Ex-Megachurch Pastor: Supporting Trump Has Been 'Incredibly Damaging to the Gospel and Church'

A former megachurch pastor told Axios in a recent interview that the substantial support President Donald Trump has been receiving from evangelicals across the country has been "incredibly damaging to the Gospel and the church."

In July, Joshua Harris, a leader in the Christian purity movement who wrote the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye as a 21-year-old, wrote in an Instagram post that he has "undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus."

"The popular phrase for this is 'deconstruction,' the biblical phrase is 'falling away,'" he added. "By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian."

Joshua Harris
Ex-pastor Joshua Harris told Axios in a recent interview that the strong evangelical support that President Donald Trump has been receiving has been “incredibly damaging to the Gospel and the church.” Axios/Screenshot

Speaking to Mike Allen in a recent interview for Axios on HBO, Harris confirmed that he thinks the church made a mistake by becoming so identified with Trump.

"I think it's incredibly damaging to the Gospel and to the church," he said. "I don't think it's going to end well. And I think you look back at the old testament and the relationship between the prophet and really bad leaders and kings, and oftentimes it's not something you unwind because it's actually in the scriptures presented as God's judgement on the false religion of the day."

When asked by Allen whether he thinks "Christians today, who embrace President Trump, are due for a judgement," Harris responded: "I think that is the judgment."

"To have a leader like Trump, I think is in itself part of the indictment that this is the leader that you want and maybe deserve," he added. "That represents a lot of who you are."

Harris, the son of Christian homeschooling pioneers Gregg and Sono Harris, served in the Covenant Life Church as a pastor from 2004 to 2015. In his lengthy July Instagram post, he walked back some of his devout views and apologized to communities that his past teachings might have harmed.

"To the LGBTQ+ community, I want to say that I am sorry for the views that I taught in my books and as a pastor regarding sexuality," he wrote. "I regret standing against marriage equality, for not affirming you and your place in the church, and for any ways that my writing and speaking contributed to a culture of exclusion and bigotry. I hope you can forgive me.⁣⁣"

He also confirmed he divorced his wife, a move that was later criticized by evangelical activist Mike Farris in an op-ed for Christian Post. "You have walked away from your faith in Christ," he wrote. "That's even worse."