Faith Deconstruction

I’ve been through several faith deconstructions (wherein I closely examine what and why I believe what I believe) but the latest one has been the longest. It started in 2014 when I started to listen to people of color and their experience with racism and it goes from there. Below are some of the blogs that I’ve written to process this faith deconstruction. I’ll try to be diligent about updating this list but I have kids and it’s hard to be diligent about anything so you can also always check out my faith deconstruction tag.

January 2014:

  • The Prodigal Daughter: “I began tearing apart my views on what “church” and “faith” meant. I guess I could say I was deconstructing my faith but that sounds too polite. This was not a pleasant break-up. It was more like the institutional church was a cheating boyfriend and I was throwing all his stuff out into the street.  I raged. I passed judgment. I scoffed.  I was cynical. I shunned routine. I thought that all institutional churches were useless. I pitied the people that went there.”

April 2016:

  • Winter Lingers: “Winter Christians struggle. We wrestle, we cry out, we get angry and fling our lunch box across the room. Doubt follows us closely. I would venture a guess that many winter Christians are plagued by guilt and shame, since their walks with God look quite different from the summery walks that happen next door. Winter Christians’ struggles are blamed on their lack of faith. If we would just trust God, then we could step back into the light.”

April 2017:

  • On (Not) Being Self-Disciplined: “I’m bad at loving oppressors. And this is where the spiritual discipline part comes in, cause I DON’T WANT TO. I will confess that it has been very, very difficult for me to understand and yes, even to love, Trump supporters. I think partially it is because I just do not understand how people, especially Jesus followers, can look at the things he values and see how they are akin to Christ at all. I understand that Trump-supporters likely feel the same way about some of the things that I believe in.”

February 2018:

March 2018:

  • God, My Mother: “With my current faith deconstruction, I’m more open to listening to different points-of-view and there is something deeply comforting to me about the possibility that God might be a woman.  Perhaps it’s because I so rarely see myself represented in my faith. Almost all of the famous Bible stories are about men. God is a man. The Bible was written by men. Literally all of the “giants of contemporary faith” are white men (Wesley, Bonhoeffer, Luther, Dobson, Graham, Keller, Piper, etc x 1000).”

May 2018:

  • The Wilderness: “I thought it would be lonely out here; the City made it sound terrible and wild. But I’m actually finding people, collecting them as I make my way on a path that feels untrodden (but really isn’t). We’re a rag-tag group- some who left the City willingly, some who were cast out for their many sins, some who were never in the City to begin with.”
  • On Being LGBT+ Affirming: “My liberation (from oppressive ideas and systems; from being the oppressor) is inextricably tied to the liberation of others. Learning to listen to others, value their lived experience- even when it directly clashes with mine or makes me deeply uncomfortable- has made me feel more human. I feel more deeply connected to the Earth, to others, to God. It is precisely in loving others- not trying to control their behavior- that has led me to feel like I’m operating within the boundaries of the kingdom of heaven here on Earth.”
  • On Discovering Judaism: “Part of my faith deconstruction is trying to uproot any theology of oppression that I had unthinkingly absorbed. This recent foray into trying to learn more about my Jewish brothers and sisters showed me that some of the things that I believed about Jesus took him out of his Jewish context and actually had an anti-Semitic bent to them. “Jews care more about the Sabbath than healing. Jesus knew better than that.”

August 2018:

  • The Cancer Scare: “Now, with the help of my faith deconstruction, I’m finding a very incarnational understanding of God. God is not standing up in heaven, watching me through a telescope. She’s not even with me. She’s in me. Maybe (gasp) there are times where we are indistinguishable from one another.”

September 2018:

  • Dry Bones: “I’m at a point now where I hear the rustling. However faint, bones around me are trembling and knocking together. None of that is my doing. It has been other people- speaking into me, sharing their journeys, forgiving me, welcoming me, listening to me, cherishing my lived experiences, having hard conversations.”

November 2018:

  • Fix It, Jesus:  “That racism is alive and well and active (even within me) was the final slip of the cover, the revelation that white evangelicalism had failed me miserably and I was left with a terrible wispy banged, choppy, mushroom-shaped mullet. Fix it, Jesus.”

January 2019

  • Tidying Up: Faith Edition: “This spiritual tidying up has been life-changing. I feel lighter, more agile, more flexible. Where as before, I had to bar the door to keep any items from leaving the house, I now stand at the front door with my shotgun in hand, ready to prevent any beliefs that I have not thoughtfully decided “spark joy” from sullying my clean house.”

March 2019

  • The Whole Enchilada: “God has bigger and better plans for us than avoiding hell and putting us on a behavior management plan.  God wants us to flourish and what I’m discovering is that this isn’t some namby-pamby flourishing where we sit in a garden, singing acoustic Beatles songs, and we get to do what we want. God’s definition of ‘whole’ is quite different from the world’s definition of ‘whole’.”

April 2019

  • Why Christian?: “Participating in the cross means removing all of your armor, your security blankets, that protect you from not facing what you want to face.. Literally letting those things die. It means grappling with all those statements in my ‘but’ tower but not allowing the sentence to compound with a ‘but’.”