When one deconstructs their faith, LOVE them more!
Why deconstructing / deconstructed Christians need LOVE
Deconstruction isn’t a myth nor a trend. There I said it!
It’s a phenomenon of apostasy – a great apostasy that plagues the modern church. A lot of Christians perceive this as an end-time sign and would command them to just “pray the devil away”. Some Christians, on the other hand, are quite hostile at these “apostates” by perceiving them as “predestined to reprobation”. Another group of Christians, however, are trying to bring these people back with either apologetics or emotive evocations.
Being ignorant or hostile would never end this plague. Likewise, knowledge or emotional arousal. What is important is the process throughout deconstruction above our personal reaction. Response matter and so, having to LOVE relentlessly is the best way to address this plague.
My personal story
When I left the Baptist church-plant where I once served in media and evangelism ministry, and the apologetics organization that I once part of, I found myself slowly disillusioned with the Church and later, would affect my personal relationship with God. Slowly, I found myself at the option of becoming agnostic. Neither did I bother of wanting to become a church minister again.
I wrestled with the Scripture and its interpretations, and the worldview of the Church concerning many issues today. I wrestled with the actions of Christians. I wrestled with the teachings of churches especially those in the conservative and the charismatic camps. I wrestled with dogmas imposed by Christian leaders who care for nothing else but their own vanity. I wrestled with Christian leaders that abandoned flocks for fame and programmes. I would find ways to avoid my Sundays to church by spending my time on work matters and cafe-hopping.
Bear in mind that I have a theological qualification and currently, on the verge to finish up my postgraduate study in Biblical Theology. I was raised with wide understanding of Christian theology and I wrote papers on systematic doctrines such as the Trinity, doctrine of election, theodicy and soteriology. I’ve spoken on big theological topics at churches and Christian gatherings. In the history, several names such as Adam Weishaupt and John Loftus were “apostates” who had strong theological beginnings.
It’s been months since then but what brought me back on my feet with God (slowly but surely) is the fellowship of believers and revisiting theological roots out of eagerness to explore and to know. Meeting and being in touch with genuine Christians for spiritual encouragement, prayer and Bible studies helped me with reflection on the practicality of the Christian faith to our modern society and for myself. I recalled an acquaintance whom I met online got me to attend his church on Sunday upon knowing my situation. Since then, I’ve been attending this particular church.
Apart from that, the virtual connection with Christians on the Left (UK-based fellowship for Christians in left-wing politics like myself) helped assuring that being a leftist and a Christian is a false dichotomy as there are many Christians like myself who became leftists because of what Christ has done for the world and the Scripture should become my foundation as a member of a left-wing party before any ideologies.
The root cause of lacking sense of belonging in the church since my adolescent years had primarily contributed to my deconstruction. As a person seeking truth and answers to the world’s problems (think theodicy and other practical theological arguments), I’ve always been wanting to know who will be alongside of me (apart from my family) to make a difference for the Gospel of Christ and would journey with me through the flames and storms.
To add on, the struggle continued with my participation in left-wing politics where most Christians would avoid in favor of conservative views championed by the centrist and the center-right camps and if wasn’t because of the virtual connection with Christians on the Left and believers who are there to show support by prayer and encouragement, I might live well with the struggles and become agnostic.
Get reconstruction done right
Deconstruction is done right when it leads to a level of maturity and this maturity has to come from a right fellowship. It can’t be merely theological neither merely pragmatic nor merely spiritual. Right fellowship comes with orthodoxy (right teaching) which influences orthopraxy (right living) and orthopathy (right emotions).
A fellowship that constantly shows companionship, grace, mercy, faithfulness and compassion, along with respect and right way of sharing with no holds barred would eventually win the heart towards right reconstruction. I must say that I love Jesus not because of the companionship but because through my companionship, Jesus revealed Himself that it’s hard to not love Him.
I cringe at cunning, folly, arrogant, ignorant, overspiritual and apathetic believers as they seem to exert sociopathic/psychopathic behaviors towards other believers. They would manipulate, resent, ridicule, condescend, deceive, instigate fear and hatred, and hide the truth of God from people. They are part of the reasons why people would seek truths apart from the Gospel.
A deconstructing person needs reminder and reflection of God’s love, the effect of sin, human depravity and the work of salvation done at the cross and the empty tomb and of course, the companionship of believers that reveals the faithfulness of God. In other words, they need the Gospel more than ever, especially on practical basis. No hiding!
When one deconstructs their faith, love them more by reminding them of the hope that we have in Christ not just through our lips but also, our actions! Pray for them! Meet them frequently! Don’t hide the truth, get it out there! Preach the truth and apply the truth altogether.