Deconstruction of one’s faith has plenty of attention these days. The lady spoke from the podcast. It caught my attention hearing such an angry thrust with her words. I continued to listen to understand the podcast. The podcast turned into a bitter monologue that I ended before its conclusion.
I gathered this movement has shipwrecked people’s faith. You will hear them say, “I don’t believe anymore,” or “I don’t know what I believe anymore.” For some, it is a movement away from faith from childhood indoctrination, to strategically analyzing points of belief they have held to. It actually can be very healthy – it’s a deep dive into clarity to know what one believes and why. It is an undoing of the spiritual constructs that have been formed about God. It’s the concept of cleaning the house. Until this examination happens faith is not truly our own. Possessing the faith of others is non-transformational. To have a head knowledge without knowing it and experiencing His truth leaves us the same. When I discover what I believe and embrace it as my own, genuine faith occurs stirring transformation. This takes courage and it’s very life-giving!
I have been married for thirty-five years. Our journey has been one of discovery, weeding out, and fertilizing. It’s beautifully hard. It’s a relationship. What we held to regarding our love for one another in 1987 has transformed through the years. 1997, 2013, and 2023 all look very different impacted by the terrain of our journey. We have experienced different levels of relational knowledge of our love. There have been many truthful, honest, heartfelt discussions. This interaction has created substance between us deepening and interweaving our roots through the seasons of our marriage.
This interaction is the same with God. I believe in His love for me and His desire for my best, which has been challenged through all circumstances in my life. What do I believe in these challenges? What does He say to me in these challenges? Has anything changed in/from Him? My theology is not perfect by any means. The journey of discovering Him, His truth, His love, faithfulness, and His word is unshakeable. I am shakeable – this is the issue! Coming to terms with His truth in my soul takes intentionality and being honest with Him. He is inexhaustible in all things and I am not. I will never exhaust God of the things I can learn, grow or draw from Him.
To construct my faith in God because of who He is and reciprocate myself to Him is a growing healthy faith. Deconstruction from the understanding of faith that defined me years ago and constructing my own healthy, vibrant faith in Him is life-giving. We live out our theological bend whether we call it our theology or not. A.W. Tozer says, ‘What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.’ We live what we believe. Deconstruction is a healthy way of shedding off what we no longer believe and constructing what we believe. If I treated Jeanne the same way today as I did in 1987 I would be in a world of hurt.
As a chaplain, I met men and women who were experiencing insurmountable odds that challenged their faith in God, often spinning them into a faith crisis. Deconstruction of their faith was abruptly initiated through circumstances that forced them to face their beliefs. It’s either by invitation or situation that we discover what we truly believe.
My encouragement for those ready to deconstruct/construct their own faith is to sit with a trusted person who will not impose, judge, or critique you as you grow in the ownership of your faith. Make your faith your own – He gives every man a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3b)
If you need to process with someone, I extend an invitation to you to come and sit. Let’s journey together.
Peace to you.