I have had a lot of swirling thoughts surrounding the growing phenomenon of deconstruction.
Please, bear with me here.
This is the first time I’ve attempted to put those thoughts into words with some semblance of sense. I would also ask you to keep an open mind and heart to this conversation. I believe it is always worth it to fight knee-jerk responses in favor of truth and grace.
This is what has been on my heart.
Deconstruction is the process of methodically taking apart a belief system with the purpose of defining why you believe what you believe. Obviously, there’s some critical nuance here. Everyone who experiences deconstruction will experience it differently, with different motives, goals and results.
The actual ideas behind deconstruction aren’t new at all. In fact, I think every Christian goes through times in their life where they are more burdened to determine why they believe what they believe.
My Thoughts (or some of them anyways)
We see the idea of a more public deconstruction process growing in popularity, especially among young adults. I see in my fellow 20-somethings a deep desire for authenticity and a genuine pursuit of truth. I think our ‘no bull crap’ approach to life in general has led us to more open conversations about religious beliefs. That’s why I tend to see deconstruction as a bid for authenticity and honesty rather than a public disrespect for faith.
I actually think the popularity of putting a term to the process of deconstruction is a healthy, positive thing. I have seen it encourage community and transparency in my own life and among other believers.
Bringing our doubts out of the dark is an opportunity for growth and grace.
I am not afraid of deconstruction, in my own life or in the lives of people around me. In fact, I think it should be more openly discussed and even encouraged. Deconstruction is not always fueled by rebellion, division or even doubt. It does however indicate a desire to know the truth.
There’s a running theme in the Scriptures that those who seek the truth will find it. That’s why I’m not afraid of deconstruction. The Bible can handle our questions. What I have witnessed in those who have deconstructed and reconstructed their faith is some of the strongest hope and purest joy I have ever seen.
I see positivity and potential in deconstruction and yet my heart is heavy because I know the process can be unbearably lonely. There is a lot of misunderstanding surrounding not only the terminology, but also the heart behind the questions. Too often, the conversation stops and discouragement sets in before any reconstruction can occur. That is the truly heartbreaking part of this phenomenon.
How can we stop this from happening? The best way I have found is simply being open and continuing the conversation with humility and hope. Sharing these thoughts here is just a small way for me to do that.
If you are a believer who, by the grace of God, is firm in your faith, I want to encourage you to be a gracious and patient ally to your openly deconstructing brothers and sisters. You are a resource of hope and encouragement. Because your relationship with them is founded on glorifying Christ, let your actions be moved by a desire for companionship and compassion rather than being moved by criticism.
If you are currently in the process of deconstructing or reconstructing your faith, I just want you to know that I’m with you. I’m with you, not just to stand by you and watch you go through it alone, but to walk through it with you.
We all need to chase truth and choose grace, but you don’t have to face your doubts in the dark.