Worship Leader of Large Christian Church Announces his Deconversion

hillsongchurch.wordpress.com

I knew it would eventually happen.  I knew that one day there would be a wave of deconversions among prominent Christian pastors and other leaders in the Church due to the massive quantity of evidence found on the Internet—evidence which casts considerable doubt on the central historical claims of Christianity—evidence available to anyone with a computer.  Has the “wave” begun?  Check out this recent significant deconversion.

Below is a Christian pastor’s response to this man’s deconversion:

Dear Marty,

I am so sorry to read your Instagram post about how you are ‘losing your faith’.  I suspect you know this already but be prepared for the reaction. There will be those who laud your “courage and openness” and others who lament your “backsliding and apostasy”.

Forgive me for writing this but your post sparked so many emotions and questions…

Firstly there is a deep sorrow that someone who once sang “for endless days we will sing your praise” has now decided to walk away from Jesus. You no longer see “his wounds, his hands, his feet, my Saviour on that cursed tree”. (‘O Praise the Name’). As someone who loves and follows Jesus and knows what life without him is like, I cannot help but feel a deep sorrow for you, and also for those whom you have served with.

Hillsong are not every Christian’s cup of tea and I’m afraid that your public renunciation of your faith will do harm to them, and to the wider body of Christ. I can already feel the schadenfreude of those who dislike Hillsong – “see we told you that they were shallow and not ‘real’ Christians”. They conveniently forget that Christians from every tribe have fallen and left the faith. The joy of atheists who hate the God they don’t believe will also fill the web.

But I’m also somewhat disturbed and perplexed at what kind of faith you actually had. Your post said that “no one” talks about how many preachers fall, how many miracles happen, why the Bible is full of contradictions, how can a God of love send people to hell. You seem to have been living in some kind of sheltered cocoon. In the Christian world I inhabit people never stop talking about these things! Was your faith or your church background really so superficial and shallow that these questions were never discussed? Little wonder that your faith collapsed like a house of sand, if it was built on such flimsy foundations and was never tested!

I wrestle with these questions every day – and most Christians I know do as well. Let’s take your claim that the Bible is “full of contradictions”. That’s the kind of statement I often hear from those who have never read the Bible, but as a Christian songwriter that cannot be your situation. When did you become aware of these apparent contradictions? I have been reading and studying the Bible for the past 40 years and I have yet to come across any substantive or real contradiction. It would be helpful if you could share some of these contradictions that you claim the Bible is full of.

Some of your other statements are stunning.

You are “so happy now, so at peace with the world”. You have, like John Lennon, imagined that there is no heaven and suddenly you are transported into secular paradise. This kind of peace is not new. Jeremiah spoke of it “peace, peace – when there is no peace” (Jeremiah 6:14)

You say you want genuine truth. Again I think of Lennon. “I’m sick and tired of reading things by neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians, all I want is the truth, please gimme some truth” (‘Gimme Some Truth’). And I also think of a politician who asked, “What is truth?” (John 18:37) – not knowing that the answer to his question was standing in front of him. “I am the truth” (John 14:6). Ironically having stated that you only want truth, you have turned your back on it and walked into darkness and falsehood.

You say you don’t believe. Again that is so like Lennon who in his song ‘God’ listed the things he did not believe in – and ended up saying “I believe in me”.  I love U2’s reply – “Don’t Believe the Devil, Don’t believe his book, but the truth is not the same without the lies he made up” (‘God – Part Two’).

You say, “Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion”. I’m not sure where you picked up that old modernist myth but it is one that has been thoroughly debunked in the 21st Century. I suggest you read John Lennox’s God’s Undertaker that is helpfully subtitled ‘Has Science buried God?’

You say, “Christianity just seems to me like another religion at this point”. As someone who seeks after absolute truth I’m sure you won’t want to judge that truth by what it ‘seems’ to you, or where you ‘are’ at, at any particular point. Study the different religions and you will see a phenomenal difference between idolatry and real faith. I remember one Chinese atheist turning to me in tears and explaining that she was crying because “Jesus is just so beautiful, so beautiful”. Remember how you used to write and sing about your gaze being “transfixed” on his face?  What caused you to turn away so much that you have ended up believing the lie that Jesus is just another religion?

You complain about the attitude of some Christians. Many of us can understand that disillusionment. But we still follow Christ. I am reminded of Bonheoffer’s statement: “Just as surely as God desires to lead us to a knowledge of genuine Christian fellowship, so surely must we be overwhelmed by a great sense of disillusionment with others, with Christians in general, and, if we are fortunate, with ourselves”.  (Cited by Rebecca McLaughlin in Confronting Christianity). It appears from your post that you have not been ‘fortunate’ in the way Bonheoffer describes. Incidentally if you are truly interested in truth I would highly recommend McLaughlin’s book – which deals with precisely the issues you raise. You would be better to confront real Christianity, rather than walk away from the caricature you describe.

Your Instagram post was a picture of Samson bringing down the temple. It’s an apt metaphor, not because this particular Sampson is going to bring down the temple, but because it reminds us how Samson went blind when he turned away from God, and how God used him when he was restored!

Your post reminded me of yet another Lennon song – “You can go to church and sing a hymn….you can live a lie until you die, but one thing you can’t hide is when you’re crippled inside” (‘Crippled Inside’)

You are a songwriter. I have cited to you another songwriter who flirted with Christianity but is best known for a song that rejects it. It may help you to read the songs that Jesus sang. The Psalmist knew what it was to doubt and question – but he also knew where the ultimate truth lies. Try Psalm 73, Psalm 22 and don’t forget Psalm 14!

Like many other followers of Jesus, I pray for you. But if you want more than that and your questions are for real, then, if you still live in Sydney, why not give me a shout and we can chat….?

Yours,

David

 

 

 

End of post.

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22 thoughts on “Worship Leader of Large Christian Church Announces his Deconversion

          1. Is it the same David Robertson?

            “David Robertson: David is Director of Third Space, CBF, Sydney, Australia. Previously he was minister of St Peter’s Free Church in Dundee and associate director of Solas the Centre for Public Christianity.”

            If yes, do you have the address of his blog, Ark?

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              1. I left this comment for Rev. Robertson on “Wee Flea”:

                The problem is that the overwhelming majority of Christians do not believe in Jesus as the Creator and Lord of the universe due to historical/empirical evidence but due to their intense emotions and perceptions about this belief. And as the song says, “You’ve lost that loving feeling…now it’s gone, gone, gone.”

                If for some reason all those warm, fuzzy feelings dry up, there is nothing left, and the person realizes its time to move on.

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  1. The Christian pastor says to this man who has lost his “faith” (or as I see it, has seen through the smoke and mirrors of religious superstition): “You would be better to confront real Christianity, rather than walk away from the caricature you describe.”

    This is what every deconvert from Christianity is told! “If you had only experienced REAL Christianity, you wouldn’t have deconverted.”

    No, dear Christians. Every version of a superstition is still a superstition!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. So let’s see. The pastor’s letter goes something like this:

    “It just hurts my heart that you would leave my precious cult. You probably were never a “True Believer” anyway. But in answer to your serious concerns about our cult, let me give you all the tired old platitudes that let me stay so indoctrinated. You should remember how great it was back when you didn’t think about those problems, and also be sure to read our cult book some more. I’m going to talk to the ceiling for you, and pretend I’m helping. Why don’t we get together so I can preach another sermon at you?”

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, it is always the same: “If you would only read _______ book, you would see just how true Christianity is.”

      They are never satisfied with the number of books a deconvertee reads until the deconvertee reconverts!

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, information in the hands of the poorly educated and foolish can lead to disturbing consequences, but all in all, access to knowledge and information (evidence) is a good thing. The key is, knowing how to distinguish a reliable source of information from an unreliable source.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Gary, if you want to distinguish reliable from unreliable information, and you’re impartial with the sources and unbiased, you should agree that the New Testament is an historically reliable source of information.

        But those who don’t need to exclude it from that category. Not for good historical reasons, either.

        Notice:

        But sometimes the winners deserve to win. Consider the following statements by an expert in the early pseudepigraphal Christian literature.

        [I]f historians want to know what Jesus said and did they are more or less constrained to use the New Testament Gospels as their principal sources. Let me emphasize that this is not for religious or theological reasons—for instance, that these and these alone can be trusted. It is for historical reasons, pure and simple.
        The scholar who wrote the above has credentials identical to those of Bart Ehrman. He received his doctorate from the same school and also had Bruce Metzger as his mentor. He has published a number of books on the non-orthodox communities of early Christianity and the literature they produced. When comparisons can be made, Ehrman is almost always in agreement with this scholar. This is because the scholar who made this statement is Bart Ehrman!

        From: https://www.risenjesus.com/review-of-bart-ehrmans-book-forged-writing-in-the-name-of-god

        For a more detailed comparison: https://www.risenjesus.com/wp-content/uploads/religions-10-00148.pdf

        Your claims about education leading to atheism also seems to be more a matter of faith than fact – only in China do 67% of people consider themselves committed atheists, and yet, their literacy in real terms is very poor – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/04/26/AR2007042602452.html.
        See also: https://www.quora.com/Is-illiteracy-common-in-China-If-so-is-it-because-the-language-is-difficult-to-learn-or-some-other-reason

        About atheism: https://bigthink.com/strange-maps/china-and-europe-stand-out-on-world-map-of-atheism

        Atheists are not as rational as they think: https://phys.org/news/2018-09-atheists-rational.html

        have a great rest of your week!

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        1. You are so blissfully blind to your superstitious mindset, my friend. I hope that one day, like the Christian man in this post, you too will see how silly and irrational your belief system really is.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. Exactly correct Gary. In secondary PUBLIC curriculums — not private or charter schools typically affiliated with an Abrahamic religion — that is called Critical-thinking skills/tools or Critical-analysis. This should be a preparation for all 7th – 12th grade students in ALL of their core courses. Under-grad and most post-grad programs further enhance these INVALUABLE skills/tool-sets for our emerging youth!!!

        Sadly and tragically though Gary, as you and I both know, our public schools and public Universities have been under-attack, bombarded by non-Intellectualism ideologies for at least 2-3 decades… likely going all the way back to Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration — the intrusion of “In God We Trust” by what is supposed to be a NEUTRAL federal government regarding religious bias as the Founding Fathers fully intended and is stated by law in our Constitution, corroborated by our DOI and many personal letters of correspondence by the majority of the core Founding Fathers! 😖

        But then, broad cumulative, authenticated history has also been gradually de-emphasized in our PUBLIC school curriculums as well. Science has taken the hardest hits. 😦

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  3. This “treasonous” drama 😉 reminds me of two big Whistle Blower stories and how they’re treated after speaking out.

    There are plethoras of whistle blowing from inside groups/institutions powerful enough to make lives utterly miserable for employee, soldier, or church member both privately and publicly. If the scandal threatens to crush the organization or force near bankruptcy and/or irreparable damage to company/church image, then assassination/execution is not out of the question either!

    Let us never forget that “War is a racket!” said retired U.S. Marines Corps Major General, Smedley Butler about the Banana Wars (1898 to 1934) the U.S. military incited in Central America and Caribbean with American business-banking interests “heavily supporting” the actions. Butler was continually harassed and discriminated against in private sectors and life by well-connected mayoral offices, banks, and big business tycoons.

    Then some of the BIGGEST whistle blowers on immoral or bogus doctrines of the 1st-century CE were the Marcionites and Simon Magus. This set off over 400-years of Apostolic/Patristic arguing, controversy, fragmentation, and persecution by opposing orthodoxies… which is STILL prevalent today evidenced by some 2,000 to 4,000+ denominations of Christianity or Christology! Of course, post-4th century Christendom is littered with massacres, executions, inquisitions, and witch-hunts throughout its modeling to the evil world. Hahahahaha! 😆

    Like

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