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  • Patti

What is Deconstruction and Reconstruction of Your Faith?

Everyone has their own way of explaining their deconstruction but Josh de Keijzer has a blog post that explains it well. Father Richard Rohr writes on it, too, in this article and in his book, Falling Upward. I didn’t even know the term existed until I was well into the process.

I was already a supporter of gay rights and knew that I felt strongly that the church had taken an unloving approach to the LGBTQ issue. In public, I said very little and spent little time studying to understand that disconnect. When our son told us he was gay right after he graduated from high school, it was clear to me that loving him was top on my priority list. I knew there were supposedly some verses on the issue but I had no idea where they were. Neither did I know they were called the Clobber Verses. And this - from someone who rarely missed a Sunday service, who attended Southern Baptist, Evangelical, Conservative Baptist, Community Bible Studies, who taught Sunday school every week and who listened to many podcasts from other churches. I knew a lot of scripture but had never found it important to look for any verses on gender and sexuality. I knew that God came for “all the world”. That was enough for me.

Not wanting to merely stand by and feeling the need to support my son I began my research. I quickly saw that this was a bigger issue than I imagined. As I read more and more, I “deconstructed” my faith and my adherence to the party line that comes from the pulpit of traditional Protestant churches.

Our statement of faith was good. No problems there. Yet, when I looked at the statement of faith from the denomination of my church, I saw in Red Letters at the very top, a statement on marriage as only being between a man and woman. It had never crossed my mind that this could be doctrinal. I was naive in thinking it was a side issue, not a gospel issue; I thought it was similar to being pre-millennial, mid millennial or post-millennial when addressing the second coming of Christ.

My naivety served as an advantage though, which I will explain in a later post.

Back to deconstruction. Some people deconstruct all the way to no-faith at all. I did not. I see the truth of Jesus, but in the midst of His truth, I see the failure of the church and the elevation of certain issues to an exaggerated level of importance. Issues that are not as clear as “Jesus is God’s son.” Issues and ties to scripture passages that are not as crystal clear as leaders in my church would like me to think.

I began to re-construct my faith in a way that ties me to a key belief in the life and purpose in Jesus’ life and his resurrection, but connects me very loosely to some of the long-held stances that I have found to be less relevant today. My pastor sees this as a slippery slope. He was “devastated” that I was venturing down this path. I disagree. I see this time as a spiritual journey that has enriched my life, strengthened my faith, and assured me that Jesus is the truth.

The faith I now proclaim is crisp and clear in Jesus’ love for everyone. The faith I now proclaim might not fit into a denominational category, but it is real and true and stronger than what I had before. The people I come alongside have had to take similar roads. You can’t sum it up in a few verses. It is bigger than verses. It is the truth of Jesus. Perhaps as simple as the faith of a child.

Mathew 18:2-4 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

This is not “The Bible says it. I believe it. That settles it.” This is faith that comes from struggling, just as Jacob struggled with God. We are called to Love God and Love our Neighbor as Ourselves. That says it all.

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