This is written to give you a little background about my post Underlying Issues. If you have not read the Underlying Issues post yet, it might be helpful in understanding this post. I hope that I can convey that deconstruction does not have to be reactionary, negative, or destructive.
There have now been quite a few posts in the TPFKATC meme and quite diverse reactions to those posts. My writing about the issues was not to place blame on pastors or on institutional churches. I wanted to point out the issues and topics that influence the way I view church today.
I am fully responsible for what I believed and how I behaved as a participant in my former church. A key element of change is dissatisfaction with the current system of beliefs. Unlike many people, I was not sitting silently in a system I no longer agreed with.
I was fully invested, overly involved, and wholeheartedly promoting a system that I believed in and trusted to be an accurate expression of the body of Christ. I knew that things were not perfect, but that was never my expectation, and honestly, my willingness to adapt was pretty high.
I do not know why God in His grace yanked us out of there, but I am incredibly grateful that he did. My beliefs may not have changed if we were still involved in our CLB. In order to give you a glimpse at what the process of detox and deconstruction has done regarding my beliefs about the underlying issues, let me explain in comparison my take on the issues 5 years ago:
This referred to the people who tended to sit in the back rows, who didn't sign up for our latest class, program, or conference. They weren't on board, they didn't get it, they weren't really with us.
Participation was important, but it hinged on everyone coming in line with the vision of the senior leader. This was the most effective method for us to move forward in unity as a body of believers.
God's blessing and provision in our life depended on our obedience in this area. The only legitimate place for the tithe was the local congregation where you were being fed. Other giving to missionaries and ministries would be considered offerings above the tithe.
Since the prophetic words to our church were that we would be an equipping center, God would provide the resources necessary for an adequate campus.
We considered ourselves more of an advanced church and accepted that our teaching and flavor were not necessarily for the masses. In fact, being misunderstood by the public was just part of the price of being a cutting-edge ministry. As for the lost, the evangelists were supposed to be reaching them.
I fully believed and taught that involvement in the programs and ministry of the church was the path to spiritual maturity and advancement in the kingdom. Zealous pursuit of these activities was a reflection of commitment and service to God.
The ministry that we did at the church was our calling. Our secular work was viewed as a means to support our involvement in ministry.
What is that? I had blinders on to everyone and everything outside of the ultra-important sphere of church life.
Following the spirit
We were all about following the spirit. But in following, it was always about deeper, not wider - not beyond our worship services, intercessors meetings, and revival conferences.
This was probably the first crack in the structure that would eventually break apart for me. While I had been a willing and trusting follower for years, I could not seem to go along with the teachings on rank and position.
Is detox and deconstruction negative? I don't think so, especially when it is the Holy Spirit showing you the error of your ways. For me, detox has not been an angry reaction toward them. It has been a repentant process of recognizing the weakness and falseness of things that I bought into without question. It has been an honest search to understand God's heart and intention for the church in our world today.
These issues matter to me. They represent areas of personal growth and change in my thoughts and beliefs. While they are not meant to be attacks against the institutional church, they are intentional movements toward a way of being church that is different.
Change in its very nature is a rejection of the way things have been. We can be careful to not be inflammatory or polarizing, but the desire for change will always be a challenge to those who do not share that desire.