Skillet's John Cooper Was Told to 'Stop Talking About Jesus', He Did the Opposite: 'I Could Not Be Silent About Christ'
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Skillet frontman John Cooper is out to change the world for Jesus, and he's not ashamed to admit it. He met up with CBN's Studio 5 while promoting the group's single "Surviving The Game," and he shared about a time when he was told to "disassociate from Christianity" if he wanted to become truly successful in his career. He chose to stay the course for Christ.
Cooper tells CBN News that a decade ago, a businessman tried to explain how much potential Cooper had, but the caveat was that he should stop being so outspoken about his faith in Jesus.
"We were just really beginning to hit it radio, and we had been trying to get on the radio. I mean, that's what you need, you need that radio song, otherwise, it doesn't get out to the whole world. Finally hitting in radio, we were going on tour with massive secular bands at the time," he recalls. "All of a sudden we were there."
"After a show, there was this tour party at a bowling alley, and I'd gone. And there was a bunch of industry folks there... publicists, radio programmers, DJs, there were some famous people there, some professional athletes there, models, this was the place to be... Somebody said, 'Hey John, I want to talk to you,' and I didn't know they knew who I was, and it was a fairly big mover and shaker in the industry," he tells CBN News.
"'You guys could be the next biggest band in the world, but you have to stop talking about Jesus'," Cooper recalls the man telling him. "And he kind of went through his spiel of why, and then he said, 'Look, I'm not telling you to not be a Christian, I'm not saying to not believe in Jesus." But then he advised him to "Stop talking about it, don't do Christian interviews, don't say you're a Christian band. You need to disassociate from that because people don't take it seriously."
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"I don't hold it against him, he was trying to do me a favor," he says.
The gentleman warned Cooper that his Christian faith was holding him back from real fame, saying if he had real fame and real money he could do more good in the world.
"You've got to stop talking about Jesus so much... If people ask you what your song's about, I'm not telling you to lie. Just don't offer up the information about Jesus,'" he recalls in a separate interview with Focus on the Family. "And then he said something else. And this is what got me. This is what I think is interesting. He said, 'But, John, think about the good you could do for your faith if you got rich and famous. Think about what you could do for Jesus if you stopped talking about Jesus.'"
Cooper knew that God had called him to sing about the gospel and share the good news of salvation. "I told my wife about the conversation. We prayed about it. And it was instant - almost instantaneous, I know that that is not the Lord," Cooper emphasized.
The Skillet frontman told CBN's Studio 5 that this was a "definitive point" in his career. "It was a defining moment because I always had talked about Jesus."
He explained, "It kind of sounded like the truth, but it was not the truth." He points out the devil has the ability to twist things to make them sound truthful, and "that's when you're getting into dangerous territory."
That night was a very pivotal moment because it prepared him for a journey focused on his primary goal. He told Studio 5 after that conversion a decade ago, "I knew I could not be silent about Christ, in fact, I needed to be more vocal about Christ."
The singer explained that there has been a shift in the way people perceive truth and their willingness to manipulate a situation.
"And if this is gonna be the new - the new world, the new culture, the new way that people are trying to kind of steer Christians into a new kind of activism into Christianity that is void of the actual Gospel of Christ, I know that I need to be vocal against that move," he told Focus.
The 46-year-old also shares the story in his book, Awake and Alive to Truth: Finding Truth in the Chaos of a Relativistic World, which talks about his faith journey, also available as an audiobook.
He also spoke to CBN's Studio 5 about the band's tour, their single "Surviving the Game", and Skillet's latest album "Dominion," which was released in January of 2022.
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