Pastor Shane Idleman of Westside Christian Fellowship in Leona Valley, California, recently invited John Cooper of Skillet on his “Idleman Unplugged” podcast, where they discussed whether hard rock music is evil.
Cooper has been the lead singer of Christian rock band Skillet since their formation over 25 years ago. Their group has always taken a bold approach to sharing the gospel with fans and listeners through their lyrics, interviews, meet and greets, and now through the “Cooper Stuff Podcast.” Due to their boldness in their faith in solving cultural issues, the band has gained general respect from fans and secular bands alike, allowing them to tour and perform at festivals where most Christian bands would not. not welcome.
Idleman asked Cooper what he thinks about hard music and when it crosses a line, gets too dark, or should be considered demonic.
“At some point you go through the demonic when it’s too dark… I guess it depends on the lyrics and the artist, because you can take the same instrument and use it for the glory of God or for lyrics that are very dark and demonic,” Idleman said while sharing his thoughts on the subject.
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“For me, I love loud music,” Cooper replied. “I’ve always loved it since I was a kid – I just bonded with it.” The lead singer shared that while playing sports, the energy that comes from listening to hard rock music helped motivate him for competitive sports.
Cooper said, “I really don’t want to use the scriptures in a cavalier way, but I’m going to throw some scriptures out there that I think mean something to me, and maybe it’s applicable. Maybe not, but I’m thinking of that scripture, you know, that says to the pure all things are pure (Titus 1:15).
“One of the things that this Scripture, from what I understand, is that sometimes there will be something [that] can be attached to something that’s really negative for someone, but maybe it’s not negative for someone else,” Cooper continued when talking about the The instructions of the apostle Paul to eat food offered to idols. “Maybe it could be that meat that was sacrificed to idols, like we see in scripture, and someone’s like, ‘Hey, that’s not me anymore. I gave my life to Jesus I don’t want anything to do with that meat. Then you can have somebody else – a Christian – saying, “I don’t even know that’s a sacrifice to idols”. I just thought that it was meat and I was grateful that God gave it to me.Music was a bit like that for me.
The hard rocker explained that he never understood the rebellion surrounding rock music. The phrase “sex, drugs and rock-and-roll” meant nothing to Cooper growing up. Instead, he shared that he “just liked the way it sounded.”
Cooper said he understood that God created the music. “The devil does not create tricks, he deforms. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, of course, but he wants to steal something that God made that was good. He wants to play with that and change it where he’s trying to get fame, and I’ve always thought music glorifies God.
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“I was pure inside, and I knew nothing of the rebellion [pertaining to rock music]”, Cooper said. Listening to music before a basketball game didn’t make him love the devil, Cooper explained. It was just “loud” and “cool.”