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Over the years of deconstruction as well as assisting others through theirs, I’ve discerned two kinds of deconstruction.
One is deconstruction from the church.
Two is deconstruction of belief.
People leave the church for many reasons. They could be bored, or conclude the church is irrelevant, or are disappointed in the church’s lack of justice, or its greed, or they disagree with its teaching, or they experienced abuse there. However, they may not experience a deconstruction in their beliefs. In fact, many become more fixed and fundamentalist in their beliefs. Many have left the church because they believe it has strayed from its purest primitive origins in its teaching, liturgy, polity and practice, and crusade to restore its former glory.
However, people deconstruct their beliefs for various reasons too. Usually its some kind of trauma (spiritual, psychological, emotional, physical, social) that provokes deep doubt and instigates a burning uncertainty. Usually, these people end up leaving the church, either because the church doesn’t provide room for spiritual trauma and upheaval, or because the church no longer makes sense in their new paradigm of doubt, uncertainty, and mystery. For many, the church is not a safe space for spiritual growth beyond traditional orthodoxy.
I pictured this cartoon while on my run and had to draw it because belief is like this. Even though we experience radical changes in our lives, ones we’ve made or ones that happen to us, belief can tag along in weird ways as we renegotiate our relationship to it.
But that’s okay because this is a journey and we learn as we grow.