From Deconstruction to Reconstruction
Over the last few years, the term “deconstruction” has become synonymous with Christians who are questioning their faith in God and the church, tearing down what they believe brick by brick. Some believe that they were taught things in error so they are on a journey to find Jesus at their core and let everything else go. Others have fallen prey to mixing culture and Christianity only to discover the toxic drink that it produces. The rest who have gone down this road have come to the realization that they were vicariously living out their Christian walk through friends, parents, pop-Christian culture, televangelists, or other leaders. I'm sure we could come up with a few more examples. While all these may be true, this scripture reveals the “why” behind what is going on:
Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain came down and the rivers came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it did not collapse, because its foundation was laid on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain came down and the rivers came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it collapsed, and its fall was great. (Matthew 7:24-27)
I am reminded of this scripture every time I hear another deconstruction story. Yet, I rarely hear this scripture quoted when someone is walking through their own deconstruction. On top of that, some who begin their public deconstruction make it sound like this is something new, almost like they were the first to do so. In fact, throughout history, whether in the church, government, business or even in the culinary industry, people are always deconstructing, but they do not stop there- they always reconstruct. For example, in the 1500's the reformation of the church was a major deconstruction and reconstruction. Martin Luther’s intention wasn’t to just point out the issues he saw in the church; he chose to be a reformer and bring the church back into alignment with what it was supposed to be.
I am reminded of my own deconstruction journey which most likely, I’m not alone in the point I am about to make. I have had several areas of my life that needed deconstruction and reconstruction from politics, leadership in the workplace, home, church, to most importantly my faith in Christ. There are many times throughout our lives where our questions lead us to new understandings that cause us to remove some old bricks and replace them with new ones. For me this was not a painful experience, although for some who derive much of their identity from what has failed them, deconstruction is very painful. I have always carefully guarded what I give my allegiance too, even in times when I wasn't a surrendered follower of Christ. Because I am very adaptable, change is easy for me, but I am aware that for most, change is challenging.
Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ have gone through or are walking through their own deconstruction. For some, the pain of abuse, whether physical, mental, or emotional, has brought them to this place where they found themselves questioning everything. We need to be supportive of these siblings in the faith who are hurt, broken and in need of love. I have walked alongside a few people who have gone from deconstruction to reconstruction and a few who are still in process. I have found that we need to allow them to walk their journey out and be alongside them the whole way. We need to help them build their house on the Rock and not sand. We need to be okay with letting people ask questions and not allow our egos to stand in the way or be offended by their actions. When we are walking humbly alongside others and being like Christ as best as we can, we will see them build on the Rock. You see, a lot of the people who go through deconstruction are revealing our most basic human needs to feel heard, not judged, and above all, loved.