Christian singer Jonathan Steingard, the frontman of the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson has revealed that he no longer believes in God.
Steingard made this known In a lengthy post that was shared on his Instagram account last week.
He stated that he has been terrified to make it public also revealed that he would be leaving the band.
For the caption of the multi-image post of his statement, he wrote:
“I’ve been terrified to post this for a while – but it feels like it’s time for me to be honest. I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning.”
The 36-year-old singer also went on to share that losing his religion occurred over several years as he began sharing his doubts to close friends.
Taking advantage of his band’s hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic, Steingard said he felt like this was the right time to make the announcement.
In his note, Steingard explained how he came to his latest view.
“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 wrote in his statement. “The last few words of that sentence were hard to write. I still find myself wanting to soften that statement by wording it differently or less specifically – but it wouldn’t be as true.”
In regards to his fronting Hawk Nelson, the Canadian wrote:
“If you’re someone who follows me because of Hawk Nelson, and my involvement in Christian music, you are probably thinking, ‘Wait — were you lying to me the whole time? Were you just pretending to be a Christian? What about all those songs you wrote? Did you mean those?’
“The short answer is that I was not lying. I did believe those things at the time. I may have been pulling on the threads of the sweater, but there was still some sweater left back then.”
Steingard also suggested that he will be leaving Hawk Nelson in the future.
“While I know I can no longer stand on stage and in good conscience sing songs like ‘Drops in the Ocean’, I no longer fear losing my place in Christian music. I know this means giving it up voluntarily.”
Hawk Nelson issued a statement on Wednesday supporting Steingard following his announcement that he would be leaving the Christian rock band.
“One of our best friends, one with whom we have walked, worked and lived alongside for 20 + years revealed some of his innermost feelings on his faith journey this past week,” read the band’s statement posted on Instagram. “Our mission as Hawk Nelson has always been to inspire and encourage all people with the truth that God is FOR them and not against them. In that message’s most simple and purest form, that THEY matter.”
Steingard originally joined Hawk Nelson in 2004 as its lead guitarist and became the lead vocalist after founder Jason Dunn’s exit.