Ellie Holcomb on Christian Leaders Renouncing Their Faith: ‘The Heart Was Not Built for Notoriety’

Nashville-based singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb opened up about her personal journey of suffering and loss as well asher passion for teaching Scripture to society’s littlest members in an exclusive interview with The Christian Post. | Ellie Holcomb

Christian music singer/songwriter Ellie Holcomb says the recent spate of popular Christian leaders publicly renouncing their faith should compel Christians to examine their own hearts and pray for mercy rather than pass judgment.

“I think it’s so easy to judge, but a good way to respond would be to fall on our knees and pray and ask God to have mercy because we all need it,” Holcomb told The Christian Post during a sit-down interview in Tennessee. “These situations should invoke within us the urge to pray and then also to repent from our own stuff. We’re all human, and we’re all broken.”

“We all struggle and fail because of our sinful natures, but nothing is too far or too broken for the Gospel to cover,” she said. “We have to apply these things to ourselves and examine our hearts. We have to have a spirit of gratitude that His mercy is more.”

Recently, author Joshua Harris announced on social media that he no longer considers himself a Christian, and prolific worship music writer Marty Sampson, known for his extensive work with Hillsong Church, said he was “genuinely losing” his faith. Earlier, popular Christian alternative rock musician Michael Gungor revealed he embraced atheism for a full year.

Holcomb, a chart-topping solo artist and former member of the band Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, fronted by her husband, Drew, said that the pressures of the music industry can propel even the most humble individual toward self-worship.

“The lifestyle of being on a stage and in a fishbowl on display with a lot of people looking to you — there are some interesting hurdles and struggles that come along with that,” she explained. “The heart was not built for notoriety. I’m a huge fan of counseling because it gets confusing when a lot of people are saying, ‘Oh, you’re so great.’ I think a good thing for all of us to do would be to stop and hear the Lord say, ‘Don’t look to the right or left. Focus your eyes on me. You look at me, and you’re going to be OK.’”

The “Red Sea Road” singer also cautioned Christians against idolizing Christian leaders, adding: “Our hearts were made to worship the One who made us, but we misplace that a lot of times. I would encourage people to not place those in the spotlight on a pedestal; to make sure that they’re worshiping the One who gave the gift.”

Even the most broken of individuals, she emphasized, can be redeemed. She also highlighted the need for transparency within the church, explaining it should be a “safe place” to explore doubts and questions of the faith.

“The church is meant to be a hospital, not a museum,” she said. “Sometimes it becomes this place where you’re looking at everybody else who is so faithful and using their gifts, and really, it’s meant to be a place where we come broken and busted up to the beautiful embrace of Christ.”

Holcomb also stressed the need for the church to become “comfortable” with the reality of suffering, doubt, and pain. She added that throughout the Pslams, David continually directed his questions and doubts toward the Lord — and Isaiah describes Jesus as a “man of sorrows. This, she said, demonstrates God has a “long leash when it comes to suffering and patience as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”

“We need to hear from the pulpit that it’s OK not to be OK,” she said. “I think so often all that’s presented in both sermons and worship music is, the Gospel is about being good and loving God and other people. And that’s all well and good, but it’s not the full Gospel.”

“God isn’t far away from our pain; He understands our sorrow and suffering. We can come to Him because of what Jesus did with all of it,” she said. “Just because you’re suffering doesn’t mean that the Gospel doesn’t apply to that.”

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Source: Christian Post