How To Deconstruct Your Faith
An idiot's guide to being spiritually cool in the 21st century
The Door has covered Christian trends for decades, from the long-haired, passionate hippies getting high on Jesus in the '70s to the suited-up CEO pastors heading up the moral majority in the '80s. And let’s not forget the wacky celebrity prosperity preachers "naming and claiming it" all the way to the bank in the '90s. When we recently woke up after hitting the snooze button on our publication back in 2008, we found some of our well-meaning skinny-jeaned, tattooed friends are still trying to make Jesus cool.
It’s not working. Please stop.
We are intrigued by one particular trend, though: deconstruction.
We’re kind of late to the scene here, folks, and I’m not completely sure of its origins. Maybe something to do with the Masons and building the Temple... in reverse? Who knows. Maybe Miley Cyrus had something to do with it. But deconstruction is pretty popular these days. And if it’s popular in contemporary Christian circles we are definterested! (Did I say that right? We aren’t cool enough to pull off this kind of language ). The fun thing about made-up terms like deconstruction is that you can also make up definitions. Sort of like a “choose your own adventure” book. So deconstruction can pretty much mean whatever you want it to mean. How awesome is that?
But, in general, deconstruction seems to mean questioning your faith. Which is probably a healthy thing to do from time to time. Especially if you were introduced to Christianity by one of those trendy folks we mentioned above.
When it comes to the deconstruction of your religious ideals and self righteousness, we applaud you, encourage you and support you. Our only exhortation is that you not throw baby Jesus out with the bathwater, and trust that you are not alone in this journey.
But beware of the schmucks dressed in sheep’s clothing enticing you with false promises, very similar to the ones you’ve heard before in the name of God. If you were fooled once, it can happen again. Keep your eyes open.
And don't pull too many pieces out of the Jenga Tower in your attempt to deconstruct. Bad things can happen.
Our fast track guide on "How to Deconstruct Your Faith" is an illustration in point.
Drum roll please…
#1 Throw away the scriptures
That’s right. Just get rid of that pesky Bible that has been the root of patriarchy for thousands of years. You don’t really understand it anyway. All the scriptures we know come from songs, bumper stickers, memes, and T-shirts. The disciples only had the first 5 books of the Bible… oh, and Jesus in the flesh of course, but he was just a storyteller, right? Pure Myth. Wasn’t Jesus just a good teacher, teaching everyone how to be nice to each other?
If you can be convinced that the scriptures themselves are not valid, this will allow you to abandon your faith in the quickest way possible. This will be the fast track. You can then start reading all kinds of books on philosophy, other spiritual interests, and better yet jump on one of millions of podcasts. Reading is so yesterday. Just get your hands on something that Oprah approves.
Throw in any Joel Osteen book too. There isn’t much Bible in any of his books, so it will be safe. If you still can’t throw away the scriptures, Google obscure verses that you can use in Facebook arguments to make a valid point as to why the Bible isn’t valid.
But be careful, this may cause you to read the Bible more than you have ever read it in your entire life, possibly leading to seeing the fullness of Christ and inadvertently returning back to the faith you started deconstructing.
#2 Join an online “community” of people you don’t know
Make sure to surround yourself with people who agree with everything you say and will only be nice to you and tell you what you want to hear. Because love is niceness, isn’t it? Stop hanging around people that really care about you and can exhort you. Oh yeah…replace the word exhort with “encourage”. It’s nicer. The goal here is positivity. Remove all negativity, which means friends that call you out when needed.
#3 Exchange your old fashioned pastor for a Guru
You know, Christianity just might not be your bag. It doesn't seem to be working. Somehow there is still suffering in your life, and you’re not happy all the time, so there must be another way. Consider following a well meaning leader, any leader, they may even call themselves a pastor if that makes you feel better. But if the term pastor still sounds too Christian to be cool, go for the guru; or, better yet, get a life coach. He/she/they/etc will validate your victimhood mentality and remind you that there is no one you can trust but yourself…and them course. all at a reasonable fee/donation of $75-200 a session.
#4 Stop using the word “God”
It’s so old-fashioned. Why not try something more modern like, “universe”, or “source”. Eventually you will believe this to be you. You then can worship yourself without even knowing it. This is a great step. Pretty soon you will believe that you are the Divine Self. But be careful here because you may have no one but yourSelf to blame for your perceived problems. This may give you a sense of peace as long as you avoid conflict at all costs. This is cleared up in the next point.
#5 Be offended about everything
Now, we know this is not an original idea, but it’s so effective that it’s definitely got to be on our list. This will help you steer clear of truth. Being offended by the notion that you might just be in error on any given topic is a surefire way to deconstruct your faith. But don’t stop at simply being personally offended by everyone who disagrees with you. Kick it up a notch and be offended for others. This will help establish the self-righteousness necessary to meet the requirements of the Divine Self acquired in step 4 (above). You will love yourself for this. ( Pro tip: Use the word “toxic” to describe everything that opposes you. )
#6 Get rid of Sin
Well, not sin itself, but the word "sin." After all, it has such negative connotations, and it will not jibe with the positivity you are trying to promote in your life. Stop referring to sin as "sin" and use words like “ego” or “lesser self”. This is a wonderful compromise in deconstruction because it allows you to not only separate yourself from sin, but you can now blame the ego for anything! It’s like magic.
It’s the more current version of “the devil made me do it.” But since the term devil is no longer necessary, or valid in your new kingdom of self, you can say it’s just the ego. But be careful not to say my ego. That might bring you back around to the faith you are trying to deconstruct.
Again, reading Joel Osteen books can help. Add in a little of Ekhart Tolle’s pain body terminology into the mix and you’ve got a great tool that will come very much in handy.
Of course these are only a handful of the many ways to go about this business of deconstruction. But be careful that during your deconstruction phase you don’t accidentally construct some other bizarre religion that will leave you emptier than the one you were trying to deconstruct.
Glad we cleared that up for you.
What other creative ways have you found to deconstruct your faith ?
We are all ears….dull, itching, and waiting to be tickled.