Aug 15

Marty Sampson & Losing Faith


In an article on CBN News on 8/13/19, Lindsay Elizabeth shared an instagram message Marty Sampson posted the week before about how he had lost his faith. Since then Sampson has clarified that he has not lost in faith in Christ but that it is on "shaky grounds."


Sampson has written songs for Hillsong Worship, Hillsong United, Delirious, and Young & Free and is strongly associated with Hillsong Music. Here is some of Sampson's post:


"This is a soapbox moment so here I go … How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. 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 four billion people to a place, all ‘coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it. Christians can be the most judgmental people on the planet—they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people. But it’s not for me."


Sampson is following the footsteps of many "celebrity" Christians who struggle with and sometimes even abandon faith altogether. So what do you think? In your church or faith tradition do you agree with Sampson that people don't talk enough about the challenging areas of faith? What areas do you wish people of faith talked about more? Do you think it is problematic for us to put "people of faith" on pedestals only to watch so many fall off of them? If you are someone who believes in the "perseverance of the saints" (once saved always saved), how do you come to terms with "Christians" who have done good, Godly notable things for the church who have later abandoned that faith?


Please share you thoughts and feelings. This Forum welcomes input from those from various Christian backgrounds and other faiths as well!

Those are some tough questions. I think the biggest thing for us humans to admit is we don't have all the answers. Much less should we know all the answers. We can't understand as all theses questions are based on human perspective and not Godly perspective.

Aug 27


Hmmm, it seems even celebrities are human. Enormous pressure and stress in everyday life can leave us feeling...alone. Once there we "forget" how we got there (as if we ever knew) through all the blessing the Lord has given, yet we become manipulated so easily by the dark one. So, for the rest of us less noticeable folks, to watch our beloved stars fall from faith can seem earth shaking, as if it were our faith that is shaking. And maybe it is. We all fall short, no doubt. And we all cry out when all seems lost. It seems to be cyclical, much like life itself. We don't like to talk about things (that makes us look less intelligent) that we don't understand or can't explain. The good news is we don't have to, we're not supposed to understand everything, we're lucky to understand the principals that guide us through this life full of the unknown. It is faith that Our Father knows everything, where we are going, what comes next, etc. that allows us to cope with so much uncertainty. We as humans will fail, when we try to take on the world as we understand it. For once we are confronted with things we don't understand, our faith (what little we had of it) is lost. We are all in God’s hands, and we will all be just fine if we only remember that.

When it has come to the whole idea of "perseverance of the saints," I think I've always thought of it sort of as a promise for us individually rather than as a lens used to look at others with. Through the perseverance of the saints I can be assured in my own walk with God that nothing has the ability to separate me from God. I don't need to worry that at any moment the right temptation or evil could sneak up, surprise me, and destroy that relationship. But if we the idea of perseverance of the saints to describe other people's relationships with God, often we end up judging them or trying to determine what is going on in their hearts (which we don't know). I've always wondered if there is a danger in thinking of salvation from God in simple black and white terms (one special conversion moment moving us from unsaved to saved). Evangelicals like myself often argue that conversion is about recognizing Jesus as Lord and Savior. But the truth is, while in one instant we may realize truly how much we need a Savior, most of us (maybe all) spend our entire lives trying to learn what it means to surrender and allow Jesus to be our Lord. Perseverance of the saints is a way of saying that I have personally looked into my own heart and I know where my relationship with God stands (and even how far I still have to grow), so I don't need to worry about the state of my soul...

New Posts
  • There has been a lot of controversy connected to Amber Guyger’s murder trial, (the woman who shot and killed a man she claims she believed had broken into her apartment). There is the issue of race (because Guyger was white and the victim, Botham Jean, was black). There is the issue of just punishment (should the crime be considered manslaughter or murder and was a 10 year sentence appropriate). There is the issue of gender (did Guyger get additional sympathy because she was a woman). All of these are complicated. However, in the middle of all this there was also a faith-related complication. As WFAA-TV reported, following the trial Judge Tammy Kemp: “…stepped off the bench to hug the Jean family members. She then said a few words in Guyger’s ear. She walked back into her quarters, came out with a Bible, and handed it to Guyger. ‘This is your job,’ she said, reading her John 3:16. ‘You just need a tiny mustard seed of faith. You start with this.’ Guyger then threw her arms around the judge, who returned the hug, igniting a firestorm.” The Freedom from Religion Foundation, a group that advocates for separation of church and state has filed a complaint with the Texas State Commission. Annie Laurie Gaylor and Dan Barker, co-presidents of the FFRF wrote as reported in the Daily News,: “It violates the constitutional separation between state and church for a sitting judge to promote personal religious beliefs while acting in her official capacity. She was in a government courtroom, dressed in a judicial robe, with all of the imprimatur of the state, including armed law enforcement officers, preaching to someone who was quite literally a captive audience. Delivering bibles, bible studies and personal witness as a judge is an abuse of power.” So what do you think? Judge Kemp’s actions seem to indicate that she is a person of Christian faith. Do you believe that being a judge could be one’s calling from God? If called to that job by God then it would be important to conduct oneself in a way that was above reproach, right? Do you believe Judge Kemp did so? As a Christian judge, Kemp should allow her faith, her understanding of Christian morality, and compassion to influence her work while still remaining impartial. But at what point should Kemp's role of “judge” end; at the end of the trial? when she is off the premise? When she is out of her robe and the courtroom? At what point if any should her role as Christian supersede her role as judge? And if Kemp or any of us choose to follow “Christ” instead of the responsibilities due to our job or a law abiding member of our society, should we also be willing to except the consequences of those actions? What do you think?

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