Facebook leads us to sinNovember 18, 2010 @ 3:25 am (Updated: 3:46 pm - 3/28/11 )
Thou shalt not use Facebook.
Of course that is not one of the 10 Commandments, but a New Jersey pastor says the social media network might be responsible for leading couples to break a couple of the Christian Commandments - thou shalt not commit adultery and though shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
The Reverend Cedric Miller tells the Associated Press 20 couples among the 1,100 members Living Word Christian Fellowship have run into marital trouble in the past six months after a spouse connected with an ex-flame on Facebook.
"I've been in extended counseling with couples with marital problems because of Facebook for the last year and a half. What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups," he says. "The temptation is just too great."
The AP says he has ordered about 50 married church officials to delete their accounts with the social-networking site or resign from their leadership positions.
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.
His interview with the AP on this was just a warm up for Sunday. He's preparing a sermon to "strongly suggest" that all married people stop using Facebook, lest they endanger their marriage.
"I won't mandate it for the entire congregation, but I hope people will follow my advice," Miller says.
A Seattle-area couple might agree with his suggestion. Earlier this year I wrote a story about a local couple who believes Facebook is the biggest threat to marriage in 2010.
Anyone who's spent even a few minutes on the social media site knows it's very easy to reconnect with old high school sweethearts and past flings. That's what Kelli and Jason Krafsky found out first hand.
"I came across some old high school flames, one in particular, that really all of a sudden started to spark some uneasy feelings within Jason," Kelli says.
"And not really even understanding why," her husband Jason continues. "I felt jealousy for the first time."
After that experience, they both examined what they could gain from being in touch with people they were intimate with in the past. Their answer? Nothing. Now they advise other couples to ignore friend requests from past loves, and don't go looking for them.
With a "Dear Abby meets Facebook style," the Krafskys answer 120 questions about protecting your marriage from social media troubles in their book Facebook and Your Marriage.
"Couples today just don't seem to have the boundaries with themselves that our parents' generation had with one another," Kelli says.
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