“I truly believe we are at a precipice. I don’t think I’m too alarmist to say — the destruction of the country, the destruction of the Church of America,” said John Cooper, lead singer of the Christian rock band Skillet and an author of a new release, “Wimpy, Weak and Woke: How Truth Can Save America From Utopian Destruction.”
He described the current views on racial issues and sexuality, the progressive Christian movement and other such “woke” topics as being aspects of the Church’s recent demise.
“Woke” is a new buzzword in American culture, and it has created a lot of confusion. According to allsides.com, “‘Woke’ is a term that generally refers to awareness of issues related to racism, discrimination and social justice, and support of policies or cultural changes to address purported injustices and institute more social equity or equality.”
Cooper feels many Christians have misunderstood the term.
“Even though there are Christian people who are like, ‘Well, I didn’t know it meant any of that. I thought it just meant caring for people and caring for the poor and the oppressed.’ So I make it very clear in my book that caring for the poor is not being woke,” Cooper said.
Since 1996, when Cooper started Skillet, he’s been passionate about “sharing the truth of Christ to the world through music.” He never wanted to be part of the political arena or debates about how modern culture is affecting Christianity.
But about a decade ago, he noticed these “woke” issues and began asking pastors, youth workers and other “really smart people” questions.
Cooper said that about 95% of the time the answers were based on traditional or conservative Christianity and not what the Bible said, so he started praying for someone who could provide answers.
“And continually, I just would sense the Lord saying to me, ‘John, you’re one of the people. What are you waiting on?’ And I kept thinking, ‘That can’t be me. I’m a rock star. I just want to tell people about the love of God,’” Cooper said.
Truth and clarity
He finally realized that preaching Jesus and the moral implications of being a Christ-follower really aren’t different, which led to his 2020 book, “Awake and Alive to Truth: Finding Truth in the Chaos of a Relativistic World.”
One topic Cooper sought answers for is the identity crisis many are facing.
“What I mean by that is that the biblical perspective, as I’ve understood it, is that you are not defined by who you are attracted to,” Cooper said. “You’re not defined by your sexuality, meaning who you want to have sex with or who you’re attracted to or how you ‘identify.’ There are a lot of parts to who you are.”
Skin color and race are “immutable characteristics” and can’t be changed, he said. Sexuality isn’t.
“Let’s just say that you’re born in China, so you’re Chinese. You give your life to Jesus. You’re never going to not be Chinese,” Cooper said.
“But if you give your life to Jesus, now your identity is surrendered to the lordship of Christ. He’s going to change everything about who you are. He’s going to become the Lord of your sexuality, the Lord of your mind, the Lord of the things you love and this and the other.”
There are some who still stand for truth, such as when Cooper’s college-aged daughter faced a dilemma. In one of her extracurricular activities, the professor said that the next day the students were to introduce themselves, with their pronouns, to new members.
Cooper’s daughter decided to talk to the professor, knowing she could be kicked out of the group, or even school, for what she said.
“She told the professor, ‘You know how much I love this, and all these people are my friends. A lot of these people don’t agree with my Christian faith. A lot of these people are LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender). Some of these people are trans. Nobody dislikes me and I don’t dislike anybody else.
“‘But I cannot give my pronouns at the beginning of this thing because I feel like I’m lying. I do not believe that anybody is confused about if I’m a girl or a man. I do not believe that I could switch and become a man. I know that some people might identify as that, but I don’t think it’s actually possible. It’s against my religion, and I really don’t think it’s fair that I should have to give them,’” Cooper recalled.
The professor let the students choose whether to share their pronouns.
“The truth will set you free,” Cooper said. “Lies don’t set people free. Lukewarm Christianity doesn’t set people free. The final thing is that we have gotten to a point that I personally believe that if the Church would just be the Church and live in holiness and reject the ways of the world, I actually think the entire country would turn around.
“I think we would see revival. I think that the whole country would recognize that the light of Christ shines so brightly in the darkness that they would be drawn to it.”
To learn more about Cooper and “Wimpy, Weak and Woke,” go to johnlcooper.com.