In my blog about three years ago, I referenced one of my favorite songs, Diamonds, by the band Hawk Nelson. Recently, as I tuned in to watch the Word on Fire Show, to my surprise it was about the lead singer announcing his disbelief in God. Wow!
In a lengthy Instagram post, Jon Steingard gave a series of reasons why he no longer believes. As he was the lead singer for a popular Christian band, I’m sure I’m not the only one who was disappointed. In the Word on Fire Show, content director Brandon Vogt brought up a number of points Jon made in the post and asked Bishop Robert Barron to comment on them. Bishop Barron was encouraging of Steingard’s probing questions of the faith. However, Jon’s conclusion to these questions was not to investigate deeper, but to reject everything he believed.
Many of the issues presented have been around the entire history of the Church. One of the biggest, the issue of evil, was addressed in a Word on Fire blog by Matt Nelson. It is very difficult for our finite human minds to grasp many infinite concepts and we often oversimplify complicated realities. It’s okay to not understand how God can be three persons in one Trinity. It’s okay to doubt if there is any person who has been condemned to hell. My impression is that Jon held to a very simplistic belief of God and he was having trouble maturing in his faith. He referenced being a preacher’s son and perhaps between that and leading a Christian band, he was expected to be a leader before he was ready for it. There are times when the adage “fake it ‘till you make it” will not work, and this is one of them.
As the statements were presented, it sounded to me as if Christianity was presented to him as if it was a single choice, and because those around him believed, it was not something to be questioned. It reminds me of the parable of the talents, where the one servant has no idea what to do with what he is given, so he gives the single talent back to his master. (Matthew 25:14-30) Faith is forged in challenges; it grows deeper and richer when it is put to the test. Sometimes the challenges are doubts that seem to overwhelm and overshadow the faith we have. Other times, they are silent encounters in our daily lives. In each circumstance, we have to make our choice. Hopefully, we can echo St. Peter, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:68-69)