Christian author Joshua Harris of I Kissed Dating Goodbye fame recently confessed in an Instagram post that he no longer considers himself a Christian, per The Christian Broadcasting Network. Harris recently announced his divorce from his wife of 20 years.
I Kissed Dating Goodbye was Harris’ smash hit book, a sort of how-to guide to date for religious people in the modern world. The book ended up selling more than a million copies. Written when Harris was just 20-years-old, the book railed against traditional dating, and instead focused on serious courtship, celibacy, and parental involvement in choosing a mate. It also had some controversial ideas, such as claiming that focusing on attraction and romance was “not helpful” as they detracted from finding a more spiritual match.
However, in recent years, Harris had come out against his book, claiming that he now believes that dating when young can be a healthy and positive experience, per NPR. He starred in a documentary called I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye in which he discussed his guilt at influencing millions with a doctrine he thinks might be harmful.
In addition, Harris and the book’s publisher came to an agreement to stop production of the book.
Even before the publication of his smash hit book, Harris was well-known in religious circles. His parents, Gregg and Sono Harris, were early advocates of the Christian homeschooling movement in the ’80s and ’90s.
As a figure well ensconced in the Christian community, Harris has caused shockwaves with his latest Instagram post, in which he proclaimed that he no longer sees himself as a Christian.
“I have 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.”
In addition, Harris took the post to apologize to members of the LGBTQ+ community for his previous beliefs and teachers.
“I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality,” he said.
“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.”
Though some users voiced their support in the comments, others expressed their disappointment. The picture has earned nearly 4,000 likes.