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Former Christian Rocker Details Why He Left the Faith, Cites ‘The State of Christian Culture in America’

Jon Steingard
Jon Steingard screengrab via YouTube @Hawk Nelson —Parachute video

Jon Steingard, former lead singer of the Christian band Hawk Nelson and popular deconstructionist, recently answered questions from Twitter followers, discussing why he no longer believes in Christianity, which Christian artists were most genuine, Hawk Nelson, his favorite books, and what his family discussions regarding religion are like now that he no longer identifies as a Christian.

In 2020, Steingard, who grew up as a preacher’s kid and performed Christian music professionally for years, announced on Instagram that he no longer believed in God—something he described as terrifying to share.

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped the former rocker from discussing his deconstruction with others who are willing to converse with him about it, one of those being popular Christian singer and songwriter Matthew West. Just months after announcing that he was walking away from his Christian faith, Steingard told West that he still prays.

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“I have publicly said that I don’t believe in God, but more than ever, I find myself motivated to live in such a way that sort of indicates that I do,” Steingard shared. “For example, I still pray. When I pray now, it sounds something like, ‘God, I don’t know if you’re there. If you’re not there, then what I’m doing right now isn’t harming anything. But if you are there, then, if you can hear what I’m doing right now and talking to you, can you show up in my life?’”

Last night, Steingard tweeted that his house was quiet after laying the children down to bed and invited his followers to ask him anything. Some church leaders may find his responses to questions interesting.

“How much time do you have,” Steingard replied to someone asking him what made him deconstruct. “In short,” he said, “Problem of Evil, Divine Hiddenness, irregularities in Biblical texts, wide ranging interpretations of those texts, soteriological confusion, history of use by empire for conquest, and the state of Christian culture in America.”

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Steingard said that plenty of people have told him he is going to hell, but he clarified that he didn’t deconstruct because he wanted to sin freely.

“It’s funny because very little about my lifestyle changed. There weren’t many things I wanted to do that the church wouldn’t approve of. That simply wasn’t the problem,” he said.

The preacher’s son was asked how discussions regarding religion among his close and extended family have been since he left the faith. Steingard replied, “It’s vacillated between, ‘Oh this is an interesting conversation’ and ‘Houston we have a problem.’ But both our sets of parents love Jess and I well, and they’re involved and supportive with our kids. I’m really grateful for that.”

“I remember hearing about you losing your faith and I felt so sad for you,” one of Steingard’s followers told him. “Not that you may miss out on something truly great but that you may not have had someone to lean on or turn to with your doubts.” The person then asked Steingard if he had someone to turn to, and if so, why their answers weren’t enough.