Michael Sweet of openly Christian rockers STRYPER says that he finds it “odd that many metalheads have a problem with Jesus yet have absolutely no problem with the devil”.
The 60-year-old musician, whose band threw Bibles into the audience and placed a Bible verse on STRYPER‘s posters (Isaiah 53:5),made the comment in a social media post earlier today (Tuesday, August 22). He wrote: “I find it interesting that most (and I mean most) people who write us off say that it’s because we sing about Jesus and that they could never get into that. Yet at the very same time they’ll sit (or stand) and listen to a band sing about Satan and not bat an eye. Even though they’re not into Satan. It’s always struck me as odd that many metal heads have a problem with Jesus yet have absolutely no problem with the devil”.
A little over two years ago, Sweet weighed in on the debate about cancel culture, saying that he was worried that it wouldn’t be long before the Christian Bible became “canceled.” At the time, Sweet took to Twitter to write about his concerns, noting how he and his STRYPER bandmates threw out Bibles to the crowd at their live shows.
“We’ve been handing out bibles for almost 40 years,” he wrote. “For the first time in my life I’m asking myself this question – I wonder how long it will be before this book is cancelled? I know it may seem like a silly thought, but it’s really not. It’s just a matter of time. Frightening!”
In a 2015 interview with The Great Southern Brainfart, Sweet claimed that STRYPER was more honest in its continuous efforts to emphasize Christian values and messages than many metal musicians who sing about Satan and warfare but go to church on Sunday. He said: “Tom Araya from SLAYER gets up there with the pentagrams and upside down crosses and the screaming and the evil but then he gets off stage and goes to church. Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s great, but it also brings into question the depth of what they’re doing and who they’re doing it for.”
Asked if it’s an underlying goal of STRYPER to get all of its fans to convert to Christianity, Sweet said: “Absolutely not. We never try to convert people. I mean, if there’s someone who’s there that wants to talk to us about God or say they’re just broken and are looking to learn more about God, of course. We’re going to do that. We’ll have dinner with them and talk to them all about it, but we don’t get out there and say, ‘Turn or burn in hell!’ A lot of Christians take that approach but we don’t. We’re not about that and we’ve never been about that. That turns me off just like any other person. We’re just all about loving people and hanging out with people. We go and perform in bars.”
Formed 40 years ago, STRYPER‘s name comes from Isaiah 53:5, which states: “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”
STRYPER‘s albums include “To Hell With The Devil”, “Second Coming”, “No More Hell To Pay”, “Fallen”, “God Damn Evil”, “Even The Devil Believes” and the band’s latest effort, “The Final Battle”.
In a 2018 interview with the Detroit Free Press, Michael said that STRYPER was never fully embraced by the heavy metal and hard rock communities, largely because of the band’s Christian lyrics.
“We’ve never been accepted by either side,” he said. “The secular side, the mainstream, they’ve never accepted us to this day. We’re probably that band that everyone’s going to go to whenever there’s a time to mock. We’ll be the band used for that in most cases. Now on the Christian side, we’ve never really had the full support of the Christian side because we don’t fit into their little club. We’re not wearing suits and ties and going to every church and preaching.”
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