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Film company halts distribution of popular former pastor Joshua Harris' documentary after his renunciation of Christianity, citing lack of 'integrity'

Cause and effect

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

A film distributor that was set to manage author and former pastor Joshua Harris' forthcoming documentary has pulled out of the project, citing integrity as the reason.

Harris renounced his faith in July, telling his Instagram followers that he no longer considers himself to be a Christian. The Instagram post revealed Harris' admittance that he had "undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus."

Harris has since apparently deleted the original Instagram post.

What are the details?

According to Faithwire, Exploration Films — a faith-based film distributor — dropped Harris' forthcoming project, a documentary.

Stephen Penn, a spokesman for the company, said Harris' announcement that he was leaving Christianity behind left the company with no decision but to halt the project.

"Unfortunately Josh did not tip off his film team partners of these surprising changes before his public post — nor how this would change our company's distribution efforts of the film he had worked with us on to promote," Penn said.

Wishing Harris the best, and acknowledging that the author and former pastor is clearly "searching for answers," Penn added that Harris' "lack of transparency" left the company no other choice.

"We have no other choice but to halt promotion of the film," he said.

He later told Faithwire that Harris' public declaration left the company "in an awkward position," and hurt its distribution efforts throughout the Christian community.

"Discussions that are Christian in nature happen throughout the film, and the former pastor's public statements on marriage — and especially Christianity — undermine key parts of the film," he told the outlet. "It puts our team in an awkward position to promote [the documentary]."

Penn explained that the company received myriad complaints from "customers, ministries, and pastors demanding that they remove Harris' products from their shelves" after the former pastor's remarks.

“Integrity in business," Penn told the outlet, "is something that is very important for us."

Anything else?

Harris, a former sexual purity proponent who wrote "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" in 1997, also announced that he recently split with his wife of 21 years.

Before his divorce, Harris distanced himself from the popular book, saying, "I no longer agree with its central idea that dating should be avoided. I now think dating can be a healthy part of a person developing relationally and learning the qualities that matter most in a partner."

"To those who read my book and were misdirected or unhelpfully influenced by it, I am sincerely sorry," Harris apologized.

Harris attended a Pride Parade earlier this month in Vancouver, British Columbia,, and uploaded photos from the Pride Parade to his Instagram Story. The Christian Post reported that Harris shared a photo of himself with Matthias Roberts, host of "Queerology: A Podcast on Belief and Being," and gay rock singer Trey Pearson.

One last thing…
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