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.

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

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  1. Back in the early 80s, I used to bemoan the fact that, if Bob Dylan held a meeting to discuss his views of Christianity, thousands would attend. If a skilled, veteran theology professor from my Christian college held a similar meeting, it might draw a handful. Almost 40 years later, it seems we’re in the same boat. Thanks for shining the light on our prejudices and idolatry. If we’ve spent more on Christian rock albums, concerts and T-shirts than we have on getting ourselves equipped in the Word, then we’re all part of the problem.

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    1. You lot keep on babbling about so much nonsense and all the while ignoring the elephant in the room. How did all of this come about? A christian left the faith. For you this is a bad thing, just about the worse thing one can do. I, as a former christian, think that this is rather wonderful. A christian pulled his head out of the sand, unwashed his brain and aw the REAL LIGHT and TRUTH (…Mr Cooper) and now he’s free from dogma, free from christian propaganda, free to think for himself and not having to submit he’s entire existence to some imaginary being, free from having to intoxicate he’s brain with fairytales from the bible. The real problem for you is the one most christians don’t even think about it, THE REASONS WHY MARTY, or any other believer, HAS LEFT THE FAITH. You’re not interested in any if that. Did it ever occur to you that people leave christianity for no other reasons but because it’s not true. Marty has realised this truth and can no longer believe the ridiculousness of the bible and the idea of a god. You find it impossible to think that there could be anything wrong with ‘the word of god’. When you live your life with your head in the sand you’ll never see what’s wrong with your faith. You live in your own little world and very much deny reality, truth and freedom. Once a believer pulls his head out of the sand, only then he can see christianity for what it is, a fantasy. But you, just like Mr Cooper, don’t think of these things, instead, just like Mr Cooper, go for character assassination – oh, he was not mature enough, he is an ‘emotional one’ too you to know the truth, etc… Typical. I suggest you stop waisting your time talking about complete nonsense subjects as you do and start paying attention to the reasons why people leave the faith in their draws. I am one of them. After well over 25 years of being an involved and very active christian i have left it all behind cause i could no longer deny nor reconcile everything that the bible promotes with reality. Marty has come to this point himself now. Marty, i salute you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Florin is super woke guys. So much so that they had to come here and let everyone know they’re woke. The wokest. Good on you.

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      2. If Christ is real, then you don’t have to reconcile him with reality. He is reality, already reconciled. You just don’t know how to do it. Or you don’t want the consequences. Don’t want the committment. Don’t want his reality, but want your own reality, shaped to suit yourself. Many people live in the delusion that Christ is unimportant. Or they delude themselves into thinking that this world is all there is. They don’t want to admit their own inadequacies, their own fantasies, their own sin. They think they created themself. That love is just utilitarian. That everything is just an accident. That nothing really matters, nothing has lasting value, and all values are equal. That is the delusion. That is the fantasy.

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      3. @ John Zylstra “If Christ is real, then you don’t have to reconcile him with reality. He is reality, already reconciled.”

        Yeah, that’s a big if.

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      4. ” Many people live in the delusion that Christ is unimportant. Or they delude themselves into thinking that this world is all there is.”

        Many people delude themselves into thinking that christ is important or that there is an unproven more to this world than is evident.

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      5. Yes and amen. A sobering statement/comment on the seduction of the idolatry of self. If we lose the ability to embrace mystery and trust only the limits of our logic and personal experience, the prison cell we live in will only shrink… eventually suffocating us in our own small minded delusion of our superiority.

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      6. OK I get that you feel the need to justify why you are stepping down from your position of leadership with Hillsong. Most humble people would be fine walking away going gently into the night. So why do you now feel so adamant as to take sides with the spirit of this world and stoke the flames of anarchy. If this was a military battle and you changed sides you would be a traitor and shot. It is one thing to disagree. It is quite another to sleep in the enemy’s camp.

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      7. @Brad

        “If we lose the ability to embrace mystery and trust only the limits of our logic and personal experience”

        as opposed to what? embracing the unprovable? Faith is not a path to truth. Any position, any position can be validated by faith. The faithful of other religions are just as justified in their beliefs no matter what you think.

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      8. I spent 30 years stuck in that mess. I’m glad you managed to escape the nonsense. Most will not and they will waste their time and money and emotions on myths. Most people will never escape religion…(and yes, I put that “I have a relationship with Jesus” nonsense into that category.

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  2. I agree with Cooper and emotions should never lead in anything. Theology and Biblical doctrine are too important to ever take a back seat, In fact one of the main reasons the Church is so weak today is no emphasis on sound doctrine and making disciples. When Jesus said, “Follow Me.”, it meant to forsake our own will and path in life and take up His cross, doing and teaching as He did.
    Someone mentioned the Psalms and their emotional appeal, but they overlooked the fact that we don’t make doctrine from them. Our worship, Biblically includes everything we do and say, not just the music. Worship is ascribing worth properly to God by honoring Him in everything.
    I was saved and attended a Calvary Chapel, enjoying their music style- contemplative and the songs flowing uninterrupted by announcements or breaks- gave me a chance to stand consciously before God, focused on Him, agreeing with the words and adding prayers and my own praises. It was definitely emotional, but I wasn’t carried away by it. A lot of today’s music is for show- a performance instead of facilitating worship… I think that’s wrong.

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  3. It’s a sad story, really, but perhaps we shouldn’t be over-surprised. Did Satan not offer Jesus a quick road to power and fame? What makes us think he won’t offer the same to people whom our worship-culture has elevated to high stages and rock-status? Can people handle this? I remember Nebuchadnezzar whom God had humbled after he publicly considered himself to be like God, and who lost his mind and became like an animal for several years.
    I remember years ago, a young worship leader in a large church I attended then, said that while he was leading worship on stage, Satan said to him, “look, the crowd is worshiping you”! And perhaps, I think, the line has gotten too thin these days? Are we practicing worship the same way as the firsts century Christians did? Did they have “worship leaders”? Take a look at “organic Christianity” today, and you may find a more biblical way of corporate worship where anyone can lead a song. The people “below the stage” are actually suppose to do these things …
    I also remember a friend of mine a few years ago, who also “led worship” in a grace preaching church. He even wrote a book on grace. When his daughter got ill and he had a few setbacks with his kids, he got offended with God, and also publicly renounced his faith. It was the exact same pattern as I read here – proudly led people away by elevating his “own journey” as a source of new truth-discovery … pretty sick really, but I guess if you get to that fame-seeking state of mind where Nebuchadnezzar was at …
    I can only pray that they will have a come-back experience check like Nebbi had!

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    1. I am in agreement with what is being said
      We need to get to teaching the New Testment teaching scripture until they can quote it off by heart
      These signs will follow them that believe, cast out demons , yes Christians have demons , ( go through a deliverance session when you are born again, speak in tongues and water baptism as well these are signs for new converts )
      Cleanse the leper’s , lay hand on the sick and you will recover ,
      Read mark 16-17-18
      That is our benchmark
      Teach people to stand and to not faint ,
      Teach about Satan , he’s not an imaginary fairy, he’s real and he is yr enemy and his demon side kicks , also Jesus is king 🤴 and the angels are our helpers that needs to be taught😇😇😇😇😮😮

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      1. John 14:12

        Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

        I agree with you wholeheartedly. let’s see some works, let’s see faith healers putting hospitals out of business. Or how about food multipliers solving world hunger? or Plant Cursers taking over pesticides so we can have organic be cheaper?

        I want to see some evidence.

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      2. Why the new testament? Why not the WHOLE testament? Almost 80% of the new testament is a reference to the ‘old’ or the Torah and prophets. Maybe herein lies the problem….

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  4. From what I see in my young girl’s church classes, there is extreme biblical ignorance in our youngsters. Not their fault! It is a failure of the church to teach a full body of deep subjects from the Bible, not just sweet little coloring pages with Noah’s Ark, and a cute little story. We must teach them that it is a fight! That they will face difficult challenges. That a follower of Jesus doesn’t have it easy. The love part of Jesus is wonderful, but we are leaving them unprepared if that’s all we teach them.

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    1. I agree the church as a whole has been teaching “nice” messages. I will say, if we leave the biblical training of our kids to a Sunday school class we are missing it. A once a week bible teaching at church may help establish a habit of church attendance, but is not going to give them a deep rooted faith. We, as parents, must be a living example and teach our children God’s Word and how to have relationship with Him. I feel that parents have looked to and relied on the church (service) to do something that should be done in the home.

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    2. Please tell me you are kidding! It is the churches fault when small children are not taught right? That is the parents job! Read Deu 6:6-8.

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    3. More like a failure of the parents to teach. Raise them up in the way they should go, and they will not depart from it.

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  5. I was just talking about this with my friend who came back to her home country where I currently live (outside of the U.S.). She was telling me how many people on her team that are Westerners think it is okay to be sexually immoral or polluted by the world. She was shocked, confused, and was being influenced by it. She did not know if she should speak out against these things or be quiet while struggling with being influenced herself by the depravity of the place she was sent to witness.

    I told her she should speak out; if she doesn’t, who would? We need to keep each other accountable and have a plumbline of righteousness among the nations. Christians are nothing without a true testimony of God’s overcoming power over sin. We are not Christians if we are living like the world and our Lord said so Himself. Too many people are put into leadership positions early without being tested and through the fire, so unfortunately they cannot stand when they are. And YES – they pull others down and away and leave a wake of confusion when they depart. We have GOT to get disciples to dig DEEP and show them the way in order to stand. In the end, yes, it is only God’s grace that empowers us to overcome and stand – but sad to say – there are too many Christian “leaders” who do not show the Way but instead entertain and thus their flock have no foundation much less Christ as their cornerstone.

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  6. This departure from the Faith is sad yet exciting at the same time. Jesus himself told us that a “falling away” would happen before His return. The stage is being set for the final events to play out on earth. Come Lord Jesus.

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      1. As long as you call the church a body of people and not a building. A building cannot fall away from faith. A church in a home, a Starbucks, a chance meeting on a street corner. These are where the church needs to happen. I love my large church I faithfully serve in each Sunday. I love even more our small churches we hold all over the place. Even in the public school system. These churches are vital to helping people stay strong in their faith in Jesus.

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  7. Just because someone doesn’t like or believe there is a hell doesn’t make it not true. We have to trust that God is fair and just.

    Although being in Gods word is the most important thing we can do to have a closer relationship with Him and grow in our faith, listening to k-love ministers to my heart too. The right song can come on at just the right time and really speak to me. Most of the songs make me feel energetic and joyful.
    The more I study the word the better I can discern the music

    Put your faith and focus on the Lord Jesus not people because even the best people can let you down. Give grace.

    I know a lot of really good non Christian people who serve and love others. And I know a lot of Christian people who don’t act very kind at times. Love and pray for them all. Let God be the judge of their hearts. Thank God for grace and forgiveness.

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  8. Whenever anyone leaves the faith, the underlying reason is sin. There is a dark side in these departures that are not told, but the essence of which is a desire for something sinful.

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    1. Honestly, it’s the only answer for someone who believes. The answer couldn’t possible be “well I examined my beliefs and found that they had no good reason to be kept”.

      No, it’s just “Ya’ll just wanna sin!”

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  9. THIS is why it is vital to study the brilliant old old men of God whom no one can hold a candle to! They suffered terribly for writing all of the deep doctrinal truths that the modern Church now takes for granted! Pick a great Puritan writer like Thomas Watson or Boston or Luther or Calvin and enjoy the blessings of great wisdom!!!! Were it not for these elders of wisdom, we would be lost when it comes to worship, godly family and work life and so much more!!!

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    1. There’s a modicum of irony for someone with the last name “Goldstein” subjugating the history of one denomination of Christianity on a Christian Website. Were there no Jewish websites for your perusal, or did your family “split” from Judaism?

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    2. Sorry – the Catholic church has many skeletons and apostasy. People in the Catholic church are just as human as anyone else and susceptible to Satan’s wiles.

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  10. The church today is not the same as the church of yesterday. I cannot get people to go to church. It is a struggle to watch what is happening today. No one wants to make a sacrifice or commitment to The Lord. Or a commitment to each other. It is so important to please Jesus. The first commandment Love The Lord Thy God! The commandments were given to us to be able to live out what Jesus knew would be a life of joy and righteousness. Problems come to each of us , life is up and down but if we learn to keep our focus on Jesus life will be complete. Jesus gave us so many examples in His Word how life would be and how if He is in your life the problem will work it’s way through. He is our strength He is what makes life. He is our strong tower. We were created to worship Him! When the sheet is pulled over the lifeless body the spirit is gone on I pray that spirit is with the Lord, to be absent of the body is to be present with The Lord and then judgement. Please keep your focus on Jesus, man will let you down

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  11. I agree with John Cooper’s musings. I’m a bit of a backslidden Christian in my own opinion (got fed up with local Christians in the church I was serving in, had a few hard knocks from life that had me questioning God, etc) but I’ve never forgotten Him, or doubted who He was, just whether I still wanted to be part of His plan.

    I have never cared for influencers, Christian or otherwise. People are people – mortal, fallible, and foolish, in comparison to God.

    My youth pastor from many years ago, a man I am still in communication with and respect, once taught me this when I was young: “While serving God, when praises come, step aside, and let Christ take it. If criticism comes, duck, and let Christ take it. If you serve Him faithfully, both good and ill belong to God.”

    Mortal men and women are human. Fallible. It’s in our nature.

    If you want to fix your eyes one someone, fix your eyes on Christ, for goodness’ sake. You’re not going to find a better example. After all, He’s the one all Christians are supposed to be worshipping. Not His servants.

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  12. I would just like to confess here and now that I am not a Millennial or Gen-Z. I am a Gen X (nearly a Baby Boomer)… and I want to apologize for my generations overall inability to raise up… word of truth faith filled leaders! I only came to know Christ 5 years ago at age 48… so in my mind my faith began within the context of a Gen-Z society… and I believe that is an advantage! I also must confess I was a “snowflake” hater… until I realized it was a lie from the pit of hell. IMO it’s the older generations such as mine and before… who should be held largely accountable for the failings and falling away of our most precious resource… our youngest! The post that John Coper made is spot on and most relevant in our time of distress today. I feel it is relevant for all current generations of Christ followers. Surely I am not alone in seeing pride, arrogance and self absorbed behavior in young church leaders today. Many are relying on the nice, kind spiritual approach to truth of Gods word while their flocks are starving for meat from the truth of biblical holy scripture! I pray that more and more young leaders begin to see the error of the “all grace” and “no truth” approach for the pandering that it is. Thank you to John for calling it out as it truly is!

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  13. Thank you. We have given the cult of personalities the role of leadership in our lives because we don’t spend the time in the Word, particularly the gospels, getting to know who Jesus is. It’s much easier to listen to people who our Christian culture and industry spend their time, and money promoting for profit. We even buy into the idea that Jesus, who had no pillow to lay his head on, wants us to be profitable, even wealthy.
    If we get to know the Jesus we proclaim we will be different people.
    We don’t need to follow people, or “Christian business”, we need to follow Jesus. We have to know Him intimately to do that. He wants that. If we don’t have that, it is because we fill our minds, and time with anything but Jesus.

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  14. Many will say to me in that day, “Lord, Lord, were we not worship leaders and free thinkers in the church who wrote & played cool new worship songs & hit big on the C.M. charts and didn’t we find cool new ways to be culturally relevant, singing about love and peace, doing great shows and filling up churches to bring glory to our names ……. and yours… of course?” And I will say to them, “Depart from me, I never knew you.”

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  15. This is wonderful. Thank you so much for posting. Please consider looking into orthodox Christianity- the most “organic” and purest form of Christianity out there. Unchanged from the time of the apostles. When you said, “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.”…that’s when I though you are really talking about what I see in our Orthodox Churches. Please prayerfully consider. I’m sure the Holy Spirit will lead 🙂 God bless!

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  16. Wow! So well said. It is indeed so sad to see long time leaders fall appart and away just because… We need to become so much more vigilant when listening to songs that don’t necessarily take us closer to the cross. We need to stay anchored solidly into the Word to be able to discern. As parents, this generation needs to make sure their little ones become anchored in the Word too so that when faced with this world, they will be able to defend their faith and clearly define what is real and what is not. So happy that you guys @Skillet chose to stand up to a world that constantly tries to water down His Word just to accomodate the mass…

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  17. Hebrews chapters 6 and 10 reveal the nature of apostacy as having been once “enlightened,” but never truly converted. In other words there seems to be something missing. Or as John wrote in 1 John, ” They went out from among us because they were not of us.” A true Christian may experience doubts but will not proclaim that he has seen the error of his ways and renounce the faith. A true Christian, even in the depths of doubt and depression, will yet retain the fear of the Lord and be extremely reluctant to cause stumbling to others, especially the “little ones,” knowing that it would have been better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the depths of the sea.

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  18. A great read. Thanks for posting. I’ll add few lines on the subject of hell. They are not my original thoughts and I’m sorry to say I don’t remember where I heard this … To say God sends someone to hell implies an innocence of the sinner. When we ask “How can a loving God send people to hell?” we fail to realize we don’t know the complete circumstances and God doesn’t send people to hell he simply honors the choice of the sinner, even when that choice means they are choosing hell.

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  19. John Cooper, thank you thank you thank you for having the boldness to say this. The importance of God’s word continues to be demoted by Christians in favour of other things, often feelings and emotion as John sites. Our faith was never meant to be a “Happy Pill” designed to make us feel good. It’s not that superficial, it’s worth far more to us than that.

    Brothers and Sisters, consider also what is said in 2 Peter 2 (False Teachers and Their Destruction) and the Gospel accounts where our Lord told us of the destruction of the temple and signs of the ends times. We are told in these passages that the word of God would be perverted, and that many, including we the elect (saved), would be led astray. I don’t mean to get all apocalyptic, but, can we really deny that these things are happening right now, that they don’t relate to what John is talking about?

    Many of us don’t want to delve into passages like this, because, let’s face it, they’re bleak. But God has told us these things with good reason. These things are going to happen, there’s no avoiding it, but if we heed the warning, we can minimise the impact. As surely as God is the Lord of truth, the enemy is the Lord of lies, deceit is his greatest power. How much easier will it be for Satan to deceive us if we distance ourselves from the truth that is God’s word. Brothers and Sisters, don’t let it happen.

    Too many of our kin hold to feeling and emotion, and the bible identifies these things with the heart. What does the word say about these things, it says the heart is deceitful above all things (Jeremiah 17:9) and that he who trusts in his own heart is a fool (Proverbs 28:26). Our kin will try to say “it is the Holy Spirit leading me”. Remind them, the Church has had the Spirit from day one, the bible came to the Church later. What does this tell us? It tells us the Spirit alone is not enough, and the word is indispensable.

    In the beginning was the word, the word was with God and the word was God (John 1:1), and Jesus was the word become flesh (John 1:14). Heaven and earth will pass away but his word will never pass away (Matthew 24:35). Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

    We don’t all have the audience John has, but we all have an audience. I encourage you, follow his example, be bold for God, remind one another that his word is the bread of life.

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    1. I always find it funny when “Christians” find truth outside of Christ. Not really sure how that works.

      God does not send anyone to hell. It is a consequence of their own choices. Without Christ there is no salvation and the problem today is that the world is influencing the church and not the other way around.

      “Those who endure until the end . . . “ – when did that stop being relevant?

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  20. . . . if I may . . . and I do so from a ‘bad place’ to ‘coin’ a euphemism . . . though the article is poignant and relevant, full of righteous assertions and ‘weighed’ correction, and, it seems, even ‘In Love’ as it was delivered . . . my problem, and this is a universal experience in my quite literal daily life, . . . if ‘we’ (Christians) ‘know’ the hour in which we live, if we believe the ‘preeminence of The Word’, value its prophecy, teaching, doctrine(s), clarity, power and Spirit . . . then why, simply why, are there SO many of ‘us’, who are incredulous of this hour’s tome and tenor?!?! Why are ‘we’ ‘shocked’ or dismayed, or alarmed, or in ANY WAY surprised when this kind of bold apostasy occurs?!?! . . . because, it TOO is IN The Word, quite emphatically, quite directly, quite plainly, in its warned descriptions of THIS VERY hour . . . I’m NOT against ‘pointing this ‘trend’ out’, but as usual, it’s THE WAY it’s being pointed out, with this ‘outraged’ or ‘shocked’ alarmism, as if taken COMPLETELY by surprise by decadence, apostasy and ‘self-worship’ . . . it just ‘seems’ contradictory to me . . . as much as it is contradictory for ‘Christians’ to post commentary of similar dissent, shock, outrage and even outright fear, in the face of a bankrupt culture gone mad . . . AND THEN ‘comment’ or punch-line the meme or post with THEIR ‘solutions’ . . . when again, The Word, which we’re not honoring enough, not seeking enough, not adhering to, has THE solution to ‘fixing’ a society gone mad, . . . . and it doesn’t involve legislation I promise you . . . I don’t know . . . that’s just the main thing that struck me here . . .

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  21. Why won’t they leave since they were taught that Christianity is making money?

    Why won’t they leave if after making the money, they are still empty, knowing that the thirst that brought them in is still there ,and that money could not quench it?

    Why won’t they Leave, when they were taught that getting money is equal to salvation, and for some of them, the money is not coming forth?

    Why won’t they leave when they were taught to look up to men who always fail?

    Return return return to the master now, lest HE spew you out of His mouth, and quench your candle as He did this fellow.

    Its either you are not, or you cold. No lukewarmness in the kingdom of Jesus Christ.

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  22. John, one word Brother, please remember …Love…this is why we need to pray for each other daily. What would Jesus do?

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  23. As I read Cooper’s response, I felt… sad. His words were dripping with palpable frustration and passion; perhaps even anger. Glaringly absent from his response, however, was any semblance of empathy.

    Cooper touched on so many topics that there’s just too much to unpack, point-by-point, in a thread like this. I’ll simply offer this thought: For those of us who have found freedom in seeking God outside of the context of American Evangelicalism, Cooper’s response is a validating reminder that God is bigger than dogmatic theology, bigger than Christian culture… and bigger than the Bible.

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    1. “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.”

      I’m glad he wasted his time regurgitating the Churches opinion on how believers should respond to apostates rather than provide an actual conclusion. You would assume what was to follow would have been a well-reasoned personal response to criticisms from high profile “apostates” like Marty Sampson. We never get that. Quite a waste of time dancing outside the ring,

      “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”

      If you came out of a lifelong delusion by discovering that there are better explanations for reality and your faith, you wouldn’t boldly proclaim that truth? What could be more important than refuting the unevidenced notion of eternal punishment Christians brainwash others into believing? How about rejecting the abhorrent acts of an Old Testament god who encourages genocide and slavery? I can’t image he’s that obtuse about the source of enthusiasm for their bold new stance.

      “My second thought is, why do people act like “being real” covers a multitude of sins?”

      Not a worthwhile question. It’s theological in nature and a rejection of faith-based claims is also a rejection of any concept of sin as defined by Scripture. Also, he never provides an answer to the question of human suffering further on. Completely avoids it. Either deal with their arguments or move on. You get no points for beating your chest over the matter. Simply because “a billon books” are written on the topic doesn’t add one iota of credibility to Christian reasoning.It’s like saying, “Yeah guys, the answers out there…don’t ask me, but it’s out there. Obviously, lots of books guys…lots of books!”

      “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?”

      Because Christianity does not own the market on the concepts of love, morality, purpose or meaning. I would suggest anyone look into the arguments positive humanism puts forth in terms of the collective well-being of humanity as being the foundation for all moral reasoning. You are simply showing an unwillingness to both understand and address these arguments. Furthermore, even if the attributes you mention (forgiveness, love, generosity) are not within our human nature, we do not automatically assume they are of divine origin. You’re presenting your audience with a false dilemma when there are other options on the table (learned behavior).

      I don’t doubt his sincerity, but it’s an underwhelming response.

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  24. Having heard/endured through a number of reconversions/deconversions over the years, I have the distinct impression a number of these celebrity influencers have simply hit a growth point and spazzed out for lack of depth or perspective. They realize they have been disproportionate with a particular facet of God’s word or character, misinterpreting/misapplying some doctrine or theological stance, or even recognize a degree of hypocrisy, idolatry or self-centeredness in themselves or their organization, and they conclude their personal crisis means all Christendom is fraudulent.
    I get it. I’ve been there. But it’s not true.
    It’s as if no one ever told them about the process, the walk of faith, re-evaluation, principles, ongoing repentance. No one ever gave them permission to learn and grow. And change. When the brittle structure of their early worldview cracks, they bin it all rather than separate wheat from chaff. It’s a friggin’ shame.
    My understanding of faith, God, and Christian life and service has changed over the last 30+ years – but the person of Jesus hasn’t. He has been patient and gracious, faithful and constant through all my groping and learning and mistakes.
    I’d like to think if a random, anonymous believer on from the internet can figure this stuff out/recognize it, then these celebrity influencers must have at least one person in their life who can call ‘b*llsh*t’ on them and bring some perspective to the table. Maybe not. How about the small still voice of God’s Spirit then? Someone should counsel them to go get alone and listen. “Babble, rant, and vent until you’re done, then shut up and listen.”

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  25. First, it is God Who saves. And He saves whom He sovereignly chooses. Next, as Scripture says, faith is given to us by God through His grace (we are not saved by our works, lest we boast). So “our faith” is really His faith. Since, as Scripture says, God does not change, He will never take from those He sovereignly saves their eternal gift which the Lord Jesus Christ bought for them on that cross. So, those who disavow “their faith” must not have God’s saving faith, nor His indwelling Spirit, in order that they may continue on in disobedience. We are to follow after Jesus, not preachers, teachers, singers, leaders, all of whom were once unregenerate, except for Jesus, Who was never a sinner. As for God’s love, we struggle to know the depth and breadth of His love because we cannot escape the knowledge of our unworthiness. Even more, we struggle (or should) to understand the extent of God’s holiness, which pervades everything about Him. The bottom line, as Mr. Cooper maintains, is simple: Jesus saves, God’s Word contains His unchanging Truth, and the Holy Spirit leads God’s children into life that glorifies and pleases the Father, and that life is all about God and not about me! What a privilege; what blessing; what a future!

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  26. So, we are ok with listening to the opinions of these youthful “rock stars” if they agree with us and our “Christian” beliefs. The hypocrisy is mind bending. The evangelical church is a train wreck in a million different ways and rather than act in humility, take a look in the mirror, and show some restraint and allow the Holy Spirit to work, we become combative and indignant. The world (and former and current believers) see the hypocrisy and the lack of self awareness in this response. Contrary to the belief of John’s, the Christian faith does not have the market cornered on being kind, generous, or otherwise a “good” person. His argument is flimsy and embarrassing with regard to his theology and the point he was trying to convey. This only serves to underline and perpetuate the majority’s view of the American Evangelical church as being self centered, self serving and a self proclaimed victim. Give me a break. If they’re leaving have the humility to be curious. Otherwise, be quiet. You’re embarrassing yourselves.

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  27. 2 Thes. 2:10-12 —- 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness.
    Matthew 24:9-14 —- 9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation, and will kill you, and you will be hated by all nations because of My name. 10 At that time many will fall away and will betray one another and hate one another. 11 Many false prophets will arise and will mislead many. 12 Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved. 14 This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.
    1 Tim. 4:1-2 ——1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron

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  28. Well said about trying to fit daily life to almost the word. We have to be careful not to twist the lords word to fit the way we want it to work. God blesses all amen

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  29. Amen brother! And when you have personality idol worship in the form of “Rock star” pastors and their “Rock Star” family dominating every key position in church treating it like a family business instead of the Bride of Jesus Christ… You get big trouble…

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  30. I took the time to grab the parts that stood out to me, and I’d like to talk about them a bit for those who want to discuss it.

    “Shockingly they still want to influence others (for what purpose?)”

    I know, I know. No religion means no morals for Christians and that just can’t stand for them. I suppose he hasn’t ever heard the word: ethics. He stands above all of humanity with this superiority complex that makes him feel like he has the only viable moral system that he lives by.

    “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?”

    As an ex-Christian myself, I can’t express how worn out I am hearing all the negative emotions Christians want us to feel after having left the faith. When I deconstructed my faith over a few years, it was very hard, and it was painful. But, they seem to think that these emotions would never end, Which is understandable, as when all you know is the cave, it is hard to imagine the world outside until you just take the leap when you’re ready, and leave.

    As far as the “don’t know where you’re headed part.” A really awesome Yogi guru once taught me that beliefs are what stop discovery. Holding a belief is like tying your boat to the pier and rolling as hard as you can. You can’t discover new things in life when you have to also defend a belief that holds you down. I loved that.

    “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.”

    This is just pretty rude, and pretty immature. Trust me, all the ex-Christians know that there’s no shortage of information on Hell and the teachings there-of. It’s when you start doubting Hell and questioning that people stop wanting to talk about it. In the church they don’t want to discuss anything that entertains the idea that their doctrines are either unloving, cruel, or just flat out insane. It is easy to say that these things are “discussed.” When really in reality, they’re forced at people with little or no room for discussion. Just sit in your pew quietly, listen close, and pay up.

    “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.”

    He’s right. Babies aren’t born with those ways of thinking. They are learned over a lifetime. If it really isn’t in human nature to love, forgive, and share. Then none of those things would be happening in the first place. What? Does this guy think he’s not human or something? Or that humans are some other insane sub-species that are of a lower intelligence than him?

    In conclusion to my thoughts on this. There still so much more I could pick apart, but I think you get where I’m coming from. This is a man who has his whole career locked in Christian theology. This is how he’s survived and provided for his family. The less Christians there are in the world, the less people are going to buy his albums and go to his shows. Keep in mind that survival is what drives all our decision making and beliefs anyway. And for survival’s sake, they needed to plug his new album at the end of the article to keep that money flowing in.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Joshua B., it must have been tough to go thru what you did with deconstruction. The effects it had on you are real and valid. And whatever exposure/experience you had with Christianity. It seems that Cooper is simply asking the Church to evaluate do our feelings and individual experiences trump an overriding truth?

      I’d like to respond to some of your comments above.

      “shockingly they still want to influence people (for what purpose?) as they leave the faith”. In the context of the paragraph I believe Cooper’s point was, they wanted people to believe them and follow them in their previous allegiance (to Christianity), why should those same people believe them now (in ‘post’ Christianity)? How do we know they can be trusted? On what basis do they now proclaim to have the truth? Human reason? Sensibility about the ‘horrible things’ the Bible contains? From my own observations, and many secular scholars I’ve read, the human mind and race is a far from credible source for our absolute authority.

      “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?” You yourself mentioned your process took ‘a few years’ and they were very painful. Should someone who’s clearly in a major life change process (and unsure where they will land) be trusted to lead others in a right direction? You also mentioned the boat illustration being untied. That’s exactly Cooper’s point, there is no definitiveness to some who have left the faith. They in fact, don’t seem to know what is the right way anymore, because the right way is such a loose definition (untied). What’s the point of discovery if there’s nothing substantive there to discover? What if you discover that the boat needs to be tied to shore?

      “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.” Cooper’s point on this is that MANY Christians through the centuries have wrestled with these doctrines and come out with sound faith and of sound mind (translation- they didn’t leave the faith or conclude that the faith is too inpalatable for their tastes). Cooper is far from arrogant here, he is pointing out the apparent arrogance of those who seem to be acting as if they’ve found some heinous Achilles heel that has never been exposed to the light.

      “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.” Your comments on this seem to miss the mark. Why indeed is [sin] predominant in humanity? If we ‘learn them over a lifetime’ – why does that happen? Why is there any forgiveness, etc in the world at all? Where does goodness come from? These are questions a post christian must wrestle with, just as a Christian must wrestle with the presence of evil (which many have done down thru the centuries and maintained a sound faith and sound mind).

      Your conclusion, assuming that Cooper is arrogant, is a fine example of name calling and labeling, assuming people’s motives. As Cooper stated in the beginning that those “in a group” should be held accountable and loyal to each other (as in, call each other out for unacceptable behavior) which is what he’s trying to do in the article. This is a noble and needed effort for any group that is going to have standards (not just Christians). Cooper also said “I don’t judge people outside my faith”, but that seems to be ok procedure for you to do (judge people outside your new ‘faith’/belief system; aka Cooper).

      If we’re all just trying to survive (classical Darwinism) then what is it to you that he’s doing that with his music (as you allege)? Why is that morally unacceptable to you – just because his means of ‘survival’ is in a different vein than yours?

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      1. How is one supposed to evaluate their feelings and at the same time not use human reason? That notion blows my mind. As according to you, human reason is flawed. So how did you come to believe the things you believe? Did you turn your own brain off and just say “yes sir” to the guy who told you not to think for yourself. This is completely ridiculous for you to suggest. I will never lay aside my ability to carefully consider information I’m given and think through complex issues as I get older and wiser. Of course that doesn’t mean I go it alone and do whatever I want. There are clear ethics we all must live by.
        If the human mind is so far from credible, I can’t imagine how you yourself arrived at the assumptions you did, if not by your own human reason. So if human reason must be avoided, I will take your advice by not listening to YOUR human reason.

        Cooper is so worried about the people leaving the church are trying to lead. I have not seen them tell anyone to follow them at all. Rather they give some reasons they aren’t interested in following the doctrines of the religion anymore and clearly do respect those that do. You all want total control over everyone else’s minds so of course you take it as if they’re trying to take over. But they’re not.

        My point about the boat was to allow for free thought and discovery of one’s self. That is completely the opposite of what fundamentalism wants. However I see your concern is that when someone has that freedom that they’ll go run themselves into insanity. Someone who already lives with love, as I do, does not need to worry so much that ill go astray. No, I’m just as ever present with my friends, family, work, and love tremendously all who i come into contact with. I do not fear for my future as I know that I am capable of taking good care of myself, and being able to discover what God really is has released me from fear of the unknown. Of course you can’t see any more than what you’re told to, so perhaps some day you’ll find out that life outside of religion is not dangerous and scary, as you’ve been told.

        Hell is a tremendous problem that many will not accept as we progress. I would never torture a single soul for any amount of time for any crime. Perhaps removing a person from society and attempt to educate them and help them see life in a new way that keeps them safe and keeps the public safe would be a much better solution. But not with this god, not with this religion. If you messed up and die, well too bad, dude. You’re going to be tortured for not just a year, or two years, or a hundred. You’ll be tortured for infinity. A never ending torrent of crushing pain and screaming. The men who dreamed this reality up were cruel and unloving. They just want control over others and to squash any freedom of thought and discovery, as they fear change is evil. So they use their fear tactics to scare people into submission. So there’s really nothing you can say to me that makes me think that a good and loving God would ever do that to his own creation.

        I do not wrestle with the issue of sin. I see that the spaces people inhabit will chisel out the individual they’ll be. Take one baby and place them in a Christian home in a wealthy neighborhood with good schooling and a loving family. You’ll likely get a Christian kiddo. Take the same baby and put him in any other environment and that baby will soak up the customs and lifestyle that they’re raised in. Take all these different cultures and religions and mix them together and then you have all kinds of religious people crying foul on one another because none of them agree on the topic of sin and cant understand why they’re so different from each other. Think on that for a while. I love and forgive people because it is just the right thing to do, from my perspective. People who act differently from me were taught by the space they were raised in to act in certain ways. I recognize that systems influence the way people think and interact with the world. So i hardly see an issue with sin at all. Everyone wants the same thing, to be loved and to love. All who are born must be taught to love, for loves sake, and not because they’re told to do it. Because love lives in all things. We must educate children and adults in higher and higher ways to bring them into a life style of love and patients with one another. It can be done.

        I have not judged Cooper one bit. I’ve only listened to his words and responded to what he has said. YOU are judging me and assuming I ascribe to Darwinism. In which I do not. I do not cling to any specific ideology at all, so I’m free to row the boat. I just know that the truth is that Cooper does rely on Christians showing up to his show. I never said that survival is morally unacceptable. That would be a judgement/assumption on your part. Cooper himself has stated in two places that no one should be listening to Christian celebrities, that they should follow God. But he still has a lot to say nonetheless. He contradicts himself with his own words and actions, and I’m just paying attention. There is nothing wrong with surviving, that is what we all do. I’m just pointing out that he conflates the “truth of the Gospels” with his own needs. He needs people to believe in them so he can have his Christian career. Cooper has pushed back hard on free thought. He’s quickly trying to stamp out any criticisms the church rightly deserves for the way they treat people.

        Faith is not a leg to stand on. Anyone can have faith in anything. When someone tells me to have faith. What they’re actually saying is: “I don’t know, just go with it.” We can do better than that.

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      2. Joshua B here.

        None of the men who left were demanding that people follow them. They never said they have the ultimate answers or the ultimate truth to anything. What makes them trustworthy to many people is that fact that they’re being honest. They aren’t pretending, they aren’t hiding. So I have no issue hearing out what they have to say. They don’t require a basis to share what they find as truth for themselves, that’s what free thought is for. Of course free thought is completely unwelcome in cults. That’s why they’re under such heavy fire from the Christian community.

        Human reason is important. It can be flawed, but no one is perfect and no two people agree exactly the same on every single subject. You yourself look at what Christianity has to offer, and through your own personal human reason have decided that you buy into their promises through faith. So am I to assume you either used your own reasoning to come to your own conclusions on what you believe? Or did you let another man tell you what to believe and you disregarded your own reasoning to go with his/her human reasoning? Absolute authority can be left in the hands of any one person or ideology. Of course that’s what the Christian leaders want, the ones making so much money and the insecure people who have nothing more than their faith to live on. You have to give room for people to disagree and move on. If they turn around and do something awful the way you guys think they will, since they have absolutely no moral compass now, we have a justice system in place that is separated from religious affiliation thanks to the separation of church and state. So we’re good on that front.

        We already have a foundation within the society we live in. We all have friends, family, sense of duty to one another and love within us. This is independent of religion. I absolutely love my whole family and I love my life, despite the way you Christians judge my personal life from the outside. As far as judging goes, I have not judged Cooper one bit. I have only listened to his words and watch his actions, and I respond to that. Cooper stated in two places now that Christians should not listen to Christian celebrities at all. But that didn’t stop him from throwing a lot of his thoughts out there. I’ll take his advice and disregard what he has to say. That’s not judgment. I’m just paying attention.

        Hell? Are we really going to argue about infinite torture? This is a religious teaching that thankfully is losing traction. No loving individual would ever torture someone for an unending amount of time. If you think that’s how god acts then I can’t help you there. That’s your own paranoia you’ve got to sort out. We live in a much more enlightened society that actually desires to rid itself of cruel and unusual punishment. The men who command you to believe such awful things about god are using your fear against you in order to keep control over you. I can’t make you see it, its up to you to find it out for yourself.

        Faith is such an empty term. It’s interchangeable with “I’m not certain.” So how do you fit your uncertain faith in with the one and only ultimate truth? You can’t have both. I reject it that way of thinking. Just because people dislike Christian doctrines do not mean they can’t know God in new ways and experience life in better, more peace and loving ways. Christians think they own God, but they don’t.

        As far as Darwinism goes, I do not follow that ideology. As I intend to row freely. Darwinism has many interesting observations about life, but it is not life itself. I think if you’re assuming I follow that ideology, watch out, you might be judging me yourself. I pay close attention to what is happening right in front of me, I respond to what I see. I wish not to judge unfairly. Men and women who choose to change their lives and enter something new should be applauded, not scolded on national news for having a new set of understandings and world views. The idea that their choice to leave the church is bad, is a pretty harsh judgement indeed.

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      3. Also, I’d like to point out that I never called names. I never called Cooper arrogant. That you would you putting words in my mouth. Watch out for that. For the record, there’s nothing wrong with survival. I was just pointing out that Cooper’s need to survive influences what he preaches are the “truth,” Which creates a very nasty conflict of interest on his part.

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  31. My question is what do you say to those that say that the Bible as we know it, has been translated by white men in power that just wanted to control people the way they wanted to? This is what my daughter and my friends, who are all amazingly still in love with Jesus, tell me. And I have seen some of the verses and/or words that have definitely been mistranslated to mean something else. This has shaken me to the core and while I very much hold the Bible as holy and the word of God, I am extremely confused even heartbroken. I am currently in a small church that thinks in this new way of finding your own truth and downplaying scripture. I do feel like my foundation is being ripped from me.At the same time, however, I do not feel right about the way the western church has become. It is known all around the world for being judgemental and hateful, and that is towards unbelievers as well, whom we are not to judge. I see genuine love and acceptance here, and isn’t that what Jesus was all about? He never went along with the religious groups. However, something still troubles my spirit I just cannot pinpoint what it is. I have 10,000 questions now and I don’t even trust anyone enough to ask them. I never thought I would question my previous beliefs but now I just don’t know. I am not schooled in the Bible enough to know if it was translated correctly.

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    1. Jace, I’m confident that widely used English Bible translations like the KJV, NIV, NAS, CSB, ESV, RSV, and others are excellent translations. They are not perfect, but they are very good. As long as a person does not base a major doctrine or moral teaching on one isolated verse, but on the whole teaching of Scripture, I’m confident that English translations will not lead anyone astray. (The KJV is now difficult to understand because language changes over time, so I recommend a newer version, not because KJV has major errors, but just because the language has changed so much that the KJV is sometimes misunderstood.)

      I can’t prove in this comment that your English Bible is reliable. But I would urge you to talk with mature Christians outside your current church who have studied Greek and give them a chance to speak before you jettison the Bible.

      Honestly, your church sounds like it is unhealthy and perhaps even a little cultish. I urge you to at least talk with mature evangelical Christians outside your current church about the beliefs and practices of your church. It might save you a lot of heartache and error.

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    2. Everyone can get so scared of believing the right story and lose sight of what is most important in life: loving. The real issue is survival. We are trying to survive in the spaces we inhabit. It is easy to let fear get hold of us and while we try to assuage those fears things can get pretty confusing. When in reality what we must do is accept what is. What we see is what we get. Many spiritual people will demand you bear witness to what they say is truth, when really they’re just as scared and trying to survive like anyone else, and they do not have super powers to know better than you can. David Bazan has this awesome song that came to mind when I read your post, give it a listen and really think over what it means to “bear witness.” No amount of scripture that we read can change what is happening in the moment, and its easy to get caught up in our imaginations about what could be, instead of accepting what is. https://youtu.be/SkkPdRWhZnc

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      1. I really enjoyed reading your responses. “We are trying to survive in the spaces we inhabit.” Gave me reason to pause.

        Lots more to comment on, but definitely a worthwhile read. It’s the kind of stuff you don’t expect to find online, but when you do- you’re glad you took the time to pause and reflect.

        Thanks for sharing.

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  32. I think this has been a long time coming for the protestant church. They have kneeled down to this type of behavior for years! I have noticed in local southern Baptist churches, more modern songs are taking message time, churches are change ing names to be “less offensive”. Also when we only preach the good stuff and dont tell people what happens when you dont follow God’s laws/commandments, it opens you up to this type of behavior. I have recently left the protestant church and am looking to the Catholic church for answers and worship.

    Like

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