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The lead singer of a Christian rock band and the son of a pastor announced on Instagram that he no longer believes in God.
“I’ve been terrified to post this for a while– but it feels like it’s time for me to be honest,” Jon Steingard, the frontman for the band Hawk Nelson, wrote in the caption of a lengthy note on May 20.
“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 said.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – MAY 28: Jon Steingard of Hawk Nelson performs onstage at the 5th Annual KLOVE Fan Awards at The Grand Ole Opry on May 28, 2017 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Davis/Getty Images for KLOVE)
After Steingard switched from guitarist to lead vocalist in 2012, the band, formed in 2000 from Peterborough, Ontario, shifted from fast-paced punk rock to more contemporary Christian music with songs like “Drops in the Ocean,” which he said he can “no longer sing” in good conscience.
“This is not a post I ever thought that I would write, but now I feel like I really need to,” Steingard wrote, explaining the loss of faith didn’t happen overnight and it came with questions about God, the Bible, and his upbringing in a Christian home.
Steingard received an outpouring of support from fellow Christian singers.
“Love you bro. Always will,” said Jeremy Camp, on whom the Christian film “I Still Believe” is based.
Tenth Avenue North singer Mike Donehey wrote: “Man I love that you shared this. You know I’m always around to talk about our belief in God or lack thereof. Love you and always will.”
Former lead singer of Sanctus Real Matt Hammitt added, “To echo so many others here, I have nothing but love in my heart for your old friend.”
Last year, the author of the best-seller “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” Joshua Harris, renounced his faith in a shocking post on Instagram, writing, “I am not a Christian.”
Steingard did add, “I’m open to the idea that God is there. I’d prefer if he was. I suspect if he is there, he is very different than what I was taught.”