Dear Joshua Harris,
I read your book that you penned at the age of 21 about courtship and it is the one that is titled, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”. I read this book years ago during my college years here in America and I remember that I learned many helpful points about the pros and cons of modern dating and the reasons that you believe courtship is a better alternative. I personally believe that courtship is not necessarily applicable to my situation. However, if God ever opens the door for me to get married to a godly man and bless me with children, I would thoughtfully and prayerfully consider courtship for my children whom I would love to raise with biblical principles.
This letter is not about your book. This letter is a response to the last few announcements you’ve made about your decisions regarding your marriage and your faith.
This letter is about God’s unfailing love for you and His faithfulness for you. It is about loving one another and building one another in the faith.
Regardless of who or what has led you to make these decisions that led to the public announcements, God loves you as He has declared in John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Of course, you know this. This is familiar to you. And of course, the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) is familiar to you as well. But the point is, God loves you and He is your Father. And He wants to run to you, whenever you are ready to go back to Him (from whatever point of the struggle to going back closer to Him).
I had such a prodigal moment myself. And that happened just last year. But God in His tender mercy and grace drew me back to Him and just lavished me with His love. And at the same time, there was a consuming fire and a time of refining during this time of voluntary solitude. It was as if I was thinking I was running away from God, but He was actually just with me all the way through. Just like how the Psalmist describes in Psalm 139:
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.
In the same way, God created you and has ordained your name. He placed you where you are and called you to be His child.
I came from a non-Christian family and gave my life to Jesus only eight years ago. In the journey of being saved by Jesus, I heard a 10 year old told the 9 year old me that Jesus loves everyone, including me, who is not a Christian. Later, I learned that Jesus loves me so much that He died for my salvation, redemption, justification and sanctification among others in the inheritance of being a child of God through Jesus Christ. And I learned that no matter how much Jesus loves me, if I do not accept His love and the only way for salvation, I would be responsible for the choice of not wanting to be a part of His family, His Kingdom. But His love for me is there until the day I die or His return. All I have to do is to love Him back and accept His invitation to be a part of His family (Let’s not get into predestination or other doctrine/theology points at this point, this letter is not about arguing and debating theology).
Jesus loves you and who you are. Regardless of what you have done and what you have gone through, as long as you are willing to return to Him, He will not give up on you. I do not know exactly what you mean by ‘deconstruction’ of faith, but I wanted to say that I will pray for you and your family and your walk with God.
I wanted to apologize on behalf of the American church as a whole because we do not necessarily represent Christ very well. Regardless how we have failed you, I just wanted to apologize and say I am sorry that it has come to this, and that the church has in one way or another was not there to help you or support you in the times of your need.
I pray that you will find a refreshing revival in the LORD and that you will experience His love despite these circumstances and that you will find His unfailing love for you and His faithfulness when all things of this world fails you. God bless you.
I have attached a link from a channel by a brother in Christ who speaks of salvation in a way that is not saturated with cultural evangelicalism: