Hawk Nelson frontman Jon Steingard's announcement that he no longer believes in God drew thousands of reactions, including from Christian music peers.
Mike Donehey of Tenth Avenue North wrote to Steingard, “Man I love that you shared this. You know I’m always around to talk about our belief in God or lack thereof. Love you and always will.”
Tenth Avenue North musician Jeff Owen also commented, writing, “Love you Jon. I miss being around your joyful presence. The next time I’m in San Diego I’m hunting you down and hugging you and bro-ing out. I’m here for you and love you.”
The band Seventh Day Slumber also offered words of encouragement: “We love you and hope you will continue seeking. Life can hit us hard sometimes. Just know we are always available for you bro!”
Steingard, a pastor’s kid, made the shocking announcement on Instagram last week. He 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 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 ultimately came to his own conclusion that the Bible can't be trusted because he felt in the end it is "human, flawed and imperfect.” He also admitted that he and his wife didn't enjoy going to church, reading the Bible, praying or worshipping.
Many left comments, encouraging him to keep researching Christianity, seeking his own personal relationship apart from his upbringing and others who admitted their own doubts.
Award-winning singer Jeremy Camp was among Steingard’s peers who left messages of love.
“Love you bro. Always will,” Camp wrote.
Former lead singer of Sanctus Real Matt Hammitt wrote, “To echo so many others here, I have nothing but love in my heart for your old friend."
Steingard’s good friend and popular Christian artist Jordan Feliz told his friend, “I am always here for you, no matter what.”
Husband and wife duo Love and the Outcome thanked him for his “honesty,” calling it “brave,” and said that they “heard” him.
Musician Josh Wilson also sent Steingard “much love” and said he hoped they would cross paths again.
On Hawk Nelson’s Facebook page, band member Daniel Biro responded to Steingard’s post.
“Forever grateful for these brothers of mine. We’ve been through some highs and lows together and we share a very special bond that can’t be broken,” Biro wrote. “There are many seasons to a band, as Hawk Nelson has experienced. But one thing that isn’t seasonal is our support for one another on or off the road touring. 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 continues to G R O W.”