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Stryper Frontman Michael Sweet Warns That Judgmental Christians ‘Turn People Away From God’

Michael Sweet Stryper
Screengrab via YouTube / @The Official Stryper Channel

When Christian metal band Stryper rose to fame in the 1980s, the group was somewhat polarizing among Christians. 

While frontman Michael Sweet and his drummer brother Robert Sweet came to faith after watching TV preacher Jimmy Swaggart, Swaggart later referred to Stryper and all Christian rock music as “blasphemy” and “the voice of the dragon.” 

Today, Michael Sweet still believes that the church has work to do in overcoming its judgmental posture toward the world. 

“People use the Scriptures about judging and how we’re called to judge people,” Sweet told Crosswalk Headlines. “And I think they misinterpret that and twist it into their own Scripture. And we’ve got to be really cautious of that.”

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“What that means is we’re supposed to hold each other accountable, but you’re not supposed to go out with a hateful heart and in a godless spirit and judge people because all that does is turn people away from God,” he added. 

Sweet fears that such an attitude among Christians is “turning other people away from God. I feel that the church does that far too often.”

With the advent of social media, Sweet said he routinely sees judgmental comments from Christians directed at him or other artists that he admires. 

“We live in a ‘me’ world. It’s all about self-gratification. Everyone’s giving their opinion,” he said. “We all fall prey to that. But it doesn’t make it right. And we need to all be very careful of that.”

Sweet and Stryper have always taken a different approach. 

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“We have unbelievers come to the show; we have believers come to the show,” Sweet said. “Our goal was always to go into the mainstream world and perform. You know—go into the bars, go into the clubs, arenas with bands like White Lion. We were never a church band. That just wasn’t our calling.”