American hip-hop artiste Lecrae released a series of viral tweets two days ago (September 14).
For those who might not be familiar with him, the Grammy Award winner and record label co-founder is also an author, having written about his past, which includes sexual abuse, alcohol addiction and depression.
Here’s what the 42-year-old had to say on deconstruction happening in the Church, edited only for house style.
A lot of Christians are afraid of deconstruction. I’ve personally gone through it, and let me give you food for thought.
There are two types of deconstruction happening in the Church. One is healthy, the other is dangerous.
One type of deconstruction actually involves using Scripture to deconstruct unhealthy ideas and practices.
Christ himself did this by deconstructing the Pharisees’ interpretation of Scripture. “You have heard it said but I say…”
Using Scripture to challenge things. Healthy.
Many millennials are using culture to challenge Scripture. This often leads to culture taking precedence over Scripture, and sadly people begin to deconstruct themselves out of the faith.
We begin to question the Bible because it doesn’t line up with culture. Unhealthy.
Nine times out of 10 this type of unhealthy deconstruction begins with church hurt.
Racism, sexism, abuse of power, etc give way to a need to make sense of things, and the last thing people want to do is use Scripture to make sense of these failures by “church folks”.
So people look OUTSIDE of God for answers and find themselves being thrown around by every wind and wave of doctrine. I’ve been here.
When God and morality are out of the picture, you now have licence to make decisions that can wreck your marriage, family, mental health and body.
Many don’t realise there have been healthy deconstructions throughout history that have lead to health.
There are generations of believers who have been through this and we can learn from them, versus destroying our life and faith trying to figure it out alone.
Lastly, deconstruction is only part two of a healthy faith. The goal is not to tear everything down and live there.
First is construction, then deconstruction, then reconstruction.
Reconstruction leads to a stronger faith where you’ve thrown out unhealthy views and see Christ clear.
Many movements, from the Reformation to the Civil Rights Movement, involved deconstruction using Scripture and then reconstruction.
I offer this as an encouragement to those struggling. My faith is stronger than ever. I’ve been there, and healing is possible.
Lecrae on reconstruction
Unsurprisingly, his tweets attracted a fair amount of debate in the comments section, with some who said he hit the nail on the head and others who disagreed.
To read the entire thread, you can access it here.
For context, this is not the first time the Christian rapper has talked about deconstruction.
In an interview with The Christian Post last December, the father of three shared a little about his journey.
“Deconstruction is not a bad thing if it leads to reconstruction,” said Lecrae.
“Sometimes you have to demolish a building that is mould-infested and then build something else on that foundation.
“We’re not getting rid of the foundation — the foundation is Christ — but we’re building on that foundation and tearing down some things that were unnecessary.”
This video above is also a good one to watch for more background on the “church hurt” that Lecrae himself has experienced.
In short, he says “it wasn’t so much one particular gathering or congregation” but the American evangelical church at large, which happened through his line of work.
As for those who are wondering if Lecrae still believes in the concept of Church, he explains it well in his interview with The Christian Post.
This is his answer when tackling a question on what he would say to someone who has been hurt by the Church.
I understand hurt. I understand the struggle, and your feelings should be validated. Let’s not throw your feelings away and say, “well, you need to get past that and go fellowship with God’s people”.
It’s a very nuanced conversation because you’re talking about people going back to a group of people, not just a building… What is the dynamic with these people?
Because there’s no two gatherings that are the same. So is this a healthy place for you?
Is this a place where you can thrive and go growing your relationship with God, and be among other broken people who are trying to figure out what God has called them to be?
Is it a toxic environment? What are those dynamics, and how do we wrestle with those particular things?
And at the end of the day, the goal is health. The goal is for broken people to find healing and worship the healer… So how are you going about doing that?
Because sure, maybe you don’t have to go back to that group of people. But you’ve got to get with some group of people in order to be a part of this family…
You’ve got to be connected to God’s people on a consistent basis in order to become all that God wants you to be.
Lecrae on grace
Finally, we end with some wise words from the multi-hyphenate on how one can still love the people of God despite being wounded.
Conceptually, I had to realise that my people hurts cannot be God hurts. I cannot transfer the hurt I’ve experienced from people onto God.
God didn’t do that to me. Jesus didn’t do that to me. That was people, and people are broken.
I’m one of those broken people. I’ve hurt people before. It’s recognising and realising that, and being gracious.
- What are some faith questions you’re wrestling with this season?
- How have you been using Scripture to challenge culture, or culture to challenge Scripture?
- Have you had any experiences with church hurt? Which part of the healing journey are you at?