After several prominent Christians recently renounced or reimagined their faith, an author and seminary professor says he has found a pattern in what he calls the "deconversion playbook."
Christian speaker and author Jen Hatmaker may have been the first person in recent memory to turn heads when announcing she no longer believed in a biblical sexual ethic.
In a defiant Facebook post in 2018, Hatmaker seemingly hit every hot-button political and cultural issue --- affirming women’s rights during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings, and fighting “white supremacy” and the “dehumanization” of “immigrants” and refugees, until declaring at the end that she “affirms the LGBTQ community, defends their rights, and cherishes their humanity.”
An in-depth article about Hatmaker’s far-left beliefs, posted on the Pulpit and Pen website, can be read here.
In more recent days, author-turned-pastor Joshua Harris of I Kissed Dating Goodbye fame kissed his entire Christian faith, and his marriage, goodbye.
Both prominent figures have expressed deep grief --- not at the parting from their faith ---but to the LGBT community for their now-former orthodox beliefs.
Michael Kruger, an author and New Testament professor, told American Family Radio that Hatmaker and Harris might be slinking away from Christianity but are not doing so quietly.
“They haven't gone quietly into the night, so to speak,” he said. “But they feel obligated to share their 'deconversion' story, if we can use that phrase, and try to persuade as many people as they can to join them in their newfound direction.”
Kruger said there is a distinct and predictable pattern with these “deconversion” stories, beginning with expressing anger at their fundamentalist history. Next, he said they claim to be offended by a past that was “restrictive” but now proclaim they have “broken free” from that and found a new life.
Kruger, an expert on the history of the New Testament canon, says the next step is ironic: after “breaking free” from fundamental beliefs that supposedly weighed them down, people such as Harris and Hatmaker don’t run from the Bible entirely. Instead, the professor says, they embrace a liberal theology and claim a new understanding of scripture.
“Staying the course in the Christian life, that takes a toll after a while,” Kruger observes. “And so I think it's reasonable to assume that out there, generally speaking, that people feel that pressure to sort of abandon a view that's just very, very unpopular.”
The very last step, Kruger warned, is to attack the character of the old group and praise the character of their new set of “open-minded” friends.
What sort of friends? Harris was a welcomed participant in the August 9 Pride Parade in Vancouver, where he posed with Trey Pearson, a homosexual and now-former Christian singer who left his wife and family in 2016.
Editor's Note: American Family Radio is a division of the American Family Association, the parent organization of the American Family News Network, which operates OneNewsNow.com.