Skillet’s John Cooper on Apostasy Among Young Christian Leaders

by George Brahm

John Cooper, lead singer for the rock band Skillet, responded to the litany of recent apostasies among young Christian leaders. In a Facebook post titled ‘What in God’s Name is Happening in Christianity?’ put up on Tuesday, August 13, Cooper directly addressed the reasons given by Hillsong songwriter Marty Sampson for renouncing his Christian faith, before highlighting the need for Christians to stay grounded in a truth-driven faith over an emotion-driven one. Here is the text of the post in its entirety (not corrected for spelling or punctuation):

“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?

“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.

“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, poplular 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.

“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)”

I am glad to see one of these ‘influencers’ come out in defense of the authority of Scripture and the importance of a robust faith that can outlast even the harshest of challenges.

A popular rock band for over two decades, Skillet recently came out with their latest album ‘Victorious’, available on their website.


The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of other authors at Cogent Christianity.

250 thoughts on “Skillet’s John Cooper on Apostasy Among Young Christian Leaders

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    1. It’s so arrogant to assume that there’s no possible way these people could be right to lose faith. I did. Once you see enough of the bigger picture you don’t have a choice what you can believe. It’s like I was taught that 2+2=5 my whole life. Then I learned to count. I can’t continue to believe the false equation if I tried, threats of hell falling completely flat.

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      1. it’s arrogant to thank we deserve anything below what God intended. We are created for one purpose, to worship our Creator. Te thought of hell has always intrigued me. Like the description of hell is what we fear. Really? As bad as that is, the true punishment of hell is the eternal separation from God.

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    2. I think it’s time for the Church to pull it’s head out of the sand and pay attention to the arguments/reasons why people leave the faith. The modern human mind is rapidly evolving, the knowledge (about all aspects of reality) is one click of the mouse away. People are no longer easily fooled with ‘the truth of the scriptures’ or the fear of hell. The science not only has gained so much over the bible but it simply proves the bible for what it is, a ridiculous book of fairytales. It worked in the past but is losing it’s spell with the modern mind. There’s sooooo much more to be said. As for the dire-cry (above), i think that Marty is entitle to do whatever he wants, say what he wants and to whoever he wants. We, the world have to put up with you christians preaching your fantasies to us and terrorise us with the threat of hell but when one of you pulls his head out of the sand, unwashed his brain with the soap of reality and free of dogma and happily speaks out about it you don’t like it. A taste of your own medicine.

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  1. That will preach. We’ve discontinued Sunday School. We’ve created “praise and worship” that has the spiritual depth of a raindrop. We’ve removed the pulpit and replaced it with a barstool. We’ve traded communion for coffee bars. We’ve eliminated preaching the hard stuff for preaching the soft stuff. We’ve removed the altars and the altar calls and left an open void. We’ve built the bigger and better and turned the meat of the Word into a tasty infant pablum in order to keep the numbers up, the money flowing and the lights on and the mortgage paid. We’ve lost the intimacy of the congregation and gained the entertainment of the crowds. Given all of that, the question shouldn’t be why apostasy is on the rise, but why has it taken this long?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Annette,
      I agree..I am thankfully blessed to attend a small country church that still has Sunday School, still has an alter call and time of invitation at the end of service, still holds the Lords Supper every 3 months, has a meet and greet during worship service. I have attended the bigger more prominent churches in the past on occasion, however they in no way compare to the love and affection that I have found at the little church in the country that I have attended now for 15+ years.

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      1. We must be careful, here. John Cooper’s point is not simply to call out and condemn the more modern methods, but rather the departure from the word of God as truth and the over-dependency of trendy methods. I was raised in the traditional “Bible belt” church and I actually work at one now. I can tell you that “tradition” can just as easily replace the truth of the word of God. Let’s not confuse John Copper’s message as, “Let’s get back to the old ways of doing things,” but understand that he is pleading for a return to the absolute and eternal truth of the word of God. Traditional services/churches like contemporary ones can quickly become unbiblical when we prioritize method over message (THE message of God’s word).

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    2. Is there something wrong with a Coffee bar? Can a preacher not share the hard stuff from a barstool? Why does it have to be either or? Why can’t we do both? We can sing a P&W song that has the deep theological truth as amazing grace… it’s ok to do that. We don’t have to forsake current style for style that does not connect with the current generation.

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      1. The question isn’t as much about right or wrong, but is it working? “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.” Since the beginning of the Charismatic Movement there has been a 31% decline in those professing Christianity. The fastest growing segment is not Protestant or Catholic or non denominational, but nonbelievers. Do we blame this on the existing culture? It only takes a cursory knowledge of the early church history to know that the first 300 years of Christianity managed to grow and spread in the midst of pagan worshipers, major upheavals and constant persecution. Somehow they managed to grow Christianity and spread it without a smoke machine, jumbo screen or even a microphone. Yet with all our bells and whistles, cool polish and practice we’ve managed to lose a third of our numbers since 1955. Imagine standing on judgement day and hearing God say, “Dude, I gave you one assignment, a clear instruction manual and my Spirit. Explain yourself.” If the current model was working effectively there would be evidence in the growth and an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. There would be growth evidenced by decreases in the epidemics that surround the churches walls and an increase in the number of those calling themselves Christian.

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    3. This is not what he is saying. I can sit on a barstool & share God’s Word just as I can stand behind a pulpit & share. God’s Word is not effected by what piece of furniture I use to hold it up while I share. ALSO I do not scoff at churches that still have Sunday School & you should be careful scoffing at Churches that implemented the Biblical Model of Meeting in small groups from the book of Acts. Especially if they are more fruitful & involve more leaders in more ministries. It’s arrogant generalizations like you’re making that turn people away.

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      1. It’s less a matter of right or wrong, but of effective or ineffective. If it’s working then why did 2% of the population self identify as nonbelievers in 1948 and as many as 31% do so today? If the current method is so effective why has Christianity in America and the Western world as a whole declined steadily over the last 70 years and rapidly over the last 25?

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    4. He said it well. I didn’t read any of the renouncers statements, l would not let them try to drag me down to hell with them. If they go; they go, but not me. I’ll love the lord all my days.

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  2. Very good – glad he’s saying these things. Money quote: “We are in a dangerous place when the church is looking to 20 year old worship singers as our source of truth.”

    Oh, and FTR – the Church has been wrestling with ideas for 2,000 years – not just 1,500. 😉

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  3. Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you-unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures—1 Corinthians 15:1-3

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  4. I skimmed Cooper’s comments and agreed with them but wanted to add a second point. As Christians we know that consistent, loving, and accountable relationships with the same congregation and pastors week in and week out is absolutely necessary for a vibrant and growing faith. Yet most Christian musicians, speakers and other Christian “celebrities” have a touring schedule that seems to prevent this type of consistency. How do we disciple our “celebrity” Christians? Especially the ones that are either young in the faith or just young in general? I have almost come to an expectation that many of our more prominent and popular Christian performers will struggle, fail and if possible fall away just because of the lifestyle. Consistent community, discipleship and accountability is a must for all of us.

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    1. Hey Brian! To address your question, which I think is an important one, I would simply say that even though the demands of traveling for these people may be difficult, it is still up to them to create their own healthy boundaries when it comes to work, family, and church life. If touring is starting to get out of hand, it’s their responsibility as an individual to take ownership of their relationship with the Lord and set a boundary for themselves that allows them to rest and recuperate and spend time with fellow believers invested at a local church. I would add that it’s also important for traveling worship leaders and speakers to surround themselves with authentic mentors and leaders who will keep them accountable. It’s so easy when you enter that world to surround yourself with “yes men”, but again the responsibility is up to the individual to recognize this and make the right choices to safeguard their relationship with the Lord. We like to blame a lot of people when it comes to our relationships falling apart, but we have to own what’s in our power to control. The biggest lie I see from the enemy is getting people to believe that they are powerless and that they don’t have the ability to make healthy decisions for their own life. If he gets you to believe you’re powerless, you will give your power away to anything and anyone. As someone who is currently pursuing a degree in worship leadership something I have to keep at the forefront of my mind is that I am and always will be responsible for my relationship with God and with the local church. It’s up to me to engage and not let my heart grow cold. God is always there. He always shows up. It’s my job to respond to the invitation.

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      1. @sydney and Brian,
        I am always appreciative of Christian music artists that tour with a pastor/or mentor/ older person with them. For devotional /prayer times as well as accountability. I’m not sure where anyone would put Mark Hall/Casting Crowns in this list but they never travel (or perhaps rarely) travel on Sundays. They may and usually do drive thru the night Saturday but they show up in their church(es) Sunday mornings. I believe they all serve in some capacity. I believe Mark Hall is a youth pastor.

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      2. It’s not an either or, it’s a both and… it is up to each of us to make sure we are spending good time with the Lord—no matter what we do for work (I am responsible for spending time with God no matter where I am). And… church leaders are called to shepherd the flock—which includes musicians (as an author, I travel to teach and speak, and when I am home, my pastor needs to be shepherding me—and sometimes when I’m on the road!). It is important that the church leadership (pastor/elders/leaders) walk with them in some fashion teaching and training just as they do with anyone in the congregation—maybe even more so because musicians (I was a worship leader for 30+ years) are leaders in the culture and all leaders need accountability and training in the word.

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    2. I’m not a touring musician, so I don’t have an educated answer. I’d suggest we allow People like John Cooper of Skillet or the members of Casting Crowns and Third Day to teach how to minister to those folks. There are quite a few Christian bands who have survived the struggles. There is a church in Nashville that ministers to the musicians in that region.

      I do remember when I was a member of the home church of the Southern Gospel group, Gold City. When they were home, they didn’t want to perform, they just wanted to worship God and be part of the family of God. Letting them do that seemed to be a huge ministry to them. These were spiritually mature men at the time, so I don’t know about the struggles they had growing in the faith and ministry.

      I understand I haven’t really answered anything, but just sharing a perspective.

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  5. We must not replace the Truth to comforting words that leads us to sin! Its a wake up call for us Christians that we must stand firm in the Truth, in any circumstances, in any disagreements, and in any situation. The Truth of the Scriptures must prevail in every aspects of our lives as God’s chosen people.

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  6. Exactly the church has no power, people need action and real results every so often. I mean you get sick, no one gets healed, you need love, church no has no real connections, no love, just entertainment. After reading the miracles in the bible then seeing what we have today everyone has to wonder is this legit? If it is why so many megapastors that are all chasing money. Even most of the small church leaders aspire to be megapastors, it’s about money

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  7. John, I applaud you and your voice for truth. As an Evangelist, I see first hand the desperation in the eyes and heart of people who are looking for truth but in all the wrong places and from all the wrong influencers Even today I read about several pastors, ministers, and worship leaders that have fallen away to the lure of the world. One of my favorite worship leaders recently left the faith to move to Hollywood to pursue acting. When asked he replied I wasn’t really comfortable in the role of singing for God. Really? Did it take you 22 years to figure that out? But, as you mentioned, they long to validate their actions by influencing others to join them or trust they know what is best for themselves away from the faith.

    John, I recently saw an interview with you, Korry, Seth, and Jen from NY. You were discussing the new album and took questions. During that interview, you gave praise to Korry for her production work, sound management, and craft as a producer. I was so impressed by your overwhelming praise for your wife.

    I learned so much more about the Coopers and gained tremendous respect for Korry. BTW: I have “Victorious” already and my two favs are “Never going back” and “reach” because of the reason and dedication of the song.

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    1. “Really? Did it take you 22 years to figure that out?”

      Yeah. Yeah it does sometimes. Religions are very good about keeping people from questioning. But once you let yourself actually question and seek answers then it’s just the beginning.

      It took me 31 years to start questioning, because I was raised in it. The people I trust the most brought me up not to question, to have faith that it’ll all work out even if you don’t understand it.

      When i started thinking for myself finally I saw that most of what kept me was just years and years of childhood indoctrination.

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      1. I truly hope everyone currently in ministry reads your response. I hope it quickens them to an understanding that somewhere along the way the church has missed something. The fact that someone can spend 31 years in church, any church calling itself a church that follows Christ, yet in 31 years they never had an experience with their Creator so deep seated as to leave them grounded in the knowledge that he is real shouts that we are missing the mark.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. @annetteleivestad

        I had experiences, I had the powerful emotions during worship, lead bible studies, communed with God. But then something happened and I started questioning.

        And in that time where I cried out to God for years as I was losing my faith I had nothing, no revelation, no messages, just nothing.

        So it was only when i was earnestly seeking did I realize that I was probably the source of all of those emotions and feelings of awe. I had deluded myself and only once when i actually examined it all realized how not real it was.

        The questions about miracles, works, healing, etc… all of these things stopped making sense. Why do we tell ourselves stories from thousands of years ago about how God did all of these things and now with the invention of reliable communication suddenly nothing? Why is the evidence of God just hearsay? For the supposed living god, it seems like there isn’t a whole lot except people just telling stories.

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  8. John is speaking the absolute truth. The points he made are right on. I started seeing the fall when the prosperity message began in the churches from 2000 to the present. Cling to Jesus, read HIS WORD, PRAY, Spend time each morning in devotions with HIM, talk to HIM through out the day and night. Start looking towards that eastern sky, I truly believe that Jesus is coming soon! BE STRONG & KEEP THE FAITH…..

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  9. I will be a fan forever after reading this. My son has always loved Skillet. I can rest assured that John Cooper is following Jesus and remaining true to the Word of God. I am a musician and appreciate a well turned praise and worship song. However, the heart behind it needs to hold true to our faith. Too many worship leaders today have beautiful waving branches, but no deep roots. Sad that we are so commercial.

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  10. We also see in the “American Church” people wanting to be famous on the internet with their social media posts, podcasts, etc. People quoting the latest greatest book on “Success” or “Leadership” or whatever and never see them quoting scripture. This may tickle some feathers but also seeing social media posts of people out “partying it up and drinking large amounts of alcohol on Saturday Night and then on stage the following morning leading worship. 😦

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    1. How frightening, but also a sign of the “last days”! I hadn’t heard about these people leaving their faith! Reminds me of the short time when I was a teen that my missionary family started going to a “charismatic” church…After about a year, we all (teens included) started seeing a great slide away from God’s ‘s word, and immediately left.

      Even so come quickly, Lord Jesus!

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  11. I cannot help but think that it is no coincidence that these things are coming out after I finish my book on the subject. I receive no profit from the sell of this book. The profits go to our Union Mission to help the poor and afflicted.

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  12. John has good points. It’s the result also of people actually believing that worship is about singing songs. Worship according to Paul is a surrendered life (Romans 12:1). So many drive-by evangelicals just want to sing and pray but ignore the core of the gospel message; loving your neighbor, welcoming the alien and social justice. Loving like Jesus is in word only.

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  13. That was an article that needed to be written. I’ve grown weary of the mentality that if I call out something that flies in the face of Scripture that I am no better than a self-righteous pharisee. Mind you, I am as aware that I am a sinner saved because of the Grace of God given through Christ sacrificial death. So this becomes a two-fold issue for me. First call-out the very facts that the writer did and do all I can to help the church get back on track with Biblical teaching and living. And secondly, avoiding the judgemental side that we all can fall into and remember this person who has fallen isn’t my enemy but a brother taken in a fault. So my mandate is to go to them and hopefully restore their faith, knowing that love covers over a multitude of sin. It’s hard to put into words this idea because usually someone only hears or in this case sees what they want to. Yes the church has since the 80’s or thereabout exalted worship teams, brought in effects like strobing lights, smoke machines, the likes that back in the 70’s were used by Rock concerts trying to enhance the high of a person stoned at a concert. But also, I will go to my grave doing my best to helping those who have fallen get back up. So again I really appreciate the writer here from Skillet. He is spot on.

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  14. I was raised in a church that sings only the Psalms. The preacher would pick some of the 150 psalms that fit in with his message at the beginning and end of the church service. They are “praises” and prayers. Still know many of them by heart . Praise the Lord.

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  15. As someone who has deconstructed my lifelong Christian beliefs over the past several years, I have such a difficult time reading this. (And perhaps my reply will not be well received in this forum) While I cannot speak for everyone leaving the faith, I can share a few issues leading to my own journey Out of Christianity.
    I can no longer swallow the Bible as absolute truth or as being inerrant. It’s extremely contradictory. It’s man made. And I can no longer live my life based on a book that was written by men, interpreted by men, and taught by men. These writings are someone else’s experience with/of God. They are influenced by time, culture (including gender), and personality. Why do the writings and experiences of men from 2000+ years ago matter more than my own? Can I not have experiences with God myself? Does God still speak and move and reveal himself to his people? And can my own experiences contradict the Bible, especially if the Bible already contradicts itself…. ? Why have we canoniz
    I can no longer live my only life on this earth based on other people’s experiences or systems of making meaning in life. That is what this is. Christianity is one way of making meaning in life. And if all you can hear or think in response to that statement is a lack of faith, how wrong I am, then I challenge you to approach people like me with curiosity rather than contempt. (My only goal in this is to offer another perspective, my own) swallowing the Bible and being a Christian for over 30 years stunted my own growth and development. It cultivated a lack of “self” wherein I didn’t matter, only others mattered. It was an instrumental part of what got me into an abusive marriage for over a decade, and the teachings and fellow Christians only encouraged me to stay.
    I won’t say that God did these things because I believe that the Bible is just one cultural interpretation of God. I think that certainty kills curiosity. And I think that I was made to be curious.
    ( it also bothers me that some believe that we are born with no propensity for good. As he mentioned in the article that Jesus taught us to be good, selfless, etc. but we are both. We have the propensity for both. That isn’t a Christian thing, it’s a human thing)

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  16. I have a question for the church, when was the last time we reached out to our leaders and the ones WE put on a pedestal? Really when was the last time we went to our pastors and leaders to say hey we are here for you, we understand you are just like us and have issues and problems and insecurities just like us. Yes you may have the gift of gab but your only human. How cool would it be if those of use weather it is a 200 person or 20,000 person congregation reached out to our pastors and leaders just to say thank you for being there for our problems now let us be there for yours. Maybe it is not so much loosing there way in the word as much as it is loosing there faith in people.

    Just maybe if we were able to rid the world of all the hate we see thru the media and social media we might be a better people with love available for others.

    Just a thought…

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  17. If your worship revolves around strobelights , a smoke machines, and a drum riser, you’re doing it wrong. The seeker movement is killing Christianity because it is the antithesis of the Word and Christian doctrine . Shame on you.

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  18. We have in this country what I call the Church or Ameridocea. The overall church in this country is a combination of the Church of Laodocea and the Church of Sardis. There is the small remnant of the true Biblical church though. The pews are filled with itching ears that want to be tickled and God gives them the hirlings they deserve. There is a famie in this land, not of bread and water but of the teaching and preaching of the Word of God. This is why heretics like Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Rick Warren, Bill Hybels, TD Jakes, Beth Moore, Joyce Meyers, and countless others have risen to deceive their flocks. They want to be deceived so they can feel good about their false religion and worship. They do not worship the Jesus of Scripture, they worship their own made up version of Him. These are going to be the ones that will hear the most fearful verses in Scripture. Matthew 7:21-23: 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
    22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
    23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

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  19. He was referring to the Council of Nicea, I believe, when the universal church first met together to discuss theological issues like hell.

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  20. Thanks John Cooper. My money quote:
    “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.”

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  21. In my experience, one of two things happens when the storms come into our lives. One, we go away, become disillusioned because we see ‘our’ suffering as more than everyone else’s suffering. Or two, we become far more grounded and humble and reliant in our faith because we realise, just that bit more, that the suffering of Christ on a Cross is even more profound and changing and that the perspective of the cross is everything. Therefore, the words, to take up one’s cross daily really hits home. It has for me and continues to do so. I also notice many ppl that deconstruct their faith call out hypocrites in the church. Legalism and “Phariseeism” are often the cause here but at the same time, if one is grounded in their faith, they will detect this and see it as more reason to act the opposite.

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  22. Agreed! It is hard to find a good Bible based church. Many preachers are motivational speakers and paraphrase the Bible instead of quoting chapter and verse. Jesus said it best when he said ” You will all fall away; for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ Mark 14:27. Years have been spent trying to remove God from our schools our businesses and our society this is just the icing on the cake, a sign of the times if you will. This is how Satan will deceive the multitudes. I strongly recommend for Christian to get back into our Bible’s and find a good Bible based church to once again be one with our Lord Jesus Christ.

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  23. This has such great, but a sad truth in how some people are living their lives. People are being blinded by the ways of thinking of this world. Staying in God’s word and in prayer will keep a person close to God, regardless of what others think or do. It is sad how we often follow people or trends, rather than God. John is right on with what he says. Thank you for sharing this article.

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  24. Truth is not a religion, and neither is love a religion, but they both take you on a journey to find the absolute truth of the matter.
    For when you come to a place in life where you love truth, that’s where you will find GOD, that’s where you will find purpose, that’s where you will find the absolute truth.
    But as long as you looking for religion through man’s different denominations of religions, then all you will find is religion, and you will waste a lot of time looking for religion in religion, because its a never ending journey that leads to nowhere.
    Now so called Christians, Jews, Catholics, Hebrew Israelites, and many other man-made religions try to make GOD and JESUS into a religion, but nowhere in the Bible or any other book did GOD or JESUS claim a religion, they both claim to be the absolute truth.

    ‭‭(John‬ ‭14:6-7‬) “JESUS SAYS, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me. If you had known me, you should have known my Father also: and from henceforth you know him, and have seen him.”

    ‭‭(Proverbs‬ ‭8:17‬) “I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.”

    ‭‭(John‬ ‭8:31-32‬) JESUS SAYS, “If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed; And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

    ‭‭(John‬ ‭8:36‬) JESUS SAYS, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”

    ‭‭(Deuteronomy‬ ‭32:4‬) “GOD is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a GOD OF TRUTH and without iniquity, just and right is HE.”

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  25. Reblogged this on grandma machine and commented:
    I haven’t re-blogged much but when you can put good clarity in front of people, do it. They need and you need it. John’s words on Christian leaders who are renouncing their faith are good and point back to the Father God about how we can’t be blind to what’s really happening in the world or in our walk with Him and how to handle both.

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  26. God bless John Cooper. I’m a grandma now but became a Christian in the Jesus people heyday/ So CAL 70’s. Back then so much worship music was praise- mostly direct Scripture put to song. I learned so many Bible verses this way that I still sing. To be frank I simply cannot attend most Evangelical churches and sing. I play a game with myself and count how many “ I- me- my” versus “Jesus, Lord, God” words are sung. So many songs are all about ‘my’ sadness, problems, etc. It breaks my heart. Mr. Cooper nails the reality of what is missing in our worship and gives the prescription to follow.

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  27. Scripture says some will depart from the faith before the coming of the Lord. Have said many times the new wave of worship songs can be inspiring not only to believers but also the world. The “beat” and not the lyrics inspire some along with the noises of instruments. John Cooper is right, twenty year old worship leaders aren’t Preachers and many young church goers look upon them as rock stars. Dress code deteriorated and so did anointed music years ago after the Charismatic Movement of the 70’s and 80’s. Good or bad? Only the heart of the true worshiper knows and understands the things God has in store for them that love a Him.

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  28. The word ‘teach’ is used 207 times throughout the entire Bible, which implies an emphasis of not only instructing others, but learning from those who give instruction.

    Sadly, where the church doesn’t value teaching from the pulpit, it has only one thing to expect that will occur – a severe lack of literacy concerning Scripture and the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:27)

    It is not only the responsibility of the pastor to teach it, but also for the Christian to know it too what the Bible says and means. Not just something superficial, but with a firm grasp of the content and context of what is written.

    Scripture warns people about wanting only to hear things that please their ears, listening only to preachers who preach good things to them, superficially, without any depth for teaching sound biblical doctrine, and where this is lacking, they will turn away from the truth. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)

    Achieving this type of depth of understanding from Scripture doesn’t necessarily require intense theological study through a seminary, because every layperson should read the Bible thoroughly from Genesis to Revelation each year.

    This then leads to two important questions: How much of Scripture do you consume reading each day? Are you following a Bible reading plan?

    How is anyone ever able to communicate the revelation of God and His saving work in us, if the revelation of God through Scripture is not known personally?

    More apostasy will come and that means Jesus is coming soon.

    Very soon.

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  29. An absolutely Spirit-driven post. When I was growing up in what was (then) the “contemporary non-denominational church” of the mid-70s, worship songs were verses of Scripture set to music. They were short enough we could learn them in our hearts quickly, close our eyes, and just be singing Scripture back to the Lord. It drew us in. People weren’t up on stage performing, people weren’t clapping at the end of each song as if it was a concert, and we were really drawn into a time of worship and connection with the Father. That will always, to me, be what that time of worship should be. I miss it. To this day, the majority of Scripture I have memorized is from that time when it became written in my heart.

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