“People are very afraid of what looks like deconstruction.”
DEFINITION FOR THIS PODCAST: “A season where doubt leads you to start questioning your faith all the way down to the foundation of it.”
“You go back to the first 1,300 years of Christianity, and faith is defined as a combination of knowing and not knowing…. Now with that out of the picture, and people getting the impression that they have a right to perfect certitude and perfect clarity and perfect order every step of the way, you’ve basically destroyed the biblical idea of faith to begin with.”
Principles that can guide our conversation:
- ANYONE WHO CLAIMS TO HAVE PERFECT THEOLOGY INSTANTLY HAS BAD THEOLOGY. SOUND DOESN’T MEAN PERFECT
- Deconstruction Is Not Destruction (The Prodigal Son)
- Language is important, but language fails us
TO THE PERSON WHO IS NOT IN A SEASON OF DECONSTRUCTION:
- Deconstruction is full of grief* (“You’re just hurt and you need to get over it.”)
- You have to care but you don’t have to control
- If you are really concerned: You can’t shame anyone to truly change.***
- “I would have appreciated INSECURE Christians being SECURE in their faith if it is SOLID. It is the job of rooted believers to not rect and defend their faith, but to live it and hold it as an inner conviction, that is far more attractive than fighting and demanding people see it your way.”
- “Personal conversations work better than preaching condemnation.” Isn’t that how Jesus did it most of the time?
- Listen, share/validate the struggle***
- Be aware of the fragile parts of your faith (What are you afraid of?)
- Spiritual maturity ALWAYS takes us through dark nights, wilderness, questions, doubt, etc.
- Maybe they are MORE DEVOTES TO THEIR FAITH than you are bc they are consumed with figuring it out. They don’t want it to be inherited.
- Anger is fear, and we sometimes use our pride as a defense. WE GET SMUG IN OUR BELIEFS* DON’T BE A JERK.
- Celebrate “Wonder”/Questions lead to knowledge, so do you really want to be a part of a culture where that’s not embraced
- “How come the dinosaurs aren’t in my bible?”
- “How are Jesus and God mixed together?”
- “How do I know Holy Spirit is real if I can’t see him Dad?”
- Ask yourself: Have you arrived?
- “If you know it all, then there’s nothing you can learn here.” ~J.R.
- “If I can’t explain it without churchy language, then I really don’t understand the truth.” ~E.M.
- I want my language to serve as many people as possible! Isn’t that what the Holy Spirit really wants to do (Acts).
- There’s a space we ALL live in… sometimes we just don’t have the language for it (MARK 9).
THE BELONG, BELIEVE, BEHAVE DILEMMA
EVENTS/THOUGHTS THAT STARTED THE JOURNEY:
- Coming out gay
- Being a woman in ministry
- Blatant racism
- 5 months pregnant and delivering a baby that had no heartbeat
- Controlling leaders in the church
- Meeting good people who think differently
- Losing my mother
- Watching the church treat people outside of faith badly
- America’s version of Christianity
- White supremacy in the church
HOW HAS THE CHURCH TREATED YOU?
- Ignored their hard questions
- With grace and faith*
- Had to be selective with who to share
HOW COULD WE HELP:
- Prioritize justice not just when it’s trendy
- Explore all sides and the middle WITH people
- Being seen and acknowledged
TO THE PERSON WHO IS IN A SEASON OF DECONSTRUCTION:
- They don’t know your grief and some of them are scared
- Keep looking at Jesus.
- Define what are the majors and minors for you
- The truth is that they don’t have the right to dismiss your pain, but don’t let your pain dismiss the truth.
- TRY your best not fit God into your experiences, but let your experiences reside in God.
- Confirmation Bias vs. Scientific Process
- THIS IS YOUR JOURNEY. “We can’t judge people on the decisions they made when we don’t know the options they had.” STARTING LINES ARE DIFFERENT/WOKE*
- Don’t fight fire with fire.
- Study the difference between doubt and denial
- The truth doesn’t need my approval.
- Learn to find peace with “Mystery”
- This is a spiritual journey!