Deconstruction

Dear Church, Welcome to The Revolution

 

 

 

 

I remember the first time I heard the term ‘deconstruction.’ While I grasped the metaphor, the word didn’t resonate with me.

I’ve certainly done some spiritual deconstructing in my life, but I am inclined to use a descriptor more in line with ‘reconstruction.’ This is partly because I’m a ‘glass half full’ guy; at least, I want to be. But also, my spiritual journey has been less about what I tore down, and more about what replaced it.

My spiritual journey would better be described with transformative words like rethinking, reimagining, repenting, or, reconstruction.

My spiritual journey? It’s been about mercy and grace, forgiveness, reconciliation, and restoration; it’s a remodel not a teardown.

But yeah, every remodel needs some deconstruction; and that’s the word that’s stuck for so many, and I get it.

It’s a violent word, and limited for sure. But us church kids? We were raised in the limited violent dualism of retribution.

We grew up under the abusive hypocrisy of a good and loving God with a hateful murderous streak.

We grew up in the religion of hierarchy; where the last is always last, and the first decide who’s ‘in’ and who’s ‘out.’

We grew up under the banner of what we’re against, even when it was at the expense of what we were for, even when it compromised mercy and grace.

And this has birthed a revolution, and when people revolt, they start by tearing shit down.

When you react to something, you create an equal and opposite reaction. Just so, for some, the deconstruction movement is an equal and opposite reaction; still dualism, still war, still about punishment, the only thing that’s changed is the side to which they’re enslaved.

For some, maybe those most abused by the church, the deconstruction movement has become an outright demolition with no plan for the future. For some, there is no baby in the bathwater, and the journey vacillates between days of cathartic melt-downs and days of nihilistic numbness.

But, for the ‘some,’ I am ever hopeful, and for good reason. God is love. And Love meets us where we are and redeems, restores, and renews. You see, regardless of what we call a movement, Love is in the business of reconciliation.

And, ‘God is love’ is the whole point.

And, ‘God’s love reconciling the whole world,’  is the kindness that is leading so many to repentance. And repentance is the beautiful foundation of this deconstruction movement.

Whether the church sees it or not.

Lately, I’ve been describing repentance this way; it is when we have a thought about God that isn’t as good as who He really is. And so, we change the way we think until we are in alignment with what Christ revealed about God’s goodness through the cross and resurrection.

This deconstruction movement is a repentance movement, it is sons and daughters, the church deep and wide, changing their minds about the love of God. It’s an awakening to the image and likeness of God with us, God within us. It’s a discovery that there is no death love hasn’t defeated, no hell love hasn’t invaded, no delusion love hasn’t infiltrated, no darkness love hasn’t illuminated, there is nothing that separates us from God’s reconciling love.

Whether the church recognizes it or not.

This deconstruction movement is an opportunity for an about-face, a changing of the way we think. I would propose that it’s the repentance movement we’ve longed for, the beginning of the billion soul harvest we’ve prophesied, the great revival we’ve prayed for.

Whether we like it or not, dear church, welcome to the revolution.

To be continued…

 

Some of this article is excerpted from my forthcoming book, Leaving and Finding Jesus

Jason Clark is a bestselling storyteller who writes to reveal the transforming kindness of the love of God in a world traumatized by the religious abuses done in the name of the love of God. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children, Madeleine, Ethan, and Eva.

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