Marty Sampson has clarified where he stands in terms of Christianity after posting a message to Instagram a few days ago that led the Christian community to believe he had renounced his faith.
The Hillsong artist said on Instagram that he was "genuinely losing my faith" and that Christianity was "not for me", sparking an outpouring of sympathy and shock as well as soulsearching among Christians on social media.
"I am not in any more," he wrote in the lengthy and frank post in which he questioned the apparent "contradictions" in the Bible and how science "keeps piercing the truth of every religion."
The post was later deleted but the musings on Instagram have continued, with the "King of Majesty" singer on Tuesday posting a list of Christian apologists he has been listening to recently and encouraging others to do the same.
The post appeared alongside photos of apologists William Lane Craig, John Lennox, Ravi Zacharias, Michael Licona and Frank Turek.
This has been followed by other posts in which he has appeared to question the evidence for Christianity. In one post, he shared a picture with a quote from Dr Francis Collins, former leader of the Human Genome Project.
"The evidence supporting the idea that all living things are descended from a common ancestor is truly overwhelming," the quote from Dr Collins reads.
"I would not necessarily wish that to be so, as a Bible-believing Christian. But it is so. It does not serve faith well to try to deny that."
Another post on Tuesday questioned why the Gospel of John emphasizes the divinity of Christ in a way that is different from the other Gospel writers.
The posturing is a quote from New Testament scholar Bart D Ehrman who was a Christian from his teenage years only to become disillusioned during his graduate studies on the Bible and eventually identif as an agnostic atheist.
Now in a statement to The Christian Post, Sampson has clarified that he has not "renounced" his Christian faith but that it is on "incredibly shaky ground".
He also pleaded for understanding, saying, "I really do want answers. I don't want judgement."
Elsewhere, he admitted he was "struggling with many parts of the belief system that seem so incoherent with common human morality".
"If most of humankind had a choice, would we not rid the world of the scourge of cancer? Or sickness and disease? Why doesn't God do such a thing? Of course there is an answer to this question, but the majority of a typical Christian's life is not spent considering these things," he wrote.
"Questions such as these remain in the too hard basket."
He continued: "I have and continue to analyze the arguments of prominent Christian apologists and biblical scholars, and am open minded enough to consider the arguments of atheist debaters and debaters from other religions.
"If the truth is true, it will remain so regardless of my understanding of it. If I search it out, surely it will become even more clearly seen as the truth that it is. Examining a diamond more closer reveals the quality of the diamond. As I am still breathing, I am still learning."
He also defended Hillsong Church, where he started out on the worship team as a teenager in the 90s and went on to contribute a string of popular songs like "Better Than Life" and "For Who You Are" to its extensive discography.
He said that the Church, based in Sydney, Australia, had always been supportive of him.
"If anything all I have ever received from Hillsong is support and the opportunity to follow my own mind, and they have always taught what I perceive to be sound Pentecostal doctrine," he said.
He concluded by saying that he was in the process of educating himself.
"You cannot have well-educated opinions without educating yourself well. This is a window into my thought processes at the present time," he said.