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My Thoughts: Josh Harris (I Kissed Dating Good-bye) and His Wife, Shannon, Announce Marital Separation

Josh Harris, Marriage, Spiritual Abuse, Courtship, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, Sexual Abuse

I’ve seen several people post about the announcement this morning sent out by Josh Harris (from his Instagram) and Shannon (from her Instagram).

The post reads:

We’re writing to share the news that we are separating and will continue our life together as friends. In recent years, some significant changes have taken place in both of us. It is with sincere love for one another and understanding of our unique story as a couple that we are moving forward with this decision. We hope to create a generous and supportive future for each other and for our three amazing children in the years ahead. Thank you for your understanding and for respecting our privacy during a difficult time.

I want to share some background about Josh as I remember it, and some thoughts. I remember Josh as a kid as he would help his father, Gregg Harris, at homeschool conventions. He was probably the age of a middle schooler. I still saw him several years later when we moved to Virginia Beach and his dad was still doing conferences. Josh did a lot of work setting up tables to sell his dad’s merchandise. His dad, Gregg Harris was one of the four pillars of the Christian Homeschool Movement which I believe contributed much harm to Christian homeschooling families. (You can search this blog or look in the sidebar for topics such as: Gregg Harris, Patriarchy, Christian Homeschool Movement, Purity, Modesty, Courtship, etc.) As a 23-yr veteran homeschool mom this is the stuff that I read and tried to practice with my family. Thankfully, I failed in many of these areas, but sadly, damage was also done!

Josh was raised in a climate of male rule over women – all women, not just their own wives. Gregg encouraged his sons to be entrepreneurs and Josh ventured out, helped by his father’s notoriety in the Christian Homeschool Movement, by creating a name for himself among teen Christians. And then in his early 20s, he wrote I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

No young twenty-something should be writing a book about dating and marriage. And nobody should be reading a book about dating or marriage written by a 21-year old. But somehow, this book became very popular reaching far beyond the Christian Homeschool Movement. Josh made traditional dating to be uncool for Christians.

Courtship, purity, and modesty (Josh’s brothers made modesty a hot topic in their entrepreneurial venue) were popular trends. Each of these trends have had backlashes and we’ve seen countless stories of harm coming from these ideologies.

But then Josh was mentored by C.J. Mahaney, pastor of the flagship Covenant Life Fellowship, a Sovereign Grace Ministries church in Maryland. C.J. Mahaney was extremely popular at the time, a big-name speaker at conferences (The Gospel Coalition, the Shepherd’s Conference, Together for the Gospel, etc.) It was a big deal for this homeschool kid to be mentored by such a powerful man. We know the rest of the story about that “powerful” man who wrote a book on humility, but who had no business writing such a book based on his reputation of being so proud and a spiritual bully.

C.J. Mahaney passed the torch to Josh Harris at Covenant Life. He seemed to be very respected. He had a humility that C.J. never had. But then the sex abuse scandals came to light at Sovereign Grace churches.

Eventually, Josh Harris stepped down from his position, but not after he stated publicly that he, too, was a victim of sexual abuse as a child. He moved his family to Canada and attended Regent College.

While at Regent College, he worked on a documentary about his book, I Kissed Dating Goodbye. He publicly apologized for the harm done. Some feel he didn’t apologize enough, or that it was insincere.

We can read from another of Shannon’s Instagram posts some significant hashtags: #exvangical and #deconversion. In Josh’s Instagram profile, we read about his personal business, “I use the power of story to help businesses connect with their customers. Message clarity, marketing strategy, website design. Let’s work together! .”

I wish I could sit down and talk to them both and ask about their journey. It’s not my business, but yet, in a way, you can’t help but wonder because he was so open with his life and his personal beliefs for decades.

All in all, I feel sad. Separation is never easy (we don’t see the word divorce in their posts). It is a heart-wrenching decision. But it makes me once again question those ideologies that led up to this point. It makes me think about spiritual abuse. It makes me think about Patriarchy. What significant changes were made in their journey? What ideologies did each one keep, and each one ditch?

I believe both Josh and Shannon have been victims of spiritual abuse by the system they were raised in (or brought into). Spiritual abuse rattles you to the core. When you process what happened and then reevaluate what you believe, what you don’t believe, what you will hold on to, what you will toss as far as it will go, it is a very big process. And we don’t always land at the same place. I know that from my own marriage. And it’s difficult when you were together on core beliefs, but then have since separated on your own paths.

I cannot imagine what either of their journeys has been like as they have been deconstructing. I know what it has been like for me. My heart goes out to them both.

This is the sad reality of bad church ideologies and spiritual bullies. Give me Jesus. Just Jesus.

UPDATE 7/26/19: There is a follow-up statement from Josh Harris and article posted here: My Thoughts on Josh Harris as a “Fallen Christian”

86 thoughts on “My Thoughts: Josh Harris (I Kissed Dating Good-bye) and His Wife, Shannon, Announce Marital Separation”

  1. I was just reading this! I never read Josh’s book or got deeply involved (although the purity messages got in a bit just the same, they weren’t nearly at the level some people got!).

    My basic opinion about the book aspect, now and forever, is the same as your two lines below:

    No young twenty-something should be writing a book about dating and marriage. And nobody should be reading a book about dating or marriage written by a 21-year old.

    I will add, no adults should be pushing a book about this topic written by a 21 year old on teenagers. They all deserve blame here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “I will add, no adults should be pushing a book about this topic written by a 21 year old on teenagers. They all deserve blame here.”

    Good point. What is even sadder IMO is how long it took for at least some people to admit all the problems that “kissing dating goodbye” caused. It was like people were in long denial about the problems or not wanting to admit to what so many bought into wasn’t working like it promised.

    Even when Josh gave messages at CLC admitting that there were problems at CLC with how singles related Josh never shared those problems on his blog. Had Josh admitted this on his blog at the time then maybe there would have been much earlier open discussions allowing for necessary corrections to be made. Below is more details on this:

    https://ikdg.wordpress.com/2008/04/30/what-problems-joshua-harris-acknowledged-about-how-singles-relate-at-his-church-but-doesn’t-share-on-his-website/

    This is sad that Josh and Shannon are now separating.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What is even sadder IMO is how long it took for at least some people to admit all the problems that “kissing dating goodbye” caused. It was like people were in long denial about the problems

    They can’t admit because it’s too tied into other stuff. Purity Culture. Complementarin nonsense. A focus on marriage itself as a goal, to the exclusion of everything else that matters in a relationship like happiness, kindness, love…

    I mean, it’s mind boggling to me that people 20 years ago were promoting basically courting and hoping into marriage with people you barely know as a very young person and expecting that to work despite all data to the contrary, but when they started dismantling this book, they would have started dismantling a lot of other things they still really like, which is probably why Josh still can’t fully do it, failing marriage and ‘documentary’ and all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so sad. I grieve for them, their kids, their families, and all who know and love them.

    Let’s not misunderstand what often happens here, however, and what is usually behind things like this overall debacle. Let’s not forget how when people admit their wrongdoings, the specifics get caught up in the overgeneralized. [This is not about people like CJM, who, if the accusations are true, is truly evil.] In other words, if a person believes X, and cheats on their taxes, or even on their spouse, then just about everything in X, and all who believe X, are abusers, evil, haters, Trolls, etc. This is used to demonize them and their beliefs.

    Could it not be that people in X, or Y, or Z…or A, B, C…all sin and fail? Should everything about them, when they sin or fail, be lumped together and be mercilessly attacked, mocked, and demeaned? How many people have the ability to withstand all the shaming they and their beliefs receive?

    So, when something is wrong, or when someone does wrong, in a church, ministry, etc, then a whole group gets blamed, if not demonized. No wonder people leave Christianity and hate Christians. [This, not to me mention, the never-ending false accusations!!!] It is not enough that a person (or group) admits a specific error, sin, or failure. ALL of who they are, what they believe, are anathema, they must be shunned and shamed to death.

    This is perhaps most common place in echo chambers, where dissent is not really allowed, and corrections are not given, even to those on the “same side.” If corrections are given, they are treated in similar fashion: mockery, personal attacks, name calling, false accusations, avoidance, distorting what was said, etc.

    Another common and very harmful reaction is, “See those people who did that? They are all spiritual abusers.” (Similarly, “They’re all racists/misogynists/bigots/trolls/____.) And now we have our new society where reality is inverted, and where love is hate, and hate is love.

    I could see Josh (and his wife) trying to respond well to correction, but getting shame-bombed over-and-over-and-over-and-over… “You’re the problem.” “You’re the reason why people don’t go to Church.” “You’re a spiritual abuser.” “You’re part of the patriarchy.” “You’re the Oppressor.” Who can hold up under that?

    Kind of like Matt Chandler (with all of his faults, and whom I strongly disagree with in many ways) and his church. You realize, at some point, no matter how much you capitulate, it is never enough. It is understandable that, at some point, you either give up, or you give in to the false narratives. No matter what, you lose in the eyes of the false accusers/shame-bombers. However, if you do give in, at least the shaming and condemnation (of those who say they are against those, and for love, acceptance, etc) might stop. Why? Because you are one of them now.

    Tragically many are “exvangelicals” or “nones”/“dones,” etc. However, those who are responsible for so many people leaving the faith (or having their faith demonized and destroyed) are not so much the original “sinner,” but those who come in with guns blazing, with little to no concern for being accurate (as in blogs, comment sections, twitter), with false accusations, with generalized condemnations, etc. These are the main culprits (e.g. those in echo chambers) yet they always blame others for the grotesque damage that they, in fact, cause in the lives of so many others. And they often do so in the name of “love,” “justice,” etc…and even in the true way of “Jesus.”

    As this echo chamber-type mentality increase, so will the collateral damage of people who have their lives and faith destroy—and these groupthink individuals will see themselves as heroes, and justice warriors, while proving yet again that reality has been inverted.

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  5. Forgive me for not mourning Mr. Harris marital melt down . He is now on his way to joining the three original example couples cited in his extra-biblical book ( of doing courtship right) in divorce court. Maybe now the screwy homeschool movement will wake up and back away from all these extreme ideas. We have seen Vision forum / Doug Phillips crash and burn, The integrated church movement leader Scott Brown arranged marriage for his daughter implode in divorce .

    Josh had the disadvantage of having an idiot of a father and a cult leader for a mentor but he is well into adulthood and responsible for the tremendous damage his false teaching has done.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. As much damage as his teaching caused, I still am sad for the breakup of their marriage. They are real people and this is going to be traumatic for them and their children.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. Mark, I just saw this post on Shannon’s Instagram that shares more of where she is coming from.

    View this post on Instagram

    Where I am now has everything do with God and nothing to do with God. Everything that could possibly be so simple and so complicated converging into one place is. . I also know now, why they disappeared. Why you would hear about people, and then suddenly they were just gone. I know why they ghosted. . I myself have been sitting here for seven years. Quietly Thinking. No, longer. Nearly a decade ruminating over my time in a place called church. . When we left, I think my body was in shock. My mind, too. I hadn’t had a moment to myself in years, and there was an overwhelming amount of material to sort through. There was also the sudden quiet. The unfamiliar surroundings. The knowing no one. The jarring lack of things I needed to do. . I walked around my neighborhood in a daze, attempting to make my way through the fog of teachings, people, meetings, words, songs, voices, images, memories. There were good ones, of course. Lots of good ones. But the ones rolling in now weren’t those. . When I wasn’t walking in fog, I was in another mental space. Sitting on the floor in a room surrounded by disorderly stacks of the manila folders of my mind. . And I’m half looking for something. But I’m not sure what that is. So it’s taking forever to find. . While I’m looking for something I don’t know, I start remembering things. Things at the beginning. . Most importantly, the feeling of not feeling safe. . I had forgotten that I felt this way. . #god #me #people #thinking #writing #writersofinstagram #religion #deconstuction #womanhood #poetry #instapoet #music #spiritual #church #christianity #spirituality #writersofig #writers #writersofinstagram #writerscommunity

    A post shared by s. b o n n e (@bonneidentity) on

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I get that people have been harmed by Josh. I just hope that he dedicates time to do his own healing work. We know he has certainly missed opportunities, but his first positive step (and bold one, I might add) was abandoning everything he knew of evangelicalism and moving away to Canada. It took him over 40 years to get to the place where he was at CLC. It will take time for the layers to peel off.

    I am still decompressing my own stuff and learning how I harmed my kids. It really is a process.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I am recently involved with former leaders who left a cult. I can promise that there is just as much pain and confusion as there is with the congregants who left.

    I wish healing for Josh and Shannon, just as I wish for the people who were harmed by his teachings. But let this idol come crashing down.

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  10. “They can’t admit because it’s too tied into other stuff. Purity Culture. Complementarin nonsense. A focus on marriage itself as a goal, to the exclusion of everything else that matters in a relationship like happiness, kindness, love…”

    There was at least one breath of fresh air with a book titled “Courtship in Crisis” by Thomas Umstattd.

    https://www.thomasumstattd.com/books/courtship-in-crisis/

    This author was a former proponent of courtship and now admits it was a failure. Ironically one of the failures is less people getting married and those who do marry under courtship are seeing fairly high divorce rates.

    I do feel for Josh and Shannon. I am sure it is hard coming out of the SGM/homeschooling environment. When they left the “bubble” I am sure it was hard on their marriage.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. “I believe both Josh and Shannon have been victims of spiritual abuse by the system they were raised in (or brought into). Spiritual abuse rattles you to the core. When you process what happened and then reevaluate what you believe, what you don’t believe, what you will hold on to, what you will toss as far as it will go, it is a very big process. And we don’t always land at the same place. I know that from my own marriage.”

    This is exactly where my mind went when I saw the headline. They were sold a lie – wrapped up in nice-sounding ‘spiritual’ words and promises. I was, too. And when the inevitable crisis happens, and the lies are exposed, the entire foundation of your life crumbles away to nothing and you are left sifting through the rubble, trying to work out what (if anything) is worth salvaging. The process is excruciatingly painful, and puts immense strain on a marriage. In truth, it impacts all your relationships.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. JA, I get the being used and being lied to. My wife and I were also useful people to be used and spit out by the church leadership. However… It didn’t drive my wife and me away from each other. One difference, reading her story, is that my church was more like a grindstone than ‘just enough beauty’. The question was more how much abuse can we heap on before this person leaves, and not how much warmth do we have to show to keep this person committed.

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  13. There are so many good thoughts here. I’m sure there will be a lot of people processing this announcement. Which in itself has got to be difficult. I do feel for them and their loss.

    I never saw the appeal of the book, so I never had my kids read it. My daughter was given Do Hard Things to read and I don’t think she ever touched it.

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  14. I have many thoughts on these topics: Spiritual abuse, Josh and Shannon’s announcement that they are separating.

    I’ll just say this: I imagine that they’re doing their best to be authentic, be who, how they actually are, and also that they tried their hardest and sincerest to stay together. I wish them the best. I know how difficult it is to separate.

    Anger rises for me, though. Not at the Harrises, but because of what this article refers to of spiritual abuse and/or the hypocrisy, perhaps, or patriarchy, or the lingering hurt and confusion I still struggle in healing. I went against my beliefs and all I held dear in leaving my husband…we were long time devoted members of CLC. We benefited from Josh’s teachings; we had all the tools for a great marriage. I tried to get support from pastors, and although they were compassionate, they preached against divorce and secular therapy.

    My attitude, desire, and words were exactly surmised by the Harrises in their statement announcing separation – that we’re great friends as always (husband and wife,) that the children are highest concern in their welfare..etc.

    My rising anger is that I was deemed the sinner, pariah, fool, backslider, unsubmissive wife, heathen, or worse. What I attempted to do was be authentic- there was no longer a marriage, nor communication in marriage; I was calling “the kettle black;” there was no longer a two-way street. I was in anguish, the relationship was dysfunctional and unhealthy. So, I left the church in order to leave my husband. I was blamed and shamed for leaving (not by the pastors.)
    Disillusioned, still am.

    I wasn’t “allowed,” or was simply incapable of leaving as I intended…with love, care, and as friends who intelligently, carefully, and amicably separated – keeping the good of all, especially our child’s welfare. Sigh!!! Again, I wish the Harrises well. It is only their business. I trust they’ve weighed and balanced and are hurting. They need support. Not judgment.

    I wish I had been able to set forth in such a way as their statement and been heard.

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  15. Oh boy, I remember having my oldest daughter read this book, but I felt like it was going to be really hard to implement, and I just felt guilty for not being able to pull it off. (Now I’m thankful. ) One of the hardest things for me to get past was the inevitable guilt and shame of not being able to “do” this patriarchy/courtship, etc. homeschooling lifestyle. When I began to come out of the fog and saw it for what it really was, it was a long time of feeling angry and confused, but there’s more to the journey, and I hope that they both continue to grow.

    Josh and his courtship message was touted as an ideal role model to follow, Time has proven how twisted much of these teachings really are.

    I’m sad for Josh and Shannon and their children and for everyone who’s been damaged by this fringe movement. May this side of the homeschool movement end and may healing come.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. I came across this article by Rebecca Lemke which was posted at Medium’s website. I found it very thoughtful.

    View at Medium.com

    FYI, I read Ms. Lemke’s book, The Scarlet Virgins: When Sex Replaces Salvation almost a year ago. I discovered her work a few months before Joshua Harris’ statement apologizing for I Kissed Dating Goodbye.

    It’s about 12:30 AM here on the East Coast and I need to get to bed. I may have more to say about this in the coming days.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Well this is a breath of fresh air. I wish them both well. I hope they are able to sort themselves out and find out who they are and not what the church made them to be.

    I remember attending a home school conference with Gregg Harris in 1994 in Vancouver. His son Josh had his own business as a wedding video guy. Gregg was pushing a tape series called The Seasons of Life.

    Makes we wonder what he would call this season of life for his son and daughter in law.

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  18. I had family in CLC. Lots of nieces and nephews grew up in that toxic environment and it’s been painful watching them seek, individually, to unpack themselves. I was a CLC reject, in the early years, as I did not fit the mold of acceptable subservient Christian, dodging a bullet.

    Reading Shannon’s Instagram, I’m breathing huge sighs of release. Over and over. I love to see that Shannon has given herself the permission to unpack the parts of her that were stuffed down by the busyness of the whirlwind which was CLC and the expectations placed upon the women there.

    The men, too, were under their own set of pressures and expectations, and were taught to keep the women subjective, against their own inner voices, in many cases. A true partner in life walks beside, not under subjugation.

    It’s nice to know that Josh is not the only one in the marriage who was able to examine the theology and reevaluate the culture of the former life and pursue a different path.

    I wish them both joy and fullness of life,

    PS: Josh, I still sting when I think about how you described Shannon in your original book, IKD…it was so degrading,,,and reading it twice, years apart, I always flushed with embarrassment and humiliation on her behalf,

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  19. Somewhere in my basement in a box I have the Seasons of Life cassette tape set. Last time I was in Portland, I went to a coffee shop with my friend, Ken Garrett. As we walked the streets SE Portland, he pointed out a little shop. It was Gregg Harris’ shop where he sells plant terrariums. No more pastoring family-integrated churches. I don’t know if he speaks anymore. I wonder where he goes to church since he was booted from pastoring the churches he started: HOFCC.

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  20. Great comment, Remnant. And yes, the degrading part. Ick. It reminds me of Mark Driscoll how he disclosed about his wife, Grace. So, so hurtful.

    I do wonder where Josh now stands on his views of wives and conplementarianism. At his old church, CLC, members had to sign a covenant that they would adhere to complementarianism. That was most likely in place before Josh came on board.

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  21. M seems really focused on supposed ‘false’ accusations, but all the accusations I’ve seen focused on these church folks seem to come up true. (spoiler, most accusations of this nature are true).

    Sidenote: The only person I know in real life who had a bit of a ‘courtship’ relationship has now divorced and remarried.

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  22. Reading Shannon’s post, it appears this move away from CLC/the US/etc gave her time to think and process, which I’m sure she couldn’t do when in the thick of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. PS: Josh, I still sting when I think about how you described Shannon in your original book, IKD…it was so degrading,,,and reading it twice, years apart, I always flushed with embarrassment and humiliation on her behalf,

    Well now I feel like I need to go see what he did say about her…

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  24. Thank you, Julie Anne. CLCers had to submit to a plethora of ever-changing written and unwritten rules, expectations and whims of their great and mighty leaders, spending years trying to hit the ungodly moving target…from charismania to Calvinism. I wonder how any of them came out sane. I feel for my young family members.

    Anyway, I’ve been rewording my former comment to Josh in my head (you know how that goes?) and realize what I’ve been feeling all these years is that he slut-shamed her. To the whole damn world.

    He, the virtuous virgin, deigned to look upon her stained shameful character and, out a tremendously humble heart, take her to wife, the whore.

    That’s the attitude I read in his words, I was no virgin when I married and those words do not reflect how I view her, nor myself. But that’s the message I received with flushed indignation,

    Do you watch The Handmaid’s Tale? It’s like Shannon sits in the middle of the shaming circle, while virtuous virgins surround her with pointing fingers, chanting, “Sinner. Sinner. Sinner. Whore. Whore. Whore. Shame, Shame, Shame,”

    I have always wondered if she had to feel continual shame or if she was able to rise above within her own mind and heart and soul and being.

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  25. Lea, he declared to the whole watching world that she was not a virgin when they married and yet he still married her even though he had expectations of remaining a virgin until marriage and had expectations and hope to marry one.

    I haven’t read the book in well over a decade but a wave of indignation has flushed over me as I write these words. She was so young at the time those words were written about her. I can’t even,..

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  26. But somehow, this book became very popular reaching far beyond the Christian Homeschool Movement.

    In many cases, that book became Inerrant SCRIPTURE(TM).

    Liked by 1 person

  27. She was so young at the time those words were written about her.

    Ew. Thanks Remnant! Everything in me recoils at sharing other people’s personal details, but also…you decided to marry her regardless. You decided that something about her as a person was better than the ideals in your head before they smashed up on the reality of life.

    So, why didn’t this make him rethink his original opinions? Maybe virginity is not the most important thing in a wife, should be the message here imo.

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  28. But I wonder what in the world led me to believe the words of a 21-year old? Why did I blindly trust these leaders in this movement pushing these agendas? One thing deconstruction has allowed me to do, thankfully, was to give me permission to read and question all the authors/ideas that were the very authors/ideas criticized and demonized by this fringe movement and come to my own conclusions. I realized that most of the time these “dangerous” teaching/beliefs were not accurately explained and exaggerated. That went a long way in encouraging me that I wasn’t going in the wrong direction.

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  29. That’s really important, Monique. I have done the same thing with CON. If he taught strongly about something, I now pay close attention and challenge it!

    As far as I Kissed Dating Goodbye – even though I didn’t buy the book, I trusted it was okay because I had the thought that Gregg Harris was ok (what was I thinking?) So, by default, I gave Josh Harris the benefit of the doubt assuming that Gregg surely would have read and approved Josh’s writings. I was clearly drinking the Homeschool Movement Koolaid.

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  30. “Lea, he declared to the whole watching world that she was not a virgin when they married and yet he still married her even though he had expectations of remaining a virgin until marriage and had expectations and hope to marry one.”

    There’s that damaged goods nasty stuff. Some leader in the Homeschool Movement groups spoke about ensuring you have a tight rein on your daughters’ virginity – perhaps Voddie Baucham. – so that you could present your virginal daughter to her new husband who would then take the ownership reins. This was a common thought in the Homeschool Movement and tied in well with Stay-at-Home Daughters.

    What do you know – Anna-Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin are in their 30s and still not married. Sarah Maxwell (daughter of Steve and Teri Maxwell) is certainly in her 30s, living at home, and not married. Most of her brothers are married and producing a multitude of children.

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  31. I heard something the other day, listening to The Holy Post podcast (episode 345). The Bible is not there to discover life principles, for those principles will be man made, and invariably wrong. The Bible is there to give us wisdom. Wisdom does not mean “principles” or “laws.” We need wisdom in each and every different situation. Just because Solomon used the “cut the remaining child in two” method to find out who was the real mother, that doesn’t mean we use that method in every other similar situation.

    I am finding my faith being more and more deconstructed and getting down to the basics: love God, love your neighbor as yourself. The Bible along with the Holy Spirit will give you wisdom on how to do those. Sometimes we might be wrong in our wisdom, but we do our best and allow the Holy Spirit to deconstruct is as needed.

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  32. While I don’t think marriage should be taken lightly, courtship doctrine does four things. First, it puts marriage on such a pedestal that only the perfect man and woman can attain the level of Christianity necessary to possibly be right for each other. Second, it says that imperfect people, which all of us are, of course, cannot properly walk the tightrope of finding a mate without, on one side, not fully vetting the perspective suitor and getting into a bad marriage, and on the other, falling in love and into sexual sin. Third, it creates a process to walk this tightrope, which is a set of contradictions – already knowing each other enough to want to marry, yet, parent-chaperoned mutual discovery, not an arranged marriage, but enough parental knowledge, cooperation and approval that it sounds very much arranged. Fourth, divorce is never an option, no matter how abusive and evil either of the spouses is.

    I think faced with these contradictions, it’s not surprising that those who most desire to remain faithful to this process remain single. They fear the “wrong one” so much that any imperfect person can never meet the standard. Because emotional connection is never allowed, it’s difficult for relationships to go anywhere meaningful. Finally, those who do marry often find themselves marrying the “wrong” one. Singles who are known within the church also have known flaws, and are thus ruled out. Newcomers are attractive, but their flaws are not known, which leads to short courtships and marriages to wolves who know how to keep up appearances long enough.

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  33. JA: So, by default, I gave Josh Harris the benefit of the doubt assuming that Gregg surely would have read and approved Josh’s writings.

    I mean…I would bet he did and did approve, so I’m sure you weren’t wrong there.

    Mark: Singles who are known within the church also have known flaws, and are thus ruled out.

    This is so sad to me. Especially when people rule someone out because of their family or situation. In addition to being sad, it feels deeply unchristian. On another note:

    JA: There’s that damaged goods nasty stuff. Some leader in the Homeschool Movement groups spoke about ensuring you have a tight rein on your daughters’ virginity – perhaps Voddie Baucham. – so that you could present your virginal daughter to her new husband who would then take the ownership reins.

    Everything about this disgusts me. Every. Thing. As for the unmarried older people, I wonder if there is a personality type that takes these things more seriously whether it be purity, connection, or what have you, that finds it difficult to get married as a result. I think some of those SAHD are just straight up being prevented from making connections, but I’ve heard of a number of people who had trouble from this movement in general as adults. Did they get burned out? Did they have high expectations that weren’t realized? I think that’s an interesting question.

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  34. I don’t know, but it looks like the Maxwells have three daughters, all of whom are unmarried and work for the “ministry”, while the sons are all married and having kids.

    When I say known flaws, I mean like normal childishness, but since their childishness is well known within the church, they can never grow out of it. I think this is what Jesus means here: “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.” so even perfection is not enough to overcome the bias against familiarity.

    I’ll just say that when I got engaged, the response was more shock and disbelief from those who knew me…

    Liked by 1 person

  35. If you want read the remarks Josh made about Shannon I believe that they are in Harris’s “Boy Meets Girl” book and not Harris’s “Kissing Dating Goodbye” book.

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  36. This seems like progress to me and a breath of fresh air. How many leaders do you know of who actually stop and admit that it isn’t working? Who actually decide to change course? It’s very hard to admit to the whole world that you’ve thought better of the public self you have been for your whole life. I wish them both well and I hope they continue to learn and grow, to become fully real and authentic and human.

    M, you are halfway there. Keep living with eyes wide open and don’t try to justify or rationalize all of the cognitive dissonance, just let it register for what it is and it will all come together. False accusations? Ahh, I remember the days when I could think that. I’m afraid that ship has sailed.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Steve, it was theological justification for what churches were already doing. The backlash against teenage pregnancies was that boys and girls could never be alone, and that parents needed to be more involved. Harris provided theological justification for that, however weak, in a book that was pretty approachable, and it scratched many of the Evangelical/Complementarian itches…

    It blamed an external thing (dating) for much of the evil in society (teenage pregnancy, divorce), rather than what was in peoples’ hearts.
    It created a way for Christians who were already wanting to be counter-cultural and visibly holier-than-thou (e.g. homeschooling and modesty) to continue their trajectory
    It allowed the authoritarian fathers in the growing comp/patriarchal movement to manipulate and control their children’s future through a perceived need to “oversee” the courtship process.

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  38. Singles who are known within the church also have known flaws, and are thus ruled out. Newcomers are attractive, but their flaws are not known…

    Not allowing time for said newcomers’ Angel of Light masks to slip.

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  39. I will also mention that the results are not unique. I know a pastor at a patriarchal/modesty church. They had so many 30-something single women with nothing but a homeschool high school education that they didn’t know what to do. They couldn’t get jobs to support themselves and there were no potential suitors.

    I’m guessing the parents were fed up enough with having to financially support their daughters that they essentially gave up their beliefs and decided that daughters should now be encouraged to go to college and get marketable degrees. So, the pastor was now changing the message a bit to accommodate their newly inspired desire to have their daughters get an education, get a job and presumably GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.

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  40. I’m saddened to read about Josh Harris’s marital separation. Hopefully, they can work out the marriage through marital counseling since there is no mention of divorce. I too heard about Mr. Harriis’ famous “I kissed Dating Goodbye” that started a whole new movement. I matter how well-meaning, I always found whole purity culture misguided and did greater harm than good as I mentioned in a few posts in my original blog.

    I agree that Mr. Harris at 21 wasn’t experienced to right such a book and he even came to regret it himself. It’s not just Mr. Harris though. I”m a bit bothered by a number of young people who some do look like they’re are out of their teens giving advice on dating on Youtube channels, telling others when they should date and how they should date. These are young folks who don’t appear to have enough or any experiences in dating themselves yet feel the need to advise others as if they are experts giving some misguided directions. I

    remember one a college student herself felt to the need to tell others they are not ready to date unless they are looking to get married. Another teenager even told his viewers the consequences of dating a number of people before in what appeared to be from something similar to what Josh Harris says in his book and I suspect that’s where he got the info. Many of them get voted thumps up and have received a lot of positive feedback on the comments section agreeing with them.

    To me, there isn’t a one size fit’s all reason to date even in the Christian community and I always found it unfair to put pressure on young people to only date unless they are seeking future spouse since many are may be ready of exploring a possibility of a relationship but not thinking far down the line as marriage just yet. And many could lose out on the life experience of dating and all the ups and downs which could be beneficial for them when they do find their future spouse.

    I have no will ill towards Mr. Harris since he was young and inexperience himself when he wrote that book and wish him and his wife the best of luck and pray for them. God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. The “No True Scotsman” argument has already come to surface… The whole Harris fiasco is because of modern Evangelicalism and neo-calvinism, but not in the way you might think. If only Harris went to a church with a hierarchy and requirement to attend seminary…

    https://www.agradio.org/time-to-kiss-new-calvinism-goodbye.html

    “When he became pastor of the Maryland megachurch and when he published his widely-read and influential book on dating and courtship, he had no formal theological education.” [like Jesus’s disciples?]

    “First of all, when an experienced minister finds a young man who might make a good pastor some day, he does not thrust him into ministry. He might test the young man’s gifts a bit and mentor him for a while but before the young man enters ministry there are some things he must do. One of those is that he must get an education before beginning ministry” [What seminary did Apollos go to? Timothy? Titus? Peter? so, which is more Biblical, a senior pastor mentoring and teaching a younger man into the ministry, or sending someone off to seminary for three years?]

    “In the case of the sex-abuse scandal an ordered church would investigate thoroughly and if crimes are suspected the investigators would notify the police immediately so that they could begin a criminal investigation.” [I know for a fact this is false, and not only that, but it’s dangerous, as pastors are not trained investigators, and often illegal as pastors ARE often mandatory reporters]

    “In a properly ordered church a minister who comes to doubt the faith and his faith would do as Harris has done, leave the ministry and seek secular employment but he would do one more thing: be quiet.” [is this because the “properly ordered” church is better at shaming doubters into silence? not saying that Harris is a doubter – Clark is misconstruing what Harris is saying]

    “For some today, the very notion that a church should confess that there is “the true church” is quite shocking. It seems positively arrogant. “Who are you to say that there is such a thing and that you know how to identify it?” We say so on the basis of the sufficiently clear Word of God.” [So it’s arrogant for THEM to assert that their church is “the true church”, but not arrogant for YOU to assert that your church is “the true church”??]

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  42. FYI, I challenged the blogger for condemning Harris for “questioning faith” when he clearly wasn’t (after getting into a lengthy argument with Rebecca Davis for believing the victims in the case of Tchvidijian and Chantry on the basis of “innocent until proven guilty”)

    I guess that’s what you’re paying for in a seminary education at Westminster West – a man who will condemn someone of apostasy over saying something is “like questioning faith”, will condemn him by association (he’s a New Calvinist like Jones, Bell and Driscoll) and will dig in when challenged rather than admit that Harris’ statement is even ambiguous.

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  43. “present your virginal daughter to her new husband who would then take the ownership reins. This was a common thought in the Homeschool Movement and tied in well with Stay-at-Home Daughters.”

    Whaaaaat?

    You guys. YOU GUYS. I’ve been reading about this for the past days and while I vaguely remember the book, I think I’m more stunned by what everyone is talking about than the news of the split. The extent of dating/sexual rules growing up in my small rural church (A/G) was: if you aren’t married, you shouldn’t have sex. No weirdo pledges, rings, courtship questionnaires… All of this other stuff is sort of mind-blowing to me because a) how did I grow up then, during the time frame this was apparently huge, and miss it? I was a serious reader of lots of books but I don’t recognize hardly any of the names of leaders listed b) I can’t imagine how this must have messed with people’s heads c) this man-over-woman thing is crazy town d) I went to a small public school and while kids decided I was going to be unpopular for whatever reason, I’m sort of glad because that teaches you that you don’t have to be liked, subservient, or controlled by “the group.” I wouldn’t give up my experience with being picked on for anything.

    No wonder people have seriously negative reactions to the Christian faith if they grew up like this. I couldn’t bear it.

    Seriously, what I’m reading in the comments sections of posts like this is blowing my mind. All I can say is I’m so sorry, and I’m saying a prayer of thanks to God right now that he protected me from this and I had a lot of good male role models who weren’t like this at all. Wow. Did you know that I didn’t realize some people thought women couldn’t preach/lead/live her life/whatever until I got to college? No idea. I had no idea that was a thing. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have something else firmly implanted in you from the beginning and try to shed it later. I don’t know if I could do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Thanks for your comment, Ruth. I’m glad these ideologies did not influence your area! Whew! Most of this stuff originated from Christian homeschool leaders. You’re also lucky that you didn’t have them near you because they would have told your parents that they were sending their daughter to Satan by sending you to public school! No kidding.

    PS my last few kids have gone to public school full-time. The eldest of those few kids told me that he wished he never would have homeschooled. He found it harmful to him socially. He went to public school for the first time as an 8th grader and we all know how tough middle school is to begin with, but compound that with a kid who had never stepped one foot in school – – it was tough for him.

    Liked by 1 person

  45. they would have told your parents that they were sending their daughter to Satan by sending you to public school!

    Public school was great for me. It beat private Christian by a mile and I know I would have hate and despised being homeschooled.

    Christian homeschool leaders

    Reading about this whole community has been pretty fascinating. I remember a few people being homeschooled but we never got pulled into that.

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  46. Mark said,
    I’m guessing the parents were fed up enough with having to financially support their daughters that they essentially gave up their beliefs and decided that daughters should now be encouraged to go to college and get marketable degrees. So, the pastor was now changing the message a bit to accommodate their newly inspired desire to have their daughters get an education, get a job and presumably GET OUT OF THE HOUSE.
    — end quote —

    This concept is applicable to everything in Christianity, not just gender roles v. employment.

    There are a lot of teachings in the Christian faith that do not solve every day problems in a person’s life.

    For the many years I had clinical depression, (and I still have anxiety), the Christian faith did not help me with any of that.

    Prayer, faith, trusting in Jesus, going to church, reading my Bible – none of that delivered me from mental health problems.

    It wasn’t until I read books by secular and Christian psychiatrists and therapists that I found solutions to those things, and the depression pretty much lifted.

    I’m at the stage in life now where I don’t think the Bible/ Jesus/ Christianity are useful for anything other than spiritual issues pertaining to the afterlife.

    As for any problems you may have in earthly life, you’re best off finding “secular” type solutions. At least that has been my experience.

    Like

  47. @Mark:
    “First of all, when an experienced minister finds a young man who might make a good pastor some day, he does not thrust him into ministry.”

    Oh yes he does if the young man in question happens to be the author of a bestselling book and the “experienced minister” wants a cuts of the profits in the form of tithes paid to his church.

    Like

  48. I also found Josh’s comments regarding Shannon’s sexual history in “IKDG” disturbing. From what I remember, Josh shared that Shannon first came to the church he was attending as a visitor, and, without even knowing her, he surmised that he did not think she was a virgin.

    1st red flag, as the Bible unequivocally states that we are not to judge. (Just how can you tell, anyway, if a relative stranger is a virgin, or not?)

    2nd red flag: Why are those thoughts even going through Josh’s head? That is VERY personal stuff. My father, mother, and brother have never even dared to ask me such a question, nor have they ever wondered about the answer (not even a lot of my friends know).

    Of all the men I’ve dated, NONE have inquired about my virginity. Frankly, it’s nobody’s business, and it just never comes up. Seriously, the topic has never crossed anyone’s mind; therefore, it’s certainly not a “deal-breaker” issue. When you truly fall in love with someone, you don’t care about past things.

    I, personally, would be offended if a date asked me if I were a virgin. In the unlikely event it were to happen, however, I would find it deeply insulting, refuse to respond, and cut ties with the busybody nosy date ASAP.

    Josh also recounted in the book (either IKDG or the subsequent volume) how one day he went to pick up Shannon for an outing, and she greeted him wearing a pair of shorts. Josh promptly requested that she return inside her house to change into more modest attire, as the shorts “were really causing him to struggle.” Josh quips, “You girls just don’t know how different we men are from women.”

    Josh is sure to tell us, though, that on his honeymoon, he and Shannon “rarely left their room,” unlike those other honeymooners who busied themselves with recreational activities. Josh, of course, attributes this difference to the fact that he and Shannon maintained purity before marriage, while those outdoor honeymooners MUST have engaged in pre-marital sex. What other explanation could there be?

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  49. Nowadays, with states offering free public K-12 instruction online, why does anyone need to homeschool with unaccredited curriculum anymore?

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  50. From what I remember, Josh shared that Shannon first came to the church he was attending as a visitor, and, without even knowing her, he surmised that he did not think she was a virgin.

    Wow.

    how one day he went to pick up Shannon for an outing, and she greeted him wearing a pair of shorts. Josh promptly requested that she return inside her house to change into more modest attire

    That would have been the point where I returned inside my house and shut the door in his face until he learned how to behave in proper society.

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  51. 2nd red flag: Why are those thoughts even going through Josh’s head?

    Because he’s got one helluva case of Virgin/Whore Dichotomy.

    I know the symptoms because I’ve been there.

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  52. Josh is sure to tell us, though, that on his honeymoon, he and Shannon “rarely left their room,” unlike those other honeymooners who busied themselves with recreational activities. Josh, of course, attributes this difference to the fact that he and Shannon maintained purity before marriage, while those outdoor honeymooners MUST have engaged in pre-marital sex. What other explanation could there be?

    Maybe, just maybe, they had other interests in their lives than SEX?

    Problem with Purity Culture is it tunnel-visions you on SEX as tightly as any nymphomaniac, except “Thou Shalt Not” instead of “Yeah Yeah Yeah”. You’re too busy thinking about the Forbidden Fruit to the point of serious OCD.

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  53. @Lea:
    “That would have been the point where I returned inside my house and shut the door in his face.”

    Good move, Lea, as in “I Kissed Josh Harris ‘Goodbye'”!

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  54. @Headless Unicorn Guy:
    “I know the symptoms because I’ve been there.”

    Thanks for fessing up. At least you’ve completely turned around, praise God!

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  55. HUG: Maybe, just maybe, they had other interests in their lives than SEX?

    Or, call me crazy, but there are a lot of hours in a day? You can…do both? A lot even.

    Stephanie: Good move, Lea, as in “I Kissed Josh Harris ‘Goodbye’”!

    HA! Indeed.

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  56. @Headless Unicorn Guy:
    “Maybe, just maybe, they had other interests in their lives than SEX?”

    You always make such good points! It’s true; there is so much more to a relationship than sex (and so many more reasons for finding a “mate” than just unloading pent-up sexual energy!).

    What’s wrong with paragliding, playing ping-pong and tennis, and going horseback riding and kayaking during the day, and, then, making love at night?

    Those other couples at the resort probably had WAY more fun than Josh & Shannon did being cooped up having sex 24/7!

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  57. @Lea:
    “Call me crazy, but there are a lot of hours in a day?”

    Exactly! So Josh’s deducing that the honeymooners who chose to partake of the resort’s recreational amenities MUST somehow have been suffering from the detrimental effects of pre-marital sex is ludicrous.

    Perhaps newlyweds actually fly to these destinations to also take pictures for memories, to enjoy the surrounding scenery, to go for a romantic stroll on the beach, and, maybe, to even make new friends while engaging in team sports or group athletic activities.

    I know my cousin and her husband met another American couple while they were honeymooning in Cancun, and they all became friends. She showed me the pictures from that vacation, and my cousin and her hubby look so much in love while they’re just busy having the time of their lives!

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  58. I’m so sick of “purity culture” and all the fallout from it. It’s all such utter horses–t.

    After escaping the Gothard cult in my mid-20’s I started dating and pursuing friendships like a semi-normal person, and it wasn’t until I had been physically intimate with one or two women that I finally realised that sex is only a very, very small part of a successful relationship. What matters in relationships is friendship and having common interests. What matters in relationships is being two complete, healthy individuals with individual life trajectories, meeting on common ground. What matters in relationships is being free to enter them and free to leave them.

    Purity culture is pathological and ass-backwards. It makes the ENTIRE RELATIONSHIP about nothing but sex, because you’ve never gotten that part out of the way with anyone long enough to clear your head and say to yourself “OK, do I really love this person? Do I like them enough to live in a dwelling with them? Do we have common interests? Do we fight well and in a healthy way when there are conflicts? Do we resolve conflicts or avoid them?? Do we enjoy hanging out or is it just a chore?”

    Purity culture hangs the entire value of the relationship on the notion that sex is the cement that binds two people together permanently, that sex is only valuable for that purpose if the participants are unsullied virgins, that all sexual expression outside of marital “purity” is dirty and evil. Purity makes relationships about NOTHING BUT sex.

    Purity culture makes sex a trap.

    Eventually, that trap becomes a prison. No wonder so many evangelical marriages fail so spectacularly. Nobody wants to spend their entire life in prison with the equivalent of a sexual cellmate.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. “with states offering free public K-12 instruction” – the homeschooling movement supposedly arose out of a desire to better educate kids because schools were failing. When states started offering homeschool and distance learning, the movement morphed into keeping the states out of the family’s business. So, HSLDA, for example, will not provide any sort of legal protection for homeschooling families… if they are homeschooling through the state programs.

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  60. “Purity culture hangs the entire value of the relationship on the notion that sex is the cement that binds two people together permanently”

    Wow! Where to start? IKDG proposed exactly that. The ideal relationship was one where there were no physical or emotional attachments, then, suddenly on the wedding night, the floodgates open and all is well because…SEX! My guess is that Josh and Shannon stayed in the room not because they had sex 24/7, but because they didn’t even KNOW each other!

    As I’ve said here before, the “SEX=MARRIAGE” purity culture view ignores all sorts of real situations. One example my wife was told was a couple that couldn’t have sex for SEVEN years. They never sought medical help during that time. Finally the wife got an appointment and had to be ‘stretched out’ a bit so her husband could fit. The purity culture creates unrealistic expectations of sex in marriage, so much that I can’t believe any couple isn’t disappointed by the reality.

    IKDG started our relationship off on the wrong foot and it took years to undo the damage – if it’s ever really been undone.

    Liked by 1 person

  61. @David M. Shere:
    “Nobody wants to spend their entire life in prison with the equivalent of a sexual cellmate.”

    Right on, bro. Very well said!

    Liked by 1 person

  62. @Mark:
    “Suddenly on the wedding night, the floodgates open and all is well because . . . SEX! My guess is that Josh and Shannon stayed in the room … because they didn’t even KNOW each other!”

    Good points! I agree that the purity movement’s utter fixation on sex is harmful and weird. As you and David M. Shere have touched on here in these posts, relationships encompass so much more than just SEX, SEX, SEX.

    I’m thinking about the 2014 wedding of Jessa Duggar that actor Kirk Cameron attended. The reason for his flying over to Arkansas with his family to the venue was so that his daughters could witness a couple experience their first kiss at the altar. That’s what he wrote on his FB page!

    Funny, but in the real world, outside of “Purity Land,” the reasons people attend weddings are because they (or their partner) actually pretty well know the bride, groom, or both and wish to see them “take the plunge” on this new journey together, and because they LOVE them.

    Of all the weddings I’ve attended, I’ve never had any clue (nor did it ever cross my mind) whether the bride’s and groom’s kiss “at the altar” was their 1st or 500th, and couldn’t have cared less. That was in no way a big part of the ceremony.

    No, what I’m thinking is: “Wow. My friend from 5th grade is now embarking on a new phase with the love of her life (who is my friend, too), and I get to witness it. That, besides the fact that weddings are fun: filled with good music, dancing, excellent cuisine, sharp attire, and reconnecting with old acquaintances, including relatives of the bride and groom, whom I had not seen in a long time.

    So, rather than these feelings amongst cherished friends, you get a Hollywood actor who takes his daughters down South on a field trip (circus freak show?) to ogle two purists finally locking lips “before God.”

    The ironic twist is that Jessa & Ben, rather than publicly kissing, instead, left all the guests and literally ran (raced) out of the sanctuary to kiss in private, in an undisclosed area of the church, according to the pastor/wedding officiant, who subsequently quipped for everyone to hear, “I think they figured out how to do it!”

    Just as you and Mark indicate: the purity movement makes ALL THE FOCUS on sex. If you don’t want to kiss in public, what’s wrong with giving your new spouse a peck on the lips and then carrying on with the planned events?

    How about the 1st DANCE as husband and wife or the hilarious garter removal and toss, or are those activities too “un-pure”? Sadly, the message sent to the “unchaste” single folks is that “if you’ve kissed before, your wedding just won’t measure up; it will pale in comparison and massively disappoint. Moreover, you totally lack self-control if you have dared to kiss your fiancée prior to the wedding, and you are no longer interesting or worthy–and neither is your wedding ceremony. You’re BAD, BAD, BAD, and Jesus likes me better.” Do we see how the purity movement reeks of human effort and pride? Guys, that’s idolatry, pure and simple.

    Do you know who the Bible showcases as an example of purity? Joseph of Nazareth, who, when he suspected his betrothed, Mary, was illicitly expecting a child, was determined to break up with her QUIETLY, so as not to shame her. And this was during the time of Jewish Law, so Joseph could have made a public spectacle out of her (remember, for all he knew, Mary had cheated on him), but he did not judge her harshly.

    Then, under instructions from an angel in a dream, he married Mary, who was not pregnant by him, and did not have sexual relations with her until Jesus was born, even though they were living together. Actually, 40 days, to be exact, after Jesus’ birth they would have had sex, according to the Jewish Purification Law of the time. (Of course, Joseph was enabled by the Holy Spirit to fulfill this calling on his life; it was not by his own merit, but that is precisely my point!)

    Regarding the current purity proponents who are so puffed up and proud about their moral achievements, let’s see how they would have fared in Joseph’s shoes and how THEY would have treated the presumably adulterous Mary!

    And regarding humility, when Mary received confirmation from shepherds and travelling wise men that her son was destined for greatness, “she cherished those things in her heart,” preferring not to divulge them. And Jesus frequently instructed those he had healed to not tell anyone what He had done. That’s true humility, not TMI (too much information). So, why does the whole world need to know about the purists’ kissing/virginal status or their personal choices?

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Interesting that in their recommended approach to purity the concept of “happiness” or “better” has been removed and now it’s all about glorifying Christ with our bodies. So, purity is not “because it will make my life better”, but “Not that I do this so that my life will be better, but I choose purity for Christ’s glory.”

    Remember, holiness, not happiness. Your God doesn’t want you to be happy, he wants you to suffer for holiness’s sake.

    Man was made for purity, not purity for man.

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  64. @Mark:
    “Remember, holiness, not happiness.”
    That pretty much succinctly sums up the purity movement’s message!

    Like

  65. Noticeably absent from Joe Carter’s TGC post is any mention that Josh Harris once served on TGC’s council as did his one-time mentor, C.J. Mahaney. Perhaps TGC is trying to distance itself from a prominent former council member who’s publicly announced his separation from his wife. Or maybe there’s some other reason. Who knows?

    I’m curious if or when Bill Gothard, Gregg Harris or Mahaney will ever address the subject of the Harris’ separation and whether they too agree the legalistic teachings of purity culture were a mistake. I should admit I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

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  66. It’s not just the “purity movement” that is obsessed with sex.

    I honestly can say, “The whole visible 501c. 3, money making institutional c’hurch is obsessed with sex, sex, and more sex.” The verbal comments from comp men on the sidelines, designed to hurt, sting, and torture women, concerning their personal body parts, are parcel and part from the “sexed up c’hurch.”

    So rather than contextualizing the Holy Scriptures, the c’hurch now con-sexualizes the LORD’S Words into making Jesus Ways a seductive harlot system. During one of our “marriage classes,” we watched a video entitled, “sex begins in the kitchen,” so my guess is that sex is supposed to be the number one thing on our hearts and minds at all times……forget about work and the responsibility of caring for our children……just focus on sex!

    I’m still searching for those Scriptures where my Master and Good Shepherd says that my primary focus should be on the flesh, rather than on Him. Will be a searchin’ till the cows come home on that one! 🙂

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  67. @Stephanie

    Your comment thread posted at 4:38 AM is filled with truth! Yea!

    So inspiring……thank-you for that….you made me whole day “happy!” 🙂 🙂 🙂

    oooooops………pseudo c’hristian religionists do not like us to “be happy.” 🙂

    Like

  68. I think you hit it right when you said ” just Jesus”. Not, Calvinism, or the Westminster Confession of Faith, not homeschooling, dare I say not even the Bible. Just Jesus .
    What did Jesus say to Peter after Peter denied Him…

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  69. @Mark:
    <blockquote.Remember, holiness, not happiness. Your God doesn’t want you to be happy, he wants you to suffer for holiness’s sake.
    “The long, hard, grey, drab, joyless path of Salvation.”
    — James Michener, Hawaii, describing the b/g of the New England missionaries

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  70. @Mark:

    Remember, holiness, not happiness. Your God doesn’t want you to be happy, he wants you to suffer for holiness’s sake.

    “The long, hard, grey, drab, joyless path of Salvation.”
    — James Michener, Hawaii, describing the b/g of the New England missionaries

    Liked by 2 people

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