Michael Sweet, lead vocalist and guitarist for Christian metal band Stryper has posted the following on his thoughts about the “Christian” music industry on his Facebook page:
You can read the whole article and more on Michael Sweet’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheMichaelSweet
My morning “coffee thoughts”.
The Christian music industry.
First, we’ve been judged and scrutinized for so long that it’s become a part of our daily routine. It’s like putting on your socks or brushing your teeth. An expectation that is there with every sunrise. Sometimes it’s easy to handle, sometimes it’s not so easy. Although we have many shortcomings, we have always stood boldly for Christ yet have never claimed to be perfect. We’re just a band who loves Christ who made a decision to write songs about Him 38 years ago and to continue doing so for life. We’re sold out to Christ. With that comes the good, the bad and the ugly:-)
We’re far from perfect and we make many mistakes. I think the world knows most of the mistakes that we’ve made along the way based on our lives and our hearts being open books. I’ve always talked about those mistakes and I’ve never tried to hide behind them. By doing so, you can gain new friends/fans and you can lose many.
Being in this “business” for a lifetime has shown the good side and the ugly side of the “Christian” music industry. One that’s often built on everything that’s seems to be the exact opposite of Christ – Greed, pride, deceit and whatever else you can imagine. I’ve seen it first hand. Sometimes I’ve asked God why certain things are allowed on this earth and I realize that the answer is that we’re all flawed, we’re all sinners.
Sometimes claiming to be a Christian only means that’s you’re an even bigger sinner than the rest. Hard to comprehend yet true.
I’ll never forget the first time we played GMA back in 1985. I remember feeling the strong sense that no one really wanted anything to do with us. It almost seemed as though many artists at the time distanced themselves from us and would go out of their way to walk as far away from us as they could as they passed us in the hallways. There were only a few artists at the time that came up to us who sincerely seemed to love and accept us. One of those artists was Sandy Patty￼￼￼ and the other was Pat Boone. I’ll never forget that. I knew from that moment on that we would never be a part of the CCM club. As I look back with hindsight, I’m glad that we’re not. We’ve done our own thing our own way and God has done so much more with that🙏
Through the years, I’ve met many Christian artists and I’ve seen a lot of hypocrisy. This isn’t about naming names or throwing anyone under the bus. It’s just to say that things aren’t always what they seem. The funny thing is many of these artists (labels included) are hailed and proclaimed as “perfect” examples of the faith￼￼ yet they’re often the exact opposite of what would or should represent Christ. At least internally.
The difference with Stryper is we wear our hearts on our sleeves. We go out of our way to be real and to give you who we are on and off stage. Imperfections and all. We weren’t raised in the church. We were raised on the streets of LA and maybe that’s the difference. I’m certainly not implying that we are better than anyone else. We are most definitely not!￼ We do however want to be transparent. We try hard to be.
I’ll close with this. On the other side of the coin, I have met many Christian artists who are the real deal. Who are sold out to Christ and who have been amazing examples to me and the world. You guys know who you are and I love and honor you🙏
Well, my coffee is gone.
God bless you all,