Tuesday, October 18, 2022


It's become really popular in some Christian circles (mainly "post-evangelical" circles - we could talk about that sometime, too) to approach doubt not as sin, but as deconstruction - a "necessary process" to "move us past" the "failures" of the "church." To this crowd, it is important that we all go through this process of tearing down everything that we thought we knew because the church has been so toxic for so long that the message of Christ is muddled in it, and our only way out is, well...out

So the minute anyone has a question, they are applauded and celebrated, and a whole crowd of "post-evangelical" Christians comes alongside them to cheer them on as they tear apart the very fabric of their faith with a goal of getting to the place where "toxic" Christianity is no longer part of their faith. 

The draw, of course, is that if you have one group of Christians who condemn you for your questions and are ready to cast you out and perhaps even banish you to Hell, then a group of Christians who celebrate you for your questions certainly feels a whole lot better. It's much easier to bear. 

So we have a whole generation of earnest questioners, those seeking answers to their faith, who are running toward this thing being labeled "deconstruction" where the "right" answer is anything but the "wrong" one. Jesus can literally be anything that you can dream Him to be, as long as He is not what the "fundamentalist" "evangelical" Christians have been telling you your whole life that He is. 

I hope that at this point, you can see how dangerous this is, too. 

It's how we end up with a Jesus who loves everyone indiscriminately and affirms every single lifestyle and human decision that we have ever made. It's how we end up with a whole lot of "grace" and not very much truth (though we know that without truth, grace is hollow and meaningless). It's how we end up with a whole generation of "spiritual, but not religious" folk who don't "need" the church but are so lonely in their faith that they're certain that even God Himself has abandoned them. It's how we end up with, as we've talked about fairly recently, a bunch of activist pastors whose entire pulpit is about tearing down the church as we've known it and condemning everyone who isn't them. 

When we label earnest questioning as "deconstruction," we imply that there is only one possible end: the complete unraveling of our faith as we know it. And that is, these Christians will tell you, exactly the goal - they want you to lose everything you ever thought you knew that you can start learning all over again. 

But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. And no matter what they say, not everything you've learned about Him is toxic, even if what you've learned about Him came from someone with whom you now have fundamental philosophical disagreements. 

See, that's the thing - these deconstructionists claim that the reason you have questions is because Pastor Joe who taught you this in the first place doesn't affirm LGBTQ+ individuals. They claim that you are wrestling with what is true because Sister Jill gossiped about you behind your back. They claim that the failings of human beings negates the message of Christ and that if you don't separate what is real about the Gospel from what is fallen about the persons who preached it to you, you don't have real faith. Whatever you have, it's not faith. 

The problem, of course, is that they then think that either 1) they are qualified to teach you better, forgetting that they, too, are fallen human beings (so many deconstructionists suffer immensely from the delusion of self-righteousness) or 2) you are qualified to teach yourself, which is beyond dumb. How can you teach yourself that which you do not know? You have to depend on someone. 

It's just a mess. It just gets down into this deep muck and mire and gets so confused that it's no wonder those with earnest questions are just walking away from the faith...but then, that's what deconstructionists want. They would rather you have no faith at all than a faith that has questions. They would rather you have no faith than a faith that challenges in both grace and truth. They will tell you this is "winning," but it is no such thing. 

And it is unnecessary. 

Having questions is not deconstruction. Seeking answers is not deconstruction. Re-evaluating what you believe and why you believe it is not de-construction. It doesn't have to be the unraveling of your faith, and the end of your wondering doesn't have to be your wandering.  

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