When something of beauty is deconstructed, it can become something other than what it was intended to be. Take a stately grandfather clock. The ornate beauty, the workmanship, the intricacies of the internal workings are things of wonder. Once seen, we may begin to contemplate why it was made, how it works, what goes on behind the glass. We intend to gain a deeper knowledge of these mysteries, so we may take this wondrous thing and begin to disassemble it until we are left with piles of springs, weights, dials and gears that are no longer things of beauty, nor objects of utility. The wondrous thing is no longer beautiful nor useful because of our zeal for understanding.
Are we sometimes guilty of deconstructing the gospel?
The gospel is the message of Christ and Him crucified. Period. (Col 1:15-24, 1 Cor 2:2) What this message does to each of us and how it changes our hearts are personal matters. Our faith is individual and must be worked out with fear and trembling within ourselves. We are told to grow in our understanding of Him and his word so that we can grow in that faith and live lives faithful to His purpose. This knowledge can be a wondrous thing, but it can also become the downfall of some and the stumbling block for many others.
Study and knowledge of the word is necessary and beneficial, but care must be given to keep focused. By delving so deeply into the perceived meaning of each scripture while our hearts strive to find meaning in our own lives and within the parameters of our own problems, we can easily lose sight of the bigger picture…the original intent of the gospel–God’s grace and love for us. His plan for our salvation was perfected by His son’s willing sacrifice on the cross, if we choose to accept it. He wants each of us, all of us, to join him in eternity. At some point, every knee will bow, every tongue will confess and we will all stand in his judgment. Unfortunately, during our journey to that time, we must muddle our way through this world and it’s judgments. Hindered by our misconceptions of scripture, our defenses of doctrine, our misuses of tradition and our legalistic interpretations. Splitting churches, creating factions, deterring onlookers.
Church is meant to be a safe haven for sinners to gather for the praise and glory of God, so that we may learn more about Him and his word, and yet many gatherings are impeded by over-zealous, legalistic watchdogs that do more harm than good. That have forgotten the gospel and its original intent, the message of love and grace. That pervert the message of Christ and twist it into something that satisfies only their own inner demons.
We all have those demons, have all sinned and fallen short, and we will answer for our words and actions. We will answer to one God and stand in His judgment, not that of other sinners based on their limited understanding and misinterpreted doctrine. Let’s not forget the foundation of the world, folks. Let’s not forget the love that led our savior to the cross. Let’s not forget the grace that is showered upon us all, that erases every sin but one. Let’s not impede or be impeded by others because of our own simplified comprehension of a much larger ideal.