The lead singer of the Missouri-based metalcore band The Order of Elijah announced on Saturday that he has renounced his faith, citing evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion with helping answer existential questions that he claims no Christian wanted to address.
On Saturday, Shannon Low, the lead singer of the band, confessed on the band’s Facebook page that he has decided to shed his faith “like a cocoon.”
In the post, Low explained that he was baptized at the age of 20, and once felt called to be a pastor. However, he derailed from that plan and spent over a decade doing drugs, having sex and playing guitar in metal bands.
It wasn’t until Low joined the Ignite church in Joplin, Missouri, and became friends with the pastor that he got his life in order and stopped drinking and doing drugs. Low eventually played guitar for the church’s worship team and became the leader of the church youth group.
“For the first time ever I felt I was doing what God had called me to do,” Low wrote. “The story short is it all fell apart. I’m just pledging this flag to let you know how passionate I was about Christ and having a ministry. This was the time when TOOE was taking root and forming.”
But after Low and his wife divorced about a year after his daughter was born, he explained that he fell back to his old drinking habits and entered a dark place in his life.
After returning from absence to church, Low said he began to question some of the injustices that he read about in the Old Testament and wondered how a just religion could promote things like sacrificing a virgin child for the sake of a battle victory and the mauling of children who insulted Elisha.
“This didn’t break me though. I still claimed Jesus, I said to myself ‘Jesus must have realized everyone was insane and there to set it straight,'” Low reasoned. “Which many people were quick to inform me that was blasphemous because Jesus condones and quotes the Old Testament quite frequently. I still stuck to my guns but received a lot of flak by my spiritual peers for not understanding why the OT God was so racist, ethnic cleansing, jealous as an insecure girlfriend, cruel and power hungry.”
Low said he then “picked up a book called The God Delusion which talks about how all of this chaotic puzzle adds up. It answered so many questions that my Christian friends would literally get furious for me to even address,” Low stated. “Sometimes I would lose Christian friends by simply pondering certain questions. I would see these same Christians publicly calling my other friends ‘abominations’ for being gay.”
Low then asserted that if God’s message was so important, it shouldn’t be filled with “contradictions.”
“Why allow his message to be spread by fallible humans and sit by idly while falsehoods are spread in his name?” Low asked. “Why sentence [two-thirds] of the world to Hell for being born in the wrong culture? I’d think a perfect God would never need to correct His Word if our literal souls depended on it.”
“After one of the most difficult decisions in my adult years, I had no choice but to accept that I had shed my faith like a cocoon,” he added. “It was scary yet liberating, it confusing yet simple, I felt at peace yet completely shaken, I pretty much had to reprogram my way of thinking about the world. Not only that, I felt I had lived a lie for half my life. I read books, tried meditating, hell sometimes I’d even try to talk to God.”
Low even argued that dropping his faith helped him to regain control of his life and his alcohol problem.
“After a few months I read about the science of addiction and life trauma. I stopped trying to pray my alcoholism away and began combating it with real methods,” Low wrote. “I began confronting my problems head on rather than ‘giving them to God.’ I became very interested in researching science and the culture of other religions daily. I eventually completely gave up alcohol, got my health back, and enrolled in college. I’m proud to say I have a 3.75 GPA.”
Low’s announcement comes as The Order of Elijah is set to take off on a multi-city tour in June. The tour is titled “God’s Unwanted Tour.”
“Look, I love you guys and I’m sorry I’m not a Christian anymore,” Low told the fans. “This is honestly me completely coming out of the faith closet, I tried to avoid throwing all my mental baggage into the road but you guys very important to me and the rest of the TOOE crew.”