By age seven, the human brain is so perfectly developed that a child can begin reasoning. This means that a child understands the difference in right and wrong. They also feel the weight of their conscience, internalize deeper thought, consider consequences and have better control of their impulses. By age twelve, we have discovered abstract thought. We can contemplate the difference between reality and fiction. Even grasp intangible concepts like freedom and love, analyze our situations, and solve problems with advanced and complicated concepts. At this point, the story of Christian deconstruction begins.
What is Christian deconstruction?
In a way, we have all questioned our faith at one time or another. As a child it is easy to believe the Earth was flooded and Noah made a big boat. But as our cognitive functions advance, we begin to question the reality of this story and the sheer possibility. We wonder how many animals were alive during that time and just how big was this ark? How did Noah keep the lions from eating the zebras?
Christian deconstruction is taking one small subject and beginning to tear it apart through science, logic, and reasoning. Basically, the theory is that Christianity is a house of cards. Prove anything in the Bible is false and the entire faith falls apart. This in itself is nothing new. Philosophers, theologians, and even believers have been doing this for thousands of years. But here we still are, faith intact and slowly watching science prove Christianity while attempting to disprove it.
Why is now so different?
The newest problem that is a driving force behind the Christian deconstruction movement is social media. With the intent to gain subscribers, views, and likes, many social media personalities are providing roadmaps and “contemporary logic” that “breaks apart” the faith. Many provide very convincing “evidence” that pick apart the Bible. However, I have yet to find one of these conclusions that cannot be easily explained away through Biblical principles.
For example, many may take verses out of context, not considering the original Hebrew or Greek writing. Most will even twist facts to create unprovable theories with a flashy title to capture peoples’ interest. These channels and sites are not searching to make a change for the good of the world. They are after followers, advertising, brand recognition and in the end, money.
Why would you choose to deconstruct Christianity?
We all have a need to discover the truth to life and why we exist. Who hasn’t looked up at the stars and felt insignificant in the scheme of it all. But the truth is that God made us for a very special purpose. Place your trust in Him. He will lead you to that purpose in addition to an ocean of Heavenly love and peace. Unfortunately, that is just not enough for some. They begin to rely on their own critical thinking to disprove their faith. They see Christianity as an invention to control society, introduce morals, and provide peace in times of hardship.
Humanity wants to separate God and science. The truth is that science can very well work in tantum with religion. It is normal to think abstractly and critically of the Bible. But without an open mind we never hear the whole truth. If the intention is to truly prove or disprove our faith, we must hear both sides of the argument. Bring these concerns and questions to a trusted pastor. They may very well be able to “burst the bubble” on Christian deconstruction theories. Let’s take a look at some of the reasoning used by the Christian deconstruction movement.
Reasoning and Methodology
Questioning the Righteous God
It is hard to imagine a being with unlimited power and authority is also completely good, fair, and righteous. He never contradicts Himself, never changes, and never makes a mistake. He knows all, has always been, and always will be. Therefore, someone who is new to Christianity or perhaps even someone who was raised Christian but never had to “seek” God may experience feelings of doubt toward God’s omnipotence. This can spark a search through the Bible and in prayer that will eventually lead them to the truth. But it can also lead to a quest outside of religion to find “truth” elsewhere.
Some personality types do not like the idea of a Creator they cannot fully understand. The concept of infinity is a hard one for any of us to grasp! The way to truly discover the endlessness of God is through salvation, you will not find it in your college Biology textbooks. You have to put your faith in Jesus Christ and accept that He is God. God’s ways are beyond our own understanding, but with time, the Holy Spirit will work through you to show you the true presence and power of God.
The human element
Our human tendencies for the tangible create a rift that only God can bridge. But it takes a step of faith to begin walking in the world of the limitlessness. The fact that science can never prove (without considering God) is that everything we witness in existence had to come from something. If the Big Bang Theory is true then there had to be something to create the matter and force to spark such an amazing event. That something had to exist before anything else existed. Science will tell you that matter cannot come from nothingness. We need to only open our eyes, because everything we see is proof of God’s existence.
Introduction of Evil
Why would a perfect and loving God create evil? What is evil, anyway? Is there ever a time that our only choice is to perform an act of evil? Lucifer was cast out of Heaven, not because He was created evil but because he chose to commit evil instead of good. He was surrounded by goodness and glory but brewed contempt and jealousy in his heart. Lucifer chose to commit evil when he had the choice to do good.
The struggle with our freewill is that we cannot truly love God if He creates us with no other choice. Evil is a byproduct of freewill. Freewill is a necessity of true love. It is true that God created freewill, but that does not mean he invented evil. In fact, humanity is still creating new actions of evil every day. Acts of evil I never could imagine as a child are now part of our everyday lives today.
But how can God give a baby cancer or allow a child’s parents to be killed in a car wreck? Why do we have to suffer here on Earth? The Bible does not promise us a life without suffering or struggle, it is actually the opposite. Many, but not all of the bad things that happen in the world are a result of humanity’s evil actions. For everything else, I could write an entire article on how our bodies are designed with genomes that can create cancerous cells when exposed to toxins and how the purpose of God plays into all these things.
Not God, but us
All of it comes down to God’s purpose for your life and how the suffering in this world is insignificant in the scheme of it all. If this was the 1930’s we would be questioning why God “gave” us lung cancer as we took another drag off our cigarette. Now we know that there are toxins all around us, including exposure to the sun through a weakening ozone, that can cause the development of cancer cells. God didn’t cause that, His creation was perfect before humanity started ruining it.
I can count myself in a group who have had a bad experience at church. What is supposed to be a haven from the world becomes a place of gossip, judgement, and power. There is nothing in the Bible that supports this mentality. In Paul’s letters to the early churches he never suggests that a pastor can commit adultery. He didn’t support congregations to gossip and judge others who are different. However, leaving Christianity because of a toxic church environment is putting your faith in people, not in God. Pastors and elders have freewill just like anyone else and often use that freewill in a way that is ungodly. They struggle with sin just like anyone else.
There are truths in the Bible that will drive people away from the church due to their conflicting views on love versus sin. Through salvation we are all washed clean, but living in sin without attempting to change your life is not the reason Christ died for you. Christians are called to stand out, to be different from the rest of the world. We all fall short of God’s glory, but the closer we grow to Him, the more we distance ourselves from worldly desires.
Falling short on love
But the greatest commandment is to love one another. Many churches will fall short of this commandment and are quick to judge and condemn without loving and supporting. This is outside of God’s plan. But that does not mean that anyone can walk into a church and expect the congregation to support and condone same sex marriage, abortion, transsexuality, adultery, alcoholism, etc. The congregation should love you with the love of Christ, but they cannot tell you that it is okay to live a sinful life without repentance.
If you are a Christian, all other Christians are called to keep you accountable to God. That does not mean to judge you or alienate you. That means to help you find your path back to God. That makes their job very difficult when you turn your back on God’s commandments and continue living a life that pushes God away. That brings us to a big reason that many people look to the deconstruction of Christianity.
The world is drastically changing. Since Adam and Eve, humanity has drastically widened the rift between us and God. But today, the world is connected more than it has ever been and social media, politics, and popular opinion have exponentially expanded this divide. Those who accept Christ are instantly connected with the Father and live with the Holy Spirit to comfort and guide them. But those who choose their own path walk away from the very purpose, for which, we were created. A major draw away from the church is the choice of sexual autonomy.
We wrote an article recently on sexual immorality that went into depth how these actions affect our relationship with our Father. But many generations today are so comfortable with sexual sin that it is a part of our everyday culture. We make jokes about it and even brag about our latest conquests. Since sexual sin is against our own body, it makes it hard for God to reside within us when we choose this lifestyle. The truth is that the pleasure is not worth the separation from God. And through marriage, this pleasure is amplified by the trust, love, comfort and commitment we share with our spouse. It is our own impatience that damages our relationship with God. This sliding away leaves us vulnerable to temptation and eventual questioning.
But there is redemption from a lifestyle of sexual sin, we only need to look to Christ for salvation. We shared a great article, based on a true story of one man’s path to God, away from God, and finally back after he reached his lowest point. God’s laws have meaning and purpose. We might see them as archaic, but they are unchanging truths. God isn’t going to wake up one day and think that it’s okay to have sex without being committed to a person. He doesn’t change. So, what one person may say is outdated, another may say is just an unchanging fact about humanity.
It truly astounds me how many people can be so arrogant to think that in the 2000+ years of Christianity, they have come up with some logical thought that is going to completely disprove Christianity. This is not meant to belittle anyone, but to awaken all of us to the fact that we do not know everything. Some of the greatest minds in history could study the Bible and still not find flaws in the sacred texts. In theory, the Bible is one of the easiest things to disprove because it was inspired by God Himself. If the texts have any change in God’s character, any disproved stories, any witnesses to testify against it, the entire thing would fall apart. However, here we are in 2022 with billions of followers worldwide.
As new generations begin their deconstruction of Christianity, many are just trying to reinvent the wheel. The Bible has been combed over by theologians, philosophers, and scientists for centuries only to come up empty handed. Many theories have evolved, but they either go unproven or become disproven through archeology or other scientific discoveries. The truth is that unless you are extremely well versed in the Bible and fluently speak Hebrew and Greek, you are only looking at translations. Each word in our current languages could mean countless other words in another language.
Where we can apply critical thinking and the Word
We have the ability to discover principle truths and contradictions in our own church, but that church is led by a human pastor who is capable of mistakes. To disprove the Bible you have to go to the original texts to find discrepancies in the words of God from the languages He chose those words to be written. We wrote an article that discusses just a few of the many scientific theories that “disproved God.” Each of these theories were later disproven with advancing technology and provided even more evidence of God than originally imagined.
The concept of Jesus Christ sacrificing Himself for the redemption of mankind is a hard concept to wrap your mind around. Many Christian deconstruction advocates question why a Father would send His own Son to die on Earth if He has unlimited cosmic power. Many even see a change from the old testament’s “angry” God to a more compassionate, loving God in the New Testament. But the truth is that God did not change in that time. God loved those who followed His will and He loved hard! But for an unknown reason that we can only theorize, since the first sin, God required the sacrifice of an innocent for the cleansing of the guilty. Every part of the sacrifice is commanded to exact specifications and it always involves the blood of innocence.
The ultimate sacrifice
But animal sacrifices were never enough to cleanse the filth of mankind, which is understandable. By our hands we have initiated wars, destruction, and acts of indescribable sins on ourselves and one another. There was only one way to provide redemption for a species so prone to sin. That is the sacrifice of an innocent man, who fulfilled so many prophesies that we statistically cannot contemplate it. God had to do what He always does; make the impossible, possible. It isn’t about God abusing His only Son to die needlessly. God sent a part of Himself. One of the three God heads, to die an Earthly death so that we have a chance at a Heavenly life.
Substitutional atonement makes a lot more sense than knocking on wood or wearing your hat upside down to rally your baseball team. Why is it that a we think it is good luck to tell an actor to “break a leg” but cannot fathom why an act of sacrifice shows God’s unwavering love?
Discovering the Truth Past the Deconstruction of Christianity
The truth is that none of us have all the answers. But we can find them in the Bible as we learn and study. We are called to bring the message of Christ to the world! To teach all the principles of salvation so they can enjoy the same relationship we do with our Heavenly Father. There are ways that God requires, like the innocent sacrifice, that we do not understand. But the Bible is not open to interpretation. By accepting Christ we will receive the Holy Spirit. He will guide us during our studies and provide clarity and insight we never would discover on our own.
If we look for truths over discrepancies there is more we can discover about ourselves and our purpose. We will discover that there is no amount of suffering on Earth that is worth sacrificing our relationship with God. Christian deconstruction is different than just questioning our faith. It takes a stance of disproving instead of humbly looking for confirmation.
Christian deconstruction example
I read one deconstructionist who stated that Jesus was the first “deconstructionist.” It is comments like these that show us the lack of Biblical understanding. Not knowing the difference between trying to deconstruct God’s Word piece by piece to how Christ held a corrupt priesthood accountable to God’s commandments. Commandments found in the very scriptures from which they preached! Jesus used the Bible to disprove false teachers, not question the scriptures themselves.
Wrapping Up Christian Deconstruction
It is hard to place your faith in God in order to get the answers you need, I know. But this is one fight that cannot be won. Instead, we should look at faith from every point of view when our mind begins to question. See Christianity as a very likely truth that perhaps we just do not have the answers to yet. Dig deep in the scriptures, translations, and wisdom of Biblical scholars. Learn the truth and discover a kind and loving Father. See that this life lasts little more than a blink of an eye compared to our eternity with God. Thank Him for caring so much that He was willing to die so that we might live.
From the outside looking in, much of Christianity looks easy to disprove. But that is God and He makes the impossible, possible. So, what is Christian deconstruction? It is just another ploy to pull God’s children away from their Heavenly inheritance. Christian deconstruction is a conspiracy theory created to sell books, build social media profiles, and put non-believers in the spotlight. All at the cost of another person’s peace, hope, and purpose.
Still have questions?
If you have any questions about your faith or Biblical concepts, please either reach out to us at our contact page or talk to a pastor you trust. We can recommend many. There is an explanation out there, sometimes we just have to work together to find it.
Written by Jon Frederick, Christian Author and Faith-Inspired Photographer with Seven11