I’m only Human

What Comes After Deconstruction?

I’m a noob — the big noob

A man who used to teach about the Bible no longer attends church. On Friday evening, we gathered around a fire in his backyard to ask questions and engage in conversation about the Bible. He calls this his church. One recurring question has been, “What happens after deconstruction?”

I have been exploring the concept of building in the Bible for the past 30 years. In the latest episode of The Alien and The Robot, Science Mike talked about psychological priming. For example, people with the name Dennis are statistically more likely to become dentists. Or not.

Psychological Priming

I was given three names that have defined my identity. I asked my parents if these names were chosen with any particular meaning in mind. They said the names sounded good together. That’s it.

I haven’t been able to shake the psychological priming I have experienced by applying a metanarrative to the name I was given, Stephen Samuel Bau: “A crowned one heard from God, build.”

I was raised charismatic evangelical. But I always felt disqualified by my experience. I was just born into this strange culture. I have always felt like a stranger in a strange land. I don’t feel God. I don’t hear voices. I don’t pray in tongues. I didn’t have a dramatic conversion experience. I haven’t had any mystical experiences.

Unless you count the time when I woke up three days in a row and looked at the digital clock and it read 1:23 AM. (Actually, I didn’t look on the third day, because I thought I was going crazy.) I am a graphic designer. I see signs everywhere. I don’t know if it is just confirmation bias.

I don’t know what to do with all these ideas that I have. So, I write them down.

I don’t have a large audience. People tend not to listen to me. To me, fame is highly overrated. I would rather be invisible. As a designer, I work behind the scenes to create images and messages to support corporate branding campaigns and digital marketing strategies. I have been trained to assimilate, to be invisible, to learn the language of empire and to broadcast its triumphal messages of victory.

But I don’t understand how the people who most vocally claim the Christian identity are those who least resemble their Christ.

I thought the Bible was about the perils of empire, but Christians want empire.

I thought the Bible was about love and mercy, but the Christian brand and social identity seems to be more about hate and judgment.

So, I keep trying to figure out how to build, but, frankly, I don’t know how. After 50 years of trying, I’m just tired.

Rag’n’Bone Man — Human

Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design. https://stephenbau.com

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