SYDNEY — Marty Sampson, a former songwriter for Australia’s Hillsong worship team and Hillsong United, announced on Instagram on Saturday that he is “losing [his] faith” in Christianity and that he is “happy now.”
“Time for some real talk. I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me,” he wrote. “Like, what bothers me now is nothing. I am so happy now, so at peace with the world. It’s crazy.”
Sampson, who wrote for Hillsong from 1999 to 2008, cited a number of criticisms, from the hypocrisy of pastors, to the lack of miracles, to claiming that the Bible is “full of contradictions.”
“How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it,” he asserted. “How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it.”
“Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet; they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people,” Sampson continued. “But it’s not for me. I am not in anymore.”
He stated that science continues to pose issue for religion and that he now views Christianity as just that — a religion that doesn’t necessarily explain why a person’s life is transformed.
“I want genuine truth, not the ‘I just believe it’ kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion,” Sampson wrote. “Lots of things help people change their lives, not just one version of God. Got so much more to say, but for me, I’m keeping it real.”
“All I know is what’s true to me right now, and Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point,” he said. “I could go on, but I won’t.”
On Monday, Sampson posted additional comments, noting his sorrow over false miracles, such as what he observed in a secular documentary on Benny Hinn. He also questioned why there are so many different interpretations of the Bible.
“As for the evidence for the Christian worldview, I’m not convinced either way. There are plausible explanations on both sides, and the differing doctrines among Christians are evidence of human interpretation of one book leading to a wild array of tightly held opposing views. Why didn’t Jesus himself write a gospel?” Sampson asked.
“Half of all Christians believe in purgatory, in praying to saints. Many others reject speaking in tongues and miracles. Why? How can such a perfect book, lead to wildly different interpretations of itself?” he continued. “Better yet, different versions of itself throughout church history. All these questions have answers. I hear these answers. I continue to question, because quite frankly these answers as they stand are not compelling enough. Perhaps they may not ever be? The search continues.”
Sampson, who is stated to be one of Hillsong’s initial worship leaders, wrote songs such as “King of Majesty,” “Now That You’re Near,” “What the World Will Never Take,” “There Is Nothing Like,” “Savior King,” “Reason I Live” and “Shout Unto God.”
He has worked with Joel Houston, Darlene Zschech, and Brooke Frazier, and also co-wrote the song “We Give You Praise” with Delirious in 2008.
“I love you Lord; I worship You/Hope which was lost now stands renewed/I give my life to honor this/The love of Christ, the savior king,” he sang out in “Savior King.”
In 2010, Sampson moved on to write and perform secular music.
Sampson’s announcement comes just two weeks after former pastor and “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” author Joshua Harris similarly posted to social media that he no longer identifies as a Christian. Harris said that he has spent years “repenting” of his former views.
Fellow Australian Ken Ham, who runs an apologetics ministry in Kentucky and Ohio, commented on the matter on Monday, stating in a series of tweets that while Sampson is correct in that most churches and families do not address the issues outlined, the matter underscores why children need to be taught truth and to not be afraid to face the hard questions.
“[W]hen passages are properly understood, there are no contradictions,” he said. “Sadly, many young people in our churches have been taught by compromising church leaders to believe in millions of years, which would mean the death, suffering & disease we see today has been going on for millions of years — thus it’s God’s fault! But death, disease & suffering are a consequence of our sin — it’s our fault.”
“Really, we sentenced ourselves to Hell because we rebelled against God — but God stepped into history in the person of His Son to become Jesus Christ, the Godman, to pay the penalty for our sin. God offers us a free gift of salvation to rescue us from Hell.”
2 Corinthians 13:5 exhorts, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?”
Editor’s Note: According to reports, Sampson has since clarified his remarks, stating that he wouldn’t say that he has “renounced” his faith, but that it is on “incredibly shaky ground” and “I really do want answers.”