Deconstruct Daily or Die Defending Dead Doctrine

Monday Musings for September 27, 2021

Good morning, Musers,

I was saved at the age of 19. That was over 50 years ago. I was soon married, starting a family and a career. I have no regrets! But I used to be envious of the Christians who grew up in evangelical households. I felt they had a cultural leg up. They knew all the hymns... they knew all the lingo — and they knew a pile of Bible verses!

So, although I was chronologically older than my Christian peers in many cases, I was a relative newbie… and I envied their knowledge. Today, I don’t envy them at all. When a believer asks me if I grew up in a Christian home, I tell them, “No. I came by my faith legitimately.” That usually gets me a laugh — but quite often it’s a strained laugh.

You see, countless children whose homes were sanctified by their parent’s faith (1 Corinthians 7:14) never examined that faith for themselves. So, when it got challenged, they crumbled. Defending your faith is hard work. But defending your parent’s faith is harder still.

The process of taking a critical look at your faith is called deconstruction — and yes, this has a serious tone. But I have another word for those who deconstruct too late: autopsy. What else could it be? The faith of a nominal Christian is dead on arrival. But so isn’t the faith of a young person from a Christian home whose faith has not been personally confirmed (2 Timothy 1:5).

Mainsail Ministries was founded to help people deconstruct their faith. The word deconstruct wasn’t popular when I founded it, but when done right and well, deconstruction is the healthiest exercise a believer can do.

Now, I get it. Many of you stop reading when I challenge your embedded beliefs. But that’s the process of true faith. The only way you will develop a faith that lasts is by contending… and it’s a “pay me now or pay me later” type of thing. You’re better off taking the beating from me — someone who wants to toughen your faith — than from a person who wants to destroy it.

When I was first saved, I swallowed large gulps of what anybody fed me. But I was a different kind of cat. I had to make sense of everything I knew or observed. As you might imagine, I lived under a lot of tension in my salad days. But I knew enough to hang in with God.

My method was to do the work that was in front of me. My hope was that God and I would fill in the blanks together… down the road. Well, that’s just what happened — and because of that attitude — I’d like to think that I am the most well-adjusted Christian alive! But the work continues.

You see, I deconstruct my faith daily. This allows me to do it in manageable — rather than overwhelming — bites. But deconstruction is only the first part of the process. Reconstruction comes next. Only when you reconstruct your faith will you feel that you own it… and if you do not “own” your faith, you have not come by it legitimately.


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