Christian Rocker Posts Stunning Response to Recent Apostasy of Christian Leaders

By Julie Roys
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John Cooper, the lead singer for the band Skillet, posted a stunning response on Facebook yesterday to the recent public renunciations of Christianity by Joshua Harris and then Hillsong songwriter, Marty Sampson. (Sampson has since slightly walked back his initial statement after Dr. Michael Brown posted an open letter challenging Sampson’s assertions.) Below is Cooper’s entire statement, which was also published at Cogent Christianity. I’m reposting it here because it’s so good and so important, I want to make sure everyone who follows this blog sees it. Thank you, John Cooper, for saying what few have the insight or courage to say. God bless you, brother!

“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. And at the same time they are being very vocal and bold about it. Shockingly they still want to influence others (for what purpose?) as they announce that they are leaving the faith. I’ll state my conclusion, then I’ll state some rebuttals to statements I’ve read by some of them. Firstly, 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.

“My conclusion for the church (all of us Christians): We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom. (And yes that includes people like me!) I’ve been saying for 20 years(and seemed probably quite judgmental to some of my peers) that we are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth. We now have a church culture that learns who God is from singing modern praise songs rather than from the teachings of the Word. I’m not being rude to my worship leader friends (many who would agree with me) in saying that singers and musicians are good at communicating emotion and feeling. We create a moment and a vehicle for God to speak. However, singers are not always the best people to write solid bible truth and doctrine. Sometimes we are too young, too ignorant of scripture, too unaware, or too unconcerned about the purity of scripture and the holiness of the God we are singing to. Have you ever considered the disrespect of singing songs to God that are untrue of His character?

We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or ‘relevant’ people the most influential people in Christendom . . . we are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth.

“I have a few specific thoughts and rebuttals to statements made by recently disavowed church influencers…first of all, I am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance. Basically saying, ‘I’ve been living and preaching boldly something for 20 years and led generations of people with my teachings and now I no longer believe it..therefore I’m going to boldly and loudly tell people it was all wrong while I boldly and loudly lead people in to my next truth.’ I’m perplexed why they aren’t embarrassed? Humbled? Ashamed, fearful, confused? Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don’t know where you are headed?

“My second thought is, why do people act like ‘being real’ covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier. Have they considered the ramifications? As if they are the harbingers of truth, saying ‘I used to think one way and practice it and preach it, but now I’ve learned all the new truth and will start practicing and preaching it.’ So the influencers become the voice for truth in whatever stage of life and whatever evolution takes place in their thinking.

(W)hy do people act like ‘being real’ covers a multitude of sins? As if someone is courageous simply for sharing virally every thought or dark place. That’s not courageous. It’s cavalier.

“Thirdly, there is a common thread running through these leaders/influencers that basically says that ‘no one else is talking about the REAL stuff.’ This is just flatly false. I just read today in a renown worship leader’s statement, ‘How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it.’ As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There’s like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don’t get the answer you want doesn’t mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.

“And lastly, and most 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?! It’s truly bizarre and ironic. They’ll say ‘I’m disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others.’ Ummm, why? That is actually not 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. Therefore if Jesus is not the truth and if the Word of God is not absolute, then by preaching Jesus’s teachings you are endorsing the words of a madman. A lunatic who said ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.’ He also said that he was alive before Abraham, and to see him was to see God because he was one with God. So why then would a disavowed christian leader promote that ‘generosity is good’? How would you know ‘what is good’ without Jesus’s teachings? And will your ideas of what is ‘good’ be different from year to year based on your experience, culture trends, popular opinion etc and furthermore will you continue year by year to lead others into your idea of goodness even though it is not absolute? I’m amazed that so many Christians want the benefits of the kingdom of God, but with the caveat that they themselves will be the King.

“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. And now those disavowed leaders are proudly still leading and influencing boldly AWAY from the truth.

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.

“Is it any wonder that some of our disavowed Christian leaders are letting go of the absolute truth of the Bible and subsequently their lives are falling apart? Further and further they are sinking in the sea all the while shouting ‘now I’ve found the truth! Follow me!!’ Brothers and sisters in the faith all around the world, pastors, teachers, worship leaders, influencers…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. ‘The grass withers and the flowers fade away, but the word of our God stands forever’ (Isaiah 40:8)”

Amen and amen.

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55 thoughts on “Christian Rocker Posts Stunning Response to Recent Apostasy of Christian Leaders”

  1. I am with you Brother. As a single mother I always taught my children to keep their eyes on the King of Kings and not on man. Man can fall and man can fail but Jesus NEVER fails. I hold on to this in the most difficult, hurtful times of my life. Keep your eyes on the prize as someone running to win the prize. I John 4:1 Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
    Its end time and the enemies will fool even the very elect. God have mercy on us and help us to endure until the end.

  2. I feel like Joshua Harris’ book had a lot of legalism in it and I can see him confusing it with God who is authentic and the opposite of legalism. So if he’s walking away from legalism (rules before the importance of people), that makes sense. He just may need a revelation that the legalism was not God anyway.

    1. Serving Kids in Japan

      I imagine that at least some of Harris’ doubt and disillusionment stems from having been molested himself as a youth. He confessed to this a few years ago. He’s revealed few details, but I wonder how strongly his parents or pastors encouraged him to hush it up and let his abuser go unpunished, “for Jesus’ sake”.

  3. Here’s the good news….I couldn’t give a rip what a “Christian Rocker” or “Christian Author” (Harris) says. Means nothing to me. They are just men, like me.

    What I do care about is what the Word of God says. As Christian believers, I pray that we would turn away from celebrity churches (e.g., Harvest, Willow, et al) and attend a church that preaches the Word of God only. Leave the popular friends (e.g., current or former Bears players, Clinton, etc) to your own time. When you are in the pulpit, no one wants to hear about your good times at your summer home, or the time you spent with your celebrity friends. And if you do care about those things in a church, then I question the level/quality of your faith.

  4. hmm…The pastors saw the wolves lurking nearby the flock and said : “The eagle doesn’t catch flies”. Now they’re snivelling after the damage done. A little too late… “Keep watch over yourselves and the entire flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your OWN number, men will rise up and distort the truth to draw away disciples after them.…

  5. I applaud John Cooper’s position on relying on the Word of God, without it we’re just following the ideas of men. With regard to Mr. cooper’s appearance, it seems appropriate for his audience (western youth). I think Paul is clear enough here…
    1 Corinthians 9:19-23
    19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. ESV

  6. Thank you for sharing this. The church has lost its way and the results are evident everywhere with the exception of places like Africa whose leaders insist on a faith based on and in God’s Word, His Son and the Bible. I had someone tell me recently that Jesus never said anything about homosexual practice. Really?? He is the Word (see John 1) and has said this activity is an abomination to God all through the Bible (God’s Word), both in the Old and New Testament. While on earth He explicitly stated that marriage is between one man and one woman (see Matt.19:4-6). The great apostasy is heating up and will usher in the anti-Christ. The only protection we have against the delusion of the enemy is to be in the Bible daily. Sadly, less than 30% of evangelical Christians today have a Biblical world view. The salt is losing its saltiness. Come, Lord Jesus.

  7. I don’t say this lightly – sometimes you read something, and it’s immediately obvious that the gift of prophecy is still at work in the Church. This was one of those moments.

  8. Great article – I wanted to go and read the original post myself but failed to find it on either of his facebook pages unfortunately.

  9. Hummm. Doesn’t it say somewhere in Gods word that in the last days there will be a great falling away. All I kept hearing as I read this was that a double minded person is unstable in all his ways. It’s not hard to understand why someone who walks away from Christianity or God Himself looks for followers. Isn’t it part of our sin nature to try to justify what we are doing! I agree the sin should be confronted and with love show the truth of what is happening. The truth shall set us free. Come Lord Jesus and redeem. Make the crooked paths straight.

  10. These poor people. Some of them aren’t wrong. Christianity has turned into just another religion, like the Hillsong artist (I believe his name is Marty – initially states). People have forced their individual views and fleshly understanding of the words and life of our Messiah for almost 2000 years. People wonder why the “church” is powerless yet reject even acknowledging the part of the Bible that makes up a physical and literary majority of the book – what they call the Old Testament. In this section we see prophecies about Messiah, we see teachings God gave His people (Torah) and we see constant pleas from God through His prophets to “turn back to Him” and “repent of your sins” and yet every time I walk in a Church and sit down, I am affronted with this “it’s all about grace and mercy” – which is true, but people don’t understand that faith leads to a life changing event where you become obedient, you TURN AWAY from your past life/sins, and begin to be transformed. I hate to say it, but most are not walking out their faith in obedience. I have people try to tell me how it all works who don’t even bother to open the Scriptures and find out for themselves. I hear people talking about God and denying the fact that he was opening up the earth in Exodus to consume the ungodly and rebellious. Yes He is merciful, but He tells the Israelites FIRST that He is jealous God and visits the iniquity of people to their 3rd and 4th generation, but showing mercy to the thousandth of those that love Him…… I’ve been told I’m walking a path trying to earn salvation just in my mere attempts to obey God, fully aware that my salvation comes free through the blood of Messiah. But people act like that’s it, you just have to show up and “get your free ticket” – this walk is on a narrow path and that gate at the end of it isn’t very wide….. People need to turn back to God, open Scripture -> the “Old” Testament (what Jesus taught btw and Paul admonished Timothy to stay in Scripture) and learn from God’s teachings on how to live. It’s all there….. Exodus, Leviticus especially – Deuteronomy for a recap……. people think this stuff was just for Jews and isn’t important (their words). Absolute nonsense.

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