Singer and guitarist Jon Steingard of the Christian pop-punk band Hawk Nelson has announced on Instagram that he has renounced his faith and is now an agnostic. The move comes as a surprise to many fans, as the band has always had an overtly Christian message, with the recent album “Miracles” continuing that trend, and Steingard has recently given interviews where he speaks directly of the revelations God was giving him.
In the lengthy post, which will be embedded below but cut up here for clarity, he writes:
Steingard recounts his history in the faith, being a pastors kid, having his whole life about the church, being involved in the youth group scene, with all the frequent distress that entails “ie, 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 teen to sign a pledge that they would “date Jesus” for a year.” He says that he was the driving force for having their lyrics be overtly Christian, believing it would lead to more success in the Christian music world.
He then begins to recount all the questions he had about God, and the unsatisfactory answers he ostensibly received.
Steingard discusses how he started to believe the bible was a flawed and imperfect book, and that realization was the beginning of the end. He writes that stepping away from a belief in God felt like both a loss, and a freedom, as he and his wife didn’t feel they were “doing enough of the thing we were supposed to do as Christians.”
He writes that they didn’t enjoy going to church, reading the scriptures, praying to God, or worshipping, and finally not having to do those things that they didn’t enjoy doing was refreshing and a weight being lifted from them. He ends with “What matters is that I’ve finally worked up the courage to tell my story. To share my deepest truth. And that feels like freedom too.”
As far as what will happen to the band, they are not currently playing shows or making music. A Facebook update from another band member posted yesterday says “God has a unique path for each of us and it’s important that we stay honest with one another. Looking forward to seeing how each of us continue to G R O W “