In 2013 I published Finally Free: Fighting for Purity with the Power of Grace. My burden in writing the book was, as it is today, to show how the grace of Jesus empowers Christians to live a life of freedom from pornography.
In the months before publication, I had ongoing conversations with Zondervan about who the best person would be to write a forward for the book. We were ecstatic when Joshua Harris agreed to do this work. I reached out to Joshua to do this because I had been so impressed with his book, Sex Is not the Problem, Lust Is. Writing the forward for my book was sheer kindness for a busy pastor with many other things to do. I continue to be grateful for Joshua’s care for me in making his contribution.
That is why I have been so shocked and so saddened to see the public statements from Joshua. In recent days he has announced the ending of his marriage, his rejection of traditional Christianity, and his embrace of LGBTQ+ approaches to sexuality. When I learned of these realities, I knew there was no way for me to continue to have his forward be associated with my book. In Finally Free I am trying to be clear about a Christian approach to sexuality. Joshua’s recent actions and statements only confuse that attempt at clarity and will lead others astray.
I reached out to Zondervan and asked that Joshua’s forward be removed from future publications of my book. They have agreed, and are taking immediate action to accommodate my request. Of course, there is nothing that can be done about copies that have already been published, but Zondervan will no longer print copies of Finally Free with the forward by Joshua Harris.
I also reached out to Joshua in a spirit of Christian care. I wanted to communicate my gratitude to him. Finally Free has sold tens of thousands of copies, and I know many of those were because of his forward. It was also important for me that he learn of my decision privately before it was made public. I also communicated my concern for him.
Of course, that concern is what is most important here. Much more is at stake in all of this than names on the covers of books. Joshua’s statements are of grave concern for his soul, and are sobering for all of us who name Christ and have appreciated his ministry.
The author of Hebrews warns, “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God” (Heb 3:12). Think about this verse, and consider that Joshua Harris—the man who summoned an entire generation to purity—has now left his wife, publicly rejected Christianity, and embraced the LGBTQ+ agenda.
Let that sink in.
Let that sink in, and be sobered. If this can happen to Joshua Harris, how much more do I need to heed the warning of Hebrews, and take care to avoid an evil, unbelieving heart? How much more care do you need to take?
Let that sink in, and pray for Joshua Harris. The Lord knows Joshua’s heart. Was Joshua a Christianized unbeliever who never knew Christ? We do not know, but God does. Is he a Christian who has fallen into grievous sin, and is in need of restoration? We do not know, but God does.
What we do know is that Joshua Harris is in absolute spiritual peril. He needs our love, and he needs our prayers. He has mine, and I trust he will have yours as well.
Rich blessings in Christ,