MICHAEL SWEET Says STRYPER's 'Calling' Is 'To Go Out And Love Everybody And Be A Light In The Dark'
In a brand new interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio, STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet was asked how he keeps his Christian faith while being involved in the music industry. He responded: ”If you're gonna claim to be a Christian, then you'd better learn about love and God's love and unconditional love and uncompromising love. And know that with that comes acceptance of everybody — not necessarily tolerance; you don't have to agree with everybody, but you need to love everybody. And we do. We go out and we tour with any band and we hang out with them. We go get in Ubers and go to dinner together and break bread together, and we're sitting there having conversations with these guys, and one might be an atheist and one might be a Satanist. And we're hanging out. And that puts people in arms sometimes. Certain STRYPER fans are, like, 'What? How could you…?' And, to me, that's our calling — to go out and love everybody and be a light in the dark and always be a light and always show God's love. And that's what speaks volumes.”
He continued: ”It's not what you say; it's what you do. Let your life be the light, and we try hard to do that… We really try hard. Do we fail? Yeah, sometimes we do. Sometimes I say something that might not sit right with people, or I do something or post something, and that's just a given — that's life. But I really do try to live a life that exemplifies Christ and who I am and what I say that I am, and I try hard not to be a hypocrite.”
Even though STRYPER's third album, 1986's ”To Hell With The Devil”, made Sweet and his bandmates the first contemporary Christian act to score a platinum album, the group has often felt unwelcome in Christian circles, with some members of the church feeling that Christianity and heavy metal are incompatible.
This past March, Sweet posted a message on his Facebook page in which he expressed his frustration with other members of the Christian community, saying that he is ”committed to Christ” and vowing to always believe ”in His faith and His salvation.”
Formed 36 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” and the band's latest effort, ”God Damn Evil”.