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An Analysis of Change in People

Ideal for those well acquainted with our thought process at Ammi Ruhama Community

The State of Affairs

Deconstruction is a global phenomenon sweeping through the people of God at present. It is both terrifying and exciting; both scintillating and nerve wracking. What seems, ‘all of a sudden,’ an entire generation has, to varying degrees, either denounced their faith in God or else found themselves seriously questioning it as a result of global events and moral failure in the body of Christ. With the faithful’s fears of their children being taken over by a worldly mindset growing, I have set about to essay deconstruction–to dig down until I find water, so to speak. This is for me, and for anyone who has been affected by this surge in a desire to understand and to be understood.

The Genuinely Concerned

There are believers who are genuinely concerned about the state of affairs at present, and I have heard the following sentence in various forms and from various sources and this is the general vibe of their concerns,

“ If the Bible is the unchanging standard then the only reason we would need to ‘deconstruct,’ is if we were running afoul of the Word, or if we didn’t believe that the Bible is the unchanging standard and we really didn’t want to worship Jesus in the first place.”

Genuinely Concerned About Deconstruction

Though their angst comes from a place of deep concern for the faith of their children and future generations, there are a couple of issues with this line of thought. The first is that our definition of, “running afoul of the Word,” is often anyone who looks, acts and thinks differently than we do. If they are so different from me , then they must not believe to the degree that I do, in the unchanging standard of the Word of God, and so they must not want to worship Jesus. Tragically the everyday Christian believes this as well. They believe that what we currently have and experience today as the Word in our context is the most faithful representation of the Word  and Will of God to date–that our current system of thought is the best we could hope for. If we’re in doubt of this conclusion, we need only read the glut of Christian literature that is basically a call to the people of God to continue doing what we have been doing for the past hundred years. Against this narrative are the people who are leaving the Church (if not the faith) who are saying emphatically that people don’t just up and deconstruct from a perfectly good system. They proclaim that their pursuit of God lead them for a brief period of time into the desert like many before them and that deconstruction or non-deconstruction are nothing when the end goal is removed from seeing God’s will being done on earth as it is in heaven. When relational pain enters the picture because of some moral failing, people start to wonder if the church is all it is cracked up to be. In this way, lack of faith in the Word of God results from the Word being unfaithfully presented to them by the so-called people of God represented by their various symbiotic organisations.

There is a second problem as well.  The vast majority of people deconstructing do not hold a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) nor do they put much weight in past theological rationalism (theorationalism?). So, already there is an education gap that is widened by the establishment’s dominance in what is regularly regarded as having paid the price for having thought through the Word more thoroughly. Consider, however, that every theological atrocity that has resulted in a humanitarian atrocity didn’t happen because the so-called, “uneducated” forced their will and purpose on the world. It resulted because someone with an MDiv or higher declared it to be the Word and Will of God and we believed them. When history is written these people are nearly always portrayed as being bumbling and uneducated, so that, when someone else with an MDiv or higher comes along to put out the theological, and moral fire, we glorify Higher Christian Education as our saviour. “Thank God someone came along who knew what they were talking about!” My friends, this is not the case. An MDiv is no replacement for the Holy Spirit of God, on which count we all stand equal. And so it is that if sin is abounding while so-called qualified men preach the Word, then either they are preaching and living the Word faithfully and the results bear questioning if Christianity really is all it is cracked up to be, or else they are not preaching and living the Word faithfully and we have yet to see a consistant faithful result.

No Reformation Without Deconstruction

Deconstruction is the other side of the same coin we have traditionally called the doctrine of semper reformanda, the motto of The Reformation. If we believe that the church and, therefore, Christians in general ought to always be in the process of reformation, then I say that we have brought this tide of active deconstruction upon ourselves. We sowed the seeds. We prayed long and hard for revival while dwelling in palaces made with our own hands that we have kept in stasis because we were afraid of what we always knew was on the other side of the coin. Deconstruction strips us of our sole legitimate claim as the people of God. It turns over the tithe box of our provision and releases the offerings that are our ritual security. Ultimately, deconstruction does away with our way of worship and invites those we have traditionally sequestered to the gentile court, to worship the Father alongside us. Consider that if we had obeyed the call to always reform, then we would not have built so high and the fall of our tower to the heavens would not have been so great nor our embarrassment so enduring. But deconstruction is no more the enemy than reformation.

Deconstruction Era Christianity

Consider this, when we say, ‘reformation,’ we don’t usually think, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling,” we think about a 16th century German, ex-catholic or else King Henry VIII. This narrative breakdown will very likely be the legacy of deconstruction. Did the church need deconstruction and reformation in the 16th Century? Yes! Does it now need deconstruction resulting in reformation? Yes! But we can be sure that, if the narrative is not closely watched, we will look back at Deconstruction Era Christianity in the same way that we now think of Reformation Era Christianity. A couple of high falutin names will stick through with their biographies, and we will have forgotten the lesson. We will teach that the lesson about deconstruction was that we should allow women in ministry or be more active against racism in the Church or whatever the next issue is. Should we be concerned about these issues? Of course! They are lessons that deconstruction has led us to that we can now do the hard work of reforming that aspect of the church. However, the legacy of Deconstruction Era Christianity must be more but not less than the issues it raises. The Reformers understood this, as they preached as their motto to the next generations, “Sempre Reformanda,” literally, “always reforming”. As mutable beings we will seek what is immutable (the past) for reference, but even our recollection of time is not immutable. We will want to put a cork in it and tie it up nicely with a bow so it can be taught as enlightenment history; moving from one strength to the next, a foundational process on our way to perfection that need and must never happen again! It is the heart of nearly everyone who deconstructs to settle back down by thinking they have done the hard work for the next generation. But, by not learning the lesson of The Reformation, we have essentially recreated the spiritual environment that kicked off the Reformation; a quasi-16th Century Catholic Church with all of their sects and extra-biblical formations and we didn’t bat an eyelash doing it. The legacy of Deconstruction Era Christianity needs to transcend the issues and do what The Reformation failed to do for us which is to decentralise the church as the sole authority about God and to facilitate the non-theorational, non-political, non-cultural, personal pursuit of God and the natural union in love we ought to be enjoying with one another and God. You might be saying, “deconstruction is a modern phenomenon,” but deconstruction did take place during the Reformation, only we didn’t call it that back then. The whole idea of the reformation wasn’t about completely deconstructing, unbundling, or leaving the Catholic Church but only slightly reforming certain aspects of it that were not in line with the scriptures. Lutheranism was a protest, not, at first, against the Catholic Church but against teaching about indulgences that needed to change. Lutheranism may well have become just another sect of the Catholic faith if Luther himself had not been excommunicated. Regardless, pre and post excommunication, deconstruction of certain aspects of the faith took place in the heart of Luther and eventually bore evidence in the Church as he enacted reforms. This is where it gets sticky. Putting the cart before the horse has made it seem like Luther received a thunderous voice from heaven that wrote the 95 Theses Against the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences which then kicked off the protestant reformation! This is a fantasy. The Reformation is the fruit of the initial deconstruction of the Catholic Church by certain key individuals–Luther among them.


My decision to write about deconstruction was quick and easy–but the writing and organisation of it has proven to be a greater challenge than I had originally anticipated. I am driven in this topic by a passion to maintain ideological agility and to encourage others to do the same. I am going to attempt to illustrate how a person deconstructs learned thought patterns and behaviours they have acquired through their lives in the context of their faith. I represent only myself in my own experience and thought process behind my own deconstruction, however, there are always other experiences and thought processes. As such, what follows can be seen as generalisations of types of deconstruction which may be added to in future posts–such is the nature of deconstruction. Now that we have an idea of the state of affairs, let’s hazard a working definition.

Defining Deconstruction

Deconstruction is, in and of itself, neither honourable nor dishonourable; it is the  laying out of all of the personally known parts of a system, and the reconstruction of them in an effort to salvage the system and relationships within the system, or to build a better system with better relationships. Engaging in deconstruction makes one neither honourable nor dishonourable; the deconstructionist may be seeking after, “the Kingdom and His righteousness,” or they may not. Also, the inhabitants of the original system and who continue in that system are all equally and individually accountable to God for their hearts and minds in continuing in the system they have developed for themselves. Again, to deconstruct or continue is nothing; there is only the pursuit of God. These are the generalisations that I have made. For ease of reading, I have put them into previously introduced ideas, such as the mindsets, both to solidify those concepts in your mind and to warm them up in order to introduce fresh ideas.

“Deconstruction… is the  laying out of all of the personally known parts of a system, and the reconstruction of them in an effort to salvage the system and relationships within the system, or to build a better system with better relationships.”

Exploring Deconstruction
Three Systems

Every living person can expect to live in a bare minimum of two to three (2-3) systems of thought in their lifetime. The first is the one they are born into, the second is the one they create for themselves, and the third is the one their children create for themselves. This means that two thirds of our earthly experience is taken up with deconstructive activities either from ourselves or from other people. To make matters more complicated, these mindsets all generally bleed into one another. The conflict and pain that often arises from such endeavours is due, in part, to this generational thought divide and an unwillingness by all who are concerned to admit that deconstruction can be a normal, healthy part of our cognitive development as mutable, changeable beings. Let us first consider the acts of active and passive deconstruction and continue to unfold our human nature.

Passive deconstruction

Deconstruction is, ultimately, the result of mutability; a blessing for imperfect people to change their minds and the vehicle for repentance and reformation. Be that as it may, it is the rare case that anyone wants to actively deconstruct. Most are quite happy to continue unperturbed by questioning  or unbundling their parent’s beliefs, but to deconstruct is human. It is the flaw, feature and motto of being a mutable, ever-changing creation. What we, perhaps, don’t like to think about is that we are always changing, whether we are “out,” about it or not. Even those of us who continue much in the same way as our parents do, nevertheless, do not believe entirely and exactly as they do, nor for the same reasons. Provided we have internalised their beliefs as our own and are not even now in the puerile copy and pasted mindset of childhood, there has occurred, at the very least, a passive deconstruction of our beliefs causing a degree of divergence and nuance to enter in. This, one might correctly assume, is the natural entropy of thought from one generation to the next. Entropy is often defined as the law of thermodynamics that says that all things are continually moving from order to chaos, but this is an insufficient definition for our use as no one who deconstructs from an ideology ends up babbling like a baby (arguably even babbling is useful to the baby). No, they end up in another ideology of their own making that is neither better nor worse than the one they are coming from. Instead, let us consider a well manicured garden with an allotment, an orchard, a bit of a lawn and a patio. At first glance over the garden gate it may seem like not a blade of grass or twig of a tree is out of place, that somehow, of its own accord, every tree bears fruit in its season and every flower its petals to the delight of all who look on it. This is, of course, our impression briefly looking over the garden gate.

Active Deconstruction

Now, having been invited into the garden and having spent a good deal of time there we see that the gardener is never out of the garden. That there is always work to be done; weeds to be pulled, grass to be cut, beds to be mulched, trees to be pruned etc etc. Yet, the gardener’s job is not to fight back the forces of chaos, but rather to bend the garden to their will and purpose. Without the gardener the unchecked competition of each of the plants results in the death of the plants who need sunlight but are shaded by canopy and the thrival of those plants who need the canopy to shoot up, and leech off of the larger trees.  In this way, intentional direction via a solid will and purpose are the definition of order, and each plant out for its own survival is chaos–but not in the conventional sense that it is meaningless; the meaning of such chaos is the fractured competing will and purpose of each individual plant. The gardener takes those individual pieces and unites them to a single will and purpose; their own and ultimately the purpose of the Master Gardener. In terms of active deconstruction, when laying a garden path, the experienced gardener will first dig a trench and lay down a course of large rubble, followed by a course of fine stones and lastly, a course of decorative stones to bring the level up to where they want it to be. This deconstructive work for the purpose of providing a solid, and yet transient path to walk between each part of their garden will now need the least amount of constant will and purpose to maintain because the hard work of deconstruction has taken place. The odd weed that surfaces on the path will be baked in the sun and be easily removed. The inexperienced gardener puts a sheet of plastic or weed barrier down with  decorative stones on top and calls that a path–that gardener will not do much gardening for having to assert their will and purpose and retread their paths every season. Creating a balance of transience and permanence is what makes a beautiful garden. The trees and bushes grow and are, to the untrained eye, brutally pruned in the autumn. Yet, it is, ironically, the hard, immovable surfaces that prove the most difficult to maintain. The brutalist who paves  their garden with massive stones without doing the work of deconstruction will, in due course, be picking the stubbornest of weeds out of their patio that could have been avoided if the proper foundation work had been done. When the work has been done, all that needs to take place is the daily fashioning and maintenance of a useful, and enjoyable garden. So it is with each individual mind and soul that would claim unity with Christ. Looking into the gardens of other people’s minds is all well and good, but the deconstruction and cultivation of what already exists in our own respective gardens is essential for spiritual maturity. What doesn’t help is when our neighbours get offended when we throw the proverbial prop of the heirloom tomato plant they gave us into the compost due to our deathly allergy to tomatoes. If we would lend a hand in the cultivation of another’s garden, we must be willing to accept that it is their garden and therefore their responsibility to run every suggestion by the Master Gardener. For, it is God who instigates such deconstruction in the lives of both believers and non-believers separating the wheat from the chaff. 

The Primary Deconstructor

Continuing our gardening analogy, the whole world is a garden and God is the Master Gardener. We are but the under gardeners who are tasked with maintaining His gardens; each of us according to His will. Using other analogies, the scriptures call us tenants tending God’s vineyard (Mark 12, Matthew 21 ) or else hired shepherds tending God’s flock of sheep (John 10:12 ). Read the passages, but, I warn you, humanity’s track record is not great.
Deconstruction is a story with two sides. God gives us a simple, organic system of worship in which He alone judges good and evil and we in turn take that simple system and over complicate it. In the beginning God walked with Adam and Eve giving them one simple rule: don’t eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. This metric of judgement is reserved for God alone. They, of course, ate the fruit, seeking to be like God and thereby overcomplicating God’s simple system. As a result God, “pruned,” (read: deconstructed) the system back down to its base simplicity with all of the new factors in place(i.e. the curse, the child promise etc). Every single time this happens in the Word the system that God simplifies gets a little bit more complex until we arrive at the law; a full culture and system of worship handed to the people of God in the form of two short books, Leviticus, and 40 years later, Deuteronomy (literally the second giving of the law). This system stands with several judgements and revivals for 1433 years, until God strips it all back again at the cross giving us a simple, organic system of worship in which He alone judges good and evil. 2022 years, a reformation and several revivals later we find ourselves with an overcomplicated system of worship in which we judge good and evil instead of the simple, organic system of worship handed to us by God in which He alone judges good and evil. All of this has led me to believe that people don’t, ultimately, instigate the deconstruction of the faith–God does. He sends His servants to the garden to collect what is due Him and the hired hands throw them out. So God sends His Son and He is killed by the hired hands and, over time the canopy of our will and purpose drives the darker plants to ascend and ultimately choke us out for their own will and purpose. The chaos, as defined previously, that we are living in has become everyday life and practice. The Master Gardener was sure to cut back the trees to a stump to let His light in. As under gardeners gardening the fertile soil of our minds, we approach deconstruction with varying mindsets but, generally speaking, with the same end goal: to never have to deconstruct again, but this is a mistake due to our denial of our human nature.

The Secondary Deconstructors

While it is God who instigates deconstruction, that does not mean that our participation in deconstruction is invariably towards God’s end game. Having the proper mindset in deconstruction is essential as we will soon see. Caution is advised while reading these generalisations as mindsets regularly bleed into one another. By way of reminder before we delve in, here is a quick summary of the mindsets.

The Mindsets 

  • The Natural Mind makes a religion out of seeking out truth.
    • Right ethics beget right motives which beget right end games. 
  • The Nominal Mind makes a religion out of seeking pure motives,
    • Right motives beget right ethics which beget right end games.
  • The Spiritual Mind, makes a religion out of seeking God.
    • Right end game begets right motives which begets right ethics.

If you want to read more about the mindsets you can find it in: Intro to Mindsets and in Mindsets in Bible Study . An outside source you also might also consider is Skye Jethani’s seminal book With, which dives into the mindsets of living life over, under, for, against or with God. For our purposes, and simplicity we will be sticking with the mindsets set out above.

The Natural Minded Deconstructionist

Depending on our mindset at the time of deconstruction, we may go on a quest in the natural mind for the ultimate, unquestionable factual certainty. One which cannot be further deconstructed and land in theorational apologetics or else a strand of atheistic or agnostic rationalism. The answer to deconstruction for these people tends to be,

“I just didn’t have enough information. When I did the hard work of learning, I found answers that I will never have to deconstruct from again”.

The Natural Minded Deconstructionist
The Nominal Minded Deconstructionist

If we go in the nominal mind we may quest for the ultimate motivation and land in ethics and psychology. The answer to deconstruction for these people tends to be,

“I just wasn’t sure I wanted to believe in God, I mean, look at the so-called people of God right? Look at all the damage they have caused! So, I identified with people who gave me a language for what I was feeling and thought of a few questions myself, which, when they weren’t satisfactorily answered, were my permission slip to get out. My deconstruction led me to find my best self, from which I will never have to deconstruct again”.

The Nominal Minded Deconstructionist

The end goal of deconstruction is nearly always to never have to deconstruct again–but what if that is what makes active deconstruction so volatile? What if being part of a symbiotic organisation that doesn’t believe or allow for the mutability of people is what causes us to implode? This leads us to the third and final mindset which we have discussed already but will simplify here.

The Spiritual Minded Deconstructionist

If we go in the Spiritual Mind then we will quest for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. This will have us asking the Master Gardener what He would have us to believe and do, and to go to Him directly to identify any disease in our garden that needs removed. We will keep our motivations in check through comparing them to the end goal and our ethics in check by asking what they say about our motivations. We may say then,

“I have faith that the Eternally Powerful Divine One exists and is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him and that He has revealed Himself to me. I am committed to seeing His will done in my life on earth as it is in Heaven. I will value what He has judged to be valuable and disdain what He has found to be disdainful. I will participate and facilitate the natural communion in love of everyone who claims and displays unity with the Father through the Son.  Let every deed and desire that conflicts within me submit to His will and purpose.”

The Spiritual Minded Deconstructionist

We are just as much a part of the garden as we are under gardeners. Our own purity of will and purpose in Christ is dependent on this understanding. When we do the hard work of deconstruction and lay the solid, yet transient paths with diligence then we will be free to walk in the garden with God who has worked in it through us and designed it for His own good will and pleasure. This kind of deconstruction is lifelong. This setting out of all of the parts happens every time God reveals to us something new.


Deconstruction is the precursor to reformation, which is, itself, the precursor to revival. It is, therefore, our duty to one another to edify and encourage one another until we all reach full reproducing maturity in Christ as the Word teaches. This involves shepherding one another through a life of deconstructing our own understandings and judgements in favour of God’s understandings and judgements. We need not be afraid of trading one worldly ideology (our own) for another which may seem worse. There is no close second to the mind of Christ, so seek first His Kingdom and all the rest will be added to us.

4 responses to “Deconstruction”

  1. […] Our various current organisations facilitate the sad reality that we currently live in where sin is allowed to set in and fester in the body of Christ. This sin eventually triggers organisational breakdown, mass deconstruction and a falling away from the faith when the sin committed within the body is equated with the normal functioning of the body of Christ. You can read more about this is our analysis of abuse in the body of Christ and our analysis of deconstruction. […]


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