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Lack of Faith

Yesterday I heard a name for the first time: Jon Steingard.  You may or may not know the name.  He was a lead singer for a “Christian” band called Hawk Nelson.  And recently he recanted his faith in Jesus Christ.

I expect that you may have one of many reactions to this statement, and frankly I wasn’t overly surprised to hear that yet another celebrity Christian had lost their faith in God.  Jon’s letter sharing his road to sharing where he stood is sadly enough to make one wonder how many Christians in the public eye are actually believers.  Jon shares that this has been an issue for him for a while but that fear of the reaction of friends, the public, and his ability to earn a living for his family had driven him to hide this until now.

…even deeper pain came as I read through many of the comments…

My heart breaks for Jon and his family… they may feel relieved that they are now unshackled from the burden of having to carry on as if they believed, but the fact that he and his wife will struggle with how to raise their children and where they will go for support when life is dark is painful to think about.

For what it’s worth, Jon’s explanation of why he “lost” his faith seems pretty typical of someone who may never have truly believed to begin with… his arguments were pretty classic atheistic questions posing “why would a loving god…?”.  I see little maturity in his perspective, and I would have to assume he was never discipled or mentored by a mature believer.  Very possibly he never came to saving faith in Christ to begin with.

Despite the fact this broke my heart, an even deeper pain came as I read through many of the comments on the FoxNews article about the announcement:

  • “If it weren’t for the other “Christians” than I might still be a believer today.”
  • “Living Christian principles don’t require belief in God…”
  • “I think he went gay…”
  • “it’s time to put away fairy tales. Face reality.”

Why point this out?  Many may cry over Jon and his situation.  I frankly put him alongside the rest of fallen humanity and cry for them all.  So many who will die and never know the Saviour and will spend eternity separated from God.  And our God, who does love all, sees the whole picture and yearns for all to know him, but being Holy, must give us room to reject him.  

Knowing many will die without salvation may seem unimportant, until you consider each of them is someone’s child, sibling, spouse… loved and known by someone here on Earth.  I hurt for those in my family who don’t know Jesus yet, and pray for God to show himself to them.

The Battle With Sin

I sinned.  It doesn’t really matter what it was, but I rebelled against God, and I am frustrated and ashamed.

I don’t want to again.  A friend of mine and I recently were discussing Paul’s comments in Romans 7:18 “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing [that is, the desire to do good] is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.”

We can’t possibly misrepresent Paul’s comments as meaning that sin is not our responsibility.  Our flesh presses us with ungodly desires, but our actions are wholly tied to the intent of our minds and spirits.  Our flesh does not sin, our whole being sins, and the fact that we are children of the Light only magnifies the depth of our depravity.  Though we may be truly protected by the blood of Christ from the fires of eternal Hell, when we sin we demonstrate even greater rebellion against our saving and faithful God than those who know him not.  We reject his ways as insufficient to our needs and desires, and diminish the trust he gives us through faith that tells us there is something better to be found in him.

Then there is the destruction of our relationship with our loving Father.  It is not that sin causes him to turn his face from us, but that we have turned our whole being from him.  At this juncture of our lives, as believers saved by Grace through Faith, we have no fear of his wrath against us, but there is disappointment for us and for him, there is shame for us, and our usefulness to God is directly impacted by our sin.  Are we faithful with the riches he has given us to ensure they are used to multiply his kingdom?  Do we hide those riches or do we invest them?  And do we lose his riches through sin?

I am reconciled to God today, despite the fact that I deserve punishment.  I praise him for that.  But I am not satisfied with being reconciled.  I don’t want to sin again, yet I know I will.  Can I stop it?  Each opportunity to sin is before me as a fundamental passage to a richer experience with God.  It’s not so much whether I can resist the desire to sin, but can I embrace the love of Christ to carry me through my temptation.  And when I am able to, I know my redeemer can reside within me and work through me more than before because I am trusting him to carry me through all.