John Cooper has been known for years as the frontman for Skillet, the popular rock band with a Christian lyrical bent. But in recent years, Cooper has also become an outspoken commentator about the state of the nation — and the church.
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His new book, “Wimpy, Weak, & Woke” examines “increasing conflicts in America” and explores what he says is truly at the core of cultural angst: “a war between gods – the living God and the god of man.”
“I wanted to write this book about utopianism … for anybody whose eyes are open — and you don’t even have to be all that smart to see our world is crumbling,” Cooper told CBN Digital. “Western civilization is on the brink of just collapse.”
He continued, “I think every week people go, ‘OK it can’t get weirder than this,’ and then the next week, wrong, it just got weirder.”
Cooper said it’s time for people to confront the fact that too many Christians have elevated winsomeness over truth, subjugating the latter to a point that has made some churches ineffective.
“They die the death of a thousand caveats, because we don’t want to hurt people’s feelings,” Cooper said. “And, obviously, we should be gracious and loving towards people but we have to tell people the truth. And, so, we’ve become wimpy, we’ve also become weak.”
Cooper believes worldly philosophies and ideals have infiltrated the church to a point that some feel embarrassed by and about who God is, leading to weak theological stances and woke ideologies.
Watch Cooper share his concerns:
In the end, Cooper said it’s all about going back to God’s word to determine what’s valid — and what’s not, regardless of what one emotes or feels.
This is particularly true, he said, when it comes to assumptions about oppression and the ways in which issues like transgender players in sports are handled.
“As a Christian, you have to go back to the Bible and say, ‘Wait a minute, is this a true category of oppression or is this something that the world is saying that we have to do?'” he said. “And I think the answer to that is kind of quite obvious.”
Caving in and giving up the biblical definitions of things, Cooper said, is what it means to be “wimpy, weak, and woke.” In the end, he believes the war raging against the U.S. and American ideals is really a “war against Christianity.”
Cooper said he’s aware he could simply make music and live quietly, but he’s felt compelled to speak out, especially as the cultural situation in America has devolved.
“It is not alarmist to say that we really are on the verge of losing this country,” the performer said, noting he sometimes faces pushback from Christians who don’t understand why he’s focused on the country and not just speaking about Christ.
Cooper continued, “I don’t think they really understand what it means if we lose America. If we lose our freedoms. … If you lose your freedoms, [it] means that you may not have the ability to share Jesus without recrimination [from] the government.”
He reminded those who might be remiss to see this as a valid worry that Christians were battling one another in 2020 over COVID-19 policies, with some wanting to open their churches and others pushing back against the notion. Meanwhile, the government was calling many of the shots.
Cooper called Christians to “rebuke evil” and to take a stand amid difficult times. He’s hoping his decision to write “Wimpy, Weak, & Woke” will have a deep and profound impact.
“The reason I did it as a rock singer is, frankly, because so many pastors in the church won’t do it,” he said. “I used to say silent thinking, ‘Well, that’s the pastor’s job. They’re going to rebuke evil. They’re going to hold the line. I’m just going to be sort of this rock singer that tells people that God loves them, read the Bible, and encourage them in their faith.'”
But Cooper said he found himself realizing many pastors weren’t — and aren’t — holding the line. So, now, the Skillet frontman is doing just that. Read more about his perspective in “Wimpy, Weak, & Woke.”