Deconstructionism is a potentially dangerous thought process that many parents might find themselves or their kids falling into. So many Americans today are clueless as to the condition of our nation, not to mention the condition of their individual souls. We are like a quarter of a billion Mr. McGoo’s blindly going through life, totally unaware of the impending danger at every turn. Only by God’s grace are we not crushed under the weight of all of it. Those who truly are aware of our nation’s condition are clueless as to what to do about it, and the rest just don’t seem to care.
The reality is that our culture is spiraling downward, and Christians are doing very little to stem the tide. Perhaps Christian families and the church have never had a better opportunity to make a positive impact on our culture. The sooner we realize how far our culture has turned us from the mindset that God desires for us, the sooner we can make an impact on our culture and get this ship turned around. Below are some brief points that will help you better identify deconstructionism and the role it plays in our lives today.
Why Deconstructionism can be Toxic in Our Culture
When the deconstruction (breaking down and redefining) of terms goes unchallenged, the resulting behavior and lifestyle also eventually becomes unchallenged. That is when normal becomes abnormal, good becomes evil, right becomes wrong, and vice-versa.
Many of you may remember Bill Clinton’s administration and the scandal that took place during his presidency. It was no secret, and it almost cost him his presidency. When he was on trial for doing you know what with you know who, his famous statement, “It depends on what ‘is’ is,” cleverly introduced to the masses the concept of deconstructionism.
While Bill Clinton is not to blame for the concept of deconstructionism, it was he who seemed to legitimize it, simply by virtue of his position as leader of the free world. Essentially, he made it mainstream and introduced it to the common people.
Since then, for the last couple of decades, this concept has slowly worked its way, like a poison, through every aspect of our culture, including the American church. Remember, President Clinton was known to be not only a Christian, but also an Evangelical Christian–a term perhaps deconstructed in and of itself.
How Deconstructionism has Influenced the Church
The church is not immune to this poison. In fact, I am afraid today’s culture has influenced the church far more than the church has influenced it. In our churches, deconstructionism takes form in a very insidious way.
We use godly terms, but define these terms with the devil’s dictionary. Even some of our church leaders redefine terms in order to justify their hidden sins and proclivities. On the other side, the congregation is equally guilty of deconstructing terms in order to justify their sins and proclivities. Lines of demarcation are often blurred; for example:
- Abortion is now called the “termination of a pregnancy”
- Greed is being “upwardly mobile”
- Enabling is confused with grace and compassion
- Gluttony is simply overeating; alcoholism is a disease
- Love is confused with lust; entertainment is confused with worship
- Shacking up is now called “cohabiting”
The list goes on, but the bottom line is that, today, using the word “sin” is about the only thing this is still considered sinful. Real sin, when considered objectionable at all, is too often thought of as nicely naughty action instead of as abominable and damnable action that cost Jesus Christ the passion on the cross.
Deconstruction of language has helped put people, who are genuinely trying to serve and please God and do what’s right, on the hot seat. At the same time, the folks who couldn’t care less about God or couldn’t care more about their own selfish ends, get a pass. Because their vocabulary is full of words like love, freedom, justice, compassion, and a myriad of others, they look like saints–even though their definitions for each of those terms fly in the face of how God defines them.
What are Some Practical Examples of Deconstructionism?
I want to leave you with some practical examples. When questioning me about the idea of disciplining a child, someone will inevitably ask, “Isn’t God a god of compassion?” This question is using a godly word—compassion—but redefining it to meet the agenda of those selfishly avoiding the discomfort of the discipline that is required to properly parent a child.
In this example, we must view compassion as God defines it—not as man defines it. Someone once commented on man’s definition of compassion saying, “You can have so much compassion upon man as to be in high-handed rebellion toward God.” God sees the greater and bigger picture. Discipline is a key component in fulfilling the kind of compassion, love, and ultimate end that He is after–for us, our kids, our community, and the world.
Another deconstructed and redefined term that has confused our culture is love. Again, in terms of discipline, the terms “love” and “discipline” were never supposed to be mutually exclusive. The Bible says, “If you don’t discipline your son, you don’t love your son.” And, “God disciplines those He loves.” Discipline falls under the umbrella of love. A person with a biblical worldview understands this. Unfortunately, not too many “Christians” have a biblical worldview today but are, instead, inundated with the alluring concept of redefining terms to create their own reality.
As our nation continues to decline and remain fascinated with a postmodern culture that subjectively creates its own reality, deconstructionism is not only one of our culture’s biggest problems, but it is also the church’s problem. If we are to be a light to this world, we must understand the consequences of deconstructionism.