Blessed Deconstruction

Persecuted for Righteousness (Matthew 5:11–20)

The Sermon on the Mount deconstructs religious assumptions and frees us to grow and flourish.

Deconstructing faith has become a bit of a buzzword over the past few years. It shows up in articles, social media posts, and in no small number of personal conversations. Church growth experts are worried by it, prophetic voice types are encouraged. How can deconstructing faith be encouraging?

Where we are headed and why is it worth it?

There are 8 beatitudes that serve as the overview of what Jesus is going to teach in the Sermon on the Mount. Each of them refers to those who are blessed, as in:

Persecuted for getting it right? Welcome to the Kingdom.

Character that is unmixed (like good salt), and unhindered (like a burning lamp) — that’s spiritual flourishing.

Deconstructing religious assumptions isn’t being unfaithful when it is for the sake of genuine spiritual growth.

Synopsis:

“Persecuted for righteousness sake” is explained as an encouragement that even though what Jesus is teaching will sometimes be hard, it is more than worth it. He will help us to develop our integrity and our usefulness. And even though some will see what he is teaching as too untraditional and radical, he assures us that he is simply bringing the point of the ancient Abrahamic faith to their fullest expression. This is what God has wanted for us all along.

Questions:

  1. Is this understanding of the Sermon on the Mount good news for you?
  2. What about for others you know; how could it help?
  3. If this is helpful, how can we get better at understanding, living, and sharing the Sermon on the Mount?

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