, very few people had been killed by the mishandling of a laptop (and I say this as an owner of both). As people have pointed out, there is just as much proselytizing via Facebook as there is hooking up with old flames.

    The root of the problem here isn’t Facebook, but rather what might be lacking in their marriages. And all too often the church just applies more Jesus and the spouses just smile their Jesusy smiles and suffer along…until they find Bobbi Su from 10th grade on Facebook, and wow, she hasn’t changed a bit. The church can’t trump basic biology.

  • ludovico

    “close proximity” Is that the opposite of far proximity?

  • Rebecca

    “If your marriage can’t handle Facebook, maybe your marriage shouldn’t have happened in the first place.” Ummm, amen(?) to that! LOL

  • ABinMN

    Bradm – thanks for saying a lot of what I was thinking. While I don’t agree with the Reverend’s outright ban on Facebook, I think it’s unnecessarily cavalier to make the statement, If your marriage can’t handle Facebook, maybe your marriage shouldn’t have happened in the first place. It takes work and commitment to keep a marriage going, common interests and time spent together, and if one person is consumed with interests outside the marriage (no matter what the interests) people can end up growing apart. Yes, meet-ups and cheating can happen anywhere, but Facebook seems to encourage people to seek out relationships from the past, which may be remembered with rose-colored glasses. Add into the mix something missing from the marriage or a mid-life crisis, and mistakes can be made.

    There seems to be an unnecessary amount of mocking going on in this thread (lymph nodes, Valhar2000? – give us a break) and extending the argument to extremes (burkas and women not leaving the house without their husbands), when it seems to me that the same basic advice (ie. cultivate interests together and don’t go out to purposely seek “temptation”) would be given from a secular marriage counselor. It would be interesting to hear Richard Wade’s opinion on this.

    And yes, the whole guns don’t kill people argument…sorry, but it’s quite difficult for a human hand, sans gun, to deliver a bullet with the force required to kill a person.

  • Normally I would agree – just deal with it – but I have seen over and over people get their feelings hurt by Facebook. You WANT to be oblivious to it all, but old feelings, feelings of exclusion or immature behavior happens. I think that, of course, couples should talk about it and be mature, but pretending that hurts don’t happen isn’t responsible either. Unlike anything I have seen in 20 years Facebook has the potential to bring people together and to leave them feeling left out. It is like the playground all over.

  • Danny Wuvs Kittens

    abin, nobody uses a bullet without a gun to kill someone(They use a knife, poison, strangling, bludgeoning, etc.). You didn’t address the argument at all.

    Facebook makes it easier to be tempted
    therefore, people shouldn’t have facebook accounts.

    Guns make it easier to kill people
    therefore, people shouldn’t have guns

    “They’re different” Yes, they are, but that’s not an argument.

  • every day that goes by makes me more glad i don’t “do” facebook. cripes, what a timesink.

    but i’m glad it has the power to scare preachers. that tells me a lot about it. technology is the greatest single threat to religion ever, and the preacher may be bright enough to understand why. if his flock is using facebook for casual cheating hook ups, what else are they using the internet for? perhaps they are… reading dangerous atheist websites and questioning their belief! oh noes!

  • JSug

    At least they are internally logical. A marriage blessed by god can’t possibly have inherent problems, right? So if there is marital discord, it must be due to some external influence. Conclusion: Satan is in the tubes!

  • Try, lwcf1947@gmail.com, email address. I found that their Church Calendar is just a google calendar for that gmail account.

    It is a common process for Religious persons to blame external things for their own lack control. Heaven forbid (excuse the pun), they should have to use their own will to resist temptation. After all, don’t they teach that we are all just weak welled sinners? We can not help ourselves and need a higher power to tell us poor sad sinners what we should do!!!! I know sarcasm, sorry, I find it just so stupid really.

  • Here is my take on this issue, agree with me or not!

    The problem is that with most people not just religious people, they do not exercise their will power on a regular bases. Your will to do things difficult has to be used or like many other abilities you loss control of it.

    I dislike it when I hear talk of, “Oh, it’s just to hard.” “I just had to have it.” “Oh it brought back feels, that I just got sweep’d away by them.”

    No concern that their actions affect everyone around them and sometimes beyond. All actions are like dropping a stone in water, the rings expand out to affect everything around it.

    Get a grip on yourselves and use your minds, think of others before yourself.

  • heironymous

    Hemant – isn’t he just telling church leaders to cancel their accounts so they have face-to-face meetings with their “flock” rather than just using facebook?

  • Rabid

    Danny, the “argument” is that whereas social networking actually has many practical applications beyond the negative effects that could possibly be caused by it, a gun does not.

    The sole purpose of a firearm is to kill another living being. End of story. They are NOT comparable.

    But I still don’t do Facebook. 😛

  • Alexis

    Whatever happened to stoning adulterers to death? Taking away their facebook and giving them some counseling just isn’t biblical.

  • Jeff

    Administrative Contact :
    Davis, Carlton
    cdavis@cdpcommunications.net
    P.O. Box 1251
    Asbury Park, NJ 07712
    US
    Phone: 732-927-5259
    Fax: (732) 502-8848

  • Valhar2000

    ABinMN:

    Yep, lymph nodes. Not just any old boring run of the mill nodes, but real actual honest to goodness lymph nodes! Sometimes mockery, much like the lymph nodes, is absolutely essential.

  • Vas

    There seems to be an unnecessary amount of mocking going on in this thread

    Oh do tell… exactly what amount of mocking is the necessary amount. All hail the law giver. Hint – if you want people to follow your rules you should at least be sure to be the first to post so we all know the rules before we post, not that we will follow them but we should at least have the chance to review your rules before the fact. Or you could just set up your own blog and make the rules for posting and remove any posts you don’t like, that should work fine, good luck with that.
    Cheers to Chicago, Dyke facebook is an incredible time timesink. I don’t do it either for just that reason.

  • No. 5 – // Don’t even bother turning on the computer. (Nothing good can come of that.) //

    Haha! Didn’t the pope declared several weeks ago that all these “technologies are confusing us?”

    Senile old people.

  • bernerbits

    Don’t even bother turning on the computer. (Nothing good can come of that.)

    As a programmer, I find a lot of truth in this statement. Then again, 10 years in the industry may have left me a touch jaded.

  • Danny Wuvs Kittens

    That’s a good point Rabid, but I could argue that sometimes killing is nessesary, and guns provide an advantage. There are a lot of people who are two, three or four times stronger than me/better fighters than me, while they’re aren’t many people who have such an advantage when I have a gun in my hand.

    Of course, there’s always going to be people who are better shots than me, but its still a more level playing field than if you’re talking about pure physical defense.

    Moreover, I know 30 people who could take me down without suffering anything(other than legal consequences, but people rationalize those”prison isn’t bad” “they won’t catch me” moreso than the threat of immediate physical violence, and additionally, its going to take the police at least 15 minutes to get to me, I shudder to think what could be down in that period of time.)

    While most people fighting me would walk away with bruises, maybe some bite marks tops, probably much less than that. I wouldn’t walk away at all.

    With a gun, there’s a much greater risk. All I need to cause serious damage/death is to pull the trigger. Even if they have a gun, they have to be very accurate to render me immediately ineffective, enough to save themselves. As long as I still have use of my finger, I’m still a threat.

    Look, if you want to start suggesting ways to control/ban the 300+ MILLION guns in the U.S(more than 1 for every man, woman, child and baby), and provide a better, effective protection against violence, then great, and I’ll stand by you.

    Until then, I’ve got a 12 gauge beside my bed and 20 rounds in my nightstand drawer and, once I reach the legal age of 21, I will get a concealed carry permit and a handgun.

  • snkillerbeast

    Check this out! It is not a spam. A religious group in Brazil says that USBs are bad.

  • Heidi

    @heironymous:

    Hemant – isn’t he just telling church leaders to cancel their accounts so they have face-to-face meetings with their “flock” rather than just using facebook?

    No, he’s ordering the church officials and requesting of the congregation that they cancel their Facebook accounts.

    Because of the problems, he is ordering about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts with the social networking site or resign from their leadership positions.

    And

    On Sunday, he plans to “strongly suggest” that all married people to stop using Facebook, lest they endanger their marriage.

    “The advice will go to the entire church,” he said. “They’ll hear what I’m asking of my church leadership. I won’t mandate it for the entire congregation, but I hope people will follow my advice.”

  • Stephen P

    @snkillerbeast: the USB thing is an Onion-style joke. See the comment from tiagombp on that thread.