We are all without excuses!

Monday Musings for December 13, 2021

Good morning, Musers,

Mainsail Ministries was founded, in no small part, to help people deconstruct their faith. This sounds worse than it is. The idea is to demolish rotted members and reconstruct with solid members. I intended to use what I’ve learned through my own deconstruction/reconstruction to help others who are having similar crises of faith. What I’ve found, however, is that most people are not having a crisis of faith. They are having a crisis of hermeneutics — and that is a whole other animal.

But note this well: Christians should wrestle with the angel (Genesis 32:22-31) if they want to receive God’s blessing. But you don’t do this by merely regurgitating the faith handed to you by your parents. You do it by testing that faith for yourself. An earnest seeker should continue to pray, study Scripture, fellowship and serve — even in moments of crisis… and even in moments when they don’t feel that they should serve for congruency’s sake. God plays the long game, so a believer should not bail out when the going gets tough.

Interestingly, “the big four” (prayer, study, fellowship and service) only give us hints as to who might be a Christian. They are not the real test. The indwelling Holy Spirit is the real test (Acts 15:8). So, if all truth is God’s truth, what do we have to fear from challenging everything we think we know... knowing that the Holy Spirit will protect us from ultimate harm? Wouldn’t you rather live your life seeking the truest possible truth at any given moment?

You see, deconstruction does not threaten the truth; it threatens embedded beliefs. It puts your and your parents’ beliefs on the chopping block; it puts your and your church’s beliefs there too; it does the same to the teachings of your favorite high profile Bible teacher because everything needs to be examined. It all must conform to the knowledge of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) — and no one challenged embedded beliefs more acutely than Jesus Christ!

Of course, they crucified him for his troubles… but go and do likewise. It is a great prize to “own” your own faith... to know why you believe what you believe... to stand firm under the challenges of Bart Ehrman... or during your disappointments with Ravi Zacharias.

You see, what the external world thinks or does has no effect on the faith of a person who “owns” his or her faith. So — if you feel shaky about what the Bible says about the age of the universe or are unsure if it teaches the rapture — you are a candidate for deconstruction. As Christians, we must all seek the truth. There is no room for pandering in the Body of Christ!

The tone of today’s question is, “Why can’t we all just get along?” The issue is that we’ve all been taught wrong things about God and the Bible by people we love and respect. Fortunately, the wrong things are in the minority... and they are usually about secondary issues of the faith.

So, there is nothing “wrong” with God’s word or his other revelations… what I like to call “the data.” The truth gets skewed when we force it through interpretive templates. To understand what God intended in his word, we need to engage the data without prejudice. To do so is to use sound hermeneutics.

 

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