Prominent Hillsong recording artist and songwriter, Marty Sampson, has recently announced on social media that he is losing / has lost his faith. Marty has been one of Hillsong’s most prolific songwriters, having written or co-written over 90 hit worship songs since 1998. He announced his loss of faith via a post on Instagram which stated:
“I am losing my faith and it doesn’t bother me … it’s not for me … I am not in it anymore. I want genuine truth … and Christianity just seems to me like another religion.”
The post goes on to list the reasons for his loss of faith. They include:
– Christian hypocrisy, including preachers falling into sin
– The rarity of true miracles
– Science has disproved religion
– How can a loving God send people to hell?
Marty’s post has since been taken down, perhaps indicating a strong “request” from Hillsong whose reputation was taking a hit.
I wish I could talk with Marty about his questions and doubts. Because there are answers: Clear, logical, biblical answers. What disturbs me is that these issues appear to have not been addressed at any depth in Marty’s church experience. Sadly, he is not alone in this. Many Christians are raised in a faith bubble that consists mainly of froth and hype, with little substance.
This is certainly what I encountered in my own brief experience in a Pentecostal church, some years ago. The music was hyped, the service abounded in spiritual-sounding clichés, the leaders projected a show-biz spirituality and the sermon was full of catchy, emotive, motivational exhortations. The “God show” was glitzy but gutless. It had no depth. The teaching was shallow and showy. It didn’t dig down into the meat of God’s Word, and it didn’t embrace the big questions of faith. If I ignored the occasional reference to God or Jesus, most of the sermons could easily have been talks presented by a secular motivational speaker or self-help guru.
Maybe your experience of church is not like this. God bless you! You are fortunate. And please don’t interpret this as an attack on Hillsong. There are many genuine Christians who attend Hillsong and find it very helpful, and its leaders are probably very sincere in their desire to serve God. But many people, like Marty, find “religion” in fluff and bubble churches, which put on a great show but have little substance underneath. Fairy floss tastes great at first, but it can’t nourish you, and if that’s all you eat, you will eventually get sick.
Marty Sampson’s post indicates that after many years in a froth and bubble church, he has finally seen through it’s superficiality. Here is a longer excerpt from his Instagram post:
“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 anymore. 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.”
Can you see what is happening for Marty? The blinkers have finally come off. He is finally seeing the shallowness of the “religion” he has been caught up in for many years. It’s all show, and not much substance. And it has never really addressed the big questions.
Marty is right to walk away from “show biz Christianity”, but he is wrong in assuming that the real thing doesn’t exist. I wish I could meet with him. Because there are answers to his questions. And there are millions of genuine followers of Christ who have discovered his life-changing power and grace, not under the multi-coloured stage lights of a hyped-up performance, but through encountering Christ in his Word.
Marty repeatedly stated, “No one talks about it.” He’s wrong. There are many intelligent Bible teachers who DO grapple with the hard questions – who do provide meaningful, biblical answers to the issues that Marty has raised. My own first book, “Finding God When He Seems To Be Hiding”, deals with the top 12 objections raised by sceptics against Christianity, and includes clear, cogent answers to all of Marty’s questions. I would love to give Marty a copy if I knew how to contact him.
If you have similar questions to Marty – if you are sick of fairy floss and hungry for real answers – please don’t just throw the towel in and walk away. Find a church that dishes up solid food. You might initially miss the fairy floss, but I guarantee you will grow stronger.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: See my book, “Finding God When He Seems To Be Hiding”. This is available as an eBook or paperback from book distributors worldwide. For Australian buyers, it is also available from Koorong Books, but the cheapest place to buy it is via my website: SmartFaith.net.