John Cooper, founding member of the American Christian band Skillet, wrote on Facebook: "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."
The lead vocalist criticised the public nature of declarations about their loss of faith by people like Joshua Harris, author of I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and Hillsong worship leader Marty Sampson, saying: "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?"
He also responded to one of the comments in Marty Sampson's original post where he said he felt like no one was talking about Hell.
Sampson wrote: "How many preachers fall? Many. No one talks about it. How many miracles happen? Not many. No one talks about it. Why is the Bible full of contradictions? No one talks about it. How can God be love yet send 4 billion people to a place, all coz they don't believe? No one talks about it."
Mr Cooper responded: "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 renowned 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."
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