Jonathan Steingard, the frontman of the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson, has admitted he no longer believes in God.
In a lengthy post that was shared on his Instagram account last week, the singer revealed that after a lifetime as a Christian, he no longer believes in God and would be leaving the band.
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I’ve been terrified to post this for a while – but it feels like it’s time for me to be honest. I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning. 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.
“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,” read Steingard’s statement. “The last few words of that sentence were hard to write. I still find myself wanting to soften that statement by wording it differently or less specifically – but it wouldn’t be as true.”
The 36-year-old Canadian musician went on to write that losing his religion occurred over several years as he began sharing his doubts to close friends. Steingard said he felt like this was the right time to make the announcement given that his band is on hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Hawk Nelson issued a statement on Wednesday supporting Steingard following his announcement that he would be leaving the Christian rock band.
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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.
“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,” read the band’s statement posted on Instagram. “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.”
Steingard originally joined Hawk Nelson in 2004 as its lead guitarist, and became the lead vocalist after founder Jason Dunn’s exit from the band in 2012.