Members of the Christian band Hawk Nelson have responded to lead singer Jon Steingard’s recent confession that he no longer believes in God.
In a statement to Fox News on Wednesday, the band said that they have always considered Steingard a best friend and have no ill will toward him.
“God is still for Jon and he still matters … that truth doesn’t change just because we question it,” bandmates Daniel Biro, David Niacaris, and Micah Kuiper said. “One of our best friends, one with whom we have walked, worked and lived alongside for 20-plus years revealed some of his innermost feelings on his faith journey this past week.”
“We are called to love one another unconditionally, as God loves us,” the band said while noting that their mission is “to inspire and encourage all people with the truth that God is for them and not against them.”
The band then cited Romans 8:38, which says that nothing in all creation can separate us from the love of God. “I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love … nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord,” it said.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” the band concluded. “Ever thankful and grateful for how God has used this band, the music and the relationships and how He continues to do so.”
In a lengthy Instagram post last week, Steingard said he always had an inherent problem with Evangelical Christian culture, even as a child growing up in a pastor’s home, which then blossomed into a problem with the Bible itself as he grew into adulthood.
“I remember being uncomfortable with certain things,” he said in his youth. “Praying in public always felt like some kind of weird performance art. Emotional cries such as ‘Holy Spirit come fill this place’ always felt clunky and awkward leaving my lips. A youth conference I attended encouraged every team to sign a pledge that they would ‘date Jesus’ for a year. It felt manipulative and unsettling to me. I didn’t sign it.”
Despite those concerns in his youth, he still ended up pursuing music and genuinely found some peace with the band Hawk Nelson. However, as time grew on, Steingard increasingly had trouble with the concept of evil.
“If God is all loving, and all powerful, why is there evil in the world? Can you not do anything about it? Does he choose not to? Is the evil in the world a result of his desire to give us free will? OK then what about famine and disease and floods and all the suffering that isn’t caused by humans in our free will? If God is loving, why does he send people to hell?” were all questions that plagued him.
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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. I hope this is encouraging to people who might feel the same but are as afraid to speak as I am. I want to be open. I want to be transparent with you all – and also open to having my heart changed in the future. I am not looking for a debate at all – just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all.
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