John L. Cooper, the lead singer of popular Christian rock band Skillet, issued heartfelt advice to Christian influencers who have recently renounced their Christian faith in public.
Two well-known Christian influencers announced recently that they had left their Christian faith.
In July, Joshua Harris, author of the popular Christian book, “I Kissed Dating Goodbye,” and former pastor, announced that he was no longer a Christian and proclaimed that he was now a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ_community.
Hillsong United worship leader Marty Sampson made a similar announcement last week, insisting that he is “genuinely losing his faith,” but that the very idea did not bother him.
What did Cooper say?
In a lengthy Facebook post directed at the influencers as well as the Christian church, Cooper wrote, “Ok I’m saying it. Because it’s too important not to. What is happening in Christianity? More and more of our outspoken leaders or influencers who were once ‘faces’ of the faith are falling away.”
“Firstly,” he continued, “I never judge people outside of my faith. Even if they hate religion or Christianity. That is not my place and I have many friends who disagree with my religion and that is 100% fine with me. However, when it comes to people within my faith, there must be a measure of loyalty and friendship and accountability to each other and the Word of God.”
Cooper explained that Christians and the Christian church at large must stop “making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers … ‘relevant.’”
“[W]e are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth,” he explained. “We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word.”
Cooper noted that he is very concerned that the former Christian influencers feel compelled to “make such a bold new stance.”
“I’m perplexed why they aren’t embarrassed? Humbled? Ashamed, fearful, confused?” he asked. “Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don’t know where you are headed?”
“[M]ost shocking imo, as these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their ‘new insight/new truth’ that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus’s words?!” he mused. “It’s truly bizarre and ironic. They’ll say ‘I’m disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others.’”
Cooper pointed out that those notions are “not actually 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.”
The singer went on to note that Jesus is the truth, and the Word of God is absolute, so to postulate otherwise is a waste of time, and “the words of a madman” to boot.
“It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the Word. And to value the teaching of the Word. We need to value truth over feeling. Truth over emotion. And what we are seeing now is the result of the church raising up influencers who did not supremely value truth who have led a generation who also do not believe in the supremacy of truth,” he reasoned. “And now those disavowed leaders are proudly still leading and influencing boldly AWAY from the truth.”
He concluded with some advice and a rather poignant piece of Scripture.
“I implore you, please please in your search for relevancy for the gospel, let us NOT find creative ways to shape Gods word into the image of our culture by stifling inconvenient truths, but rather let us hold on even tighter to the anchor of the living Word of God. For He changes NOT,” he wrote.
“‘The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever (Isaiah 40:8),’” he closed.