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EXCLUSIVE: Lecrae and Andy Mineo Talk Deconstruction, Being Labeled Christian, Swearing in Music, and More With ChurchLeaders

ChurchLeaders: With deconstruction being a large topic within Christian circles and something you’ve addressed personally, Lecrae, in your podcast, can you explain how deconstructing your faith has helped your journey as a Christian and has resulted in you growing closer to God?

Lecrae: I’m really excited to talk about this in a lot more depth in the future. So really stay tuned, because I plan to write on it, and I plan to do some music on it as well.

I think that the first problem is the etymology, or just the terms in themselves, get us too riled up. So we tend to get paranoid and freaked out with terminology and start creating these categories for [deconstruction] that were never meant to exist. Or we just lump all the negative things with the term.

So now, you can’t say “deconstruction” without it meaning all of these terrible things that we’re not advocating at all. Because people are looking at the worst cases of deconstruction, where people have essentially said, “We’re done with Christ, and we’re never coming back.” And I think that’s what they think a promotion of deconstruction is.

But what I would say is the goal of a healthy deconstruction is reconstruction. When you find out you have mold in your house, you’ve got to tear it out. We’re not saying you break up the foundation. We’re not saying you take away the foundation, which for us, as followers of Christ, is Jesus Himself. We’re not saying we remove Him, but we’re saying we’ve built a lot of things on the foundation of Jesus that should have never been. They’re more cultural. They’re more political. They’re more economical than they are biblical or Christian. So now it’s making people say, “I don’t even want to call myself a Christian, because every time I think of Christian, I think of all these political things and all these other terms,” which is making people say, “I’m done with it.”

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So I’m okay with a healthy deconstruction, which is one where the goal is to build back up. I want to build. But I’ve got to tear down all these things, because I don’t know where the mold is. So I know you guys think I hate church because I’m not going for a season, but I don’t know if that’s where I’m being triggered. So, for a season, I’m not going to go there. I need to figure out what this means and process it. I think that if we’re really serious about our faith, we are walking with people through that process. You gotta think: the disciples walked with Jesus for three years, and they didn’t really get it until it was over.

All of these things in our culture that are coming out—we just need an opportunity to sit back and say, “Okay, Lord, what does this all mean? And how can I be a faithful follower of You while understanding what is more cultural than biblical?”

Andy: I actually wrote a whole project about doubt. It’s called “The Arrow,” and the catchphrase was, “I hope I get the benefit of the doubt.” The opening song “Clarity” talks about, “All I want is clarity, because all of my heroes are frauds, just like me.”

A lot of times, you build up these people that you look to as spiritual leaders and they fail. You feel like they led you astray. And then you wonder if the exact thing that they taught you was nonsense as well.

I think, also, what Lecrae was saying about the social things and the political things that had been tied to the term “Christian” is why I have so many friends who are don’t even call themselves a Christian anymore. Because they don’t want to be directly tied to what that culturally means.

At the end of my song “There,” which says, “Standing alone in the parking lot of The Truman Show/Privy to things I never knew before, / Laying flowers at the casket of a twenty-two-year-old me, / It sound unusual, but listen death is beautiful, see, / Nothing grows until it finally dies, / And you don’t ever find the truth until you find the lies; / Well, now that I’ve started pulling the strings, some things are unraveling, / And I don’t like what I’m seeing but yet I proceed; / This the moment I hold it all in question, / It’s terrifying ’cause there ain’t nothing to rest in; / The sense of a lost direction, it’s messy but still I press, / And I’m desperate to find the answer, I can’t go on with the guessing; / Did 81 percent of the people I call my brethren / Put an elephant in the room and say it was Heaven-sent? / I don’t know what Bible you reading, what God you believe in, / But that don’t sound like reason, it sound like you sleeping; / So I’m leaving, this my Last Supper who treatin’? / Take a stand for the knee and your Nikes still creasin’, / I let it all fall apart then I took the pieces; / Reconstructing everything I once believed in.