Conservative Anti-Dating Pastor Joshua Harris Quitting Christianity

Photo: Instagram
Who is Joshua Harris? New Details On Conservative Pastor Quitting Christianity And Changing Stance On LBGT People

Recently, former Pastor of Covenant Life Church and renowned Christian author took to Instagram in the surprise of the century to announce he was no longer a Christian. He said: “By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian.” This has caused outrage in the Christian community, leading everyone to question what they truly know about the former pastor. Who is Joshua Harris?

1. He wrote a book called I Kissed Dating Goodbye

This book Harris wrote when he was only 21-years-old. In the book he discusses the problems with modern dating and the normalization of pre-marital sex. It essentially explained how modern dating will likely lead to divorce. It encourages readers to try old school courting instead. The book has mixed reviews as some see it to be sexist and promoting the idea that women are property. While others see it as a way to teach young people how to abstain and find a partner in the eyes of God. The book sold over 1.2 million copies. I guess with all that extra time on their hands, these non-daters would need something to read!

2. Renounced his book

Harris has recently canceled the future editions of his book saying that he no longer believes in the message. He said the book was meant as tool to stop pre-marital sex by avoiding dating all together. He wrote in USA Today: "that the ideas in my book weren’t just naïve, they often caused harm." He continued by saying: "Now, as a dad to three teenagers, I think dating can be a healthy part of a person developing relationally and learning the qualities that matter most in a partner.” I’m guessing that because he’s divorced now, he doesn’t want to encourage all the ladies to avoid premarital relations.

3. He’s getting divorced

He and his ex-wife, Shannon Boone, announced recently that they are divorcing. Harris released a statement on Instagram saying: “In recent years, some significant changes have taken place in both of us. It is with sincere love for one another and understanding of our unique story as a couple that we are moving forward with this decision. We hope to create a generous and supportive future for each other and for our three amazing children in the years ahead.” 

Boone revealed in her own Instagram post that she is still a Christian and is writing a musical about conservative Christianity. Sounds like a bible thumping toe tapping good time to be had by all.

4. His church is encouraging people to pray for his return

Harris was formerly the lead pastor of Covenant Life Church in Maryland. That job now belongs to Kevin Rodgers. After Harris released a public statement in an Instagram post renouncing his faith, Rodgers felt he needed to reach out to his parishioners, urging them to pray for their former pastor. He quoted Paul’s first letter to Timothy, where he cites that often pastors lose their way. “Seeing leaders who taught us the gospel veer from it should deepen our commitment to ‘guard the good deposit’ entrusted to us. And ‘pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness.’ (1 Tim 6:11)” I guess someone should tell pastor Kevin that snail mail might not be the most effective way to respond to an Instagram post.

5. His apology to the LGBTQ+ community

He has recently realized that his teachings when he was a pastor were not only hurtful but potentially harmful to the LGBTQ+ community. In a recent Instagram post, he announced that he was no longer a Christian, and furthermore he realized that his beliefs were self-righteous and based out of fear. He said: “…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.”

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Join now for YourTango's trending articles, top expert advice and personal horoscopes delivered straight to your inbox each morning.

6. New life in Canada

He now lives in Canada where he opened his own business. He is a marketing executive and runs his own company. He moved his family to Canada, where he attended Regent College, a graduate school of Theology. However, he did not pursue a career as religious leader. He instead started his own business, which he calls Clear and Loud. It seems his company decided that he should no longer market himself as a Christian.

Kaitlin Kaiser is a writer who writes about love, relationships, self-care, spirituality and astrology.