Deconstructing Church

by | Oct 12, 2023 | Resources | 0 comments

sReligious participation in Canada is at an all-time low, and people are walking away from Christianity at an unprecedented rate. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people reexamined the Christianity they had been participating in for years and found it wanting. For some, the version of Christianity they grew up with suddenly seemed irrelevant to the most pressing issues of our time – climate change, racial injustice, languishing mental health, etc. For others, a gnawing sense of doubt and in-congruence had become too acute to ignore. As calls for truth and reconciliation in Canada continue and more people begin to face Christianity’s role in residential schools, land theft, and genocide, others can no longer affiliate with religious expressions that espouse forms of supremacy. Still others are coming to terms with spiritual trauma inflicted by Christian environments that punish deviance, demand conformity, and problematize those who don’t fit the Western, white, male, cis-gendered, heterosexual mold.

For a host of reasons, many people are thinking of leaving, or have already left church, and even Christianity behind.

For a host of reasons, many people are thinking of leaving church, or have already left Christianity itself, behind. However, theology is sticky and the evils of corruption, coercive control, and dehumanization lurk almost everywhere people gather. How can we manage the effects of toxic theology in our lives, and how can we learn from Christianity’s mistakes, so they aren’t repeated elsewhere?

For those who aren’t ready to walk away from Christianity, how do we discern what to hold on to and what to compost? Are there insights from within the Christian tradition that can help transform bad religion, and how might we create a spiritual ecology that yields better fruit?

This course will create a safe container for honest conversation and brave exploration of the ways Christianity has been hijacked by death-dealing powers. By interacting with a wide range of diverse voices, we will explore theology that remains faithful to the radical message of Jesus and imagine together what it might look like for the liberating gospel to be contextualized in the watersheds where we live, work, play, love, and die.

This course is primarily designed for people who are already asking, or who are ready to ask, honest questions about mainstream expressions of Christianity. Although this course seeks to introduce life-giving ways of re-framing Christianity, those who are comfortable with their existing spiritual frameworks may find this course destabilizing.

Participation

  • Attendance at at least 3 of the 5 live sessions (in-person or Zoom)
  • Engagement with material between sessions (reading/listening to recorded material). Minimum of 1 hour per week.

Outline 

Session 1 – Bad Fruit: Chuck it, keep it, or compost it?

Session 2 – Christendom & Colonialism: How did Christianity lose the way?   

Session 3 – The Cross: What does it mean?

Session 4 – The Bible: What is it and how do we read it?

Session 5 – Evolving Faith: Now what?

Cost

As an offering of Estuary Church, there is no cost for this course. Those who wish to do so can make a donation to Estuary here.

Dates

If there is enough interest this course will run over ZOOM, weekly on a weeknight for 5 weeks during spring 2024. Express interest or submit a question through the button below.