Another well-known Christian influencer, raised in church and the son of a pastor, has come forward to say that he no longer believes in God. John Steingard, lead vocalist of the band Hawk Nelson shared via Instagram how his doubts and questions have brought him to this place. Here we go again.
If you’ve been around this blog or listened to my podcast, then you will know that I have no judgement for people who walk away from Christianity. Doubt, and questions, and lost faith are legitimate experiences and can be incredibly valuable.
No, I have no problem with people who walk away, but I have a huge problem with a religion that claims the name of Christ and yet never introduces them to the Real Jesus in the first place.
My heart is breaking, my eyes are full of tears, and I’m so angry I’m struggling to get words out. This. Is. Not. Okay.
I’d encourage you to read John’s lengthy explanation. The thoughts he expresses are real and very familiar.
- He talks about a Christian culture that was shared without explanation or understanding.
- John describes behavior based expectations that felt manipulative.
- He uses Christianese phrases like “accepting Jesus into your heart” and “praying for signs and wonders.”
- There was a definite initial suppression of any doubts.
- And finally John shares his questions that just don’t seem to have acceptable answers.
John is describing his experience with a broken religion, an experience that many of us have shared. Religion is not enough. A set of beliefs, or a checklist of behaviors, or even a happy, little bubble-world of likemindedness is NOT enough.
There is only one thing.
“”Christy, why are you still a Christian?” My friend, who also happened to be an atheist, looked at me intently from across the room.
It was a valid question, and one I had been pondering myself lately. Over ten years had passed since that midnight lecture on the couch, ten years and countless life changes. I was a youth pastor’s wife and mother of two. I wore jeans every day, had a Bachelor’s degree from a secular college, and every song on my iTunes playlist included drums. People in my current life knew that I had been homeschooled, but even my husband was oblivious to the extent of crazy I’d experienced in our cultic-subgroup of Christianity. That was changing…
…the door to my past was beginning to crack open. I learned that a man we previously respected and followed was being accused of sexual harassment, with multiple girls, over decades. I discovered a website dedicated to exposing truth about the cultic organization my family was a part of through my teens and early twenties. I found online support groups filled with former students like me. These discoveries confirmed things I had always suspected. The flood gates opened. My poor husband listened patiently to many rants, frustrations, and memories. I sorted through truths and lies. I connected and reconnected with people who shared an understanding of my crazy past. It was exciting, healing, and heartbreaking.
I was overwhelmed by the number of people who grew up like me but left Christianity completely. I understood in theory…if what we had experienced was the real God, then no wonder they wanted nothing to do with Him. But it made sad. And it made me question.
Why was I still a Christian? Why hadn’t I run away too? I knew why.
I’d met Jesus. And while I rejected the legalism, and the ridiculous standards, and the performance driven faith, I couldn’t reject Him. Because I loved Him, and I knew that He loved me. It was worth the fight…it was worth deconstructing and reconstructing my faith to find the real God.”
Impostor Jesus – Christy Lynne Wood
Guys, meeting Jesus changes everything. And the hard work of deconstructing and reconstructing what it means to be a Christian is worth it.
The Real God is more than the religion that we have created. He is more than correct behavior, or emotional experiences, or Christianese phrases.
But He is also more than our own understanding, or feelings, or doubts.
He has legitimate answers to our questions if we are willing to look. And He is a Living Presence who will change our view of reality if we let Him. He is REAL real, but He might also be different than we think He is.
Hey there! If this is your first time here on my website, I just want to say welcome! I also want to link a few of my other blog posts on this topic so that you don’t have to search through years worth of articles to find them. 🙂