Over the past two weeks I have heard a lot about Joshua Harris and his departure from not only his wife, but from Christ and the Church. This story is heartbreaking to me, as is any story about someone getting divorced or leaving their faith in Jesus Christ.
I read his two books nearly fifteen years ago, and they weren’t life-shattering. My family taught and upheld basic Christian sexual ethics already. The main message of his books were simply nice anecdotes in support of views I already held.
The title, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, was memorable.
I was only fifteen or so at the time I read the book, so I wasn’t really taking notes about concerns that might arise. That being said, I usually have a very critical eye for things like this and would expect to notice any blatant heresies or major red flags in the book. I don’t remember any. And I haven’t seen any quotes from the book recently that cause me any concern. It is simply a restatement of basic Christian Sexual Ethics written for a younger audience.
So I was a bit surprised to hear that Joshua Harris repudiated his book a few years ago. His public statements about why he rejected the books were only focused on the harm people were caused by those who misapplied his book.
I don’t think Joshua Harris still upheld basic Christian Sexual Ethics even then. If he didn’t uphold the Christian Sexual Ethic that his book taught, it would be natural for him to repudiate his books. But he hadn’t yet repudiated Christianity. That other shoe had not yet dropped.
Well now it has. And it’s very honest.
If Christian Sexual Ethics are not true, then shouldn’t all of Christianity be rejected? Christianity is either true or it is not. If it is not true in the whole, why would we ever hold on to a part?
Joshua Harris’s announcement that he was leaving Christianity made me sad, but I wasn’t really surprised. Once someone rejects basic Christian Sexual Ethics, I don’t think it will be long before they reject Christianity itself. They may argue that they’re only rejecting the way that Christianity is being applied, but that doesn’t really work. Christianity is a religion based on a static source material – the Bible. The Bible doesn’t change. The sexual ethics the Bible teaches have been the same from the beginning.
God created human beings in his likeness, and he made them male and female. These image bearers were directed to be fruitful and multiply, which is done sexually. The way to be fruitful and multiply is for the man to leave his father and mother and become one with his wife. (Genesis 1:26-28; Genesis 2:24)
This is Christian Sexual Ethics. Everything outside of this is wrong.
Joshua Harris has rejected Christian Sexual Ethics. So it wasn’t really a surprise to hear that he has now rejected Christianity itself.
The only reason I want to write about this story is because of something Joshua Harris said in his announcement (on Instagram) about leaving Christianity.
Here is the excerpt that caught my attention:
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.
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: Christian Post, Sean Maguire