Skillet's John Cooper says moral relativism, 'woke ideology' permeating Church is 'wrecking Christianity'

John Cooper, 2021
John Cooper, 2021 | Velvet Kelm

Skillet frontman John Cooper has issued a blistering condemnation of “woke ideology” and moral relativism he warned has seeped into the Church, urging Christians to be “extremely vigilant about the Word of God” to combat such false doctrine. 

During a recent episode of Abby Johnson’s hit podcast, "Politely Rude," Cooper revealed that a few years ago, he was shocked to find that people didn’t believe in absolute truth anymore.

“I didn't even know that would be a possibility,” he said. “I studied postmodernism in college, but I never thought that anyone would actually build a society upon it because it's so untenable.”

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“But that is what we have now built society on," the Grammy-nominated singer said. "And what's really scary is how that philosophy has entered into Christianity. It doesn't even make any sense. You can't believe in God but not believe in absolute truth because one negates the other. Yet that is what's actually happening in Christianity.”

Now, the rocker said he's “outspoken” about what he believes are “scary” changes unfolding in culture. 

“We need to be extremely vigilant about the Word of God,” he stressed. “We need to be extremely vigilant about what the Bible says because if we are not, then we will begin to read the Bible with that same sort of relativism. And when you do that, you're not starting from a premise that the Word of God is absolute, that God's Word is supreme.”

“What happens in relativism is you say, ‘No, I am supreme. My feelings are supreme, my experience is the brain, I can find truth in my heart,’” he explained. “Then I look through that filter at the Word of God, and then I shape the Word of God to meet my needs. So we need to be extremely vigilant about this because it is wrecking Christianity.”

LISTEN: Subscribe to the ‘Politely Rude With Abby Johnson’ Podcast on Edifi

Cooper, who recently penned the book, Awake & Alive To Truth (Finding Truth In The Chaos Of A Relativistic World), noted that one of the tenets of postmodernism is deconstructionism and skepticism. He reflected on the number of high-profile Christian leaders who have left the faith in recent years, from I Kissed Dating Goodbye author Joshua Harris to former Desiring God contributor Paul Maxwell.

“I do think it's a pretty big warning to all of us to build your life on top of the Words of Jesus Christ,” he said. “We need to continue to build our lives upon that, or we will get destroyed ... and I do think that that has happened to a lot of our pastors.”

“Here's the warning to all of us: It can happen to any of us if we are not vigilant with the Word of God because the ideology of the day is so ubiquitous,” the singer said, adding that the “woke culture” claims to be “more Christian than Christ.”

“That’s what we have to watch out for,” he declared.

Emotionalism is also part of the “woke ideology” that has invaded the Church, Cooper said, contending that many people follow Jesus today because it “feels good” rather than making Him the Lord of their life.

“What Jesus requires is actually Lordship, and with Lordship comes an understanding that I am not my own God,” he said. “This isn't about what makes me emotionally feel good. This is about the Lordship of Christ, He is God, and I am not.”

“I do think that emotionalism is a part of the woke ideology that is part of what has come into the Church,” he added. “I truly do believe that it's another gospel. I think we have a load of people who say that they believe they are followers of Jesus Christ, but really they're not. They just like the idea of who they think Jesus is, but I don't think they actually know biblical Jesus.”

A recent study from Barna found that two-thirds of teens and young adults (65%) agree that “many religions can lead to eternal life,” compared to 58% of teens and young adults surveyed in 2018. Additionally, 31% of teens and young adults “strongly agree” that what is “morally right and wrong changes over time, based on society,” compared to just 25% in 2018. 

A previous study from Barna characterized Gen Z as the “first truly ‘post Christian’ generation,” with only 4% adhering to a biblical worldview.

Cooper is not the only Christian leader to condemn the leftist ideology slowly permeating the evangelical church. 

Michael Youssef, the 72-year-old pastor of the 3,000-member Church of The Apostles in Atlanta, Georgia, recently told The Christian Post that more and more pastors are “falling into the trap” of woke culture because it’s “popular and appeals to the flesh.”

“Bowing to woke culture allows you to avoid rejection by culture and society,” he said. “It’s a very, very popular message that is now being preached from many evangelical pulpits; traditionally Bible-believing, Gospel-preaching churches. We have gone so far that it just grieves me to the point that I literally sometimes just weep tears.”

“I’ve always believed, as goes the pulpit, so goes the pew. As goes the pew, so goes the culture," he continued. "As a pastor, I put the full blame on us, right in our laps, because we want to be liked, loved, and followed on social media by millions of people. Pastors are the culprits. We need to be about Jesus, not about being liked, because that is deadly as far as the Gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned.”

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