I recently gave in and joined Tic-Tok, mainly to see what my granddaughters were up to, but like many I became lost in this mindless playground of information and absurdities. I am amazed at the amount of people that are ‘deconstructing’ their faith. The definition of this could be quite great and somewhat winding depending on the individual. So please bear with me as I share my ‘basic’ definition of ‘deconstructing’ your faith. That definition goes as follows; “Examine your belief system and select what is true. Then have the courage to listen to yourself, your decisions and live according to those truths.”
I grew up in a somewhat liberal Baptist denomination and in adulthood found myself an ordained minister in that denomination. Even though we were not as conservative as most Baptists we still had a lot of ‘don’ts’ and a lengthy list of items that would surely condemn you to hell. I began to question the judgmental aspects of the teachings based on the fact that God created each of us as unique individuals. We become who we are because of different exposures and experiences in our lives. Because of our idiosyncrasies we think and react differently than any other person.
Today’s mainstream Christianity has selected a box that all must fit into regardless of their uniqueness. This box that none can conform to leads to despair and hopelessness because we can never measure up. We lose ourselves in trying to obtain conformity. Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet “This above all – to thine own self be true.” Being yourself just isn’t an option in the teaching I was exposed to.
The teachings tell the believer that they must heed to the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and to follow His instructions. To simplify another concept this Spirit can easily be thought of as our own conscience. Our conscience is based on what we believe. These beliefs are the concepts that we choose to accept as truths and dictate how one should act and guide us in decision making. Our conscience changes constantly depending on exposures, teachings and experiences. If one where to accept the teaching of a religion, then those doctrines would begin to influence the conscience.
In the bible, Matthew 12:31-32 states, “Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.” (KJV)
Porter W Conerly in his book, Genealogy of the Gods believes that to blaspheme is to abuse and that the Holy Ghost is only one’s own reason. He states, “…is to abuse one’s own state of mind, reason, or sanity.”*
The Greek word that ‘Holy Ghost’ is translated from is ‘pneuma’. Which means nothing more than mental disposition, life, spirit or mind.
When we deconstruct our faith, we hold all those ‘don’ts’ and guaranteed damnations to the litmus test of our conscience. If we ourselves find an item not measuring up, then we should by all means purge it from our lives.
So much of the religious teachings tell us that what we are doing will dam us to hell when in our deepest inner selves we don’t feel what we are doing is wrong. The sin may be reverent for the teacher but is irreverent to the student.
The harm I witnessed being thrust upon people was that an aspect of their lives was condemned but they either was not ready to grow past that aspect in their lives or in no way agreed it was wrong. From this a feeling of hopelessness and despair arose leading to low self-esteem.
We MUST be true to ourselves, searching the depths of our mind and soul for what we truly believe and then live our lives proudly and honorably according to those beliefs.
*Conerly, Porter W; Genealogy of the God’s; Monograph Press, Fairlawn NY; 1957
Copyright Roy Richard