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Christian relationship guru apologises to LGBT people saying he has lost faith

PinkNews Reporter July 30, 2019

Josh Harris in 2015. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Author of best-selling Christian relationship guide, Joshua Harris, has apologised to LGBT+ people after his marriage ended and he lost his faith.

Harris, a former megachurch pastor in the US, said sorry to the queer community for contributing to a “culture of exclusion and bigotry.”

‘I Kissed Dating Goodby’ sold just under 1 million copies when it was published in 1997 and urged young Christians to reject dating for “courtship” and sexual abstinence.

Earlier this month (July 18) Harris announced on Instagram that he and his wife were separating after 21 years of marriage, saying “significant changes have taken place in both of us.”

He added: “It is with sincere love for one another and understanding of our unique story as a couple that we are moving forward with this decision.”

I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books.

Just nine days later he posted another image on Instagram alongside a messaging explaining that he has personally “undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus.”

He wrote: “The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction’, the biblical phrase is ‘falling away’. By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practise faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now.

“I have lived in repentance for the past several years – repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few.

“But I specifically want to add to this list now: to the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality.

“I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.”

Harris has previously distanced himself from the works, stating in a 2018 statement: “I no longer agree with its central idea that dating should be avoided. I now think dating can be a healthy part of a person developing relationally and learning the qualities that matter most in a partner.

“To those who read my book and were misdirected or unhelpfully influenced by it, I am sincerely sorry.”

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