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Joshua Harris has left Christianity

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That's great. Gota wonder how many pastors secretly don't believe what they preach? Takes a lot of courage to come out after having such an opposite public opinion.

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From the article I'm not clear if he means he lost his faith or if he simply has not been living as the Bible indicates true Christians should. Perhaps that's a cop-out to saying he does not believe in that crap anymore.

 

I find two things of special interest in this.

  1. Someone could preach something fervently for years then change their minds. This should be a sign unto the masses to do their own research (duh).
  2. He now works for a marketing firm. Same skill sets. Same personality. Same goal - get folks to buy stuffs.

 

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Reading between the lines... perhaps he has realised he is gay??

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I think most of us here are aware of the Clergy Project. Christians are blissfully unaware of how many Preachers are faking it, because they need a paycheck. Leaving the ministry is difficult. We know the consequences of leaving religion, and those consequences are even worse for those in the ministry.

 

A degree in theology doesn’t transfer to the secular world very well, therefore finding a job that pays enough to support a family is difficult. The alternative is to stay in the pulpit and fake it. Those that can’t do that suffer the consequences and essentially have to start their life over.

 

I’m sure they don’t tell you about the risks associated with being a minister in seminary for those that later discover they aren’t suited for preaching the word.

 

 

 

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I've been off the forums for a few months due to having an overly active social life, but I was actually coming back here specifically to post about this.

 

Joshua Harris...wow. This is quite significant. I learned about this in a rather roundabout way. As you all are aware, I'm interested in conservative politics and follow a number of commentators. I generally stick to secular people and Jews, and I avoid any evangelicals like the plague. But I'm willing to listen to Catholics. It was a Catholic commentator who mentioned the apostasy of Harris. To him it was a lament, but I took it as a cause for celebration. You often hear about vapid and superficial Christian leaders deconverting (e.g. Marty Samson, who actually deconverted just the other day). But Joshua Harris was, shall we say, "the real deal." He was a member of Sovereign Grace Ministries, whose theology is fairly rigorous, insofar as Calvinist Christianity can be rigorous. At this point it's been over nine years since I was a Christian, but when I was steeped in the faith I followed Joshua Harris to some extent. I was in numerous Bible studies where dating was discussed at length, and the teachings of Harris were firmly impressed upon us. Ironically I was never into dating (maybe at a subconscious level I knew I would revert to my native Hinduism and get an arranged marriage), so his admonitions to avoid kissing before marriage were not particularly burdensome to me. I remember how many of the other Christian men in my group struggled with this, and would confess to succumbing to sexual temptations and the like.

 

I deconverted in 2010, and though I checked in on the Christian world from time to time via the blogosphere, I never bothered to find out what came of Harris until this past week. Apparently, even before deconverting himself, Harris repudiated certain aspects of "I Kissed Dating Goodbye," stating that it deemphasized the grace of Christ. I would disagree with him. Jesus is unquestionably clear in the New Testament that looking at a woman with even the semblance of sexual appetite is tantamount to adultery, and that it would be better to dismember yourself than to go to eternal conscious torment in hell because of your sin. Harris' doctrines logically follow from the New Testament and his act of distancing himself from them was an admission that the teachings of Jesus simply do not comport with human psychology or basic moral truths which can be derived from casual observation. I suppose his deconversion was inevitable.

 

I further suppose I'm glad he escaped the mental prison in which the cult kept him captive. At the same time, his teachings caused a good deal of harm, and I can't say I'm sympathetic at the loss of his livelihood and his ability to earn an income. I too have suffered social consequences from escapting Christianity. Maybe Joshua should have picked up some marketable skills while he was learning the art of telling non-Christians that we're going to hell. Regardless, I've reflected on this a lot the past few days, because this is a person who was part of the same charismatic Calvinist tradition as myself, and who departed for reasons other than collapsing under the weight of a groundless theology. Anyone who's read my own ex-timony (I realize it's quite aways back in the forums) knows that I did not leave for intellectual reasons. It was not a scientific elucidation or a logical contrivance in Christian theology that was the impetus of my departure. Nor was it financial or sexual temptation, as is the case for many prominent former pastors. It was simply that I could not live the Christian lifestyle of consigning every soul around myself to eternal conscious torment in the hell of fire. For Harris it seems to be a similar issue. He divorced his wife, he realized that all of his moralizing did not concur with the morality suggested by casual observation, and he simply did not want to live in the moral universe of Jesus.

 

Anyway, despite my annoyance towards the man, I can nonetheless identify with his spiritual struggle. I do wish Harris the best (and a "real job" in the very near future), and perhaps he will even grace these forums with his presence.

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