Deconstruction is different than destruction

Jonas Ellison
2 min readMar 27, 2022


Genesse, CA

“Deconstruction” is all the rage today in progressive Christian (or, ex-Christian) circles. There’s a lot to say about this phenomenon, but today, I’ll keep it short and focused…

Destruction is different than deconstruction. And I think a lot of times, we just want to tear stuff apart.

I mean, I get it. I’ve been there. I’m there often. When I realize how much harm that religion has caused us and our loved ones, a common reaction is to take a proverbial crowbar to it.

But we can’t call this deconstruction. Deconstruction signifies a meticulous and intentional taking apart of something. In deconstruction, we’re still after something. But the crowbar wielding of destruction is not… This. Because when I get done and my previous house is in shambles, I still need to be rescued from my false self.

I’d say that the authentic Christian faith is inherently deconstructive. We naturally construct idols in a multitude of ways and the Christian faith is designed to continually tear those idols down. The questioning it engages in is not meant to undermine God but to affirm God.

If our idols are our gods then there is no hope. But alas…

God is the love that stands when all of our idols have been torn to the ground.

God is the loving presence that stands firm when nothing else is there.
When my sacred cows have been slaughtered
when my guardrails have been torn away
and life brings me to the end of myself…
There is a humming that arises in the midst of my being
God is here
God has always been here.
And now, in the absence of my idols
that is plainly clear.
When the cosmic scoresheet has been ripped from my hands,
when I see that God hangs on that cross to show me
that God would rather die than uphold my idols…
I know that God’s love for me has always been so.
This deconstruction makes me a blank slate.
Dis-illusioned with my idols.
And God can work with that.
God can only work with that.

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Jonas Ellison

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