There is a recent trend today within society and especially within social media in which many individuals are deconstructing their faith in Christianity. A notable individual who has partaken in deconstructing is Abraham Piper, the son of well-known theologian John Piper.
While I do not support deconstructing Christianity as Abraham Piper advocates, I do believe there is a need to deconstruct Christian culture.
As I researched and looked more into deconstruction, the main reason individuals are deconstructing their faith is due mainly to something with Christian culture or legalistic teaching within the church.
As Christians, I feel like we need to do more to focus on God and what He says in the Bible rather than conforming or promoting Christian culture.
In this article, I will be deconstructing several points within the Christian culture because it is a dangerous business to conform to these teachings and fail to follow Christ.
1. Emphasis on Marriage
A major part of Christian culture that needs to be deconstructed is the huge emphasis placed upon marriage. While marriage is a good thing and was created by God, we should not over-emphasize marriage to the point that it becomes an idol.
As a single Christian, I have faced much ridicule because of Christian culture. The majority of the people I have known over the years adhere to Christian culture, and for me personally, I never fitted in, and I am much grateful that I did not.
Since I was a single Christian, many individuals automatically viewed me as a "lesbian" because I never dated anyone, I wasn’t engaged, and I wasn't married like the rest of the people around me.
These kinds of insults and hurtful comments do affect you deeply as a person especially when they are untrue.
As someone who has experienced much pain and distress from Christian culture, I want to help inform others of the dangers it can cause and the damage it can inflict on others.
Nonetheless, Christian culture places a huge emphasis on marriage and looks down on single Christians or views us as something that needs to be “fixed.” Christian culture is yet again wrong in this deduction because there is nothing wrong with being a single Christian.
As Christians, we are given fullness in Christ, which means we are already complete in Him (Colossians 2:9-10). Marriage is a beautiful thing, but it is not a criterion for salvation nor should it be a standard place upon individual believers.
Married couples also need to be aware of the dangers of Christian culture, especially if they have found themselves looking down on single Christians.
Rather than leaving single Christians out or viewing them as inferior, choose to include them and let them know that they are valuable just as they are.
Many individuals have varying views surrounding who they spend time with but do not allow yourself to only intermingle with those who are the same as you. Instead, try to be kind and a friend to everyone regardless of their relationship status.
2. Looking a Certain Way
Another Christian culture practice that needs to be deconstructed is the matter of everyone looking the same. How many times have you gone into a church or went to a Christian gathering, and everyone looked the same?
Automatically if you do not look like them, you feel like an outsider. In the Christian circle that I was involved with, all of the girls dressed the same, and all of the boys dressed the same.
Even more than dressing the same, they all looked similar as far as eye, hair, and skin color were concerned. Since I did not look like them, they treated me differently, which made me feel extremely bad about myself.
My sister and I were recently rewatching the God’s Not Dead movie series, and particularly in the second movie, we started to notice that all the female characters looked the same. Tall, thin, beautiful girls were all that were shown in the film.
Each wore expensive clothes, and they were of the same ethnicity. By showing this one certain type of look to the audience displays this idea that this is what all Christians should look like, and if you don’t, then you automatically feel bad about yourself yet again.
Rather than showing only one type of stereotypical Christian, more needs to be talked about concerning the diversity of God’s children. Diversity is beautiful, and it is not limited to a “one size fits all” complex.
The trend of looking a certain way in order to be accepted needs to be eradicated in the world, but especially in the church. God does not tell us that we all must look the same, dress the same, and act the same in order to be His followers.
Even so, this has been made common practice within Christian circles; there needs to be more variety in the followers of God. We do not have to all look the same.
Think about how boring the world would be if we all looked, dressed, and acted the same. God created us each uniquely (Psalm 139:13-16), and He does not want us to be ashamed of that, nor does He want us to be somebody we are not.
For a long time, I remember I was trying to be somebody I was not in order to be accepted by the Christian culture around me. It is only now, years later, that I could cry at the person I was trying to be.
If you truly know me, you know I am quite an odd person with very eccentric views, I listen to music too much, and I spend way too much money on books, but when I was with these members of the Christian culture, I was trying to be like them in order to be accepted and I lost myself in the process.
Now upon reflection, I can now see that I don’t want to be like them because I would rather be myself any day. In the same way, I want you to know that you do not have to conform to Christian cultural standards in order to be accepted.
You don’t have to look, act, or be a certain way in order to be part of the family of God. As Mister Rogers says, “I like you just the way you are.”
3. Promoting Christ, Not Christian Culture
As Christians, we need to remember to promote Christ in everything we do. If you have fallen into the trap of Christian culture, you can always pull yourself out with God’s help.
By becoming aware of the dangers of Christian culture, you will be better at curtailing those behaviors and teachings in your life. God never wanted His children to create a Christian culture that isolates Christians from the rest of the world.
By living within the gates of Christian culture, the individual is living within the confines of a Christian bubble, which means they are not truly living out the Great Commission.
An individual cannot live out the Great Commission if they are isolating themselves from the rest of the world. The Great Commission is the command given by Jesus to take His gospel out into the world and share it with all nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
If an individual lives within the confines of a Christian bubble, they cannot share the gospel with those outside of their Christian circles.
Therefore, as Christians, we need to promote Christ and follow Him rather than the Christian culture. Christian culture can hurt others, and it can cause many to deconstruct their faith. As Christians, we need to help spread the truth, not hinder it.
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Vivian Bricker loves Jesus, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She has earned a Bachelor of Arts and Master's degree in Christian Ministry with a deep academic emphasis in theology. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, reading, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, she is embarking on other adventures.