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‘One belief kind of fell after the other’

'Deconstruction is unlearning what has been instilled into you on a deep and permanent level. Unlearning emotional habits you learn from the church.'

Ricky Brock Jr., 34 , is the father of four children. He joined TikTok last fall to make “stupid videos” and slowly gathered a following of 500.

In December 2020, he responded to another creator’s video explaining why he was no longer a devout Christian. In his video response, Brock explained how his theology degree caused him to lose his faith. 

“The next morning, I had 80,000 followers. And it kept going up for a few days until I had 150,000,” Brock said. Brock now has over 360,000 followers.

Brock, like others on TikTok, once hankered to debate atheists. So he enrolled in a BA in theology at Valley Forge University and pursued ordination in the Assemblies of God. In the process of studying, he found a different belief system than what he learned growing up. Like Reddell, he’d always believed the four Gospels were written by eyewitnesses.

“Then I get to Bible college and they’re like, ‘Yeah, we have no idea who wrote the Gospels, but it most certainly was not the disciples.’ And it’s like: ‘Oh really? Okay,'” said Brock. “One belief kind of fell after the other,” he added. 

Deconstruction was a term Brock learned through the TikTok community. “Deconstruction is unlearning what has been instilled into you on a deep and permanent level,” he said, “unlearning emotional habits you learn from the church.”

Brock’s videos keep it simple. He addresses viewers’ comments and questions from a garage or a couch, usually wearing a black tank top or T-shirt. The most common questions viewers ask, he said, are “What happens after we die?” and “How can I get over a fear of hell?” Sometimes followers ask him big questions or for life advice — questions they might ask a therapist or a pastor. Brock has limited the time he spends answering those messages. He’s found them overwhelming.

“I’m just a guy who makes TikToks,” he said.

Go to next profile: ‘Not everyone loves me’— @JeGaysus

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