(Photo: AP Images / The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld)
A New Jersey pastor is requiring all married church officials to delete their Facebook accounts in the wake of increasing marital troubles in his church.
The Rev. Cedric Miller of Living Word Christian Fellowship Church told The Associated Press that he has been in extended counseling with many couples because of problems posed by Facebook – namely a spouse connecting with an old flame.
"What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations and there have been physical meet-ups. The temptation is just too great," he told AP.
Church leaders have until Sunday to permanently sign off Facebook or resign from their positions. Miller also plans to delete his account this weekend.
Miller isn't the only one seeing Christian couples run into trouble because of the popular social networking site.
Texas pastor Kerry Shook of Woodlands Church told The Christian Post earlier this year that he has seen at least one marriage break up over connections made with a past girlfriend or boyfriend on Facebook.
"When you start playing around with that kind of thing, you think it's no big deal. 'They friended me. I'll find out what's going on with them.' [When] you start down that path, you know where that path ends," the megachurch pastor stated then.
At Living Word Christian Fellowship Church, Miller said the misuse of Facebook has posed problems for 20 couples.
Miller plans to warn his entire congregation this weekend about the dangers of Facebook. The mandate to delete one's account, however, won't apply to the congregation.
He told Asbury Park Press that though some may see his action with the church staff as controlling, he's more concerned about saving families and marriages.
Living Word Christian Fellowship Church is more than 20 years old and draws some 1,100 attendees.