I grew up as a believer. My parents were believers as well, and there was never a time I can remember not being taught what an American Christian was supposed to know. It was in the books we read, the shows we watched and the songs we sung. Thirty years later I can still remember the Wee Sing! tunes and words.
I grew up believing, like so many others, in what I have come to realize is a lie. It was all a big lie, backed up by propaganda and conditioning to conform our minds and cause us to blindly and willingly go along with the plan. After all, so many people’s pocketbooks rely on generational acquiescence to the grand narrative.
What was the catalyst? What snapped me out of the stupor I had been in for so long? It was actually while reading the Bible, especially the words of Jesus. There were things Jesus said that contradicted what I had embraced, and it took years to admit my worldview was at odds with Jesus. The more I was willing to question the very “truths” that motivated me as a young man, the more I began to understand that so many people who buy into the modern narrative, myself and my family included, do so ignorantly. However, there are certainly those who knew and know better who are out to make a buck at the expense of anyone gullible enough to buy into the system.
Some of the main points Jesus made while he walked the Earth were very counter-cultural and even paradoxical – the way to life is death; love your enemy; honor the emperor, even if he is wicked; that to “gain the world” means losing one’s soul; and that those who love and follow him are “not of this world,” but, rather, are citizens of a greater kingdom and subject to a higher calling from a higher king … the King of Kings. How did these truths taught by Jesus begin the deconstruction of my faith? Simple. The object of my faith was wrong.
I grew up having faith that the U.S. government, Capitalism and Christian morality – a.k.a. the American Dream – would lead to a life of prosperity, comfort and security. My faith was strong, and my commitment to doing my part as an evangelist of patriotism was demonstrated by the way I lived. I, like so many others, was looking to the institutions of men to be my functional savior in this life. The problem is that Jesus doesn’t just want to be our Savior for the life to come, he wants to be our Savior now. He wants us to look to him and his Word for the source of hope and purpose in this life even if (and especially when) the American Dream fails to come true. He wants to give us hope even when the government we have loved and served turns on us, when the economy causes all we possess to vanish, and when we realize the enslaving nature of hypocritical and false morality.
Yes, there is deconstruction of faith going on in my life, but it’s faith in things I should have never put my hope in in the first place. On the other hand, the faith I have in Jesus Christ as my Savior, in the Bible as his inerrant Word, and the sure hope of Jesus’ return is growing.