Skillet frontman John Cooper recently met up with CBN's Studio 5 while on tour to promote the group's latest single "Surviving The Game." 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.
During a recent interview with Focus on the Family, Cooper revealed that a decade ago, a businessman tried to explain how much potential Cooper had, but the caveat was that he should stop focusing on Jesus.
"After a gig, we were on tour with some mainstream acts ... very popular acts. We were opening," Cooper told Focus on the Family. "And we were just beginning to kind of hit a little bit. This guy, in his defense, was being very nice. I mean, he singled me out and he pulled me aside and said, 'John, I wanna tell you this 'cause no one else was gonna tell you. You guys, I believe, could be the biggest band in the world. I think you could be the next biggest band in the world. You guys have the look. You've got the sound. You've got girls in your band.'"
Then the gentleman warned Cooper about his Christian faith, which the man contended was holding him back from real fame.
"And he said, 'You guys also sing about very spiritual things. People really want spiritual music and you've already got it. You've been doing it,'" Cooper continued. "'So, it's your time but you have got to disassociate from Christianity. You've got to stop talking about Jesus so much. Don't do Christian interviews. Don't do Christian music festivals. 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.'"
"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. "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 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 said to Focus on the Family.
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.