Update: Since this story was published, Marty Sampson has clarified his faith is on "incredibly shaky ground," but he has not yet renounced it. Read more here.
Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson announced on Instagram Friday that he's "genuinely losing his faith"—and he's not upset about it.
Sampson was one of Hillsong United's original worship leaders and wrote and co-wrote hundreds of praise songs including hits like "Now that You're Near," "King of Majesty," "O Praise the Name," "For Who You Are" and "Open Heaven."
In his post—which has since been deleted, along with the rest of the artist's Instagram posts—he included a picture of what appears to be Samson bringing down the pillars of the Philistine temple in Judges 16. He writes that the more he thinks about it, the more Christianity seems just like every other religion, and he doesn't want any part of it anymore:
"Christians can be some of 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."
Sampson also points to apparent contradictions in the Bible and the church as a reason he's leaving the faith.
"How many preachers fall?" he asks. "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 4 billion people to a place, all coz [sic] they don't believe? No one talks about it."
Cultural commentator Michael Brown challenges Sampson's assertions that no one talks about these issues.
Brown points to the countless articles that were written in Christian and secular media when Joshua Harris announced his departure from the faith two weeks ago. For commentary on miracles and supposed contradictions in the Bible, Brown says there are plenty of books.
"Well, I'm thrilled to hear he wants 'genuine truth' as opposed to simply taking things by faith," Brown says. "But I must ask once more, 'What Christian world has he been living in?"
Despite leaving Christianity, Sampson says he still holds onto what he believes is good about spirituality: "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."
In the wake of Sampson's announcement, Brown encourages Christians everywhere not to be afraid of asking the hard questions. And he prays Sampson's heart would genuinely know the truth.
"My prayer is that Marty Sampson would have the integrity of heart to seek the truth earnestly, with humility and passion, and that all others with questions will put those questions on the table. ... Let's pray for Marty's repentance, restoration and more."
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