‘Purity’ advocate dumps Christianity, apologises to gays

‘Purity’ advocate dumps Christianity, apologises to gays July 27, 2019

JOSHUA Harris, who, at the age of 20, became the darling of celibacy cranks after he wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced yesterday (Friday) that he’s kissed Christianity goodbye.

Image via Facebook

In announcing his “falling away” in an Instagram post the writer and former pastor who opposed same-sex marriage, apologised to gay people, stating that he regrets his teaching on sexuality.

His announcement came after he recently said that he had his wife Shannon had agreed to separate and just remain friends. He citing “significant changes” in their thinking. Harris posted on Instagram:

We’re writing to share the news that we are separating and will continue our life together as friends.

Yesterday he added:

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.

There’s been a massive reaction on social media, with people trotting out the threadbare argument that he was never a pukka Christian to begin with. And one person posted on ChristianNews.Net:

Any time I hear of a person walking out on their faith in God, it makes me sad. I used Josh’s ‘I kissed dating goodbye’ to train my boys when they were growing up many years ago. Now, he renounces Christ and accepts homosexuality as OK? Sorry, I can’t say that heartbroken is the only thing I feel right now. Josh Harris was a learned, experienced man who swore he followed Christ, now he has “evolved?” No. He has betrayed God, betrayed his faith and betrayed all those people who listened and followed his leadership …

Harris said that, over the past few years he has been “repenting” of the views he once held to and taught.

I have lived in repentance for the past several years — repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few.

But he added that he specifically has had an about-face about the issue of homosexuality, and asked for forgiveness.

I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality. I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.⁣⁣

He closed by remarking that while he appreciates prayers from his Christian friends, he is not sorrowful but rather optimistic about his departure from the faith.

I can’t join in your mourning. I don’t view this moment negatively. I feel very much alive, and awake, and surprisingly hopeful …

Harris is the former senior pastor of Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, the founding church of Sovereign Grace Ministries. He left his position in 2015 and moved to Canada to attend Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The following year after leaving Covenant Life Church, Harris explained in an interview with NPR that he was rethinking his approach to romantic relationships.

Harris, who also authored the books, Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship, and Sex Isn’t the Problem: Lust Is, had taught since 1997 that Christians should be different from the world, including in their dealings with the opposite sex.

He urged Christians to not engage in recreational dating, outlining the downsides of the common practice, but to be purposeful about finding one’s spouse for life and to consider the courtship model instead.

When God knows you’re ready for the responsibility of commitment, He’ll reveal the right person under the right circumstances.

Last year, Harris released a formal statement advising that he no longer believes Christians shouldn’t date and asked his publisher to stop printing I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

While I stand by my book’s call to sincerely love others, my thinking has changed significantly in the past twenty years. I no longer agree with its central idea that dating should be avoided. I now think dating can be a healthy part of a person developing relationally and learning the qualities that matter most in a partner.

Meanwhile Shannon Harris said earlier this week that she still believes in God, but also included the hashtag #deconversion in one of her posts.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Mike Panic

    When I left the church 60 years ago I felt much better about myself.

  • Duncan R. Bryson

    I looked up the comments re his books on Amazon. They range from glowing to “don’t buy” etc. I can imagine what those enthusiastic people would now say.

  • kaydenpat

    He’s moving in the right direction which is great. But I hope he does more to undo the harm he caused through his books and ministry.

  • Raging Bee

    The most he can do is publish another book explaining why his previous books were wrong — but the people who most need to read that book are the ones least likely to even see it, let alone read it. I suppose he could do podcasts attacking his earlier errors head-on — his earlier audience might me more likely to sneak peeks at that than to be seen buying and reading a book of 69balls-out apostasy.

  • ephemerol

    1997: “When Gоd knows yоu’re ready for the reѕpоnsibility of cоmmіtment, He’ll reveаl the rіght persоn under the rіght cіrcumstances.

    2019: “Gоd dоesn’t dо jаck ѕhіt.

  • persephone

    I’d heard that Shannon was leaving the church, or, that church specifically, but the assumption was that Josh was staying in. Well, well, well. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next few months.

  • Jim Jones

    I wonder if he’s going gay.

  • kaydenpat

    Anything is possible.

  • fractal

    Fundamentalism is the beginning of spiritual awareness, not the end of it.
    As one grows internally, the message changes and evolves too.
    There are more ways to Divinity than there are rays of the sun.

    I wish them both well and happy adventures!

  • rubaxter

    Let’s see what direction he caroms off into now to make a living.

    Let’s hope it’s not as destructive as before, which STILL needs to bite him in the ar&#8203se because he’ll never undo the damage and pain he’s DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR.

  • rubaxter

    He’ll NEVER undo that harm.

    But, hey, I’m sure he’ll find a way to forgive himself.

  • rubaxter

    Wow, what are your ‘wishes’ for all the people he’s fec&#8203ked over with his big&#8203otry? This wasn’t just a case of self-harm.

    You really should mention them, too, SHOULDN’T YOU?

    Otherwise, you’re just the typical woo-woo apologist, ignoring the wrack and ruin ‘Divinity’ causes, whatever that’s your code word for.

  • rubaxter

    Yeah, but I’ll bet you didn’t leave a ‘body count’ in your wake.

  • rubaxter

    Yeah, but I’ll bet you didn’t leave a ‘body count’ in your wake like this je&#8203rk, did you?

  • keepitreal

    This is precisely why YOU DO YOU. Your parents (controlling Christian etc.) may not like it, but, at the end of the day or 10 or 20 years, you will have earned wisdom that is 100% based upon YOUR choices. You won’t have to re-start age 20 at 50 to discover who YOU really are. Not who your parents PLANNED for you to be, not who some guy who knows NOTHING about life suggest you be, but who YOU are.

  • Mike Panic

    True. I did reduce the body count several years ago by getting my name stricken from the rolls

  • Wild Bill

    Sounds like you have experienced a lot of damage as a result of Mr. Harris’ books. You are posting a lot of comments here expressing deep insecurity and incredible fragility. Maybe seek counseling if one man’s worldview can affect you so much? In 2019 we call you a “snowflake.”

  • fractal

    People evolve.
    I don’t have to mention the harm he promoted; He did.
    Celebrate his return to sanity and embrace him.
    That way, he can begin to undo the harm he has caused.

    If we castigate him after he has repented AND changed his POV, then we are as rigid and unforgiving as he was.

    People who have left everything they used to believe, and the community they loved, need a soft place to land, and a new community.
    Allow him to change and grow and become a spokesperson for those he harmed—he has a powerful chance to do some good right now—let’s not let revenge stifle that.

  • fractal

    He also was a victim; remember that.

    It is kinda like how sexually abused girls are fetishes for us to be horrified about—until the day they turn 18.
    Then Suddenly, they are “damaged goods” and “fair game” for men who want to objectify and abuse them.

    In fact, good people will offer up prostitutes (most of whom were severely abused children) as a “cure” for nasty/violent sex offenders, as if they are rubber dolls.

    Josh was brainwashed as a child.
    His personal growth took an early detour down Fundamentalism Lane.
    When you take that kind of detour, it is a long and lonely walk back to the main road.
    The fact that he did it at all should be joyous news.

  • Matt G

    I’d never heard of these people until a week or two ago, but now I want popcorn!

  • Matt G

    Christians excel at forgiving themselves. Saves God the effort.

  • JMurman

    Jesus in Matthew 10: 32-33 “Therefore whoever confesses me before men, him I will also confess before my Father who is in Heaven. But whoever denies me before men, I will also deny before my Father who is in Heaven.”

    Using Christ to make money, then denying Him is not good for ones eternal soul.

  • Conuly

    Putting aside the fact that “souls” are ill-defined and don’t exist, people are allowed to change their minds.

  • Barry Duke

    Nice fella, this blood-thirsty god of yours. We should be thankful it’s just a figment of your warped imagination.

  • swbarnes2

    Josh Harris was a learned, experienced man

    It’s hilarious how Christians sincerely think that a 20 year old telling them what they what to hear must be “learned” and “experienced”.

  • fractal

    I bet someone gave Josh and Shannon some ‘shrooms…
    That’ll get ya thinkin’…

  • Sophotroph

    Hold up there, snowflake. It’s 2019. You might want to check the fragility you’re displaying yourself before you start accusing others.

    These days we call people like you, “hypocrites”.

  • Alex GalCal

    I think he did the right thing, because in the churches there are many with the appearance of mercy but inside they are false prophets, wolves disguised as sheep, and Jesus said so, who builds a house if he does not first evaluate if he will be able to finish it? He decided not to finish it and it’s fine, because it’s also better to be cold than lukewarm, “I wish you were cold because you’re lukewarm I’ll throw you out of my mouth” … If he is no longer a follower of Christ, it is better to be honest than to follow and just looking, the judgment would be worse for him …