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Josh Harris

I kissed dating goodbye
Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

In each season of the television show, “The Bachelorette,” a young woman successively sends bachelors home until she finally chooses one. This season, there was extra drama in that the bachelorette,Hannah Brown, openly declared she’s a Christian and was even shown praying.  One of the bachelor candidates, Luke Parker, is also an outspoken believer.

Hannah eventually gave Luke the boot from the show after he told her he was saving sex for marriage and hoped she would not have sex with any of the contestants. Hannah rejected this idea, telling him, “I have had sex, and honestly, Jesus still loves me.” “Guess what?” she said, “Sex might be a sin out of marriage, pride is a sin, and I feel like this is a pride thing.”

Hannah’s lack of seriousness about sexual morality is not unusual among Christian young adults today. Sure, Jesus still loves her. However, she’s willfully defying scripture.

Contrast this with the seriousness with which author and former megachurch pastor, Josh Harris took sexual sin in his 1997 book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. The book spawned a movement based on the idea that Christian young people shouldn’t date but should find spouses based upon family-based courtship.

I interviewed Josh on the book for radio. I was skeptical of courtship dating, but I resonated with his ideas about a “purity culture” to help Christians respond to the influence of the sexual revolution.

Years later, Josh Harris repudiated the message of the book. This summer, he left his marriage and says he’s not a Christian. This is tragic.

Did some people make a religion out of this purity ethic? Some did, and Josh Harris  regrets encouraging that. We get purity, not by refraining from sin, but through the blood of Christ which cleanses the believer of all sin.

Josh Harris once rightly stood firmly against the ‘bachelorette culture.’  It appears, however, he somehow missed God’s grace. I pray he finds it.

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Josh Harris

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