Marty Sampson posts list of Christian apologists days after saying he is 'losing' his faith
Marty Sampson posted an intriguing update to Instagram on Monday of a selection of Christian apologists days after announcing that he was "genuinely losing my faith".
The news of his departure from Christianity has shocked Christians worldwide as Sampson was for decades one of the most popular modern worship artists, starting out with Hillsong in the 90s.
In the update to Instagram - since taken down - Sampson revealed how disillusioned he had become with the Christian faith because of science and "contradictions" in the Bible, and that he now regarded it as "like another religion".
"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 added: "I want genuine truth. Not the 'I just believe it' kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion."
Sampson is the writer behind a slew of popular worship songs known and loved by Christians around the world, including "King of Majesty", "Better Than Life" and "O Praise the Name (Anástasis)".
His announcement has prompted a lot of soulsearching among Christians on social media, some of whom challenged his doctrine, although there were others who paid tribute to the impact he had on their faith.
Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson announces he's 'losing' his faith
I haven't 'renounced' my faith but it's on 'incredibly shaky ground', says Marty Sampson
Rod Dreher, author of The Benedict Option, said: "Hillsong's Marty Sampson left Christianity ... but what he said when he announced his departure suggests that he was badly catechized and badly formed. This is not just a pop Evangelicalism problem, but something all Christians today have to face."
Ken Ham, of Answers in Genesis, tweeted in response that "when [Bible] passages are properly understood, there are no contradictions".
"This sad situation about this person is a reminder the church and parents need to teach apologetics to counter today's attacks on God's Word," he said.
While Sampson has removed the post announcing his departure from the Christian faith, he has since posted another update to Instagram giving some insight into his quest for "genuine truth".
In the post, Sampson shared the photos of five Christian apologists and encouraged people with questions to check them out.
The apologists were William Lane Craig, John Lennox, Ravi Zacharias, Michael Licona and Frank Turek.
Sampson captioned the photo: "I don't know these men personally, but I do watch them regularly and listen to their arguments. If you don't know who they are, perhaps you may want to find out more about them."
In a separate post, he shared a photo of Dr Francis Collins, former leader of the Human Genome Project, alongside a quote saying: "The evidence supporting the idea that all living things are descended from a common ancestor is truly overwhelming.
"I would not necessarily wish that to be so, as a Bible-believing Christian. But it is so. It does not serve faith well to try to deny that."
The former Hillsong worship leader is the second high profile Christian in the last few weeks to have renounced their faith after Joshua Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced he had fallen away and was separating from his wife.
Explaining his decision on Instagram, Harris said: "The popular phrase for this is 'deconstruction,' the biblical phrase is 'falling away.'
"By all the measurements that I have for defining a Christian, I am not a Christian. Many people tell me that there is a different way to practise faith and I want to remain open to this, but I'm not there now."