NJ Pastor Calls Facebook A Marriage Killer

NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP, N.J. (AP/ 1010 WINS/WCBS 880) — A New Jersey pastor is giving his married church leaders an ultimatum: delete Facebook or resign.

Rev. Cedric Miller likens Facebook to the serpent in the Garden of Eden luring Eve to taste the poisoned fruit.

Miller said a large percentage of his marital counseling over the past year and a half has included infidelity stemming from the social-network website.

“One or the other spouse is on Facebook and reconnects with an old flame,” Miller said. “It’s even gone to the point where there have been inappropriate reconnections.”

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. He had previously asked married congregants to share their login information with their spouses and now plans to suggest that they give up Facebook altogether.

Just like an alcoholic, the pastor wants his married followers to go cold turkey.

“You need to drive a different route home if you can not pass that liquor store without stopping,” Miller told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “We set the example, that’s what we do, and people will do what we do.”

1010 WINS Steve Sandberg reports

WCBS 880 Levon Putney reports one Pastor says ‘I Don’t’ to Facebook

The leader of Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune Township says people no longer meet old friends from high school in a platonic way. He says Facebook is igniting old passions.

“In and of itself there’s nothing wrong with it, but from a Christian worldview perspective to reconnect with a past love while you’re married is absolutely inappropriate,” Miller said.

Miller is married and has a Facebook account that he uses to keep in touch with six children, but he will heed his own advice and cancel his account this weekend.

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.”

Miller said he has spoken from the pulpit before about the dangers of Facebook, asking married couples to give each other their passwords to the site.

“Some did. Others got scared and deleted their accounts right away. And some felt it was none of my business and continued on,” he said.

Miller said he has gotten a mostly positive response so far among the leaders subject to his edict.

Pat Dawson, a minister at the church, uses her Facebook account to see photos of her relatives. She is unmarried and therefore not required to delete her account, but she agrees with Miller about the dangers such sites can create.

“I know he feels very strongly about this,” she said. “It can be a useful tool, but it also can cause great problems in a relationship. If your spouse won’t give you his or her password, you’ve got a problem.”

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used or been faced with evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites in divorce cases over the last five years.

About one in five adults uses Facebook for flirting, according to a 2008 report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. And a do-it-yourself divorce site in the United Kingdom, Divorce-Online, reported late last year that the word “Facebook” was appearing in about one in five of the petitions it was handling.

Miller says there are legitimate uses for Facebook, which is why he started an account a few years ago.

“People use it as an opportunity to invite others to social gatherings, to share Scripture or talk about what went on at church,” he said. “Those are all positive, worthwhile things. But the downside is just too great.”

(TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

More from Levon Putney
  • TC

    Aishat, so sad to read your cooment concerning Femi Oluwasina. The guy is a first class psychopathy, a convicted criminal and that is why he possesses all the characteristic of a conman. I am not surprised that he has those diseases. It is a shame that many people do not know him. I am sure that it won’t be long before he become a full mad man. Take care of yourself and God will give you peace.

    • Aishat Najeem


      • RUTH


      • Pst T

        I’m interested in this story

  • Kelly

    How do I contact Pastor Miller? Wanted to talk to him about facebook?

    Kelly Clark

    Cell 713-5621643

  • http://hiscrivener.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/thou-shalt-not-facebook/ Thou Shalt Not Facebook? « The Writing on the Wall

    […] meet Rev. Cedric Miller of New Jersey – a pastor who believes the forbidden fruit had a QWERTY keyboard and came with status […]

  • Glidmokk

    Attention-seeking pastors are becoming a genuine threat. In order to lift themselves out of obscurity, they undertake bizarre initiatives — like this one…and the pastor in Florida who brought international disdain on both America and Christianity with his Koran burning stunt. This Facebook gambit is in a way a copycat initiative building on the Koran case. Christians in particular should speak up and reject this kind of extremism in the same way we all hope that regular Muslims will speak up and denounce extreme Islam. This has to be corrected from within. In particular the 50 (!) church leaders should tell Pastor Jakes that they have the solid relationships and the self control to have both a spouse and a Facebook account, no problem.

  • Pastor chuks

    The devil makes use of idol hands and you are idol seems you were sacked from your job. you are slandering someones name but yet provide no evidence and continue to tell a different story all over the place. I thought you said that he infected you,raped you and refused to pay your medical bill in the other paper. Surely if he raped you and all the other girls you would have called the police, why would you just ask him to pay your medical bill. Are you mad as well as plain stupid. You are a disgruntal ex – employee, who is not a woman but actually a man, who actually has set up fake accounts on facebook to lure people into your satanic network. I know you are unemployed but why dont you work for God , instead of being in full time employment with satan.

    • Aishat Najeem

      I have replied you fake pastor chuks.

  • Job

    I believe that the pastor, as a shepherd of his flock, would be offering very wise council in alerting his congregation – especially married folks – to the potential pitfalls of using a social networking forum like FB. But to go as far as threating to fire his married leaders if they don’t quit FB is tyranical measure. What if some quit FB but maintained their flirtings through telephone calls? Would he ask them to get rid of their phones? I think people should not be forced to make these choices.

  • Jaclyn

    I am not changing my opinion, but I feel that maybe I shouldn’t have posted a comment the way I did earlier and want to make an apology because as a woman, I don’t want to overstep my God-given role.

  • Christina Rogers

    I don’t understand how most of you can put the blame on facebook. It’s not facebooks fault that you can’t control yourself. If you are a person who can’t control yourself, then don’t go on it. Seriously people.

  • Danielle

    Although I’m not married, but will be in about a year or so, I agree with what he says. My boyfriend has a facebook, but I have his password and I’m the only friend he has on there. He has my password, and knows what I do on Facebook. If your married you should use Facebook to kep up with friends and family. Not use it to rekindle an old flame. I have guy friends on my Facebook, but I don’t go flirting with them like I did in high school cause they just aren’t my type. I’m in the best relationship I’ve ever been in and I intend to keep it that way. WTG Pastor Miller for setting a good example.

    • Pastor Bill

      Setting a godly example is one thing. Firing church officers for doing something that in itself is not sinful is another thing entirely. The entire internet can and has been used for evil. According to a number of reports, pornography is the largest money producing part of the media. If this pastors logic is followed to its logical end, her would fire any church officer that uses the internet. Also – to single out married officers, as though unmarried officers were immune from sexual temptation just doesn’t make any sense.. Yes – Facebook CAN be used for evil – but the site in itself is NOT evil and to require a church officer to quit using it or loose his/her office certainly verges on legalism that is based on one man’s convictions – NOT the Word of God.

  • Jaclyn

    Praise the Lord for a pastor who is willing and bold enough to speak the truth in the face of a rapidly deteriorating society. The Bible says flee temptation. People who are attacking this pastor have a serious problem and need to get right with God!

  • Robert

    I agree with the minister…Facebook is very bad for marriage..there is just too much temptation for people..and too many folks don’t respect boundaries that wern’t so freely crossed in the not so distant past.
    I choose not to get involved in any relationship….the chance of heartbreak is just too great.

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  • One christian girl

    Wow…. so many bickering church officials. How very christian-like… Umm… to each’s own opinion… Hmmm… whether it be FB or this, still has its own unique type of drama. Have a wonderful and blessed day everyone.

  • http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2010/11/17/manhunt-under-way-for-escaped-nypd-prisoner-in-nj/ Manhunt Under Way For Escaped NYPD Prisoner In NJ CBS New York – News, Sports, Weather, Traffic and the Best of NY

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  • Gaye Specht

    Oh my, always evil lurking about.!

  • j ramsey

    First let us address that Facebook is not the issue, the issue is morals and accountability. Second let us address what Pastor Miller is doing. He is a pastor of a medium size church. His job as pastor is to is to shepard his people and if his people have a fidelity problem and the problem stems from Facebook he is taking the correct stance for his congregation. As a pastor he is to take a stand on issues that are affecting people even if it is not popular. This is a huge problem with modern pastors is that they do not stand up and direct people even if it is not politically correct. My hat is off to him .All praise be to Jesus

  • mike debo

    Typical liberal society. Blame the metal gun. Not the people who shoot them. Blame the internet site facebook for cheating . Not the people who use it. Blame the bottle. Not the person who picks it up and drinks it. Blame Mcdonalds for your fat kid. Not you buying it for him/her. Etc, al., I can go on all day with this.

    • Flynn


      I wish you didn’t have to throw out the typical and tired “oh it’s the fault of the liberals” rhetoric. Fact of the matter is I consider myself a Liberal (at least on social and humanity issues) and I completely believe that it’s not the tool, but the person who wields it, who should take responsibility.

      Then again, I think almost all GOPers (with a few exceptions I know personally) believe equality and rights don’t apply to anyone who isn’t straight/white/male/rich/Christian, so I guess we’re even.

      • KPMc

        So… you went out of your way to point out that one overused label is unfair to judge all yet you lump most, if not all GOPers into another unfair stereotype?

      • Flynn

        It was meant more in a satirical sense, KPMc…

    • amen

      typical Conservative minister butting into other’s people’s private lives where doesn’t belong.

  • CSI

    This is so stupid. Facebook is not the issue. If a person cannot keep it in their pants then thats their problem. Not Facebook problem. So those people need to start looking in themselves for their marital issues. Facebook is used for plenty of things not just hooking up with old flames or other people. Get a grip.

  • Taiwo Akinola

    Strange, isn’t it? I never thought about that! I sincerely consider that this suggestion sounds like fanning a legalistic position and that’s quite awry. If someone has to stay off facebook to keep himself pure, then there is an underlining problem that ought to be rightly and quickly addressed. Albeit, I must say, if someone is wrongly hooked and must stay off facebook to be let off the hook, so let it be. It is better to stay off facebook than to face the frown of the Almighty God.

  • Abner

    When the internet was first developed some psychologists,
    (I’m a well experienced psychologist), began to indulge their need for omniscience by stating how the internet was taking people away from people and consequently leaving the person depressed—statements made out of the blue—, well, read Chekhov’s Peasants or In The
    Ravine and see in one doesn’t feel depressed at the end.
    Perhaps reading Chekhov should be discouraged

  • Pastor Bill

    Just an added note to what I posted earlier.. In Leadership Magazine there was an article about “Facebook Church” – a church service being conducted on Facebook. Now THAT is something to criticize!! “Facebook friends” are NOT face to face friends, and asserting that you can actually have “church” via Facebook is just ridiculous. Facebook is no substitute for REAL realtionships..

  • Paul Giles

    I agree with Faithful, that far too many people spend too much time on things which are not worthwhile. Years ago I checked out various social sites, and what turned me off was seeing people who had 500 or more friends. Having lots of friends is fine, I have many friends, but these people were more interested in collecting friends online than making real friends and establishing genuine friendships. I wouldn’t be with a person who enjoyed spending hours each day sifting through profiles like a junkie all strung out on people. No thanks. Live life and interact with people in the real world.

  • Pastor Bill Slack

    First off.. Isn’t it ironic that there is a “Facebook” connection at the bottom of this article? Anyway.. As a pastor, I must gently disagree with my brother. Facebook is a tool. How it is used is the issue, not that it is used at all. I have found it beneficial in keeping in touch with folks in my congregation, connecting with friends from the past, and connecting with ministries like the Center for Urban Theological Studies, Third Mill, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation etc. As a wise man once said “The abuse of something is not a legitimate argument against it.”

    • Avraham Katzin

      Your point is well taken. In Jewish tradition as well we are taught to “elevate the mundane” by using material items with potential for abuse in positive ways (one example is wine – Jews use specifically wine which can intoxicate and cause evil, in moderation – one cupful – to greet the sabbath – another example is marriage – but I don’t mean to start a debate :-))
      It is generally accepted as well that the more potential there is for bad – the greater the potential if the item is used for good. And vice versa. Facebook and social networking have tremendous potential, but they can also be extremely dangerous (sexual predators give us the extreme end of that spectrum.)
      Elevating the mundane can be more of a challenge for some people than it is for others, and it is not always a wise path for everyone. Recovering alcoholics use non alcoholic alternatives on Sabbath.
      I think the pastor feels that with regard to the internet most people are addicts. I know I am. Social networking can be especially addictive. If the pastor has influence over his congregation and can help them to curb that addiction… I personally feel that’s a good thing.
      Again – I’m not arguing that there are not positive things that can come from social networking – and the use that you describe for it is definitely an example of elevating the mundane – and you can accomplish tremendous things that way – things you could never have accomplished without the social networking. But it can be very convincingly argued that for most people the risk outweighs the potential for good.

    • Flynn

      Amen, Pastor Bill.

      To use the well known quote: Guns don’t Kill people. People kill people with guns.

      To that end, Facebook doesn’t end marriages. People already unhappy in their marriage — who have access to facebook — end marriages.

      I think my main issue is the fact that Rev. Miller is giving his congregation this ultimatum: quit facebook or resign the flock.

      He is NOT God. He is a man. He is a Religious leader who is supposed to guide his congregation to make smart choices, not throw down “or Else” orders.

      By all means, he could offer his opinion to his church. He can suggest they stop logging on. But demanding they quit FB lest they face his wrath’ is very tyrannical and a tad meglomaniacal.

  • j ramsey

    Dear B. I Choose to give all praise to Jesus, no brainwashing here I have spent years studying and have confirmed by knowledge what is the correct path to follow. And as for “getting right with the Lord” no time like the present we are not promised another day, if you see the need and desire to accept Christ you have been given Today.

  • G.J.

    If the relationship wasn’t strong to begin with, the internet will just amplifiy it even more. I understand where he’s coming from; it’s the weak ones I think he’s talking about. I myself need to get right with God. Let alone play fantasy on a social network. I recommend a key stroke type of program for those who suspect their love ones of misgivings.

  • Faithful

    This pastor is doing his job correctly. An alcoholic begins with that first drink; a druggie with that first shot. People who are addicted to porn begin with that first look. He’s trying to keep his people from falling into the lure of infidelity.

    Going a step further, our nation is falling behind others, which is partly due to time spent on unworthy things. We need to spend more time learning, creating and working toward worthwhile goals. The social networks are huge time and energy wasters.

  • Bukowski

    j ramsey, boy they brainwashed you good huh? How many times were you told to repeat “All praise be to Jesus”? Cause you can stop now…

  • j ramsey

    Bless you Flynn. But most people blame others for their problems/mistakes and do not claim responsibility. Like the alchoholic who has to reroute his drive home to avoid the liquor store most cant toy with ex-lovers and not get burned, which leads to divorce. Many marriages are in trouble cause they dont apply christian principles in their lives which should be done before spending time emailing ex-aquaintances.
    All glory be to Jesus

    • Avraham Katzin

      True. However it is always wise to avoid added temptation. The pastor was not making a prediction about possible dangers. He was speaking with the voice of experience – saying that he has to help couples whose marriages were ruined through facebook. Most people will not be able to follow his advice… it’s almost like saying don’t use the internet or don’t have a computer or a tv – but the message is an important one and people should take the idea and develop their own solutions to the problem which might address the issue – giving the user name and password to your spouse, or possibly only having a joint account as a couple are possible less extreme solutions. Personally I have chosen to avoid facebook and social networking for exactly this reason – and although my wife makes her own decisions – I have asked her to do the same.
      A Jewish Admirer of A Courageous Approach to A Serious Social Challenge

  • Marcus Gbatongoh Sesay

    You can remain faithful to your partner if you are honest. facebook has helped me reconnect with my friends abroad. I do make friends doesn’t mean i have cheat my love one.

  • Flynn

    Really J? Wise Counsel? How about this counsel: Learn Restraint.

    With all due respect to the Pastor, if someone is going to allow a reconnection on Facebook with an ‘old flame’ to sway them from their spouse or loved one, then perhaps the bonds of that relationship weren’t as strong as the couple thought.

    It’s very convenient for everyone to throw blame rather than take responsibility for their actions. Kids are acting bad? Must be that awful music they are playing. Boss fired you? Couldn’t be because you slacked off all day, could it? Now it’s Facebook’s fault that someone’s spouse cheats on them?


  • Nico

    Is this a pastor? The fruit was forbidden, not poisoned. tasting it did not lead to a divorce between Adam and Eve, so the comparison goes mank.

  • Don

    There are all kinds of temptations. You can have an office affair if that’s what you want. If you can’t be on on facebook without going astray then you have serious issues that won’t go away by turning off facebook.

  • j ramsey

    Very wise counsel for those who want to stay married. Thanks to Pastor Miller for telling it how it is despite the truth being unfavorable to the public.
    All praise be to Jesus

  • C.J.

    All b.s.

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