Friday, August 26, 2005

Deconstructing Your Faith

As I approach my new series on "how to find faith" (September 4) I'm anticipating that for many believers, this series will challenge their faith in a way that's surprising. As I help those with no faith process the road to faith, undoubtedly there will be some (if not many) that have a faith that will realize that the faith they have no longer holds water. They will realize that their faith is not a good faith and before they can go forward they really need to go back - to "deconstruct" their faith - to dismantle it and start over.

For some, this will feel like losing faith. What once was so sure, so settled, will suddenly become weak and possibly even give way completely. That's not a bad thing if their faith was built on a foundation of sand to begin with. What IS bad is to have a faith that leads to a superficial or self-serving lifestyle. What IS bad is to have a faith that allows oppression and injustice in the home the church or the world. What IS bad is to have a faith that doesn't connect with God but only produces meaningless religious activity. So the best thing a true seeker can do is to back up and make sure their faith is solid - that it's a faith that pleases God.

I think many people come to a quick conclusion about faith and as a result it either leads them to a bad place or a boring place. But I want to encourage you to take time in your approach to faith. I don't mean be lax or lazy about it. I mean be willing to ask lots of questions. Don't assume too much or jump to conclusions. It's like marriage. There are many divorces because there are few that take a slow and reasoned approach to their commitment. In the same way, there are many who jettison their "faith" because they mistakenly "came to faith" for the wrong reasons. I'll talk about those reasons soon.

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