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Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2057

 Joshua Harris Announces He is Not A Christian

Breaking: Joshua Harris Announces He is Not A Christian


Joshua Harris, once a mega-church pastor, now an apostate.

In what might be the most notable Christian celebrity to become so explicitly apostate in more than a century, Joshua Harris—former I Kissed Dating Goodbye author and heir-apparent at C.J. Mahaney’s Sovereign Grace organization—has officially announced on Instagram that he is no longer a Christian.

Other Christian apostates, such as Rob Bell, have not been so blunt as to deny Christianity altogether and usually claim to hold on to the religion while redefining or deconstructing major tenets of the religion.

While Harris admits to “deconstruction,” he also flatly denies Jesus.

Harris said, “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.”

Another term for “falling away” is the word apostasy (ἀποστασία). This makes Harris, by self-definition, an apostate.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first...(2 Thessalonians 2:2)

This revelation came only days after Harris’ bizarre divorce announcement and an article in the leftist Sojourners publication about his renunciation of Biblical purity.

Harris also apologized to the LGBTQ+ community, saying, “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.⁣⁣”

 2019/7/31 21:47Profile

Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37450
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

 Re: Joshua Harris Announces He is Not A Christian

Don Currin wrote this in response I thought it was worth re-posting:


What untold grief and disappointment to learn that this week, Josh Harris, renounced Christianity for another life. I for one am very disheartened by the report. But in light of this heart wrenching news, let me encourage you, above all that you are thinking, to consider yourself.

Do not think for a moment that such a fate could not happen to you. As sincere as our love for Christ is at the moment, and as devoted to His glory as we are at times, never assume that you are beyond the reach of Satanic aggression.
Pray for Josh Harris. Pray for friends who have drifted away from the faith. Seek to reconcile in love those who drift. But above everything, consider yourself, lest you also be tempted.

Years ago, in my ignorance and pride I laughingly boasted in the presence of a friend that I would never be guilty of a certain moral perversion. His response was not laughter. He looked at me with the most intense sobriety and simply said, "Don't ever say that." Since then, his brief admonition has served to motivate me to consider myself.

SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2019/8/1 5:50Profile

Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1830
Hemel Hempstead


1Co 10:12 KJV Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.

I think as don Curtin says it could happen to any of us and
I think it was Denny Kensington who said the greatest deception is self deception

I would agree with Greg

Dominic Shiells

 2019/8/1 6:57Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2057

 Re: Joshua Harris Announces He is Not A Christian

Why Joshua Harris’ Apostasy is Good for Purity Culture


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)

Far from being a bad thing for so-called “Purity Culture” (that’s what its critics call basic holiness), Joshua Harris’ apostasy from Christianity is a good thing for the movement. Or, at the very least, there’s a silver lining if we’ll take note of an important lesson you might be quick to miss.


Born in 1974, Joshua Harris rose to fame with his 1997 book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. That book promoted “purity culture,” which advocated for an end to recreational dating.

Harris later wrote Boy Meets Girl in 2000, highlighting his engagement to his wife, Shannon. In 1999, Harris started the New Attitude Conference for Christian singles with the help of Louie Giglio. In 2004, Harris became the lead pastor of Covenant Life Church, the flagship church of Sovereign Grace Ministries, founded by C.J. Mahaney. He was then 30 years old.

In 2015, embroiled in an alleged molestation cover-up scandal (which he largely inherited), Harris resigned from Covenant Life. Raising eyebrows at the time, Harris said it was “to connect to other parts of Christianity.” It seemed at the time that Harris was moving on, the only question was from what?

Harris, who had already denounced Purity Culture after his departure from the ministry, then denounced his marriage, as he and his wife posed for a divorce photo on Instagram.


If Rachel Held Evans weren’t already in hell, she’d be squealing in delight instead of torment. Her good friend, Nadia Bolz-Weber, couldn’t be more excited about Harris’ departure from Christian holiness.

From far-stretching corners of “evangelicalism,” countless thousands spiked the football for the news that purity had failed Joshua Harris. After much ado about nothing, the Prince of the Purity Movement was divorcing his wife. It was all for naught, is the narrative.

Those who have a hatred for Biblical courtship, physical boundaries and personal chastity applauded Harris’ absconding from the movement, just as they applauded his divorce like happy little demons.

Purity Culture, they told us, was dead.


Only a few days later, Harris denounced Christ altogether.

The real threat to Purity Culture was extinguished the moment that Harris made his denunciation of Jesus public.

You see, the real and present danger of Harris’ turn on purity would be if he continued the charade of being a faithful Christ-follower while denouncing a godly sexual ethic. What would have truly hurt the Purity Movement would be an established Christian figure claiming that you can both believe in Jesus and have sub-par sexual standards. What would have been downright catastrophic is if a major leader in the movement, like Harris, had claimed you could be both a Christian and denounce personal holiness.

Although that’s what Purity Culture opponents thought Harris was doing, he made it only a very short time before clarifying that he had left Christ altogether.

Harris, you see, left Jesus before – or at least at the same time – he was leaving Purity Culture. The two, for Harris, have always been intertwined.

What Harris has demonstrated for us is that there is no purity without Jesus, and there is no Jesus without purity. To abandon one is to abandon the other.

Let this be a lesson to those who want to continue to claim Christ, but denounce personal holiness when it comes to our character and relational or sexual conduct. Our Jesus is a holy Jesus, and he demands holiness of us.

Harris was smart enough to know that to forsake his convictions on human sexuality was the same as forsaking Christ.

If only we would learn that lesson! Much will be said about how purity can’t save you in coming days (which is true). But don’t forget this lesson, which will no doubt be overlooked by people on both sides; Joshua Harris knew you couldn’t denounce purity and embrace Jesus at the same time.

 2019/8/1 9:01Profile

Joined: 2009/11/7
Posts: 1475

 Re: Joshua Harris Announces He is Not A Christian

I’m not surprised. His philosophy has had a substantial negative impact on the young people of my generation. If I get to pray for only one thing for him it would be that he is brought to repentance for this. What he peddled was secular asceticism not biblical innocence and purity. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Veggie Tales creators come out and admit the same.

 2019/8/1 15:39Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2057


 2019/8/1 22:21Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2057

 Re: peddle


Would you please expound on your post.

You state that the philosophy he peddled was secular asceticism. Please show me this.

Also, show me just what it was that was not biblical innocence and purity.


 2019/8/3 21:00Profile

Joined: 2008/10/30
Posts: 2057

 Re: Jeremy unresponsive

For whatever reason Jeremy was unresponsive to these following questions I asked him regarding his post,

"You state that the philosophy he peddled was secular asceticism. Please show me this."

"Also, show me just what it was that was not biblical innocence and purity."


To show that there was no substance nor justification in Jeremy's accusations I present the following helpful summary of Joshua Harris' teaching in his book, "I Kissed Dating Goodbye."

“I do not believe that dating is sinful,” writes Joshua Harris. “I view dating in a similar light as I view fast-food restaurants–it’s not wrong to eat there, but something far better is available.” In a methodical, practical, and challenging manner, Harris then goes on to describe the “better” way of romance, a way that might spare many heartaches and regrets.

While thematically focused on how to build proper male-female relationships, the real message of I Kissed Dating Goodbye is about a maturing relationship with God. Dating–in a traditional sense–is one of the greater obstacles to young men and women growing in Christ as they ought. Dating is broken; it needs to be fixed. Just a part of growing up

Most kids grow up thinking that dating is an essential part of being a teenager. To them, life is a series of one-girlfriend (or boyfriend)-after-another, which really amounts to one-heartache-after-another. A two-year relationship seems like a long-term commitment. Even those who make it through the junior-high and senior-high years with their sexual purity intact will often emerge with damaged emotions, bitterness, and cynicism. To be sure, much of the damage may have been inflicted by the individuals involved, but likewise the system itself is faulty. There must be a better way to interact with members of the opposite sex, a less hurtful means to find a suitable life partner. 

Smart love

Joshua Harris, himself no stranger to the hurts and pitfalls of dating, offers a solution–something he calls smart love. Smart love begins with the desire for God’s best, and, by default, requires a knowledge of and a willingness to obey God’s rules. Smart love is revolutionary; its object is God and others, never self. Harris describes it against the backdrop of his own form practice of (what else?) “dumb love”: “I was primarily interested in what I could get, such as the popularity a girlfriend could give me or the comfort and pleasure I could gain physically or emotionally from a relationship…. I lived ‘dumb love’–choosing what felt good for me instead of what was good for others and what pleased God.” He follows this admission with two piercing questions:

-Does love motivate the guy who sleeps with his girlfriend when it will scar her emotionally and damage her relationship with God?

-Does sincerity motivate the girl w;ho leads a guy along then breaks up with him when she finds someone better?

The answers are obvious. Smart love is a sincere, God-focused love that is concerned for others. Dumb love, on the other hand, is self-centered and flirtatious. Unfortunately, little to nothing is being said to teenagers about smart love these days, even in church. Many lives and homes have been damaged, if not devastated, due to the neglect of smart love.

The seven habits of highly defective dating

I Kissed Dating Goodbye is not just about sexual purity; it scrutinizes the whole course of friendship, courtship, romance, engagement, and marriage. In a chapter on what’s wrong with the current approach, Harris argues that dating (1) leads to intimacy but not necessarily to commitment; (2) tends to skip the “friendship” stage of a relationship; (3) often mistakes a physical relationship for love; (4)often isolates a couple from other vital relationships; (5) in many cases, distracts young adults from their primary responsibility of preparing for the future; (6) can cause discontentment with God’s gift of singleness; and (7) creates an artificial environment for evaluating another person’s character.

Using the analogy of a swerving shopping cart–one that insists on going its own direction rather than being steered–to describe dating, Harris states, “I’ve concluded that for Christians dating is a swerver–a set of values and attitudes that wants to go in a direction different from the one God has mapped out for us.” Now what?

So how do we avoid defective dating? How can couples meet, romance one another, and nurture a relationship that might someday bloom into marriage? It’s one thing to spot the flaws, but what are the Solutions?

To begin with, we must stop abusing the word love. Our meaning is far below God’s, yet it is His blessing we want and his best we pursue. Understanding what God calls love is our first step.

“Like a fruit picked green or a flower plucked before it blossoms, our attempts to rush God’s timing can spoil the beauty of His plan for our lives.”Man’s view of love contains several notions that are contrary to God’s, and should therefore be contrary to the way we pursue love, especially love in the deepest and most intimate of human relationships. We must reject the philosophy of love that holds comfort of self as its chief end, reduces love to a mere feeling, and believes that love is beyond control. According to God’s Word: love seeks first the good of others, must not be measured by feelings, and is capable of being controlled responsibly. Simply put, the style of dating so prevalent in Western culture is little more than a series of short-term relationships, a training ground for divorce. Where’s the responsibility? Where’s the sincerity? Where’s the love? 

Patience, purity, and grace

The substance of romance-as-it-ought-to-be must include, among other qualities, patience, purity, and grace. Sometimes what is wrong with a romantic relationship is simply its timing. “You don’t need to shop for what you can’t afford,” quips Harris. If a young man (or young lady) is not prepared to seriously consider a lifelong commitment, he is better off to avoid monopolizing another person’s affections and isolating himself from other valuable friendships. Why not rather enjoy the season of singleness as a gift from God? After all, singleness brings opportunities in life that may never come around again. When the possibility of romance does enter one’s life, what a blessing it would be to have developed a lifestyle of purity. Even if one’s past contains moral failure, devotion to purity can begin today. Describing why h has come to value purity, Harris writes: “Physical interaction encourages us to begin something we’re not supposed to finish, awakening desires we’re not allowed to consummate, turning on passions we have to turn off.” Harris labels this as “foolishness.” “The Bible tells us the path of sin, particularly in regard to the wrong use of our sexuality, is like a highway to the grave. We shouldn’t get on it then try to stop before we arrive at the destination–God tells us to stay off that highway completely.”
Patience is tough; purity is a struggle. God’s grace is available. “The past needn’t determine our future,” Harris suggests. God can and does forgive and renew.

From friendship to romance

The journey toward marriage cannot be reduced to formula, nor should it be. Relationships are as unique and varied as the people who are in them. God is creative in building lives and even more so in bringing two lives together as one. However, while there is no formula, there are principles to help navigate a relationship through the major stages of romance. (Harris defines these stages: casual friendship, deeper friendship, purposeful intimacy with integrity, and engagement.) These principles include suggestions for determining if the relationship should be moved along, how to move it along, and how to get the right help in the process..

Focus on becoming

Finding the right life partner is a matter of working to become the right life partner, trusting God to cover the “who” and “when” issues. Purposing to remain pure, taking proper advantage of singleness, and building wholesome relationships that cause one to treat younger men as brothers and younger women as sisters–that’s a big enough assignment for anyone. Developing basic life skills (e.g., cooking, child care, home-repair tasks, vocational training) can further prepare one for building his or her own household some day. Since we tend to associate with those who share our values and goals, by concentrating on becoming a faithful, diligent, industrious, and skilled man or woman of God, are we not more apt to attract the same?

— Summary written by Tim Grissom

Finally, here are some quotes from Joshua Harris,

“I want to help you examine the aspects of your life that dating touches–the way you treat others, the way you prepare for your future mate, your personal purity–and look at what it means to bring these areas in line with God’s Word.” ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Introduction

“Every relationship for a Christian is an opportunity to love another person like God has loved us. To lay down our desires and do what’s in his or her best interest. To care for him or her even when there’s nothing in it for us. To want that person’s purity and holiness because it pleases God and protects him or her.” ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 1: “So This Is Love?”

“A relationship based solely on physical attraction will only last as long as the feelings last.” ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 3: “The Seven Habits of Highly Defective Dating”

“Until you realize God’s gift of your singleness, you’ll probably miss out on the incredible opportunities it holds.” ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 4: “Counterculture Romance”

“Like a fruit picked green or a flower plucked before it blossoms, our attemps to rush God’s timing can spoil the beauty of His plan for our lives.” ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 6: “The Right Thing at the Wrong Time Is the Wrong Thing”

“Purity doesn’t happen by accident; it requires obedience to God.” ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 7: “The Direction of Purity”

“We need to take our focus off of ourselves and look for ways to serve those around us.” ~I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Chapter 10: “Just Friends in a Just-Do-It-World”

 2019/8/14 14:39Profile

Joined: 2006/5/11
Posts: 440
West Sussex, England

 Re: Joshua Harris Announces He is Not A Christian

Maybe some of these people back sliding only ever believed that the Christian life was just about receiving life from God for our joy and pleasure ?
Many see it as more than that. Like many here we took the challenge to follow Jesus in our lives because he was the Lord and could offer us eternal life. And forgive our sins.
I thank the Lord the internet wasn't around when I was saved It is like a vipers nest for the young believer. Filled with talk of abundant life and grace and eternal mercy without the need to lay down our life.
I think when the fullness of the spirit goes in someone's life the heart hardens. That hardening of our heart produces an unbelief so strong that they can even end up mocking Christianity.

Let us be careful as when our foundations are shaken in this present evil age those who never obeyed and repented sacrificially by denying their soul are those same people mentioned in the sermon on the mount.
As Jesus said : Whoever does these things will build his house on the rock.
Whoever doesn't do these things (forgive the sinful people in their heart, stop judging, apply mercy, follow Christ take up their cross to deny their flesh) will build their house on no foundation except sand. It's obeying that takes our foundations deep into Christ and He can hide us in His bosom from harm - It isn't believing alone that can do it.

Let us repent so that times of refreshing will come from the Lord. Acts 3 v 19
Draw near to God by repenting and he will draw near to you
James 4 v 8.

Just a few thoughts.

David Keel

 2019/8/14 15:58Profile

Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5533


A singer and songwriter from Hillsong (Marty Sampson) also just expressed that his faith is on exceedingly shaky ground based on rather ignorant statements:
“Time for some real talk. I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me. Like, what bothers me now is nothing. I am so happy now, so at peace with the world. It’s crazy.

This is a soapbox moment so here I go … How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet—they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people. But it’s not for me.”
Steve Gregg’s response:

From the little I can read in his statement, I would deduce the following:

1) He never based his belief upon the fundamental evidence for the resurrection of Christ. Nobody who has taken that evidence seriously and honestly can decide that it makes more sense to disbelieve;

2) His belief was (judging from the ministry with which he was associated) based upon emotion. Nothing is less stable or more fleeting than religious emotions. It can be predicted that we shall see many more following his lead;

3) His apathy about losing his faith means that it probably never meant as much to him as a pet dog (no one can be apathetic about losing a pet dog). Those who trust Christ in the way of a true disciple have so much invested in Him that, if they would begin to sense their confidence in Him fading, they would, almost certainly, face a traumatic existential crisis. He is so flippant about this that he cannot be thought to be losing anything that mattered much to him.

4) Unfortunately, all those things he says "nobody talks about" must have been things nobody in his kind of fellowship talks about. I wish he had called our program about any of these untalked-about issues, because we talk about them all the time!


 2019/8/14 18:09Profile

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