The famous evangelical Christian author who led the purity culture movement and advocated abstinence and same-sex marriage, announced that he had lost his faith days after announcing his divorce from his wife.
44-year-old Joshua Harris became famous as a pastor and Christian author who wrote the bestseller I Kissed Dating Goodbye in 1997.
On Saturday, he went to Instagram to reveal that he no longer considers himself a believer and apologized for his once & # 39; intolerable & # 39; LGBTQ views by writing: & # 39; Because of all the measurements I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. & # 39;
His candid message followed his Instagram announcement on July 17 that he and his wife Shannon Bonne broke up after 21 years of marriage.
Get rid of the faith: Evangelical Christian author and pastor Joshua Harris, 44, announced that he was losing his faith in a candid Instagram post that was shared on Saturday. His position comes days after he announced his divorce from his wife of 21-year-old Shannon Bonne
On Saturday, he went to Instagram to reveal that he no longer considers himself a believer and apologized for his once & # 39; intolerable & # 39; LGBTQ views, and wrote: & # 39; Due to all the measurements I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian & # 39;
Despite the great turmoil in his life, Harris says that he does not find his separation from the faith negative and says: & I feel very alive, awake and surprisingly hopeful & # 39;
& # 39; The information that has been omitted from our announcement is that I have undergone a huge shift regarding my faith in Jesus. The popular expression for this is "deconstruction", the biblical expression is "falling away." Through all the measurements I have to define a Christian, I am not a Christian, & he revealed.
Harris went on to say that he spent a number of years in repentance for decisions he made in his life and he apologized to the LGBTQ + community openly for same-sex marriage and not welcoming them to church.
& # 39; I want to say to the LGBTQ + community that I regret the views I have given in my books and as a pastor on sexuality. I regret that I am against the equality of marriage because I have not confirmed you and your place in the church, and for all the ways in which my writing and speech has contributed to a culture of exclusion and intolerance. I hope you can forgive me, & he said.
Despite the great turmoil in his life, Harris says he does not see his escape from faith as negative.
& # 39; I feel very lively, awake and surprisingly hopeful. I believe with my sister Julian: "Everything will be fine and everything will be fine," he said.
On July 17, he shared a joint statement with his wife on Instagram showing that they were separating after 21 years of marriage. They did not indicate whether they would seek an official divorce
Announcement: In their joint statement, which was shared on Instagram, they said they are separating and will continue their lives together as friends
Harris used to lead the Covenant Life Mega Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland, but resigned in 2014 after a former church volunteer was convicted of sexual abuse of children, according to Christian post.
He revealed that since his separation and separation from the faith, he received messages of support and grace from Christians, non-believers, and members of the LGBTQ community.
He shocked his Christian community earlier this month when he announced that he and his 21-year-old wife were separating.
In his famous book from 1997, he argued that Christians & # 39; hofmakerij & # 39; instead of traditional dating practices, as this leads to divorce.
& # 39; We are writing to share the news that we are separating and continuing our lives together as friends & # 39 ;, they wrote in their joint statement.
& # 39; Important changes have occurred in both of us in recent years. It is with genuine love for each other and understanding of our unique story as a couple that we advance with this decision.
& # 39; We hope to create a generous and supportive future for each other and for our three wonderful children in the coming years. Thank you for your understanding and for respecting our privacy in a difficult time. & # 39;
The author and his wife did not disclose whether they have plans to officially divorce.
Evangelical Christians traditionally regard divorce as a sin, an interpretation based on certain passages in the Bible that seem to prohibit the legal division of a man and a woman united in a lifelong union in the eyes of God.
Harris used to lead the Covenant Life mega church in Gaithersburg, Maryland and became known in the Christian community with his book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”. from 1997 that advocated sex and dating for marriage
Harris has revealed in recent years that he has re-evaluated and sometimes regretted his statements in his best-selling book, especially after completing his own marriage.
& # 39; I think it made us realize that there is sadness and that there is pain no matter which way you choose in life, & # 39; he said. & # 39; There is no path that you can choose to protect against. & # 39;
Joshua was a 21-year-old virgin who had been homeschooling his entire life when he & # 39; I Kissed Dating Goodbye & # 39; wrote, according to Slate.
The book has shaped – and in some cases ruined – the lives of many conservative Christians who viewed his teaching as gospel.
Bestseller: Joshua is best known for writing & # 39; I Kissed Dating Goodbye & # 39 ;, a 1997 book in which he states that people & # 39; courting & # 39; should practice instead of traditional dating
Not only did he promote saving yourself for marriage in the controversial publication, but he even went as far as avoiding kissing and hand-holding.
Joshua also warned about & # 39; emotional appointments & # 39; and insisted that you should not fall in love with someone you will not marry.
The author married Shannon at the age of 23 and continued to publish more dating and marriage books, including & # 39; Not even a hint: protecting your heart from lust & # 39; and & # 39; Boy Meets Girl: Say Hello to Courtship. & # 39;
A few years ago, Joshua went on a sort of apology tour and said he was thinking again about the bestseller who brought him to Christian fame.
& # 39; Part of the reason that this has been so difficult for me is that I have recorded so much of my identity in these books. I am known for that, & he said to Slate. & # 39; It's like, well, nonsense, is the biggest thing I've done in my life this really big mistake? & # 39;
The father of three also shared an apology on his website and wrote: & Although I stick to the call of my book to genuinely love others, my thinking has changed considerably over the past twenty years.
& # 39; I no longer agree with the central idea that dating should be avoided. I now think that dating can be a healthy part of a person who develops relational and learns the qualities that are most important in a partner. & # 39;
He added: & # 39; I am sincerely sorry for those who have read my book and have been misled or not influenced by it. I never wanted to hurt you.
& # 39; I know this apology does not change anything for you and it is too late, but I want you to hear that I am somehow sorry that my ideas limited you, hurt you or you have a less than biblical view of your gifts, your sexuality, your relationships and God. & # 39;
In the statement, the author shared that he asked his publisher to stop printing the book and two related titles.
. [TagsToTranslate] Dailymail