So often, in the deconstruction community, you hear a lot of qualifying about what it means to deconstruct. Much of it is misinformation.
Some people equate deconstruction with sliding into apostasy, heresy, or even a complete lack of faith. These are misunderstandings of what the process is. My deconstruction process began years ago. I still love Jesus. I still love the Bible. I am still a Christian. I’m still showing up every single day with my faith intact, if a bit battered and bruised some days.
Some people believe deconstruction must be followed by what is referred to as a “reconstruction” process. A renewal of faith in a different package. These people believe deconstruction has its place, but caution people to not let things go too far.
Here’s the truth about deconstruction: this journey is not, and never can be, uniform.
What deconstruction looks like for me might look completely different to you. There is no wrong way through this experience.
Some people need to deconstruct away from faith. Their mental health requires complete deconstruction after years of spiritual abuse. Wholeness, for them, might look like a world where God does not exist and they no longer need to force themselves to believe things or go through religious rituals which no longer feel compelling to them.
To tell them they have to return to the world of faith? It’s harmful. It also ignores the central characteristic of deconstruction: It is not a choice. Deconstruction is something that happens when a part of you begins to wake up to things that no longer make sense or no longer work for you and your well-being.
No one chooses to lose their faith. It just happens. The faith narratives lose their power to convince. Pushing through is not a possibility.
This world is a beautiful place and filled with diversity. This includes the deconstructing universe.
To say that there is only one proper way to do this process is to hold to that same black and white view of faith from our subculture. This black and white view tells us that without Jesus, our churches and our pastors, and all of our absolutisms, we are lost. It creates the same false dichotomy of a right way to do life versus the wrong way. It also creates a spiritual hierarchy that sets the reconstructing crowd as more righteous than those that left the faith.
If reconstruction makes sense for the journey you are on: do it! Find whatever tools you need to build a healthy relationship with the Divine.
But don’t let yourself fall into the trap of believing that your journey is the correct one and someone like Jon Steingard is living a lie because his path took him someplace else.
Deconstruction is simply the journey that allows us the freedom to find what works for us spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Putting rules on the process robs us all of that freedom.
Lets commit to freedom for us all.