Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Deconstructing the Faith

There's been a lot of talk recently about "deconstructing" the faith. This is another one of those circumstances where those who want to feel some sense of authority have up-sold the language to make it sound more complicated than it is. What it really means when we say someone is deconstructing their faith is that they have questions. 

And one of the number one reasons that persons "deconstruct" their faith? 

Because someone who they looked up to as a Christian example...isn't living a Christian example. Someone who proclaims the name of Jesus isn't living by the name of Jesus. 

Someone has been leading them in a ministry of silly walks (walks not with God). 

The first thing we have to recognize is that this is why what we're talking about this week is so important. This is why the very most crucial element of our Christian lives must be our personal, devotional walk with God. This is why the example that we set must come from - and include - our witness to the risen Jesus with every single breath. We have said that on multiple occasions this week.

But we have to also say that deconstruction is becoming a hot topic in the church. I suppose it always has been, although we used to call it "doubt" and call it a problem of faith. More and more, those who have come into the church are leaving it because of this very reason, because the persons who they believe are most supposed to love Jesus...don't seem to love Him very much. At least, not enough to actually live like He wants them to live. 

This is where it gets sticky. Because yes, we must do a better job of living Jesus, especially those of us who serve in our churches. But at the same time, no one should be resting their faith on our example. That is, a Christian faith cannot be rooted in anything but Jesus. It cannot be grounded in what His people do; it can only be based in what He Himself did. So the fact that those deconstructing their faith are doing so because their human examples failed is a real problem.

At the same time, if they have rooted their faith in human examples because of what we have shown them, then we're right back to where we started - where what we have is a problem of our living witness, our lived-out faith. We are not showing others how to ground their faith in Jesus, so they're grounding their faith in us, but then we fail because we're not grounded in Jesus any more, and then their faith fails because it was grounded in us. 

And well, I just can't help but wonder what would happen if we fixed this problem instead of dancing around it. I can't help but wonder what would happen if we taught everyone to ground their faith in Jesus. Because it seems to me that if we did this, then we would have a whole host of other brothers and sisters to help hold us accountable in our own faith, instead of just letting us go astray and following us there. 

It just really makes my head spin, all of this. And it makes my heart go topsy-turvy. Because I know that what we have is a witness problem; no one who has ever truly met Jesus then goes on to wonder if He might be the problem. The problem the wavering faithful is having is with His disciples - us - who have lost our way and are no longer leading and living and loving from a personal, devotional faithfulness. And I want to show others the way to Jesus, but I...I just don't know sometimes about them following me there. Because I don't want them to follow me; I want them to follow Him. And if I get them in the habit of following me, they will fall and fail because I will fall and fail will just break my heart because I know that even when I have fallen and failed, Jesus never has and never will. 

And if we could just get one another to understand that, then we wouldn't have to worry about the so-called deconstruction of the faith.  

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