Even though it was written 2500 years ago, I think the finest book ever written on deconstruction is Malachi. Malachi is filled with questions from people who were in the process of deconstructing their faith before the Lord. Doubts are tricky; they either drive us toward Jesus or away from him.
“Deconstruction without reconstruction is a tragedy,” says Carey Nieuwhof. “If the path you’re on is not making you a more generous, compassionate, hopeful, and merciful person (or, in other words, more like Jesus), then the destination isn’t worth the journey. Make no mistake, there are things within Christian culture that need to be challenged and re-evaluated, but a Christ-honoring deconstruction revels in truth and beauty, not cynicism and arrogance.”
Deconstruction usually begins with questions about God’s love. “I have always loved you,” says the LORD; but some grow skeptical, “Really? How have you loved us?” they say (Mal 1:2). Does God really love us?
The weird thing about God is that he knows everything about everyone, and still loves us! What kind of “love” is that? Suffering love. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters” (1 John 3:16). When we see how true love works, it sets us free from modern sentiments such as “love is love” (which is meaningless, like “coffee is coffee”) or “love is tolerance” (which is just detached acceptance).
So, if you’re going to deconstruct, the best question to ask is: “How does God love me sacrificially?” “Yes, take a good look,” says the Lord. “Then you’ll see how faithfully I’ve loved you” (Mal 1:5, MSG).
Malachi reveals another weird thing about God’s love. Notice God’s reply to the doubts about his suffering love. “‘Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?’ says the Lord. ‘Yet I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau’” (Mal 1:2-3). What? What happened to God knows everything about everyone, and still loves us?
Although this is a difficult concept for most to grasp, in Scripture (and in ancient Near Eastern texts), the words “love” and “hate” are commonly used in covenant treaties. “Love” meant enjoying a covenant relationship; “hate” meant lacking covenant relations. God’s love/hate issues have nothing to do with liking or disliking anyone. Interpreting “hate” as “not loved” misunderstands the covenantal language of the Bible.
So, let’s put all this together. God knows everything about everyone, and still loves us! But those who are in a covenant relationship with him experience his selfless love.
You can memorize all the scriptures about God’s love and read books that try to explain it, but ultimately, his love must be experienced. That’s why Paul prayed: “May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God” (Eph 3:19, NIV). Always remember, absolutely nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord—and that includes the process of deconstruction (Rom 8:39).