Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson has spent the last week addressing his profound doubt and uncertainty about the faith. The reason this has caused controversy, however, is because he has decided to broadcast this spiritual voyage on Instagram.
However, despite sounding frustrated by some of the responses he has received, Sampson has penned another, distinctively more positive Instagram post, this time calling upon Christians to “love each other.”
In his latest offering, the “Elohim” writer urged his followers: “do good to those who persecute you.”
“We are all human, all cut from the same cloth,” he said. “I know Christians don’t agree, on many different doctrines, but we can all love.”
Over the past week, Sampson added, he has been reminded of the “goodness of Christians.”
“The kindness that has been shown to me has been overwhelming,” he wrote. “I see it, I hear it, and I feel it.”
The Hillsong songwriter, who has been posting quotes from various different philosophers and apologists, previously asserted that his posts were nothing more than a personal exploration of some long-standing doubts.
Naturally, other believers took issue with an influential ministry leader airing all of these things on a public platform. Last week, however, Sampson hit back at some of his critics, who he believed were being unfairly disparaging of his Insta-based philosophical exploration.
“What right have you to put words in my mouth?” Sampson wrote to Christian musician John Cooper after the rocker urged caution. “I wouldn’t presume to put words in yours. To think that I am trying to influence others, without even asking me if that is my intention is offensive. ”
Sampson later retracted his statement, instead simply captioning the Instagram post: “@johnlcooper I changed my mind. Love you bro.”
In his now-viral post, Cooper questioned the whole idea of “being real,” on social media, especially if it is going to risk causing others to lose their faith
“Why do people act like “being real” covers a multitude of sins?” Cooper asked. “As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier. Have they considered the ramifications?”
Toning down his language somewhat, in his latest post, Sampson insisted that he “never wanted to make anyone doubt their own faith, nor convince them to take another path.”
“We each have our story,” he added. “I don’t hold any ill will toward anyone, and I don’t harbor any sadness, bitterness or sorrow in my heart toward you in any way.”
“I love you Christians, no matter what,” he concluded. “All of you.”
The lead singer of Christian rock band “Tenth Avenue North,” Mike Donehey, also shared his thoughts on how we should respond when prominent Christian figures bid farewell to their faith.
First of all, “quit freaking out,” Donehey advised, in a lengthy Instagram post. “Let people wrestle. Speak gently.”
In the end, the singer implored, showing kindness is what really matters. We must be gracious to those who are wrestling with profound questions, he said.
“Let’s not break the bruised reeds among us,” Donehey declared, referencing Isaiah 42:3. “Let’s not make it our job to quench the flickering flames of faith against the harsh winds of life.”
“None of us get closer to Him by wearing a mask,” the singer wrote. “Removing the pretense is the first step toward Him. Even if we’re taking the long way round.”