• 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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• Widow Reveals She Was Fat Shamed At Her Husband’s Funeral By Guests Who Said She ‘Should Have Lost Weight’ For the Occasion by L. Hawkin

Widow Reveals She Was Fat Shamed At Her Husband’s Funeral By Guests Who Said She ‘Should Have Lost Weight’ For the Occasion by L. Hawkin

I’ve not even yet read this article, but I can’t help but wonder, why would guests harass this woman over her weight at her husband’s funeral? What difference does it make? Do they think her dead husband is going to suddenly sit upright in the casket and say, “You lost weight; you look great, dear.” That’s not going to happen.

Most people are grief illiterate. They have no idea how to comfort and support someone who is in grief, and in examples like this, you can see they are capable of hurting someone who is already in grief.

Widow Reveals She Was Fat Shamed At Her Husband’s Funeral By Guests Who Said She ‘Should Have Lost Weight’ For the Occasion

June 2019

A WIDOW has revealed she was fat-shamed at her husband’s funeral by cruel guests who said she should have “lost weight” before criticising her outfit choice.

In a personal essay for Love What Matters, the widow recalled how her husband died in a tragic motorcycle accident earlier this year which left him with severe brain injuries.

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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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• It’s Not Self Pity When It’s Happening To You – RE: Classifying Other People’s Life’s Pain Derogatorily as “Self Pity”

It’s Not Self Pity When It’s Happening To You – Re: Classifying Other People’s Life’s Pain Derogatorily as “Self Pity”

This has become a very big pet peeve of mine in the last few years.

There are people out there, who, if you go to them when you’re undergoing a rough patch in your life, seeking empathy or encouragement – say,  after the death of a family member, or what have you – they will later refer to this behavior of yours insultingly as “self pity.”

I have run into two people so far in the last few years who have classified my struggles as being “self pity,” with one of these people engaging in that behavior herself, but of course, she does not regard herself writing to me about being stressed or hurting as “self pity,” no.

I’ve also seen people on other sites refer to other people’s struggle to cope with depression, grief, job loss, or what have you, with the phrase “self pity.”

I am not convinced that any and all negative reactions to hurt, pain, and anxiety in life is always “self pity.” I think it’s often not self pity.

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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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• What To Say (and What Not To Say) To Someone Who Is Grieving by D. Pogue

What To Say (and What Not To Say) To Someone Who Is Grieving by David Pogue

By the way, where I differ from others on some of the list below: some people are just as close to their pets as some people are to their family, so yes, losing a dog, cat, or other pet can hit those people pretty hard.

It was my experience after my mother died that most people either totally avoided me (so as not to have to feel awkward to be around me or to avoid providing emotional support), while I got a fair share of insensitive comments or unsolicited advice, even from Bible-believing Christians.

Grieving for pets is not taken seriously by a lot of Americans – a lot of them will tell you to “just get another cat” if your cat dies and you discuss being upset about it, which is not empathetic, either. I can say more on that in a future post, if I can get around to it.

What To Say (and What Not To Say) To Someone Who Is Grieving by David Pogue

Snippets:

Feb. 2019

….Your responses make it clear that Empathy Deficit Disorder (not a real condition, but maybe it should be) has reached epidemic proportions:

  • “After our daughter was stillborn,” wrote Wendy Thomas, “a colleague told me I shouldn’t have used the photocopy machine.”
  • “My first husband died of cancer when he was 35 and I was 26,” recounted Patrice Werner. “I still recoil when I think of the number of people who said, ‘You’re young; you’ll find someone else.’”
  • “My only child, Jesse, committed suicide at age 30,” Valerie P. Cohen recalled. “A friend wrote, ‘I know exactly how you feel, because my dog just died.’”

To be fair, knowing the right thing to say doesn’t come naturally. We’re neither born with that skill nor taught it.

Our society generally avoids talking about death and grieving.

Many of us haven’t had much experience with people in desperate emotional pain, so it’s not always obvious when we’re helping and when we’re hurting.

May the following pointers be your guide, brought to you by people who’ve been on the receiving end.

Too many friends and acquaintances want to talk about how your loss affects them.

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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.

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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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