Recently Joshua Harris announced that he left Christianity. I read a few articles about it and decided to actually read the interview myself. As I read, it sounded so much like a young person who goes off to college and gets confused because they start hearing all of these new ideas. And what is more - Harris seems to be open to hearing the stories of different people. He is not lashing back out against Christianity, which is refreshing. And rather than trying to make Scripture fit his new beliefs, I think it was pretty honest to just admit Scripture does not align with what he now believes. I respect that decision.
I do think that the Church leadership made a mistake putting a young guy up on stage before he had time to truly think through his faith. I think that was a failure not on Harris’ part, but on the part of the denomination or organization that he was in. He embraced all their beliefs and had a platform, but he had never really thought through why he believed (as far as I can tell).
What are your thoughts in response to this event? Does this perspective help you process it? May Christ grant us wisdom to pray for Harris and to be gracious with those who find themselves once again trying to figure out what they believe.
I think that I probably need to engage with some of those people — like I have people send me their e-books showing why premarital sex is fine, and I just don’t have the energy right now. Like, I do not want to read your book. I do not want to. I do not want to engage in a massive, you know, theological expedition to think about all these things. So it just sounds really exhausting to me, honestly.
What I think was hard for me as I was re-evaluating my book is I was starting to get all this criticism for purity culture, and I was kind of like, well, what’s the alternative? Like I really didn’t know
I think that one of the mistakes of people like me who have come out a very conservative, legalistic environment is [they can] just adopt a new legalism in a completely different way, and be very dismissive and critical of people who are still in that way of thinking. And I just I really have this desire to honor different stories. …
it actually feels more intellectually honest for me to say I don’t know that I agree with the Bible in general than it is to get it to say these things. And maybe that’s just because I spent so much time in a very conservative environment judging all these more progressive people that I’m now tempted to go past that [and] be like, forget it all.