I read this article after it was posted by my pastor’s wife. I figured I’d dust off the ol’ blog here and give my opinion on it, because believe me, I have one.

Ok, first of all, let me get this out of the way: I have VERY strong opinions on adultery. The people I love and care about the most in this world have been deeply affected by it. I do not take it lightly. If you are a friend of mine and you do it, chances are we won’t be friends after I find out about it. Yes, I know all about forgiveness. Yes, I know it’s a sin like any other. But once trust is broken, whether it be in a marriage or a friendship, it’s hard to regain that trust.

With that said…

Are you KIDDING me?! I’m sorry, but Facebook is NOT the cause of these affairs. The hearts and minds of the people committing the adultery is what is causing it. Personal responsibility has apparently gone the way of the dodo bird. I have a very good feeling that these couples would be in the same exact position had they had Facebook accounts or not. There are entire websites specifically devoted to helping MARRIED people find someone with which to have an affair, so I know it’s not just Facebook causing the issue.

If a marriage is going to be affected by adultery, it’s going to be affected by adultery. Not using a particular website is NOT going to stop that. Those marriages obviously had issues BEFORE these old flames were reconnected with on Facebook.

Full disclosure: Both SuperDad and I have Facebook accounts. Neither of us has the other one’s log in information. We both have former boyfriends/girlfriends on our accounts. Neither one of us cares and we know this because we have openly discussed it with each other. If one of us was to become uncomfortable with someone on the other person’s account, we would just ask them to delete that person. It’s called mutual respect and it is VITAL to a marriage. If I have specific communication with an ex I tell SuperDad about it out of respect to him as my husband. He has done the same with me.

This pastor forcing his church leaders to give up their account is totally missing the target when it comes to dealing with marital issues. Yes, I will admit, there are probably some people who should not have Facebook accounts because it can lead to trouble. But, I will say it again: The problem is NOT Facebook. The problem is that these people have hearts and minds prone to that kind of distraction in their marriage. Address THAT issue, Rev. Miller. Focus on healing the issues in the marriage that cause these spouses to be looking elsewhere to begin with and then you might actually make a difference.

And shouldn’t he be forcing ALL church leadership, not just those that are married, to give up these accounts? If you’re going to make that demand of the married folks, why not the single? Why not be concerned that Facebook could connect those single leaders with someone with whom they could have a premarital sexual relationship?

One of the comments on the article pretty much hit the nail on the head. What is right for some is not right for others:

“Facebook doesn’t cause marital problems anymore than guns kill people. People are the ones responsible and saying social media is the cause of something takes away personal responsibility. Anyone who can’t deal with the temptation of an ex’s friend request shouldn’t accept the request in the first place. If they accept the request and things start getting too personal, they should unfriend them. If someone just can’t take the temptation at all, they should delete their account. And maybe cancel their internet service as well since there are plenty of other sites, not just facebook. In 1 Corinthians 10:27-30, Paul talks about listening to your conscience and considering others. Some things might be wrong for me but not for you, and vice versa. Someone who struggles with alcohol shouldn’t drink at all, and (I think) others should not drink in front of them. But (I also believe) enjoying a glass of wine or beer isn’t wrong. Everything in your personal Christian walk is not an absolute, although a lot is. I think the pastor has his heart in the right place, but I think he should focus on the personal responsibility of his members and trying to show that they need to walk more closely with God.”

(For some good reading on the scripture referenced in the comment, see David Guzik’s commentary on it.)

I understand that Facebook can make it a lot easier for people to reconnect with their past flames. But not EVERYONE who reconnects with an old flame is going to spark a fire. For a lot of people, those embers died out long ago and there’s nothing left to be sparked. For the old boyfriends I have on my account, I also happen to have their wives friended as well. It’s good to see people happy in their current lives and share in that with them.

If SuperDad ever wanted to see messages or anything else on my Facebook account, I would log in and give him carte blanche to look at it. Again, I have nothing to hide, so why wouldn’t I? I can say with utmost certainty that he would do the same for me. Again, mutual respect, trust and openness along with a close relationship with God – all keys to a healthy, thriving marriage. This is what works for us.

I think the pastor making such a blanket recommendation for such a large congregation is a bit on the foolish side. Making this particular demand of his married leadership, while within his rights as the pastor, makes me wonder about his own trust in that leadership. If you think a website is going to be the downfall of marriages in your church, focus on strengthening the foundation of those marriages FIRST. Then maybe the “temptation” Facebook’s ease of connecting with others presents to those already headed down that path wouldn’t be such an issue.

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