Lifestyle & Human Interest

Lead Singer of Christian Rock Band Posts Shocking Confession: 'I No Longer Believe in God'


We have plenty of phrases in the English language whose familiarity belies their depth. “Honesty is the best policy” is one. “The truth will set you free” is another.

Those sentences are worn from constant use, but they invoke a difficult reality: Sometimes knowing things is painful. The truth about a situation can hurt. But many still prefer to be honest about where they are instead of living what they believe to be a lie.

Jon Steingard of the Christian band Hawk Nelson is one of those people. He felt a burden to tell the world something that he’d been dealing with for some time, even though he knew it would change things irreversibly.

“I’ve been terrified to post this for a while – but it feels like it’s time for me to be honest,” he shared on Instagram on May 20. “I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning.”

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“I hope this is encouraging to people who might feel the same but are as afraid to speak as I am. I want to be open. I want to be transparent with you all – and also open to having my heart changed in the future. I am not looking for a debate at all – just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all.”

He posted a series of photos sharing a lengthy exposition that detailed his journey and thinking. He expressed that he has a lot of doubts and questions that he has discussed with others and prayed about, but that ultimately he finds himself no longer believing.

“After growing up in a Christian home, being a pastor’s kid, playing and singing in a Christian band, and having the word ‘Christian’ in front of most of the things in my life — I am now finding that I no longer believe in God,” he wrote.

He explained his reasons for waiting to make a public statement, citing his desire to provide for his family.

“The band isn’t playing shows or making new music at the moment, and we’ve all found other work and careers to focus on for the time being. In order to make sure I’m able to keep providing for my family, that had to be the case before I could be totally honest – and that fact is one of the issues I have with the church and Christian culture in general.”

He also said that although he feels compelled to share his current beliefs (or lack thereof), he’s open to change.

“I’m open to the idea that God is there,” he wrote. “I’d prefer it if he was. I suspect if he is there, he is very different than what I was taught. I know my parents pray that God reveals himself to me. If he’s there, I hope he does.”

After spilling out his heart, he got a wave of responses that surprised him. He wrote in an update that he posted on Wednesday that “the love and support that I’ve felt has been humbling and overwhelming.”

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“Thousands of people from a wide range of belief and unbelief have reached out to let me know I’m loved,” he continued. “How could I have expected that? How could I have asked for more?”

“… I have been inundated with your stories. Beautiful stories. Tragic stories. Stories of hurt and healing, of pain and release. It’s clear that I’ve struck a nerve, and that many many many of you have felt what I feel. We haven’t all landed in the same place, or reached the same conclusions. But the struggle with the questions? That’s something we share.”

“It seems to me that if the notion of God was clear and obvious, we would all believe exactly the same thing. We don’t argue over whether gravity is real or not. Anyone can on earth can look up at the moon and agree that it’s there. No one has ever had a theological debate about the existence of lettuce.”

Steingard’s doubts and concerns are not new for Christianity or humankind. Most Christians have struggled with some form of doubt in their walks: Some suffer momentary lapses and others deep valleys.

The Bible is full of faithful men and women who questioned: Some doubted even their own eyes and others straight up ran and hid from God. But in the end — and sometimes it takes some time — God brought them through.

Many commenters reached out to encourage Steingard or offer prayers for him after he shared his initial post. One even suggested that what he is experiencing might actually be disillusionment with a certain expression of Christianity and not a complete rejection of its basic tenets.

Band members Daniel Biro, Micah Kuiper and David Niacaris have expressed their sentiments in a post on the Hawk Nelson Instagram account.

“Our mission as Hawk Nelson has always been to inspire and encourage all people with the truth that God is FOR them and not against them,” they posted on Wednesday. “In that message’s most simple and purest form, that THEY matter.”

“So now we turn that truth towards one of our own. That God is still FOR Jon & he still matters. Why? Because that truth doesn’t change just because we question it.”

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Jon Steingard One of our best friends, one with whom we have walked, worked and lived alongside for 20 + years revealed some of his innermost feelings on his faith journey this past week. Our mission as Hawk Nelson has always been to inspire and encourage all people with the truth that God is FOR them and not against them. In that message’s most simple and purest form, that THEY matter. So now we turn that truth towards one of our own. That God is still FOR Jon & he still matters. Why? Because that truth doesn’t change just because we question it. How we treat one another when they are at a different stage in their journey based on their life experiences is part of a bigger conversation.  We are called to love one another unconditionally, as God loves us. We should also encourage and challenge one another in our Faith, seeking truth. Are we the authors of our own salvation and eternity? Has God provided a way to salvation for us through Jesus?  These are the questions that we each must ask and explore. In the Bible (Romans 8:38) Paul writes, “… I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love… neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below – indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The same Lord is Lord of all, and gives richly to all who call on Him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Ever thankful and grateful for how God has used this band, the music and the relationships and how He continues to do so. Daniel, Micah, David.

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Regardless of what brand Steingard now uses to describe himself, he’s still on a journey, wants to stay close to his Christian friends, and has expressed a desire for truth.

“My prayer in recent days has been ‘God, if you’re there, please show up,'” he wrote. “I mean it sincerely. So far, I don’t feel like I’ve been answered. My door remains open.”

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