In order for something to be deconstructed, it must first be a construct, i.e., an artifice, a mere human convention, something that could be other than it is, something that might not be. There are such things in the world (e.g., stop signs) but Christianity is not among them.
This distinction comes up in the context of Christians writing about “deconstructing“ their Christian faith. most of the time, “deconstructing,“ in this context, seems to signify apostasy from the Christian faith. The assumption seems to be that Christianity is just another construct subject to deconstruction.
The incarnation, obedience, death, and resurrection of Jesus is not a construct. They are not the product of subjective religious experience. They are not mere social conventions or contrivances. They are facts. Neither are the gospels and the writings of the apostles, conventions or constructs. They are divine revelation.
I understand that life in the visible, institutional church can be hard— sometimes miserable— but let us be clear about what is at stake here when people speak about “deconstructing their faith.” If by that they are referring to apostasy, they are playing with fire and not the temporary kind.
Apostasy from the Christian faith should not be regarded as a fad, something with which young people experiment. I understand that it is fashionable to think of language as reality and reality as language and everything as a game. Apostasy is no game and Jesus is no chatroom moderator. He is the Great High Priest, the Chief Shepherd, and the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
The writer to the Hebrews warns about the danger of apostasy:
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt (Heb 6:4-6; ESV).
Like the writer to the Hebrews￼, I trust that this is not true of those who are speaking lightly ￼of “deconstructing” their faith.
There is an alternative to “deconstructing.” It is called Reformation. The contemporary Evangelical and Reformed church is very much in need of Reformation￼￼ according the Word of God. The good news is that things have been worse. Things were very bad before the Protestant Reformation and yet the Lord, in his merciful Providence, sent fallible Christians to call his church to Reformation according to the word of God.￼ In that time, by the grace of God, we recovered the unique authority of holy scripture and the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace alone through faith alone. ￼Huge changes were made to the church. We can recover those things again.￼
Deconstruction is the fruit of despair. Reformation is the counsel of hope.￼ As long as Jesus lives and the Spirit is still hovering over his church, it is never too late.
©R. Scott Clark. All Rights Reserved.
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