When Reconstruction Is Worse Than Deconstruction

When Reconstruction Is Worse Than Deconstruction September 19, 2019

 

Deconstructing our faith is a necessary part of growing in maturity and refining our faith in Christ. To truly embrace Christ, we need to first eliminate all the toxic baggage and man-made hierarchy built on fear and control that has twisted and distorted our ability to see and experience God properly.

But there is one thing even worse than the controlling fear-based Christianity we’re deconstructing out of – Toxic Reconstruction.

Yes, it’s a real thing.

Toxic Reconstruction is when you’ve recognized something about your Christian faith was wrong and you’ve Deconstructed out of it, only to create yet another toxic version of your new-found revelation that is twice as twisted and screwy as what you left behind.

For example, let’s say you have deconstructed your view of Eternal Suffering. You once believed it was the truth. You used to preach it and teach it yourself and probably even spent time warning your unbelieving friends that they were going to burn in hell forever if they didn’t repent and repeat that prayer of salvation printed in the back of the Four Spiritual Laws tract you kept in your wallet.

But now you’ve realized that this view is not only NOT the Gospel, but that it’s never used to evangelize anyone in the New Testament and the language is actually borrowed from apocalyptic hyperbole used by Jeremiah and Isaiah in the Old Testament to talk about literal armies surrounding Edom and Babylon and Jerusalem to lay siege to the city and take survivors into captivity as slaves. In other words, these verses are never used to talk about what happens to people after they die. They are verses using hyperbole and metaphor to describe a literal, real-world destruction that is soon to come for those who are listening.

So…now you’ve rejected that view of Eternal Suffering. Great! But now you are twice as aggressive at blasting anyone who dares to believe that view. You create arguments with other Christians so you can show them how dumb they are for believing that stuff, and how smart you are for discovering that it’s wrong.

That’s toxic Reconstruction.

Essentially, we end up trading one form of dogmatism for another form. We continue to behave as if Christianity really is all about having the right information about God and proving to other how right you are and how wrong they are.

But, that’s NOT what the Gospel is about. Is it?

No, it’s not.

The Gospel is not about Information. It’s about Transformation.

And if the Gospel is really about Transformation then that means what matters most is our connection with God through Christ. What counts is how we love others. What matters is whether we are really abiding in Christ and allowing Christ to abide in us. This allows us to start developing and demonstrating the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Self-Control.

If we’re focused on drawing nearer to God, becoming more loving and giving and forgiving, etc., then we’re much too busy to waste our time arguing about Hell, or the Rapture, or Politics.

So, my encouragement to you is to avoid Deconstructing your way out of toxic Christianity and into toxic Reconstruction.

Reconstruction should be about getting free from toxic Christianity, setting ourselves apart from the Right/Wrong modality of faith and embracing the life and freedom available to us through a direct and clean connection with God without all the ego, fear and control we left behind us.

The key is to leave it behind us.

The secret is to let go of those hold habits and replace those with new practices of faith that bring us life and enable us to walk in total freedom.

Whatever you do, please don’t replace one form of toxic religion with another form. The point of questioning and rejecting the status quo is to truly experience something brand new.

Until you totally let go of those old ways of thinking, you’ll never fully experience true freedom and life apart from dead religion.

Starting over requires a clean slate.

**

If you’re interested in joining me and 12 others on a 90 Day journey from Deconstruction to Reconstruction, I invite you to meet me at Square 1. We have a few half-price seats available here.

**

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 are returning to El Paso, TX after 25 years, as part of 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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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • JesusFreak57

    Another great sermon from Pastor Keith! I definitely had a period in my life of toxic reconstruction. It lasted about a year, but just the desire to be like, truly like Jesus, has changed my attitude to one of humility. I began to realize that we are all on a faith journey, which is as complicated and diverse as there are millions of people who believe in Jesus! We don’t all follow the same time table in our deconstruction (or reconstruction!) because God can only reveal Himself to us to the degree that we are open to learning new ideas and new revelations of God. God is the same yesterday, today and forever, but our understanding of Him and His ways is ever evolving, the same way the universe is ever expanding. For me to live, is Christ; to die is gain! Will we ever come close to understanding the length or depth or height of God/Jesus’ love for us, short of heaven? I doubt it, but it gives me hope and patience with the next generation to know that God/Jesus is actively working in their lives and revealing His way to them.

    Recently, my 31 yr old son admitted to me that he is questioning his faith. I surprized him when I said,

    “Fantastic! Question your faith. Seek and you will find. Know that God/Jesus will lead you to a wonderful place of absolute peace as you live your life dependant on Him. Him – not the church. Not man-made religion. Not phony people who think they are Christians but don’t follow Jesus. There is one God and multitudes of people have tried to understand Him and many have written of their understanding of God (the Bible to begin with). But in order to understand God/Jesus, you have to seek him and God will never give up on you, even if you don’t believe in Him anymore. I’ve been there. I know what you are going thru, because I have been there. It’s called deconstruction of your faith, and when you’re ready to hear it, I’ll tell you about reconstruction of your faith, okay?”

    Isn’t God great?

  • David M

    Know that God/Jesus will lead you to a wonderful place of absolute peace as you live your life dependant on Him. Him – not the church. Not man-made religion.

    It could be argued that we no longer need the Church. Now that there is widespread literacy and widespread access to information, people can find Jesus for themselves. However, even if that is true now, it wasn’t always the case. For centuries a remarkable collective effort was required in order to preserve and disseminate knowledge about Jesus. So whatever the failings of the Church have been, we should be grateful to it for that reason. Furthermore, if we regard the Church as a body that has been utterly corrupt from a very early stage, then what basis do we have for trusting Jesus? After all, we only know (or think we know) about Jesus because of information preserved by the Church for 2000 years.

    However, I suppose we could give some credit to the Church for what it has achieved and still think that it no longer has a role to play. But is even that true? What if there were no organised attempt to promote Christianity? What if it were up to each person to find Jesus for himself or herself? It is difficult to imagine that Christianity could be a purely individual matter. Won’t people always want to get together to share their thoughts about Jesus? And when that happens it is always likely to lead to at least some attempt at putting things on an organised basis. And before you know it you have the beginnings of a church, with all the potential for good and ill which that entails.

    You could even regard Keith’s blog as a kind of church – a place where people come together to share their thoughts about Jesus. And as with most internet forums, there is the potential for conflict. So it cannot easily be said that we need Jesus but not the Church.

  • JesusFreak57

    Many great points, David! For myself, my faith journey began in the RCC til I was 13 and became a christian at 13yrs old. From there my journey took me thru many different churches; Baptist, Pentecostal, Presbytarian, Methodist, and Associated Gospel. Raised my sons in the AGC. Then at 50 yrs old, I got cancer and began to question my faith. Even in that, my church supported me and I got thru it, stronger and wiser than I had ever been.

    My youngest son, Christopher, came out of the closet when he was 22; I was 58. I cried for 3 days. At the end of the 3 days, I asked myself why was I crying? Because I knew our church would reject all of my family. I had seen it happen before, those families who were “responsible” for their gay children being gay would be shunned by all until they never came back. Nothing was ever said. If anyone dared to ask what happened to so-and-so, the knowledgable would smile and say ” that family was living in sin” and “could not endure being exposed by the light of Christ”!!! Had the church really fallen that far? I knew what would happen because I was one of the discriminating bigots who had said those very words!

    Thus began my deconstruction. I found a group on Facebook who talked about deconstruction and reconstruction. They helped me thru deconstruction of the churches belief in Eternal Conscious Torment and many other things. From there I began to blog, questioning general Christian doctrine; hell, the Trinity, original sin, as well as the fear of homosexuality.

    I’ve said all this to say, we are all on a faith journey. Yours will sound different than mine. God had me in church faithfully for 45 years. My hubby and I have tried alot of different churches over the last 4 years. We keep coming back to our local Salvation Army and have recently decided to become members. I don’t personally believe in a lot of their doctrine, but I see the love of Jesus there and in their outreach to the community. God, once again, has us in a church, but with a whole new perspective. I will forever defend my son’s Christianity as well as his partner’s. And they (SA) seem to be ok with that because their focus is on loving the unlovable and feeding the hungry and being Jesus to everyone they meet.

    But churches in general need to evolve into the 21st century. And carry the love of Jesus to the world as faithfully as we carry our cellphones! ✌

  • David M

    Thank you for your reply, JF: I admire your openness. I suppose I have a tendency to view things in rather abstract, impersonal terms and often forget the human dimension. For someone who has gone through such an ordeal as you describe, the question of Christian doctrine has a personal relevance that I would not be able to appreciate. So thank you for sharing.

  • KontraDiction

    Hell yes. It is SOOOOO hard to break the habit of needing to be right.