Jonathan Steingard, frontman for Christian rock band Hawk Nelson, has revealed that he no longer believes in God. Steingard took to Instagram on May 20 to share the personal news, wring in the post caption, I've been terrified to post this for a while - but it feels like it's time for me to be honest." He added, "I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning."
In a series of slides, Steingard laid out his newfound feelings and thoughts on religion and spirituality. He shared that "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" his life, he is now finding that he "no longer [believes] in God." He went on to explain that the path to this realization was not an easy one and that he has spent a lot of time turmoiling over making his feelings public. "Processing this quietly felt right when I simply had doubts, but once they solidified into a genuine point of view, it began to feel dishonest not to talk about it," Steingard wrote.
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Steingard joined Hawk Nelson in 2004, the same year as they released their debut album, Letters to the President. While he was not featured on that album, he has remained an integral part of the band since. During their many years together, Hawk Nelson has garnered seven GMA Dove Awards nominations, two Juno Awards nominations, and one Grammy Award nomination. Additionally, they have won a total of six GMA Canada Covenant Awards. In 2012, Steingard became the lead vocalist of Hawk Nelson, when former singer Jason Dunn left the group. They went on to release three albums with Steingard as frontman.
While the band is still technically together, they have been inactive lately, which Steingard says helped him feel more comfortable sharing his news. "The band isn't playing shows or making new music at the moment, and we've found other work and careers to focus on for the time being," he explained. "In order to make sure I'm able to keep providing for my family, that had to be the case before I could be totally honest - and that fact is one of the issues I have with the church and Christian culture in general." Concluding his caption, Steingard stated that he hopes his willingness to admit where he is now will be "encouraging to people who might feel the same but are as afraid to speak as I am."