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0:00:37 – Speaker 1
Oh, this is a big show. Deconstruction.
0:00:40 – Speaker 2
It is. It’s an important one that we’ve been seeing for a while. This labeled deconstruction.
0:00:44 – Speaker 1
Well, I think the label has become trendy, And so that’s what we kind of need to take note of as parents And I’ve been praying about this show for a long time that I’ve been wanting to do And finally we’re like OK, new year, we’re diving in, We’re doing the hard things.
0:01:00 – Speaker 2
Yeah, You know, I think it’s going to be kind of like that Matthew West show he did about modesty which, by the way, is one of our most popular shows And I think it’s because we show both sides of the issue And this show is going to be the same way. So we really want you to listen all the way to the end so you can hear the whole story.
0:01:18 – Speaker 1
Yeah, if we say something that you don’t like, just hang in there, because the other side will be represented in a minute, and I think the reason we do that is not so much. I mean, i definitely feel like I am personally can relate to certain sides more than the other often, but the reason we always take this approach is with our kids, as they’re coming home to us, we have to play this middle ground and kind of hear them out, because if we just respond with this is right, this is wrong, this is awful, and it turns into a 20 minute lecture. We have shut down all the conversation And that’s not a good space to be in, especially with a teenager who has access to social media and all sorts of opinions of the world today.
0:02:01 – Speaker 2
Well, on the other side of that is, we’re teaching our kids how to take in information and process it. If they come home and say something and we just say yes or no, black and white, we don’t teach them the process of sorting through all the information on their own, not just what they’re hearing from one side or the other, and then filtering it through their faith and then coming up with. this is what I believe because of these reasons, because once they get out there on their own, or when they’re sitting at the lunch table and you’re not there, people are going to ask them hard questions about what they believe or what they think on an issue. And if you allow them and modeled for them how to look at both sides, they’ll be better prepared to represent what they believe.
0:02:39 – Speaker 1
We’ve referenced that on another show. We call it teaching your kid to be a free thinker. You can call it whatever you want, but it’s teaching your kids the process of thinking through things and not just jumping on the bandwagon. Another disclaimer that I want to mention about this show deconstruction. This can get really deep theologically. That’s not what this show is. We’re not going to really dive into a lot of theology here. Our goal with this show is if your kid comes home and says I’m deconstructing or my friends deconstructing, or I saw this on TikTok and I want to talk through it, we just want to give you some tools on how to have these conversations.
0:03:20 – Speaker 2
Yeah, so let’s get going. I think it’s important to start out with identifying that many, many Christians are defining deconstruction in different ways. So when you’re in a conversation with your kid or anyone maybe someone at church or just a friend and you’re concerned about where it’s going, you always want to ask yourself what kind of How do I define this? And a lot of times, you’re looking through different lenses on what it means. You know, so they could be seeing it one way and you’re seeing it another and you’re both not seeing each other’s perspective. And, yes, there’s going to be a spectrum of feelings about deconstruction, but I think and, mandy, you’d agree, i’m sure that we need to define it so that we can look at two main ideas That are pretty popular right now.
0:04:04 – Speaker 1
The defining thing is huge. When your kid comes home and says I’m deconstructing or my friend is deconstructing, the first thing you should say is what do you mean by deconstruction? And that’s with anything You know. If they come home and they’re like I got called woke today or I got called this, well, how are you defining that? Let’s walk through that first, because we got to be on the same page before we can build a conversation around it. Right? You know a simple way we always do it.
nextTalk is just looking up in the dictionary to and see what the dictionary says like go back to the basics, right? So the Miriam Webster, if you look up the word deconstruction, this is what it says. It says the analytic examination of something, such as a theory, in order to reveal its inadequacy. So the whole definition of deconstruction is basically to poke holes in something. Yeah, like let’s, there’s something out there.
And so, right off the bat, all the Christians right now are tensing up and they’re like well, no, we’re not going to deconstruct because we’re not going to poke holes in the word of God. Right, we’re all getting a little defensive. So I do want to talk and I love what you said, kim, about. There’s a whole spectrum of people and how they believe in this. But I do want to talk about like two main different, differing opinions on this kind of like we did with the Matthew West show. You know, with modesty, there’s a whole spectrum of viewpoints and opinions, but let’s just kind of simplify it as best we can into what the two different main camps are kind of saying.
0:05:33 – Speaker 2
So the first idea that we’re going to kind of tackle is just shutting down all talk about deconstruction. And you know, we, i roll, we dismiss it, we walk away, we’re like absolutely not. It is bad, bad, bad. And I think a lot of us, and myself included, as Christians, it’s easy for us to fall into that category of wanting nothing to do with it, because it just means to us poking holes in our faith.
0:05:56 – Speaker 1
I’ve seen tweets to this same tune, where it basically says deconstruction equals your woke and you’re becoming a progressive Christian, which those two things are two separate topics that we really need to cover And again, and how you’re defining it. But when I see these tweets, there’s part of me that agrees. It’s like I’m like, yes, this can lead nowhere, good Right. But then I check myself and I’m like, wait a minute though. Wait a minute.
What if a kid is struggling with their faith and, because of social media, they’ve labeled it deconstruction, and then we dismiss it like they’re being manipulated and pulled into a different direction, and then we miss out helping them talk through what they’re struggling with and actually being able to disciple them. So we have to be careful with this. I think the same kind of thing happens today, when our kids come home and they may be struggling with something And we just want to shut it down and we want to act like it’s not happening and we want to be like, no, you’re not going to deal with that. This is not okay, this is not biblical, and we just shut it down. And I see that a lot happening with deconstruction, and even though I firmly believe that Satan is using deconstruction to pull people away from the faith. I 100% believe that. I think the approach of shutting down all conversation around it is really very, very dangerous. Okay.
0:07:23 – Speaker 2
So I think the principle here is something we’ve talked about from the genesis of nextTalk that your kids may come home and say something crazy, or say something questionable or even scary about you know, whatever it is their faith, sexuality, whatnot But if we don’t take the time to first understand their definition of what they think they’re saying and get some context and then allow for the conversation, then we miss the opportunity to speak into it.
And this topic is no different. And that’s what you’re saying. You know, if your kid comes home and says that and we’re just saying, oh my gosh, dude, those people are crazy and you walk away and go cook some chicken, like you’re missing out on the opportunity You could tell what my life is. Like you’re missing out on the opportunity to be like tell me more about this And then, gently and over time, being able to have that tug of war with your kid where they can present ideas and then maybe you challenge them and then they challenge you And it opens up that ability for them to think deeply about these important issues, especially when it comes to their faith. We want them to be digging into scripture, we want them to be asking questions so they develop their own faith life. That is not them standing on our coattails. It’s a part of the process.
0:08:38 – Speaker 1
I love how you said it’s like the genesis of nextTalk, because it’s true, this is a nextTalk principle. I mean, i remember before, when I had young kids, i was like they’re never going to have social media, that’s, that’s Satan and it’s awful. And then I actually got to middle school and realized, okay, this is part of their culture today, this is how they they communicate, and so I want to teach them how to navigate the world but not be of the world. And so I got to dig in here and I was able to teach them social. I mean, i’ve been teaching my daughter social media now for eight years. Right, we’ve walked through all the platforms, and I’m looking back on that now as she’s getting ready to launch for college, and I’m so glad I didn’t just shut it down and say it’s all evil. I’m so glad that we got in there and we were able to work through the dangers of social media And I could warn her about things, but also that she could see that God uses it for good too, and God uses it to spread his word as well, and God uses it to get good information out there, and I think that’s just a very important point that we need to say to the people who are tweeting Deconstruction leads to woke theology.
Stop doing it. I mean, i really think we need to say that, and I know that’s a hard thing to hear. If you’re in one of the, if you believe that And I’m not saying, hear me, i’m not saying that you don’t have a valid point. It is pulling people away from the faith and we do just like social media pulls people away from the faith. We do have to go into it with so much caution and so much red flag alerts, but I don’t believe shutting down the conversation is the answer.
0:10:23 – Speaker 2
You already spoke to this a little bit, but we do want to say that we understand and we feel some of those feelings of that concern about deconstruction because biblically we know that Satan is clever and he is tricky and he can use all kinds of lies to pull us away from the truth. I mean right there in Ephesians 414 about lies so clever they sound like the truth. We’ve all heard that before and we felt that before and that can be scary as Christians. I mean the whole Bible verse. If you look at it, then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching That’s so important And we will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
This is one of those verses. When you dig into the conversation and you have dialogue with your kids and they’re looking for truth, If you don’t throw it out at the beginning and shut it down, you’ll have the opportunity to share scripture at some point and they can see okay, i get that Even God knew that this was coming. Like God prepared me with scripture so that I would be equipped when all of these different ideas and concepts came up that I could pray and he would show me truth.
0:11:34 – Speaker 1
Yeah, i mean, just because we can see the damage that can be caused from deconstruction doesn’t mean we can live in denial that it’s happening, and I think that is key here. We have to acknowledge it, and I think that’s where we come in with the other side of the spectrum. You know the people that are shutting the conversations down and saying this is awful, it leads to woke theology and people moving away from biblical principles. On the other side of that, you have a whole bunch of Christians that are just like embrace it faster, deconstruction, and they kind of swing the pendulum way so far that it’s almost like you’re encouraging it. And I think we have to be careful of that too, because I don’t think God wants to pull us away from every church.
Is there a perfect church? No, there is never going to be a perfect church. But he doesn’t want us to give up on the church. He doesn’t want us to give up on fellow Christians, and I think we live in this world so much of deconstruction that we’re always poking holes in everyone, and so at the end of the day then it feels like was there anything left? And so we don’t want to swing the pendulum so far to the other side, that we’re always calling everything out and poking holes in everything and encouraging people to go through this deconstruction, that it actually does move them away from the faith. I think we have to be really careful with this.
0:12:57 – Speaker 2
We do. And I think this is where that definition piece comes in once again, because as we were preparing for this show, we were talking about the word deconstruction being trendy and the term for kind of tearing apart right now, But I mean my whole life and growing up we called it questioning our faith. And I think that’s different And I want to acknowledge that here because at least in our household we encourage our kids to question their faith Because, again, like I mentioned before, I want it to be their faith, not mine. I want them to be on their knees asking God to clarify things for them in their relationship with him. I want I want them digging into scripture and finding truth, And that means asking questions And that’s okay. But that’s very different than poking holes in and going into something with the intent of tearing it down. And so I think it’s very important to see the definition difference And that, again, when your kid comes home and they’re talking about this, that you discuss with them what they mean or what they understand deconstruction to be.
0:14:02 – Speaker 1
Well, even our kids. I look back on my faith journey And I think many of us who are, you know, mid 40s and 50s now we can say we went through a process of we didn’t call it deconstruction. It was me in my 20s, early 20s. I called it, we actually called it Matt and I called it de-churching. It was right. When we first got married And our process was, we just realized the denomination that we were affiliated with.
There were some added things in there that wasn’t scriptural but that, you know, just manmade rules, and we had to go through this process of saying what is biblical and what is not And where do we follow on this. And honestly, it was one of the best experiences because I feel like it made me closer to Jesus. It made me understand Jesus more. It’s separated him from religion and denomination for me And that deepened my faith. I’m so thankful for that journey. But I’m also glad it didn’t have a label of deconstruction on it, because I think if I would have labeled myself deconstruction at that age, i think I would have fallen away from the faith more quite honestly because of that label. And that’s what I’m scared about. I’m not scared, like you said, kim, of my kids questioning their faith or going through a process of what do we believe and what does this denomination believe, and what’s biblical and what’s not. I’m not afraid of that process, but I am afraid and I am very leery of the label because I think it’s dangerous.
0:15:39 – Speaker 2
Well, and that leads back to something that we have been saying now for a couple of years here at nextTalk is encourage your child not to label themselves with anything but child of God. Period, like with all the sexuality questions and issues, with things like deconstruction, with so many other labels that are trendy and will continue to be and will continue to change, our core message to our kids should be constant, like labeling yourself should not be your priority unless you’re talking about your label as a child of God and always coming back to that.
0:16:12 – Speaker 1
We’ve talked about deconstruction and we’ve kind of set it up for our listeners, but I want to give them like a practical thing. So your kid comes home and they’re questioning their faith, they’re struggling, they may have even labeled themselves as a deconstruction. So first, absolutely ask them well, how are you defining this? What do you, what do you mean? you’re going through this process, tell, explain that to me, right, right. But then here’s just a practical thing that I have found works really well with my kids.
One of the things that I find in scripture is God says test everything that is said, and I love this verse. It’s in first Thessalonians 5, 19 to 22. And this is actually like a little bit before and after. I want to read the context to you. It says do not stifle the Holy Spirit, do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good, stay away from every kind of evil. I mean, here’s the thing that I say to my kids all the time God is not afraid of your questions. And I give them a practical story. Here’s what I say when me and dad were dating, dad would say things to me, but I would watch him and I would make sure the words match the actions, like what he was saying to me matched his behavior and his integrity. When nobody was looking, i made. I tested that because that was my indication if I wanted to pursue this relationship or not.
And when you are taking a relationship seriously, you will do that. You will test them, you will make sure this person is valid and I can trust them. And God wants you to do that with him because he wants you to take the relationship seriously. And so for me, when our kids come home and they have questions like Mom, why doesn’t God allow this?
I’m struggling with this, foster that. Don’t label it deconstruction, don’t you know? don’t give him this Oh, you’re going to go down this path And in two years you’re not going to have any faith. Don’t put that in their little minds and create a self-fulfilling, weird prophecy, right, but? but foster the communication, foster the fact, empower them and say Oh my gosh, i’m so proud of you for taking your relationship with God seriously. This is what he wants you to do. He wants you to question him, he wants you to watch him, he wants you to look at him and say Can I trust you? And when you come to that moment where you realize you can man, that faith is built on the solid foundation, and that’s what we want for our kids.
0:18:53 – Speaker 2
Yes, yes, yes, that’s so good. And as you were speaking about that, it reminded me too. I’m imagining, you know, your kid coming home and saying my friend is deconstructing, or I am deconstructing, and it’s so easy for us as parents, especially as we get older and we walk through some things, to dismiss our kids and just be like, oh my gosh, you know, just because everybody else is doing it, or your friend is so silly.
0:19:15 – Speaker 1
Or they watch the TikTok video, which often happens. This is why they start deconstructing, but we can’t. And it may be true that the process started on TikTok, but when we say that we dismiss them, kim, you’re exactly right. And then it shuts down everything.
0:19:31 – Speaker 2
Well, and it pushes them right into the thing that you’re concerned about. It’s like you just open that door even wider. So take a breath, even if you need to take a minute and just hear your kid out, and don’t dismiss them.
0:19:44 – Speaker 1
Well, another thing too, in this whole thing you know, when I think about my kids’ faith in their journey on understanding God and loving God and all of that, i want it to be theirs And I want it to be authentic And I want it to be real to them, right? What I don’t want is for my kid to feel like they have to check boxes and go with whatever because that’s how I believe Or that’s what I expect of them, right And so, honestly, when they come home and they’re digging for their answers like I want to know why we believe this and why It should be an honor, it should be like, yes, yay, you’re not just checking the boxes of mom says, i have to be a Christian and this is what I’m doing. We don’t want our kids to have robotic faith. We want them to have real faith And that takes digging in and making sure they can trust God and asking questions and learning.
But the whole thing is, if your kid deconstructs and if your kid has to kind of tear everything down and build everything back up again, we want to be there for them for the building up. We want to build them, you know, if they do need to take everything down to bare bones because maybe a denomination has tainted them or maybe religion has just put a bad taste in their mouth and they’re struggling with that right. Maybe we do need to knock it all down and rebuild it, but we want to be there for the rebuilding process because we want to make sure the rebuilding is God’s word, and that’s where I feel like discipleship comes in so much, and we lose the opportunity to disciple if we’re just shutting it down.
0:21:23 – Speaker 2
So there’s this author that you shared with me some time ago, as we were talking about deconstruction, and I’ve watched a few videos of her, and she just does a beautiful job explaining and breaking down deconstruction and progressive Christianity, and I would love for you to share some of the things that we love about this author.
0:21:44 – Speaker 1
Well, yeah, her name is Alyssa Childers. It’s C-H-I-L-D-E-R-S. She has a book out on the market. It’s called Another Gospel question mark.
A lifelong Christian seeks truth in response to progressive Christianity. And if you don’t know a lot about progressive Christianity, you know in my mind I really wasn’t aware of what was happening, but some churches are literally taking biblical truths and just crashing them like doing away with them. And she found herself a young I think she was in college at the time going through this. She found herself in a progressive church and her pastor was poking holes at everything. He was basically trying to deconstruct everyone And she was really struggling with. Wait a minute, this is wrong, like everything we’re doing here is wrong.
But her journey is beautiful And the last chapter of her book is called Reconstruction And she has this beautiful illustration about like a Lego set And sometimes we try and put it together without the instruction and it’s kind of wonky and it may not work And I’m maybe I’m probably butchering the illustration, but it was just a great thing. But she said I had to come to a point where I knocked that all down And I rebuilt on the solid foundation of the word And she went back to like the original text to make sure everything was biblical. I mean she lays out her research in her book. I mean it’s really great. But she reconstruction her faith And she’s talking about that time. I looked at the Lego set instructions meaning the word of God, and she put it back together So it was a solid foundation that nobody could poke holes in because she knew what she believed.
Sometimes we do need to knock off the stuff that isn’t godly out of our religion and find God’s truth and dig in there and do the work. But I love her book and everything she stands for. She’s got a podcast out I would highly recommend And she gets really deep into theology about biblical truths. So we’re just scratching the surface here and kind of making you aware of deconstruction and progressive Christianity and the movement. But she this is her niche And so I recommend you listen to her podcast. She has some great stuff out there to help you have conversations with your kids if they’re struggling with their faith.
0:24:08 – Speaker 2
So if you’ve heard this buzzword or your kid has come home and said something about themselves or their friends, we’re hoping that this show gave you some practical conversation starters and also reminders to you know, just not shut down communication, because that is key with anything like this, especially with deconstruction. You want to be able to have a voice in your child’s faith journey. If you listen to this show and maybe you have some tips or ideas or comments about the topic or you want to hear more in depth information about it, we’d love to hear from you. You can always email us at admin at nexttalkorg.
Transcribed by https://podium.page