Pastor Matt Chandler of the Village Church in Flower Mound, Texas, recently received widespread criticism on social media for his comments on people who deconstruct their Christian faith.
In a 35-second-clip that circulated social media and has nearly 130,000 views, Chandler, who preached from 1 Corinthians 15:1-6, stressed the importance of preaching the gospel correctly amid the growing trend of deconstructionism. The clip was taken from an August sermon titled The Depth From The Gospel.
"You and I are in a day and age where deconstruction and the turning away from and leaving the faith has become some sort of sexy thing to do. I contend that if you ever experience the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ, actually – that that's really impossible to deconstruct from," Chandler said.
Respectfully, Matt this ain't it. pic.twitter.com/bcq33od39r— Ian McLoud (@KindaScottish) December 6, 2021
"But if all you ever understand Christianity to be is a moral code, then I totally get it. And if you find yourself in that spot, I'm telling you, I love you right now, and we'll sit down with you, and you don't have to punt on this thing. You might not have ever tried it," he continued. "To receive the mercy of God in your soul is to forever be changed."
According to Church Leaders, Chandler's comments sparked criticism from self-professed exvangelicals for saying that people find deconstructionism "sexy."
"No, just no. Also, there is nothing, I repeat NOTHING 'sexy' about #deconstruction. It is hard. It is lonely. It is exhausting. But it is NOT sexy," Hilary Engel tweeted.
"The reductive language here, 'if you really experienced Jesus you wouldn't deconstruct,' speaks volumes. Also, Chandler calling deconstruction a sexy fad as if we all weren't Neo-Calvinist theorbos in 2011. Pot and Kettle, Matt," Adrian Gibbs, co-host of the hit exvangelical podcast "Dirty Rotten Church Kids," commented.
The reductive language here, “if you really experienced Jesus you wouldn’t deconstruct” speaks volumes. Also, Chandler calling deconstruction a sexy fad as if we all weren’t Neo-Calvinist theobros in 2011. Pot and Kettle, Matt.— Eggnog! At The Costco (@adriangibbs_) December 6, 2021
Meanwhile, other critics argued that churches like Chandlers led them to deconstruct their faith because of how they mishandled sexual abuse allegations.
In 2019, the Village Church made headlines after a former associate children's minister was accused of sexually harassing a girl at a 2012 summer camp.
"@MattChandler74 I contend that someone might "actually" know the grace and mercy of God, in Christ and would still leave their church and have some "deconstructing" because their church was wildly abusive or because they mishandled a case of abuse. Not because it's "sexy," Will Robinson wrote.
@MattChandler74 I contend that someone might “actually” know the grace and mercy of God, in Christ and would still leave their church and have some “deconstructing” because their church was wildly abusive or because they mishandled a case of abuse. Not because it’s “sexy”. pic.twitter.com/P25BzGD6Q6— Will Robinson (@professionalwil) December 6, 2021
Photo courtesy: ©Ben White/Unsplash
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.