Two high profile renouncement’s of faith have shaken the Christian world in recent days, with “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” author Joshua Harris taking the atheist plunge first, followed by Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson declaring that he is “genuinely losing his faith.”
John Cooper, from the popular Christian band Skillet wrote a lengthy (and scathing) post on Facebook offering some fierce push-back on some of the complaints made by these two apostates:
“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?”
A very strong observation, as many who critique the Christian faith enjoy throwing arrows yet leave the inadequacies and folly of their own worldview conveniently unaddressed. Why should someone believe this wavering person, especially when they are entering into a worldview that has no worthy justifications to explain virtually anything we currently experience in life?
I’ll fast forward to the crown jewel of the post, in which Cooper responds brilliantly to some of the (frequently asked/answered) questions raised by the Hillsong worship leader, who claimed these were issues the church “never talks about.”
“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.
It is time for the church to rediscover the preeminence of the inerrant Word of God. 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)
Amen and amen! Beautifully said by Cooper all the way around. If you check out the full post you’ll also be treated to his astute yet often looked observation that these leaders backing away from the faith say we just need to love people — yet by removing God you remove all justification and reason to even bother loving people in the first place! Everything becomes relative without Him, and Cooper does a nice job of fleshing this idea out.
From article in Faith Wire b