A film distributor that specializes in family and faith-based movies announced that they are dropping the Joshua Harris documentary “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye” following the best-selling author’s public decision to leave Christianity.
Explorations Films, which had been distributing the Harris film, made the announcement on Monday, with spokesman Stephen Penn citing a “lack of transparency from Josh.”
“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,” stated Penn.
“Personally, we still wish Josh the best. We know he is searching for answers … But due to the lack of transparency from Josh, we have no other choice but to halt promotion of the film. Hundreds of DVD's have already been returned as a result of his statements.”
Penn went on to note that Harris’ current views on Christianity “counteracts his authority to speak on how Christians should approach relationships.”
“Discussions of this nature happen throughout the film, and the former pastor's public statements on marriage and especially Christianity undermine key parts of the film. It puts our team in an awkward position to promote it,” he added.
A former pastor, Harris wrote the best-selling 1997 book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which rejected traditional courtship and argued that it was sinful to engage in any physical intimacy before marriage.
In July, Harris garnered widespread attention when he first announced that he and his wife were separating and then followed up by announcing that he no longer considered himself Christian.
“By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practice faith and I want to remain open to this, but I’m not there now,” wrote Harris in an Instagram post.
Jessica Van Der Wyngaard, director of the documentary “I Survived I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” was among the many to publicly react to the news of Harris leaving Christianity.
In a statement, Van Der Wyngaard suggested that too many Christians give too much credence to the thoughts of one individual rather than take responsibility for their beliefs.
“Our culture is obsessed with quick fixes, celebrities, and social media influencers, and unfortunately, Christians aren’t a whole lot different,” she stated, adding that asking tough questions does not always lead to apostasy.
“People fear throwing the baby out with the bathwater, but we don’t have to. Throughout Scripture we see individuals wrestle with God and ask hard questions. This dynamic is a big part of what a vibrant relationship with the Living God is about."