Joshua Harris, former pastor and the author of “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” is renouncing his faith.
“By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian,” Harris announced in a post on Instagram.
Harris also went on to apologize for his attitudes toward the LGBTQ+ community in the past: “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.”
Harris, who was a lead pastor of Covenant Life Church in Maryland, was outspoken for his religion-based writing on love and sexuality. Following his 1997 best-seller, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” he went on to publish several other books that discussed both faith and his own relationship.
He announced his separation from his wife earlier this month, citing changes in both of their lives and assuring their three kids will continue to be well cared for.
But, fans and followers didn’t seem so optimistic about their split.
“Nothing is irreconcilable – please give it your all to work out your issues before God and get back together,” one follower commented.
Another wrote, “This is very sad. You are trampling on the name of Christ and announcing to the world that the gospel has no power.”
Harris responded to those remarks in his latest post, saying that he is grateful his followers care for him, even though he was “angered and hurt” by many “spiteful, hateful” comments.
“The information that was left out of our announcement is that I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus,” he clarified. “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.”
Harris concluded the emotional post by thanking his Christian friends for their prayers and making amends to the LGBTQ+ community: “I hope you can forgive me.”