How Skillet’s John Cooper Responded When Told to ‘Stop Talking About Jesus’
Skillet frontman John Cooper has never been one to minimize his faith, especially when it comes to the Christian rockers' songs, albums and performances. But in a new interview, the musician remembered a time when someone almost convinced him to tone it down.
The recollection came near the end of Cooper's chat with the Trevor Talks podcast on Monday (July 28), the Skillet bassist-vocalist retelling the story of how the unnamed person petitioned him to "stop taking about Jesus" so much in the context of the group. Cooper previously touched on the tale in his book Awake and Alive to Truth.
Watch the interview toward the bottom of this post.
"He did say like, 'Look, this is what I believe. This is what a lot of people are saying. We think you could be the next biggest band in the world,'" Cooper recalls. "Now, I don't believe that I could have been the biggest band in the world, but that's what he was saying — 'Yeah, you need to stop talking about Jesus so much.'"
The musician continues, "What was really confusing is … he wasn't saying, Hey, John, deny Christ. He wasn't saying, Deny your faith. Don't ever talk about Jesus. He was just saying, 'Stop talking about it so much. Don't do Christian shows; don't do Christian interviews. When someone asks you what a song is about, don't start saying, 'It's about my faith in Jesus.''"
Building on that memory, the Skillet bandleader brought up the song "Hero" from the band's 2009 album, Awake.
Because of the tune, "People would ask me on these mainstream interviews, 'So, who is your hero?'" Cooper says. "You know, they'd expect me to say whatever, and I'd say, 'My hero is Jesus Christ,' and I would explain it. And he's saying, 'Stop doing that because it's hurting your fan base.'"
On top of that, the person took it one step further by adding a "twist," the musician remembers.
"He said, 'If you think about it, John, you can do more for your faith by listening to my advice because as you stop talking about Jesus and as your audience grows, imagine what you can do for the poor if you become rich and famous. Imagine the influence you could have if you become rich and famous.' … So that was the only aspect of what he said that there is some truth to that; there is an element of truth to what he's saying."
Still, for Cooper, "God made it so abundantly clear that even though there is an element of truth [to that], maybe there is [also] an element of prudence —it's not the Lord's wisdom. It might be a little bit of earthly prudence, but that is not the Lord's wisdom. And that was a defining moment for me."
As if it needs to be said, the frontman certainly didn't lessen his Jesus talk onstage — if anything, it might have even made his convictions that much stronger.
Skillet and Cooper will get back to sharing their faith in cities across the United States this September and October when the act hit the road with Adelitas Way for a 24-date tour.