STRYPER Frontman's Cigar Photo Draws Ire Of Some Christian Fans

STRYPER Frontman's Cigar Photo Draws Ire Of Some Christian Fans

STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet has pushed back against criticism over a photo he posted on social media.

On Monday (February 17), Sweet took to his Instagram to share a picture of him and STRYPER bassist Perry Richardson smoking cigars, along with the following caption: "We're enjoying a long overdue day off and celebrating @pastforpresent birthday in San Antonio. I haven't smoked a good cigar in probably a year or so at least. Thank you @perryrichardson777 for this moment. Life is all about celebrating. With my love @champagnesweet1 as well? Good times...... This is what it's all about. Nest time with you @prministries"

Being that STRYPER is an openly Christian act, some of the band's fans reacted negatively to the image, with a segment of the religious faithful pointing out that the Bible contains principles showing that God does not approve of unhealthy and unclean habits and thus views smoking as a sin.

Earlier today (Tuesday, February 18), Sweet responded to the criticism, writing on Instagram: "Recently I posted a picture of @perryrichardson777 and I sharing a moment together smoking a cigar. I didn't even think of the potential backlash that it could cause and although I'm not surprised by some of the judgmental comments (I've been seeing/reading those for years), I am a little let down by those who forget that we're all flawed, we're all sinners.

"I've never claimed to be perfect and never will be. I try to love life to the fullest and enjoy moments like these. I simply thought I would share a nice moment with all of you, not realizing that it would open the flood gates.

"To be honest, I don't know how I've been able to continue doing what I do with the weight I/we have to carry sometimes. I realize that's it's strictly by the strength and grace of The Lord above.

"I put my faith in God and He sustains me. He knows my heart and my motives and that's good enough for me.

"Moral of the story? Trust God, not man. Men will always let you down. I'll keep my eyes on The Lord and NOT on the negative comments that I have to read (because I personally manage my own pages to personally stay in touch with all of you) day in and day out.

"For all the religious Pharisees out there, take a good look in the mirror and start there. You will find a lot of dirt to clean and you won't have any time to clean anyone else's;-) To all the people (certainly the majority) with pure, loving, faithful hearts - May God continue to bless you and all that you do. I'll keep on trying to be as real and as honest as I possibly can be, leaving the judgement to God above. Carry on..... Love & Respect, M"

After BLABBERMOUTH.NET first published this article, former JUDAS PRIEST singer Tim "Ripper" Owens weighed in on the controversy, writing on Twitter: "Hahaha. People are a hoot, Bitch and complain about everything! You do know that God loved a good cigar"

In a 2018 interview with the Detroit Free Press, Michael said that STRYPER was never fully embraced by the heavy metal and hard rock communities, largely because of the band's Christian lyrics.

"We've never been accepted by either side," he said. "The secular side, the mainstream, they've never accepted us to this day. We're probably that band that everyone's going to go to whenever there's a time to mock. We'll be the band used for that in most cases. Now on the Christian side, we've never really had the full support of the Christian side because we don't fit into their little club. We're not wearing suits and ties and going to every church and preaching."

Formed 37 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".













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Recently I posted a picture of @perryrichardson777 and I sharing a moment together smoking a cigar. I didn’t even think of the potential backlash that it could cause and although I’m not surprised by some of the judgmental comments (I’ve been seeing/reading those for years), I am a little let down by those who forget that we’re all flawed, we’re all sinners. I’ve never claimed to be perfect and never will be. I try to love life to the fullest and enjoy moments like these. I simply thought I would share a nice moment with all of you, not realizing that it would open the flood gates. To be honest, I don’t know how I’ve been able to continue doing what I do with the weight I/we have to carry sometimes. I realize that’s it’s strictly by the strength and grace of The Lord above. I put my faith in God and He sustains me. He knows my heart and my motives and that’s good enough for me. Moral of the story? Trust God, not man. Men will always let you down. I’ll keep my eyes on The Lord and NOT on the negative comments that I have to read (because I personally manage my own pages to personally stay in touch with all of you) day in and day out. For all the religious Pharisees out there, take a good look in the mirror and start there. You will find a lot of dirt to clean and you won’t have any time to clean anyone else’s;-) To all the people (certainly the majority) with pure, loving, faithful hearts - May God continue to bless you and all that you do. I’ll keep on trying to be as real and as honest as I possibly can be, leaving the judgement to God above. Carry on..... Love & Respect, M


A post shared by Michael Sweet (@michaelsweetstryper) on



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