Shannon Bonne, the estranged wife of former evangelical author Joshua Harris – who has now repudiated Christianity – is a singer and songwriter.
She’s also a mother of three who has written lengthy introspective Instagram posts of her own. Bonne has also been known as Shannon Harris. The couple was married for 19 years.
In an Instagram post, Joshua Harris, the author of the popular book “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” which preached abstinence and courtship, announced: “I have undergone a massive shift in regard to my faith in Jesus. The popular phrase for this is ‘deconstruction,’ the biblical phrase is ‘falling away.’ 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.” Religion News called Joshua Harris “arguably the poster boy of the sexual prosperity gospel.”
Harris added, “Martin Luther said that the entire life of believers should be repentance. There’s beauty in that sentiment regardless of your view of God. I have lived in repentance for the past several years—repenting of my self-righteousness, my fear-based approach to life, the teaching of my books, my views of women in the church, and my approach to parenting to name a few. But I specifically want to add to this list now: 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. 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.”
Bonne has been a little more cryptic in her posts on social media, but they’ve also hinted at revisionism.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Joshua Harris & Shannon Bonne Announced the End of Their Marriage on Instagram
In an Instagram post along with a photo showing him with his wife, Shannon, Joshua Harris announced the couple’s separation using collective language.
“We’re writing to share the news that we are separating and will continue our life together as friends,” he wrote in the July 2019 post.
“In recent years, some significant changes have taken place in both of us. It is with sincere love for one another and understanding of our unique story as a couple that we are moving forward with this decision. We hope to create a generous and supportive future for each other and for our three amazing children in the years ahead. Thank you for your understanding and for respecting our privacy during a difficult time.”
In another post, he wrote that he was thankful for the support he had received since making that announcement. “My heart is full of gratitude. I wish you could see all the messages people sent me after the announcement of my divorce. They are expressions of love though they are saddened or even strongly disapprove of the decision,” that post read.
“I am learning that no group has the market cornered on grace. This week I’ve received grace from Christians, atheists, evangelicals, exvangelicals, straight people, LGBTQ people, and everyone in-between. Of course there have also been strong words of rebuke from religious people. While not always pleasant, I know they are seeking to love me. (There have also been spiteful, hateful comments that angered and hurt me.)”
2. Bonne Is a Singer & Songwriter Who Grew Up in New Jersey & Maryland
On Instagram, Bonne recently posted 13 things about herself. “I’m a singer, but these days more songwriter, and wannabe producer,” she wrote.
She added that she has a Siamese cat and grew up “in New Jersey & Maryland and now have family in Longboat Key, Florida and on the Eastern shore of Maryland. I live in a little house I call the Rabbit Hutch that’s pretty strange with a bunch of mirrors but in my mind I live in a minimalist Scandinavian dwelling.”
She loves to cook, admires Julia Child, likes Fresh press coffee, is “not a great reader,” is an ENFP personality type, and emphasized, “I still believe in God…I would like to write a book about my ideas about theology, god and wholeness at some point.”
Bonne also wrote that she does “yoga for health” but admitted, “I don’t think I’m very good at being zen.”
3. Harris Met Shannon When He Was Living With a Pastor
According to Slate Magazine, Josh met Shannon when he was living with the family of C.J. Mahoney, whom the magazine describes as “a prominent nondenominational pastor.”
Harris was only in his mid 20s, and already Mahaney was “grooming him to take over the flagship congregation of Sovereign Grace, a network of churches he had founded in the ’80s,” wrote Slate.
By 30, he was senior pastor at Covenant Life Church in Maryland. By 2015, though, Harris had dramatically broken with the church and moved his family to Canada, where he was attending seminary.
Meanwhile, Bonne has worked on her musical career. Bonne has described her music as “an eclectic mix of pop and ’70s infused soft rock” and says she was influenced by Karen Carpenter and Jane Oliver, according to Divide and Conquer.
4. Bonne Is Writing a Musical on the ‘Conservative Church’
On Instagram, Bonne wrote that she is penning a musical.
“Writing a musical. When I was five I saw my first Broadway show in New York City,” she wrote. “It was the original production of Annie and from that moment on I’ve had my own Broadway dreams. My musical is going to explore themes like identity, authenticity, gender roles and power in the conservative church.”
She’s also posted other comments that indicate a revisionism about church teachings. “Leave Fear Behind. Healthy churches don’t use fear, bullying or shaming,” she wrote. “They don’t need to manipulate behavior or manage image. Love feels: Safe. Love feels: Accepted.”
In another post, she wrote, “My fundamentalist conservative Christianity experience taught me to ignore my inner voice. It’s not possible to unpack this in one post, using one scripture or angle. But early on, I learned to distrust and override myself out of fear in an environment where those in authority held tremendous control over leaders and members. For those out there who can relate, what was your experience? Did you learn to ignore your inner voice…your mind, body or spirit?”
5. The Couple Have Three Children Together & Shannon Began Singing at Age 4
Shannon Bonne has three children with Joshua Harris, according to Slate Magazine.
On her website, Shannon says she began singing when she was a child. “Shannon began singing at the age of four after discovering the acoustics in the family garage. A classically trained vocalist with extensive experience performing and recording, Shannon lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband and three children,” the website bio reads.
Shannon also wrote on her website that she let her early dreams go. “Writing this album marks a moment of personal and creative liberation for me,” she wrote. “My earlier days were filled with music and performing, yet as adulthood came I let my dreams go. But the desire to create never did. Bringing my dreams to life through this project has taught me something beautiful.”