On Deconstructing Well...
Leaving and finding Jesus is finally finished! It releases on Nov 9.
This book is my Emmaus Road deconstruction in which I leave every Jesus who won’t lay His life down for His friends only to awaken to an ever-deepening friendship with the Jesus who is reconciling the cosmos to Himself.
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The sin of certainty is a phrase I’ve heard over the last few years, mainly by those deconstructing.
It’s a phrase employed to point out hypocrisy within the church. And there’s plenty to point out. It’s a phrase used to highlight the cruel things done by the church in the name of love. And there’s plenty to highlight.
When our theological certainties undermine or reject Greater Love, well, that’s sin – a woeful missing of the mark. And it’s also what instigates a deconstruction movement.
But for many who are deconstructing, “the sin of certainty” has become a doctrinal statement, a reaction to the punishing hypocrisies of an often-unkind church. For many who are deconstructing, the concept of certainty has been rejected as though Truth is relative. The discombobulating phrase “my truth” has been adopted as a moral apex. The idea that truth is subjective and there is nothing we can know for certain seems to be the ultimate destination for many in the deconstruction movement.
And that is a scary, confusing, and unhealthy way to live.
And a cruel and punishing way to deconstruct. There is no kindness in it. Nor does it lead to freedom.
“Am I loved, worthy, safe? Is there someone I can trust?” A child raised without those certainties becomes an insecure and traumatized adult who spends his or her life searching for them, often in destructive ways.
“Am I loved, worthy, safe? Is there someone I can trust?” We live in a world oppressed by those uncertainties, and there has never been more confusion. We’re confused about identity, sexuality, gender, race, nationality, family, and religion. We’re confused about justice, equality, mercy, compassion, grace, and forgiveness. We’re confused about God and church and the nature of authority.
“Am I loved, worthy, safe? Is there someone I can trust?”
Without those certainties, the world is an alarming place where the loudest microphone decides what’s “true.” Today, governments, corporations, and the media have the loudest microphone. And they have all broken our trust. Then there’s the church. And while the church is God’s idea, there’s a problem. As I’ve already noted, many of us church kids were raised under the abusive hypocrisy of a good and loving God with a hateful streak.
So, yeah, truth has become a subjective commodity leveraged by most institutions and their leaders to control us. Trust has been compromised, and we’re deconstructing.
And that’s good.
But the whole point of deconstruction is to discover a Truth in which we can be certain. When we deconstruct the idea of certainty we place ourselves in a never-ending demolition. And then deconstruction is just a sexy way of describing destruction.
I’m in on tearing down cruel and punishing ideologies, and I’m all for exposing controlling and abusive theologies, but there must be a Truth by which we can know we are loved, worthy, and safe. There has to be someone we trust, or all is lost in the rubble.
The purpose of deconstruction is to rebuild. And to build, there must be a sure foundation, a Truth upon which we can place our faith, a Rock upon which we can reconstruct, a Cornerstone upon which all humanity is being restored…
Excerpted from Leaving and Finding Jesus / Chapter Four – On Deconstructing Well
Jason Clark is a bestselling storyteller who writes to reveal the transforming kindness of the love of God. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children, Madeleine, Ethan, and Eva.
Yes and amen! You summarize exactly my journey of the last few years! I am loving your podcast – you have no idea how much it has helped me! Really looking forward to your book! Many blessings on you!
Thanks for the encouragement, Ruth! I’m loving doing the podcast and it’s so cool to meet folks on similar journeys.