Jon Steingard of Christian band Hawk Nelson has declared that he no longer believes in God.
The Hawk Nelson lead singer has written on his social media page: "This is not a post I ever thought that I would write, but now I feel like I really need to. I've agonized over whether to say this publicly, and if so, how to do it, but I now feel that it's less important how I do it, and more important that I do it."
He added, "After growing up in a Christian home, being a pastor's kid, playing and singing in a Christian band, and having the word 'Christian' in front of most of the things in my life — I am now finding that I no longer believe in God."
The Canadian musician said, "I still find myself wanting to soften that statement by wording it differently or less specifically — but it wouldn't be as true."
Steingard said, "The process of getting to that sentence has been several years in the making. It didn't happen overnight or all of a sudden. It's been more like pulling on the thread of a sweater, and one day discovering that there was no more sweater left."
Explaining why he is making the announcement now, he said, "I'm writing about this now for a few reasons.
"Firstly, I simply can no longer avoid it. Processing this quietly felt right when I simply had doubts, but once they solidified into a genuine point of view, it began to feel dishonest not to talk about it."
He continued, "I want to be transparent with you all — and also open to having my heart changed in the future. I am not looking for a debate at all — just a chance to share my story in the hopes some good can come from it. I love you all."
On Hawk Nelson's Facebook page, band member Daniel Biro said, "Forever grateful for these brothers of mine. We've been through some highs and lows together and we share a very special bond that can't be broken."
He added, "There are many seasons to a band, as Hawk Nelson has experienced. But one thing that isn't seasonal is our support for one another on or off the road touring. God has a unique path for each of us and it's important that we stay honest with one another. Looking forward to seeing how each of us continues to G R O W."