The lead singer of the CCM rock band Hawk Nelson, known for songs such as “He Still Does Miracles,” “Thank God for Something” and “Never Let You Down,” has announced that he no longer believes in God, stating that for the past several years he has been slowly losing the Christian faith he was raised in as the son of a pastor.
“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,” Jonathan Steingard posted to Instagram last week.
He said that “the process of getting to” a point of unbelief has been “several years in the making” and it “didn’t happen overnight or all of a sudden.”
“It’s been more like pulling on the threads of a sweater,” Steingard said, “and one day discovering that there was no more sweater left.”
He shared that he has been afraid to be candid about his atheism because of what he “would lose” as a result, but feels that he “can no longer avoid” coming forward.
“Processing this quietly felt right when I simply had doubts, but once they solidified into a genuine point of view, it began to feel dishonest not to talk about it,” Steingard stated.
He said, however, that he hopes his announcement is not the end of the conversation and that he is “open to having [his] heart changed in the future.” Steingard also remarked that he would like good to come out of his admission.
His post has generated over 2,700 likes as of press time, stirring various reactions, including from those who likewise acknowledged that their faith has little foundation or that they have turned their backs on Christianity.
“Jon, I will never judge you, and honestly, I have been struggling as well. I don’t think I can ever constitute myself as Christian anymore,” wrote one commenter.
“What I found was that my faith was based on a deep emotional desire to believe, and not based on anything substantive that could save it once I started peeling back the layers,” advised another. “I never would have thought at that point that someday I wouldn’t be a Christian or that I’d be reaching out to you on Instagram to offer my sincere support and congratulations.”
“I remember seeing Hawk Nelson in concert many years ago. I’ve also stepped away from the faith and I’m so proud of you for having the courage to post this. Maybe I’ll be brave and tell my friends and family one day too,” a third wrote.
However, others expressed concern that Steingard likely was never regenerated by the Holy Spirit but rather simply experienced an external American Christian culture. Some opined that it was shallow American Christianity that clouded Steingard’s ability to know biblical Christianity in the first place.
“Seems like your walk was one of habit or culture, rather than one of newness of life brought about true faith and regeneration,” one wrote.
“I’ll be praying for you. You were never saved to begin with but rather were the soil that was choked out by the weeds,” another stated. “I hope you take the time to read the Bible and find the answers to the questions you have. The answers are all there.”
“I’m really sorry for any part my industry (Christian radio) played in frustrations on your journey,” a third posted. “Mixing faith, commerce, and the American Christian culture releases a lot of toxic fumes and we don’t provide good ventilation.”
In the Hawk Nelson song “Never Let You Down” (2018), Steingard sang out lyrics like, “Oh, I’ve seen You showing up in the darkest of places/In the moments of my doubt, in the tears that I’ve tasted/Would You take me this far just to leave me/That’s not who You are.”
“Caught in chaos, I’m knee deep/Wrestling with all of my disbelief/In this moment, I hear You speak/ Break through the noise and consume me/I change with the seasons, I lose sight of faith/When my hope is gone, I know that You stay the same.”
In “Parachute” (also 2018), he sang, “The fear that I’m alone/Around my neck like a stone/And gravity, it’s pulling me/I’ve heard that You are good and You are strong/And if I could I would believe/Help me to believe.”
2 Corinthians 13:5 states, “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?”