Shortly after Joshua Harris announced he’s no longer a Christian, PJ Media’s managing editor Paula Bolyard warned us to “expect to see more and more of these defections in the coming years” from evangelical celebrities. Taking measure of the changing landscape, she noted that growing cultural and social costs are beginning to be required of Christians. Like every other Christian, evangelical celebrities are being asked to pick up their crosses in ways they previously haven’t. Bolyard wisely understands that as the fame and money that used to come with being an evangelical celebrity dry up, those who were never truly trusting in Christ will be exposed. Sadly, another Evangelical celebrity has publicly renounced his faith. Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson shared a note with his Instagram followers declaring that “I’m genuinely losing my faith.
One of the original members of Hillsong United, Marty Sampson was part of the songwriting team of the immensely successful group as well as the equally popular Hillsong Worship. In the late 1990s, Sampson became one of Hillsong’s worship leaders and helped push the band (and church) into the word’s consciousness. It’s estimated that 50 million people sing Hillsong United songs in churches around the globe every Sunday. Looked to as a spiritual leader by millions around the globe, his news is sure to devastate many. Not long after posting the note, he removed it from his Instagram page, but not before Relevant Magazine published the text:
Time for some real talk. I’m genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn’t bother me. Like, what bothers me now is nothing. I am so happy now, so at peace with the world. It’s crazy.
This is a soapbox moment so here I go … How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen. Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet—they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people. But it’s not for me.
I am not in any more. I want genuine truth. Not the “I just believe it” kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion. Lots of things help people change their lives, not just one version of God. Got so much more to say, but for me, I keeping it real. Unfollow if you want, I’ve never been about living my life for others.
All I know is what’s true to me right now, and Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point. I could go on, but I won’t. Love and forgive absolutely. Be kind absolutely. Be generous and do good to others absolutely. Some things are good no matter what you believe. Let the rain fall, the sun will come up tomorrow.
Echoing Bolyard’s article, those who are truly God’s children through repentance of sins and faith in Jesus Christ will not walk away from the faith. Recorded in John 10:29, Jesus promised that “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” Those who apostatize (renounce their faith) are giving evidence that they hadn’t tasted of God’s saving grace to begin with.
It remains to be seen if Sampson’s removal of his deconversion note was for pragmatic reasons or because truly he is placing his faith in Jesus and was simply suffering from momentary doubt. I’m praying for the latter, although I’m assuming the former.