Jon Steingard's Hawk Nelson bandmates say they still love and support their frontman unconditionally and know God hasn't forsaken him even after his declaration last week that he “no longer believes in God.”
Hawk Nelson released their final record two years ago and fulfilled their recording agreement with their record label. The group collectively toured for 20 years together until last year.
In response to Steingard’s Instagram post where he confessed “I no longer believe in God,” his bandmates Daniel Biro, David Niacaris and Micah Kuiper released a statement about their “best friend’s” announcement.
“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,” they wrote.
“So now we turn that truth toward one of our own. That God is still FOR Jon & he still matters. Why? Because that truth doesn’t change just because we question it,” they added.
Biro, Niacaris and Kuiper said people must not treat each other differently when they're at different stages in their journey based on their life experiences.
“WE are called to Love one another unconditionally, as God loves us. We should also encourage and challenge one another in our Faith, seeking truth,” they said.
“Are we the authors of our own salvation and eternity? Or has God provided a way for us through Jesus? These are the questions that we each must ask and explore.”
The bandmates concluded their statement with their own declaration of faith by sharing the Bible verse Romans 8:38 where Paul writes: “… I am convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love… neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below - indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“The same Lord is Lord of all, and gives richly to all who call on Him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ Ever thankful and grateful for how God has used this band, the music and the relationships and how He continues to do so,” they ended.
Steingard, who's the son of a pastor, said his loss of faith in God “didn’t happen overnight.”
“This is not a post I ever thought that I would write, but now I feel like I really need to,” Steingard wrote. “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."
The Canadian musician also listed some questions he has been struggling with: "Why does he (God) say not to kill, but then instruct Israel to turn around and kill men women and children to take the promised land?" and "Why does Jesus have to die for our sins (more killing again)?"
Steingard said he ultimately came to the conclusion that the Bible can't be trusted because he felt, in the end, it's "human, flawed and imperfect.” He also admitted that he and his wife didn't enjoy going to church, reading the Bible, praying or worshiping.
Many fans left comments encouraging him to keep researching Christianity, seeking his own personal relationship apart from his upbringing, and others also shared their own doubts.