As part of a bigger movement, a new trend has begun called among other titles “deconstructing faith.” From what I have read, there appears to be two major kinds of deconstructing faith. …
As part of a bigger movement, a new trend has begun called among other titles “deconstructing faith.” From what I have read, there appears to be two major kinds of deconstructing faith. The one which garners the most attention is the one which actually means abandoning Biblical Christianity for something else. It might be better to call it what it is, “apostasy.”
Last year Kevin Max, former singer in the former band DC Talk, told the world he was an “exvangelical.” He explained this meant he had been deconstructing his faith for a while. I’m not sure if he began that when he clearly struggled with his own vices back when the band broke up, or when he took the temporary role of lead singer for Audio Adrenaline, or after he began his own projects, dealing with drug addiction and other hot topics. What I do know is that by his own words, he has chosen to believe in a “universal Jesus,” completely unlike the one described in the Bible, but popular among other modern-day heretics (It’s definitely not trendy to even use that term or the apostasy one.)
Don’t get me wrong. I sincerely pray for spotlighted Christians like Max. The devil is sneaky and clever. If he can deceive Christians in the limelight, he can mislead many more through them.
It is similar to very public Christian personalities who get wrapped up in scandals. Not only do those close to the public Christian figures struggle afterward, so do all those who were following from afar. Those public Christian people who claim to be deconstructing their faith aren’t doing so in a bubble. Their very public decisions about their faith impact many people.
On the flip side of this subject, a number of people who claim to be deconstructing their faith aren’t actually abandoning their dedication to scripture as they do it. These would be the second kinds of people, and their deconstruction of their faith is happening because their original faith wasn’t built on scripture, but rather things other than scripture.
People seek spirituality by going to individuals and groups who are supposed to know all about it. Sometimes they turn to presumed “experts,” hoping to be guided biblically. It makes sense that a church, pastor, Christian author, televangelist, or priest would be ideal guides for Christianity. However, this is not always the case.
Sure, every church, televangelist, priest, Christian author, and pastor use scripture, and claim to be on the right path with their teachings. Yet, we all know many stories of such supposed experts who actually turn out to be misleading the masses. Unfortunately, it often goes unchecked until many are misled, and then it is so devastating to both the followers and onlookers. After all, if those who claim to be upstanding aren’t, what must this say about society overall?
Those in the second group of people who are deconstructing their faith are actually deconstructing destructive teachings and adhering to what the Bible actually teaches. They are abandoning false doctrines they once held up as truth and instead are choosing to go with God’s word over man’s contortions of it. They are testing the spirits (1 John 4:1-6) and discovering remarkably enlightening and freeing truths.
The Apostle Paul warned us to “Watch our lives and doctrine closely; be tenacious in them. If we do this, we will save both ourselves and those who listen to us (1 Timothy 4:16, paraphrased).” Doctrine is an issue of salvation. It seriously matters what you believe and teach.
If only those deconstructing their faith to embrace scriptural teachings over false things had been taught the truth of God’s word from the start, there would not need to be any such deconstruction. For these people, years have been wasted on opinions of man, presented as truth. It is hard for them to transition to the Bible they thought they were following, but when they do, it is freeing and refreshing.
It’s interesting there are two extremely different tracks of deconstructing one’s faith which I see. There is such a huge dichotomy between them. One abandons all things Biblical, and the other adheres to all things Biblical. Maybe we should call one “reconstructing one’s faith.” It has a better and more accurate tone.
As I always have done in these columns, I do the same now. I implore you to develop your Christian beliefs by using the Bible as your source for ultimate authority. God’s word is best without man’s opinion of it.
Some will say, “Well, that’s your interpretation” on many given Biblical subjects. I’m not smart enough to give you an opinion different from what God has inspired. I simply choose to believe it. I rely on His wisdom as it is in the Bible.
Many times I’ve had people say something like, “So you’re saying” after I simply quote scripture. I respond with, “No, I agree with Scripture which says.” Nobody needs my opinion of it. Scripture can stand on its own.
So, build your faith on God’s word, the Bible, not what a respected church leader, church, weekly religious columnist, or some so-called expert says. Otherwise, you might find yourself deconstructing your faith in the future. Don’t risk abandoning your faith all because you didn’t take that extra step early on to ensure what you were embracing as Biblical truth is actually in the Bible.
If you are one who wonders if you have embraced false doctrines, naively trusting that all churches and church “experts” will lead you, scripturally, relax and know how to check. It’s as simple as reading what the Bible says about any given Bible thing. Easy-peasy. Just read your Bible on your own to ensure you’re doing your Christianity God’s way.
“God means what he says. What he says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one can resist God’s Word. We can’t get away from it — no matter what.” – Hebrews 4:12-13 (MSG)
Pastor Jeff Adams is a longtime community leader, victim advocate, counselor and chaplain. He ministers internationally, nationally and locally. His column appears online weekly and can be reached at email@example.com.
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