Last week, Jon Steingard, the lead singer for the popular Christian band Hawk Nelson, announced on Instagram that he no longer believes in God. His story is a long one filled with doubts and theological wrestling over many years.
Steingard joins a growing list of popular ex-Christians with “de-conversion stories.” Others include author and purity advocate Joshua Harris, Hillsong United’s Marty Sampson, and YouTube influencers Rhett & Link.
Ron Hutchcraft of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries says declarations like Steingard’s are all missing one thing: Jesus.
“Let’s keep in mind Jesus never said follow my leaders. He never said follow my followers. He never said follow my musicians. He never said follow my preachers. He said, ‘Follow me.’
“So the only reason…to be a part of this whole Christian thing or to leave it is if you’ve got a problem with Jesus. Because it’s all about Jesus.”
In response to Steingard’s Instagram post, other Christian singers and musicians responded to the Hawk Nelson lead who writes he “agonized over whether to say this publicly….” Jeremy Camp, Tenth Avenue North’s Mike Donehey, and Matt Hammitt of Sanctus Real all offered their love and willingness to talk about faith issues with Steingard.
“They’ve modeled Christ by how they have reached out in love and grace to their brother,” Hutchcraft says. “I’m sure that might have been hard to do…but they have simply modeled how real Jesus really is.”
For all believers — those wrestling with doubt and those who feel firm in their faith — it’s important to examine what exactly our Christian label rests on.
First, Hutchcraft says, “It’s not about Christian activities. Jon Steingard has been very busy with serving Jesus and doing things for Him. It’s not about activities. It’s not about church. It’s not about Christians. The only thing that keeps our faith really strong is our daily, personal experiences with Jesus. Just to have Christian beliefs, go to Christian meetings, or do Christian work is not enough.
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Lyndsey Koh
CALL TO ACTION
- Ask God to lovingly reveal Himself to those who have walked away from their faith.
- Pursue relationship with Jesus through daily engagement in the Word.