John Cooper, songwriter and lead singer of Christian rock band Skillet, shared strong words on his Facebook page last week about the recent trend of high-profile religious figures in Christianity renouncing their faith. Without naming names, Cooper challenged the figures for having such public announcements: "Why be so eager to continue leading people when you clearly don't know where you are headed?" he asked.
"What is happening in Christianity?" Cooper started his post. "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 am stunned that the seemingly most important thing for these leaders who have lost their faith is to make such a bold new stance," the podcast host explained. "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?"
As noted by The Daily Wire last week, Marty Sampson, a songwriter for the popular Evangelical Christian band Hillsong United, announced that he is "losing" his faith. "Time for some real talk," Sampson posted in a now-deleted Instagram post. "I'm genuinely losing my faith ... and it doesn't bother me … like, what bothers me now is nothing … I am so happy now, so at peace with the world ... It's crazy." And last month, former pastor and author of the influential Christian book "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" Josh Harris said he was leaving the Christian faith and divorcing his wife.
Cooper was seemingly tackling Sampson's announcement in his Facebook post, asking, "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," he continued. "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."
Cooper also noted that the recent statements of departure are still, "ironically," tightly connected to the teachings of Christianity:
[A]s these influencers disavow their faith, they always end their statements with their "new insight/new truth" that is basically a regurgitation of Jesus’s words?! It's truly bizarre and ironic. They'll say "I'm disavowing my faith but remember, love people, be generous, forgive others." Ummm, why? That is actually not human nature. No child is ever born and says 'I just want to love others before loving myself. I want to turn the other cheek. I want to give my money away to others in need.' Those are bible principles taught by a prophet/Priest/king of kings who wants us to live by a higher standard which is not an earthly standard, but rather the 'Kingdom of God' standard. Therefore if Jesus is not the truth and if the Word of God is not absolute, then by preaching Jesus's teachings you are endorsing the words of a madman. A lunatic who said 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the father except through me.' He also said that he was alive before Abraham, and to see him was to see God because he was one with God. So why then would a disavowed christian leader promote that "generosity is good"? How would you know "what is good" without Jesus's teachings? And will your ideas of what is 'good' be different from year to year based on your experience, culture trends, [popular] opinion etc and furthermore will you continue year by year to lead others into your idea of goodness even though it is not absolute? I'm amazed that so many Christians want the benefits of the kingdom of God, but with the caveat that they themselves will be the King.
The singer also cautioned against Christians choosing "relevant" influencers, including himself, as leaders of their faith, directing them to the Bible and other doctrine.
"We must STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or 'relevant' people the most influential people in Christendom," he said, adding, that "yes, that includes people like me!"
"[W]e 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," he wrote.
Worship singers "create a moment and a vehicle for God to speak," but "singers are not always the best people to write solid bible truth and doctrine," the Skillet frontman added. "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."
H/t The Blaze