About The Falling Away of Joshua Harris
I was heartbroken to hear of Joshua Harris’s recent announcement of both his divorce and “falling away” from faith in Christ. Truth be known, I was already concerned about what was going on in Harris’s life when he began making the documentary condemning his previous life’s work. It seemed like “he doth protest too much.”
In truth, all I know of Joshua Harris is what my wife told me from reading his book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and I what I read myself in his follow up, Boy Meets Girl. Well, that and all the articles blaming his words for single-handedly destroying the romantic, marital, and sexual hopes of millions of believers.
I’ve already said what I had to say about the outcry against his books in a satirical post, entitled: Joshua Harris Arrested for Date Crimes. But in this (hopefully) brief (and not satirical) post I want to talk about the “deconstruction of his faith” (as Harris calls it) not really to single him out at all, but in the hopes of reaching out to anyone who might be considering a little deconstruction of their own.
Maybe that’s you.
Maybe it’s someone you know.
Because Harris isn’t alone, of course. Many former believers will deny the Biblical truths and values they professed in the past. As an example, perhaps you or someone you know can relate to this recent comment on one of the LoveEd videos from our series, Premarital Sex & the Scriptures, featured on our FMUniversity YouTube channel:
“Fornication doesn’t mean sex outside of marriage like the organized church teaches and it is NOT a sin. It’s been translated to mean something totally different in the King James bible from what it really means in the original hebrew bible. We’ve been lied to about this subject for hundreds of year by the church of medieval times to control the sex lives of the believers.” – Michelle Moore
You can read Michelle’s entire comment underneath the video embedded below. But the first part of her quote is key, because it establishes the basis for everything else she begins to extrapolate in her lengthy comment.
And what’s especially important to note in her comment is how her rejection of scripture (in its current form and interpretation) so powerfully influences her beliefs about human sexuality. Just like Joshua Harris. Indeed…
A low view of God’s word almost always correlates with a low view of human sexuality.
I explain this phenomenon in a post entitled: The Sexual Purity Paradox.
That said, hoping to engage this viewer, I replied to her with just one simple question. The same I would pose to Harris, or you, or anyone you know who is doubting the reliability of scripture. And whether or not you’re aware, you most certainly do know believers (other than Harris) who are doubting the reliability of scripture.:
“Thanks for caring enough to share, Michelle. So bottom line, you don’t trust the church and the word as it has been preserved by the Jews and then the church from when it was written. Is that an accurate summary of your view of the church and the Bible?
She never responded, but if she had, and if she affirmed my understanding of her foundational beliefs of scripture, I would have followed up with these brief thoughts, which would be similar to what I would say to Joshua Harris if I had the chance:
The question you have to ask yourself is this: who or what are you putting your trust in? I pray you’ll be able to discern that your way of interpreting scripture means you have to ultimately trust in yourself.
Many think liberal theology leads to unbelief, but we ALL put our faith in something. So, ultimately liberal theology leads us to put our faith in ourselves: our feelings, our perspective, our understanding, our experience. All of which is severely limited. Regardless…
Once we decide we can’t trust an objective reality outside our own perceptions, then we really have only ourselves to trust.
However, any honest individual knows the one person they cannot wholeheartedly trust (despite how well-meaning they may be) is themselves.
You either ultimately trust yourself, or something or someone outside yourself.
So where does that leave us?
It’s scary to trust.
Very, very scary.
Because what you trust can hurt you. Badly.
And that’s precisely what’s happened to many believers who have trusted the church, and what they believed God promised them in His word.
However, ultimately we have to place our trust somewhere, and I’d urge you to consider that God’s word, as it has been preserved throughout time by God’s people (first the Jews and now His church), is a surer foundation for your life than your own limited understanding, or the limited understanding of any progressive teachers who appeal not to the wisdom of God, but to the wisdom of man. And more often than not, the wisdom of modern man, as if we’re so much smarter today than all those silly people who have gone before us.
And just so you understand…
Though you may indeed be able to protect yourself from the hurt of others (to some extent), there is only one person who can save you from yourself. Only one. His name is Jesus.
However, the only way I believe you can accurately know this Jesus is through His word and His church. They are the anchors of orthodox teaching. Falling away from faith in these parameters is dangerous at best. Deadly at worst.
After all, though Joshua Harris may claim to be doing fine right now, most people wind up getting hurt when they fall.
Praying for your faith right now as I write the final words of this post.
DNA: It’s What’s For Dating
It’s NOT for couples, but for any wise individual who thinks they might want to get married sometime before they die. And would like to learn how to better build healthy relationships in the meantime.
Check out all three study guides in our store. You can walk through them on your own, but it’s more fun with friends (that and it kinda makes sense to grow in relational success in actual relationships with others), so consider putting together an FMU LoveEd small group study.
Even better? And ask a rock star married couple you respect to lead it!