4 Essential Elements of Reconstruction

4 Essential Elements of Reconstruction September 4, 2019

Deconstruction isn’t easy. I think anyone who has gone through it, or still going through it, can agree with that.

Losing friends, fellowship and family as you shed your theological beliefs is one of the most excruciating things imaginable. Many people end up feeling isolated, rejected and confused, without any idea where to go next or what to believe about God, the Bible or reality itself.

Without someone to help you through this process, it’s doubtful that you will come out the other side with any sense of stability regarding your faith, or any sense of hope about how to move forward.

In my own case, I was extremely fortunate. My wife, Wendy, was beside me every step of the way. She helped me process my thoughts and feelings, she encouraged me not to give up, and she comforted me when we lost friends and family along the way. I really don’t know if I could have survived without her help, to be honest.

But, many people are not so fortunate. They either don’t have a spouse to lean on, or their spouse isn’t tracking with their deconstruction process. So, they have the additional fear of losing the closest person in their life in addition to everything else they lose along the way.

Some are lucky enough to have a close friend who helps them through it, others have an online community that helps provide a small measure of comfort emotionally and psychologically as they go along, but those relationships are usually no replacement for the connections that have been severed through their deconstruction process.

At the end, it’s like standing on the foundation of what used to be your house after a tornado or a hurricane has just blown everything away and scattered the life you once knew to the four winds.

Somehow, out of all of that wreckage, people are left – mostly on their own – to try to piece together something that looks like a new paradigm for faith and life.

That’s the Reconstruction process. And it’s no easier, or less painful, than Deconstruction. But it does involve a completely different set of steps to navigate.

Frankly, this is why I felt called to launch “Square 1” – a 90 day online coaching experience designed to help people survive toxic Christianity and move from Deconstruction to Reconstruction as carefully and painlessly as possible.

As I started to look around I realized that there was very little out there to help people who find themselves standing in the aftermath of Deconstruction.

I talk to people on a daily basis who are exactly in this place. And I’m not exaggerating when I say “daily basis.”

People send me emails, texts, private messages and comments asking if they can talk to me on the phone about something they are deconstructing, or Skype with me about what they’re going through as they doubt the faith they were handed as a child, or they send me a list of questions that they need me to help them process through.

And I take the time to respond to each and every one of them. But, the reality is this: I can’t really help these people if all I do is give them an answer here and a comment there. I can’t really walk them through this process from a distance. And it’s really inefficient to try to answer the same questions over and over again for dozens of people on a random basis. What is required is an intentional, step-by-step program that allows me to talk to a group of people all at once, walk them through each phase, answer questions as they arise, and help them take actionable steps that move them from Deconstruction into Reconstruction.

So, that’s what I’m committed to doing for 13 weeks, starting Sept. 30. In addition to writing and recording weekly video lectures that cover each step of the process, I’ll also meet one-on-one with each person to give them personal attention, and host weekly group conference calls to track their progress along the way.

Our goal is to move from Deconstruction to Reconstruction. And the Reconstruction process involves a few essential elements. Here are some of the major components of Reconstruction:

*A new perspective on faith – Under our old religious indoctrination system what mattered most was “being right” about our theology. But now that we’ve questioned everything we once held dear we need to embrace the idea of mystery and learn to be ok with the idea that we don’t know the answers to everything. We might be wrong about some things and right about other things. But we never want the cement to harden again. We want to keep stirring the concrete, keep adding water, keep adding cement, don’t allow our beliefs to become unquestionable again. Because part of what was so painful in our deconstruction process was taking the sledgehammer to those old beliefs that we had allowed to become hardened and dogmatic.

*Rewiring our brains – Along with taking a new perspective on our faith, we need to develop new practices that lead us to focus on the positive aspects of deconstruction and avoid the grooves we’ve created in our brain that lead us to be critical, defensive, argumentative and negative. This isn’t easy to do. But, the good news is that modern psychology and brain science has revealed that our brains have a plasticity, and that means that we can re-train our brains to create an experience of life that is more hopeful and joyful and healthy, if we’re willing to take the necessary steps.

*Forgiveness – This is probably one of the hardest elements of the Reconstruction process, but I dare say it is the most essential of the all. As long as we harbor bitterness and unresolved feelings of anger towards those people who have hurt us during our Deconstruction process, we can never, ever experience true healing and freedom. It’s simply unavoidable that we will have to face this one head on if we really hope to move on to Reconstruction.

*New faith practices – This is where we replace our old patterns with new patterns. Much like an alcoholic who needs to both stop drinking and start doing something new to replace that old habit, we also need to do more than simply stop believing and practicing our old religion and start believing and practicing something new to replace what we’ve lost. This can involve a variety of things like meditation, silence, journaling, spending time in nature, serving others in some capacity, practicing gratitude, nurturing new friendships, and other practices that feed us with life, connect us with the Divine and enable us to incarnate our faith in practical ways that generate genuine expressions of faith, hope and love.

These are only a few of the steps we need to take if we want to move into our Reconstruction phase of life. This is part of what I’ll be helping people experience as we go through the 90 Day “Square 1” program.

If this sounds like something you really want to experience, I invite you to join me at Square 1 on Monday, Sept. 30. There’s still time to sign up here.

I can’t wait to get started!

**

Keith Giles was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church 11 years ago, to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today, He and his wife live in Meridian, Idaho, awaiting their next adventure.

Keith’s newest book, “Jesus Unveiled: Forsaking Church As We Know It For Ekklesia As God Intended” released on June 9, 2019 on Amazon, and features a Foreword by author Richard Jacobson.
Keith’s Podcast: Heretic Happy Hour Podcast is on iTunes and Podbean. 

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  • Herm

    Structures that are blown off of their foundations were not solidly connected to their foundations. Structures that are blown away with their foundations were built on sand.

    The “Divine” is real, accessable, and solidly planted throughout all of the realm of spirit. The family of God is my foundation. The Holy Spirit led me, when invited to do so, from my age of 17 to 50, even when allegiance to my carnal family traditions and carnal churches were my foundations. Both foundations were uprooted and lost to support my structure. For the last 25 years my structure has been more solidly rebuilt attached to my foundation living with and securely in the Spirit of truth without any pause, and the promise of no end. I am, as Jesus declared right up to the end of his walk on earth, a child of Man, even after being filled by the Holy Spirit appearing as like a dove.

    I know how this sounds to those who don’t know a relationship with and in (filled) in the Holy Spirit. I know that all who are striving for good, sensing the reality of spirit, will not find it in everything they do until they can risk in all faith to allow God to lead, as a child of God, serving as their only one Teacher, one Instructor and one Father. I know, as Jesus knows, because I’ve been and am there.

    Do you remember when first attempting to drive a car seemed liked coordinating eyes, hands, feet, brake, and gas peddle while responding to your instructor was impossible? … or did you ignore thinking conceptually and assume because so many others did it successfully for hours at a time then you could to. I did both. I believed that I could not possibly have conceived on my own, all the steps together required to safely operate a car, but since others did if was worth my efforts to try. That is all I am trying to impart right now. After all the misleading, most from sincere teachers trying to be constructive as they were taught, of church authorities that led to each our own reconstruction to be honest with ourselves, why look to others as our foundation to build our new structure on?

    I once moderated an adult Sabbath school class and invited the Holy Spirit to lead. I then sat back and witnessed the most exciting and serving all members participating in the class. I was so excited and pumped up to have seen the Holy Spirit at work that it shocked me when a nice woman elderly woman of strong traditions stopped me and asked, “what was your point?”. She could not comprehend that my point pales to insignificant when the Holy Spirit teaches. I succeeded from the pulpit and in prison ministry, qualified by how many learned to look to God first, because I invited the Holy Spirit each time asking that Jesus be seen not I. This was a decade before I began to be newly constructed on a new foundation with and in the Holy Spirit as a child of God. I no longer invite the Holy Spirit to lead out as, for 25years, I have been in continual relationship (prayer?) with the the Spirit of truth.

    Reconstruction implies that a structure is being rebuilt. I lost none of my past, even when needing forgiveness for parts. My carnal structure is diminishing to a point it will cease to support me. My spirit structure began to be formed fresh when I died to carnal familial (allegiance to blood, religion, race, nation, and species) authority and accepted solely one Teacher, one Instructor and one Father I know in me and I in them.

    Children can support each other, as my Father’s will compels me to do for all who I love of Man and God; the Lord my God who in example loves and supports me most, my merciful neighbor, myself and my enemy. We can support each other as each with an ever growing structure of grace, empathy, compassion, forgiveness, and more … love … sharing all we experience, but the lead to never, again, needing to be deconstructed, has to be the “Divine”.

    Are there any within the authority of the Christian Church on earth who truly believe Jesus the Christ lives with all spiritual authority in heaven and on earth? Are there any who trust that Jesus can exercise that authority in their lives directly today? Are there any within the authority of their respective Christian churches, of differing theologies (studies of God, not an imparting of relationship in God), who we can trust to reconstruct us right this time? Are there any who “believe” that the following was true when spoken, has continued to be true and is true today?

    John 14:15-21 NIV
    “If you love me, keep my commands. [16] And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— [17] the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. [18] I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. [19] Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. [20] On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. [21] Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

    John 16:12-15 NIV
    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. [13] But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. [14] He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. [15] All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    I know each, in context, is true. Reconstruction for eternity can only be led by he who has trained in both carpentry building carnal and spirit structure. As a dying child of Man there is only one pillar who can support me on earth and in heaven.

  • Marion Wiley

    Hoping you might consider getting your course into book form eventually. All my religion got blown away 9 years ago, but I’m finally getting past it, and would love to take the course, but I just hate being tied to a computer. I hate podcasts too. Just call me old! Give me hard copy and a highlighter any day.

  • Herm, even at this stage in your faith walk, you are still growing. I hope I’m like that when I’m further on, although I suppose just that very desire itself demonstrates that I am still growing 😉 I haven’t been on Disqus much lately, and since the last time I was on here with any proper engagement, I see a real increase in your already strong maturity. Keep it up, bro 😀

  • Herm

    Thank you Tony! Each of our lives, being aware and having influence, is fed to strengthen by ever continuing exercise rewarded by moments of joy and peace. We atrophy physically, mentally, socially and spiritually if we do not struggle through the gifted opportunities of each surrounding us, beyond the ability we think we are capable of. We live, ever stronger in all but the organically dependent physical, because we tear our muscles struggling to climb the next mountain, go around the next bend, and cross the next ocean. We feed from the shared life of others, and rest together in shared savor of the past, to restore and heighten each our strength for tomorrow’s quest. I use, responsibly to the best of my infantile abilities, carnal metaphors to draw the picture I now know of life with and in God.

    I do love “the Lord my God” with all the love from my heart, soul, strength, mind I have today and am sure to do so even more strongly tomorrow, and with that I will then have more love for myself to share equally with my merciful neighbor. I am assured by he living in me, and I in him, that such growth will sustain us all to live without end. There is infinite room in the Spirit to contain us all, no matter how mentally, socially and spiritually large we become, together bonded forever by love.

    You are clearly growing stronger, too, even, maybe especially, through your recent struggle to grow with and beyond your most valued, but temporary, earthbound loss. I helplessly empathize from afar while finding strength from yours shared with me. May we only rest but for a moment to savor, as we both continue to grow together to ever greater experiential awareness and more responsibility welcomed influence in the model, and the will, of he who serves us perfectly as our heavenly Father.

    Well, that waxed a bit more poetic than I thought myself capable. I hope I made some sense that you can use, as I use what you sensibly share with me to grow. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply to my previous comment, which was by far more of a struggle to pen than this. I love you and am thankful for your attention directed toward me.

  • My hope is to compile the course into a book/workbook early 2020.

  • Love you too bro. Always great to read your encouragement, and you just wax away as lyrical as you like 😀 Your faraway empathy is not as helpless as you might think 😀 Blessings as always <3