Brady Goodwin (aka Phanatik) is the latest in a line of Christian rock/rap musicians and prominent evangelicals who have renounced their faith. Goodwin is a founding member of the Christian hip-hop group The Cross Movement and the author of The Death of Hip-Hop, Marriage and Morals (2010) and From Hip Hop to Hollywood: The Art of Christianity (2013). In a YouTube video this month, Goodwin said, “I am denouncing the Christian faith that I have believed, professed, proclaimed, and defended for the last 30 years of my life.” Goodwin is 45 years old, so he must have made a profession of faith at about 15. He made the point of saying, “I’m good; I’m where I think I’m going to be.” All of these men make the point of saying that everything is good now that they have renounced Jesus Christ, but that is nonsense. In August 2019, Marty Sampson, a worship leader and song writer for Hillsong, said he was seriously entertaining atheism and was “so happy now, so at peace with the world.” That same month, Joshua Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, announced that he had renounced his faith in Christ and was divorcing his wife. He wanted everyone to know that he was “following his heart” and was at peace. In May 2020, Jon Steingard, of the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson, renounced his belief in God. In an Instagram post, he said that renouncing God is “refreshing and a weight being lifted.” He said, “I am stunned by the number of people in visible positions within Christian circles that feel the same way as I do. Like me, they fear losing everything if they’re open about it.” I don’t relate to these men in any way. I didn’t like to go to church or read the Bible or pray before I was born again at age 23, but everything changed then, and I have never looked back with any longing whatsoever, never doubted God or the Bible or Jesus Christ or any biblical teaching. I relate, rather, to Peter who was converted out of a rough fisherman’s lifestyle, and had no interest in renouncing Christ. When the crowds left Jesus, He asked the twelve, “Will ye also go away?” Peter replied with the testimony of a true born again believer: “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (John 6:68-69). We would warn that the Christianity of the aforementioned men was never a biblical Christianity. Their Christian philosophy is described in 2 Timothy 4:3, “… they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears.” Their Christianity was a “live by your lusts” Christianity. By their lifestyle and associations, they said, “No one is going to tell me who I can befriend or what music I can listen to or what I can look at or where I can go or what I can drink or what I can wear.” But God does tell His people what kind of friends to have (Proverbs 1:15; 22:24; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18; James 4:4) and what kind of music to listen to (Ephesians 5:18; Colossians 3:16) and where they should go and not go (Proverbs 4:26) and what they should speak (Proverbs 4:24; Ephesians 4:29) and what they should look at (Psalms 101:3; Proverbs 4:25; Matthew 5:28) and what they should drink (Proverbs 20:1; 23:31-35; 1 Corinthians 10:21) and what they should wear (1 Timothy 2:9-10. Separation from evil and error is not an optional part of biblical Christianity. “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them” (Ephesians 5:11). “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?’ (2 Corinthians 6:14). “Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17).
(Friday Church News Notes, January 21, 2022, www.wayoflife.org, email@example.com, 866-295-4143)