‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye’ author divorcing, says he’s no longer a Christian

Back in the late ’90s, Joshua Harris wrote the book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”, sparking a cultural revolution among evangelicals where couples began to court each other instead of dating in the secular sense and spawning the True Love Waits movement.

The book became a bestseller in Christian circles, but was panned by the secular crowd for discouraging friendships between men and women and some of those critics said the book shamed women for sexual desires.

Then, shockingly in 2016 Harris said he was wrong for writing the book, stating in an op-ed for USA Today that the ideas in his book were naive and caused harm. He then asked his publisher to stop future publications of the book.

After listening to the stories and conducting a lengthy and sometimes painful process of re-evaluation, I reached the conclusion that the ideas in my book weren’t just naïve, they often caused harm. As a result, my publisher has agreed to my request to cease its publication.

The book also gave some the impression that a certain methodology of relationships would deliver a happily ever-after ending — a great marriage, and a great sex life — even though this is not promised by scripture.

Now, Harris is renouncing his faith and getting a divorce from his wife. In a post on his Instagram page, the former pastor and author says he is no longer a Christian and also apologizes to the LGBTQ community for harm he has done to them.

“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,” he wrote.

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My heart is full of gratitude. I wish you could see all the messages people sent me after the announcement of my divorce. They are expressions of love though they are saddened or even strongly disapprove of the decision.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ I am learning that no group has the market cornered on grace. This week I’ve received grace from Christians, atheists, evangelicals, exvangelicals, straight people, LGBTQ people, and everyone in-between. Of course there have also been strong words of rebuke from religious people. While not always pleasant, I know they are seeking to love me. (There have also been spiteful, hateful comments that angered and hurt me.)⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ 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.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Martin Luther said that the entire life of believers should be repentance. There’s beauty in that sentiment regardless of your view of God. 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 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.⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ To my Christians friends, I am grateful for your prayers. Don’t take it personally if I don’t immediately return calls. I can’t join in your mourning. I don’t view this moment negatively. I feel very much alive, and awake, and surprisingly hopeful. I believe with my sister Julian that, “All shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.”

A post shared by Joshua Harris (@harrisjosh) on

“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,” he writes.

“But 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 continued.

A previous post announced his divorce.

Harris didn’t say what he plans to do next, but according to his Twitter account, Harris owns a marketing and branding company. Last year, he was involved with the documentary “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye.”

 

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