A Maryland-based megachurch pastor and I Kissed Dating Goodbye author Joshua Harris recently declared on his Instagram that he is no longer a Christian.
Harris defined the phase he’s going through as “deconstruction”. He went on to describe it by saying, “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.”
Just a week ago, Harris announced on Instagram that he and his wife would be separating.
As per the lengthy post of Harris on IG, it was not just his wife and his Christian faith that he turned his back on, he also reversed his stance on LGBTQ community. He even apologized to them for the views which he had been so strongly advocating before.
“To the LBGTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality,” stated Harris. “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.”
Here is the full text of the Instagram post:
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.”
6,778 Likes, 5,770 Comments – Joshua Harris (@harrisjosh) on Instagram: “My heart is full of gratitude. I wish you could see all the messages people sent me after the…”
In fact, Harris denounced the ideas presented in his popular book I Kissed Dating Goodbye about three years ago. According to Faithwire, Harris stated that he no longer agreed with the central idea of the book, which was to avoid dating. He made a turnaround and embraced a contrary idea that dating was “a healthy part of a person developing relationally.”
The Christian community is shocked by Harris’ recent announcements. Many called for prayers to help Harris in this difficult period.