When In Doubt, Demonize the Deconstruction Movement

When In Doubt, Demonize the Deconstruction Movement December 10, 2021

All over the place, Evangelical Christians are talking about deconstruction. Let me rephrase: All over the place, Evangelical Christians are misunderstanding, misrepresenting, and ignorantly bull-horning their ill-thought-out sentiments about what they think deconstruction is.

Yesterday, I addressed a Tweet I saw floating around on Twitter and elsewhere. In case you didn’t see it, here it is. It comes from someone called @theolojesus.

Today, I want to break this down a bit.

Let’s get into it, then.

D – Deny Inerrancy of Scripture

Well, actually, yes, this is true. Most people who deconstruct their faith deny the inerrancy of Scripture. Why is this a problem though? No inerrantist has offered any compelling evidence as to why anyone should affirm Scriptural inerrancy. And on top of that, no one has proven why their version of Scripture should really be Scripture. I mean, whose canon is Scripture? Let me guess, the Protestant one.

E – Elevate Sinful Desires

This is simply demonization. Full stop. No one who is deconstructing their faith is “elevating sinful desires.” Perhaps we are rethinking the notion of sin. But that is what happens when you seriously challenge your spiritual suppositions.

C – Cultural Lens of Scripture

Here we go again: Nail on the head. Of course we have a cultural lens of Scripture. Scripture was influenced by culture. The New Testament has a first century culture in which the people lived in Roman-occupied land. The Old Testament has many cultures, many of which are entirely foreign to us today. And so, unless we have a basic grasp on these ancient cultures, many of the stories and sayings will be lost on us.

O – Operating by Feelings

I am not sure why so many Christians demonize feelings. Feelings are important. Of course, life is more than how we feel, but let’s not swing the pendulum so far that we become robots. The way some Christians talk about feelings, you’d think they are just lifeless statues meandering their way through life.

N – Narcissistic

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Evangelical Christianity is nothing if not narcissistic. It’s all about MY personal relationship with Jesus. It’s all about where I am going when I die. Rarely is soteriology, eschatology, or even ecclesiology about US.

S – Suspicious of Paul

Sure, many of us are suspicious of Paul. But what I’m even more suspicious about is how Evangelicals, particularly Calvinists, interpret Paul. Paul is one thing. A Calvinist reading of Paul is quite another. So, it’s not so much that I have a problem with Paul; I have a huge problem with how people apply Paul to the modern world. Talk to me after you’ve read Douglas Campbell.

T – Twisting of Scripture

Twisting of Scripture? How so? I guess Nate hasn’t read any of my books that talk about how Jesus exegeted Scripture, because if he had, he’d realize that when it comes to Scripture, I take my exegetical cues from Jesus.

R – Reject Orthodoxy

I always laugh when Protestants talk about Orthodoxy. It’s as if they don’t realize their their tradition started 500 or so years ago. Or that Calvin and Luther didn’t walk with Jesus in ancient Israel. Ridiculous.

U – Unfaithful to the Word

Another thing I love is how Evangelicals call the Bible the “Word.” Um, read John 1. Christ is the Word (Logos). And while I can’t speak for everyone who has deconstructed, I will say that I don’t see them as unfaithful to Christ. Quite the contrary.

C – Cater to Emotions

Again, emotions are good. They belong. They aren’t the end-all-be-all, but they have their place. They are a part of being human. Maybe Christians who poo-poo emotions should do some interpersonal work and try to tap into their own. It would do them well.

T – Truth is Relative

If objective truth exists, then we can only approach it subjectively. Sorry, but unless you come up with a work around, you are bound by your subjective experiences. Let me know if you ever debunk me here.

Well, glad we tackled this today. See you next time on, “Who Wants to Misunderstand Deconstruction!”

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About Matthew Distefano
Matthew J. Distefano is the author of multiple books, a long-time social worker, hip-hop artist, and cohost of the wildly popular Heretic Happy Hour podcast. He lives in Northern California with his wife and daughter. You can read more about the author here.

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