“I can imagine a world where I abandoned Christianity entirely and instead built a new life from my desires. But that didn’t happen because Jesus saved me. His love compelled me to keep trusting Him. I wish my friends knew that same love.”
Jinger Duggar Vuolo
Deconstruction… the word itself has an ominous tone. It has a finality to it… it is almost anarchist in a sense. I've come to the conclusion that the word is not the word that best describes a healthy version of fixing false or incorrectly founded beliefs.
It seems to me that men like Richard Rohr, Joshua Harris and others who are actively trying to “de-evangelize” the world are less about deconstructing and more about demolishing the Christian faith altogether…
I sincerely believe that Christians should practice a form of deconstruction… as a lifestyle… but perhaps a better word for us would be “Disentanglement".
In regards to the idea of unraveling faith instead of deconstructing it… Jinger Duggar Voulo said in her book entitled “Becoming Free Indeed”:
“In the end, that’s all disentanglement is: trusting God and taking the next step in the right direction. As you untangle the lies from the truth, Christ will be there with you, keeping you by His side until He calls you home.”
I love this quote. I think the word disentangled more aptly describes the reality of what Christianity itself should look like… Not hyper-focused on legalistic, oppressive forms of dead works faith or its opposite - one that endorses sin and is indistinguishable from culture. When we disentangle ourselves we are following the thread that is keeping us moored to the docks so to speak. We are keeping what is True, what is right and what is valuable and discarding or decluttering the rest.
There is so much Scripture on this…
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”
“See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”
“If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the world, why, as if you were still alive in the world, do you submit to regulations— “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch” (referring to things that all perish as they are used)—according to human precepts and teachings? These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-made religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but they are of no value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh.”
I could continue… the Whole Bible is a raw history of mans relationship with God… the Good, the bad… even the ugly. It’s all there. We need a deep, intense relationship with Christ and a love of the written Word of God to disentangle and discard the junk theology and wrong beliefs that make Faith difficult… while keeping those things that are true.
I think of watching many eighties action movies…inevitably there is a scene where the main character is trying to diffuse a bomb… they aren’t sure if they should cut the red or the blue wire. On the other end is the bomb expert who is walking them through the diffusing… that is the picture I get of how we should approach disentanglement. Carefully, listening to the Holy Spirit… intentionally… and with deep compassion and care of the people we serve together with.
There was a point at which John the baptists disciples came to Jesus and asked if He was the messiah. When they left Jesus turned to the crowd and he asked them this question in regards to John... “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in kings’ houses.”
Jesus was pointing to the simplicity... the authenticity of John the Baptists ministry and calling. John did not have a polished message or fine clothes or any of the things deemed important in modern bible teaching. His message was simple... He preached about repentance, divine forgiveness, doing good to those that cross our paths and most importantly he pointed to Jesus Christ as the source of salvation.
His message was simple... it was strong... it was easy to understand... and most importantly it was accurate with Christs teachings... John was the real deal... and people knew it!
There is an incredible need for authenticity in the Church… if we want renewal and relevance to today’s generation we must become authentic in our faith… we must begin to disentangle ourselves from dogma, tradition and man-made rules that do nothing but allow us to deceive ourselves into a false sense of holiness.
I’m ready… how about you?
Let’s be the change!
Next week... Hoarders - Decluttering The Church