Growing up in the 80’s and 90's with two older brothers, it was impossible not to develop an appreciation for rock ‘n roll. While I have dipped my toe in the pools of other genres from time to time, thankfully rock has always been my favourite. I’ve always loved rock music. I’ve always loved Jesus. I’d never imagined the two could merge until one day back in 1999 when my brother Christian brought home the CD Human Clay, by a band called Creed. He walked into my room, said “Listen to this”, and played me the song Higher. The opening riff had my hooked already and by the time the drums kicked in I had a huge smile on my face. I was in love with the song before Scott Stapp even started singing. Then came the lyrics. I looked at my brother and said “It sounds like he’s singing about Heaven”. Chris replied “He is singing about Heaven”, and a whole new world was opened to me. I had never heard music about God in the Rock genre before. (I’m not saying it didn’t exist, I had just personally never heard it before). At the age of 14, Creed introduced me to the new medium combining two great loves of my life, and changed the way I looked at music. For that I will always be thankful, and for this reason Creed will always hold a special place in my heart. To this day Higher is one of my all-time favourite songs.
Never could I have imagined that behind the man responsible for some of my favourite song lyrics ever, was a world of hurt. In Sinner’s Creed, Scott Stapp shares the story of his life. A story filled with rejection, depression, betrayal and addiction – but also a story about the grace of God, the gift of redemption and the joys of unconditional love.
|Sin is forever knocking, beating at the iron door. |
Don't even open for an instant, sin always wants more - Scott Stapp
Sinner’s Creed is a memoir you truly have to read for yourself, so I won’t say too much in the way of spoilers. Scott starts his tale as a young boy with an absentee father, soon introduced to the man who would become his stepfather. The injustices committed against Scott by a man who should have protected him and shaped him, caused me so much anger. It’s unthinkable how one man’s warped perception of God can damage others, especially children! Some of the things he said about God…
Scott had many bad experiences with so-called believers throughout his life. He was even unjustly punished for confessing a mistake he had made and for telling the truth. It’s truly terrifying how Christians can be responsible for sending other Christians running from the church. Having finally found a church where I feel welcome and at home, I have come to realise anew how important fellowship with other believers truly are. It’s a miracle that despite some of the things other believers have said and done, that Scott never gave up on loving God even though he ran away from the church. The loving God his grandfather told him about is the One he held onto and it saved his life – a great piece of advice for parents! The foundation you lay for your child CAN be strong enough to withstand the storms of life.
Scott furthermore shares stories of how he got screwed over (to my mind, at least) by everyone from his family, friends, his band members, his managers… it was quite disheartening at times to realise how much he had to go through and how unappreciated all his efforts were. Yet Scott never points fingers at others; he simply tells his story and shares how all of that led to feelings of abandonment and betrayal, which led to even bigger problems. Furthermore, Scott doesn’t pretend to be a blameless victim – he comes clean about his own mistakes and takes responsibility for his actions. The reader gets an inside look at the pressures of being the frontman of a successful rock band, and the pitfalls of fame and fortune.
What saddened me most is that Creed was labelled uncool because of the Christian imagery in their music. To me, this was the very thing that made them cool!
While Sinner’s Creed is a dark read at times, as it always does the light overpowers the dark. Ultimately it portrays how turning to God can save your life, and your spirit.
Title: Sinner's Creed
Author: Scott Stapp (with David Ritz)
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers