Adapted from Insincere, Irrelevant, Invalid. Releasing 2022.
It is still amazing how so many of the older Generation Christians still cannot comprehend why so many of the younger generations are leaving the church, or “Deconstructing”. I mean first off, have you ever met anyone who has just Deconstructed? They will be sure to let you know within the first 10 seconds of meeting that they have Deconstructed. It’s almost as bad as someone who does CrossFit or someone who has just turned Vegan. It’s no secret or big caper as to why these younger generations are leaving the Church. They will gladly tell you the exact reasons why. Whereas in the older generations it was frowned upon to bring up any political or religious topics, the one thing that the younger generations do have going for them is that they willingly engage in these topics and welcome these conversations. The openness and inclusion of all people’s beliefs and feelings do present the world with a great opportunity for dialogue, whether hostile or not.
Most will always point to a couple bad experiences they have had in some Churches, followed by doctrines that just didn’t quite make sense to them as their reasoning behind questioning and turning from the faith. These younger Generations have quite literally grown up in chaos, and when they turn to the one entity that should be able to hold sway in their life, all they get is a bunch of insincerity, irrelevant advice, and criticism from those who have invalidated themselves long ago. And when they leave the Church, they let those in the Church and older Generations know exactly why they did what they did, and yet even then, they are met back with a resounding brush of the hand and swept to the wayside.
The younger Generations have literally been told their whole lives that there is no truth, and the Church and Gospel are not sufficient to provide any rational answers to their questions or certainty. By shifting the focus upon man and man’s abilities instead of God and the Gospel, the Modern-day Church itself has proclaimed the latter without the help of the Atheists or unbelievers.
The self-empowerment of the Prosperity Gospel and the Seeker Sensitive movement, (no matter how big or small) that has grown these megachurches, is the exact same reason these younger generations are leaving in droves just as fast. It is no wonder so much emotionalism, and self-centeredness are what have been drawing these younger generations into the Church because that is all they have ever had to put a stake in. Likewise, it is no wonder that the same emotionalism and self-centeredness is the very thing that is causing so many younger people to Deconstruct. When external focus shifts to the internal focus, of course so many will gladly walk away from the Church and in their own words, “Be themselves”. Deconstructionism is the only logical conclusion from the aftermath and residue of the Seeker and Prosperity Gospel movements. And add on a few experiences of abuses in the Church, legalism, and hypocrisy and you have a full-on recipe for apostasy. One could argue that the Seeker Sensitive Movement and Prosperity Gospel are responsible for this new fad of Deconstructionism.
The growing fad of “Deconstructing” is become increasingly popular and accepted by the world and by some even within the Church. Some of the more prominent names of this new Deconstructionism movement are former Hillsong Worship Leader Marty Sampson, former Desiring God writer Dr. Paul Maxwell, and Rhett and Link from the popular YouTube show Good Mythical Morning.
Reforming or Destroying?
Deconstructionism is simply the process of rejection of parts or all of Christianity by former “Christians”. In short, we all slowly construct different beliefs and views throughout our lives, and when one starts to question, doubt, and ultimately reject some or all those views, it is called Deconstruction, as one is literally tearing down or destroying one’s old views or beliefs.
A lot of comparison has been flowing in from former Christians, placing the Reformation and Deconstructionism in the same category when there is no comparison at all. The Reformation put God’s word back into its proper place in the Church by rebuking extra-biblical teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church, a type of re-construction, while Deconstruction puts oneself in authority, based on one’s own personal preference in the search for truth, slowly pulling apart one’s faith, one doctrine at a time, until there is essentially nothing left, a type of destruction.
In the Reformation, young men were fighting for their lives to have the Bible written in their own language, and to have the Bible put back in authority over the Church. In this Modern-day Deconstruction phase that younger generations are becoming enamored with, young people are being constantly praised and touted as heroes, as they are not only abandoning the faith but absolute truth.
Doctrines such as Hell, Sexuality, and even Sin and Salvation can make some uncomfortable. But instead of offering answers to these specific questions and doctrines, Deconstruction only gives one an easy way out, leading one into “openness” and “uncertainty”. Most of the time these issues are twisted to conform with the cultural times in which one lives. Got Questions states, “The vast majority who claim to be deconstructing move with the flow of their surrounding culture, not against it. This movement demands “safe space” to ask difficult questions. Yet, ironically, modern deconstruction often settles for easy, comfortable answers. Or it simply chooses which aspects of faith to retain based on personal preference.”
Bob Weathers on his website, states that this Deconstructionism is only just the beginning as the Bible has warned about these things. He states, “The abdication of absolute truth in our postmodern culture fuels an abandonment of the faith. That is, it is impossible to faithfully follow Christ while denying absolute truth at the same time (John 14:6, Eph. 4:21, John 8:31-32). The Bible foretells this escalating defection, picturing a time when false beliefs and anemic Christianity will be increasingly exposed while, at the same time, true beliefs and the credibility of Christ will be increasingly validated (1 Tim. 4:1-2, Luke 8:13).”
Rhett McLaughlin from Good Mythical Morning in their ever-popular Ear Biscuits YouTube videos and podcasts which detail their own deconstruction, states “All truth is Spiritual”, and Spirituality is defined by “anything that enriches, deepens and enhances my human experience.”
It is this very thing that older generations do not understand. Those who Deconstruct their views and beliefs are often accused of being “truth deniers,” but the problem is not the denial of truth, it is the inability to define an absolute truth. And so, it is with words such as “purpose” and “meaning” in reference to the human life experience. They are not denying that there is no purpose or meaning for life, but there will always be an inability to properly define, or have that purpose fulfilled. This is what happens when the modern church elevates man above God. Man’s ability to see himself as an ultimate source for his own truth will always end up in chaos.
Deconstruction is nothing more than the easy “go-to” old saying, “I’m not religious, I’m just spiritual.” And how we have gotten to this point in the Church should not be surprising to anyone. Young Generations have felt immense pressure coming from all sides growing up, and it’s no wonder why “breaking free,” and “being themselves,” by leaving the Church is so captivating. No more legalistic pressures and hypocrisy coming from Pastor’s and the Church leaders, and no more pressure from their peers to fit in and become a part of their surrounding culture.
Deconstructing is nothing more than a scapegoat of subjective comfort and preferences in times of discomfort and absolutes under the ruse of the pursuit of meaning and truth. And to blatantly dismiss this new movement would be Insincere, Irrelevant, and Invalid.