I apologize for not being as clear as I could have been in my attempt to convey a reasoned response to the philosophy of “faith deconstruction.” After talking to my Editor-in-chief (who is also my wife), I discovered I have two problems communicating: First, trying to be “too cute by one.” That is, by attempting to be both direct and obtuse at the same time in order to stimulate thought, the line of reasoning is lost. Second, by attempting to work within a given paradigm, the construct is more like a jail cell than an open field. Notwithstanding, I plow on. The Biblical paradigm is vastly different from the many self-improvement philosophies, and isn’t that what faith deconstruction really is?
There was a Flour Mill in Buffalo, NY that was the first of its kind, thanks to inventor and engineer, Nikola Tesla. Well, its claim to fame was that it was the first mill powered by electricity. Many years later it broke down and could not be repaired. The Company offered to demolish it and build a brand spankin’ new Mill, employing hundreds and pouring monies into the surrounding community. Well the Preservationists would have nothing to do with that! No sir. Somehow they managed to nix the new mill to preserve for posterity this first of its kind, the pride of the city. So there it sat, unproductive, useless, and as it began to deteriorate, it became an eyesore. They had the opportunity for it to be demolished — not “deconstructed,” not refitted. Demolished. It could not be refitted. It continued to rust and decay. A few weeks ago a windstorm collapsed an entire brick wall, but again, the Preservationists intervened, wanting somebody to come up with the millions of dollars needed to rebuild the wall… different bricks, same wall. Preserving the same useless, unprofitable, and deteriorating mill. My Dad had an expression, “good money following bad.” Maybe they should get an “E” for effort, exerting influence within their paradigm…
Now, in regards to “faith deconstruction,” it seems parallel in that rebuilding one’s “faith” with different “bricks” will be just as futile and unprofitable.
Jesus said that unless a person is both born of a woman and has a second birth being born of God, yes, they will see this earthly world, but no, they will not see the heavenly one. That’s where to start. That is the bedrock foundation on which construction must begin. If a person has not experienced being born again, they are just like those preservationists, seeking only how to find the money to refurbish and repair. It just continues to cycle and recycle, ad infinitum.
Broadly speaking, the Bible’s blueprints for life’s construction are designed for two different buildings: the Old Testament (Contract Agreement) and the New Testament (Contract Agreement). The book of Hebrews explores these two covenants between God and Humanity in great depth, if anyone wants to explore further.
But I digress.
Look at these two excerpts from Matthew 4:18–22:“…At once they left their nets and followed him.” and “…Jesus called them, and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.” Ne’er a farewell. Just dropped everything and left off their natural family and lifetime jobs. No deconstructing and reconstructing. They simply left to build a completely new life.
From 2Corintians 5:17, NIV: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” Biblical faith. then, is to leave behind the old blueprints and build something completely new — not refurbishing the old dilapidated building, or tearing out this or that wall, or putting in new cupboards, or putting on a fresh coat of paint. Not mending the old nets. No second guessing. Just getting up and going.
In “deconstructing faith,” there is also a certain defiance of or resistance to Jesus’ words: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” (Mathew 16:25, NIV)
Biblical faith demands dropping the old, leaving it behind to build anew with Jesus, the Carpenter’s Son, building on God’s solid foundation, learning to build in the new way.