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Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3.2

I hadn't realised that "deconstruction" - the term used to describe the experience of a significant number of recent, often evangelical, church leavers - usually involves abandoning faith altogether. Many are surprised by how bereft it leaves them feeling yet claim a sense of liberation, rendering it all worthwhile. Some also describe anger and regret, for the "lost" years during which they tolerated what they now believe to be spiritual naivety at best, sometimes even emotional abuse - in the name of religious belief.

While everyone deserves respect and that means taking seriously what they say, when I read and/ or hear such testimonies, I cannot help but wonder whether those involved are simply embracing the spirit of the age. Contemporary western culture is notoriously introspective, self-indulgent and greedy, emphasising rights over duty and is also rampantly anti-cultural and anti-faith (though it claims to be the opposite). By contrast, the call of Christ is to deny oneself and to prioritise God and others.

The choice we face seems like a no-brainer: comfort or sacrifice? But that depends on our horizon. If this life is all there is then, unless we are possessed of an extraordinarily noble and generous nature, we are likely to grab what we can while there's time. Christian faith reveals a bigger picture and a greater story, in which life as we know it amounts to small part of something much grander. That does not mean it is unimportant however. Jesus teaches us that this life we have now is preparing us for eternity.

In that awareness, shall we take the "easy option" and migrate away the body of believers, or the "narrow way" of pilgrimage in the footsteps of Jesus, the revelation of God who is our Saviour and Lord?



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