Waves and Moves of God?
I remember when the book came out. It made a splash across the Christian community like a fat kid in a public pool. We all got wet from the fall out. I was a youth pastor in a non-denominational church at the time and my heart was in the right place. I followed the river of mainstream Christianity and drowned with everyone else under the river of guilt and condemnation that always follows such movements. Remember “The Purpose Driven Life” debacle?
Thanks, Joshua, You Meant Well
The books title was called, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” by Joshua Harris (my rendition is pictured). The book was published in 2003. The church I was involved in at that time was about three hundred to three hundred and fifty congregants. We had an impressive youth group for a church of that size with about seventy teenagers. They came from the streets primarily, and we got flack from the leadership because we didn’t have more “good white kids” involved in the church. Christianity was flourishing at that time and gathering its zealous troops.
Works Based Righteousness
Christianity drove us into works based righteousness all the while we were telling people we chose “relationship over religion”. Blind as bats we were, mindlessly marching off to Easter Island, like Pinocchio, while we all turned into donkeys. The kids were all taught purity and when the book came out, you could see members of our youth group cradling their own copy. This, like any other works based righteousness had their poor teenage hormones raging.
Purity For Jesus
Around the time of the release of the book, two of our kids, Brian and Cassidy, fell in love. They both pledged themselves to purity, which was a lot harder on Brian. He was being groomed as a youth pastor and was always at the front of the church, dancing and praising Jesus. Brian was oversexed, often manic and a chick magnet. Most of the girls were drooling over Brian, but he was laser focused on Cassidy. She was meek, mild and determined to cross the marriage line a virgin. Brian and Cassidy made a vow of purity. Every single time they blew it, we had to go through weeks of counseling. The prevailing thought of Christianity was tearing them apart.
Brian and Cassidy made it to the altar, but not without a bit of tarnish on their purity bands. They fought horribly, and it even got physical with Brian blackening her eye once. They had left for ministry school so Brian could become a full fledged pastor. The school was out of state and with no support, Cassidy came running home less than two years into their marriage. They divorced and Cassidy walked away from the non-denominational church. Brian moved on to a new girl that was “on fire for God”. As an adult, he struggles with a porn addiction but hides from those he pastors. The story of Brian and Cassidy is true, but their names were changed.
Joshua’s “Diving Deep” into Deconstruction
Christianity choked on the July announcement that Joshua Harris, author of, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” and a couple follow up books, was separating from his wife. This was followed by an announcement of his impending divorce. The ball kept rolling down the hill when Joshua made other announcements even more damaging to Christianity by announcing his deconstruction from the Christian Religion. Here is his statement:
“The information that was left out of our announcement is that I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is deconstruction, the biblical phrase is falling away. By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now.”
Enter Dr. R. Albert Mohler Jr. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Dr. Mohler wrote a LONG article about Joshua Harris. As I was reading, I could feel the pulse of what he was saying, (Here is the article: https://albertmohler.com/2019/08/01/joshua-harris ) and before he went “there” I knew where he was headed. I know the Christian mind like the back of my old religious hand, and it still reminds me of how the religious train of thought goes. Dr. Mohler throws out words in his lengthy scroll like, “important, most important, extreme importance, danger, and stunning” in support of his argument that biblical purity is still a thing. He wants us to believe it’s sanctioned by God, the bible and Christendom. He’s right on the Christianity part, but he’s missing it because his theology won’t let him see the truth.
Dr. Mohler is Full of Christianity
He even tries to throw Joshua a bone by giving him kudos for being honest. Dr. Mohler then does what I used to do, what I knew he was going to do, what Christians have to do; he said that we must conclude that Joshua will either repent for turning his back on Christianity, or he was “never one of us” to begin with. I call BS, Dr. Mohler. This appears the fall back position for a bible believing Christian. “That guy just wasn’t really ours”. Not true at all. You can leave Christianity without losing your faith, Dr. Mohler. That appears to be a premise that Dr. Mohler is likely unprepared and over educated/indoctrinated to see.
The Elephant in the room IS Christianity, and its Interpretation of the Bible
Christians don’t like it when you don’t support reformation and declare what Joshua did, that it would basically be better to extinguish Christianity than to try to rework it somehow. I agree with him. I’m in favor of creating something new, something different. Joshua didn’t say he was walking away from his faith. He said he was walking away from the religion of Christianity, BIG difference. He has chosen to join the ranks of those who are deconstructing. Joshua is not alone.
Christianity, the Religion for the Religious
I applaud Joshua for his courage and for his voice in an ever-changing faith landscape. People are waking up to the fact that Christianity, whatever it may be, doesn’t cut it anymore. We have become wise to the fact that Christianity, with its rules and regulations, is a religion. Intelligent, passionate, human beings have chosen to walk away from Christianity, but not their faith, and the numbers are growing. My thinking is that something wonderful is happening and I’m fortunate to be a part of it.
Want to Learn About Deconstruction?
If you are interested in deconstruction, please go to LangleyTown.com and you will find over eighty books listed there that will help you in your journey to see the truth. I want to say a big thank you for Joshua’s courageous announcement to the LGBTQ community as well. It takes a brave heart to admit mistakes on such a public stage.
Available publications by PK Langley
PK’s Fine Art Store where you can find many of the Frustrated Grace Prints.
PK writes short stories about life. They are in the form of ebooks for $1.37 each. Get them here.
Religious Deconstruction, The Frustrated Grace Series is now available, with over two hundred comic images on Amazon. You can get a preview of every single one here.
All Things Equal, is an exposition for women and how God
sees them from a very “biblical” point of view. It was what I needed in my first push toward deconstruction. Get it here.
LangleyTown has a specific page for materials that will help you with your deconstruction. I recommend eighty books or more that you can read. Some I have read, others have come recommended by friends along the way. Find them here.
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