Hillsong's former worship leader and songwriter Marty Sampson has been under scrutiny for admitting his doubts about his Christian faith, saying, "I'm genuinely losing my faith, and it doesn't bother me." His confession has then invited public censure from Skillet's John Cooper and Billy Graham Association's CEO Franklin Graham.
Sampson has responded by saying that though many may disagree with him about his stance or the lack thereof, his message to them is 'I love you'. In a post on Instagram Sampson said: "My message to you is one of love. Love your enemies. Do good to those who persecute you. By this will all men know that you are my disciples, by the love you have for each other. No judgment. No condemnation. We are all humans, all cut from the same cloth."
Sampson went on to say that even though Christians "don't all agree on many different doctrines" they can still display love to one another.
He said: "Love covers a multitude of sins. Love keeps no record of wrongs. Love never fails." In subsequent instagram posts (all of which has been deleted), Sampson has shown how people regardless of their faith have shown love. Love, according to Sampson, is the most important.
But can we truly love without God? Can we genuinely love others when we have denied the existence of the Greatest Lover? According to Skillet's frontman, John Cooper, the answer is no. Love is meaningless if we deny the Savior. "They'll say "I'm disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others". Ummm, why?"
"That is actually not human nature. No child is ever born and says "I just want to love others before loving myself. I want to turn the other cheek. I want to give my money away to others in need". Those are bible principles taught by a prophet/Priest/king of kings who wants us to live by a higher standard which is not an earthly standard, but rather the 'Kingdom of God' standard."
Cooper continues, "Therefore if Jesus is not the truth and if the Word of God is not absolute, then by preaching Jesus's teachings you are endorsing the words of a madman. A lunatic who said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me." He also said that he was alive before Abraham, and to see him was to see God because he was one with God. So why then would a disavowed christian leader promote that "generosity is good"? How would you know "what is good" without Jesus's teachings? And will your ideas of what is "good" be different from year to year based on your experience, culture trends, poplular opinion etc and furthermore will you continue year by year to lead others into your idea of goodness even though it is not absolute? I'm amazed that so many Christians want the benefits of the kingdom of God, but with the caveat that they themselves will be the King."