It's a popular term in semi-Christian circles these days - "deconstructing." You hear it all the time - "I'm deconstructing my faith." What they say that this means is this: "I have left the church that I grew up in (or have attended for a long time) in order to re-evaluate the things that I believe and attempt to put them back together in a more efficient way."
They say that the ultimate aim in all of this is that they come to a faith that is closer to the heart of Jesus than it is to the religion of Christianity, that they will come to a place where they are a better Christian after having left all the accoutrement of the religion behind them and re-emerging into a new "sacred" space.
It sounds like a good thing. Who wouldn't want anyone to get closer to the authentic Jesus?
The trouble is that, in practice, that's all just language.
I read a lot about the deconstruction movement, from persons who are proudly engaging it. I read a lot from "ex-vangelicals" - those who boldly proclaim their departure from the church. And the actual truth underlying the vast majority of this movement is stark.
Every single story I have ever read, despite all of the good-sounding language they try to couch it in, boils down to basically this: "I have believed in Jesus for a long time, but the world has a different story, so I'm stepping away from my faith in order to search for a Jesus that is more in harmony with the wisdom of this world."
That's it. That's what is really at the heart of it. And every ex-vangelical story that I've read or heard has come back around to a place where what they have is a Jesus that this world thinks more highly of than the Jesus of the Christian faith - a Jesus who is "tolerant" and "loves and affirms everyone" and "has no hate" (meaning He disapproves of nothing).
Deconstruction is, at its core, a movement designed to try to harmonize Christianity with a world that is actively walking away from it. Not by asking the world to change, but by asking Jesus to change. Or changing Him against His will.
And friends, that just doesn't work.
Jesus told us that we'll be in conflict with the world, that the world doesn't believe the way that Christians believe. He told us that His wisdom makes the world look foolish...and that it looks foolish to the world. He told us that we are set apart from this place, that we are in the world but not of the world. He told us this was how it was going to be.
Yet, here we are with an entire generation of mostly young persons who have grown up in the church, then heard the message of the world and said, you know what? I like the world's message better. The world seems to understand Jesus better than the church does.
But the Jesus of the world is not the Jesus of the church.
And listen, I'm not saying that the church has everything right. I'm not saying that we're not getting some things wrong. I'm not saying that there is not sin in our body. We know that there is. But what I do contest is that it isn't as bad as the world says that it is...and that it isn't a reason to take the holy wine of Jesus and turn it back into water so that He doesn't offend anyone.
Let's talk about this for a few days. It's important.