Christian rock act Hawk Nelson issued a statement supporting former frontman Jon Steingard on Wednesday (May 27) following his announcement he’s leaving the band after a crisis of faith.
“One of our best friends, one with whom we have walked, worked and lived alongside for 20 + years revealed some of his innermost feelings on his faith journey this past week,” the remaining members of the group — Daniel Biro, Micah Kuiper, and David Niacaris — shared on Instagram. “Our mission as Hawk Nelson has always been to inspire and encourage all people with the truth that God is FOR them and not against them. In that message’s most simple and purest form, that THEY matter.
“So now we turn that truth towards one of our own,” they continued. “That God is still FOR Jon & he still matters. Why? Because that truth doesn’t change just because we question it. How we treat one another when they are at a different stage in their journey based on their life experiences is part of a bigger conversation. We are called to love one another unconditionally, as God loves us. We should also encourage and challenge one another in our Faith, seeking truth.”
The band’s post arrives six days after Steingard revealed via his own social media post that after a lifetime as a Christian, he no longer believes in God and is therefore unable to continue as part of Hawk Nelson.
“I’ve been terrified to post this for a while,” he shared at the time, “but it feels like it’s time for me to be honest. I hope this is not the end of the conversation, but the beginning. I hope this is encouraging to people who might feel the same but are as afraid to speak as I am. I want to be open. 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.”
Steingard originally joined the Canadian Christian act in 2004 as its lead guitarist, and stepped into the role of lead vocalist following founder Jason Dunn’s exit from the band in 2012.
Read both Steingard and his band mates’ statements below.