I was stocking groceries at Winn-Dixie on the graveyard shift the first time I heard Creed. Because the store closed at midnight, the crew would alternate choosing the music to listen to. We would play it through the often crackling PA system. I was a Bible college student at the time in Knoxville, TN at the time and the crew knew what I believed and we had some good conversations about faith and music. One of the guys put on a new CD one night and said to me, “You’ll probably like this one.” He told me it was a new band, Creed, and the name of the album was My Own Prison. He was right, I did like it. I was blown away by the intensity of the lyrics and of course the amazing guitar riffs. Not long after that, everyone knew who Creed was.
I love a good rock and roll story. I also love to hear of people’s journeys of faith. Sinner’s Creed, by Creed lead singer and lyricist Scott Stapp, is both. It is an intimate look into the Stapp childhood home and a backstage pass to the story of Creed. It is a memoir paved with love and pain, disappointment and success, faith and doubt.
Stapp recounts with brutal honesty his father’s abandonment of the family and the joy he felt when his mother remarries and his step-father fills in the gap and makes him feel special and loved. But when his step father turns abusive, both physically and spiritually, he was disillusioned. Scott was introduced to rock and roll during this time which was forbidden in his home. At the same time, he was comforted and inspired by the lyrics of King David in the Psalms. Rock and roll would be the best thing that ever happened to him….and the worst.
Creed was born at Florida State University in 1994 and by 1998 My Own Prison had launched them into the big time. Their follow up album, Human Clay, made them megastars. The members of Creed were living their dreams as rock stars, but for Scott Stapp it was the fulfillment of the prophecy of the title of the debut album. He was in his own prison.
Conflict with his bandmates was intensifying because so much focus was on the Christian spiritual themes of his lyrics. The media and many fans were referring to Creed as a “Christian” band, which angered the other members of the band. They never considered themselves to be a Christian band, so what was going on? Scott just wrote what he was feeling and how he wrestled with matters of faith, foundations coming from what he gained from his mother, step- father and grandfather. Scott was also becoming addicted to pain medicines his “rock and roll doctor” was giving him for his throat and he was also drinking heavily. Needless to say, the combination of all this almost killed him and it did kill Creed for a season. He couldn’t go on.
But God holds on to his people. Scott shares of the deep hurt and his return to God and life-giving faith. His wife and children are motivations for him to press on and he continues to understand the dangers of life as a rock and roller but he knows who is in control of all things. I love how he summarizes the first 3 steps of his recovery from drugs and alcohol. It will also serve as a fitting summary of his memoir, Sinner’s Creed.
1. Scott can’t
2. God can.
3. Scott lets God.
We come Full Circle, like the title of the Creed reunion project. This is a rock and roll story. It is also a story of the journey of faith. It is a painful story. It is an inspirational story. It is Scott Stapp’s story. But ultimately, it is God’s story. Don’t miss it...it hits the shelves on October 2.
(This book was provided free of charge from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review.)