Joshua Harris Has Left Christianity

Discussion in 'Christian Fellowship' started by Ms. Tarabotti, Jul 29, 2019.

  1. Ms. Tarabotti

    Ms. Tarabotti Well-Known Member

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    Joshua Harris, a former pastor who wrote relationship book, says his marriage is over and he is no longer Christian
    By Rob Picheta, CNN



    Updated 3:05 PM ET, Mon July 29, 2019


    [​IMG]

    Josh Harris, author of 'I Kissed Dating Goodbye.'
    (CNN)A former pastor who wrote a bestselling book on traditional relationships has confirmed the end of his marriage, apologized for opposing LGBTQ rights and announced he is no longer a Christian.

    Joshua Harris' book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," which railed against sex before marriage and homosexuality, sold over 1 million copies and became a fixture in Christian youth groups after coming out 22 years ago.
    But Harris now says the 1997 work "contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry," and that he has "undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus."
    Writing on Instagram, he added: "By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian."


    "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," Harris wrote in the post.
    [​IMG]

    The cover of Harris' book.
    "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 went on.
    Harris previously confirmed his divorce in a separate post last week, announcing the end of his 21-year marriage after realizing that "significant changes have taken place in both of us".
    [​IMG]

    A group of Christians attended a pride parade to apologize for how they've treated the LGBT community

    His book encouraged young people to avoid dating and remain celibate before marriage. It includes numerous sections on the dangers of lust, such as one in which Harris wrote: "Lust is a problem. And God hates it. So should you."
    The book also featured a passage in which Harris described being "checked out" by three gay men. "I'll never forget the anger and disgust I felt at that moment," he wrote. "It was so wrong, so filthy."
    Harris has disavowed his book on a handful of occasions in recent years, including during a 2017 TEDx Talk called "Strong Enough to be Wrong."
    He wrote a handful of other books, including "Sex is Not the Problem (Lust is)" and "Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship."



    Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
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    • [​IMG]
      harrisjosh
      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.”
      3d
     
  2. Maracujá

    Maracujá November 2019 --> 13 years natural!!!

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    My personal take on this is: many people are choosing Christianity, instead of letting Christianity choose them. The Bible often refers to 'the chosen', constantly repeating that Jesus came for 'the chosen ones'. Recently watched this video on YouTube and again, I was baffled:


    As another person said: Christianity will NEVER be popular. EVER. Nowadays people are trying to make Christianity popular through books and social media, but Jesus said the road is narrow. I see this even in church settings. People will act all kinds of nasty and profess to be Christian :/.

    I personally know a White Belgian lady, who has very strong views on homosexuality, much stronger than I could ever have. Guess what? She's not Christian at all. The more I mature, the more I realize that: there are people who claim to be Christian, who simply aren't. While there are others who are, but are simply ashamed to be faith based this day in age.

    Often times, as pastor Jerry Flowers said, you will begin to notice a pattern in your life. A pattern of blessings upon blessings that you yourself, were unaware of for the most part. You had no part in it, but by God's grace, He saved you each and every time.

    I could go on and on about this topic, but I am very interested in the views of others: @Sharpened , @Lucia , @Belle Du Jour , @Prudent1 , @blessedandfavoured , @Shimmie and all other Christian women on the board.
     
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  3. Cheleigh

    Cheleigh Well-Known Member

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    I know nothing of this guy. But it sounds to me that his view of Christianity was extreme in all but the most conservative circles. It sounds like he missed the most important tenets of Christianity--compassion, love, social justice, humility, tolerance. His brand of Christianity left no room for mistakes, doubt, reflection, change, growth. My six-year old said once that her mind doesn't allow her to believe in God. And I said, well, that's a personal decision that you have to figure out in your own head. Then she said she was joking. I don't know if she was or not, but my job is to show her through actions and words our family's belief system and the values important to us, but I can't force her to believe something she doesn't. His way of practicing sounds oppressive, restrictive, but scripture says that who the Son sets free is free indeed. His words were incendiary and his book's description sounds unrealistic--as a moderate Christian, I can't imagine ever handing my daughter that sort of book to read as a bible to navigate the dating world. Prayerfully, he'll be able to reflect on his self-righteous behavior and recognize that while he may not want to be considered a Christian any longer, his previous words and actions as a "Christian" were not very "Christ-like" either.
     
  4. Black Ambrosia

    Black Ambrosia Well-Known Member

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    I didn’t read all of it. Did he say why he left? Why not repent for holding certain views? Why leave the faith?
     
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  5. Belle Du Jour

    Belle Du Jour Well-Known Member

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    Wow. What happened to him? And I wonder what happened to his marriage? I am truly shocked. When someone goes 180 degrees in the opposite direction, it makes me wonder if there’s an underlying psychological issue or if he’s now dabbling with homosexuality or other issues himself.
     
  6. Mitzi

    Mitzi Well-Known Member

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    Disappointment, bitterness? He is probably hurt, angry and feels that God let him down? All mankind is chosen. They just need to answer the call and follow until the end. Some will answer, some will follow and others will not answer or will fall off the path.
     
  7. blessedandfavoured

    blessedandfavoured Well-Known Member

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    Hi @Maracujá, thanks for tagging me. This is some sad stuff.

    I'm sure secular media is thrilled to be reporting this! I don't really know anything about this man. I've never read any of his books but years ago some of my friends read this one, and everything they told me about it sounded Biblical, wise and sensible to me. Nothing about it seemed unreasonable or impossible, especially with God's help. When he disavowed it, those who know/follow him should have known something was up.

    That video you posted is so interesting. Maybe he was a false convert, or maybe he thought he was a Christian because he was baptised as a baby/grew up with Christians, etc. I read a testimony of a woman whom God saved. Even while she was in lesbianism, she said she considered herself a Christian because she 'was born in the South.' o_O

    Maybe in an effort to be 'open-minded' he started spending time with false converts/unbelievers without guarding his heart or putting on his armour, and then rather than influencing them, they influenced him. Maybe one day he looked up and he'd drifted so far from God that he decided to leave Him altogether. These things don't usually happen overnight. I don't know.

    What I do know is that Peter denied Jesus three times, and we know how that ended. I pray that the Lord saves this man. I pray he's a Peter and not a Judas. The blood of Christ was shed for him, like it was for all of us. I pray that the Lord comes for him and turns his life around.

    Also, regarding the video -
    this is one of the reasons I was so embarrassed/ashamed for some 'pastors' who insisted that current POTUS is a Christian. Are you serious? Where is the evidence? A good tree does not produce bad fruit - Jesus said that! All the visible fruit this man produces is bad! It's one thing to say God can use him, it's something entirely different to assert that he is saved when there is no actual proof of that. Why lie?
    Can God use him? Absolutely. Does that mean he's a Christian? No. Is he a Christian? It's possible but if he is, something went very wrong somewhere and needs to be corrected FAST! These 'pastors' really had me wondering what people even think Christianity is, or what they think Jesus died for. If that's what the pastors are like, what are they feeding the congregation??? End of rant.

    It didn't cross my mind but commenters on the Christian Post wondered the same thing. Whether or not that's true, the devil is on a rampage and we need to say prayed up and in God's Word, guard our hearts and stay vigilant.

    1 Peter 5:8-9 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.
    Proverbs 4:23 - Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.
    1 Corinthians 10:12 - Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

    May God have mercy on us and keep us in His love. May we grow to love and trust Him more each day, amen. God bless, ladies.

    ETA: We need to pray for our pastors, too.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
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  8. Sharpened

    Sharpened A fleck on His Sword

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    I remember when his book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, came out. I couldn't read it. Now, I understand why that happened: things can be Biblically sound, yet not of the Spirit. He was never Spirit-led. According to church and religion, my marriage wasn't ordained by a pastor or witnessed by a congregation, so we missed out on blessings. Twenty-two years later, we're still at it. Father Yah Himself blessed us and made it quite clear over the years we were supposed to be together.

    Here is a passage of Scripture most ignore because of the crappy translation:
    The Holman has the most accurate translation of this verse. The word in the Greek means multicolored or poly-variegated. God's wisdom is neither cookie-cutter nor formulaic. When dealing with us humans, He uses what available and relatable. Remember, Yah never asked for blood sacrifices, but Abel started it and He used it. We have to trust Him to guide our steps and stay loyal to His leading.

    Psalm 34:4 - I sought YHWH, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
    Psalm 27:8 - My heart said, "Seek His face." Your face, O YHWH, I will seek.

    I pray this is a breaking period for him, so that Our Father can fill him HIS way. Maybe it's time to stop telling people, "Go to church," and become the church everywhere we go: to serve, to help, to heal, to show Yah within, to show the joy of the Spirit. I will never stop saying to believer and nonbeliever alike, "Seek Yah on Your own."
     
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  9. Sharpened

    Sharpened A fleck on His Sword

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    10 Christian Responses to Joshua Harris who Kissed Dating, Marriage & Faith Goodbye
    Steve Cioccolanti July 30, 2019

    [​IMG]
    2018 DVD of Joshua Harris recanting his first book.
    Joshua Harris, the author of a 1997 book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” the same who later equivocated about his sexual purity message to a generation of millennials, the same who started dating and found his wife Shannon, and the same who has announced today (29 July 2019) that he is divorcing his wife, has publicly renounced his faith in Christ. He has also apologized on Instagram for his extreme views against the LGBT community, “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.”

    From the height of his book sales (over 1 million copies sold) to the depth of his renunciation, twenty-two years have passed. It’s a story reminiscent of another famous evangelist turned enemy of the Cross—Billy Graham’s former friend and author of “Farewell to God: My Reasons for Rejecting the Christian Faith,” Charles Templeton. Such news must elate the devil and the secular media. What happened in such cases? How should pastors respond to Christians who feel saddened or shaken by this news?

    10 Pastoral Responses to Joshua Harris:
    [​IMG]
    Joshua Harris & Wife Shannon Harris
    1) I never followed this bestseller book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” because I never saw it as Scriptural. I caution against reading modern bestsellers. I believe a mix of Christian literature from various time periods makes a more balanced Christian. We are the least impoverished intellectual community on earth. We have good books from 20 centuries to choose from. Recent books are easier to read and may benefit from progressive revelation. Time-tested ones are usually dense, deep, but safer than our popular titles. Even so, I always compare what any Christian author says with what the Bible says. (Revelation 2:2)

    2) I don’t follow extremes in Christianity, or better put, church trends that appear to represent Christianity to the world. Trends change. Cultures change. God’s Word does not.

    3) My job as a Christian minister is to teach the Bible, which means not to focus on my pet doctrines or favorite parts of the Bible only, but to cover a wide variety of topics and emphasize what the Bible emphasizes. (2 Timothy 4:2)

    4) The Bible does not address dating clearly, but it is emphatic about the judgment of Sodom, to the degree that Jesus made it the reference point in his predictions about the last generation. (Luke 17:28-30, 2 Peter 2:6, Jude 1:7, Revelation 11:8)

    5) Christian teachers make the mistake of being extreme or dogmatic about things the Bible is not. This goes for not only dating… but let’s start with dating as the first illustration. I do not know what the Bible says about dating because the Bible doesn’t say much about it. On the other hand, I know the Bible is emphatic about God’s rebuke of corrupt politicians; He did so through many godly messengers from Moses to Jeremiah, from John the Baptist to Jesus.

    Yet many Christian leaders do the opposite: they are bold to denounce other Christian preachers, but are too cowardly to mention anything political. It is safe and often self-serving to tear down another Christian leader, because too many critics see another prominent or successful Christian as a threat or competition to their agenda. Such critics serve the enemy by mocking other Christian leaders who are emphasizing Biblical truths— no matter how imperfectly they do it. We need more Bible teachers, not less! (Psalm 105:15, 1 Timothy 5:17-19).

    6) Besides dating, other topics which do NOT help or hinder salvation include holy diet, holy days, holy Bible versions, and flat earth. Whether you care a lot or a little about these topics, it won’t help or hinder someone else getting saved from their sins. However, there are topics that help or hinder salvation, including:
    • Genesis’ account of the 6-day Creation (which establishes the validity of the Bible),
    • the literal Fall of Adam and Eve (which establishes the necessity of the Gospel),
    • the Trinity and Deity of Christ (which establish the means of salvation–no one but God is qualified to make a moral claim on all humanity), and
    • the end-time doctrines of resurrection and judgment (which establish the urgency of the salvation message).
    These absolutely necessary doctrines are the very subjects that often get a cursory treatment from the pulpit. Christian preachers err when they crusade against things the Bible does not major on. Preachers who want to build a sure ministry that has longevity and eternal rewards should emphasize these crucial Bible subjects.

    7) God incubates future leaders in obscurity. Moses was trained for 40 years in the backside of the desert. Paul studied under the famous Rabbi Gamaliel then saw Jesus face-to-face, yet remained relatively unknown and had to be groomed for 14 years in Arabia and Syria. (Galatians 1:15-2:1)

    There is wisdom in not putting a novice in place. It was not sound that the Bible of Christ should have followed a sexual movement started by a 21-year-old preacher. The American craze not only misled many Christians worldwide (I personally know many in Asia who remained single for far too long due to the misguided desire to abstain from any dating), but it was also a disservice to Joshua Harris. He had not developed the stability and maturity to handle his call. Parts of his message may have been correct, yet his character was not ready to last the distance.

    This is why I am a big believer that every young person should “pay their dues”; that is, be an apprentice, work for someone else, support another church leader’s vision, and don’t expect too much by way of recognition or promotion. Pay your dues, be humble, and in due season God will lift you up. (1 Peter 5:6)

    “Not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.” (1 Timothy 3:6)

    8) No one should be shocked or sad by the renunciation of Joshua Harris’ faith. Being emotional about it is not a wise Christian response. We knew this would happen. The Bible foretold it in many ways.

    “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron.” (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

    I knew the day would come because I have observed over two decades of ministry that anyone who does not build his life on the Word of God is building his life on sand. (Matthew 7:26) They will not be consistent in their walk. They will not stay long in any church.

    This is especially true of ministers who often face more pressures and temptations than the ordinary churchgoers. Any preacher or pastor who builds his church or ministry on something other than the Word of God (such as gifts of the Spirit, music, worship, church size, prayer or personality) will eventually shipwreck and be out of ministry—it’s only a matter of time. Not even prayer can save a ministry that neglects the Word of God. “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my Words will by no means pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)

    9) Some church leaders’ response to Joshua Harris will perpetuate and even increase more error. You can tell by the confusion they cause and the heart-wrenching questions left unresolved. How could we have been deceived so long by a Christian bestseller? What other teachings of his should I not trust? Who can I trust?

    Rather than turning to the Bible to answer these nagging questions in Christian minds, most of our church leaders will “wrestle with emotions,” “hope for redemption,” and “pray for more love.” Is this how James, senior pastor of the first church of Jerusalem, would have responded? James was the pastor who warned that teachers “shall receive a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1) Is this how Paul would have responded when he saw church leaders shipwreck their faith and their followers’?

    In a letter addressed to the megachurch Joshua Harris formerly pastored, the current pastor Kevin Rogers publicly wrote, “Paul says some had gone off course theologically. Others behaved in ways that violated Christian conscience. For others, it was greed. In every case, Paul’s hope was for redemption and restoration.” In every case–really?

    In the case being quoted from First Timothy 1, Paul’s response was quite the opposite of Covenant Life Church’s response. Paul recorded what our Biblical response should be, “…For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.” (1 Timothy 1:19-20 NLT)

    Every leader will make mistakes; they are only human and we should be gracious about that. Paul was gracious to Timothy who made lots of mistakes. But a bestselling Christian author deliberately denying Christ is not that kind of “mistake” which we are to cover with a fluffy “there-there”.

    Pastor Kevin Rogers continued in his public letter to his megachurch, “That these leaders [referring to blasphemous ministers like Joshua Harris who denied Christ] would develop ‘love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.’ (1 Tim 1:5) That should be our hope and prayer for Josh as well.” No, this congregation has not heard a Biblical response yet. They have heard another denial of Paul’s teaching on top of their former pastor’s denial of Christ. It’s meant to sound soft and better than Paul, but the Church will be worse off for neglecting the proper Scriptural protocol.

    Many Christians do not agree with Paul’s response to Hymenaeus and Alexander because they have not been taught about Biblical justice, a subject Paul emphasized as much as grace. Remember, it was Paul who told a false prophet who hindered his ministry to “go blind,” and he did! (Acts 13:10-12) Paul did not pray in every case that the sinner would find love and redemption. Paul knew when to be soft and when to be hard. In the case of Bar-Jesus, Paul prayed he’d go blind and the result of the divine judgment was the proconsul Sergius Paulus believed the Gospel!

    Unless we start acting like leaders in the Bible–balancing reward and punishment with wisdom–we will misrepresent Christ and the world will mock us for our lack of justice. The problem of Joshua Harris was not having a solid foundation in the Word. What do you reckon the solution is? More emphasis on the Word!

    10) Jesus Christ is the Word of God. To claim Jesus as your own, you must make the Word of God number 1 in your life, starting from the first book of Genesis, which is God’s account of Creation. Whether or not you are a preacher, as a Christian, you should read the Bible every day with the goal of finishing the entire Bible every year, and doing so with a pure motive to apply it personally. Don’t read the Bible merely to apply it to others! That is like following the religious Pharisees.

    Yes, you will fail in many ways even if you choose to obey God and put His Word first, but you will never fail in the same way as Joshua Harris did. You will never say, as Mr. Harris may claim in his next book, “I kissed God goodbye.”
     
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  10. MamaBear2012

    MamaBear2012 Well-Known Member

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    This is sad. I read his book when I was younger simply because I devour books. I've always liked to be aware of all of the ideas and theories out there.

    Anyway, my current pastors have spoken about how this is one of the reasons why so many people have left Christianity lately. And some of the groups that I am a part of have specifically talked about how many white people have left "religion" because their "religion" has been based in White Supremacy and/or legalism (rules).

    Honestly, I think that the church that I grew up in was this extreme (based in legalism). And when I reached about 12, I told my parents, "Umm...the people in this church don't know the God of the Bible. And the 'fruit' of this church bears witness to that." You would have thought that I cussed at my dad the way he acted. But I moved on from the church as soon as I left for college. And I can say only a couple of the people who I grew up with didn't "rebel". Stripping, prostitution, out of wedlock kids, drugs, gangs, prison, and there might be more of my peers who are homosexual than who are straight. And they don't go back to that church because they are judged and condemned. It's ridiculous.

    For me, my approach to everyone in this life is planting and watering. That's it. That's what God calls me to do. I'm called to tell people about Jesus (hopefully more through my life and actions than actual words) and then wait on Him to do the rest. If it's the first time that they've experienced Jesus, then I'm planting. If they've heard about Him before, then I'm watering. Whether that person is a teenage mom, a trans kid, a sex worker, or anyone really. I plant and water. I can't convert anyone. I don't have that power. That's up to God. I can only tell you how He saved my life. How His grace kept me. That's the Christianity that people don't detour from because it's your truth. It's not about rules and trying to work toward God's love. He loved us before the foundations of the world. And there's nothing that we could ever do to change that. But these ideas that people latch onto (abortion, gay rights, etc) that become bigger than the love of Christ will always falter. When you win people to Christ, then He can change their hearts, their minds, and their actions. You won't get them there through oppression and condemnation.
     
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  11. Lylddlebit

    Lylddlebit Well-Known Member

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    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2019
  12. Lylddlebit

    Lylddlebit Well-Known Member

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    I wrote a response. It double posted but then I deleted it because I felt like I couldn't articulate my point right. I have seen examples of people who merge the word with unbibilical opinions then when they get to a point where the contradictions don't resolve themselves, they throw out the entire belief as opposed to clinging to the Jesus parts. I took some time to think on this topic and here it goes:

    This reminds me of the 'True Love Waits" movement. I remember being a kid, teenager and younger adult at church youth conventions that we would have once or twice a year and how common it was for there to be one point in the function to pledge purity. I'm pretty sure everyone thought I was having all kinds of sex because I never took the pledge but I wasn't. I remember one time my bible study teacher asked me why I didn't take the pledge and I said " I never had sex but I don't want to lie to God about something I am not sure about." No judgement on those who took the pledge but I can't commit to stuff I don't understand and I have always been that way. If I promise something I mean it and took the time to really make sure I could do it. There was so much more I didn't know about sex than I did know about it. So, I just couldn't make the pledge even while I was intentionally abstinent and still a virgin. There is nothing wrong with pledging to be obedient to the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. That is beautiful when it is genuine. However more times than not people attach to the movement before they understand the point. That scares me.

    If I understand the point and commit to the word of God that is the basis of a thing I can truly commit to. Even if I stumble, I can locate the basis and keep it going. However, when I put more burdens on myself than God would, or allow people to put more burdens on me than God would it's so easy to have nothing tangible to hold on to and reject it all. Which is why it is so important to know when to separate the word of God and unction from the Holy Spirit from false burdens. So important to understand what you study in your word outside of what people tell you about the word. The relationship and development has to be a personal thing.

    While still in college I remember when the church I was attending did a series on "I Kissed Dating Goodbye". Matter fact, last night I went though an old box of college stuff and I still have that book with notes in the margins. I was questioning all kinds of stuff in the class. "Excuse me, what I want to know is"..."I get that but the part I disagree with is..."lol. Suddenly in that class it wasn't good enough to be a virgin developing my relationship on a personal level with God. Uh, oh! Now that I actually have a boyfriend I shouldn't be dating one-on-one. I should be in groups or chaperoned. Uh oh! It's not enough that I am in a committed an healthy relationship, I done messed up and given my boyfriend kisses...in the mouth. Uh oh! I'm a distraction and stir up things in men that I am not offering. It was a tone of pressure and I hated that class. When I was at my home church they were clear on the difference between opinion and the word. This class treated them like they were on equal footing. The class made me feel guilty about using my life experience to develop self-discipline and discernment. It caused me to question my ability to be worth a darn without being policed. It caused me to question the very judgement I was in the process of developing and needed while I was so far away from home. There were points I did agree with but then I questioned those too and didn't fully trust those parts either because so much context around it wasn't in actual biblical context. It instead felt like the Purity Olympics.I take accountability for the things I did right and the things I did wrong. I saw the book as the author's opinion not bible but whew it was intense. Did I mention the end of our study was followed by a deacon getting married to his girlfriend who he kissed for the very first time on their wedding day? Sure did. It was a nice example as an option. However I didn't want to be a girl who met all the "christian girl checklist" items. Even though at the time I did pass the checklist. I wanted a guy and a relationship that was tailored for me not to be someone or build something that was easily replaceable. Not to mention the life lesson that doing everything "right" doesn't guarantee the outcome one hopes for will happen. So you have to enjoy the journey along the way. There are things worth developing while single that are useful even if you never end up married. You have to be genuine about what it takes to accomplish a thing because a lot of the time that is better than the finished product. Few things will upset you more than going through leaps and bounds to accomplish a goal or finished product that is terrible. That can definitely lead to resentment.

    The book wasn't all bad, it was just his perspective...a young adult perspective... a perspective that rode the coat tale of the very popular "True Love Waits"campaign. I know how people get swept up in bandwagons of all kinds. I know the difference between those who commit and those who are just hype in the moment. I know what it's like to be the only one saying "Wait a minute! I got to think about this first" and we have to give our youth room to think about things first so they can mean what they say and keep their commitments...understand their promises...develop their Christian growth. I didn't commit to the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" pledge neither.

    • Doing "everything right" for something that ends up unsuccessful is an extremely difficult thing to overcome. It is so important for the journey to be as important as the goal.
    • Don't fall in love with the movement. Jesus Christ is the part that is real.
    I won't write all that I am thinking about the other clues in the OP on what else is going on here. I will say there are a lot of LGBTQ references and that has all the hype of a movement for someone looking for the next movement to follow which is a very dangerous gateway while dealing with something as devastating as divorce or crisis of faith.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2019
  13. momi

    momi Well-Known Member

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    Sad to read about Mr. Harris but the bible is clear "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out,that it might become plain that they all are not of us." 1 John 2:19

    His book really helped me during my single season... I fully suspect he is about to bust the closet door wide open.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
  14. NaturalEnigma

    NaturalEnigma Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for sharing your story! I can totally relate.
     
  15. Prudent1

    Prudent1 Well-Known Member

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    @Maracujá ,
    Well, I'm late to the party but sooo much wisdom has been shared here. I thanked just about everyone's post because I agreed! We must always keep the bible as the primary source of instructions for life. Any book is always a supplement, not the source. I remember God gently correcting me a few years back because being an avid reader, I had begun to spend more time reading Christian books, watching Christian TV content, and listening to Christian music than doing the principle things. Things like reading the bible, spending quiet time in prayer, thinking about what I was thinking about (aka meditating on the word and learning how to use and put on my full armor Eph 6). What I was doing were all good things but we have to ask ourselves is this the God thing? We are taught to live our lives in balance. Our God is a God of decency and order. Life is a delicate balance.

    I agree that extremism is not ok and is completely unsound scripturally. That following someone so young and untested was not the best option. I don't know this man personally and never read his books because I was already grown and doing life when he wrote it but over the years I was wired more like @Lylddlebit says she was. I always asked why? My dad encouraged me to not put people on pedestals simply because they say they are Christian or because they go to church, have a title, look successful, etc. Unknowingly he taught me to watch behavior. So, I never have had too many unrealistic expectations of humans. I expect people to be flawed and pe-po-ly. The word says you will know the tree by the fruit it bares- period.

    I do feel sorry for those who may be confused by this incident but I've said this on the board before. America is one of the places where you can say you are a Christian without even knowing what that means and without any sort of litmus test involved. That's no good on steroids.

    I'm def going to pray for this man and the lives of all he has touched for the them to have an encounter with the one true God because a lot of things can be debated but having an encounter with the Almighty changes hearts> which leads to changed minds >which leads to changed habits> which leads to changed lifestyles. Lifestyles stand the tests of time, society, opinions, emotions, whatever. That's what he needs. What we all need. ;)
     
  16. aribell

    aribell formerly nicola.kirwan

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    I wish I could highlight and underline so many elements of your post, because I agree wholeheartedly. I remember being at a lock-in in the 6th grade, taking the "True Love Waits" pledge, and I believe it was a good thing and the right thing. But I also feel that what came after left a lot of young people without any *practical* perspective on how to go from being single to being married. And I know that as I left college, entered my mid-20s, I felt like I was just kind of set adrift relationship-wise, as courtship had no practical meaning in my life at the time, and I ended up holding onto some really unhealthy ideas around seeking the one God has that themselves led me to make choices that took me further away from God.

    I remember seeing Harris' IKDGB in WalMart, being intrigued by the title and reading it. I also read his second book, talking about his relationship with his wife and views on courtship. I really liked the first book, but I didn't feel the need to adopt it as another book of Scripture, which is what seems to have happened in a lot of circles. I could never understand how pastors and parents alike were taking the musings of a 20 year old guy, homeschooled, with very limited life experience, about his own dating life as an instruction manual. I have always felt that many people over the years blamed Harris for the subculture that developed out of his book, but I don't think it was his fault, really. He was sharing his pov, and everyone else should have known to simply take it for what it was. He is ultimately responsible for his own faith, but more recently people have used him and his name as a punching bag because of the legalism of their own churches and their personal frustrations, and I would be surprised if that hasn't contributed to his disillusionment with Christianity and a desire to relieve himself of that burden. He should be kept in prayer.

    I got married this weekend and in reflecting on all of these things and those years of confusion and doubt, I just feel humbled because, for all of our flaws and mistakes, we have both felt God's love and grace with us, which is the important thing. So often over the years I felt like I was supposed to be chasing an ideal story that was supposed to play out in a particular way. And the longer I stayed single, the more I saw that often what looked like a golden relationship turned out to be anything but that. It's really not about how perfect we are, but about how good God is, and how much we can rely on His grace to give us what we need to be better.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019
  17. LivingInPeace

    LivingInPeace Well-Known Member

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    This may be ageist, but why was so much stock placed in the writings of a post-adolescent?
     
  18. Lylddlebit

    Lylddlebit Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on your Marriage!!!!


    I totally agree with everything you said.
     
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  19. Ms. Tarabotti

    Ms. Tarabotti Well-Known Member

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    So you just snuck that little bit of info into your words of wisdom?

    Congratulations on your marriage! :congrats:
     
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