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John Cooper: We Have a Cool Pastor Problem

This concept also happens to be the subject of a book Cooper wrote and which is releasing tomorrow: Awake & Alive to Truth: Finding Truth in the Chaos of a Relativistic World. Cooper believes the reason we are seeing so much anxiety, so much fighting, and so much confusion in our society is because we have abandoned the “old wisdom” found in the Bible. Wisdom that has been tested and passed down from generation to generation is seen as suspect to younger generations, Cooper believes. 

“Why have we gotten so far away from the foundational things we’ve believed for the last 300 years?” Cooper asks. 

And what does this have to do with pastors bending over backwards to be cool? Cooper implies that certain pastors would benefit from spending more time preparing to answer the question of why abortion is wrong than they do toning their abdominal muscles. “If you’ve spent more time on your abs than how you’re going to answer the world, there’s a really huge problem, bro,” Cooper says. In other words, pastors need to be prepared to speak the Truth, regardless of how “uncool” it may be and regardless of whoever’s truth it may rub the wrong way.

Cooper pointed to Carl Lentz, the former pastor of Hillsong East Coast and who was recently fired due to an affair, to illustrate this point. Cooper says “this didn’t start six months ago with this affair that he had. There is a problem going back—which I would call getting along with the world. I would call being popular. I would call wanting to be so relevant that we find clever ways to dance around issues.”

Another factor that has led the church to where we are today is the fact that people don’t read and do their research like we used to. Cooper says we have “a generation of people deconstructing their faith even though they don’t know anything.”

If you think the issues of deconstruction, what pastors wear, and relativism seem to be unlikely topics for a Christian rock star to discuss, you’re not alone. Cooper, who has tackled subjects like popular Christians walking away from their faith and the protests that ravaged the nation this summer, acknowledges there aren’t a lot of Christian musicians speaking out. For Cooper, though, being a Christian rock star comes with a platform, one he’s willing to risk if it means sharing the truth.

“Play time is over,” Cooper writes in his Facebook post. “The spiritual battle is raging, and the field is full of wimps and boys who have never picked up a sword because it just ‘feels mean.’ We need generals and leaders who don’t care about their brand, their look, their ‘likes’, or making allegiances with the world. In short, it’s time to make pastors uncool again.”