(3/3) Joshua Harris “I Kissed Dating Good-bye” Separates from Wife

 

From Harris’s Instagram

“‎True love isn’t expressed in passionately whispered words an intimate kiss or a embrace; before two people are married, love is expressed in self-control, patience, even words left unsaid.” ― Joshua Harris


My thoughts:

  • I believe this is the prelude to an inevitable divorce.
  • Divorce stinks and hurts the children.
  • The Harris’ chose to make this announcement in the public eye.
  • Josh Harris is the face of the failed *Just follow these rules, be pure, and you will have a great marriage.”
  • Don’t kiss until you get married was baloney.
  • Better yet, don’t date. This was harmful.
  • Joshua Harris made bank on his bogus rules and used all means to get his books sold.
  • Joshua Harris was used by CJ Mahaney to push his own brand of control of Sovereign Grace Ministries.
  • Joshua Harris was raised by a fundamentalist-Greg Harris.
  • Joshua Harris eventually backed away from his *purity* deal, sending out this statement.
  • The fact I repudiate his unbiblical theology and the profound effect it had on many does not mean I am rejoicing in his current situation.
  • Just because I repudiate the *purity* theology does not mean I reject Biblical standards.(Can you believe there are people claiming this nonsense?)
  • Harris deserves to be critiqued in the public since he sought the public eye and made money from his enterprise.
  • The public deserves to know that his silly theology and rules didn’t even help him although he vowed his *rules* would make for wonderful marriages.
  • This is the end of an era.That’s good.
  • For those of you who want to revisit the past, here is a post I wrote looking at purity balls.

Here are a few posts about the matter.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.


Comments

(3/3) Joshua Harris “I Kissed Dating Good-bye” Separates from Wife — 397 Comments

  1. I’m very sad. He was raised in a sick culture that valued rules over true relationships and true love. And that’s what his book was about. That’s what purity culture is about. Do it all right and God is obligated to give you the life that you want. But, that’s not what Jesus tells us at all. Jesus gave himself for us and told us that he’ll always be with us as we love one another. But, he didn’t promise a perfect marriage partner. And he certainly didn’t give us rules for how to court in 21st century USA. Everything Jesus told us was to love God and love others, however that looks in our lives. I’m so sorry that Josh and Shannon’s marriage is on the rocks. I hope that they can reconcile, but I agree that it’s not promising. But, God is a God of grace who understands that young adults don’t always get it all right. So, we pick ourselves back up and go on loving God and loving others in the best way we know how.

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  2. I hate this for their kids, but I have a hard time mustering up any sympathy for Harris. He peddled that baloney for profit for over 20 years. God save us from celebrity pastors. They are nothing more than con artists gone to finishing school.

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  3. Catherine: He was raised in a sick culture that valued rules over true relationships and true love. And that’s what his book was about. That’s what purity culture is about. Do it all right and God is obligated to give you the life that you want.

    This really sums it all up.

    I also know, from many friends who came out of SGM, that his parents pushed him into doing many of these things way too young. Part of me wonders if his dad even wrote most of the book for him. I don’t believe that philosophy was really his, but the one of his parents and CJ Mahaney.

    Several of my Christian college friends bought this hook, line, and sinker. Most of them are divorced now. I had female friends who married guys who pursued them, even though they didn’t like them, because they thought God only spoke to men about marriage and they didn’t get to know the men they were marrying. Those marriages were full of abuse, anger, and hurt.

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  4. I wish that this eventuality could have been known all those years ago when people were pushing his book so hard. It did a lot of damage by short-circuiting the harder work of learning to relate to potential boyfriends/girlfriends, learning to relate to other sinful humans, maturing & so on.
    I’ve read a lot of accounts from exvangelicals that his brand of purity culture caused them ultimately a lot of psychosexual harm which went on to ruin relationships & lives. So sad.

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  5. ishy: also know, from many friends who came out of SGM, that his parents pushed him into doing many of these things way too young. Part of me wonders if his dad even wrote most of the book for him. I don’t believe that philosophy was really his, but the one of his parents and CJ Mahaney.

    That really wouldn’t surprise me if this was the case. Josh went from living with his parents who were deep on the homeschooling movement/business to living with C.J. and apparently where Josh was “fast tracked” to replace C.J. as CLC’s new Sr. Pastor.

    Josh never had a time to be on his own or in a place to think for himself and find himself.

    That said this is a sad situation. One thing you don’t here in their statement is any mention of God. Hopefully they both will look to His strength to hopefully reconcile.

    Josh was the one Sovereign Grace Leader who declared the exposure of C.J.Mahaney’s sin and hypocrisy a public “spanking” and I am sure the pushback Josh received for especially the other leaders was hard on both Josh and Shannon. Josh also seemed to be the one leader who believed that standards and rules should apply to C.J. just like they had to others and again received push back.

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  6. Here is a really interesting interview Joshua Harris gave at Sojourners with Sandi Villarreal. “Questioning Faith After Purity Culture”

    https://sojo.net/articles/questioning-faith-after-purity-culture-conversation-joshua-harris

    For me, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” was huge in the singles group I was a part of in the ’90s. Again reiterating what others have said, the book promised a happy marriage and life if you followed the rules. It kept many of us from really getting to know the people we were dating, and somehow feeling OK with it because God could do anything, and would bless it. The book promised a safeguard against broken hearts, when really it gave predators and unhealthy dominant males an opportunity to pursue women who were setting their gut feelings and better judgement aside. Things didn’t turn out as planned for a lot of us. I view Joshua Harris also as a peer. As a fellow victim of this purity culture he helped perpetuate. He was not the first. He says his views for that book were heavily influenced by Elizabeth Elliot’s “Passion and Purity,” a book given to him by his mother. What Steve 240 said is true about Josh’s upbringing. Julie Anne at SSB has a similar take having witnessed Josh’s upbringing. https://spiritualsoundingboard.com/2019/07/18/my-thoughts-josh-harris-i-kissed-dating-good-bye-and-his-wife-shannon-announce-marital-separation/

    I believe Josh is trying to come to terms with all of it, even questioning his faith. He is struggling, but I commend him for seeking to listen to stories of individuals. I think God has and is opening his eyes to the pain the culture brought about. I pray he will continue to listen to those who have been hurt and also find healing for himself.

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  7. With this announcement, Harris is kissing a lot of things goodbye: (1) his sweet deal with the purity culture, (2) celebrity status, (3) the sanctity of marriage, (4) his responsibility to his children, (5) his New Calvinist buddies, (6) book profits, and (7) hopefully, the pulpit.

    I suppose he will disappear from the scene for a while to emerge repentant and reinvented … but God help the people who restore him to ministry.

    “Beware of Alexander the coppersmith, he has done us much harm”

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  8. Max: I suppose he will disappear from the scene for a while to emerge repentant and reinvented … but God help the people who restore him to ministry.

    I hope his disappears permanently. I believe one of the worst influences on many of the abusive people in TWW articles is the drive to be “known”. I think this crazy drive to be in charge, to be considered a “leader”, and to be in Christian celebrity culture are the exact things that make people want to treat other people like objects.

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  9. ishy: crazy drive to be in charge, to be considered a “leader”, and to be in Christian celebrity culture

    Which, of course, is the antithesis of Christian leadership exemplified in the New Testament.

    There is much in the cult of personality in the American church that is “anti” Christ … New Calvinism has more than its share of celebrity pastors.

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  10. M. Joy,

    Kind of agree he doesn’t deserve a lot of sympathy but I’ll give him some. His parents emphasized, promoted his status, celebrity. (especially with the early HSLDA home schooling crowd ) starting when he was very young. I’m pretty sure he was made to walk down a certain path, and repeatedly told he was a, “leader”. He himself was raised in a toxic culture.

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  11. Mae: he doesn’t deserve a lot of sympathy but I’ll give him some … raised in a toxic culture

    Therein lies a major problem within New Calvinism. Many of these preacher-boys were raised with some sort of toxic upbringing which retarded their spiritual growth and then became unfortunate enough to become indoctrinated into reformed theology with its new & improved way of doing church. It’s increasingly clear that many of them chose to “go” into ministry, rather than “called” into ministry, in order to gain a pulpit to release their confusion into the pew. Harris has always been trying to find himself … Good Lord! When will the institutional church tire of stunted leaders in the pulpit that don’t know who they are in Christ! We need more men of God, not preacher-boys … God, send us some!

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  12. singleman,

    They conclude the article you share saying, “First, Harris denounced purity culture. Then, Harris divorced. Learn the lesson, and learn it well.”

    Harris did NOT announce divorce. The announcement is explicitly for a separation (maybe it is a way to say “divorce” without using that word; but nevertheless, it is not used in his announcement). Plus, do they really think if Harris had continued to defend purity culture that his marriage would not be ending in separation here? That is some pretty thick denial. It only takes one party to end a marriage these days. Just some really crazy thinking, in my opinion.

    PS This is my take on the news: http://www.divorceminister.com/joshua-harris-separation-announcement-kissing-ordination-goodbye/

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  13. I grew up in the Christian Homeschool culture. I would second Steve240’s comment above. At the time, Josh was doing all the things he was taught from birth that were ‘the right way to live’. It takes time to see things in a different way and even more time to pursue life in a different way. He was a product of the culture that harmed many, and was himself harmed as well, even as he was participating and temporarily profiting from it.

    Max:
    With this announcement, Harris is kissing a lot of things goodbye: (1) his sweet deal with the purity culture, (2) celebrity status, (3) the sanctity of marriage, (4) his responsibility to his children, (5) his New Calvinist buddies, (6) book profits, and (7) hopefully, the pulpit.

    I suppose he will disappear from the scene for a while to emerge repentant and reinvented … but God help the people who restore him to ministry.

    From looking at his Instagram page, it doesn’t appear that he has been pursuing ministry or a return to Christian celebrityism. His business looks completely secular in nature. Of course, who knows what his long term goals are.
    Many of the IG accounts he follows are about ‘deconstructing’ from religion and, interestingly, about NPD (CJ Mahaney perhaps?). I don’t know him, but it has a different feel from those fallen leaders who disappear to work on their return.

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  14. When will we ever learn what a true leader is? The Bible is very explicit as to who can lead, and you don’t choose someone and then expect them to live up to it. They live up those standards and when you see that done consistently, then and only then does the church call them to lead.

    We need to sideline all who tell us they are called, and choose only those who wait for the church to recognize their gifts and call them.

    Sorry, male nor female, educated or not, whatever your theology or denomination, popular writer/speaker/preacher or whatever, I am not called to follow you. Never. I am called to follow Christ. If I do so, I will recognize those functioning in the way the Bible describes human servants of the Body, and move alongside to help them.

    But as soon as you announce your authority and call me to follow you I reject you as a leader. You have overstepped scriptural bounds and disqualified yourself.

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  15. “The fact I repudiate his unbiblical theology and the profound effect it had on many does not mean I am rejoicing in his current situation.
    Just because I repudiate the *purity* theology does not mean I reject Biblical standards.(Can you believe there are people claiming this nonsense?)
    Harris deserves to be critiqued in the public since he sought the public eye and made money from his enterprise.
    The public deserves to know that his silly theology and rules didn’t even help him although he vowed his *rules* would make for wonderful marriages.”

    Valid points for those eager to accuse you and commentators of “bashing” and “piling on” by discussing it. We need to have hard looks at erroneous and questionable practices within professed Christianity, those foisting them, and the methods employed.

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  16. linda: When will we ever learn what a true leader is? The Bible is very explicit as to who can lead, and you don’t choose someone and then expect them to live up to it. They live up those standards and when you see that done consistently, then and only then does the church call them to lead.

    Perhaps when people don’t treat the few with responsibilities in a church as aribiters on all things leadership. The default selection of leaders often is an afternoon meet and greet followed by a vote, or just leaving it to an outside hierarchy. Whatever could go wrong with farming out oversight duties to such a construct?

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  17. The last article linked to in the post is good: http://www.divorceminister.com/joshua-harris-separation-announcement-kissing-ordination-goodbye/
    Mr. Harris needs to say more. He put himself in the public eye as an explainer of marriage. Maybe there is good reason for the separation, but I doubt it, and he should be heavily ridiculed if he refuses to explain. At the same time, that he is a hypocrite and ungodly (as seems to be the case) does not mean that his book was a bad one. I haven’t read it, so I don’t know. But the value of someone’s ideas doesn’t depend on their personal conduct, and Christians, especially, should not be surprised to find sin, even gross sin in the most unlikely places.
    We should, however, hope to see Christian leaders condemn this separation and call for explanation or reconciliation. I hope to see it–but I don’t expect to see it, alas.

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  18. Catherine: Do it all right and God is obligated to give you the life that you want.

    Let the Sorcerer mark the proper signs and speak the proper incantations and the summoned spirit is obligated to give the Sorcerer whatever he wants…

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  19. Rain Girl: For me, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” was huge in the singles group I was a part of in the ’90s. Again reiterating what others have said, the book promised a happy marriage and life if you followed the rules.

    Isn’t the pocket definition of Legalism “placing too much importance on Following the Rules”?

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  20. MercyMe,

    I haven’t followed Joshua Harris or his wife on social media or anywhere else. In fact, until this week I hadn’t heard much about him since last winter when the Christian world was still abuzz about his documentary. However, Julie Anne noted in her post at Spiritual Sounding Board that Shannon has been using hashtags such as “#exvangelical” and “#deconversion” in some of her Instagram posts. I also couldn’t help but notice that Joshua chose not to return to the pastorate when he completed his studies at Regent College. Evidently both of them have been doing a lot of rethinking and reassessing.

    Joshua Harris definitely doesn’t seem to be following the same path as folks like Mark Driscoll, Perry Noble and Tullian Tchividjian who are trying to restart, or have restarted, their respective pastoral careers.

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  21. I first heard of Joshua Harris when he was being promoted on the radio over here in the Pacific Northwest where he is from. My daughters were not dating age yet and I remember saying to myself that I was going to protect them from his radical nonsense. And for the most part I think I did. But what crazy coincidence that one of my daughters went to college on the East coast and dated a guy from SGM that grew up under CJ Mahaney and Josh Harris was his pastor at the time my daughter was there. The coincidences kept lining up all at the same time. I had been helping a young person who I had coached in high school to see the errors in Mark Driscoll’s sermons that she had been sharing on Facebook that she thought were so great (Driscoll’s screaming at lazy, incompetent, and abusive boyfriends and husbands was a real enticement for young women who had been hurt by men in their lives). In one video Driscoll had credited John Piper and CJ Mahaney for their mentorship to himself. CJ’s name rang a bell with me and I googled and found that he just had happened to be the previous pastor at my daughter’s boyfriend’s church. So, I began asking my daughter to ask her boyfriend the kinds of teachings that Driscoll had been teaching about very vulgar sexual relations that were expected from wives, if they were also being taught by CJ and Josh. Well, I won’t get into all that I learned from investigating that then, but somehow I became the bad guy just for asking and eventually so did my daughter. I know many of you can relate. As much as I have vehemently disagreed with Josh Harris on so many subjects, there has always been a difference to him than the others. He was a victim in this system. Just a couple days ago I was thinking about him again and it had to do with him living in CJ’s basement when he went to the East coast at 19 years old and how he was so groomed to become what the CJ wanted him to be. And when the whole child abuse reports were coming to a head in 2011 Josh told his church that he too had been a molestation survivor. That, I believe is what made him seem a bit different from the rest of them. Since his disclosure, I have always wondered if Josh’s books weren’t more of a way to believe that somehow if all the rules he thought should be followed would prevent child sexual abuse, therefore would also not have happened to him. Without him and his wife disclosing details of why they feel the need to separate, my mind goes in many speculative directions. Sad, he is in a no-win situation with the church or the world. He will be hated by all sides. While not happy about this news, like Dee is not, it does give validation to what we all seem to already know here, that the purity culture fixes nothing!

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  22. Patti: I first heard of Joshua Harris when he was being promoted on the radio over here in the Pacific Northwest where he is from … I had been helping a young person who I had coached in high school to see the errors in Mark Driscoll’s sermons …

    Harris and Driscoll were buds in the early days of the New Calvinist movement. They served together on The Gospel Coalition Council. Two peas in a pod – it was and is all about them, not Jesus.

    Patti: While not happy about this news, like Dee is not, it does give validation to what we all seem to already know here, that the purity culture fixes nothing!

    With a continual dropping of shoes among the New Calvinist who’s-who, perhaps folks ensnared by the bells & whistles of the reformed movement will come to the realization that celebrity church culture is all about nothing as well.

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  23. Max,

    I believe a lot of these preacher boys believed they were “called” into the ministry. They were elected to lead the elect, by a small group of fathers, connected families. Needless to say, most of them have made a lot of money, living a pretty cushy lifestyle. Books, seminars, yearly sabbatical, power, popularity, all stoked the ego.

    I do see some hope of an implosion happening within the Calvinists environment, as these men (charlatans and abusers ) are exposed on their nefarious behavior

    At least, that’s what I pray happens.

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  24. MercyMe: … it doesn’t appear that he has been pursuing ministry or a return to Christian celebrityism. His business looks completely secular in nature …

    I suppose if he gets a spotlight on him in the secular world, he will opt out of ministry … but, it’s hard to keep narcissists out of the pulpit once they get a taste of glory. Perhaps another book? “I Kissed New Calvinism Goodbye” … there is a growing unrest in those ranks which might pose a lucrative market for such a compendium.

    However, having said all that, if young Harris were to genuinely repent, seek to restore his marriage, and realize that he forfeited his right to a pulpit … he would not seek any sort of future engagement in Christian ministry.

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  25. Steve240,

    “Josh went from living with his parents who were deep on the homeschooling movement/business to living with C.J. and apparently where Josh was “fast tracked” to replace C.J. as CLC’s new Sr. Pastor.

    Josh never had a time to be on his own or in a place to think for himself and find himself.”
    +++++++++++++++++++

    i assume he never worked at McDonalds.

    did he ever have a job outside the christian bubble?

    my teen-age son has worked at McDonalds for a year and 1/2. he’s learned lots on so many levels, like work ethic, and personal responsibility.

    it’s been useful for beating entitlement out of him (at least in part). everyone mops.

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  26. Max,

    “I suppose he will disappear from the scene for a while to emerge repentant and reinvented … but God help the people who restore him to ministry.”
    +++++++++++++++

    he can emerge to his family and friends.

    do we really ever need to see or hear from him again?

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  27. JDV: Harris deserves to be critiqued in the public since he sought the public eye and made money from his enterprise.
    The public deserves to know that his silly theology and rules didn’t even help him although he vowed his *rules* would make for wonderful marriages.”

    Valid points for those eager to accuse you and commentators of “bashing” and “piling on” by discussing it. We need to have hard looks at erroneous and questionable practices within professed Christianity, those foisting them, and the methods employed.

    My heart is aching, as this is like the final nail in the coffin of all that we once embraced as a family. I wish Harris no ill, but I cannot simply overlook the enormous swath of destruction his teaching left in the lives of many I know and love. Parents who over-controlled their children’s lives, innocent kids who married people they hardly knew, and more, all based on the complementarian/courtship model exemplified in Calvinism and Harris’ IKDG.

    I feel guilt as well as sorrow and anger. How could we have been so stupid? How were we, relatively intelligent people, taken in by all this? I mention this only because it seems to parallel the abuse and suffering that has happened throughout the evangelical church. And I do not think it was accidental.

    We were in the first tier of homeschooling, and initially there was very little material available. We mostly pieced together our own plan, and emphasized real life experiences and lots of book reading. But as homeschooling took off, it was like the vultures descended. Homeschooling conventions introduced thousands to the likes of Harris, Doug Wilson, Douggie Phillips, etc., all to their detriment. Calvinism seemed to be the common thread amongst all of these vultures. (For those who wonder why we feel the need to warn others so vocally about Calvinism – we have seen how it is presented one way, then quietly destroys your family and life.)

    I cannot help but suspect that these vultures were no different than the Hybels’,Driscoll’s, MacDonald’s, etc. – false teachers preying upon naive, concerned believers who were fed on the culture wars from every christian book, article and radio program. All this fear-mongering made us ripe for the ‘saviors’ who would tell us how to do marriage, church and everything else. ‘Do this and live’- expropriating the words of life from the only one who can truly say them. And they laughed all the way to the bank.

    I am grieving, for myself, my precious children and so many who were taken in by our naive belief that anyone with the label ‘christian’ slapped on must be trustworthy. I have learned my lesson the hard way.

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  28. ishy,

    “I think this crazy drive to be in charge, to be considered a “leader”, and to be in Christian celebrity culture are the exact things that make people want to treat other people like objects.”
    +++++++++++++

    ha…

    my uncle taught science in elementary school. had a true teaching gift.

    one day, everyone was too rowdy. he started walking around the classroom silently, carrying a kleenex box. up and down the desk aisles he strolled…

    eventually he pulled out a kleenex and put it on one student’s desk as he kept walking, not saying a word.

    by and by he pulled another kleenex out of the box and put it on another student’s desk.

    (he was rewarding the students who were sitting quietly)

    pretty soon the whole class was trying to figure out what was going on. AND WHY THEY GOT A KLEENEX AND I DIDN’T!!

    in time, they figured it out.

    and that is how my uncle got control of the class of rowdy children.

    this silly little kleenex… this highly-coveted little wisp. wad it up and it disappears into the size of a gumball.

    this is the substance of “lead”, “leader”, “leadership” in christian culture.

    christian powerbrokers dole it out to the accomodating as a token of power. this wispy thing that folds under pressure.

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  29. TS00,

    Were you also raised in the same kind of culture? I was. But I was privy to a lot of what happened behind closed doors. So much hypocrisy and pretending to be pure, but many worse than the “world” they tried to keep us out of. That is what helped me keep my kids out of it because learned not to trust the actual morality of the leaders or the kids who believed in the leaders just because they taught it or said they believed in it themselves. I have also known a lot of people from dysfunctional non-Christian homes who become fundamentalist strict Christian parents because the sound of a “fix” to what they were raised in lures them into cultish parenting.

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  30. Rain Girl,

    That is one heck of an interview.

    What you said about Elizabeth Elliott is key. I consider her the be the single greatest ingredient in the emergence of Purity Culture.

    I derive this thinking after reading Journals of Jim Elliott. (edited by Elizabeth Elliott)

    I was profoundly surprised reading it for the first time recently. I’m curious what your thoughts about her are?

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  31. elastigirl: do we really ever need to see or hear from him again?

    Many in Christendom asked the same thing about Driscoll and Tullian, but their groupies kept chanting for their return. I suspect Harris’ followers will do the same. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

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  32. Max: Elisabeth Elliott promoted “Surrender to Singleness” in some Christian circles, but was married three times.Granted, her first two husbands died, but …

    Max.
    I was blow blown away reading his Journals, and her editing remarks.
    It felt tragic and somehow deeply sad.

    Jim was Plymouth Brethren. Sex-was-not-talked-about-in-old PB. The Journals significantly discussed sex. Jim comes across as very likable, but also nerotic. I felt bad for EE, and suspect they would have crashed as a couple. The relationship seemed unsustainable, and could not survive outside of the missionary bubble. I think she was reaching for a non-existing idealistic life.

    My take-away-
    -Elizabeth Elliott relived her ideal life vicariously through participants in the Purity Movement.
    -Just as Gothard lived his fantasies through his related ministries.
    -Neither envisioned life existed in reality, and therefore explained why neither can be found.
    -Both where highly sexual.

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  33. __

    House Call: “The House Of El Shaddai?”

    hmmm…

    The Lord Jesus has always stood with Josh and Shannon in good times and in bad. I have no reason to believe He, Jesus, will not continue.

    Prayer is a powerful gig with this family. I have no reason to believe it will not continue.

    Whereas Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen; —Mercy is better than Judgement.

    YaHoooooooo!

    Deus Omnipotens?

    “You got the ‘right’ one, Baby!”

    (grin)

    hahahahaha

    ATB

    Sòpy

    Intermission:
    The Busboys – “Boys Are Back In Town” 🙂
    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=wQpL7uAPAFs

    ;~)§

    – –

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  34. This is so sad to me. I honestly don’t know why Josh and Shannon would publicly announce this on social media. What really strikes me is what was not said- nothing about their faith or Jesus was mentioned. Their post was so secular. If you look at Josh’s Instagram, its the same. I don’t know where they are at spiritually, but for those of you who are concerned that he will reinvent himself and return to the pulpit, I doubt it. He took a beating at CLC at the end before he left- I witnessed it. He’s done with ministry and is moving on with his new business.

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  35. I don’t want to diverge too much from the topic of Josh Harris and the purity culture, but I do want to point out that Elizabeth Elliot had a very interesting and diverse journey. Many seem to forget she lived with the tribe of Indians who murdered her husband and learned their language for the purposes of translating the Bible. It was a challenging time for her and in spite of what seemed to be the priggish idealism of her later years, I have never lost my respect and admiration of her.

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  36. Eric Rasmusen: We should, however, hope to see Christian leaders condemn this separation and call for explanation or reconciliation. I hope to see it–but I don’t expect to see it, alas.

    Up until this blog I never heard of Harris or the purity fad. But I considered myself Anglican back then so it was before my time as an evangelical…mind you I never did go for adult baptism so saying I was ever a true evangelical is a stretch.

    Still while Harris’ theology, philosophy and perhaps hypocrisy is fair game, him and his wife may reconcile or may not.

    Either way, an explanation or reconciliation is not a requirement.

    Both have freedom of association and it’s up to them to define their relationship.

    Harris will no doubt be back after a “season” (ie when the kerfufel blows over) and will find followers.

    If people will follow Driscoll or Tullian or Jmac n cheese, they’ll follow this guy.

    After all, he looks like Nick

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  37. Steve240: Josh was the one Sovereign Grace Leader who declared the exposure of C.J.Mahaney’s sin and hypocrisy a public “spanking” and I am sure the pushback Josh received for especially the other leaders was hard on both Josh and Shannon. Josh also seemed to be the one leader who believed that standards and rules should apply to C.J. just like they had to others and again received push back.

    There is nothing like an experience like that to open your eyes that not everyone in the church is sincere. People have all sorts of motives for joining and being active in churches.

    I, too, would not be surprised if his father pushed a lot of this on him. My husband and I only heard Gregg Harris speak once, back in the very early days, when we were homeschooling, and we saw red flags. He struck me as a hard driving, controlling person with surprisingly detailed ideas of what everyone should be doing. My husband, who was a very congenial guy who got along with everyone (and, also, an excellent judge of character), tried to talk with him one-on-one during intermission and it was strange and uncomfortable. Not sure how to describe it but it left us both with misgivings, so, thankfully, we didn’t continue with that whole scene. However, so much of this stuff crept into home schooling groups, churches, and youth groups that I think all of us evangelicals got some kind of a dose of it. I know my kids’ youth groups all parroted at least some of the purity ideas.

    The idea crept in through so many avenues in those days that being a Christian was all about isolating yourself from the world and doing everything “right” in order to inoculate your family from all possible bad outcomes. People started to see parenting as preventing your kids from making any sort of mistakes, making sure they did everything right and were perfect, as if kids had to come to God through being sinless. I remember asking myself, why, if we all came to faith in Christ through recognizing our own sin and accepting his gift of salvation, had we come to believe that kids came to him through being perfect? It was like Christianity had come to a fork in the road that was very subtly different at first but it has kept digressing further over the years since.

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  38. If any one of us pew sitters had announced separating from our spouse in Harris’s SGM….we would have been put under church discipline or ex communicated….unless you were related to a pastor in good standing with CJ.

    This seems like a pre cursor to a divorce in my opinion.

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  39. singleman: Purity culture may be seriously wounded but I doubt it will give up without a fight, at least if this article published at Pulpit and Pen is any indication.

    When you realize the bus is going the wrong way, all you can do is get off and let it go. If enough people get off, the bus will stop, but as long as there are people who want to live under law, the purity culture will keep going with that segment of the population.

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  40. Max: With this announcement, Harris is kissing a lot of things goodbye: (1) his sweet deal with the purity culture, (2) celebrity status, (3) the sanctity of marriage, (4) his responsibility to his children, (5) his New Calvinist buddies, (6) book profits, and (7) hopefully, the pulpit.

    I suppose he will disappear from the scene for a while to emerge repentant and reinvented … but God help the people who restore him to ministry.

    I disagree on #4 above. When a couple separate, it doesn’t automatically follow that either one has given up responsibility to their children. Most divorced people I know continue to be involved in their children’s lives and take it very seriously.

    I don’t think people realize how much tension is put on children when their parents are trapped in an unhappy relationship. I know, for me, when my parents divorced it was just a huge relief, like a weight was lifted. Finally there was a name for the unhappiness and tension that pervaded our home and relationships. Our parents never argued in front of us and always kept up the face of being happy together and committed to each other but, believe me, kids sense these things and, not having a name for it, they tend to think the problem must be themselves. Divorce can be the first step toward health and healing for a whole family. Yes, there are difficulties with some things and it’s not something to undertake lightly, but it’s not the end of the world.

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  41. Jack: Harris will no doubt be back after a “season” (ie when the kerfufel blows over) and will find followers.

    There are a whole lot of people out there that have had the purity culture blow up in their faces, who have stepped away from church and even the faith, so I would guess that if he decides to speak on that side of his experience, he may have an audience. However, bearing the responsibility of being one of the main voices that caused all of this pain for people sets him off by himself. My hope is that he just lives his life and pursues honesty and authenticity, wherever that leads.

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  42. SiteSeer: When a couple separate, it doesn’t automatically follow that either one has given up responsibility to their children. Most divorced people I know continue to be involved in their children’s lives and take it very seriously.

    Yes, I know folks like that … who do the best they can for their children. IMO, when divorce happens in a pastor’s life, he fails his children “to bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Eph 6:4) regarding the virtuousness of marriage and family. There are various reasons why people divorce, so I suppose I should just leave this at this point since I don’t know what has led to their separation.

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  43. Doubtful,

    “If any one of us pew sitters had announced separating from our spouse in Harris’s SGM….we would have been put under church discipline or ex communicated….unless you were related to a pastor in good standing with CJ.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    have they told their stories? has anyone compiled their stories?

    (sorry if this a naive question)

    seems like now would be a relevant time to broadcast these stories. to further shine a light on the reality of it all, and the consequences (or special treatment instead).

    it would further shine a light on the abuses of christian authoritarian leadership.

    in case some just aren’t getting it.

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  44. Steve240,

    I had some similar thoughts from his interview with the Sojourners. It sounds like at this point he’s recognizing he grew up surrounded by so much legalism & rigidity that he really can’t perceive a Scriptural “middle way” that doesn’t involve giving up his faith altogether. Almost like decompressing from a cult. I feel sorry for him, as he does seem genuinely stricken by the experience of damage people have shared with him. This seems like a sad example of the fruit of legalism that doesn’t acknowledge need for dependence on the Spirit & recognition that God leads in different people in different ways, on different paths with different results. Rather than shoehorning everyone into the same mold. I pray that he & his wife first of all find peace in their faith again.

    Here’s link to that interview in case anyone missed it: https://sojo.net/articles/questioning-faith-after-purity-culture-conversation-joshua-harris

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  45. Eric Rasmusen: Maybe there is good reason for the separation, but I doubt it, and he should be heavily ridiculed if he refuses to explain. … that he is a hypocrite and ungodly (as seems to be the case) does not mean that his book was a bad one. I haven’t read it, so I don’t know.

    Are you singling Joshua Harris out because he is famous? Do you think that all separations and divorces should be subject to heavy ridicule, unless they are explained and judged to be for a good reason? Or do you mean something else? Please be a little more specific.

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  46. Divorce Minister: They conclude the article you [Singleman] share saying, “First, Harris denounced purity culture. Then, Harris divorced. Learn the lesson, and learn it well.”

    I think the lesson to learn well here is that there are actors in the christian marketplace who don’t even feel the need to bother hiding the fact that they’re taking isolated splinters of a very complex story totally out of context and arbitrarily linking them together.

    There are twisters and deceivers selling books to christians.

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  47. MercyMe,

    I think in the Sojourners interview he indicated he has a secular business now, not faith-based. His level of transparency & frankly, personal disappointment doesn’t seem to fit the mold of recent leaders reinventing themselves in a new ministry. I’d be surprised anyway,fwiw.

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  48. Friend: Eric Rasmusen: Maybe there is good reason for the separation, but I doubt it, and he should be heavily ridiculed if he refuses to explain. … that he is a hypocrite and ungodly (as seems to be the case) does not mean that his book was a bad one. I haven’t read it, so I don’t know.

    Format issues… the above is Eric Rasmusen’s text.

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  49. SH,

    I agree; I feel sorry for Joshua Harris. He seems a little lost & searching, faith-wise. And the end of a marriage is always heart-wrenching, especially when the couple has kids.

    While Harris is responsible for the book’s content (and has apologized for the harm it’s caused), I put more of the blame on those who pushed Harris into the limelight in the first place, plus the parents & youth pastors who pushed IKDG after publication.

    I’ve never read IKDG but from what I’ve heard, the worst aspect theologically is that it’s a version of the prosperity gospel brought into the romance & marriage arena: follow these rules and God will reward you with a fantastic soulmate & spouse, mind-blowing sex, etc. As if God is a vending machine who owes us!

    Since Harris was a victim of childhood molestation himself, I wonder if IKDG was a reaction to his own unprocessed trauma, which he was most likely unaware of when he wrote the book. “Emotional chastity” is something that C.S. Lewis in The Four Loves says is much closer to hell than heaven – it’s all about safety first, not letting your heart be broken for love’s sake. While emotional self-protection is understandable (even necessary at times), the possibility of having our heart broken is the cost of loving at all, romantic or not.

    I think it was a good move for Harris to have gone to Regent College. That indicates that he genuinely wants to learn, and gain from a thoughtful theological education that he’d lacked when he became famous. Hopefully, with time, prayer, spiritual direction, etc., Harris can integrate what he learned at Regent with the truth of the gospel he’d learned growing up, disentangled from legalism and fundamentalism.

    It seems as if divorce is likely, but I hope the Harrises can reconcile and heal their marriage as well.

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  50. I dont believe anyone should be ridiculed for a personal failure that contradicts their long standing core beliefs.

    We are a product of our environment and forefathers. One of Harris’s is CJ Mahaney. I would presume a lifetime of self-evaluation could easily be in Harris’s future. That certainly is the case for me.

    Harris would not have been in a position to decide if his early doctrines were flawed.

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  51. Max: I suppose if he gets a spotlight on him in the secular world, he will opt out of ministry … but, it’s hard to keep narcissists out of the pulpit once they get a taste of glory. Perhaps another book? “I Kissed New Calvinism Goodbye” … there is a growing unrest in those ranks which might pose a lucrative market for such a compendium.

    Josh Harris, a narcissist? I don’t think so. Narcissists don’t apologize, and they certainly don’t admit they were wrong. You are painting an entirely different picture of Josh Harris from what I know of him and his family and many acquaintances who know him.

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  52. Julie Anne: Josh Harris, a narcissist?I don’t think so. Narcissists don’t apologize, and they certainly don’t admit they were wrong. You are painting an entirely different picture of Josh Harris from what I know of him and his family and many acquaintances who know him.

    Well said.

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  53. Julie Anne,

    Since you know him, I stand corrected. My recollection of him was from his early days with SGM, TGC, and Driscoll … he seemed to fit with the arrogant model displayed by the New Calvinist who’s who (based on interviews I watched at the time). From your more recent assessment of him, I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and wish him and his family the best going forward.

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  54. SiteSeer: I, too, would not be surprised if his father pushed a lot of this on him. My husband and I only heard Gregg Harris speak once, back in the very early days, when we were homeschooling, and we saw red flags. He struck me as a hard driving, controlling person with surprisingly detailed ideas of what everyone should be doing. My husband, who was a very congenial guy who got along with everyone (and, also, an excellent judge of character), tried to talk with him one-on-one during intermission and it was strange and uncomfortable. Not sure how to describe it but it left us both with misgivings, so, thankfully, we didn’t continue with that whole scene. However, so much of this stuff crept into home schooling groups, churches, and youth groups that I think all of us evangelicals got some kind of a dose of it. I know my kids’ youth groups all parroted at least some of the purity ideas.

    I’m reading these comments here and I think I need to do another post. There is such a wide range of emotions and thoughts. Siteseer, you were correct in your assessment of Gregg. He exuded pride and arrogance. My husband and a friend attended a weekly men’s meeting with Gregg and the elders at HOFCC in Gresham in which they were studying Calvinism. This was also the time I first became acquainted with Calvinism –my husband and his friend dove deep. Very deep. I still remember overhearing him saying that no one can choose to follow God. I remember my head spinning. But I had my full quiver to take care of, so I blew it off. Little did I know how the Big C would affect me a decade later – – still cleaning up from the fallout.

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  55. Max: I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and wish him and his family the best going forward.

    Thank you. I would be surprised if we ever see Josh in the pulpit again. I do not believe the podcast would be for him to get a following. To me, it sounds like an opportunity for him and others to do talk about the harm they’ve gone through in the church. I may be wrong, but that is the sense that I am picking up.

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  56. Friend: Are you singling Joshua Harris out because he is famous? Do you think that all separations and divorces should be subject to heavy ridicule, unless they are explained and judged to be for a good reason?

    Yes, I’m singling him out because he’s famous, and put himself out to the public as someone worth listening to on the subject of marriage. All separations and divorces need justification, and I think the appropriate groups of people should be told the reasons, but very very few deserve ridicule and very few people are public enough that their stories should be shared even with strangers.

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  57. Julie Anne: No one deserves to be ridiculed.

    Most people don’t, but what about the hypocrite and the fraudster once their schemes are revealed? I am speaking generally; I do not know about Joshua Harris except that there is a prima facie case for hypocrisy. Ridicule is a particular form of criticism, combining humor with rebuke. What is wrong with it, compared to simple condemnation, if the subject of ridicule does deserve condemnation?

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  58. Julie Anne: it sounds like an opportunity for him and others to do talk about the harm they’ve gone through in the church

    On your blog, you stated “I believe both Josh and Shannon have been victims of spiritual abuse by the system they were raised in (or brought into).”

    As I further assess where he’s been, I must agree. For Harris, that journey involved various avenues of spiritual abuse – the purity culture, the SGM/Mahaney mess, and the faith aberrations of New Calvinism. Unfortunately, there are thousands upon thousands of other young adults who have been on that same trip. May God bring a fury of correction into the spirits of the leaders who led them astray, and who continue to do so in many corners of the church. I envision another “MeToo” movement of spiritual abuse stories on the horizon – their voices will paint an ugly picture of the underbelly of purity practice, the “beauty of complementarity”, and their merger with the New Calvinist movement.

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  59. Julie Anne: I’m reading these comments here and I think I need to do another post. There is such a wide range of emotions and thoughts.

    Yes. I think more understanding is needed of what it would have been like for him to grow up as he did and now, in his 40’s, to begin to deconstruct from everything he built his life on. It’s very sad that he and his wife are separating, but you have to wonder if they are trying to finally discover who they really are for the first time without the burdens of religious expectations.

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  60. MercyMe: discover who they really are for the first time without the burdens of religious expectations

    I was young and now am old … I hope to live long enough to hear religion’s funeral preached! Here’s what I mean by that. Jesus came to redeem and work through individuals, not institutions. The institution we call church is OK if it is reaching lost souls for Christ, discipling believers in the Word, mobilizing their giftings, and releasing them to fulfill the Great Commission. Anything less than that is just religious observance, and in many cases doing church without God. It’s not about religion, it’s about relationship. Religion can be an exhausting bondage; a relationship with Jesus is liberating. Many folks spend a lifetime in church without ever knowing who they are in Christ. I pray that the Harris’ will individually discover that and perhaps reconcile their marriage.

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  61. As a reformed person myself…. not necessarily “neo-Cal”, it is tough to see this. Ten years ago, I would have said I had a lot of respect for the SGM crowd. On the outside, it looked like they had a lot of things right.

    What I really think is that C.J. was simply a good marketer. He understood that being reformed and charismatic was a good niche and the focus on worship provided the perfect blend to attract people that were getting bored with their churches. I never really liked his teaching but thought he was sincere. What a train wreck it has all become. I cannot wrap my brain around it.

    I am thoroughly reformed and complimentarian…. and I never once viewed my theological convictions as a means to hurt others or apply some of the twisted and sick practices that we read about on this blog.

    What I am sorry for, is the pride I exuded over the years. It does pain me to see leaders in my “camp” turn out to be frauds. There is no other word for it. I do enjoy reading the blog and the comments here. These things need to be exposed.

    As far as Josh goes, I cannot help but to feel sad about it. In the end, God will be the perfect judge of Josh and Shannon. We will probably never know the whole truth or what Josh might have covered up. I really wish he would set the record straight and I believe it would be right for him to do that. I cannot think of a single text or biblical principle that prohibits Josh from completing his apology and explain what happened behind closed doors concerning those abuses of power and other people’s money.

    Anyway…. thanks for the good research that goes into this blog. Praying for revival.

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  62. Max: “True Love Waits” was a popular teaching in SBC youth groups in the 1970s.

    And all the way into the 1990s. A friend of mine (sadly gone nearly 20 years now) came up with a hysterical but very mocking parody of “True Love Waits.” Bill had been raised in a Southern Baptist church, but as an adult had attended a Unitarian church until squabbles over a $50K bequest irritated him and he went back to the Baptist church.

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  63. Eric Rasmusen: Maybe there is good reason for the separation, but I doubt it, and he should be heavily ridiculed if he refuses to explain.

    Do you think he is enduring the breakup of his family, his life, and the scorn of untold numbers of people on a lark? Just for the heck of it? Who decides if he has “a good reason” or not? Do we even know if this was his decision?

    I guess I’m not following your reasoning. Why should he be heavily ridiculed? I think if he was still pushing the purity stuff and hiding the fact that it was failing in his own life he would deserve ridicule, but I think he’s made it clear he has realized it was a mistake. Many people who followed the purity teachings went into ill-advised marriages with people they were unsuited to and those marriages have failed; maybe he is also a casualty. Maybe there’s a whole lot more he could say that he isn’t free to, I don’t know. I guess I have seen enough people make a mistake in a first marriage and recover that I don’t see it as the unpardonable sin.

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  64. Friend: Sojourners Magazine. Link provided above by SH, copied here:

    Here’s link to that interview in case anyone missed it: https://sojo.net/articles/questioning-faith-after-purity-culture-conversation-joshua-harris

    “I don’t know if that makes sense, but I think I’ve just been so indoctrinated in a certain way of interpreting scripture and viewing sexuality that it’s just hard for me to see the scriptures and its kind of overall, you know, commands and principles and so on and see how that can be consistent.”

    “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.”

    Here’s an idea when you do feel like looking at what went wrong etc. How about considering the concept of not writing a book with a suggested lifestyle to-do list for others? How about serving and learning before lecturing? The amateur hour book club culture is toxic, and the fingers of blame never seem to rest long enough on people,who should be saying no or closing their mouths?

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  65. TS00,

    A while ago, you mentioned the book “Hints on Child Training” by H. Clay Trumbull. I’m 2/3 of the way through, and finding it so helpful, thank you.

    Reading this post, and your comment, reminded me of something I’d recently read in the book and made a deep impression:

    “The first lesson in the training of a child’s faith is the lesson that he is to have faith in God. Many a child is told to have faith in the power of prayer, or faith in the value of good conduct, without being shown that his faith should rest wholly and absolutely on God. He is told that he can hope to have whatever he prays for; and that if he is a good boy he can expect a blessing, while if he is a bad boy he cannot expect to be blessed. With this training the child’s faith is drawn away from God, and is led to rest in his personal conduct; whereas his faith ought to be trained to rest on the God to whom he prays, and in loving obedience to whom he strives to be good.”

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  66. Friend,

    Interesting interview. It reminded me how exhausting it is to rethink your faith and how much time it takes to re-examine each thing. There is no rushing it, it happens in its own time. Whatever you have discovered is a fraud, has myriad other ideas depending on it and they are all intricately woven through your thought and experience. I think one can just trust the process and let go and let it happen. It’s okay to be undecided on some things. It takes time and I don’t think it’s something we ever finish this side of heaven.

    I had to shake my head at this comment:

    But it can get to feeling, like, what are you holding onto in Christianity? Why do you need it still? … I guess if we can with one generation make that radical a shift with the Bible, who’s to say that another generation can’t completely shift the Bible to, you know, to justify something that we would all think is horrendous? It starts to just be silly putty.

    I mean, forget another generation, this is happening right now.

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  67. Re:
    “Josh Harris is the face of the failed *Just follow these rules, be pure, and you will have a great marriage.”

    Many Christians I heard growing up taught this variation,
    or I saw this teaching in Christian books and magazines:

    “[Christians are] the face of the failed *Just follow these rules, be pure, and you will get married, God will send you a spouse.”

    Some of us followed all the rules and promises we saw in Christian writings, but we remain single.

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  68. George: I really wish he would set the record straight and I believe it would be right for him to do that. I cannot think of a single text or biblical principle that prohibits Josh from completing his apology and explain what happened behind closed doors concerning those abuses of power and other people’s money.

    There’s probably an NDA for pastors at SGM. That’s now commonplace for big church pastors who answer to a “lead pastor”. I think it’s an atrocious practice, and there are good reasons now to break an NDA, but it must be hard to do so when you no longer have the enormous funds of a megachurch pastor.

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  69. JDV: Here’s an idea when you do feel like looking at what went wrong etc. How about considering the concept of not writing a book with a suggested lifestyle to-do list for others? How about serving and learning before lecturing? The amateur hour book club culture is toxic, and the fingers of blame never seem to rest long enough on people,who should be saying no or closing their mouths?

    No doubt, but his dad made him write the book. I’m pretty sure he even says that in the book.

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  70. Nathan Priddis: I was blown away reading his [Jim Elliot’s] Journals, and her [Elisabeth Elliot’s] editing remarks.
    It felt tragic and somehow deeply sad.

    I read the first one after it was recommended as a great example of christian living; so I started it expecting good things. I’d say that my view of it gradually became more negative as the book went on. It seemed that I was seeing a young man who, even in his private conversations with himself, was desperately trying to create an idealised persona. It’s as though the journal were written to someone else, whom Elliot himself was trying to please. They didn’t seem, to me, to be the journal of a man who’d found Jesus, but of a man who was trying to find Jesus and expected to do so by means of approved religious works. I don’t know whether he ever found peace.

    I don’t blame Elliot for any of that. I, too, have been trying to find Jesus my entire life, which has lasted longer than Eliott’s did despite the crackpot things I’ve done as part of my search. And to tie this back into the main branch, I started out at about the same age as did Joshua Harris; if someone had given me the opportunity to write a christian book and become a speaker at that age, I’d have taken it.

    Like Joshua Harris, I’ve come to the conclusion that the easy answers that inspired me as a young man are inadequate. Though oddly enough, I’m glad about this; I love complex answers. That’s why I don’t fit “in church”.

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  71. I get why some people want Josh to go public with the reasons behind the separation announcement. But wouldn’t that be repeating history? He is in unknown territory, and it’s better that he behave like he is in unknown territory than try to nail everything down for public consumption. Let them work it out, and 10-20 years from now, then maybe they will have something sensible to say about what is going on right now.

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  72. OutThere: I get why some people want Josh to go public with the reasons behind the separation announcement. But wouldn’t that be repeating history? He is in unknown territory, and it’s better that he behave like he is in unknown territory than try to nail everything down for public consumption. Let them work it out,

    I think for now best for them to be quiet.

    Their statement seemed to indicate that the saw little chance of reconciliation. One person somewhere said it takes a year separation together a divorce so sadly maybe this is what this is about.

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  73. SiteSeer: Why should he be heavily ridiculed?

    In Eric’s world, they are always meting out discipline for this or that. It makes them feel good, I suppose, when they can beat up on a brother who has stumbled – rubbing failure in his face for all to see. Surely, God must be pleased with them.

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  74. Rain Girl: He says his views for that book were heavily influenced by Elizabeth Elliot’s “Passion and Purity,” a book given to him by his mother.

    Growing up I had only known about Elizabeth Elliot as the wife of the murdered missionary and I later only heard about other people talk about how she was speaking here or there. I never paid attention to what she said until my daughter’s SGM boyfriend brought me Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood compiled by the leaders he had been raised to worship. Funny how those leaders allow women a place among their teachings as long those women only tell other women how subservient they must be. It was all I could do not to fume in rage at him in my house after reading what Grudem allowed Elliot to write. I am telling you, no one who has studied the Bible in context can possibly be in their right mind and has any daughters and believes that Elliot taught sound doctrine to them. I sure hope that Harris continues to deprogram his brain and think for himself. And that is basically what I did scream at my daughter’s boyfriend over the phone one day because he kept trying to take authority away from me, in my own house mind you. While he showed great respect for his own mother (at least in her presence), I was “just” a woman it seemed. He was only 23 and at one time told me he had the gift of leadership! Another time I yelled at him “you are 23, be a man, and start thinking for yourself! I had to yell because he would not take a breath and let me speak. Hey, I never would have said that to any guy if I thought there was still hope to get through with nice talk.

    Anyway, here is just one of Elliott’s written opinions in RBMW that made and still makes me angry:
    “The gentle and quiet spirit of which Peter speaks, calling it “of great worth in God’s
    sight” (1 Peter 3:4), is the true femininity, which found its epitome in Mary, the
    willingness to be only a vessel, hidden, unknown, except as Somebody’s mother. This is
    the true mother-spirit, true maternity, so absent, it seems to me, in all the annals of
    feminism. “The holier a woman is,” wrote Leon Bloy, “the more she is a woman.”

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  75. SiteSeer: don’t think people realize how much tension is put on children when their parents are trapped in an unhappy relationship.

    I am sad for you that your parents were not happy with each other. But I am glad that you wrote about divorce being a relief. My parents fought very loudly. However I did see them have make up times, which was nice. For the most part though, when my dad became very radical with religion the fighting over religious practices was constant and unbearably tense and I wished they would have divorced. Everyone kept telling me it would be worse for them to divorce. That cognitive dissonance I felt over my wish never left me. But it lessens when I hear the few like you willing to admit that there was relief. I don’t believe that God hates divorce. I believe that God hates what leads to divorce.

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  76. George,

    i appreciate your sincere and heartfelt comment.

    “I am thoroughly reformed and complimentarian….”

    –….and you’ve got guts to admit that here.

    “and I never once viewed my theological convictions as a means to hurt others or apply some of the twisted and sick practices that we read about on this blog”

    –and i think you’re an awesome champ for that.

    perhaps sometime we can discuss how equality is as equality does.

    cute pink shackles studded with rhinestones are still shackles.

    pastel duct tape printed with bunnies on it that one puts over their own mouth is no different than the silver duct tape that an abductor puts on his hostage’s mouth.

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  77. SiteSeer,

    “Interesting interview. It reminded me how exhausting it is to rethink your faith and how much time it takes to re-examine each thing. There is no rushing it, it happens in its own time.

    …I think one can just trust the process and let go and let it happen. It’s okay to be undecided on some things. It takes time”
    ++++++++++++++

    indeed.

    here’s an analogy: we had someone install a drip system in our front yard. we can’t see the spouts — they’re down in the dirt, near the root ball.

    we notice many of the plants are yellowing. we conclude there’s too much water — waterings are too frequent and for too long.

    (it’s weird, going from sprinklers to this — we can’t see it happening. we have to observe the plants to know whether it is or isn’t, or whether it’s too much, too little.)

    so, our conclusion is to turn it off for a few days. let it dry out.

    more drastic measures might be needed — if there’s root rot, the whole plant(s) will have to… well, i don’t actually know what happens in that case.
    —–

    where religion is concerned…

    (and our psyche, our emotions, our relationships, & so many religious cooks with hats on in the kitchen of our lives changing the seasoning and the heat and dumping things in and stirring the pot AND HOW SPOILED THE SOUP OF OUR LIVES HAS BECOME!)…

    how much more complex.

    me, personally — one issue is that i was saturated with music. scripture put to song. the sappiest songs. the most emotionally invasive songs. the most nonintuitive impossible-to-sing songs full of unsingable words. the STUPIDEST songs.

    ruined the scriptures for me. can’t read them without hearing the stupid melodies & rhythms kick in. talk about root rot…

    i had to remove myself from it all (and from many other toxic, cruel, & life-taking things). really, all the music is just the soundtrack to the disturbing movie of my church life.

    it’s taking years and years of no-church to dry it all out.

    I went into Hobby Lobby once and had a panic attic (the christian music they pipe in). jettisoned the store, having to take deep breaths, trying to stay calm.

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  78. ishy,

    “There’s probably an NDA for pastors at SGM. That’s now commonplace for big church pastors who answer to a “lead pastor”. I think it’s an atrocious practice, and there are good reasons now to break an NDA, but it must be hard to do so when you no longer have the enormous funds of a megachurch pastor.”
    ++++++++++++++

    well, it would be interesting if he broke it and talked… if he challenged the NDA… and then broadcast & published the response he got from SGM, correspondence & all.

    imagine how it would look — SGM sues Josh Harris for speaking the truth because they didn’t have the balls to be honest themselves & do the right thing.

    (…if it’s even possible for SGM to look any scummier than they already do)

    it could be a catalyst… a big catalist.

    shine a spotlight on all the these NDA’s & the religious b@$ta@rds who require them and the revolting lengths they are willing to go to protect their money and power.

    a calculated risk for someone like Josh Harris to take.

    (perhaps wealthy individuals and/or organizations could underwrite such a challenge.)

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  79. SiteSeer: I don’t think people realize how much tension is put on children when their parents are trapped in an unhappy relationship. I know, for me, when my parents divorced it was just a huge relief, like a weight was lifted.

    It was the same for me. When my dad moved out and my parents filed for divorce, it was a huge relief. They had fought most of my life and to have that tension gone, to not be caught in the middle, used as a tool of retaliation, was huge.

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  80. As a reformed person myself…. not necessarily “neo-Cal”,

    I don’t know you and will not pretend to read your mind. But the entire reformed/predestination thing seems to me to be a logical impossibility the way people live it out. Why do people who believe God has it all planned out care about praying for others? If it cannot change anything?

    My brother is a hard core Calvinist. Basically if you condense his theology down it eventually get to “God picked me (an elect), sucks to be you (not an elect)”.

    Now the big boys in the Calvinist world will pat me on the head and condescendingly tell me “you just don’t understand, maybe God just didn’t give you enough smarts to understand”. Well they will say the first half of that statement and think the second half.

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  81. elastigirl: it’s taking years and years of no-church to dry it all out.

    I went into Hobby Lobby once and had a panic attic (the christian music they pipe in). jettisoned the store, having to take deep breaths, trying to stay calm.

    This is a great analogy.

    I can’t listen to a lot of recorded ‘Christian’ music, and only a few people who do the live thing at church – the place I’m going has 4 teams that rotate. I enjoy two of them and avoid the other two – I believe it has to do with their attitude on how they approach ‘leading worship,’ and the songs they choose…

    As to panic attacks, I get that, too. I’ve had to leave places a few times to ‘get some air.’

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  82. NC Now: “you just don’t understand, maybe God just didn’t give you enough smarts to understand”

    When someone approaches God with his intellect, rather than his spirit, he might end up with some theological flavor of religion rather than a relationship with Jesus … worshiping the teachings and traditions of men rather than the Holy One of Israel.

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  83. Julie Anne,

    Glad you posted this, Julie Ann.

    My sense is that Josh was the pinnacle of this movement. Indoctrinating the “Joshua generation” was a sign of success for Greg Harris and CJ Mahaney, et al.

    Then he turned away to try to figure this all out.

    We were at an SGM affiliated church for only one year. The folks who were there for years have lived through the devastation of realizing that the formulas did not work. Broken marriages, relationships and faith. I believe that Josh’s journey will be very encouraging to many.

    I also believe that legalism is hugely enticing for both the sheep and the shepherd. I wish it worked and it was that simple. It doesn’t and it’s not.

    I suspect that Josh, even as a shepherd, was as deceived by the siren song of legalism as the sheep…and regrets it.

    My favorite thing about Jesus is how mad he was at the spiritual leaders. Some of them got it, but most didn’t. Let’s hope Josh is more like Joseph of Aramathea.

    Jesus and Jesus alone.

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  84. Brian,

    Brian, we only attended the state conventions in Illinois (where we lived at the time) three or four times. I believe it was fairly ecumenical – as long as your wiminfolk wore denim skirts or handmade cotton dresses you were in. 😉 But it was there that a lot of us received multiple servings of pro-Calvinist hype, from the likes of Harris, Wilson, Phillips, etc. After we moved we felt like we had enough information to find whatever help we needed, especially with the number of catalogs that became available. We did not attend any homeschooling conventions in our new state.

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  85. Max,

    These people do not understand the heart of God. They are modern day Pharisees, judging everyone according to their own extra-biblical standards and condemning all who fall short.

    What did God do in the face of an entire race of beings falling short of his ideal? He made the ultimate sacrifice, to show love, mercy and a second chance. Which is why I always say that Calvinism is entirely anti-Christ and anti-God. They worship and model an entirely different God, and their theology looks nothing like the living Savior. Sorry if that’s picking on them – but their secretive attempt to takeover all of Christendom earns them the calling out, in order to warn those who have not yet seen them for what they are.

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  86. Patti: I don’t believe that God hates divorce. I believe that God hates what leads to divorce.

    This is an extremely important point. I would edit it slightly to say that God does hate divorce, but he hates the wickedness that leads to divorce even more. He would never condemn people to a life sentence of utter misery and despair.

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  87. Muff Potter: With what I can gather from just a cursory over view of Harris’s former shtick, a lot of it’s just repackaged Voddie Baucham stuff.

    Anybody else see the similarity?

    Those of us unafraid of being called conspiracicts would suggest that there will always arise new tools to push the same old lies. Whether or not there is a human organization behind this, I cannot say, but I do believe the enemy of our souls will always find willing dupes to peddle his baloney.

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  88. JDV: Here’s an idea when you do feel like looking at what went wrong etc. How about considering the concept of not writing a book with a suggested lifestyle to-do list for others? How about serving and learning before lecturing? The amateur hour book club culture is toxic, and the fingers of blame never seem to rest long enough on people,who should be saying no or closing their mouths?

    He was very young when he was writing books. I believe he was quite pushed into it by those older than him (father, CJ, other leaders) who should have known better. CJ was always going after young men that he could groom (brainwash) into his cult. That is what rbw Pastor’s college at SGM was about.

    Josh was born into a cult and passed on to CJ Mahaney to continue in a cult. It would have been nice if Josh had seen the error of all of them, but he was constantly put on a pedestal for everyone to emulate. He was not allowed to think for himself until when he left SGM.

    I blame the “Elders” in his life more than anyone. They did not act like elders in any way. They were foolish men with foolish ideas that have backfired on two generations of their children.

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  89. Nathan Priddis: My take-away-
    -Elizabeth Elliott relived her ideal life vicariously through participants in the Purity Movement.
    -Just as Gothard lived his fantasies through his related ministries.
    -Neither envisioned life existed in reality, and therefore explained why neither can be found.
    -Both where highly sexual.

    Would be interested in your unpacking of this Nathan – I get the 3rd point, because she came across as strangely otherworldly figure in many of her writings.

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  90. Max: When someone approaches God with his intellect, rather than his spirit…

    It’s possible that the two are not mutually exclusive. There might, IOW, be something in this strange idea of “the mind set on the spirit” that a few people occasionally talk about.

    I realise you’re probably not talking about the same thing, but a large swathe of the small-c charismatic scene in the UK hates and despises the intellect, and despises intellectuals likewise. An autistic person like me is always considered to be “working it out in my intellect” and, thus, a second class christian who is incapable of relating to God. There are several practical outworkings of my being a second-class christian:

     I’m incapable of falling over when an anointed person with superpowers prays for me
     I believe a person making silly noises may not, necessarily, be praying in tongues
     I believe a person making outrageous claims may not, necessarily, be an apostle or prophet

    Stuff like that.

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  91. Eli,

    I agree with everything you’ve said. It’s hard for me to understand how so many took as “Gospel” these concepts like emotional chastity which aren’t clear from Scripture. God heals the brokenhearted, which implies hearts WILL be broken, but God’s arms are open. I hope the best for the Harris family as well.

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  92. George: What I really think is that C.J. was simply a good marketer. He understood that being reformed and charismatic was a good niche

    I’ve seen this combination of “reformed and charismatic” mentioned a few times now, & it may be a dumb question but I need to understand what it means. I assume it doesn’t refer to tongues speaking, as most strict Reformed people I encounter tend to be cessationist? Is charismatic used in the secular sense, ie a “charismatic leader”? Or something else?
    Sorry if this is off topic…

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  93. Feel sad that their relationship deteriorated to this point. Shannon released an album not very long along. I listened some of the songs. The songs spoke to me that something at the core is broken/cracked and searching for a path to re-integrate. She came across as a very talented person and make me wonder how much of her talent was suppressed under the purity/complimentarian ideology.

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  94. Ray,

    “She came across as a very talented person and make me wonder how much of her talent was suppressed under the purity/complimentarian ideology.”
    +++++++++++++++++

    considering that artistic expression wells up from within,

    and considering that complementarian ideology restricts women and plants a “cookie”, so to speak, to always hold back and always check yourself and always stop short so as not to exceed your role,

    i’d say it was impossible for her artistic talent to function beyond a few squeaks of expression that managed to get out.

    she and all that is inside her (personality, talent, voice, expression, artistic inspiration) is? / was held prisoner to that truly stupid & inhumane ideology.

    (i wanted to call it evil, but i use that word sparingly — for what is most deserving… maybe)

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  95. Nick Bulbeck: … a large swathe of the small-c charismatic scene in the UK hates and despises the intellect, and despises intellectuals likewise.

    One should not be so spiritually minded that his brain falls out … so heavenly minded that he is of no earthly use. There is nothing wrong with being an intellectual churchman, unless one relies only on his intellect to attempt to understand the things of God rather than seeking the Holy Spirit to teach him truth.

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  96. Julie Anne: Did Christ ridicule people?

    Christ’s description of Herod as a fox would fit my description of mocking or ridicule. I can think of other times that Jesus was severe in his criticisms that would border on or were ridicule, especially of the religious leaders of his day. I don’t believe Him to be the “safe” Jesus many mistake him to be.

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  97. elastigirl,

    i think women who come out of patriarchal / complementarian existence would do well to take a martial arts class where you have to yell from the ferocious depths of your being.

    (everyone has it in them)

    i’m thinking that can only help artistic expression. shaking off the barriers and finding access to that part of oneself.

    (of course in martial arts once you find that part of yourself you learn to discipline it. by your knowledge and skill — not by what the male figures in your life decide)

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  98. Bridget: Josh was born into a cult and passed on to CJ Mahaney to continue in a cult …

    … and hung out in New Calvinist ranks with folks like Driscoll. Many believe that New Calvinism is cultish in many ways. The poor guy just kept stepping into holes.

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  99. Ray,

    i watched a video of hers that someone linked to. not sure of the context of the song, and maybe restrained and controlled was fitting.

    her artistic expression would soar and roar like a Santa Ana wind if she could find her fury and give it full expression. and then just like in martial arts, you moderate it for the context. but the deep well is open, and you draw from it.

    i’m being totally presumptuous here.

    i just think art that is safe is waiting to be set free. the artist needs deep access to all of him or herself and to be able to express it from the bottom of the soul. metered out as he/she sees fit.

    ….pardon me

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  100. Eric Rasmusen,

    Monday, 7/15/2019 post. You insinuated children can be mistaken about being molested. I asked you where you heard that. Instead you gave me a why response that grossed out Friend, Jeannette, and myself. You never fully explained yourself and answered my question. You came across as a pedophile there. Go back and explain yourself. You’re either a troll or a pedophile.

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  101. Ray,

    i just read “fall apart”. very candid, transparent.

    my previous comment was too presumptuous for its own good.

    my working hypothesis is that christian music can’t help but be restrained and hold back inspiration that wants to roar in & blow the lid off.

    christian culture is a minefield of religious rules and offenses. if a musician wants to sell, they have to hold back. well, christian culture is all about holding back anyway, and staying in your box that others decide for you.

    yes, i’m full of opinion tonight.

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  102. elastigirl: i think women who come out of patriarchal / complementarian existence would do well to take a martial arts class where you have to yell from the ferocious depths of your being.

    I believe all women could profit from hand to hand combat training.
    If more rapists got their clocks cleaned by women skilled with their hands and voices as weapons, it would give predatory men pause.

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  103. Nick Bulbeck,

    I think your use of “peace” is spot on. It felt like he was not at peace at all.

    I also had a negitive reaction as the Journals unfolded. I felt sorry for Elizabeth, because her life appeared to be drawn in to his emotional state.

    Was the Journal written for an audience? I’m mostly sure it was written for a future audience, and I think Jim envisioned it as public. That was mentioned but I don’t recall if it was an entry, or editing note.

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  104. Julie Anne: Ok, point taken. I, however, do not agree with ridiculing Josh knowing what I know about his history. You don’t beat someone when they are already down.

    Thank you, I agree that Joshua Harris deserves some mercy. In keeping with that, let’s stipulate that Harris is not Herod.

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  105. elastigirl: christian culture is a minefield of religious rules and offenses. if a musician wants to sell, they have to hold back. well, christian culture is all about holding back anyway, and staying in your box that others decide for you.

    Point taken. I agree with you. 🙂

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  106. chris s: Would be interested in your unpacking of this Nathan – I get the 3rd point, because she came across as strangely otherworldly figure in many of her writings.

    About point three-
    Jim and Elizabeth never lived as man and wife for one minute in the normal world.

    Jim did temporary teaching in a public school.(real world) I think he even mentioned post-college criticism for lack vocational direction. However, this was while he still lived at home. EE would not be representative of a normal N.American Evangelical woman.

    Its kinda late, so let me pick just my last point. If your not tired of the thread you can always reply.

    -Four
    Both Gothard and and EE have sex as a prominate feature of their ideologies. Both ideologies strike me as frozen in time. BG’s is a fundamentalist junior high boy, in 1950’s Sunday school setting. Its a juvenile sexuality that developes because of perceived bible knowledge. But Its Fundamentslist. Sex is sin. How does a boy deal with the inner turmoil?

    Gothard ages, but the fantasy never does, and there is always a fresh crop of Sunday School girls.

    The Journals editting notes begin circa 46-47. She is a nerdy idealistic missionary girl. She falls in love soon after entering college. But the romantic ideal never happens as envisioned. She instead endured unrealised desires, seperation and uncertainty.

    Decades later, she preaches a idealistic romantic ideology. Somehow, if you follow the ideology, you will get a blessed outcone. But life does not work like that. Nor can Elliot go back, she’s not eighteen anymore and Jim will never be her ideal. After all, he’s dead.

    So, she creates an idealistic and highly spiritual world.

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  107. •Just because I repudiate the *purity* theology does not mean I reject Biblical standards.(Can you believe there are people claiming this nonsense?)

    Some Christians can confuse “purity culture” with Christian teachings on sexuality. “Purity culture” has affected language and this affects those who didn’t grow up with whatever Harris’ book taught. Though “purity” in the Bible refers to more than just on matters of sexuality, the term “purity” is now only associated with that topic subconsciously.

    When I first read someone who’s older than me and orthodox criticizing “purity culture” awhile back, I thought it was strange for that person to do that. I thought this person was saying it was OK for Christians to have sex outside of marriage. Then I learned that’s not what was meant.

    The Christian position on sexuality is not only different from wider society’s but also being attacked, derided and ridiculed, then some Christians will feel the need to be on the “offensive” in light of this linguistic confusion. Adding to the confusion is some who want Christian teachings on sexuality to be abandoned tie the teachings to “purity culture”.

    On other things, I practically have to start with a disclaimer before I continue to explain certain things to prevent confusion, which is frustrating but needed. I’m afraid this might be one of them too. There will likely be a need to constantly differentiate the two due to the linguistic effects.

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  108. Nick Bulbeck: I realise you’re probably not talking about the same thing, but a large swathe of the small-c charismatic scene in the UK hates and despises the intellect, and despises intellectuals likewise. An autistic person like me is always considered to be “working it out in my intellect” and, thus, a second class christian who is incapable of relating to God. There are several practical outworkings of my being a second-class christian:

     I’m incapable of falling over when an anointed person with superpowers prays for me
     I believe a person making silly noises may not, necessarily, be praying in tongues
     I believe a person making outrageous claims may not, necessarily, be an apostle or prophet

    Stuff like that.

    I believe you are describing the road I have traveled! I might be a Nickist. 😉

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  109. Eric Rasmusen: Most people don’t, but what about the hypocrite and the fraudster once their schemes are revealed? I am speaking generally; I do not know about Joshua Harris except that there is a prima facie case for hypocrisy. Ridicule is a particular form of criticism, combining humor with rebuke. What is wrong with it, compared to simple condemnation, if the subject of ridicule does deserve condemnation?

    I think you are mistaken on the subject of hypocrisy. “Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence, in a general sense, hypocrisy may involve dissimulation, pretense, or a sham. Hypocrisy is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another.” (Wikipedia)

    Growing up, learning, changing your mind, and expressing that you have changed your mind is not hypocrisy, it is honesty. Do you feel that a man must be consigned to hold forever the beliefs he had in his 20’s?

    But, aside from that, how about, “The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth” or “malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men” or perhaps “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.”

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  110. Nathan Priddis: Both Gothard and and EE have sex as a prominate feature of their ideologies. Both ideologies strike me as frozen in time. BG’s is a fundamentalist junior high boy, in 1950’s Sunday school setting. Its a juvenile sexuality that developes because of perceived bible knowledge. But Its Fundamentslist. Sex is sin. How does a boy deal with the inner turmoil?

    Thanks Nathan – had thought of EE’s thinking as a strange abnegation of sex because of the element of unrealised desire – though I think there’s a lot of sense in what you say, because of the way in which the 50s become preserved in aspic in her books.

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  111. SiteSeer: Growing up, learning, changing your mind, and expressing that you have changed your mind is not hypocrisy, it is honesty. Do you feel that a man must be consigned to hold forever the beliefs he had in his 20’s?

    One might as well call someone a hypocrite for converting to christianity; after all, it’s a major change to everything they’ve believed about the world.

    I’m extremely glad when someone who’s written a book like IKDG can change his mind, and do so radically.

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  112. Brian: Go back and explain yourself. You’re either a troll or a pedophile.

    I remember similar comments when the stuff about Chantry just came out. Some of the worst came from known people who were friends of Chantry. One known blogger left the internet over it (and has kept that promise under his real name as far as I can tell). I suspect there was also a family member commenting.

    Chantry’s biggest personal argument was that the victims made it all up. Of course, his reasoning never made any sense. His attorney wouldn’t let him speak in the second trial because his pronouncement that he didn’t do anything wrong and it was all a conspiracy, but he had a “right” to spank other people’s children was totally insane. The prosecution had an expert that explained that while children may get some details wrong, that children can make factual testimonies about molestation.

    There’s a narrative right now to say that lying about being abused or molested is common. Studies have determined is actually quite rare, especially because of how hard the process is of speaking up. I can personally testify to how hard that process is, having tried to report a sexual assault.

    Now, when I see people saying, “They made it up” or “It’s not really a big deal”, I too wonder if they are perpetrators or enablers of perpetrators.

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  113. ishy: Now, when I see people saying, “They made it up” or “It’s not really a big deal”, I too wonder if they are perpetrators or enablers of perpetrators.

    In most contexts, they’re enables of the abuse culture whether they realise it or not.

    I have no direct experience of being in an environment that turned out to be a haven for a sexual predator (this is not to say I can’t possibly ever have been conned by a sexual predator). I do have experience of spiritually abusive organised religion, though. Here in the UK it’s more commonly known as “heavy shepherding”, but it refers to the same thing: bullying, authoritarianism, coercive micro-management, and so on. It was a minority, but persistent, feature of the house church movement here in the 1980’s.

    I don’t think many people woke up one morning and thought, I think I’ll become a “heavy shepherding”-style leader today. As far as I say, most people got sucked into that kind of environment by stealth and/or self-deception.

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  114. •Better yet, don’t date. This was harmful.

    Indeed. You learn so much by dating around about what does and doesn’t work, how to grow as a person, what you want, etc. Just thinking about how much growth people experience after breakups, hard as they are! And this system seems designed to try to avoid those things. Why?

    Just think about if people told you not to make any friends until you were ready to choose a BEST friend how ridiculous that would sound!

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  115. ishy: I also know, from many friends who came out of SGM, that his parents pushed him into doing many of these things way too young. Part of me wonders if his dad even wrote most of the book for him. I don’t believe that philosophy was really his, but the one of his parents and CJ Mahaney.

    I have always assumed this is the case, and this is why I feel like he deserves less of the blame for this book as a whole, although his behavior as a pastor and his behavior now are his own. I know a lot of people don’t think he’s contrite enough, but who ran with this and pushed it on kids? It was other adults all over the place. They deserve the blame, to me, for the ‘movement’ aspect of this IKDG. They should have known better.

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  116. singleman: Purity culture may be seriously wounded but I doubt it will give up without a fight, at least if this article published at Pulpit and Pen is any indication.

    The article author is listed as ‘news division’ lol. I didn’t realize pulpit and pen considered themselves news.

    This doesn’t sound like ‘news’:

    Christians grew more skeptical of Harris when, after his resignation from Covenant Life, Harris began to cast shade upon the so-called “purity movement” and apologize for inadvertently hurting people.”

    “Christians”? I think many thought these were all good healthy moves that didn’t go far enough. And wow, they took a chance to take a shot at Rachel Evans too. these are not nice people. Also

    First, Harris denounced purity culture. Then, Harris divorced. Learn the lesson, and learn it well.

    Imagine being this stupid, that this is the lesson you took.

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  117. I have a problem with the use of the word *purity.* So, if someone abides by the rules of Harris’ former book, does that mean he is pure? What if someone is an angry man and insulting to those he meets?Is he pure? What about pastors who coverup sex abuse in the church? Are they pure if they follow IKDG rules?

    I do not believe the word *pure* should be used in this context. It limits *purity* to simply *no sex before marriage.* I think purity embodies a striving for righteousness and a rejection of immorality.

    And guess what? No one is *pure.* All have fallen in one way or another.By pretending one is pure simply because one does not have sex before marriage is a way to *cook the books.* One can pretend they are pure when they are just as messed up as others. There is a reason for confession . In fact, Jesus came because we are all impure.

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  118. SiteSeer: I disagree on #4 above. When a couple separate, it doesn’t automatically follow that either one has given up responsibility to their children. Most divorced people I know continue to be involved in their children’s lives and take it very seriously.

    Indeed. I thought that was unfair. We don’t know what’s going on in their marriage, it could be Shannon wants the divorce honestly. Most men I know are involved fathers after divorce.

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  119. SH: Here’s link to that interview in case anyone missed it: https://sojo.net/articles/questioning-faith-after-purity-culture-conversation-joshua-harris

    How interesting what he notes about women here…I had not seen that.

    … I think in our setting, though, the thing that I would say is that we had a very restricted view of the role of women. That’s one of the biggest things I regret in my time of being a pastor is the way we taught about women in the church, women in leadership, in the home, and so on.

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  120. Eli: “Emotional chastity” is something that C.S. Lewis in The Four Loves says is much closer to hell than heaven – it’s all about safety first, not letting your heart be broken for love’s sake.

    This is so important to me. It also goes alone with Brene Brown’s advice about embracing vulnerability. Lesson’s I’ve definitely had to learn.

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  121. Lea: https://sojo.net/articles/questioning-faith-after-purity-culture-conversation-joshua-harris

    How interesting what he notes about women here … I had not seen that.

    “… I think in our setting, though, the thing that I would say is that we had a very restricted view of the role of women …”

    Harris’ “setting” was the world of New Calvinism for most of his ministry. In the interview, he goes on to say “… I do think that a very patriarchal, male-centered, low view of women has connections to sexual abuse …”

    I hope the complementarian boys in SBC and elsewhere are taking note of Harris’ charge in this regard … and that female believers ensnared by the new reformation would seriously consider his words for themselves and their children. God deliver us from this madness!

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  122. dee,

    Exactly…. I grew up in a GARBC fundy background, and they had their own set of “rules”, some of which overlap with the currently discussed “rules”, but I am sure the GARBC had their own “rules” as well ( to be honest, I do not want waste my time comparing “rules”)
    So, who is more pious? Those that follow the GARBC rules of old, those currently debated, or maybe the “5 marks rules”? Oh, I forgot, I am sure Jonny Mac has his own rules as well!

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  123. dee,

    The Purity Movement is fraudulently using the word purity. It is a different gospel of salvation.

    I do believe (then young) Harris was influenced by Elliot. But I would challenge the notion that he is consistent with the relationships and sexuality discribed in Journals of Jimm Elliot.

    1. I challege the statement that he ever read Elliot’s work.
    2. Elliot and Purity Culture contridict each other. She was the polar opposite of a Duggar girl for example.
    3. I have no way of challenging his authorship, but I doubt he composed, let alone understood, writings attributed to him.

    Older adults with exposure and living memory of Elliot’s life, should have immediately realized the contradictions. I specificaly point to James Dobson and Focus for propagating Harris’s book in the 90’s.

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  124. Muff Potter: If more rapists got their clocks cleaned by women skilled with their hands and voices as weapons, it would give predatory men pause.

    Sorry. But I think you’re projecting how you would react to a situation when the brain of the other person is wired totally different from yours. While they may not go after someone who looks like a football linkbacker getting beaten up by a possible victim is about the same as a few years of jail and that doesn’t seem to slow a lot of them down even after getting out of jail.

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  125. Jeffrey Chalmers,

    “So, who is more pious? Those that follow the GARBC rules of old, those currently debated, or maybe the “5 marks rules”? Oh, I forgot, I am sure Jonny Mac has his own rules as well!”
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    it’s ridiculous. and each set of rules is deemed “biblical”. crimany, change churches and you get a different biblical.

    they may be slight differences, but these slight differences are powerful enough to make you spiritual enemy #1 if you trip the invisible wires.

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  126. SiteSeer: I think you are mistaken on the subject of hypocrisy. …Growing up, learning, changing your mind, and expressing that you have changed your mind is not hypocrisy, it is honesty.

    indeed. The former is lies and artifice, the latter is growth.

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  127. ishy: Now, when I see people saying, “They made it up” or “It’s not really a big deal”, I too wonder if they are perpetrators or enablers of perpetrators.

    I think many are perpetrators and others have listened to their buddies claiming someone ‘made it all up’ and taking that as truth. It’s always a friend of a friend who had somebody ‘lie’ about them, like how do you know? You don’t. Odds are you’ve simply believed a lie and discounted the truth.

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  128. elastigirl:
    Ray,

    christian culture is a minefield of religious rules and offenses.if a musician wants to sell, they have to hold back.well, christian culture is all about holding back anyway, and staying in your box that others decide for you.

    Throw the homeschool culture on top of that. Homeschooling can be a fine way to educate, but it attracts the control freaks. Makes it hard to stay sane when you are caught between the world on one side and hypercontrolling homeschoolers on the other.

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  129. dlc,

    “Makes it hard to stay sane when you are caught between the world on one side and hypercontrolling homeschoolers on the other.”
    +++++++++++++++

    i suppose i’d say experience shows me the world is full of kind, good-hearted, honest people. being a member of the human race is something to be proud of.

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  130. elastigirl: my working hypothesis is that christian music can’t help but be restrained and hold back inspiration that wants to roar in & blow the lid off.

    Not just music.
    Same thing holds for my passion of F&SF:
    https://alanloewen.blogspot.com/2016/09/guest-editorial-why-is-christian.html

    christian culture is a minefield of religious rules and offenses. if a musician wants to sell, they have to hold back. well, christian culture is all about holding back anyway, and staying in your box that others decide for you.

    Which is why when ChristianFIc & Lost Genre Guild was active, I was very vocal about “going mainstream”. When I was writing, I was striving for the pages of Sixties Analog beside the likes of Poul Anderson & H Beam Piper, not the shelves of a Jesus Junk store beside Left Behind and bonnet romances.

    P.S. A couple years ago, I DID get one of my SF pieces in a small-press anthology beside a reprint of one of Anderson’s!

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  131. Max: Someone once said that heresy is an overemphasis of a long-neglected truth.The purity movement is an example.They have overstated purity to fit their message and agenda.

    Some time ago on Internet Monk, one commenter came up with this gem:

    “Evil seems to be the side most obsessed with Purity.”

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  132. Lea: “First, Harris denounced purity culture. Then, Harris divorced. Learn the lesson, and learn it well.”

    Imagine being this stupid, that this is the lesson you took.

    “Stupidity is like hydrogen; it’s the basic building block of the Universe.”
    — Frank Zappa

    And when you add “Holy Nincompoop Syndrome” to the mix, you get the best of both worlds — total invincible stupidity plus Holier-than-Thou about it!

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  133. Divorce Minister,

    So,I had a similar experience with a heavy sheparding legalistic church run by my father-in-law. Similar in structure to SGM ministries and touting much the same garbage. I came out of it and realized it boils down to a few simple yet not necessarily easy concepts in Christian thought and practice of faith and mostly worldview and authorities in the church ( and life). Many churches emphasize the old testament law or the system of rules and actions or “correct” responses to the rules ie. Purity movement. This is basically just a continuation of what the church leaders during the time of Christ we’re doing. The only fruit of such a wrong headed system of faith will be hypocrisy born of spiritual pride. Christ calls us to follow Him and his voice. His word makes it clear that we are inately lost and in need of a Good Shepard.(Him). The entirety of the law ever being written was to show the Israelites and the world that no one but God alone can fulfill the purity standards he requires! Even our good works r like filthy rags. No set of rules or adherance to those rules ever sanctified anyone. We cannot sanctify ourselves. The NEW testament is our salvation.God through the blood (life) of His ONLY Son has written a new law on our hearts. We can now hear directly from His throne room! Doesn’t matter if you are a man woman or child. We are no longer under the law.or any law other than the law of love IN Christ Jesus. Here’s an analogy… If you own a car and it’s getting on in age and has lots of problems getting you to where you need to go…and someone sees your need and meets your need by purchasing a brand new car for you. Do you continue driving around the old one while claiming you are using the new one? Well? God is calling us to throw the old one in the dump and get in the new one,learn all the new ways that it functions and operate it instead. The old covenant is just that…OLD…toss it out and get to know the new covenant between God and man…mainly His son Jesus. Work on getting to know him and his word and through time spent with him in prayer,fasting,singing His praises..serving others,holding yourself accountable to others, confession of sins to one another,bearing each other’s burdens.etc. Church leaders should place themselves and their “authority” as secondary to the needs of Christ’s sheep and be the servants of all as Christ called us all to do. And remind themselves of this fact on a daily basis.We are a nation of preists! We are all equals…no matter our “positions or titles”.

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  134. I just wanted to reiterate that not only can purity / complementarian teachings eventually cause a marriage to fail,

    But they also play a role in why so many who would like to get married either don’t marry at all, or not until later than they hoped or expected.

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  135. Lea: I think there are people who take things more seriously/to heart than others and they tend to be the ones who don’t do well. But that’s just a theory.

    Complementarianism makes for some pretty entitled men, though. And Barna has said that there are more single women in churches than single men. So I think the odds are just against a lot of women.

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  136. The problem with the mantra of Harris and so many is the binary thinking that infects the mind of the Pharisee. The thinking goes something like this: since the culture is corrupt and young people are too often treating sex as pure recreation and devaluing it as well as commitment (propositions I agree with, BTW), the culture must then have it all wrong in every aspect. Dating must be evil and all physical contact must be wrong. It amazes me that these people, allegedly biblically literate, could read the Bible and how Jesus singled out the Pharisees for particular condemnation, and then not see in themselves that same thing Jesus was condemning.

    My wife and I struggled with our physical relationship like many people do before marriage, but we worked through it together and we sure didn’t think there was any silver bullet that could guarantee a great marriage. 30 years of marriage and many children later, still struggling, just with other things, but still absolutely in love. Would’ve been harder to make it, though, if we’d been sold a bunch of bogus garbage like “I Kissed Dating Good-bye.” We’d been married several years before that trite bit of garbage came out. I put it in the same category as the Ezzos and Pearls: written by the ignorant for the ignorant.

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  137. Law Prof: The problem with the mantra of Harris and so many is the binary thinking that infects the mind of the Pharisee. The thinking goes something like this: since the culture is corrupt and young people are too often treating sex as pure recreation and devaluing it as well as commitment (propositions I agree with, BTW), the culture must then have it all wrong in every aspect

    Communism begets Objectivism –
    Totally Opposite, Equally Out-of-Balance, Equally Fanatical.

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  138. Max: Therein lies a major problem within New Calvinism.Many of these preacher-boys were raised with some sort of toxic upbringing which retarded their spiritual growth and then became unfortunate enough to become indoctrinated into reformed theology with its new & improved way of doing church.It’s increasingly clear that many of them chose to “go” into ministry, rather than “called” into ministry, in order to gain a pulpit to release their confusion into the pew.Harris has always been trying to find himself … Good Lord! When will the institutional church tire of stunted leaders in the pulpit that don’t know who they are in Christ!We need more men of God, not preacher-boys … God, send us some!

    This describes every single Neocalvinist church leader I have ever known. While my experience is anecdotal, there is not a single exception—and I’ve known or associated with more than a few neocal leaders. If you ever get to know one, ask them about their relationships with their dads sometimes. My agnostic dad who never even said a table prayer was a dream by comparison with all the fathers of every single neocal leader I’ve ever known; they all had fathers who were some combo of: abusive/alcoholic/violent/sadistic/sexually deviant/personality-disordered. Every. Single. One.

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  139. Steve240: Daisy: But they also play a role in why so many who would like to get married either don’t marry at all, or not until later than they hoped or expected.
    Like kissing marriage goodbye?

    Pretty much.

    Though I was NOT raised in Christianese Purity Culture, I ended up internalizing most of its tropes. Purity Culture tropes + already-existing fear of women + post-sexual revolution surroundings = NO opposite-sex social skills. (Especially atop my very late-blooming social skills in general; by the time I grew up enough emotionally, I’d aged well out of marriage eligibility.)

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  140. Law Prof: This describes every single Neocalvinist church leader I have ever known. While my experience is anecdotal, there is not a single exception—and I’ve known or associated with more than a few neocal leaders. If you ever get to know one, ask them about their relationships with their dads sometimes.My agnostic dad who never even said a table prayer was a dream by comparison with all the fathers of every single neocal leader I’ve ever known; they all had fathers who were some combo of: abusive/alcoholic/violent/sadistic/sexually deviant/personality-disordered. Every. Single. One.

    Sort of a “Like Father, Like Son” with a Predestined Elect Holy coat of paint?

    WHEN THE BIBLE TALKS ABOUT “GENERATIONAL CURSES”, THAT IS WHAT THEY MEAN!
    How bad behavior can get passed down through generations because “it’s what’s normal”!

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  141. ishy: Lea: I think there are people who take things more seriously/to heart than others and they tend to be the ones who don’t do well. But that’s just a theory.

    Complementarianism makes for some pretty entitled men, though. And Barna has said that there are more single women in churches than single men. So I think the odds are just against a lot of women.

    I don’t disagree at all with this. I was thinking more in general I guess? Not just in church but they take the churches concepts too seriously and then even when they ditch some things they have trouble adjusting totally…maybe I’m partly thinking of myself years ago even though I never got caught up in most of this.

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  142. Headless Unicorn Guy: Sort of a “Like Father, Like Son” with a Predestined Elect Holy coat of paint?

    WHEN THE BIBLE TALKS ABOUT “GENERATIONAL CURSES”, THAT IS WHAT THEY MEAN!
    How bad behavior can get passed down through generations because “it’s what’s normal”!

    I tend to think that’s right. While the children aren’t to blame for the ill behavior of the parents, too often the children get warped by it, and it passes down from generation to generation. I can’t judge those children all-in-all, don’t know if I’d have done better with the raw material and circumstances they were given, but one can sure judge the behavior and the fruits and tell people to steer way clear of them.

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  143. Law Prof,

    Yeah, many New Calvinist “lead pastors” are a mess. Those I have known had abusive fathers, domineering mothers, bad dating experiences in high school/college, and/or other toxic relationships in their past that they brought unresolved to the pulpit. Their pulpits provide them an opportunity to control others, rather than being controlled. It’s such a sad movement for a lot of reasons. Give them a 9Marks handbook on how to discipline and they go wild when given the opportunity.

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  144. Divorce Minister:
    singleman,

    They conclude the article you share saying, “First, Harris denounced purity culture. Then, Harris divorced. Learn the lesson, and learn it well.”

    Harris did NOT announce divorce. The announcement is explicitly for a separation (maybe it is a way to say “divorce” without using that word; but nevertheless, it is not used in his announcement). Plus, do they really think if Harris had continued to defend purity culture that his marriage would not be ending in separation here? That is some pretty thick denial. It only takes one party to end a marriage these days. Just some really crazy thinking, in my opinion.

    PS This is my take on the news: http://www.divorceminister.com/joshua-harris-separation-announcement-kissing-ordination-goodbye/

    After reading your post, I would add the thought that they are also giving ammunition in another way to the “never divorce” crowd in the wording of their statement. After all, it’s a way of upholding the letter of the law to separate without actually going through the legal process to divorce, and if neither remarries, well then, technically they have upheld the idol that is marriage “law” in so many of today’s churches.

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  145. Eric Rasmusen:
    The lastarticle linked to in the post is good: http://www.divorceminister.com/joshua-harris-separation-announcement-kissing-ordination-goodbye/Mr. Harris needs to say more. He put himself in the public eye as an explainer of marriage. Maybe there is good reason for the separation, but I doubt it, and he should be heavily ridiculed if he refuses to explain. At the same time, that he is a hypocrite and ungodly (as seems to be the case) does not mean that his book was a bad one. I haven’t read it, so I don’t know. But the value of someone’s ideas doesn’t depend on their personal conduct, and Christians, especially, should not be surprised to find sin, even gross sin in the most unlikely places.We should, however, hope to see Christian leaders condemn this separation and call for explanation or reconciliation. I hope to see it–but I don’t expect to see it, alas.

    I can attest: the book is a bad one. Actually, both books are bad, full of faulty application of theology that confidently promised strong, happy marriages and left human ruin in their wake.

    But maybe you might agree with his misapplied theology, from the rest of what you said. It sounds awfully demanding. Even phariseeical. Why does the churchian world get to judge whether they have a church-approved reason to separate, to demand explanation and, worse, demand that they stay together for appearances’ sake—does it get any more hypocritical than that?—if their excuse doesn’t meet with your approval?

    It’s okay. You don’t have to expel them from your church. Sounds like they’ve already left behind the heavy burdens that the Pharisees tie onto the people yet are unwilling themselves to bear.

    Sorry if I am misunderstanding your heart in this matter, but the demand for christian leaders to condemn their probably long-contemplated and not-lightly-undertaken separation made me angry.

    Doesn’t sound like they’re looking for approval, anyhow. Probably more likely trying to head off mean-spirited gossip and legalistic judging, which I’m sure they’re already too familiar with, considering the culture they escaped.

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  146. Patti:
    TS00,
    I have also known a lot of people from dysfunctional non-Christian homes who become fundamentalist strict Christian parents because the sound of a “fix” to what they were raised in lures them into cultish parenting.

    Bingo. That’s how I got sucked in.

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  147. Max: On your blog, you stated “I believe both Josh and Shannon have been victims of spiritual abuse by the system they were raised in (or brought into).”

    As I further assess where he’s been, I must agree.For Harris, that journey involved various avenues of spiritual abuse – the purity culture, the SGM/Mahaney mess, and the faith aberrations of New Calvinism.Unfortunately, there are thousands upon thousands of other young adults who have been on that same trip.May God bring a fury of correction into the spirits of the leaders who led them astray, and who continue to do so in many corners of the church.I envision another “MeToo” movement of spiritual abuse stories on the horizon – their voices will paint an ugly picture of the underbelly of purity practice, the “beauty of complementarity”, and their merger with the New Calvinist movement.

    It’s already happening. Has been happening for some time now. Blogs. FB survivor groups. Hashtags on social media (#emptythepews and #exvangelical, for just two examples).

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  148. SH: I’ve seen this combination of “reformed and charismatic” mentioned a few times now, & it may be a dumb question but I need to understand what it means. I assume it doesn’t refer to tongues speaking, as most strict Reformed people I encounter tend to be cessationist? Is charismatic used in the secular sense, ie a “charismatic leader”? Or something else?
    Sorry if this is off topic…

    I don’t know about speaking in tongues, but I do know that Gregg Harris’s flavor of reformed charismatic involved “the old paths”—Puritan writings, I think, combined with prophecy. We went to a Households (the denomination that grew out of Gregg Harris’s original church) church a few times, and one of the things they did differently was they had an open microphone at a certain point (I don’t remember exactly when in the proceedings, but it was a regular part of worship). People came up freely during that time to read a scripture passage that moved them in some way, or to give a “Word from the Lord.” They also raised their hands when they prayed and sang, and they sang Hillsong-type music—quite emotional.

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  149. Willi Flex: Many churches emphasize the old testament law or the system of rules and actions or “correct” responses to the rules ie. Purity movement. This is basically just a continuation of what the church leaders during the time of Christ we’re doing. The only fruit of such a wrong headed system of faith will be hypocrisy born of spiritual pride. Christ calls us to follow Him and his voice. His word makes it clear that we are inately lost and in need of a Good Shepard.(Him). The entirety of the law ever being written was to show the Israelites and the world that no one but God alone can fulfill the purity standards he requires! Even our good works r like filthy rags. No set of rules or adherance to those rules ever sanctified anyone. We cannot sanctify ourselves.

    It almost seems like people read all of that in the Bible and then turn around and come away with the idea “yes, but WE will try HARDER and have BETTER rules.”

    I agree with much of what you have written. I’m cautious about the idea of confessing sins to one another, though, and perhaps this is what you also meant, but I thought I’d mention it- I think that when the Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another, it isn’t saying we need to dredge up the private details of our lives and tell other people. I think it is saying to be honest about our shortcomings. In other words, don’t be a hypocrite, putting on a holy public face while you do the very things you speak against in private; when you’ve failed, admit it. Kind of like what Josh Harris has done here, that we’re discussing. The reason I mention this is, I’ve known of a few situations where young believers were convinced they were supposed to share private details of their lives with church leaders and those facts were kept track of and used to control them. It’s a big part of the “manhood” groups. People aren’t always as trustworthy as they appear.

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  150. Jeffrey Chalmers: Exactly…. I grew up in a GARBC fundy background, and they had their own set of “rules”, some of which overlap with the currently discussed “rules”, but I am sure the GARBC had their own “rules” as well ( to be honest, I do not want waste my time comparing “rules”)
    So, who is more pious? Those that follow the GARBC rules of old, those currently debated, or maybe the “5 marks rules”? Oh, I forgot, I am sure Jonny Mac has his own rules as well!

    They’ve all got their lists of rules and traditions! Bible study on Weds, soul winning on Thursday nights! Be there whenever the church doors are open! or be a backslider!

    And let’s not forget the Messianic movement. God doesn’t require us to keep the old testament laws and traditions anymore- but of course we are way better and closer to him if we do it anyway!

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  151. SH: I’ve seen this combination of “reformed and charismatic” mentioned a few times now, & it may be a dumb question but I need to understand what it means. I assume it doesn’t refer to tongues speaking, as most strict Reformed people I encounter tend to be cessationist?

    It does indeed refer to holy rollers type stuff. Wayne Grudem was big into the Vineyard movement for a time. CJ Mahaney embraced the ‘Toronto Blessing’, and even took the title of ‘apostle’. These two have really run the gamut, Grudem started out a Presbyterian, has been Baptist and Vineyard and now is in some sort of ‘nondenominational’ Bible church. Mahaney was described as Catholic in the 1970s while leading the ‘Take and Give’ group, which morphed into ‘Gathering of Believers’, then ‘People of Destiny’ (Charismatic emphasis) and finally “Sovereign Grace Ministries” (Calvinist emphasis).

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  152. refugee: It’s already happening.

    Yes, I understand. I was specifically referring to more revelations coming from the New Calvinist movement. It will just be a matter of time before female believers under oppression within that movement start rising up and sharing their stories about life under the thumb of the new reformers.

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  153. Catherine,

    This announcement is sad and has nothing to do with a book – this is the only thing that I’m sure of since I do not personally know the Harris’. I will say that he probably missed something in his youth that he is trying to regain at the cost of his family/children especially will suffer. If I could say one thing to Josh, I suspect you, like Solomon, will search for what you are looking for at the expense of missing years with your children (being emotionally absent is still absent) and find there is nothing new under the sun. The missing experiences youre longing for, you missed when you were single, too bad so sad, now youre a dad…so go home and love your wife and kids the grass is NEVER greener on the other side. How can I say such a thing? I was Josh Harris…God Bless

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  154. refugee: After reading your post, I would add the thought that they are also giving ammunition in another way to the “never divorce” crowd in the wording of their statement. After all, it’s a way of upholding the letter of the law to separate without actually going through the legal process to divorce, and if neither remarries, well then, technically they have upheld the idol that is marriage “law” in so many of today’s churches.

    Sadly, this is what I suspect as well. Harris can ‘separate’ without being thrown to the wolves, but his goose is cooked if he divorces. I see this ‘fake marriage’ status in so many so-called christian homes. Like the Pharisees, people have been deceived into upholding the letter of the law, while entirely missing the heart of it. So many christians sanctimoniously remain in dead, hopeless marriages in which both partners are miserable and lonely, assuring themselves that God is pleased as long as they don’t divorce. Instead, their abandonment of their pledge to love their spouse is just as real as any divorce.

    It is the state of division and enmity that displeases God, whether one divorces, separates or lives in an unarmed truce. None of these three options uphold the marriage God describes or intends a man and a woman to share. It is legalistic hypocrisy to think your dead marriage is superior to someone else’s honest divorce.

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  155. SiteSeer: I’m cautious about the idea of confessing sins to one another, though, and perhaps this is what you also meant, but I thought I’d mention it- I think that when the Bible tells us to confess our sins to one another, it isn’t saying we need to dredge up the private details of our lives and tell other people. I think it is saying to be honest about our shortcomings. In other words, don’t be a hypocrite, putting on a holy public face while you do the very things you speak against in private; when you’ve failed, admit it.

    Excellent point, siteseer. The distortion of this exhortation to not be a hypocrite has been very destructive.

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  156. refugee: After reading your post, I would add the thought that they are also giving ammunition in another way to the “never divorce” crowd in the wording of their statement.

    I never thought anything other than that they were announcing the separation as a precursor to divorce. It’s interesting to see people interpreting it this way, but I honestly doubt they had any intentions of making this that vague. It’s probably that they are required to separate prior to divorce, by the law. If they reconcile, they reconcile but I think their current intentions are pretty clear. YMMV.

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  157. Max: It will just be a matter of time before female believers under oppression within that movement start rising up and sharing their stories about life under the thumb of the new reformers.

    I agree. The rumbling can already be heard, as the blinders fall off. Receiving their purpose and joy from raising their children, the day finally arrives when women find themselves left alone in miserable, unfulfilling marriages. I would allege that the ‘no divorce, ever’ creed is very much like the purity creed – it misleads people into thinking that ‘keeping the law’ is enough. But it never is.

    Too late they realize that simply being committed to a lifetime marriage does not create a marriage that can last a lifetime. A genuine relationship requires selflessness and effort, and is nearly impossible to grow under the female-diminishing oppressiveness of patriarchy.

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  158. staci,

    Wow, a lot of presumption here. Are you somehow privy to their personal lives? You know somehow that this is all on Josh? There are two people involved here. They both get to make decisions about their own lives.

    And by the way, they’re not you and your wife. They have their own story to write.

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  159. staci: I will say that he probably missed something in his youth that he is trying to regain at the cost of his family/children especially will suffer.

    This is a huge assumption. We *don’t know* why they are divorcing, ultimately.

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  160. Max: It will just be a matter of time before female believers under oppression within that movement start rising up and sharing their stories about life under the thumb of the new reformers.

    The Handmaids (OfCalvin)’s Tales?

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  161. Headless Unicorn Guy: Pretty much.
    Though I was NOT raised in Christianese Purity Culture, I ended up internalizing most of its tropes. Purity Culture tropes + already-existing fear of women + post-sexual revolution surroundings = NO opposite-sex social skills. (Especially atop my very late-blooming social skills in general; by the time I grew up enough emotionally, I’d aged well out of marriage eligibility.)

    The IKDG book came out at some point when I was in my 20s, so I was a little older than its target demographic…

    But its teachings were similar to the conservative Christian garbage about dating, gender roles, marriage and related subjects, that I had been subjected to in church sermons in the 1970s into the 1980s, and in Christian books and magazine articles my mother brought home.

    There are a lot of teachings among Christians that are counter-intuitive to getting singles married.
    (I could explain what some of them teachings are, but this post would turn into a 50 page essay, which I’m trying to avoid, LOL)

    Josh Harris and his IKDG book was not the first or only one to propagate such teachings.

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  162. One thing I have learned is that you do not want to take dating or relationship advice from a group of people (ie conservative / complementarian Christians) who teach you that if you do get married,

    That you must adhere to rigid gender roles,
    so that if you’re a woman married to a jerk of a man, you have to just stay and endure the abuse.

    -And that is how your average Christian counsels married women who are in abusive relationships, so I now feel more than fine in rejecting their dating advice.

    I refuse to take relationship advice from people who think I am lesser than men in role, that I must “submit” to a man, even to an abusive one. Nope.

    If that’s how you think I should handle an abusive spouse, I am not going to take direction from you on how, who, or when to date.

    correction from post above
    where, for some reason, I typed,

    “(I could explain what some of them teachings are, but …)”

    ~”What some of them thar teachings are…”~

    I sound like one of those, “Let’s storm Area 51 and see them aliens” type people.

    Should have read something like, “what some of those teachings are…”

    But no, I had to sound like a hill-billy.

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  163. SiteSeer: young believers were convinced they were supposed to share private details of their lives with church leaders and those facts were kept track of and used to control them.

    My youth minister used to say that our prayers of confession in church were an empty ritual. What a shallow observation. How could he have known? Who was he to question our prayers to God?

    The youth minister exhorted us to confess our worst sins to our friends. I never summoned the courage. As a rule-following scaredy cat with little to report, nevertheless I felt guilty about not telling secrets to some equally confused teen.

    Peer-based confessions break down individual autonomy and put a judgy human, with no relevant experience, in between God and the penitent. Confession is not the same as getting something off your chest, or a way to strengthen friendships. It is a step toward repentance, toward God. Any person who witnesses or hears a confession should understand, console, and guide. The role takes wisdom and humility, and I daresay the first step is wisely humbling oneself to undergo training.

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  164. Lea: I don’t disagree at all with this. I was thinking more in general I guess? Not just in church but they take the churches concepts too seriously and then even when they ditch some things they have trouble adjusting totally…maybe I’m partly thinking of myself years ago even though I never got caught up in most of this.

    Like I said above, I was a little older than Josh Harris’ target demo for his IKDB book, but some (or many?) of its ideas were pretty common among Christians in the 1980s.

    It was emphasized to me by the Christians I read or bumped into (at least for women, not really sure how much men were hit with this),
    that marriage is a very passive undertaking,
    that as long as you prayed, waited, and trusted in God, God was in charge, and he would make sure Mr. Right crossed your path. So next to effort was required on your end.

    Well, that never happened for me, never got my Mr. Right.

    As to the few Christians I heard growing up who said the opposite,
    they said you gotta try attending church singles groups to meet a mate, etc – you have to put feet to your faith and not just sit and wait on God

    -okay, I tried a bit of that too, (even though I had awful, crippling social anxiety until I hit my 40s, I’m an introver who hates small talk, socializing and getting off my couch).

    And even when I tried dating sites in my mid-30s, tried going to churches with singles classes, etc., I remain single.

    But passivity is highly encouraged among most Christians in the world o’ getting married, or “how to get married” advice.

    I’m now suspecting that there is a lot of human effort involved, that if you want to get married, it’s like trying to get a job…

    You have to send out a lot of applications, go on a lot of interviews.
    You can’t just sit around and pray, wait, and keep your fingers crossed someone phones you to offer you a position out of the blue.

    But then, I don’t know what to make of the Bible verses that say stuff like God acts on behalf of the one who waits on Him,
    or all the Bible stories of things like sterile women who cried to God for a baby, and the text says God then permitted them to get pregnant (those ladies didn’t have to do anything other than pray to get the outcome they desired).

    There are many examples in the Bible of God helping people who didn’t make a move first, or not make a move at all – maybe because they could not, or they were too distraught.

    But in spite of all those biblical examples, I just now suspect if I want to get married,
    I have to run out and date all over the place,
    and it’s up to me to make it happen,
    because if there is a God, he is not doing squat to help singles get married.

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  165. Daisy: I’m now suspecting that there is a lot of human effort involved, that if you want to get married, it’s like trying to get a job…
    You have to send out a lot of applications, go on a lot of interviews.

    This is why I hate online dating lol. It often feels like a job interview! Ugh.

    I rarely regret taking risks but I have to convince myself to take them. I suspect a lot of this is that people are just bad at giving advice on this topic in general.

    Sometimes it really does just happen.
    Sometimes it ‘just happens’ and you realize you were actively targeted by a terrible person.
    Sometimes you have to work for it.

    The thing Josh got wrong is that love and dating and relationships are something that you don’t need to practice to get good at. That’s dead wrong. Every relationship and every breakup I’ve had has taught me SOMETHING. Usually it’s something important.

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  166. And a little side note, here.
    It’s taken the church a long time to notice that there are a lot of single Christian women still single into their 30s and older, and these women had wanted to marry at some point.

    Prior to that, many Christians didn’t notice, because they were too busy worshipping and bloviating about Married Couples and The Nuclear Family and how Marriage is supposedly ‘Under Attack from Liberals and The Gheys.’

    Some of these conservative Christians are deeply troubled that so many Christians are delaying marriage, or nor not marrying at all.

    And yet, none of them want to lift a finger to make marriage happen
    (please see my post above explaining how I suspect marriage is now a pro-active ordeal,
    where it involves human effort-
    -advising singles to just “wait, pray, and trust the Lord for a spouse” is a sure-fire recipe for keeping those singles single well into their 40s and older).

    If the married Christian people and the churches want marriage to happen more often for singles who want to get married, then you need to take steps to make it happen of your own accord…

    Such as, have your church put on more social events where singles can meet and mingle.

    Stop it with the attitude that church is only for “worshipping the Lord” (this is sadly a common attitude, even among some single Christians)
    (and no, it’s not, there are different reasons for the foundation of the church, and worship/spread of Gospel is only one slice of the pie, not the only reason for its existence).

    If you’re a married Christian couple, and you know an unmarried Christian man and an unmarried Christian women who’d like to marry,
    invite each of them over to your house for a Friday night dinner – play match-maker (with the prior permission of both single adults).

    Don’t expect your single friends to just nab a spouse all alone, via dating sites or by going to bars.

    A lot of Christians are unwisely still insisting upon the “Equally Yoked” rule – but they won’t help Christian singles get married… which means a lot of us have to try dating Non-Christians, and/or we have to go outside of Christian venues, to use secular night clubs and bars.

    It doesn’t make any sense to me how a culture (Christian culture) that supposedly prizes Christian- on- Christian marriage (and that frowns on “worldly bars”) never- the- less forces single adult Christians into a position of using Non-Christian means to get a spouse (and possibly end up marrying a Non-Christian).

    If you’re a Christian who believes in the Equally Yoked view, would you not want to ensure more Christian/ Christian marriages by helping introduce “Christian Single Person A” to “Christian Single Person B”?

    By not helping single Christians get married, Christian people/churches are pretty much forcing those singles to either die single,
    or, forcing them to go out on dating sites and to night clubs,
    where they will possibly end up marrying a Non-Christian, and they will be exposed to probably a higher chance of alcohol use, sleeping around, etc.

    If I was an ‘Equally Yoked Christian’ who is clutching my pearls over the high rate of delayed (or no) marriage among Christian singles,
    I’d rather turn my church into a meeting place for Christian singles to meet other singles to date then send them out into a secular world of dating.

    But that is exactly the predicament older Christian singles have been in for a long time now.

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  167. Lea: This is why I hate online dating lol. It often feels like a job interview! Ugh.

    I’ve seen articles the last few years that talk about online dating fatigue. People are tired of dating sites.

    I’ve also seen news stories about rapists and murderers using dating sites as their preferred victim-selecting means.

    Just this past week, I saw news reports of a study that says for the first time ever, more people are meeting dating partners and their future spouses on dating sites.

    That is, using dating sites and apps has now out-paced using friends and family to meet people to get married / get dates- but a lot of people are tired of dating sites.

    Educational Note for Married People:
    Dating sites are not a magical panacea for your lonely heart single friends.
    Just because your Aunt Maude met and later married your Uncle Fred, and they met on e-Harmony,
    doesn’t mean the rest of us have success on these sites or apps.

    There are just as many weirdos, kooks, and wackos on dating sites as there are in real life.

    If anything, I think the dating site situation has gotten worse in the past decade because more people are on these dating sites, since dating sites have lost their stigma.

    When dating sites first came out, people were kind of embarrassed to let their friends and family know they were using them.

    Now, though, dating apps are viewed as normal and legit, so everyone and their granny is on one.

    Here’s the study I was mentioning above:

    Study: Couples Meet More Online, Less Through Friends And Family
    https://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2019/07/15/study-couples-meet-online

    Years ago, a guy who made a very convincing Christian – he’d even quote Bible verses at Christian women he met on a dating site – was a serial rapist.

    He raped two or three Christian women he met via a dating site.

    I’m not opposed to dating sites.

    However, I recognize they are not a guarantee of meeting Mr. Right, either.

    But a lot of married Christians think all you have to do is sign up for e-Harmony, and you’ll get your perfectly matched Prince Charming in a matter of days. No.

    That’s not how it works out, not often, or not for all singles.

    And a lot of self-professing Christian men I met on dating sites were just as bad, if not worse, than secular men. They had tawdry, vulgar jokes on their profile pages, etc.

    Dating sites are not a magical or guaranteed solution for getting married.

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  168. Daisy: If you’re a married Christian couple, and you know an unmarried Christian man and an unmarried Christian women who’d like to marry,
    invite each of them over to your house for a Friday night dinner – play match-maker (with the prior permission of both single adults).

    People did this to me and it always went very badly. The main reason being that men are much more highly esteemed than women, and terrible men are considered “good husbands” for the average Christian woman. More than one so-called Christian has told me that being married was more important than being treated well.

    I’m all for more big events and intentional ministry to singles (in any method, because most churches I’ve visited don’t even acknowledge single people), but many Christians don’t have a lick of sense when it comes to matchmaking.

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  169. ishy: People did this to me and it always went very badly.

    I think matchmaking is an art, and you really need to know both parties well, or make it all very relaxed and just see if anything happens. I had a friend set me up and it went well although we ultimately broke up but it was mostly throwing us together a few times and seeing if anything happened.

    I also think churches that try to set up ‘single’ ministries can also be criticized when they are deemed a meat market, so I can see why this is dicey. The simple answer is there are no simple answers.

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  170. Lea: I also think churches that try to set up ‘single’ ministries can also be criticized when they are deemed a meat market

    I think this might be preferable to pretending singles don’t exist, but I don’t know that I’ve ever been at a church that even got a singles ministry half right.

    But I definitely think this pressure in Christian circles to marry everyone off as fast as possible causes huge problems. Most of the messages about marriage in general are so unhealthy to begin with, then you add in pressure to marry fast. It’s a recipe for disaster.

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  171. Daisy: invite each of them over to your house for a Friday night dinner – play match-maker (with the prior permission of both single adults).

    Pressure to find One True Love has probably made it harder to view introductions as a small favor and low-risk opportunity.

    I introduced a work colleague to a friend, and they married. Later on my husband and I introduced two friends to each other, and they also married.

    Thinking we had enough insight to keep introducing people, we tried a third time, with two friends who asked us to introduce them to other singles. My my my, did those two complain about each other afterward, and their message to us was something like, “What on earth were you thinking?” On a fourth occasion, the discomfort between the two people was so profound that it damaged our relationships with both. We had thought things through, but nobody can predict a romantic spark. Still, having stirred up so much pain, we quit.

    The wonderful old custom of introducing people might come back if all—matchmakers and matchmakees alike—took introductions in stride. It’s just lunch, not high-stakes courtship and giving away pieces of the heart.

    (Daisy, I’m certain you have always been gracious and restrained. The above is about a cultural trend.)

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  172. Friend: It’s just lunch, not high-stakes courtship and giving away pieces of the heart.

    Ha. This is how I treat all first dates. It’s so much healthier, imo. I don’t know why your friends were mad at you! Seems silly. Maybe it’s somewhere in the realm of good gift giving, where if you give a good gift it is deemed to mean something about your knowledge of and affection for the recipient? I however absolutely agree with you that no one can predict a spark!

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  173. Excellent article on the YRR crowd by Stephen McAlpine which clearly shows the difference between them and those of us who were there first.
    “But here’s the other thing, and it’s probably connected with that: those Old Reformed dudes, er, gentlemen, who guided me when I first started theological training, didn’t really get off on the word “Reformed”. They just didn’t talk about it that much at all.

    What did they talk about? They talked about Jesus. All of the time. It’s as if they were really, really close to him. They were keen to showcase Jesus from all of the Bible. Keen to show how the doctrines of grace impacted every aspect of a Christian’s personal life, ministry and worship. Keen to show its pastoral implications, not its sassy pretensions.

    And they didn’t get off on rating. Didn’t get off on book sales. Didn’t get off on podcast numbers. Didn’t get off on telling you how many people were attending their churches. It’s as if they made it their ambition not to rate; to live a quiet non-rating life. “

    https://stephenmcalpine.com/i-kissed-rating-goodbye/

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  174. Friend: The wonderful old custom of introducing people might come back if all—matchmakers and matchmakees alike—took introductions in stride. It’s just lunch, not high-stakes courtship and giving away pieces of the heart.

    I don’t put too much into things like that, but it was clear everybody else did. And that led to too much pressure. And because I used to go to comp churches, most people didn’t think my opinion was important. In their view, being single was worse than an abusive leader.

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  175. Lots of appropriate critiques of IKDG here, and appropriate critiques of the cultural and (wrongheaded) theological views from which it emanated.

    BUT, perhaps there is a way bigger issue here. How in the world does any pop-trendy book like IKDG ever become THAT influential that it can become THAT destructive? Those who unthinkingly bought into the IKDG narrative need to take some responsibility.

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  176. Friend: It’s just lunch, not high-stakes courtship and giving away pieces of the heart.

    Similar to what I encountered when I was flushing money down the crapper of video dating services in the Nineties. It wasn’t “just lunch”, it was a one-shot, all-or-nothing job interview for Marriage.

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  177. Daisy: There are a lot of teachings among Christians that are counter-intuitive to getting singles married.
    (I could explain what some of them teachings are, but this post would turn into a 50 page essay, which I’m trying to avoid, LOL)

    You could try a special essay page on your own blog.

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  178. Friend: Lea: did the soul ties thing come from Josh?

    Not specifically.

    Josh probably just distilled down Christianese Courtship trends and tropes that were floating around at the time and collated them into a single System. And in doing so, ramped them up.

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  179. Friend: Some of these friends probably expected God to answer their prayers through us.

    I get that and think it was kind of you to try! The hardest part of meeting people is figuring out how to actually meet people, so you helped with that! You can help screen out obviously unsuitable terrible people, but you can’t screen for chemistry. Online’s benefit is that it widens your field, but it leaves you with more screening to do.

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  180. Hmm…as I think about the whole SGM dynamic and the sexual abuse that went on and overlay the legalistic purity dogma….

    Talk about cognative disonance.

    As a child growing up in only a moderately legalistic religious environment and being sexually abused, it created an terrible mental double bind. This is what I was expected to be but could never be. Essentially, on top of the narcissistic mother for whom I could never be good enough (straight As meant my classes were too easy), now the church was telling me that I had to meet this abstinence standard to please God. A standard that, because of the abuse, I could never meet. Talk about hopeless. I’m honestly not sure, sometimes, how my mind survived my childhood. I still deal with mental and emotional fallout.

    Now, imagine adding to all that the concept that the abuse was ordered by God. I’m amazed Joshua is still sane. May God truly set him free.

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  181. Whether the Harrises work this out and end up being married for 50 years of bliss or divorce in bitter acrimony this year, it doesn’t matter one bit. “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” is lousy, formulaic, awfully bad advice either way, and the people Harris surrounded himself with were horrifically bad advisors.

    Whether the Harris marriage ends up being a triumphal success or an abject failure makes no difference.

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  182. I just wonder what sort of insanity infects the mind of so-called Christians that they think a 21 or 22 man has anything to say about anything. A young man should just shut his mouth and learn from those who’ve gone through it themselves. The last thing they ever need to do is write a book about relationships and marriage and dating. They don’t know anything about life yet. Marriage is a struggle, and that struggle never ends. You have to go through the struggle of raising up children, dealing with them as infants when they do nothing but take from you (your sleep, your resources, your sanity), balancing careers against that, giving up on your own dreams to serve your children, sacrificing your hobbies and money and security for your them. Then the woman has to go through the man acting like a self-obsessed idiot as he reaches his midlife crisis, and then the man has to go through the woman dealing with the rage and depression of perimenopause and menopause, and then they both go through teens not answering the phone at 2:30am when the parents are dying inside as they picture their teens lying dead in a ditch somewhere, then you go through the struggle of aging and not being able to do what was once so easy, then the health issues, etc., etc., etc. There is nothing a man in his early 20s knows about relationships and marriage that any of us need to consider for three seconds. Josh had no idea what he was talkign about, he was an ignorant fool. Why anyone would read what such a young man has to say is beyond me.

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  183. Law Prof: Josh had no idea what he was talkign about, he was an ignorant fool. Why anyone would read what such a young man has to say is beyond me.

    There’s an old saying: There’s no fool like an old fool. The real fools were the older generation of leaders who first pushed their dogmas onto Joshua Harris, and then pushed him and his book into the limelight.

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  184. Willi Flex: God is calling us to throw the old one in the dump and get in the new one,learn all the new ways that it functions and operate it instead. The old covenant is just that…OLD…toss it out and get to know the new covenant between God and man…mainly His son Jesus.

    The OT is an integral part of the whole Bible. It’s the history of God’s desire to have a people to call His own and taught them about Himself and made known the the coming of the Messiah. The OT contains a total of 353 prophecies about Jesus Christ that were fulfilled in the NT. So imo we should not treat it as useless and “toss it out.”

    Read the 353 OT prophecies and their fulfillment in the NT in Jesus Christ here:
    https://www.accordingtothescriptures.org/prophecy/353prophecies.html

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  185. Muff Potter,

    Interesting article.

    When I was 10, right in the heart of the worst, one of my aunts gave me a copy of the album Jesus Christ, Superstar. I wore the album out and later got a copy on 8-track (yikes!). During that point in my life, it was the only gospel that could get in. The biggest gift from that was that it made Jesus human. And that made Him real to me in a way the church never did.

    Fast forward….I was on the cusp of breaking free of the cult I was in when De Vinci Code came out. My b-i-l had been studying a lot of things and he asked me if I thought Jesus and Mary Magdalene had married. No one had ever asked me straight out like that. The answer that ‘bubbled out’ surprised me as much as him: “The bible doesn’t say that He did. But I also can’t think of anywhere it says He didn’t. And if He did, it wouldn’t change who He was or what He did.” We kind of just looked at each other and went, “huh.”

    Now, I’m inclined to believe he didn’t, but more for reasons along the lines of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7 or to avoid the very scenario portrayed in the movie. *shug*

    But I do believe he felt lonely, felt love, had to deal with all the human stuff inside that we do. He was (is) fully God, but He laid that aside, as Paul wrote, and became fully human. To me, that is more overwhelming in its demonstration of love by far than the concept of Him just somehow looking human but not really being human. He bridged the gap indeed. And seeing Him like this makes me love Him and relate to Him more, not less. I think that was part of the point. And it also makes more real the truth that He really does understand us and love us.

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  186. Victorious: The OT is an integral part of the whole Bible. It’s the history of God’s desire to have a people to call His own and taught them about Himself and made known the the coming of the Messiah. The OT contains a total of 353 prophecies about Jesus Christ that were fulfilled in the NT. So imo we should not treat it as useless and “toss it out.”

    I won’t speak for Willi, but in general I agree with what he wrote. I didn’t hear ‘to throw out the OT.’ I heard to discard the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant is the Mosaic Law.

    The 8th chapter of Hebrews discusses this, ending with:

    “In that He says, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. Now what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.” ~ Hebrews 8:13 NKJV

    Paul also discusses this in Galatians. It is also important to note that us Gentiles have never been under the Mosaic Law. This caused no small amount of conflict in the early church; the resolution of which is laid out in Acts 15, and it was not to put us under the Law.

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  187. Jeannette Altes: I didn’t hear ‘to throw out the OT.’ I heard to discard the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant is the Mosaic Law.

    Hi Jeanette! Here is what Willi said:

    God is calling us to throw the old one in the dump and get in the new one,learn all the new ways that it functions and operate it instead. The old covenant is just that… OLD…toss it out and get to know the new covenant between God and man…mainly His son Jesus.

    I’m fully aware that Paul spent a good deal of time convincing the Jews that the Mosaic Law was unable to save them and that it is in Jesus their salvation rested. While his ministry was primarily to the gentiles, his background and origin led to many confrontations with the Jews who did not believe in the growing “Jesus Movement.”

    My objection to Willi’s words was primarily due to what I thought was a trivialization of the historical value of the OT. I hoped to show the importance by sharing the great number of prophecies about Jesus Christ in the OT and their fulfillment in the NT. Thus, advising the throwing out was inappropriate. If I misunderstood his words and/or his intent, I apologize.

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  188. Willi Flex:Here’s an analogy… If you own a car and it’s getting on in age and has lots of problems getting you to where you need to go…and someone sees your need and meets your need by purchasing a brand new car for you. … The old covenant is just that…OLD…toss it out and get to know the new covenant between God and man

    Obligatory reminder that the Old Covenant remains in effect for Jews. The old car (to use your analogy) is still running fine. Christians are not bound by Jewish law, and we also tend not to know much about it. I don’t feel comfortable dismissing it easily, as I was taught in Sunday school.

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  189. Victorious: My objection to Willi’s words was primarily due to what I thought was a trivialization of the historical value of the OT. I hoped to show the importance by sharing the great number of prophecies about Jesus Christ in the OT and their fulfillment in the NT. Thus, advising the throwing out was inappropriate. If I misunderstood his words and/or his intent, I apologize.

    Victorious, I apologize for coming on so strong. Some translations of Hebrews 8:13 actually use language similar to what Willi used. I have no idea what his intent behind his words is. I projected onto you things that have been said to me by people in my past. That was unfair. I’m sorry. I actually agree with you concerning the importance of the Old Testament, especially the prophecies. Mia culpa.

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  190. Jeannette Altes: I didn’t hear ‘to throw out the OT.’ I heard to discard the Old Covenant. The Old Covenant is the Mosaic Law.

    Jeanette, I think I see why you didn’t hear the word “Testament” (and I did) but you correctly heard “Covenant” instead. The two words are used interchangeably depending on which version of the Bible one is using.

    For example:

    (KJV)  Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. Luke 22:20

    (NASB)  And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20

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  191. It may not have been a perfect system, but look at the divorce stats. No one is acing it. How effective/ineffective a method is must be weighed in comparison to all the other alternatives. I’m not saying it was a perfect plan. I’m saying people are making too much of it. No other method is doing a bang up job, either. Our culture has degraded morally so much that our kids face a constant battle (from porn access to peer pressure to “tolerance” nonsense. All JH tried to do was to offer an alternative idea. His own marriage tanked. Don’t forget much of that was likely because of the stress of years of church scandal. It really wasn’t all about his books. They left their church wounded…left the country and their entire support system.

    That said, I’m inclined to think there is an unknown big factor that we are missing. Two years ago Shannon raved about her husband. Of course the upheaval from both of them going through major ideological shifting and career changes added to the residual pain of the scandal and the loss of their supportive surroundings may be enough. More than likely, though, it is rooted in the typical things like financial fights or infidelity.

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  192. Anonymous Person,

    In the “good old days” before there was so much divorce, there was still emotional divorce. There was dreadful unhappiness in many homes. There was abuse. There was suffering. People were stuck with each other because they had no choice. Believe me, there are some stories among my own & my husband’s forbears. Lifelong alienation and suffering was not more righteous than getting a divorce and starting fresh. JMO

    I guess my point is, people are human and sometimes things don’t work out in a marriage. This has always been true, from the beginning of time until today. Why we have made this into some kind of litmus test of righteousness, I don’t know.

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  193. Victorious: My objection to Willi’s words was primarily due to what I thought was a trivialization of the historical value of the OT.

    “Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” (Gal 3:24-25). I think the problem is that many do not want to learn the lesson of the tutor and move on to Christ; they want to remain in a law relationship with God. I could be wrong but I think this is what Willi was referring to.

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  194. Daisy: But in spite of all those biblical examples, I just now suspect if I want to get married,
    I have to run out and date all over the place,
    and it’s up to me to make it happen,
    because if there is a God, he is not doing squat to help singles get married.

    Well, and this applies to a lot of other subjects besides dating and marriage, too.

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  195. SiteSeer,

    –and it’s up to me to make it happen,

    –Well, and this applies to a lot of other subjects besides dating and marriage, too.
    +++++++++++++++++

    my view is that God loves initiative. Seeing what we’re going to do with what we’ve got. we make informed decisions, God partners with us at our invitation. God can work with plan A, B, C…. together, we do something productive. figure things out. move forward. with God joining us, exponentially so in some respects.

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  196. SiteSeer: The reason I mention this is, I’ve known of a few situations where young believers were convinced they were supposed to share private details of their lives with church leaders and those facts were kept track of and used to control them. It’s a big part of the “manhood” groups. People aren’t always as trustworthy as they appear.

    in the 12-step program People are encouraged to make a list of their shortcomings and the people they’ve harmed and then share that inventory with another person. The key being they share that personal inventory of their shortcomings with somebody else who’s already walk that path by sharing their shortcomings with someone. I’ve seen this work time and time again because the program is anonymous nobody shares Their last name, no one is the Superstar leader, and everyone is required to walk the same 12 steps to be in the program.

    I became a follower of Jesus through this 12-step program and was shocked and stunned when I came into the organized church and discovered that people were not transparent

    Confessing sins one to another is great, but only with somebody who’s already done it themselves.

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  197. ishy: More than one so-called Christian has told me that being married was more important than being treated well.

    Sounds like Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. The main character Elizabeth turns down her cousins offer of marriage, only to discover that Elizabeth’s best friend and neighbor is eagerly willing to marry the fool. Simply because being a spinster at the age of 27 was a terrible burden on her family and a shame in society.

    How any Christian in modern times could give advice to another believer that marrying anyone is better than marrying no one, is beyond me.

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  198. SiteSeer: In the “good old days” before there was so much divorce, there was still emotional divorce. There was dreadful unhappiness in many homes. There was abuse. There was suffering.

    Yes. The idea that ‘divorce’ is the only great evil is mistaken. Sometimes a divorce is a good thing, that frees people from abuse and unhappiness and evil.

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  199. Anonymous Person: It may not have been a perfect system

    Of course it wasn’t a perfect system. In fact, it was an exceptionally stupid system likely to lead to huge problems, as it did.

    Your entire argument boils down to ‘divorce is happening and it’s a problem we must DO SOMETHING’, Josh a 21 year old who knew nothing came up with SOMETHING, so obviously it was great that everybody did it.

    Even if you think both that all divorces are bad (I don’t), you would have to also think the reason for those divorces is that people knew their spouses way too well before they married them or that they had experienced other relationships or that “purity” or lack thereof was the reason for all divorces for this to make sense as a solution. That’s just plain wrong.

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  200. Fisher: The main character Elizabeth turns down her cousins offer of marriage, only to discover that Elizabeth’s best friend and neighbor is eagerly willing to marry the fool. Simply because being a spinster at the age of 27 was a terrible burden on her family and a shame in society.

    It *was* a financial burden to her family and a relief to them that she would be taken care of, such was life when you were a gentlewoman in that time period with not enough money to live on and unable to earn it. Isn’t it great that we have a new system for all it’s flaws?

    Charlotte was not romantic, you know 😉

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  201. Lea: you would have to also think the reason for those divorces is that people knew their spouses way too well before they married them or that they had experienced other relationships or that “purity” or lack thereof was the reason for all divorces for this to make sense as a solution. That’s just plain wrong.

    But EES PARTY LINE!

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  202. Fisher: Pride and Prejudice. The main character Elizabeth turns down her cousins offer of marriage, only to discover that Elizabeth’s best friend and neighbor is eagerly willing to marry the fool. Simply because being a spinster at the age of 27 was a terrible burden on her family and a shame in society.

    Only difference in today’s Christianese “Salvation by Marriage Alone” Purity Culture is “being a spinster at 19” instead of 27.

    Yes, some of them Do get that Desperate.

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  203. SiteSeer: It almost seems like people read all of that in the Bible and then turn around and come away with the idea “yes, but WE will try HARDER and have BETTER rules.”

    “And this time We WILL Achieve True Communism!”

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  204. Headless Unicorn Guy: If I can’t be more Righteous than YOU, who do I got to be more Righteous than?

    You mentioned yesterday, “Josh probably just distilled down Christianese Courtship trends and tropes that were floating around at the time and collated them into a single System. And in doing so, ramped them up.”

    Many Christians are hoping for a simple, reliable formula. The “righteous” and “pure” churches have loudly and endlessly oversold their own results.

    These churches basically promise to control human behavior. Naturally they attract a lot of humans who are worried about controlling their own behavior.

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  205. Jeannette Altes: But I do believe he felt lonely, felt love, had to deal with all the human stuff inside that we do.

    Very much agreed.

    Jeannette Altes: He was (is) fully God, but He laid that aside, as Paul wrote, and became fully human.

    Very much agreed too, but I also think that for much of Christendom, the ‘fully human’ part exists only on paper. So long as ‘fully human’ has been sanitized and its boundaries surveyed to avoid the messy areas, it’s rah-rah-sis-boom-bah.
    Anything other, and we won’t go there.

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  206. Pingback: Linkathon! - Phoenix Preacher

  207. Jeannette Altes:
    Muff Potter,

    Interesting article.

    When I was 10, right in the heart of the worst, one of my aunts gave me a copy of the album Jesus Christ, Superstar. I wore the album out and later got a copy on 8-track (yikes!). During that point in my life, it was the only gospel that could get in. The biggest gift from that was that it made Jesus human. And that made Him real to me in a way the church never did.

    Fast forward….I was on the cusp of breaking free of the cult I was in when De Vinci Code came out. My b-i-l had been studying a lot of things and he asked me if I thought Jesus and Mary Magdalene had married. No one had ever asked me straight out like that. The answer that ‘bubbled out’ surprised me as much as him: “The bible doesn’t say that He did. But I also can’t think of anywhere it says He didn’t. And if He did, it wouldn’t change who He was or what He did.” We kind of just looked at each other and went, “huh.”

    Now, I’m inclined to believe he didn’t, but more for reasons along the lines of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7 or to avoid the very scenario portrayed in the movie. *shug*

    But I do believe he felt lonely, felt love, had to deal with all the human stuff inside that we do. He was (is) fully God, but He laid that aside, as Paul wrote, and became fully human. To me, that is more overwhelming in its demonstration of love by far than the concept of Him just somehow looking human but not really being human. He bridged the gap indeed. And seeing Him like this makes me love Him and relate to Him more, not less. I think that was part of the point. And it also makes more real the truth that He really does understand us and love us.

    Jeannette Altes: But I do believe he felt lonely, felt love, had to deal with all the human stuff inside that we do. He was (is) fully God, but He laid that aside, as Paul wrote, and became fully human.

    Hi again, Jeanette! I’m a little behind in my reading, but when I read this part of your comment, I thought you might enjoy this as much as I did. It’s entitled: The Emotional Jesus: His Ups & Downs here https://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertcrosby/2012/06/the-emotional-jesus-his-ups-downs/

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  208. Jeannette Altes:

    But I do believe he felt lonely, felt love, had to deal with all the human stuff inside that we do. He was (is) fully God, but He laid that aside, as Paul wrote, and became fully human.

    Hi again, Jeanette! I’m a little behind in my reading, but when I read this part of your comment, I thought you might enjoy this as much as I did. It’s entitled: The Emotional Jesus: His Ups & Downs here https://www.patheos.com/blogs/robertcrosby/2012/06/the-emotional-jesus-his-ups-downs/

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  209. Muff Potter: Very much agreed too, but I also think that for much of Christendom, the ‘fully human’ part exists only on paper. So long as ‘fully human’ has been sanitized and its boundaries surveyed to avoid the messy areas, it’s rah-rah-sis-boom-bah.
    Anything other, and we won’t go there.

    Yes. I don’t find it productive to dwell on or talk about the details (any more than I care to do so about anyone else). It is enough, for me, to acknowledge the reality that he had a physical body just like ours and all the human emotions we do. Including fear and doubt.

    In Gethsemane, He did not want to keep going. He begged the Father for another way. But, gave Himself over to the will of the Father – and was strengthened for the task at hand by angels. He understands.

    The Creator of all chose to become one of us. In so doing, He bound Himself to us – on purpose, permanently, forever human, even after picking His divinity back up. THAT is love.

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  210. Lea: I never thought anything other than that they were announcing the separation as a precursor to divorce. It’s interesting to see people interpreting it this way, but I honestly doubt they had any intentions of making this that vague. It’s probably that they are required to separate prior to divorce, by the law. If they reconcile, they reconcile but I think their current intentions are pretty clear. YMMV.

    Just to clarify, I didn’t mean to imply that this was their intention in how they worded the statement. Just that I’ve heard teaching (a while ago) that separation is okay “biblically” so long as it doesn’t lead to divorce and one or both remarrying, also called adultery. Such teachers would possibly point to this well-known couple (in neo-calvinist circles) as an example to follow just so long as their status remained “separated” (or they reconciled), but never went on to divorce.

    I heard some wacky teachings back in the day. One person even taught that people who came to faith after divorce and remarriage should divorce the current spouse so both could go back to their former spouses and not be living in adultery anymore!

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  211. Steve240,

    Yes, Josh always seemed very personable and like he really cared about people. But his Dad did push him onto C.J., and when Josh first came into CLC, he acted and preached just like C.J. it was crazy. Now it sounds like he’s even questioning his Christian faith, which is really so very sad.

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  212. What broke them up is REFORM THEOLOGY. The complementarian position. I believe in protecting our children, both male and female. Especially, girls need to be protected as they begin to enter the either: dating or courtship season of life. My own mother/child of the 60’s rebelled against her parents’ concerns for her upcoming marriage, married my dad anyway, had/birthed me, and immediately divorced my dad…for the very concerns her mom/dad were worried about. Dating is not the answer. Maybe the purity ‘movement’ as you call it, isn’t the answer either. But we must admit that parents can ‘see’ things in a young man that young, impressionable young ladies cannot. My dad lost custody…went on to remarry several times, and finally died at age 53. I never knew him. Realize that the un-Biblical complementarian position is the culprit here.

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  213. Fisher: I became a follower of Jesus…and was shocked and stunned when I came into the organized church and discovered that people were not transparent…

    One of the reasons that people may not be transparent is because in some churches, confessed sins and struggles are used against the person and they are blackmailed into remaining silent about the sins of others or leaders, or their confessed sins are used against them when they question leadership. I’ve related here how our son in law, before he married our daughter, had confessed some sins to some “elders” no older than him (early 20s), and later, when he made a decision about his life direction that was not in itself sinful at all, but that went against the (unexpressed) desires of the church leadership, that he was subjected to a torrent of abuse in a surprise meeting with the elders and pastor and they used his confession against him during this shout down session. This was the first he’d learned that his deep, dark confidence in one young elder had been spread to the entire team. People get burned like that a time or two and they start becoming guarded.

    I, for one, will not open up to anyone whom I don’t know well, as in years of experiencing through good and bad, seeing them at their best and worst. The idea of opening my heart and confessing private struggles to someone in a thing that they call a “church” and just trusting their goodwill even though I only see them on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening seems like insanity. “Confess your sins one to another” was written to a group of people living in the same little village and knowing these people and their reputations all their lives in a world where they had to hunker down and be extremely close because of the threats from Jewish and Roman authorities. I see no reason why I should automatically apply that to Roger, who I’ve spent maybe two hours with one on one in the last five years and who lives 30 miles away in another suburb and whom I’ve never seen except in the small group or on Sundays for a total of five seconds here and there at the megachurch service (“Hi Stan, how are ya?” Oh jus blessed, brother!”). No way.

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  214. Anonymous Person:
    Two years ago Shannon raved about her husband.

    Most people who rave like that do not mean it at all. They are usually lying. They are either trying to convince themselves about something they do not believe or trying to convince other people—or both. I love my wife, she’s the only one for me, but if I spent a good deal of my time here raving about how much I was in love with her and how awesome she was, you better believe there’s a problem afoot.

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  215. Jean Lash: Dating is not the answer. Maybe the purity ‘movement’ as you call it, isn’t the answer either. But we must admit that parents can ‘see’ things in a young man that young, impressionable young ladies cannot.

    I am sorry for your situation. It must have been very painful.

    People deserve to choose their own spouses, though. Parents should equip their children to live as capable adults. The courtship crowd dictates their children’s thoughts and actions, picks their mates, and calls that protection. You write against complementarianism, but imply that women are less competent than men to choose a mate. Am I misreading your view?

    I am still friends with the man my mother yearned for me to marry; he is (quietly) gay, as I sensed when she strove to pair us up. I delayed marriage well into adulthood. My husband and I dated each other for a few years until we both felt confident that our relationship might endure.

    Come to think of it, my mother thought my husband wasn’t good enough for me. I hadn’t thought about that in decades…

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  216. Nick Bulbeck: There’s an old saying: There’s no fool like an old fool. The real fools were the older generation of leaders who first pushed their dogmas onto Joshua Harris, and then pushed him and his book into the limelight.

    Agreed. The older guard who used this young man as their tool are not ignorant fools, they are stupid fools. Of course, Josh was an ignorant fool, he was way too young and full of himself (as virtually all of us were at that age) and he was given way too much credence for a young man who could not possibly have known his right from his left. He had no business writing a book on anything at that age, other than maybe some kind of fiction. But ignorance can be cured, it usually just takes time. He has probably learned a lot in the last 20 years, learned about his faith or lack of, learned about marriage and how it’s always tough and there is no silver bullet save pursuing Jesus, and even then, even if you could do it the way you ought (and none of us can), there’s no guarantee your partner doesn’t jump the rails. There are no guarantees in life, I’ve learned that as a parent of teenagers and now adults in their 20s, learned how little I know and how little I control. Learned how downright ridiculous I usually am. But unlike ignorance, stupid cannot remedied. Stupid is when you see the results of your ignorance, how it hurts you and others, and just keep doubling down. That describes, IMO, those who were the puppet masters behind the painfully young Josh Harris, best selling author.

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  217. Reform theology in general and complementarian nonsense are completely different things. The latter will absolutely have impact on a marriage/relationship. The former is a different kettle of fish.

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  218. Law Prof: One of the reasons that people may not be transparent is because in some churches, confessed sins and struggles are used against the person and they are blackmailed into remaining silent about the sins of others or leaders, or their confessed sins are used against them when they question leadership.

    JUST LIKE SCIENTOLOGY!

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  219. >Law Prof

    There was an article a while back about people who constantly post about their SO on social media actually being a bad indicator, not a good one. I agree with you, most people don’t put all their internal stuff on SM. Or they put all the drama up after the relationship ends (as one person I know keeps doing lately) and make everyone uncomfortable…

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  220. Friend/Jean Lash,

    Both friends and family can often see things that someone blinded by love/hormones can’t see. (this goes for men and women) It’s a good idea to get their opinion but that’s really all it should be.

    And of course, friends and family can be blind too or prejudiced and that should be taken into account. It always seems like no one wants to trash your bf when you’re together but the second you breakup anybody who didn’t like him gives you an earful! Like, thanks guys.

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  221. Friend: Harmful little phrase, that.

    This is so often mis-referenced. In the preceding verse, Isaiah clearly says God honors those who pursue righteousness:

    Isaiah 64:5 “Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways…”

    When he says in Verse 6, “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;” Isaiah is referring to the useless things that Israel’s religious leaders had been teaching them to do cleansing their iniquities — things that just made them dirtier in God’s eyes: continually killing/sacrificing animals for their sin instead of repenting and following the 10 Commandments. (1 Samuel 15:22 And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.”)

    Isaiah would roll over in his grave to know that Christians have wrongly assessed and taught that everything someone does out of the goodness of their heart to honor God is just filthy to Him. That nonsense theology is not in any way supported by the whole counsel of Scripture.

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  222. Friend: These churches basically promise to control human behavior. Naturally they attract a lot of humans who are worried about controlling their own behavior.

    And a lot of humans who are eager to control others’ behavior.
    Divine Right is such a cosmic justification…

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  223. Lea: no one wants to trash your bf when you’re together but the second you breakup anybody who didn’t like him gives you an earful!

    Yeah, and what is that anyway? “We all knew s/he was a jackwagon” suggests that the newly unattached person has lousy taste. There might not even be a villain. People in that transition need kind support and a listening ear, maybe a dinner to occupy some suddenly available time.

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  224. Friend, I had a guy ask me out in high school who apparently had a gf (I was under the impression they broke up when I accepted). So after he broke up with gf, he asked me to go out and I was like yeah, no. THEN everybody was like ‘oh good, he held so and so down on a bed at a party and wouldn’t let her leave (*which I’m sure was an edited version of this incident but the point was he was dangerous).

    they apparently didnt’ want to tell me this story so they wouldn’t prejudice me in making a decision? WHAT???

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  225. Nick Bulbeck: Feels like we should defeat 250000 ancient Persians, or something.

    Having once tried to put an ancient Blue Persian into a doll carriage, I don’t feel up to the task. Call me when you want to defeat 250000 kittens, though, and I’ll bring a wide pan of cream.

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  226. Friend: “There might not even be a villain.”
    (sorry I’m having issues doing proper replies)

    There wasn’t in my last breakup, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. A little bit of ‘you can do better, he doesn’t deserve you’ isn’t so bad but when people start telling you he treated you poorly or is a sexual predator it’s a lot.

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  227. Lea:
    >Law Prof

    There was an article a while back about people who constantly post about their SO on social media actually being a bad indicator, not a good one. I agree with you, most people don’t put all their internal stuff on SM. Or they put all the drama up after the relationship ends (as one person I know keeps doing lately) and make everyone uncomfortable…

    Didn’t know that there was an article on it or any sort of research. I was just going by anecdotal experience. Two examples: Had some friends almost 20 years ago, a young couple (back when we were a young couple), who invited us over for dinner. Across the table wife looked up at husband with dreamy look and mouthed out a real stagy “I LOVE you!” to him. Nothing wrong with loving your spouse, but they weren’t newlyweds and it seemed odd over dinner with guests. Within a few years they had broken up in bitter acrimony and she was TRASHING him on SM, all the dirt. Then there was the right-hand man, senior elder in the neocalvinist church we attended, Mr. Squeaky Clean Righteous, taking his wife out on date night every week, and regularly reminding the people in the church about it. At a men’s group meeting one time, another guy in the church made some mild comment about his wife, some sort of thing that annoyed him, but it was innocuous, and Mr. SQR laid into him to the woodshed in front of the other men, humiliated him “We can NOT be talking about our wives that way, brother!” Well, Mr. SQR ended up being a closeted abuser and not a very nice guy at all.

    The more people make a big show of their goodness, the more I figure they’re all rotten inside.

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  228. LawProf: I found an article or two on it, here is one: “Our online posting habits are directly tied to what social scientists call “relationship visibility” ― the extent to which we make our relationships part of our public personas. Having very high “relationship visibility” and over-posting about a partner may be a mask for relationship insecurity, according to a study recently published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.”
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-it-means-when-couples-constantly-post-about-each-other-on-instagram_n_5a8b06cfe4b00bc49f4732f6

    This particular article theorized that it has to do with anxious attachment styles…I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that but it’s a theory. Probably secure people are less concerned about making sure of the appearance aspect of it.

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  229. Friend: Harmful little phrase, that.

    But true, nevertheless

    Beth74,

    It’s always advisable to quote the whole verse to get the context, sometimes verses before and after or even whole chapters to gauge the flow of thought. “Behold Thou art wroth for we have sinned” scuppers the idea of the goodness of man’s heart. And the good things have been prepared for those that wait on Him (preceding verse).
    As for the religious leaders telling them to sacrifice, it was in fact God’s instructions to Moses so that they would always have a sign that their sins had been covered.

    Penal Substitutionary Atonement anyone?

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  230. Friend: Come to think of it, my mother thought my husband wasn’t good enough for me.

    The CEO of the cult I was part of certainly thought I wasn’t good enough for Lesley. I’m not, but that doesn’t mean he was right.

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  231. Friend: Call me when you want to defeat 250000 kittens, though

    Yup: cats are evil.

    [Generic] you see a fluffy adorable kitten… I see a creature that wants to leave excrement in my garden and kill small wildlife.

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  232. Lowlandseer: Beth74,

    It’s always advisable to quote the whole verse to get the context, sometimes verses before and after or even whole chapters to gauge the flow of thought. “Behold Thou art wroth for we have sinned” scuppers the idea of the goodness of man’s heart. And the good things have been prepared for those that wait on Him (preceding verse).
    As for the religious leaders telling them to sacrifice, it was in fact God’s instructions to Moses so that they would always have a sign that their sins had been covered.

    Penal Substitutionary Atonement anyone?

    Lowlandseer,
    I do not need your explanation/correction of my comment. I absolutely stand by what I said, and I did, in fact, include and address Scriptural context in my post.

    Perhaps it is you who needs to “brush up” on the whole counsel of God.

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  233. Lea:
    LawProf: I found an article or two on it, here is one: “Our online posting habits are directly tied to what social scientists call “relationship visibility” ― the extent to which we make our relationships part of our public personas. Having very high “relationship visibility” and over-posting about a partner may be a mask for relationship insecurity, according to a study recently published in the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.”
    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/what-it-means-when-couples-constantly-post-about-each-other-on-instagram_n_5a8b06cfe4b00bc49f4732f6

    This particular article theorized that it has to do with anxious attachment styles…I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that but it’s a theory. Probably secure people are less concerned about making sure of the appearance aspect of it.

    It all makes sense.

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  234. Friend:
    Beth74,

    Appreciated your words about the passage. Fortunately I did not grow up with many clobber verses, but they do cause pain to many.

    When the truth is skewed or perverted, it always causes pain to many.

    God loves our good deeds done out of genuine kindness and a commitment to righteousness.

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  235. Beth74: God loves our good deeds done out of genuine kindness and a commitment to righteousness.

    When I was a teen, our minister tried to work against the theology that we are all evil through and through. He preached that, while nobody is perfect, a Christian who patiently grows in faith and wisdom will have some perfect moments during the later years, perhaps as a grandparent. That sermon changed my life. I started to see that faith did not have to be a hopeless lifelong struggle, and maybe I could be useful or helpful someday. Looking back at this makes me sad. But the preacher was right.

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  236. Lea: There was an article a while back about people who constantly post about their SO on social media actually being a bad indicator, not a good one.

    I have seen some articles about this, also. I’ve seen it happen with abusive parents, as well.

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  237. Law Prof: I just wonder what sort of insanity infects the mind of so-called Christians that they think a 21 or 22 man has anything to say about anything.

    In my neck of the woods, the SBC New Calvinist “youth group” is running the church! Who in their right mind unleashed this army of “lead pastors” in their 20s-30s, with elder boards of same vintage, upon the Body of Christ?!! Of course, that’s just it – the leaders of the new reformation are not in their right spiritual minds. As you note, just because someone has a mic in their face, doesn’t mean they have anything to say … and they certainly won’t listen to seasoned men of God advising them to sit down and shut up. Surrendering the church to “leaders” in their 20s-30s reminds me of a Bible passage:

    “King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime … But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him” (1 Kings 12)

    Did you get that? The wisest man who ever lived had elders who advised him and the young whippersnapper king rejected ‘their’ counsel in favor of other whippersnappers?! How stupid is that?!! That strategy didn’t turn out well for Rehoboam or the nation of Israel … and it won’t turn out well for the American church.

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  238. Muff Potter,

    That was great, Muff! i copied the article and put it in a folder called “My Religion”.

    An evolving thing. just collecting truth. crumpling up stupidity, cruelty, nonsense… stepping on it, grinding it into the ground with my foot…

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  239. Good riddance to this monster. He deserves this and worse. He brainwashed millions of people into unhealthy relationships by manipulating the bible for personal gain.

    I came to faith in the early 2000s via Campus Crusade and was subjected to Harris’s teachings as the only God-aporoved way to go about romance. Frowns and shame to anyone who dared question it.

    How many lives has this man ruined? It’s about time it came back around.

    FRAUD.

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  240. Clevin: Good riddance to this monster. He deserves this and worse. He brainwashed millions of people into unhealthy relationships by manipulating the bible for personal gain.

    He taught people what his father taught him. Maybe the blame should go to his father, Gregg Harris. He has since apologized for the book. He was groomed by his father and CJ Mahaney for ministry work. He has never been out of high-controlling Calvinist groups. Additionally, he is a sex abuse survivor. You really think he deserves this and worse?

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  241. Robbieswife,

    His “sister” quote is from the mystic Julian of Norwich. She was a universalist with an interesting take on sin (putting it mildly).

    I suspect this is all about certain sins that he loves more than anything else and needs to feel OK about them.

    1. Did he leave his church and even his country because he was afraid of being exposed?

    2. It seems that no matter what trauma everyone else is in around him, he makes all things about himself. He appears like a classic narcissist to me.

    3. In one way or another, there is a whole lot more to this story. He is trying very hard to sound reasonable, but there are major insults in that statement – and for whatever self righteousness he has been repenting of, he has replaced it with a whole new crop. He just can’t see it.

    4. I hope now that Shannon is away from him, she starts to see things more clearly…and guards the hearts of her children in the process. IMO, she should be a whole lot angrier at her soon to be ex than she is right now. It seems that she is directing her anger at the wrong targets. That’s not uncommon.

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  242. He didn’t manipulate the Bible. He had a perspective on how to stay sexually pure. If someone didn’t like the suggestions, they could ignore them. If they were injured, they own it. We are all supposed to be discerning.

    JH is 100% morally responsible for himself. His father is not to blame. CJM is not to blame. They own their own sin. JH owns his. Where they intersect, each carries 100% of the responsibility for his own part. That’s how guilt works.

    It was not good for people to turn his book into a bible. It is just as bad to turn it into a satanic bible. Obsession can ruin people in many directions.

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  243. Muff Potter,

    shmuley boteach… those can’t be his real names

    as far as perfection goes, it had been hammered in to me that only God’s best, God’s bullseye, was acceptable. anything less would be settling. and God deserved our best. anything less was utterly shameful. after all the suffering he went through, i should be happy to endure anything in order to give him my best. how dare i complain.

    …but then i realized i was being manipulated. by people who needed power and enjoyed power. the way i was treated… it was sick. the hours & weeks turning into years of my labor, hard work, expertise given freely… then berated for it because it wasn’t good enough. constantly moving goalposts so control freaks could have people to control.

    but i did it for God and only God, because God deserved my best.

    indeed God does.

    but it’s not perfection. and it’s honest and messy.

    and it certainly isn’t for the enrichment and sick satisfaction of personality disordered control freaks. whether they are that way by nature or by nurture.

    i think christians and christian leaders can nurtured into behaving as personality disordered control freaks.

    i’m done.

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  244. elastigirl: shmuley boteach… those can’t be his real names

    At dawn I heard a weird hissing and gurgling in the kitchen. Staggered downstairs to see that we had set the coffee maker to start brewing automatically. Had forgotten to put the pot under the coffee maker. I now have three (3) amber bath towels that used to be white.

    So I’m too far gone to tell if you’re joking about Shmuley Boteach’s name, but he’s in Wikipedia. And I obviously lost my last claim to perfection.

    A good Saturday to all. 😉

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  245. Julie Anne: He taught people what his father taught him.

    Kids constantly decide what to accept of their parents’ teachings; this is possibly the scariest thing about raising children. Joshua Harris knew he was battling against commonly accepted approaches to romance and marriage. Resisting the culture: is that not what Christians do, often proudly and without thinking?

    Joshua Harris deserves mercy and understanding as a human and as a survivor of abuse. However, “I learned this at my father’s knee” cannot be a blanket excuse—and I am not sure Joshua Harris is even blaming his father (is he?). The millions of people reeling about his change of heart deserve mercy and understanding too. Everyone needs to heal at his/her own pace.

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  246. Friend: However, “I learned this at my father’s knee” cannot be a blanket excuse—and I am not sure Joshua Harris is even blaming his father (is he?). The millions of people reeling about his change of heart deserve mercy and understanding too.

    I tend to blame the people who *promoted* Josh’s book and approach more than him, personally. Most of those people were adults with experience who should have known better. But I get for people who actually lived with this it would be hard to separate Josh himself from it. You’re right they need understanding too.

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  247. Friend… and I am not sure Joshua Harris is even blaming his father (is he?)…

    In April of this year (for posterity: it’s 2019), there was an interview with Josh Harris published in Christianity Magazine here in the UK, not long after IKDG had been pulled from publication. Harris certainly didn’t seem to be blaming anyone else in that setting. In fact the main context for the interview itself was the film “I survived IKDG” in which Harris himself had been involved.

    I’ve only seen Harris refer to the things that he wrote, rather than the things that somebody else made him write.

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  248. Anonymous Person: If someone didn’t like the suggestions, they could ignore them. If they were injured, they own it.

    This was pushed on children by adults in church who were supposed to be educating them on christian life. They presented this book as gospel and shamed people who didn’t follow the rules. THEY own this. THEY messed up.

    If they were injured, and they were, they deserve compassion.

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  249. Julie Anne: He taught people what his father taught him. Maybe the blame should go to his father, Gregg Harris. He has since apologized for the book. He was groomed by his father and CJ Mahaney for ministry work. He has never been out of high-controlling Calvinist groups. Additionally, he is a sex abuse survivor. You really think he deserves this and worse?

    I agree with you in many ways, JA, and have respected your ministry for a long time and will almost certainly continue to appreciate what you do going forward unless there’s a radical change in you or me, but (and you knew that was coming), while the father has to bear a lot of the blame for damaging the son, and there were surely other people who had a stake in that also, the son ultimately has to own whatever he does as an adult–and maybe even as a child.

    My late father was a small-town businessman, and pretty successful for a time. While I’ll always love him and there were a lot of great things about him and kindnesses he showed to a lot of people, including his customers (who always came first) he also could be corrupt, he bribed government officials and took part in a number of schemes that defrauded government entities and insurance companies. Dad even tried to fix up some stuff for me as a boy so I could have an advantage over other kids in the community in unethical ways. Even as a young boy, not yet a Christian, I knew what he was doing was wrong, had as strong of a sense of it then as I do now—maybe stronger—and did whatever I could to thwart him from unfairly setting up things favorably for me. By the time I had become an adult, he knew where I stood and accepted it even as he rolled his eyes at me for not being “real-world realistic” about things.

    The son does not have to follow the father in his sin. While we can understand more where someone comes from based on their nurture, and while we can never judge someone all-in-all, saying we’re inherently better (because we can never know what we’d have done if we’d been given their raw material to work with), we can certainly tell an adult man that he bears the blame for what he does regardless of a twisted upbringing.

    Joshua Harris needs to own everything, no one made him write that book, no one made him profit handsomely off it, no one made him reject the real Jesus who loves him “to infinity and beyond” because some bad actors who possibly didn’t even know Jesus hurt him and misled him and abused him. I can’t know all-in-all what Josh went through, but I’d be surprised if it was worse than what my wife went through: her mom flatly told her that she wasn’t interested in having an emotional relationship with my wife (that hurt her a lot), she went most Christmases with no presents, no meal, nothing, her mom would break down and cry each Christmas and give the kids nothing, my wife had to spend the day comforting mom. Her mom was divorced three times as my wife grew up and they kept moving: 12 different schools in 13 years. My wife was sexually abused by a step-brother. Her dad, the hotshot professor, has openly mocked her faith for decades and tells her how terrible it is that she chose to have a big family. I doubt what he went through was worse. Just a guess.

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  250. Law Prof,

    And one more thing, while I’m on a rant: while my wife almost never got anything for Christmas and often next to nothing or nothing for b-days, it wasn’t a matter of a poor single mom without funds, because my wife’s mom always spent money on herself and had the finest she could afford: expensive clothes, food, wine, etc., affluent boyfriends who treated her to the finest. But my wife basically got nothing. And her dad was the same: traveled the world, went to Europe every year, Safaris in Africa, spent enormous sums on himself and indulged himself, while giving precious little to his girl, who had to wear second-hand clothing and sometimes went hungry for lack of food. Sounds like a Dickens novel, but it was the truth. There’s a lot more, I could go on and on. That’s a messed up upbringing, and my wife will always have dead spots inside her that she had to kill to cope with life, but she didn’t pass the abuse she endured on to her kids and she gives and gives. We are not prisoners of our parents’ sins, not doomed to repeat them.

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  251. Friend: At dawn I heard a weird hissing and gurgling in the kitchen. Staggered downstairs to see that we had set the coffee maker to start brewing automatically.

    Which is why I love my old fashioned Mr. Coffee.
    It’s not a ‘smart device’ at all.

    It’s just ON and OFF, no programming, no complex circuitry, no trying to be all things to all people, just a simple maker of Joe for simple Simons like me.

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  252. Law Prof: I doubt what he went through was worse.

    It’s not a competition though.

    I think the question is more one of brainwashing. IT is clear Josh is doing the work right now, and trying to figure it all out. He may only be partway there.

    As I’ve said, my position has always been to fault the adults pushing the book more than the 21 year old who wrote it. That’s not to say Josh had no fault and I think he realizes it which is a good sign that he is headed in the right direction eventually.

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  253. That’s true. It’s not a contest.

    But I tire of people always trying to account for what someone does as an adult because they had a bad upbringing. A lot of people with fine upbringings become terrible, selfish adults, a lot of people with terrible upbringings become fine, unselfish adults. Josh may have been brainwashed, that’s a fair point as far as it goes, but I don’t see exactly what about what we know of his upbringing would make him brainwashed and anyone else in particular who also had a terrible time growing up not brainwashed. I don’t even really know what brainwashing is, other than a popular and unscientific phrase used to describe someone who does the same awful things as their leaders or parents. But I’m not a psychologist or psychiatrist.

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  254. I thought his books had some excellent advice on how to honor a woman in courtship but at times sounded too formulaic. When the scandal hit SGM, I think it hit him hard and I noticed that he was trying find work in the secular field and was training for another career. I think he has hit a period of disillusionment which Oswald Chambers states in His Utmost for Highest is actually often a stage where a Christian grows the most (July 30th). I do pray for him and hope things work out.

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  255. Law Prof: we can certainly tell an adult man that he bears the blame for what he does regardless of a twisted upbringing … Joshua Harris needs to own everything …

    Yes, just as you and I do. At some point in all our lives, we need to stop blaming someone else for our lot in life. Did the bad stuff impact us? Sure. Did it shape our minds and emotions? Sure. Do we have to continue to wallow in the past or get up? I suggest getting up.

    Law Prof: We are not prisoners of our parents’ sins, not doomed to repeat them.

    “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13)

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  256. Julie Anne: He was groomed by his father and CJ Mahaney for ministry work. He has never been out of high-controlling Calvinist groups. Additionally, he is a sex abuse survivor.

    Any one of those three can mess up your head, never mind all three ganging up…

    But that’s not going to cut it with all those whose lives got messed up by Josh’s book and its fanboys in pulpits.

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  257. Clevin: I came to faith in the early 2000s via Campus Crusade and was subjected to Harris’s teachings as the only God-aporoved way to go about romance.

    Don’t know about the 2000s, but in the 1970s Campus Crusade was primarily concerned with End Time Prophecy as a way to scare them down the aisle.

    And Campus Crusade (or whatever Trendy name they renamed themselves) was far from the worst. The Navigators regularly outdid them in zeal (and cluelessness), and every campus had some independent Fellowship(TM) who tried to out-Nav the Navs.

    All in all, a bad scene.

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  258. I’m not sure I’m allowed to post here. But I’ll try again.

    It is odd how Joshua Harris says he’s sorry for how he treated women and shows it by divorcing his wife and splitting up the parents of his three children, two being daughters. Odd.

    It’s also odd that he rejects Christianity and then apologizes for not included unrepentant sinners in the life of the church…by stabbing his ex friends and those to whom he was lead pastor…stabbing them in the back. Odd.

    I felt sorry for him at first. I am feeling less and less of that. He was an adult, a husband, a father, and a pastor. He had the duty to study and show discernment all along the way. Sure adversity and scandal hit his life that he did not instigate. But that happens to all lives. Rather than mourn for those victims that were innocent children, be flips it all around into poor poor Josh. Boo freaking hoo.

    I have a lot more empathy for his wife. She is also a responsible adult, but I also think he lied to her all along the way and probably still is in some areas.

    The kids I know nothing about, but they are kids. I pray that God will take hold of their hearts and lives and see them through this rough period stronger and better for the testing.

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  259. Law Prof:
    Josh may have been brainwashed, that’s a fair point as far as it goes, but I don’t see exactly what about what we know of his upbringing would make him brainwashed and anyone else in particular who also had a terrible time growing up not brainwashed.

    Gregg Harris was one of the most influential figures in the Christian homeschooling movement of the 1980’s-90’s. If you want to move beyond guesses and assumptions, maybe this will get you pointed in the right direction:
    https://homeschoolersanonymous.org/2016/01/25/no-unbelievers-allowed-how-homeschooling-became-a-christians-only-club/

    That movement? Yeah, it’s basically “how to brainwash your kids for Jesus.”

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  260. I pray for all of those who were the recipients of abuse done in the name of Joshua Harris’ book, executed by the church leaders who claimed to be Christians. The shame and guilt and outright visible abuse executed upon those who were unworthy in the name of a book written by an individual is paramount of the vipers Jesus spoke of. How He could encounter the woman at the well who had five husbands, treating her with grace, kindness, love, and truth concerning her sin, is the Way in which so called christians should behave in these modern times.

    Due to the fact that institutional churches worship legalism and impose their selfish personal directives over people who desire to follow Jesus, the life of Joshua Harris is an example of how religion trumps faith in Jesus Christ.

    How many “pure and holy” religious people abuse others they look down upon, in the name of a false jesus? The fallout is endless.

    Praying for a man who caused many pain, heartache, brokenness, and utter destruction in their relationship with Jesus, others, in their marriages, in their sibling relationships, and in their faith. Like Saul, turned Paul, I believe Jesus is removing the scales from Mr. Harris’ eyes, and showing him the truth through the lives of Jesus’ ekklesia.

    Many theologians will claim that Mr. Harris is apostate, all the while hiding the sexual sins of their own hearts, their own households, their own churches, and their own lace of relationship with our LORD JESUS.

    May Jesus have His Mercy and Grace upon all of us.

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  261. KJ: Christian homeschooling movement

    Homeschooling is bigger than the Christian portion. Some people homeschool because the military constantly moves their families around. Or the kids have life-threatening allergies or other conditions that are hard to manage in a crowded space. Or they object to curriculum for non-religious reasons. Or they just think they can do a better job than the district.

    “…homeschoolers aren’t operating outside the system. A quarter of the homeschoolers taking online courses enrolled through a public school.” https://psmag.com/education/the-state-of-homeschooling-in-america The older ones near me flock to community college. Many belong to music and sports programs with random other kids and no religious content.

    All of this dilutes that separatism that some Christian purists want to see.

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  262. Anonymous Poster: It’s also odd that he rejects Christianity and then apologizes for not included unrepentant sinners in the life of the church…by stabbing his ex friends and those to whom he was lead pastor…stabbing them in the back.

    I understand the anger and betrayal. Harris led an influential movement that caused a huge amount of pain and damage. Now he has turned against his own former faith. Folks are rattled.

    But is repentance a prerequisite for participating in church? Good golly, I’d rather welcome that unrepentant sinner to the pew than leave him/her out on the sidewalk. We often cherry-pick which sins are acceptable anyway—or which are even sins. Jesus associated with all sinners, and let his own wisdom work in their minds and hearts.

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  263. Anonymous Poster: It is odd how Joshua Harris says he’s sorry for how he treated women and shows it by divorcing his wife and splitting up the parents of his three children, two being daughters. Odd.

    1. This is making a lot of assumptions that Shannon had no input on this divorce and it’s solely Josh initiating it.
    2. Children do better with two functioning happy parents, whether they are together or apart. If that marriage wasn’t working it is often better for the kids for the parents to divorce. They can both still be loving involved parents.
    3. We don’t really know enough about this divorce to assign blame to anyone, and there may be no blame really at all. All we know from it is that formulaic purity nonsense didn’t work for them.

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  264. KJ: That movement? Yeah, it’s basically “how to brainwash your kids for Jesus.”

    Right. I grew up in a christian conservative household/church, but I went to christian school and then public school and had outside influences and it still took me a while to deconstruct everything and figure what I really thought of it. I’m still rethinking things and seeing things. It would be a million times harder in Josh’s position.

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  265. While I am saddened by any person losing their faith in God, I’m not sure Harris, and others like him, ever really had faith. If your faith is built upon theology, man-made rules, and/or control, that isn’t faith.

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  266. Jarrett Edwards:
    While I am saddened by any person losing their faith in God, I’m not sure Harris, and others like him, ever really had faith. If your faith is built upon theology, man-made rules, and/or control, that isn’t faith.

    How on earth can *anyone* know that? With all due respect, do we have the gift of reading souls? Of seeing into someone else’s heart and soul and inmost being?

    I don’t. Do you?

    I know of *so* many cases where people were sucked into toxic controlling cults, which messed them up so much that they were fortunate to emerge with their sanity even partially intact.

    I’m talking about both Protestant and Catholic cults (e.g., the Catholic Charismatic Covenant Communities associated with the Sword of the Spirit). If you’ve never been brainwashed by these cults, then you can’t imagine what it’s like.

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  267. Anonymous Poster: I felt sorry for him at first. I am feeling less and less of that.

    I am curious what his next step will be. I have found too many of these “leaders” to be fundamentally useless when out of the limelight and when they abandon one side of a partisan divide they soon join the other side, just as unhinged and just as partisan. If Harris just quietly goes away and finds something productive to do with his life I’ll think much better of him. If he instead joins the left and and starts making money off speaking gigs and writing more books as yet another partisan hack, then not so much.

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  268. Thersites,

    I have no idea how old this is, but his Instagram is publicizing a company called Clear & Loud. In light of his own background, text on that company’s website (copyright 2018) is mind blowing:

    Use the power of story to connect with your customers.
    Grow your business with story-driven marketing.
    Does Your Message Lack Clarity?
    – Having trouble converting leads to customers?
    – Are people confused when you explain what you do?
    – Have you wasted money on marketing?
    – Can you articulate the problem you solve for clients?
    A confusing message is costing you money.

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  269. Thersites: If Harris just quietly goes away and finds something productive to do with his life I’ll think much better of him. If he instead joins the left and and starts making money off speaking gigs and writing more books as yet another partisan hack, then not so much.

    “Now I run my own marketing and brand strategy company, Clear & Loud, and use the power of story to help businesses connect with customers.” (Joshua Harris)

    https://clearandloud.com/

    Well, he certainly knows something about the power of storytelling!

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  270. Catholic Gate-Crasher: I know of *so* many cases where people were sucked into toxic controlling cults, which messed them up so much that they were fortunate to emerge with their sanity even partially intact.

    I was on the fringe of one in the Seventies, and even though I remained functional on the outside it took many years for the SAN damage to heal.

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  271. Jean:
    Now Josh is saying he is not a Christian at all….support LGBTQ,etc…..https://www.faithwire.com/2019/07/26/author-joshua-harris-kisses-his-faith-goodbye-i-am-not-a-christian/

    To me this sounds like the 180 flip of a “Take Your God and Shove It!” burnout such as Eagle & I both went through when we detached from abusive church-cults. The “Support LGBTQ etc” is probably because that’s Christianese Purity Culture’s STRONGEST taboo, so the 180 reaction flips from anti to pro while retaining the same strength.

    Time to look back in a couple years and see if it shows any sign of weakening. (Plus establish a track record of “New Josh’s” behavior in general.)

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  272. Catholic Gate-Crasher,

    I still conclude that anyone on those circumstances didn’t have actual faith in God. When you are in a cult, of the type you mention, your faith isn’t in God, but in the cult. Yes, you are manipulated into thinking it is faith in God, but it is not true faith.

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  273. Jarrett Edwards:
    Catholic Gate-Crasher,

    I still conclude that anyone on those circumstances didn’t have actual faith in God. When you are in a cult, of the type you mention, your faith isn’t in God, but in the cult. Yes, you are manipulated into thinking it is faith in God, but it is not true faith.

    This is not as cut and dried as this. In my experience, God is not limited in ability to interact with us by what we are taught about Him. When I got out of the cult I was in, I went through a period where I wasn’t sure what I believed. This period lasted years. It took a lot of time sorting through shattered beliefs to try to sort God stuff from man stuff (still a work in progress). And during it, I was not comfortable with identifying as a Christian. Now, I’m a little less uncomfortable with the term… and understand that I will always be learning things that will afkfect adjustment in my beliefs.

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  274. Jarrett Edwards: When you are in a cult … your faith isn’t in God, but in the cult. Yes, you are manipulated into thinking it is faith in God, but it is not true faith.

    Good words. This includes cults of personality. When Driscoll fell, Mars Hill dissolved … when Hybels fell, Willow Creek membership plummeted … with MacDonald’s departure, Harvest Bible Chapel is struggling to stay afloat. When the pew is manipulated, intimidated, and dominated by mere men, the pulpit rules with illegitimate authority … it is not an atmosphere where true faith can prosper.

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  275. Brian,

    I homeschooled my sons through elementary school, as did several friends. We always joked about the need to find denim skirts and jumpers! I did attend a few HS conventions where I heard some weird ideas being promoted but thank the Lord never got sucked in to any of it.

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  276. Nana Flair: Perhaps you should find fellowship with believers who help you to stand rather then those who try to get you to fall down.

    Could you please elaborate in this comment. I’m not sure I understand your point. Do you think that Nick or others who struggle have not considered this? How do you know he hasn’t? For example, I travelled to Edinburgh last year and Nick went out of his way to meet up with me. We had a great meal in a pub although I have some concerns about his penchant for putting haggis on burgers as opposed to cheese.

    As Christian we often have way too many times we offer simplistic solutions to often complex issues. Sometimes I think it is because it makes us feel better as opposed to thoughtfully engaging.

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  277. dee: I have some concerns about his penchant for putting haggis on burgers as opposed to cheese.

    I understand that you are grappling with the narrow gate of haggis, but I don’t think you should put haggis on cheese.

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  278. dee,

    On a final note, I think Nana’s comment was just to do with not wasting time with the UK charismatic scene where it’s all about whether you have manifestations.

    There are almost no Christian groups that will help someone like me to stand. But I do appreciate the thought.

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  279. Friend: But is repentance a prerequisite for participating in church?

    Yes.
    Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

    Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

    Matthew 11:20 Then began he to upbraid the cities wherein most of his mighty works were done, because they repented not.

    Mark 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

    Mark 6:12 And they went out, and preached that men should repent.

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  280. Headless Unicorn Guy,

    Petros:
    Lots of appropriate critiques of IKDG here, and appropriate critiques of the cultural and (wrongheaded) theological views from which it emanated.

    BUT, perhaps there is a way bigger issue here.How in the world does any pop-trendy book like IKDG ever become THAT influential that it can become THAT destructive? Those who unthinkingly bought into the IKDG narrative need to take some responsibility.

    True. I read a secular post reporting on Harris’ news, and the comments were all about naive evangelicals who followed the advice of a 20 year old kid on how to bring up their children. Of course they didn’t state it that politely.

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  281. Nana Flair: I read a secular post reporting on Harris’ news, and the comments were all about naive evangelicals who followed the advice of a 20 year old kid on how to bring up their children.

    That’s the sad part. Things like this just give the unchurched another reason to say “See, there’s nothing to it!”

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  282. TS00: Sadly, this is what I suspect as well. Harris can ‘separate’ without being thrown to the wolves, but his goose is cooked if he divorces. I see this ‘fake marriage’ status in so many so-called christian homes. Like the Pharisees, people have been deceived into upholding the letter of the law, while entirely missing the heart of it. So many christians sanctimoniously remain in dead, hopeless marriages in which both partners are miserable and lonely, assuring themselves that God is pleased as long as they don’t divorce. Instead, their abandonment of their pledge to love their spouse is just as real as any divorce.

    It is the state of division and enmity that displeases God, whether one divorces, separates or lives in an unarmed truce. None of these three options uphold the marriage God describes or intends a man and a woman to share. It is legalistic hypocrisy to think your dead marriage is superior to someone else’s honest divorce.
    ********

    I doubt Harris or his wife care as they claim to no longer be believers. Why would they be troubled about divorce? It’s quite acceptable in our wider culture these days.

    Could the announcement be to generate business for him, and also hits for her music sites? Especially since he apologized to gays, this should help business, and maybe generate some speaking engagements as well. I

    His wife has pictures of herself all over the place, like a teenager. They seem so like-minded in their complete walk away from the faith; wonder why they don’t stay together?!

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  283. TS00: Sadly, this is what I suspect as well. Harris can ‘separate’ without being thrown to the wolves, but his goose is cooked if he divorces. I see this ‘fake marriage’ status in so many so-called christian homes. Like the Pharisees, people have been deceived into upholding the letter of the law, while entirely missing the heart of it. So many christians sanctimoniously remain in dead, hopeless marriages in which both partners are miserable and lonely, assuring themselves that God is pleased as long as they don’t divorce. Instead, their abandonment of their pledge to love their spouse is just as real as any divorce.

    It is the state of division and enmity that displeases God, whether one divorces, separates or lives in an unarmed truce. None of these three options uphold the marriage God describes or intends a man and a woman to share. It is legalistic hypocrisy to think your dead marriage is superior to someone else’s honest divorce.
    ********

    I doubt Harris or his wife care as they claim to no longer be believers. Why would they be troubled about divorce? It’s quite acceptable in our wider culture these days.

    Could the announcement be to generate business for him, and also hits for her music sites? Especially since he apologized to gays, this should help business, and maybe generate some speaking engagements as well.

    I somehow stumbled into instagram or something and his wife has many photos out there, posing like she’s playing model the way teen girls do. They seem so like-minded in their complete walk away from the faith; it’s a wonder they don’t stay together?!

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  284. Lea: Right. I grew up in a christian conservative household/church, but I went to christian school and then public school and had outside influences and it still took me a while to deconstruct everything and figure what I really thought of it. I’m still rethinking things and seeing things. It would be a million times harder in Josh’s position.

    Friend: Homeschooling is bigger than the Christian portion. Some people homeschool because the military constantly moves their families around. Or the kids have life-threatening allergies or other conditions that are hard to manage in a crowded space. Or they object to curriculum for non-religious reasons. Or they just think they can do a better job than the district.

    “…homeschoolers aren’t operating outside the system. A quarter of the homeschoolers taking online courses enrolled through a public school.” https://psmag.com/education/the-state-of-homeschooling-in-america The older ones near me flock to community college. Many belong to music and sports programs with random other kids and no religious content.

    All of this dilutes that separatism that some Christian purists want to see.

    And some Christians homeschooled but didn’t get involved with the people and their ideas mentioned in some of the articles referenced here. I homeschooled my sons through elementary school and was involved in co-ops, sports team, and much more, but I and the families we met with weren’t following any of the big shots.

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  285. Lea: It *was* a financial burden to her family and a relief to them that she would be taken care of, such was life when you were a gentlewoman in that time period with not enough money to live on and unable to earn it. Isn’t it great that we have a new system for all it’s flaws?

    Charlotte was not romantic, you know
    And Charlotte did get that sitting room all to herself, where she could pour tea, so it wasn’t all bad!

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  286. Lea: It *was* a financial burden to her family and a relief to them that she would be taken care of, such was life when you were a gentlewoman in that time period with not enough money to live on and unable to earn it. Isn’t it great that we have a new system for all it’s flaws?

    Charlotte was not romantic, you know
    And Charlotte did get that sitting room all to herself, where she could pour tea, so it wasn’t all bad!

    dee,

    dee: Could you please elaborate in this comment. I’m not sure I understand your point. Do you think that Nick or others who struggle have not considered this?How do you know he hasn’t? For example, I travelled to Edinburgh last year and Nick went out of his way to meet up with me. We had a great meal in a pub although I have some concerns about his penchant for putting haggis on burgers as opposed to cheese.

    As Christian we often have way too many times we offer simplistic solutions to often complex issues. Sometimes I think it is because it makes us feel better as opposed to thoughtfully engaging.

    I’m not sure I left my comment under the right post but I was responding to someone who said he had autism and was viewed as a 2nd class Christian b/c he didn’t fall when people prayed for him. Not sure of his wording but it sounded to me like he was in a group that practiced “slain in the spirit” sort of things that he wasn’t comfortable with. Hence my suggestion. Thanks for checking. And I hope this comment shows up in the right spot!

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  287. ” His wife has pictures of herself all over the place, like a teenager.”

    Or…Like an adult. Like a musician. Like anyone with a social media at all.

    Are pictures somehow an indication of bad character now just because we can share them rather than putting them in an album? Bah.

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  288. I am back!!! God is good. Billy is doing great! A Senior, went to prom last year and they both looked beautiful, got himself a nice car, and is going into biomed engineering next fall after graduation at A&M. Billy says hello and thank you for your support of him.

    Now this Joshua Harris issue. See you have had this guys number from day 1! He did help with the controlling atmosphere with in many churches which makes him doubly accountable, period!!!!
    Those who want to attack people for exposing it need to check themselves at the door! This guy is a piece of work and went public to try to save face with a new base of people to buy whatever he sells in the future, whether it’s another book or himself time will tell.
    I’m curious about whether he will come out at a later date due to his apology tour of the LGBT community. To each his own I may not support their agendas or lifestyle because of what scripture says but that is ok we can still love and witness to them and be kind.
    This man should immediately recuse himself as a pastor. Ok I can keep going but I said enough.

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