Hillsong United worship leader Marty Sampson — who recently announced that he was losing his faith and was OK with it — has taken aim at rock band Skillet's John L. Cooper after the rocker blasted Christian influencers who have made such stirring announcements.
Noted author and former pastor Joshua Harris also recently announced that he was no longer a Christian.
What is Sampson saying?
Sampson shared a lengthy Instagram post knocking Cooper's remarks.
Sharing a screenshot of Cooper's essay, Samson wrote, "Wow. Where do I begin? What right have you to put words in my mouth? 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," he maintained. "Did I write an article on myself in relevant magazine, or Christian Post quoting myself? Do I need this kind of criticism in an honest examination of what I believe from complete strangers? I have never even met you, yet you presume to know me or people like me?"
Sampson said that he only went public with his thoughts in order to "explain" the feelings to his Instagram followers in an "honest and genuine way."
He insisted that he did not make the announcement to influence people, or even draw attention to himself, but "[t]o wrestle and to learn and to grow, and to present my current state of mind/heart to explain to people why I am not 'coming back to Hillsong.'"
"Instead of people like you asking genuine questions, you jump to conclusions, when you could easily ask," Sampson reasoned. "Who is trying to influence whom? Why when someone is influencing others, does this cause the kind of panic in a truth so strong that it cannot be shaken? I for one don't see this kind of shock and horror in the scientific community when a theory is usurped by a new and contradicting theory. Perhaps this is the nature of religion."
He concluded, "Say what you will, I have no opinion on you or your life."