Join us on a thought-provoking journey with John Cooper, the lead singer of Skillet, in this compelling episode of the Covenant Eyes Podcast. The conversation revolves around his latest book, “Wimpy, Weak, and Woke,” tackling the challenges Christians face in a world gripped by confusion.
Cooper sheds light on the evolving complexities of living a Christ-centered life amid societal upheavals. Reflecting on the past’s simplicity, he explores the current confusion, addressing the clash between utopian ideals and eternal truths from the Kingdom of God. Cooper passionately emphasizes the need for the church to break its silence and actively engage in today’s cultural battles. The discussion extends to the revolutionary idea that Christ owns the world, challenging believers to reclaim their role in transforming society. Cooper outlines the power of Christ’s rule and the importance of resisting cultural challenges.
This episode provides profound insights into pressing issues and offers a roadmap for Christians navigating the complexities of the modern world.
Subscribe, like, and share to be part of this crucial conversation that addresses the intersection of faith and culture. Join us in understanding the transformative potential of embracing eternal truths in a world yearning for clarity. Don’t miss this compelling episode that addresses pressing issues and offers a roadmap for Christians navigating the complexities of the modern world.
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Well, it's awesome to be back, Brandon, and we are talking with one of our favorite favorite guests on the show, John Cooper, who I am just so excited to have back. How are you, John?John Cooper:
Hey, it's great to be a chat with you guys again Of course, john.Speaker 3:
you've got a lot of big things happening right now, obviously skillets out there touring rocking in the free world. But you've got a book coming out as well. On November 14th, wimpy Week and Woke we're going to dive into that. We're going to dive into some conversation about pornography and who knows where else we're going to go. But tell us just a little bit as we kick things off about the book. Now you do have another book out there, awake and Alive to Truth. That came out. What was the inspiration behind coming out with a second book?John Cooper:
Yeah. Well, like I said, I should say to people, when I said it's good to see you guys again, what I meant was is that we just ran into each other about three weeks ago, I think. Yeah, was that three weeks ago? At the TPUSA Faith event. I had you guys on my podcast, which is really cool. I learned a lot of good information. I had tons of great feedback, so thank you for joining me. I'm glad that we're here talking. The book, as you said, is called Wimpy Week and Woke. I think what it was was that I was kind of going down the rabbit hole during 2020 happened and we're all wondering what the world's going on. What is the church? What can the church do? What are we supposed to do? How are we supposed to be the light of Christ in a world gone absolutely crazy? Because I personally think it used to be easy to live for Jesus. I thought I don't mean easy, meaning it doesn't cost you anything, but it wasn't that difficult to know how to live for Christ. Maybe that's a better way to say it. When I was growing up, it was like, hey, don't drink, don't smoke, don't watch pornography, don't cuss, and if you do all those things, you pretty much will stick out from the crowd and everybody will want to know why don't you do those things? It's pretty easy to live for Jesus. I remember saying to my pastor I think it was 2015, I said, man, I didn't know it was this confusing to know how to live for Christ. I listened to one guy. I go to some preacher I listened to online that I typically love, and he's saying here's what you have to do, do A, b and C. And then I go to somebody else that I love online and they're saying here's what you do to live for Jesus. Do not do A, b and C, do X, y and Z. A, b and C is from the devil. And all of a sudden we're at such loggerheads. And so for me, this book Wimpy, weak and Woke is sort of me digging down the rabbit trail, if you will, and saying all right, here's what I think has happened. Personally, I think all of these things whether it's the sexual revolution, the sort of Marxist revolution, the kind of socialism and things like that have happened in the country that have infected the church as well. I think it's really about just utopianism. It's to try to create a perfect heaven on earth, if you will, and you wouldn't think that Christians would get duped into that. But Christians get duped into it because we believe in this thing called the kingdom of God, heaven for eternity, that perfect, eternal life of justice, righteousness, peace, equality. Those are all things that we believe in for eternity, and utopia uses those same words, but they mean something very, very different. So that's why I wanted to write Wimpy, weak and Woke. The subtitle is how Truth Can Save America from Utopian Destruction, and I think that that's what it is. It always ends in dystopia.Karen Potter:
Wow, that's powerful. You know, we do have a longing for that perfect heavenly state, right? I mean, that's what we're designed. We're designed to want to long and to be with God in heaven, and it's interesting to me that we are trying to build that down here. I think that's a really interesting take, john. What are some of the key points in the book, as far as you know? What are some of those sticking points you think that Christians are really struggling with as it deals with this utopia? What are they trying to build? What are those top three items?John Cooper:
You know, I think what I would say is maybe I'll try to keep it a little philosophical and then I can. I can pinpoint a couple of things, if it, if it's helpful. I think maybe a good way to say it is this Sometimes Christians have a tendency to say this world doesn't matter, it's passing away. So who cares? All that matters is your salvation. And so I think that what Christians should amen about that statement is that there is nothing more important than the state of your eternal soul. Right, jesus said it himself. Jesus said don't fear the one that can kill the body, fear the one who can kill the soul and throw it into hell. Yes, there's nothing more important than that. But I do think that it is okay for us to criticize to an extent that message of who cares what happens to this world, because it's going good. Well, I think that Jesus cared about what happens to this world, and I believe that the kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. That's what the Bible says, and so the kingdom of God is, is being grown in the earth. You know, jesus said it, the kingdom, the kingdom is like a little mustard seed, and it's like you plant it in the ground, but then it does, it grows and it grows and it grows. And so we are to be light to the world. They should. The world should see the kingdom, they should see the fruit of the kingdom and say, well, that tastes good, you know, that tastes. That tastes better than what we have and how it's supposed to work out. For instance, to talk about an issue that you guys care a lot about, we should have extremely different rates of pornography use within the body of Christ, within the church and in the world, that that should be completely different because of the work of the Holy Spirit. We should have different rates of divorce. We should have different rates of teen suicide and all these things that the world's experiencing. To some degree, the church isn't really looking all that different, and so I think the biggest thing that we're wrestling with, to be honest which is why I called the book Wimpy, weak, and what Wimpy means is that we have sort of we sort of feel like we have to apologize for the character of God and the Bible as Christians, and that is Wimpy. That is Wimpy because God is holy, he is perfect, he is righteous, and so he gives us a way to live, and I think that the world doesn't like how the God of the Bible tells us to live. They don't like that and in fact they would call the Bible now oppressive, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic. And they would even look at the God's sexual designs and they would say that's not liberating at all. They would say it's actually. That's the reason we have so many issues in life, because they would say, the way we're going to get to utopia and to peace and to happiness is to liberate yourself sexually. So then pornography becomes a good thing to the world. Liberation is a good thing, cheating on your spouse is a good thing. Pornography, masturbation, all these things are viewed as good to them. Because they hate the prescriptions of the Bible, and I think there are a lot of Christians have. I think we've been weak philosophically, theologically, we haven't understood God's commands, and so it makes us want to go. Yeah, maybe the Bible isn't all that good and maybe we need to join with the world to some degree, but we're supposed to love people and I think that Jesus would want us to do those things. And so what they're going to really understand the book is no utopia and the kingdom of God. They are clashing. They are not the same thing. They are at odds with each other.Speaker 3:
I want to pick up on that pornography point too, because when we were at the pastor's summit down in San Diego you were on a panel discussion.John Cooper:
Well, if you don't speak against pornography, you're being silent about evil. That is not a free speech issue and I believe it's legal in America because the church is not doing our job. So when Christians go, why is all this pornography happening? Because we let it. The church has a lot more power than we think we do. God has given us rule and dominion. Christ is ruling the earth as we speak, but he rules the earth mainly through his church, because we are the ones that are actually in this physical world doing the bidding of Christ through the power of the spirit. If we would just begin to speak there's a lot of us, I believe that we would begin to break strongholds, open people's eyes to the truth of Christ and they would see how absolutely degrading to humanity pornography really is.Karen Potter:
That's an excellent point, actually several excellent points. John, I hear you speak about this passionately and I wonder. I'm older so I date back to. I'm a Gen Xer. So I grew up pre-internet we didn't have cell phones, all of that good stuff. It's interesting to me that throughout our educational system we've really kind of dumbed down and removed a lot of the critical thinking skills and all of that. And then in our churches we started to scale back apologetics, we started to scale back understanding doctrine and theology, and now we wonder why we're in this position where we're not able to articulate arguments for the Bible in polite society because we don't have the skill sets to do that any longer. What do you think was the instrumental movement that kind of shifted us away from being responsible for our understanding of the Bible and being able to articulate that?John Cooper:
I could not agree with that anymore, and I do speak about this in the book a little bit. If people read the book, by the way, there's 650 footnotes in this book, all right. So I give people the original thinkers. So I'm not exaggerating. What happens is that when we say what these people think, people always think we're exaggerating, because most people have never read Karl Marx, freud, the critical theorist, nietzsche, I mean, who sits around reading this stuff? And because of that we have lived in such a free and wonderful country that we just think that every country is naturally probably going to be free and wonderful. And everybody pretty much agrees on justice. All you got to do is turn the TV on and see what is happening in Israel right now and you will find out. No, not everybody agrees on justice. There are some people who do delight in wickedness. They delight in the not trying to shock people but the torture and rape of other human beings for their version of justice. I mean, it is such a failure of the church. The reason I think it happened is honestly because I think the secularism took such a hold in the early 1900s and I think after World War II, I think people pretty much went. Okay, they renamed this idea liberal democracy. We hear that now, liberal democracy, this is a political philosophy point more than a theological point. So we said, hey, we have enlightenment values, we all agree on justice, we all agree on these things. It's a liberal democracy. We don't need God for that. So quit talking about the Bible, you guys. Quit talking about the Quran. You quit talking about Buddhism or whatever it is. Everybody's talking about your religions. We don't need it. We have a set of principles that are true for everybody, everywhere, and it's going to produce justice. Church, you don't need to keep talking about this stuff. All you need to do is be loving the people, be nice to people. You don't need apologetics, you don't need worldview. We didn't know how bad things would get because we didn't read the people that wrote this stuff and we have no idea how much Karl Marx hated God. We don't know that Freud, who so many church leaders they really do kind of believe a lot of what Freud said they don't know that Freud thought that religion, a belief in God, was infantile In his mind. It was like that's one of those infantile things you believe in. It's the reason your life is no good and that terrible belief in God has led you to sexual repression, and if you just get rid of the repression and liberate yourself sexually, you'll see that you don't need a God. A God just makes you feel better about your sexual repression. These people hated God, they hated religion, and so I think, because we didn't know that, we didn't think we we need to teach it and secularism is one and so it's sort of like. The one of the things I write in the book is this it's nothing new. It's an age old battle between the living God of the Bible and the God of man. It's basically are we going to believe what God says or are we going to believe what, what man says? And that's where we're headed right now. So if you watch the news and you see these crime rates going up in America, or you see some young man just like cold cock and a woman on the street, you see this stuff happening and you go, yeah, that is the sort of society that happens when we say we don't need God. All of that makes sense because it because it's chaos and that's what man will lead you to. So last thing I'll say about it if people read the book, you are going to have the actual original stuff that people said. And the reason I think it's so important is because in the last three years, as I've said to people, well, yeah, of course crime is happening because of A, b or C I've had Christian friends of mine say John, why are you so extreme? That's not even what Freud said, that's not even what Mark said. You don't even know what it is, john, and I go my mind is blown because I'm like it is what they say. So I'm trying to give people the ammunition. You say, yes, I do, because I read Wimpy Week in Woke and I probably know more about it than you do.Speaker 3:
Okay, yes, yes, absolutely. That is great. But I keep thinking about, too, your song resistance, and it really seems like it's a call for the church to to rise up, to be loud, to step up in the area where we really, frankly, have fallen short. Would you agree with that?John Cooper:
100%, man, I got so much to say about what you just said, and it's not necessarily about the book, even though the book has all. This stuff is interweaved into the book because I believe, as you believe both of you believe that Christ owns the world. This world belongs to Christ. It does not belong to the devil, it belongs to Christ. And Christ owns the cattle and 1,000 hills, he owns everything, and so that is weaved into the book. The song, the Resistance absolutely. There's a line in the song that says it's our world. They can never have it. And the reason it's such a revolutionary statement is because too many Christians have believed well, this world's passing away. So who really cares? Now, I'm not getting into eschatology because everybody's going to have a different idea of end times than this, that and the other. I'm not even saying we have to get into that. What I am saying is that Christ is sitting at the right hand of the Father in His ascension. So Jesus died across, he was buried, he rose from the dead. So whoever raises from the dead owns the world. So that's who owns the world. He ascends to heaven. He is at the right hand of the Father. He is ruling the earth as we speak, the Bible says well, I'm about to get all pumped up. The Bible says that we are seated with Him in the high places, which is a mind boggling thing that we do. It's too incredible to imagine the reason. This is on my mind today and it has to do with pornography, but it has to do with just sexuality in general. Before this interview, I'm talking to some friends of mine because there's a lot happening in Christendom right now, in the evangelical world, and I'm talking to some of my friends about some pastors and some people who are making very big statements about how the church is supposed to be responding to homosexuality and same-sex marriage and all these various things. And so there are people going back and forth saying, well, we have to show people you know people that we love them. Obviously true. I've shown people that there's grace Obviously true. There's all these things we do and in fact, you know right what I'm doing with you guys. Right, with covenant, this obviously really matters. But one of the things I said, I said to them guys how come it's only you guys are laughing at me? I said, how come? It seems like it's only the charismatic churches who believe that God can change your desires. This is blowing me away, because if God can't change my desires, I just don't know what I'm going to do, and because that means I am never, ever going to start hating Evil in my life. Are you serious? And I think that that speaks to this whole situation. That's why I support what you guys do and what I love what you do. We need all this. We need accountability, we need friendships, we need relationships, we need the church. I tell people if you can't quit watching pornography, then get a flip phone. Why do you still have all this access on it? Do whatever you need to do to get rid of evil. But what I am sure of is that if you read the Bible every, every single day, and you are putting the word in you, you're gonna begin to really hate your old life, and I know that. I Know that from from my own life. I genuinely do not ever desire To have sex with another woman besides my wife. That's not because I'm amazing, didn't used to be the case, all right, I just don't desire that. It repulses me. The idea is disgusting to me and if the idea pops into my head, I say name of Jesus, I Resist it. And the Bible says you resist the devil. He has to flee because he does not have authority over me. Why? Because Christ rules in the heavens and I am seated with him in high places. Don't make me start preaching. I get super, duper excited. Christ owns the world. The devil does not own the world and the devil does not own me. So why don't, why doesn't the church, yes, do all these other things, but why don't we preach that Christ didn't just give you forgiveness for your sins, he gave you a brand new nature. And yet it's gonna take a while for that new nature to catch on, because you're still in this sack of flesh and your flesh is gonna Want stuff. Of course, right, this flesh is gonna die. Thank God, will be resurrected with a new body one day. So it's gonna take a while and we're gonna stand together, but as we stand together and some of those people are gonna fall, of course they're gonna mess up and they might watch pornography again, but we're still saying together, but we're still believing that Christ has made me a new person and and we're believing for a future. When you say, you know what, I don't struggle with that like I used to. You know what I mean, I'm not being stupid, I'm not saying, well, now I'm gonna go back and get a phone and I can watch certain things. This not gonna make a difference, we're not gonna be dumb about it, but we believe in the power of the blood of Jesus Christ that actually changes us from the inside out and, for the life of me, I don't know why more preachers aren't preaching that.Karen Potter:
Mmm, that was awesome. Amen to that, oh my goodness. Well, john, you know we're coming to the close for today's program, but we want to make sure that our listeners know how to. Well, first off, when does the book come out and how do they get their hands on it? Where can they order the book?John Cooper:
Well, thank you so much. John L Coopercom is the only place you can pre-order the book once it's out on November 14th. Once it's out, it'll be available on Amazon. But if you want to pre-order it, we have some various packages go to John L Coopercom. Also, if people go to John L Coopercom and you sign up on the email list, we're going to send you the first chapter for free. It's a. It's an extended chapter, but it's it's more like an introduction chapter, but it's quite extensive and it's a. It's actually an audio book, an audio recording of. I read the. I read the opening chapter. You'll get it for free and then you can see if this is the kind of book that you might or might not like. And Because I talked about so many other things that I feel really super passionate about, would you mind if I just give one more plug for the book?Karen Potter:
Okay. So I want people to understand that this isn't just a book that is pessimistic. It's talking about a lot of these evil ideologies, but all throughout the book, what you're going to get, I call them Bible binaries. The reason I call it Bible binaries is because I don't know about you guys. I'm sorry, I'm laughing at myself. I. I get kind of so tired of people saying we have to nuance. I feel like people are nuanced. I mean, yeah, we got a nuance in life. But I feel like every time somebody tells me they believe it's like Nuance, like the death of a thousand nuances, when I'm like, all right, wait. So what do you believe? Like, like what? So what are you saying? It's like we've nuanced so much that that I don't it's. I don't know what you're talking about. The Bible, of course there are things we have to nuance on, but the Bible says a lot of things that are like hey, you have two choices life or death. Choose this day who you will serve. And God says I want you to choose life, but there's only one other option. There's not really new on singing Bob. I call them Bible binaries throughout the book. And that is when God gives us a binary choice. You do this or you do this. And the reason I do that in every chapter is because, as I'm giving you what Marx is saying, karl Marx and and his ideas of it's basically the poor versus the rich he Created. He of course calls it the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, but those are just big words, so the working class, and then the, the capitalists, or the, the business owners. As I'm giving these examples, it gets kind of confusing because you go, well, maybe there is a little bit of truth to what Marx is saying. I guess I can see why you'd say that. And then I will hit you with the Bible binary. This says this is what the Bible says. This is why you can't go down that road. But it's not pessimistic, because if we go down the road that God tells us in the Bible, it leads to life, and so throughout the whole book You're getting a very kind of blatant picture of death and life. You go down. These things are gonna lead you to death. Freud is gonna lead you to death. I Sensibly cover and God help me, I wish I'd never read it. But I extensively cover will helm Reich, who wrote the sexual revolution. Yes which is some of the most demonic sexual stuff I've ever had to read about, about everything, and he just Says it. He says it in black and white and you read it and, and, and I will tell people that's why that's not gonna work. But the Lord says is free, and so I want to encourage people. It leads into a positive vision about. This is how the kingdom can come to earth, this is how we are supposed to be sought and lied, and I firmly believe that if the amount of people that go to church in this country Would say no more pornography, no more strip clubs, no more watching Movies that have these saying what we call soft pornography, rated our films or whatever they may be, no more of this, no more Netflix, no more supporting this nasty stuff, I think these companies would go out of business because there's too many of us to not buy their Filth. And all the sudden, what you would see is, I believe, the kingdom of God, that mustard seed, that mustard seed would begin to grow and grow and grow. And then the world, you'd have these marriages where people would say my marriage is falling apart and I don't know what to do about it. They say, well, there's the church down the street, who doesn't have divorces like we do, who doesn't have pornography like we do, who don't degrade women like the world? Is that maybe that church has something to say about my, my failing marriage? Maybe there's hope for me? And, of course, the answer is yes, there is hope, because God always gives us hope through the cross of Christ. So, john L Cooper, calm, that's where you get it.Karen Potter:
That's fantastic. This sounds like a great book for even your teenagers. Then you know, a good book for adults as well. Is that correct? Is it material that's okay for high school age students?John Cooper:
Oh, it's definitely okay, absolutely. In college I will say it's a bit more. It's a bit more academic than my first book was, but I still think. I think that everybody I tell stories in it that I just think everybody will relate to. I think that it's easy to understand. I hope so. Yes, in terms of is it appropriate? Yes, it's appropriate material for high school people.Karen Potter:
Awesome. Well, my pastor is a huge fan of your Cooper stuff podcast, so maybe I can convince them to do the book, as maybe like a little small group fun study that we could do together as a church. So fingers crossed.John Cooper:
Yeah, I love it. That's so cool, thank you.Speaker 3:
Yeah, john, thanks so much for being on with us today, for just rocking in general I'm not being afraid of the truth for writing this book and Just being willing to stand up for Christ's kingdom. It really is great when we see somebody like you and I mean there's others out there as well who are willing to take a stand, because it's Like you said, it's going to take all of us together Taking a stand. We each we talk about this on the podcast we each have our unique callings that we need to discern. You know where the Lord is calling us, but we all have a mission here. So thank you for giving us some direction here in this podcast, with the book that you have coming out on November 14th.John Cooper:
Oh, that's so cool. Thank you, it's been great to be with you guys and.Speaker 3:
To everybody listening. Be sure to check out that book. We'll put the links in the show notes and until next time We'll see you again on the Covenant Dyes podcast. God bless.