Yes, he is a Christian.
And yes, he is an addict in recovery.
"Sinner's Creed," Scott Stapp's much-anticipated memoir, brings to light the faith the Creed frontman had been afraid to embrace publicly for many years. In it, he expresses the faith that he says may have saved him untold pain and struggle had he placed it foremost in his life. Early on in Stapp’s career, he shied away from the label of “Christian band” as he was the only believer in the group. These days, he has no trouble with being both a Christian and a rock-and-roller.
Stapp, who wrote the rock anthems “With Arms Wide Open” and “Higher” in the 90's, comes clean in "Sinner’s Creed."
“My recovery was, is and will always be ongoing,” Stapp wrote. “I can’t speak for others, but for me it will never be a sudden and permanent transformation. It’s something I’m always going to have to work on and stay committed to. It’s a reprieve that comes daily, based on spiritual maintenance.”
"Sinner’s Creed" chronicles Stapp's abandonment by his father and early upbringing by a single mother with his sisters, and the seemingly miraculous arrival of a “perfect” step-father into his life. He writes about rejection and abandonment and his determination to be a perfect Christian growing up. The seeking of a father and the drive to become “good enough” are recurrent themes for Stapp, and he cannot seem to capture either. He admits he has battled depression, endured abuse as a child and inflicted pain on himself as an active alcoholic. He has studied the ways of his Cherokee ancestors, drawn boundaries with family members who endanger his sobriety and made an attempt on his own life in the past. And as a follower of Christ, he makes it clear that Christians are not immune to trouble and struggle in life. He blames much of his suffering on himself, noting God had never moved away from him and he was the one turning away.
For Creed fans, he weaves a fascinating story of the birth of the wildly successful band, and the undoing of it. For Stapp, who was forbidden to listen to secular artists throughout his high school years, it was all about the music. He makes up for lost time in college- discovering The Doors and Led Zepplin and devouring great works of literature as well - and becomes determined to follow in Jim Morrison’s talented footsteps. His talent as a musician and lyricist brings him the same level of adulation. This is also the story of how dangerously close he came to that same end.
It is ultimately the story of a man who held the adoration of the world and owned all its trappings, but is still walking wounded. The dual thieves of addiction and depression took it all away from him until there were only two things remaining: a return to the only Real Father who could fill the void, and total surrender to his obsession with becoming “good enough”.
Stapp is never preachy in the book, and never loses the communication of humility. But neither is he apologetic about his salvation, which is found not in a generic power higher than himself, but in Jesus Christ. With that redemption, he leans on the love of his wife and children and the 12-steps of recovery, and looks anxiously forward to a new life – with arms wide open.
“For me,” he writes. “The first three steps can be summarized in seven words:
1. Scott can’t.
2. God can.
3. Scott lets God."
To this, I would add an addition: Stapp shares his story of redemption and recovery with the world in "Sinner’s Creed."
Thank you, Scott. God bless and rock on.