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Updated: Feb 5

Deconstruction isn't merely a buzzword; it's a profound existential journey that countless souls embark upon. It's about shedding the old, the familiar, the once-unchallenged bastions of theological certainty.

We're talking about those systems and structures that held us tight, promising safety and solace in a world teeming with uncertainties. But now, they lie discarded, their foundations cracked under the weight of relentless questioning.

For many of us, it wasn't just a matter of intellectual curiosity; it was a soul-deep reckoning. The neatly packaged doctrines, the tidy theological explanations—they simply couldn't bear the weight of our doubts and dilemmas. We found ourselves wrestling with the thorniest of questions, questions that refused to be silenced by pat answers.

Do we truly believe in a hell where souls suffer for eternity in torment? Can we reconcile an all-powerful, all-loving God with the staggering injustice and suffering that pervade our world? And what about scripture—can we still call it God's word when it recounts tales of divine commands to annihilate entire populations? In the face of climate breakdown, why is the church complicit by silence and lifestyle in unrestrained capitalism and consumerism?

But it's not just about theology; it's about the lived experience of faith. It's about the glaring gaps between the ideals preached from pulpits and the harsh realities we encounter in our spiritual leaders and communities. For some, it's the failure of the church to embody the radical compassion of Jesus. It's the wounds inflicted by those that were meant to offer healing and hope.

In the midst of this upheaval, deconstruction becomes a deeply personal journey. For some, it's a process of refinement, of sifting through the rubble of our beliefs to uncover something truer, something more authentic.

Yet, for others, it's also a raw and messy ordeal—a wrecking ball that shatters the carefully constructed edifices of our souls.

But amidst the refinement and the rubble, there's also possibility—the chance to rebuild, to reimagine, to rediscover faith in its most honest and unadorned form.

Deconstruction isn't just about tearing down; it's about making space for something new to emerge, something more resilient, more compassionate, more true.

In my journey of deconstruction, I have found life-giving strength in the person and work of Jesus. He, in his beauty and grace, is my compass, guide, and consolation. The church may fail, doctrines once concrete dogma are now challenged and malleable, but Christ is compelling.

Another way of putting this is that love alone is credible and offers a beauty that leads us onwards . My former beliefs and dogma have been weighed in the scales and found wanting, but love is my journey, my guide and my destination. Christ, the one who is love, holds my affection, and he, praise God, holds me.

- Jon Swales 2024


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