• Deconstruction, Deconversion, Joshua Harris, and the Awful Christian Reaction

Deconstruction, Deconversion, Joshua Harris, and the Awful Christian Reaction

Josh Harris is a guy who wrote a book about sexual purity and dating in the 1990s (“I Kissed Dating Goodbye”) when he was in his late teens or early 20s – it’s a book that upset a lot of Christians who claim now that as teens, that book stunted their relationships and harmed them in other ways.

In the past couple of weeks, Harris announced on his social media he’s divorcing his wife and is “deconstructing” from the Christian faith.

In one of his social media posts, Harris said something or other about apologizing to women and to LGBT persons he may have wounded with some of his former teachings and beliefs.

At no time (that I recall) did Harris say he is now a flaming liberal who is a big time pro-LGBT- lifestyle- affirming SJW.

But some Christians are assuming he is now such.

Some are assuming either he is now a liberal, or else that he was seduced to (possibly) rejecting the faith because he was seduced by liberals or liberalism.

It’s not immediately clear to me if Harris rejects Christ now or is merely reevaluating the faith.

Before I continue discussing Harris and the Christian reaction to Harris’ comments, I will point you to a few off-site articles or editorials, so that you may gain any additional background information you may be wondering about (I’m not interested in covering all the nitty gritty in my own post here):

Author Joshua Harris Kisses His Faith Goodbye: ‘I Am Not a Christian’ – via CBN News (Christian site)

Joshua Harris falling away from faith: ‘I am not a Christian’ – via The Christian Post

‘Purity’ advocate dumps Christianity, apologises to gays
– Via Patheos, non-religious blog

Regardless of where Harris is faith-wise, I am disturbed, angry, and horrified to see how 98% of professing Christians are reacting to Harris and dealing with the subject of leaving the faith.

I have not seen many Christians demonstrate kindness or understanding.

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• The End of Empathy by Hanna Rosin

The End of Empathy

This issues discussed in this article remind me of this Bible verse:

Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold…

The End Of Empathy by Hanna Rosin

Snippets:

…Americans these days seem to be losing their appetite for empathy, especially the walk-a-mile-in-someone’s-shoes Easter Sunday morning kind.

…Konrath [associate professor and researcher at Indiana University] collected decades of studies and noticed a very obvious pattern.

Starting around 2000, the line starts to slide.

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• These pastors were busted taking the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ to the extreme and bilking their followers out of millions by S. K. Burris

These pastors were busted taking the ‘Prosperity Gospel’ to the extreme and bilking their followers out of millions

Snippets:

by S. K. Burris

The worship of the almighty dollar is never more evident than with religious leaders who manage to work the system and avoid paying their taxes. For some pastors, faith in the prosperity gospel is stronger than the biblical gospels.

According to the Washington Post, fraud is thriving in U.S. churches, but it goes largely unreported either to church leaders or to the authorities.

…The late Rev. Dr. David B. Barrett partnered with the Center for the Study of Global Christianity to chart a statistical understanding of Christian churches around the world. Barrett “was a pioneer in collecting data on churches and noticed a significant increase in embezzlement fraud during the 1980’s,” Pavlo wrote.

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• Christianity Did Not Help Me, It Did Not Work For Me

I was a very devout Christian from childhood up to my early, maybe mid, forties.

These days, I don’t know what I am (religiously speaking).

As I look back over my life, I can see that not only did the Christian faith not help me much, but as some of its teachings were taught to me, it created obstacles in my life, and kept me stuck in harmful patterns or ways of thinking.

Supposing there is an afterlife with a Heaven and a Hell, and acceptance of Christ means a ticket into Heaven upon death, that works out just fine. I can sure see how that is beneficial later on.

Christianity, though, did not really help me with very much in the present life.

Any pain, problems, or stress I’ve had so far were not relieved by the Christian faith.

Prayer, Bible reading, believing in Jesus, volunteering at charities, attending church – none of that alleviated my problems.

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• Godly Men, Be Quiet By S. Krehbiel

Godly Men, Be Quiet By S. Krehbiel

Godly Men, Be Quiet By S. Krehbiel

Snippets:

….Patriarchal Christian masculinity is a powerful drug. It makes many church men believe that the world desperately needs their perspective on everything.

It makes their followers believe that asking such men to step aside from leadership is somehow tantamount to cruelty. 

God is always calling these men to lead someone or something, even when what they know about that thing may be approximately two cents less than nothing

Particularly in the evangelical world, the spiritual quality that seems to most define men like this is their ability to imagine that they hear God in the voice of their own ambition.

And then, inevitably, they start talking about healing, and positioning themselves as experts on how survivors should heal and need to heal. They cultivate suspiciously in-house quasi-professionals. They host high-profile healing services.

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• Insensitive, Clueless, or Off-Base Responses by Christians to Pedophile Preacher Article on Christian Site

Insensitive, Clueless, or Off-Base Responses by Christians to Pedophile Preacher Article on Christian Site

I wanted to discuss some of the comments I saw below the last article I just blogged about, which comes from the CBN Site. I blogged about it here:

The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sell

Article Comments

I skimmed some of the comments under that article (edit: link now fixed) on the CBN site.

Alex is an adult who says when she was a child that her preacher father sexually molested her. Later in life, she and her brother reported their father to the police, where the police discovered he had raped and molested other children, too. He was arrested.

Alex said she walked away from the Christian faith as a result of the abuse.

Here is what she said, and this is what some of the self-professing Christians in the CBN comment box were reacting to:

Alex has traveled a road that’s not uncommon for abuse victims of spiritual leaders. She stopped attending church and has no desire to go back. “I don’t like the idea of God as a fatherly thing,” she said. “If that’s who He is He wasn’t there for me. If my dad was supposed to be someone who was spreading His word – that’s not the case at all,” she said.

/////

Unfortunately, some of the Christians reacted to Alex’s rejection of the Christian faith inappropriately – rather than just express their condolences towards her that she was harmed by her father, they chose to defend the Church or God.

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• The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sells

The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sell

Some of the following story was shown on the Christian television program The 700 Club a few days ago, and I watched most of it.

This pastor was molesting at least one of his own kids, a daughter.

If I recall the interview with her correctly, I think she said that his molestation of her caused her to leave the Christian faith. I am not sure how she identifies herself today, if she would say she is an atheist or agnostic or what not.

This goes to show that yes, the behavior of self-professing believers of whatever world view (Christian, Islam, atheism, what have you) can negatively impact someone to the point they want nothing to do with the respective world view / faith.

I also related to the poor wife who said she was expecting people (I would gather especially Christian friends) to gather round her in her time of need (after her ex- husband was arrested) but nobody stepped forward.

I know that feeling of abandonment all too well, though in my case, it happened in the context of the death of my mother – Christian friends and family either avoided me during my time of grief or lectured and scolded me.

Here is the report?

The Pedophile in the Pulpit: How a Respected Pastor Abused Hundreds of Children for 40 Years, and No One Knew by Heather Sells

Snippets:

SOMERSET, Pa. – John and Clara Hinton arrived in Somerset, Pennsylvania in 1972. Just two years into their marriage and with a young daughter, the young couple was eager to start their ministry at the Somerset Church of Christ, a small congregation in the rural community.

John had completed a Bible degree at Oklahoma Christian University and served as a youth pastor when he stepped into the pulpit.

‘I wish my husband was like yours’: The Respected Dad

The two would go on to have eleven children and Clara considered John to be a model husband and father. She described him as soft-spoken and thoughtful, fixing her breakfast every morning.

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