On Marty Sampson

What happens when someone leaves Christianity? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Until the announcement came, I had never heard of Marty Sampson. I really don’t pay much attention to Contemporary Christian Music as too much of it seems shallow to me, though there are a few exceptions. I do understand I have at least one friend who really looked up to Sampson and was devastated by the news.

“Time for some real talk… I’m genuinely losing my faith.. and it doesn’t bother me… like, what bothers me now is nothing… I am so happy now, so at peace with the world.. it’s crazy / this is a soapbox moment so here I go xx how many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it,” he said. 

“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 4 billion people to a place, all coz they don’t believe? No one talks about it.

“Christians can be the most judgemental people on the planet – they can also be some of the most beautiful and loving people… but it’s not for me. I am not in any more.”

He added: “I want genuine truth. Not the ‘I just believe it’ kind of truth. Science keeps piercing the truth of every religion.”

Many of us looking at this are a bit surprised and in some ways, not surprised. When he says no one talks about these kinds of things, in a sense, he’s right. Very rarely does the church talk about these intellectual issues. Instead, most of the church services are just large group therapy sessions to help people feel better.

I have to wonder what kind of God concept he had when one leaves it behind and thinks that there is great peace then. I have a personal theory that many of the struggles we have in our life come down to bad theology. How we view God impacts every area of our lives, even if you’re an atheist.

The truth is the church does need to talk about these issues. We do no favor to our young people in the church when we simply give them emotional placebos and expect that to carry them over. Would you want your marriage to rely totally on your emotions? (Which could explain why there are so many divorces.) Why say your relationship with Christ is the most important aspect of your life and never think about it?

What do we do with our youth? We give them pizza parties, video games, and concerts. What do they get in college then? They get all of those along with sex, drugs, and drinking. Guess which side is going to win this one.

Marty Sampson has since made a post recommending a number of Christian apologists, which says he was looking for some answers. He gives no reason why they are not convincing. At this, I have to wonder if something else is going on, which I suspect it usually is.

After all, all the issues that he raises are ones that have been addressed time and time again. There are plenty of resources available to help someone who is struggling with any of them. I suspect most of these five guys Sampson lists as respectable apologists would have been glad to have worked with him through the issues.

Ultimately, we need to be doing better. You will not be strong as a Christian if you rely on your emotions because your commitment will only be as strong as your emotions are. This is the same in any area of life. It works that way with marriages, jobs, friendships, etc. Christianity requires a commitment of the will and for that, you must be able to be made sure in your mind.

Every church should have someone in there who really knows apologetics well and at least an apologetics small group. Every youth minister needs to be equipping the youth in their church in Christian apologetics. There is eternity at stake for people and we don’t need to be giving a shallow faith to those who need a deep one.

I also recommend my friend George Brahm who has similar thoughts here.

In Christ,
Nick Peters