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Facebook Pastor Only Plans to Leave Post Temporarily

By Boyce Watkins, PhD

Cedric Miller is known nationally as “the Facebook Pastor,” after telling his congregation to ban Facebook in order to save their marriages. Miller went as far as telling his church leaders that if they didn’t give up their Facebook accounts, he would remove them from their posts.

It turned out that Pastor Miller may have had his own reasons for fearing Facebook. The popular social-networking site may have been linked to the affair the pastor had involving his male assistant and his wife. Whether it was swinging, bisexual activity or something else, most of us know that a preacher shouldn’t be “getting freaky” at bible study (which is where much of the sex allegedly took place, according to court testimony).

Pastor Miller took his humiliation like a man. In a public display of what seemed to be sincere contrition, the pastor told his church that he would step down in response to his being exposed for living a double life. The problem was that his reaction was only temporary: Rather than giving up his post permanently, the pastor plans to leave for just a little while and return in 90 days. In other words, it seems that he plans on stepping down long enough for the controversy to cool itself off, and then it may be back to business as usual.

Miller, who is the pastor at the Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune Township, N.J., received a vote of confidence as the church’s spiritual leader before making his decision public. He also said that he came to his conclusion after “prayer and thoughtful consideration” by the members of the board, according to the church’s spokesperson.

Miller must be given credit for attempting to take a stand against something that does play a role in undermining the sanctity of the marital bond in quite a few families across America. There is nothing wrong with a person learning from his mistakes and using that as credibility when admonishing the actions of others. It would have been better had Miler “fessed up” from the beginning, rather than trying to appear holier than thou.

The challenge for Pastor Miller, however, is that he can’t stop people from using Facebook. Facebook, and sites like it, are never going to go away. The only thing we can do is learn to live in a world where human beings are interconnected. Telling people to stop using Facebook and other sites is like telling men to stop going to work because women are going to be there.

As for his own personal choices, I openly wonder if Pastor Miller might be perceived to be a hypocrite for having a zero-tolerance policy toward members of his church who possess flaws that are not nearly as dramatic as his own. I also fear for the black community, which puts a tremendous amount of faith in quite a few spiritual leaders whose spirits are not nearly as pure as we are led to believe. Rather than being told what to believe by our so-called spiritual leaders, perhaps it makes sense for us to simply think for ourselves.

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