John Cooper, the frontman and bassist for the Grammy-nominated Christian rock band SKILLET, says that he gave his life to Jesus Christ when he was just five years old.
Cooper discussed his intensely strict religious upbringing, where all pop music, black clothes and even Christian rock music was banned, in a brand new interview with Focus On The Family.
The 46-year-old bassist/vocalist, whose mother died when he was just 14 after a three-year battle with cancer, said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "My mom was a Jesus freak. That's really the only word I can use to describe it. I think most people these days know what a 'Jesus freak' is, right? Fanatical about Jesus. Ever since I can remember, from being two [or] three years old, I remember my mom walking up to people at the grocery store: 'Can I tell you about Jesus?' Strangers. 'I feel like there's something I need to pray for you about. Is there anything you'd like me to pray for?' And I had the benefit of memorizing scripture from the time I was just a kid — I mean, three years old. I had an older brother, and he was four years older than me. And so before he went to school every day, I would sit at the table with my mom and my older brother, and my mom would read Bible stories. We would read a proverb a day, and we would have to memorize scripture. We'd have to pray. And those things stuck with me my whole life. And I gave my life to Christ when I was five years old."
He continued: "I was in my room; I was alone. I just had a sense of someone in my room, and the words came into my head — not audibly — 'You need to give your heart to Jesus.' And, of course, I knew Jesus died for me, I knew that I was a sinner — I knew all these things from my mom's teaching. So I was just in my bedroom, and I just said, 'Okay, Jesus, I give my heart to you.' And I remember thinking, 'That doesn't feel like enough has happened for how the real the moment.' And I just remember saying, 'Jesus, you're my boss.' And that was a word that my parents used to use. And I just realized Jesus is my boss. And in the end, that's actually a childlike deep theology of the Lordship of Christ. That's what he is — he's the boss. What Christ says is true. What Christ says is reality. What Christ says, you do it because it's right. You get yourself in line with the word of God. And so he became my boss as a kid, and he's never let me down."
In various interviews over the years, Cooper has said that he was willing to put his career on the line to take a stand for Christ.
This past April, Cooper told the "Undaunted.Life: A Man's Podcast" that it was perfectly fine for Christians to play rock music. "I would say that music is created not by the Devil; [it is] created by the Lord," he said. "All things were created by God. So instead of thinking that the Devil owns a genre of music, I would say capture that music and bring it back into subjection under the Lordship of Christ."
Cooper recently published his first book, titled "Awake & Alive To Truth (Finding Truth In The Chaos Of A Relativistic World)". It "tackles the reigning philosophies of our day of post-modernism, relativism, and the popular view of the goodness of man-and combats these viewpoints by standing on the absolute truth of the Word Of God," the book's description reads.