John Cooper on Christian “influencers” falling away


Over the summer, a very influential Christian announced he was leaving his faith. Just a few days ago, another influential Christian announced his doubts about the faith (thought not a complete resignation). This news made more impact because of the influence that both men had on Christianity. The responses from the Christian family when these things happen can be varied, from supportive to condemning. I’ve had my share of discussions at church about my personal thoughts on these events, which I may write about in the future. Today, John L. Cooper (vocalist and bassist of Skillet) wrote about his thoughts on the matter, which I found intriguing and sound, and which highlight how we as a church can do better in light of these events. Some excerpts of what he wrote are quoted below:

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.

[…] 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.

I should note that he finished his message by citing Isaiah 40:8, one of my favorite verses. I encourage my fellow Christians to read his full post.

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