Mike Allen: As a very young man, you wrote a book
that sold a million copies. Josh Harris: Yeah, it was called “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” and that got a lot of attention because it was — a radical idea. “We shouldn’t just not have
sex. We should stop dating because dating is leading to us — making these mistakes.” Allen: So the first time you kissed your wife was? Harris: At the altar, yeah. I got married —
about a year and a half after that book was released and then dove into being a
pastor and pastored a church for — for 17 years I was a pastor there. Allen: And then this
summer you went on Instagram and said essentially, “I don’t believe. By all
the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I’m not a Christian.”
What do you mean by that? Harris: I was really just trying to be honest about the fact that — all the ways that I had defined faith and Christianity, that I was no
longer choosing to live according to those. Most significantly, the decision
that my wife and I made to end our marriage. Allen: Some people were angry. Harris: A lot of people were angry. Understandably. Allen: Why understandably? Harris: Because I was a leader and a spokesman and I called people to
live in very particular ways, to sacrifice in very particular ways. And so
for me to change in my thinking — feels like a betrayal to them. You know, Mike, as
a pastor I — I excommunicated people. If you’re not living according to the
teaching of the Bible and you’re living in unrepentant sin, then you have to be
put out of the church. And I think I came to a point of recognizing, “You know what?
I’m not living according to this. And I held other people to this standard.” And,
you know, I excommunicated myself essentially. Allen: And — for people who aren’t in
the church, when you talk about excommunicating, like, what’s some examples
of the offenses that might lead to that? Harris: Getting an unbiblical divorce.
Living in any form of unrepentant sin. Oftentimes— Allen: What do — what do you m— Harris: — that’s — oftentimes, that’s related to sexuality. Allen: So an affair? Harris: An affair. You know — living a gay lifestyle.
Anyone in the LGBTQ community would— would fall into that if they
weren’t — actively trying to overcome those inclinations. Harris: I know people who think that you messed up their life, that they’re married to
the wrong person because of you. Harris: Yeah. You know, I apologized for it. I unpublished
the books. I pulled the books off the market. But you can’t give people, you
know, years of their life. Allen: Do you feel guilty? How do you feel when people say, “You caused me great harm?” Harris: Well, it was — it was a long process for me. I started seeing that the book really had misled a lot of people.