The Order of Elijah vocalist Shannon Low drops his Christian faith after a long struggle.

After reading biologist Richard Dawkins’ book, The God Delusion, Shannon Low decided that he must shed his belief “like a cocoon.”. Low is the long-time front man for the Missouri-based band, The Order of Elijah.

Low’s path to religion is not an unusual one. He spent his 20s living a life of sex, drugs and rock and roll. This ended when he joined the Ignite church in Joplin, Missouri and became friendly with the pastor there. He subsequently played guitar for the church and lead its youth group.

Shortly thereafter, The Order of Elijah came together, and Low felt like he was following a strong calling: a ministry in support of Jesus.

But he fell back into drinking after he and his wife divorced, just a year after his daughter was born. Once he returned to the church after this absence, Low began to think about the Old Testament, especially atrocities supported by the church such as sacrificing a virgin child for the sake of winning a battle, or maiming children who insulted prophets like Elisha.

But Low didn’t give up on Christianity just yet. He assumed Jesus would see the injustice that he did, and work to clear it up. But he found out that Jesus often quoted the Old Testament, and condoned the actions of the church during that time.

Confused by the apparent contradictions, and tired of negative reactions from Christian friends as he wondered about his faith, Low picked up Dawkins’ book.

The God Delusion made clear everything Low was struggling with. For example, why would a “perfect God” damn over half of the world’s population to Hell simply for being born in the “wrong culture.”

So Low moved away from religion and the church, stopped praying for a cure to his alcoholism and instead “combated it with real methods.” He has since cleaned up his act, even enrolling in college.

Over the past year, The Order of Elijah had started to move away from its Christian connection, first by leaving a Christian record label and moving to a secular one.

The band has lost many fans, especially as it showed support for LGBT issues, but gained others as it left the Christian circuit, reports Patheos. All in all, Low states that leaving Christianity “has been a great decision.”

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