The frontman of a leading Christian rock band has admitted he no longer believes in God.
“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,” Hawk Nelson frontman Jonathan Steingard wrote in a nine-page confessional on Instagram.
The 36-year-old Canadian rocker admitted that losing his religion occurred over several years of serious doubts — even while penning some of the band’s deeply most overtly Christian tunes.
He said he was only now ready to “share my deepest truth” because Hawk Nelson “isn’t playing shows or making new music at the moment” and he no longer needs the band to support his family.
While he did not say outright that he was leaving the band, he made it clear he was leaving the religious rock movement.
“I no longer fear losing my place in Christian music. I know this means giving it up voluntarily,” he said in the lengthy confessional.
Steingard says he had long felt “uncomfortable” with parts of worship that “felt like some kind of weird performance art.”
But his “belief in God truly began to unravel” when he started challenging different versions of Bible stories, he said. “Once I found that I didn’t believe the Bible was the Perfect Word of God – it didn’t take long to realize that I was no longer sure he was there at all,” he wrote.
That realization left him in a “very dark place for a while” as he feared being alienated by his family and friends.
“I feel like I’ve mostly emerged from that dark place now – because I’ve discovered that life really does go on,” he said. “My family is showing me incredible love and support, even though I know this grieves them.”
He admitted being “terrified to post this” — and insisted he was “not looking for a debate.”
“Just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all,” he wrote.
Hawk Nelson told People that “God is still for Jon and he still matters,” saying, “that truth doesn’t change just because we question it.”
“We are called to love one another unconditionally, as God loves us,” Daniel Biro, Micah Kuiper and David Niacaris said in a statement.
“Ever thankful and grateful for how God has used this band, the music and the relationships and how he continues to do so.”