Hillsong's Marty Sampson Responds to Skillet's John Cooper: 'What Right Have You to Put Words in My Mouth?'

Marty Sampson (YouTube/Hillsong Worship)

When former Hillsong songwriter Marty Sampson announced his faith was on "incredibly shaky ground," Skillet frontman John L. Cooper wrote a lengthy response and encouraged Christians to value truth over feelings. Today, Sampson fired back at Cooper, saying the Skillet singer put words in his mouth.

"What right have you to put words in my mouth?" Sampson wrote on Instagram, according to Faithwire. "I wouldn't presume to put words in yours. To think that I am trying to influence others, without even asking me if that is my intention is offensive."

Last week, Sampson announced on Instagram that he was "genuinely losing his faith." A few days later, he clarified that while he hadn't renounced his Christian faith entirely, it was on "incredibly shaky ground."

Cooper's lengthy Facebook post went viral as he asked: "What is happening in Christianity?"

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He continued on to say that Christians must "STOP making worship leaders and thought leaders or influencers or cool people or 'relevant' people the most influential people in Christendom."

He then addressed several of the original reasons Sampson cited for his current doubts: "I just read today in a renown [sic] worship leader's statement, 'How could a God of love send people to hell? No one talks about it.' As if he is the first person to ask this? Brother, you are not that unique. The church has wrestled with this for 1500 years. Literally. Everybody talks about it. Children talk about it in Sunday school. There's like a billion books written on the topic. Just because you don't get the answer you want doesn't mean that we are unwilling to wrestle with it. We wrestle with scripture until we are transformed by the renewing of our minds."

But Sampson rebuked Cooper for putting words in his mouth and asked, "Do I need this kind of criticism in an honest examination of what I believe from complete strangers? I have never met you, yet you presume to know me or people like me?"

Sampson's original response post has since been deleted, but he afterward posted another response addressing Cooper.

"@johnlcooper Put me on blast in front of all your followers," he says. "Never met you, never spoken to you in my life. I reply to you, on your Instagram page. Your response to me? Silence. @lisabevere reposts. I reply to her on her page. Her response? Silence, and a like for my comment. Many Christian leaders and influencers, all with a blue tick from Instagram, high fiving and back slapping each other. Meanwhile my DM's are FULL of Christians telling me they are wrestling with their faith, the same questions, and commending me for being so brave in speaking out and saying what they wish they had the courage to say. All the while, Christian media creates ever more content by writing stories about people losing their faith and doubting, while receiving ZERO backlash for using their megaphones to broadcast those doubts to their audiences. The doubts of one man. Destroying so much good work. Causing so much pain and anguish. Making the lives of faithful Christians so much harder and so much sadder. All this leads me to ask, from a sincere heart: What in God's name is happening to Christianity?"

See Sampson's full post below:

View this post on Instagram

@johnlcooper Put me on blast in front of all your followers. Never met you, never spoken to you in my life. I reply to you, on your Instagram page. Your response to me? Silence. @lisabevere reposts. I reply to her on her page. Her response? Silence, and a like for my comment. Many Christian leaders and influencers, all with a blue tick from Instagram, high fiving and back slapping each other. Meanwhile my DM's are FULL of Christians telling me they are wrestling with their faith, the same questions, and commending me for being so brave in speaking out and saying what they wish they had the courage to say. All the while, Christian media creates ever more content by writing stories about people losing their faith and doubting, while receiving ZERO backlash for using their megaphones to broadcast those doubts to their audiences. The doubts of one man. Destroying so much good work. Causing so much pain and anguish. Making the lives of faithful Christians so much harder and so much sadder. All this leads me to ask, from a sincere heart: What in God's name is happening to Christianity?

A post shared by Marty Sampson (@martysamps) on

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