A New Jersey pastor a few days ago asked his married church members to delete their Facebook accounts because, he said, using that social medium encourages adultery. Facebook, in his opinion, makes it too easy for spouses to reunite with old flames or, presumably, find new ones, thus beginning a slippery slide into fooling around.
At my men’s Bible study meeting Thursday there was mixed reaction to the pastor’s edict. We split, two-two (it was a small group this week) regarding whether Facebook is a real problem or not.
Even my wife and I are divided on the issue. My argument is that Facebook (or at least its facilitating abilities) is just one of the many “temptations” dangled in our face. My belief is that if you are prone to cheat on your spouse, or are in a “bad” marriage, you don’t need the road to perdition greased by Facebook. You’ll find a way no matter what.
I may be wrong. In fact, one of the members of my Bible study is an ordained minister now in the private counseling business. He’s had infinitely more experience than I in dealing with martial discord and pulls no punches when he says that the Internet is the worst thing that’s ever happened relative to marriages in that it provides an expressway to porn addiction.
Facebook, he says, offers a similar toll-free ride to relationships that can wreck a marriage. I respect his opinion. It stems from empirical observation, not a preconceived Biblical position (i.e., conservative Christian). He knows whereof he speaks.
I’ll also admit that my view may be–I’m not sure–skewed by the fact I’m old: my testosterone tank is running low. I’m not driven by the same impulses (strength of impulses?) that I was 20 or 30 years ago. I’m on Facebook, to be frank, for commercial reasons. It’s a vehicle to promote myself as a novelist. If I connect with some old friends, or make news ones along the way, fine. Beyond that, I’m damn happy with my wife of 40-plus years.
And you, what’s your view on the New Jersey pastor’s request?