Former evangelical pastor and author Joshua Harris has said that he willingly walked out of his Christian community after realizing that his lifestyle was not matching up to that of his church’s Biblical standard.
In an interview with Axios, Harris said: “If you’re not living according to the teaching of the Bible, and you’re living in unrepentant sin, then you have to be put out of the church. I excommunicated myself, essentially.”
When asked about his own “unrepentant sin,” Harris was reluctant to divulge. He did, however, note that “oftentimes, that’s related to sexuality.”
Expanding on the subject, Harris said he felt that if he answered the question candidly he would be subject to more backlash from certain Christians and that he would be kicked out of certain “circles.” He pointed out that he has little time for that type of response.
“It’s like if the answer to the question of my sexuality puts me inside or outside of your circle, accepted or unaccepted, I don’t want to be friends, you know? F— you and f— your circle,” he said. “That’s how I feel. And so that’s why I don’t feel any need to answer that question.”
Harris went on to discuss his continued personal grief over the hurt he belives he caused young Christians through the authoring of his infamous book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye.”
“I apologized for it. I unpublished the books. I pulled the books off the market,” he explained. “But you can’t give people [back], you know, years of their life.”
As for his own faith, or lack thereof, Harris hinted that he still pines after something of the divine. “Someone said, ‘I don’t believe in God, but I miss Him,'” he said. “I can relate to that.”
Harris now runs a creative branding agency and regularly posts about his life journey on Instagram. Just prior to the shock announcement he made about no longer being a Christian, the former pastor revealed that he would be splitting up with his wife.
“We’re writing to share the news that we are separating and will continue our life together as friends,” he said in the post from earlier this year. “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.”