September 2021 – There is an oft-repeated sermon illustration about a man passing by a busy construction site. The story depicts a large building undergoing renovation, and at opposite ends of the property are signs offering different types of employment. Adjacent to one foreman’s trailer is a sign reading, “Carpenters, brick masons, pipe fitters, painters needed: All types of work, Experienced only need apply.”
Another supervisor’s trailer offered the following: “Demolition help needed … No experience necessary.” The point of the story is that anyone can participate in tearing something down; no real skill is required. However, building up, restoring, preserving something – these tasks require skill.
Deconstruction: soon demolishing a fact near you
A few blows by a sledgehammer can knock out a wall that carpenters spent weeks constructing. Similarly, our United States (and on a larger scale, the West) is undergoing an attempted teardown. Today, virtual ‘demolition crews’ are swinging a philosophical wrecking ball at countless pillars of our society. This potent tool of truth elimination is known as deconstructionism.
What is deconstructionism? Simply put, it is the assumption that pretty much everything you’ve been taught is wrong. In other words, “Forget everything you thought you knew. Abandon all you previously assumed was true. It is all false.”
What is being intellectually deconstructed, that is, torn apart? America. The flag. The West. World history. Sexuality, gender, morals, and family. The Bible. The nation of Israel. The Christian faith itself. Under the forceful hammer of deconstruction, abandonment of virtually all beliefs is encouraged – no matter how certain you may have previously assumed their truth to be.
Deconstruction is the product of godless 20th-century philosophers whose ideas have left people in an intellectually fragmented world where nothing can be known for certain. Deconstructionists reject the assumption that words can convey truth. But ironically, in their attempt to convince us that language is invalid, deconstructionists use words.
In a deconstructed world, what are we left with? Nothing.
It is little wonder that so many young adults are becoming agnostic about, well, everything. They’ve been coached to believe that nothing is factually true or morally good. Long-held convictions, both personal and cultural, are all ripe for deconstruction.
Truth: understood, appreciated, fought for
In this age of deconstruction, “spin,” and brazen lies, we would do well to reflect that history’s most influential and pious figures cared for truth as they would care for their eternal souls. Charles Spurgeon, a brilliant 19th-century pastor, spoke of Christians as custodians of truth.
Spurgeon called believers “officers in Christ’s army,” all of whom are charged with (1) official consideration of truth, (2) ministerial handling of truth, and (3) personal enjoyment of truth.
The always skeptical, smugly critical posture of deconstructionism is, tragically, influencing formerly orthodox Christian colleges and denominations. Yet God’s love for humanity is such that He really has made it possible for us to know what is true. Christians know that God’s revealed truth impacts our existence forever. Truth can be known, truth sets us free (John 8:32), and as Spurgeon observed, truth is to be enjoyed.
Despite the vacuous efforts of lost men, it isn’t truth that is being deconstructed these days. Hardly. Truth is eternal. But what is crumbling all around us are people’s lives and our liberties. The buzz saw of deconstruction is aggressively cutting into politics and the arts. Journalism and public education succumbed long ago.
Defense of truth in this world of deconstruction now lies in the hands of one group alone: God’s church. May we prayerfully and consistently carry out the holy assignment of standing up for truth.
Alex McFarland leads the Truth for a New Generation apologetics/worldview conferences. The October 15-16 “TNG” event features Frank Turek, Sandy Rios, E.W. Jackson, and many more. For more information, visit alexmcfarland.com.
McFarland’s Truth for a New Generation airs on American Family Radio Saturdays 1:30-2 p.m. (CT). With Bert Harper, McFarland co-hosts Exploring the Word on AFR weekdays 3-4 p.m. (CT).