Facebook doesn’t cause adultery; people do

Pastor Cedric Miller, a New Jersey minister, recently advised his married congregants to delete their Facebook accounts, saying that the … Continued

Pastor Cedric Miller, a New Jersey minister, recently advised his married congregants to delete their Facebook accounts, saying that the social media site leads Christians into the ‘temptation’ to commit adultery.

On Faith asked Mark Driscoll, a Seattle-based minister for his view on faith, marriage and technology. Driscoll’s use of social media is legendary: the NYTimes said in a recent profile that given Driscoll’s “omnipresence on Facebook and iTunes” he “is on the cutting edge of American pop culture.” (He even frequently posts date night tips for his married congregants.)

So, Pastor Mark, should Christians use Facebook? Is there a conflict between marital faithfulness and using social media?

When the Bible speaks of the center of our person–where our motives, feelings, and thoughts reside–it uses the word heart. So, to really deal with any issue, we must get to the heart of the matter.

When it comes to technology in general, and social networking in particular, the heart is simply revealed. Impatient, angry people post flame-throwing statements in haste. Boastful, narcissistic people post statements and photos constantly to ensure we do not ignore them. Dissident troublemakers post trolling inflammatory comments, seeking to have the same effect as a hose on a bees’ nest. And the perverted pursue illicit connections, including adultery, as they enjoy posting and seeing sexualized photos and statements.

To be sure, some people should avoid technology such as Facebook in the same way that alcoholics should avoid liquor stores. For them, the risks outweigh the rewards. However, to state that such technologies should be avoided because people abuse them is a grievous error. It shifts the blame from the heart to that which reveals the heart. In the same way that people abuse technology to commit adultery, some also abuse food as gluttons. But calling for an international boycott of food is not the answer, just as boycotting Facebook is not the answer. Why? Because the issue is the heart. This is why the Bible says that meeting Jesus is akin to getting a new heart with new desires for that which is good, and new disdain for that which is bad. Even if someone does not commit adultery because of Facebook, if that sin remains in their heart, they will find another way to act upon it (even if only in their mind, which counts as well, according to Jesus).

As a pastor, I use a lot of online technology, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iTunes, podcasts, vodcasts, blogging, and so on. Such information portals are opportunities for my heart and the hearts of others I interact with to be revealed and transformed. We can pray for one another, ask and answer questions, serve one another, apologize to one another, and encourage one another–the very things that God asks of us and that help our hearts to reflect his.

Mark Driscoll
Written by

  • cla4jesus

    Nice article Pr. Mark.BTW, the video above with brother Matthew where he talks during 3.28min about biblical inerrancy — the name of Jesus was not mentioned once!! Seriously, the video above sucks b/c it did not say anything about the great mystery of the bible: JESUS. Maybe you’ve heard of him.And I’m glad salvation is not about baptism, works, indulgences and extra saints mediation, it’s by faith only and faith in Jesus.Shalom

  • trmexia

    Maybe Pastor Mark should follow his own advice. Although he admits (see

  • joe_allen_doty

    I did an internet search om this man and I found out that he uses vulgarity and profanity when he talks.Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.”

  • mirebay

    So change of subject – is having a three way adultery if everyone’s state of heart is just to have a little fun?

  • Utahreb

    Technology reflects the good and bad in human nature, depending on its use. Adultery? You don’t need Facebook to see adultery – just look at our Congressional members, governors and others in politics. The worst danger in Facebook and other social networks appears to be the increase in the hate, prejudice and bigotry of some posters, especially the youth. Adultery is a minor problem in my mind compared to the above dangers.

  • cla4jesus

    What’s wrong with UFC? I’m a girl and I like it. Am I a hypocrit too? C’mmon. It’s just a sport, people are not there to be beaten up and to beat and moan about the sadness of an almost millionary prize reward. Your vision of Jesus is weird TRMEXIA as some sort of a nice guy who never complains and never fights. There are passages where Jesus fashions a whip and violently drives people out of the temple in Jerusalem, along with the sheep and cattle they were selling for ritual sacrifices. He fought for the true gospel.He also violently overturns the tables of money changers and pours out all of their coins. This incident is repeated in some form or another in all four of the gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.There are other passages in the New Testament where Jesus insists that “The one who has no sword must sell his cloak and buy one,” and where he exclaims “I have come not to bring peace, but a sword.”We should all clean on the outside and inside. One cannot expect to look beautiful, but inside be full of the bones of the dead and all kinds of filth…I don’t know about you but My Jesus is a fighter and no one can take Him. Isn’t that awesome?

  • Secular

    I think social media such as Facebook should be avoided like a cardinal sin. Because you may fall prey to the proselytizers like Driscoll. Only thing they want to do is brainwash the gullible into becoming theists and join the ranks of the deluded.

  • bert8

    When M. Scott Peck, the Psychiatrist and fundamentalist wrote that “…life is difficult…” he wasn’t kidding. Challenges from each our our pasts form the basis of who we are today. A pastor who does not WELCOME the challenges of living in today’s world is a pastor not worth listening to.The task before us is living the best and most worthy life in front of us. Does that involve encounters that shake our beliefs to their core? Absolutely. Does it mean that we should withdraw from confrontations with the real world? Absolutely not.FB is the real world and then again, it is not. It is real in the sense that we find others on it showing the face that they wish us to see. It is unreal for the same reason. Aren’t all of our lives filled with this same kind of real/unreal dichotomy?That “…life is difficult…” is a given. That we can avoid the difficulties of life by burying our heads in the sand is worship to a false god.Bert Gold, Ph.D., FACMG

  • prettyrose1

    WOWOWO!!! I strongly suggest you a great s ite—Meet rich guys,—hot babies—Hollywood celebrities, who are searching for their special someone. a place to make your life better and open opportunities for you to meet the attractive sin gles. Maybe you wanna check it out or tell your friends !!!

  • mirebay

    FB reduces barriers allowing people from our past to become involved in our present. These barrier free FB re-connections can happen at any time and depending on a persons state of heart can lead to inappropriate behavior. So while I agree with the pastor that our behaviors are a reflection of our heart, this new technology sure does reduce the physical barriers, making it easier for people to act on their desires. The point I’m trying to make is that FB can make it a lot easier to act on and grow lustful desires. I suspect that folks said the same thing about the pony express, telegram and phone, but what makes FB different is the speed and ease.

  • joecarrsr

    Only 3 kinds of people exist. Those who believe there is no God. Good luck to them until their last breath on earth.Those who believe,maybe there is a God. Good luck to them also until their last breath on earth. Still a slight chance to find out.Those who believe there is a God. If so,a diligent search has to be started from the heart and soul to find God. You will if the search is sincere. When you do find God you will know it and then understand why you where searching in the first place. It really sounds simple only because it is simple. Only people make it so complicated,especially some religions. You have to start from within not from the outside.Think about this.

  • samscram

    Kudos to WmarkW for providing the link about the Neptune preacher’s ménage a trois. The time has long past since anyone able to read needed to rely on the swarming mass of piety mouthing hypocrites [sinners all, by their own admission] to explicate the ten commandments and the Beatitudes, which are all one needs to live a “Christian” life. But, to paraphrase the Savior; “And Lo the ten percenters will be with you always, even till the end of the world.”

  • WmarkW

    Only 3 kinds of people exist. Those who believe there is no God…Those who believe,maybe there is a God…Those who believe there is a God.

  • ZZim

    Ed, we’re discussing morality here, not the source of our immorality.Your point is that we have a naturally propensity toward adulterous behavior. You are totally correct. In today’s article, one minister says that this natural propensity for sin is too powerful for us to responsibly use social media like facebook. Then the other minister came along and said “no, we resist this sin everywhere else, no reason we can’t resist it online.”Oh yeah, kudos to Mark for the link, lol.

  • rjpal

    The reason why fidelity is important is that children need a stable environment as they are growing up. There is too close a connection between infidelity and the break up of families to be ignored.When people choose to have children, they should accept certain restrictions on their “freedom” until the children are grown up.

  • rjpal

    “Facebook doesn’t cause adultery; people do”Can one assume that the person who wrote this headline is also opposed to gun control on the grounds that guns don’t kill people, people do?

  • joe_allen_doty

    I don’t know where Mark Driscoll got his formal theological education; but, he proof-texts scriptures (takes them completely out of their original spiritual, cultural and historical contexts) to suit his own agendas.He doesn’t like gay people. He claimed in one of his talks about homosexuality, “God created Eve.” But, God never named any human being “Eve.” It literally states that LORD God (YHWH Elohim in Hebrew – Elohim is PLURAL) created an “ezer neged” when THEY discovered the adam (not a proper name but is really the Hebrew word for human being) was lonely. Well, “neged” translated as “meet” in the KJV Bibles (does not mean “mate) literally means “comparable to” or “identical to.” And “ezer” is the MASCULINE Hebrew word for “mate” or companion. “Ezeroth” is the feminine version of the Hebrew word. LORD God didn’t call the 2nd human “woman;” the 1st human did. LORD God called all human beings male and female “adam.” The plural of “adam” is still spelled the same way. It’s a collective noun like our word “sheep.’

  • lepidopteryx

    People were committing adultery long before there was such a thing as Facebook. Those who are going to cheat are going to cheat, regardless of what media or other communications devices are available for making arrangements. Those who aren’t going to cheat are going to refrain, no matter how many social networks they belong to.

  • A_Beautiful_Letdown

    Thank you Mark for an article speaking truth against a gerneration that looks for every reason to take the blame off them! i.e. Facebook made me cheat, guns kill people.