Skillet frontman John Cooper recently shared how he became a Christian and why he risks his career again and again to make the name and teachings of Jesus known. He told Movieguide, “I have to give my mom credit because my mom taught me about the Lord. When I was a kids, she would read the Bible to me. When I was one, two and three years old, I would constantly read the Bible. My mom would make us pray together, she’d make us Bible study and memorize scripture. So I don’t remember a day in my life when I wasn’t memorizing scripture.”
He continued, “I came to know Jesus when I was five years old, and I tell that story to encourage moms and dads who may be watching. I have two kids of my own, and what you do matters. Teaching your kids matters a lot. What your kids watch matters. What your kids listen to matters. And so, that’s a big deal.” Having known the Lord for nearly a decade by the time he was a teenager, Cooper’s faith went to the next level at 15 years old when his mother passed away from cancer.
Cooper explained, “After she died, I began fighting with my dad – the darkest times of my life. I began to know Jesus in a much deeper way, you know, I became a Christian when I was five years old, but I began to know Jesus as a friend, as someone who would never leave me and never forsake me. The Bible says that God is close to the brokenhearted.”
He continued, “That became real to me in my 15-, 16-, 17-year-old years, and because of that, Jesus became so real to me and so wonderful and so much better than everything the world had to offer,” he continued. “I wanted to write music and tell people that you have to know this peace like I know it. It’s going to change your life.” This has remained his core mission throughout his life, which is why Cooper is so bold in standing up for truth, even when it may wreak havoc on his career.
Now that he has such a large platform – being one of the best-selling rock musicians of the 21st century – Cooper calls others to stand for truth as well and fight for what the Bible teaches. He said, “It’s easy to look back now and say, ‘I would have been a Bonhoeffer,’ just like it’s easy to look back and say, ‘If it were 1850, I would have stood against chattel slavery.’ It’s really easy to say that, but it’s harder to recognize in your own day what evil is. In my day, 2020, what woke me up to that, and I just said, ‘I can’t stay silent whatever it cost.’ We have to help parents especially. You have to help parents understand the times we’re living in because they’re so different than they were 20 years ago.”
He added, “Sometimes Christians are duped into believing stuff out of what they would consider to be good motives, you know. ‘I just want to be relatable to the world and love people,’ so they end up saying things that aren’t true because they wrongly think they’re loving people by doing so.” Cooper, however, realizes that sometimes, to love people well and to stand up for truth, he needs to ruffle some feathers and confront the evil that has taken root in people’s hearts.
He explores standing for truth in his newest book, “Wimpy, Weak and Woke.” Cooper said of the book, “The increasing conflicts in America today are often referred to as a ‘culture war,’ but what is truly happening is an age-old war between gods. It’s a winner-takes-all battle between the living God and the false God of Man.”