The world turned upside down when ex pastor Joshua Harris divorced his wife Shannon and renounced his faith following this.
He grew up in a Christian family and wrote an evangelical publishing phenomenon called “I kissed dating goodbye” selling 1.2 million copies. A book about dating and courtship that helped many young Christians find their way in to healthy relationships. He was a pastor in a mega church for 12 years and started conferences that were known as New Attitude.
But what made Joshua Harris renounce his faith? Were there any signs indicating his spiritual transition? Can we spot the first signs of believers losing their faith and can we do anything about it? These are the questions that many people, specially Christians, ask. But let’s read what Luke 8:13 says:
“And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away.” Luke 8:13
After reading this verse, the first question that comes to my mind is: Did Joshua Harris have deep roots in the Lord? Was he transformed by the power of Christ? Growing up in a Christian family doesn’t always necessarily make one a Christian. Could it be possible that Joshua Harris was raised in a Christian family but never had an encounter with Jesus? Was he “plugged” to the source of life and faith?
I believe that people losing their faith are struggling to fix their eyes in Jesus. Could it be possible that they have fallen into the trap of fixing their eyes on their own version of Jesus and not the Jesus in the scripture?
But how do we know if someone is connected to the source, if someone is losing their faith and if someone is living in legalism? This statement made by Joshua Harris caught my attention:
“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”.
Was Joshua also living in legalism? Does this mean that if you are not connected to the source you are more likely to be legalistic? Legalism tell us to follow rules and regulations for achieving salvation and spiritual growth. It’s also opposed to grace. It teaches you to judge and to not have mercy.
''For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” John 1:17
Joshua Harris also stated that he “excommunicated” himself because of the failure of his marriage. He was going through a transition of deconversion before making this decision. He was losing faith and was doubting, like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. He lost his focus in Jesus.
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17
So after reading and analysing what happened to Joshua Harris, I found 5 signs that you or a loved one are unplugging from their faith.
1. You are living in legalism.
2. Your language is profane.
3. You stopped reading the bible, worshipping and feeding your spirit.
4. You feel oppressed and depressed.
5. You surround yourself with the wrong people.
Now you may be wondering, “Yes, but how do I connect to the source?” and here you have 5 answers:
1. Fix your eyes on Jesus, not your version of Jesus . Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to you, start hearing and reading the word of God, start knocking on the door and The Lord will open it. Jesus is the answer to legalism, to your loss of your faith and the answer to everything else.
2. Get jealous for a spirit filled church community, not a church filled with laws and regulations.
3. Be determined not to live a life with numb or hard heart. Be quick to forgive, to listen and obey the voice of God.
4. Surround yourself with people that love Jesus. These people will move you closer to God and will help you to be the person that God created you to be.
5. Stop speaking words of death and condemnation and start speaking life.
“We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honour beside God’s throne” Hebrews 12:2
I hope this #morningmeditation blessed you, let me know if you or someone that you know is going through this and let’s keep connected in prayer.
Author Julie Mesa