Updated: Dec 3, 2022
The ever-increasing cultural hostility towards Christianity and biblical truth have led to a movement of people leaving the Church or rejecting certain tenets of faith. Best-selling author Lucas Miles addresses the topic in his EpochTV series, “Church and State.” In the episode “Enemies Within Christianity: The Deconstruction Movement and Exvangelicals,” Miles discusses what it means to deconstruct one’s faith, and how to guard against this dangerous and tragic ideology.
The phenomenon involves once-professing Christians going through a process of deconstructing their faith. This process requires rejecting the belief in absolute truth and twisting what the Bible says to fit one’s own values. Phrases like “speak your truth” are a result of this ideology.
Miles, an ordained minister, said that while Satan works in many ways to attack and threaten the gospel from outside the Church, deconstructionism threatens the Church from within.
What Is Deconstructionism?
The result of deconstructionism can be seen by the self-proclaimed “exvangelicals” in today’s culture. Music artists, authors, and former pastors have joined this trend. Essentially, the movement is comprised of people who believe themselves to be so enlightened that they leave the Christian faith to which they once held.
Deconstruction is the idea that the faith Christians once relied upon can’t be trusted anymore. Therefore, it says, Christians must dismantle their faith and recognize the biases and prejudices that have shaped their understanding of scripture rather than seeing scripture for what it really is.
Miles extensively discusses deconstruction and deconversion in his book “The Christian Left: How Liberal Thought Has Hijacked the Church.”
In the EpochTV episode, which aired Sept. 28, Miles says deconstructionism is a tenet of progressive Christianity, which is the whittling away of Christian truths to arrive at different notions, or what might be called a different religion entirely.
Although deconstruction may be the process, Miles notes that deconversion is the result. If a person doubts and distorts the truth of scripture long enough, they will eventually leave the faith altogether.
“Freedom of Worship,” 1943, by Norman Rockwell. U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. Norman Rockwell Museum, Stockbridge, Mass. (Public Domain)
Is Deconstructionism a New Concept?
The ideology of deconstructionism stems from the Enlightenment period. Analyzing tough philosophical topics through rational thought rather than biblical teaching led many on a quest for the historical Jesus, cutting away the supernatural aspects of the New Testament to simply portray Jesus as a historical character. Some in the Church tried to adapt to the Enlightenment and “salvage” Christianity, which they viewed as no longer relevant for their times. Miles says that the gospel doesn’t need rescuing: it’s always relevant. When we chip away at the truths of scripture, we take away its relevance instead.
This gave rise to critical theology, in which people applied the same critical look at scripture that Karl Marx was applying to society and the economy. This new line of thinking led to looking at scripture with doubt and concern, asking “did this really happen this way?” Miles notes that this is reminiscent of the serpent in the garden asking Eve, “Did God really say ‘You must not eat from any tree in the Garden’?”
Although deconstructionists view themselves as woke or enlightened, their philosophy is nothing new. In fact, it’s been around since the Garden of Eden.
Unfortunately, this thinking inevitably leads to an unsound interpretation of scripture. When someone concludes scripture isn’t telling the truth, he or she must pick and choose what parts to accept or reject, and may decide to distort parts of the Bible to fit personal preferences.
If this is allowed, why would Christians believe anything in the Bible? Over time, many deconstructionists do indeed begin to doubt the Bible, which leads them to deconversion.
Deconversion Is the Destination
According to Miles, true Christianity holds that all scripture is inspired by God and is inherently true. Because of the Bible, we have the words needed to understand the world, light our path, and lead our lives.
Miles references the worship band Hillsong. The band’s songwriter left the faith because he felt Christians, while being “beautiful and loving people,” could also be “the most judgemental people on the planet.” Miles says he agrees with this observation. Christians are sinners just like everyone else. However, the writer’s inability to deal with the reality of sin in the Church led to his deconversion. Unfortunately, many others have followed suit.
Miles also notes that deconversion doesn’t happen overnight. Losing one’s relationship with God and one’s understanding of biblical truth happens when we allow our hearts to get bent, distorted, and blurry. Over time, it reaches the point where we are willing to walk away from the faith we once held. He clarifies that it isn’t just bad behavior that causes someone to fall away from God. It is the intentional act of rejecting one’s faith in God and bowing down to some other entity, whether human reason, the state, or oneself.
The EpochTV episode discusses how walking away from the faith and pursuing other ideas starts with a process. Hebrews 3:7-11 warns about hardening our hearts as the Israelites did. Instead of allowing our hearts to become hardened by the trials and the confusing elements of scripture, Miles encourages Christians to lean into their faith and examine these issues by clinging to God and pursuing the truth through Him. Doing this can lead to a better understanding of God’s truth and who He is.
Christian Orthodoxy and Why It Matters
The term orthodoxy means right teaching or right belief. Miles uses the analogy of a buoy floating in the water. A buoy is attached to an anchor that holds it in place while allowing it to float atop the waves. Orthodoxy is like a buoy that adapts to the waves and the wind of relevant cultural issues, while remaining anchored to biblical truth.
Christians can vary on some issues and remain in the framework of orthodox Christianity. However, they cannot detach themselves from the bedrock of the Christian faith, which is the revealed person of Jesus Christ and the word of God. True Christianity does not allow followers to drift into the waters of progressive ideology and deny scripture. “The moment you start disregarding scripture, you have cut yourself away from the bedrock of the truth, and you’re drifting out into very dangerous waters,” says Miles.
The solution to this way of thinking is to spend more time in the word of God. Being in God’s word allows his followers to understand and know God intimately. The more we learn and understand who God is and appreciate the beauty of the gospel, the more we love and appreciate Jesus Christ and God the Father.
Miles believes that deconversion is simply a method by which people convince themselves that certain things aren’t true, allowing themselves to justify their sins and live as they wish.
The real motivation behind the deconstructionist movement is what this EpochTV series has brought to light in all its episodes: the Marxist goal to dismantle the foundation of the Christian faith. True Christians know that this is impossible because the gospel is infallible. However, this doesn’t mean Satan can’t use deconstructionists to try to lure people away from God. Miles says believers should focus on pursuing God and an authentic relationship with him over putting faith leaders on a pedestal. People will make mistakes and fail, but God’s word will always prove timeless and true.
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
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