Episode 144

Faith on the Field & Deconstructing Faith

Jul 22, 2022

Coaches do more than coach. They are role models and parental figures. In motivating young athletes, a coach can’t turn off where he or she gets their sense of right and wrong, honor and thankfulness. The motivation to press on not only points toward the end zone, but a goal of eternal value. And, for some pastors, the only construction projects they worry about are building renovations, but others say they’re facing churchgoers who are tearing down aspects of their faith.

Transcript

Coaches do more than coach. They are role models and parental figures. In motivating young athletes, a coach can’t turn off where he or she gets their sense of right and wrong, honor and thankfulness. The motivation to press on not only points toward the end zone, but a goal of eternal value.

That’s why Brannon Rodgers, a high school football coach in Sundown, Texas, said he paid close attention to the recent Supreme Court decision of Kennedy v. Bremerton School District.

By a 6-3 margin, justices said that the school district violated the First Amendment rights of Joseph Kennedy, a football coach in Washington state, by removing him from his position after he refused to stop praying at midfield following games. Kennedy began the practice on his own as a way of expressing thanks to God for the opportunity to coach, but eventually athletes chose to join him.

Rodgers, who is also the Fellowship of Christian Athletes sponsor at his school, says he sees his coaching role as one God has given him to be on mission for Christ.

Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

For some pastors, the only construction projects they worry about are building renovations, but others say they’re facing churchgoers who are tearing down aspects of their faith.

A Lifeway Research study of U.S. Protestant pastors finds almost 3 in 4 (73 percent) are familiar with the concept of deconstruction, and more than a quarter (27 percent) of those say people in their churches have deconstructed their faith.

When asked how familiar they are with “the concept of an individual deconstructing their faith in which they systematically dissect and often reject Christian beliefs they grew up with,” more than half say they’re familiar.

Among pastors who are familiar with the concept of deconstruction, around a quarter say they’ve recently seen the effects in their congregations. More than 1 in 4 (27 percent) U.S. Protestant pastors who have heard the term before say they’ve had attendees of their church who have methodically deconstructed their faith in the past two years. Close to 7 in 10 (68 percent) say that hasn’t been the case for them. Another 5 percent aren’t sure.

“The use of the term ‘deconstruction’ emerged in the last few years and has been used both by those questioning their own beliefs and those desiring to help them find the truth,” McConnell said. “Despite the growing awareness among pastors, it may be easier to find people in the midst of deconstructing their faith on social media than within churches.”

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