I was on Instagram the other day, when I came across a screenshot, from a friend, of an article with the headline that read: Hillsong Songwriter Marty Sampson Say He’s Losing His Christian Faith.”
My interest was quipped, I wanted to know more, so I read the full article.
For people who don’t know, Marty Sampson is pretty popular guy in the Christian music world. He’s the one who penned most of Hillsong’s music, that people know and love. So this article and declaration would come as a shock or disappointment to some people. But I digress…
Like I said before, I went and read the full article and came away with questions but, even with the questions I came away with, there is one thing that was clear to see. Something I know, and have known as I’ve grown and continue to learn….
I believe that religion and faith are not the same thing.
Religion by dictionary definition means, “a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs”
Faith by dictionary definition is “confidence or trust in a person or a thing” or “belief that is not based on proof.”
As someone who has grown up in church, I think these definitions are accurate. And arguably, in this day and age religion outweighs faith.
I say this because, I believe there are whole load of people out there telling you what you should and shouldn’t do with their own versions of what they think is right, without really relying on the fundamental truths of what faith in God is about.
Christianity as a “religion” doesn’t really help itself when it come to societal issues. Large numbers have differing opinions, which in turn brings about division. Which is where I think the losing religion and not faith comes into play.
Faith is trusting in something that you can’t explicitly prove.
In my walk and relationship with God and as I try to be a follower of Christ, faith is laid out to me in Hebrews 11:1 where is says, ‘Faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.’
Faith and trust go hand in hand here. More often than not though, in the Christian faith, trust is put in the messengers of Christ – be it preachers, musicians, youth group leaders, rather than Christ himself (I’m guilty of this too) which leads to confusion, hurt and disappointment when things like well know figures renounce their faith or “religion”. But again I digress…
I want you to know (whoever reads this, and I really hope people read this because it is important to open up a dialogue) that, there is a difference between religion and faith.
Religion is in the public eye. Faith is personal – your own journey with God the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
When people talk about losing faith it should be reworded to losing religion… they’ve lost faith in the people that claim tobe Christians. I also think it can be translated to mean making a decision to not conform to doctrines or church policies because it’s become more about imposing ideas and less about a relationship with God.
This is just one of reasons. There are a whole host of different reasons why people distance themselves from Christianity.
“Faith and trust go hand in hand”
So, for those who are Christians and claim to be in Christ, (I’m including myself), can we say that we are truly born again? Are we trying have a better relationship with Him through his Word? Are we placing our confidence in that?
Christianity is about who you are in Jesus Christ.
We are all human and nobody is perfect, especially me. But, it is important that we ask these questions about ourselves, so that we do better for others.
Question: Are you wary of Christians or people who say they are Christians? Why?
I remember when I would say I’m a Christian, but know deep down that I didn’t want to be associated or outwardly affiliated with Christianity. There are some ideologies that I still don’t agree with.
Honestly, keeping it real…. I just thought it to be so exhausting! People have a lot to say about this and that, why we shouldn’t do this or that… which I understand but there’s a way to speak and act.
From personal experience, it saddens me to say that there are churches and Christians I know that don’t know how to do that, and in turn don’t treat others with the love the Jesus commands.
“We have to be better for others”
Now, reading both articles on Marty Sampson and Josh Harris, where they discuss their stance on Christianity and their personal journeys, you can see undertones of wariness of Christianity as a whole.
I have many questions. But one thing was clear when you read these articles: the frustration about their personal experiences and struggles.
I just want to know more about leads someone to get to the decision. I know it happens every day. I can’t speak for them, but I don’t think they’ve stopped believing in God, just in the Christian community and societal Christianity as a whole from what they’ve seen over the years.
There’s where religion comes in.
Like I said before, I really think religion outweighs faith. Nowadays it’s about what people see on the outside not the inside. People believe their own versions and interpretations of the Bible and have particular ideas of how people should live their lives. Some are more vocal than others in this opinion, which makes it harder for followers of Christ, who aren’t like that to breakthrough and show the good qualities of being in Christ.
“Faith is personal”
I’d just like to add, I am not in any way, shape or form saying all Christianity is bad or you constantly be on guard… I’m shedding light on the reality of why people lose their faith in Christianity as a whole. I say “lose faith” because, essentially that’s what some put their trust in; they expect people who are Christians to display qualities that mirror what they preach or talk about, because they are familiar with the notion of who Jesus was and what he stood for. The reality is, there are some who are not like that.
“Religion is public.”
I’ve been in that boat before, where I found myself questioning many things because of how people have come across. My issues and offense came 95% from people who claim to be Christians. My focus was on what people were doing, saying and behaving. My focus was not on God.
Question: Do you believe in God or a “higher power?” What fuels your reasons for doing good things?
In Marty Sampson’s article, I think things may have happened to him in life and ministry for him to come to that conclusion that he’s views have changed. To be quiet honest, I can sympathise and I’m not here to judge it… it happens everyday.
There’s a lot of pressure that comes with being such a well know figure in Christianity (the religion). People will put their faith in you to guide them, forgetting that we are all human and their are times when we grow wary. And trust me, it’s hard to stay rooted when people are constantly judging you and commenting on everything that you do.
Josh Harris, (who is or was well known for his controversial books on courtship and marriage) reflects discusses the LGBTQ community and their treatment; which is definitely a topic that divides Christians and the Church, and will continue to do so until the end of the world.
Essentially it comes down to how people are perceived and judged.
I wish I could ask them myself. What brings someone to that conclusion. I know for myself personally, when I “fall away” or lose faith it’s because of what I see happening around me that affects my decisions but it’s a personal experience that I try to come back from.
So, have they lost faith in GOD or CHRISTIANITY the “religion”?🤔
I think it’s a very t’s a complex topic, where different avenues can be explored. I don’t think there’s a clear cut answer but I do believe strongly that our own personal experiences is what should drive our decisions.
I really want to explore this more. The notion of lose faith or religion… so I need more people to join in the conversation.
If you’re not a Christian I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions too! I love learning from people regardless of belief especially when people don’t agree with my views.
I think it’s really important to open up discussions and learn from different perspectives.
Have you had any experiences good or bad with people who say they are Christians?
What do you think about Christianity as a whole?
Marty Sampson and Josh Harris articles can be found at:
Please, comment, like, share and reblog… would love to know what you think!
Peace & Love ❤😊