'It was amazing being one of you, but I'm not any more,' says Hillsong's Marty Sampson

Marty Sampson(Photo: Hillsong Worship)

After weeks of wrestling publicly with his Christian faith, Marty Sampson appears to have said goodbye to Christianity - or at the very least, the Church - once and for all in an emotional Instagram update posted on Friday.

In the post, the Hillsong worship leader of many years expressed his love for the Church's senior leaders Brian and Bobbie Houston and for fellow worship leader Joel Houston, among others. 

He called Hillsong his "beautiful family of amazing souls" as he thanked them for the memories and their love.

In the highly charged update, Sampson, who started out with Hillsong back in the nineties, said he had tears running down his face and that he already missed being around his Hillsong family. 

He wrote: "I love you @brianchouston I love you @bobbiehouston I love you @joelhouston I love you @benjaminhouston I love you @lauratoggs - Thank you for all the amazing memories, for the nights at your place sleeping on the floor, for the amazing times when I saw what a BEAUTIFUL family looks like.

"For the days where I fit in, where I was received with love, Brian when you officiated my wedding, for asking how my kids were, for letting me write songs and sing and have trust in me to go around the world doing what I always dreamed of doing.

"Thank you for the good times and for all the belief you have put into so many. You are genuinely inspiring, I love you."

"To @hillsong my beautiful family of amazing souls, I have loved being close to you all and I really miss being around you all. You are some of the most wonderful people I know. Thank you for all the love and all the grace and kindness you have shown me for these many years."

But his message went beyond Hillsong Church as he went on to express his love for all Christians and said that he had forgiven the Church.  He also asked that Christians to forgive him if he had ever spoken badly of them.

However, before ending, he said that while he had been a Christian, he was "not any more".

"To the CHURCH of Jesus Christ, I forgive you, and I LOVE you. I've got tears running down my face because it's so true. I adore you Christians. I love you SO MUCH. That's all," he wrote.

"It was amazing being one of you, but I'm not any more.

"I love you all, and I always will. I won't forget how much I love Christians, even if they don't love me, I will always love you. Sorry for any bad words I have ever said about any of you. Forgive me. I love you all." 

Sampson has penned songs that have been sung by Christians and churches the world over, like  "Better Than Life", "For Who You Are", "Carry Me", "One Thing" and "O Praise the Name (Anástasis)".

(Photo: Instagram/Marty Sampson)

But he took the worldwide Church by surprise earlier this month when he vented his frustrations about the Christian faith and the apparent "contradictions" of the Bible, saying he was "not in any more".  He later deleted the post.  

"Time for some real talk... I'm genuinely losing my faith.. and it doesn't bother me... like, what bothers me now is nothing... I am so happy now, so at peace with the world.. it's crazy / this is a soapbox moment so here I go xx how many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it," he said.

"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 they don't believe? No one talks about it.

"Christians can be the most judgemental 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."

He continued: "I want genuine truth. Not the 'I just believe it' kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion," he writes.

"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. All I know is what's true to me right now, and Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point."

What has followed over the last few weeks has been a succession of posts further scrutinising the Christian faith and sharing his inner struggle.  All the posts have been subsequently deleted.

Initially, many Christians took Sampson to be renouncing his faith, before he clarified a few days later that although he wasn't renouncing it, it was on "incredibly shaky ground".

With his latest statement on Friday reading like a farewell letter, it seems like this time, it really is goodbye from Marty Sampson.  


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