Do You Believe in God? by Yuck Foo

Stryper was one of the more unusual 80’s phenomenon’s, Heavenly Metal. Mixing the message with mania. That’s right, hardcore Christian fundamentalism mixed with hair band heavy metal trappings. Personally, I had visions of apocalyptic battles between California God metal and Swedish Satan Metal. How Would Jesus Rock?

Formed in the early 80’s in Orange County, Stryper were taking the nation by storm, and then – poof in the early 90’s Stryper disappeared!

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, we have the second coming of Stryper.

TCPUNK: Are there any misconceptions about Stryper that you would like to clear up?

TIM GAINES: I don't know. There were many misconceptions about Stryper over the years. People said that we used God as a gimmick, but that isn't true. We were and still are believers in Jesus Christ. We probably would have been a bigger band at the time if we didn't speak out on our belief in Christ. In a world full of darkness, the majority of people would rather not hear about the light. As a band, Stryper was called by God collectively to tell the world about his son Jesus Christ. Many people heard about Christ who normally would not have stepped one foot into a church building. I think that is our real success, that we were able to reach the unreachable.

TCPUNK: Jimmy Swaggert once wrote that Stryper was being disrespectful to the bible by throwing them out into the audience.

OZ FOX: I don’t recall him saying that but if anyone did think that way, let me say that I have received many e-mails from people who have caught bibles at our shows and because of that made decisions to follow Christ. I see no disrespect in that at all. To me, that’s being productive in the kingdom of God.

TCPUNK: Where did you guys get all the bibles?

OZ FOX: The bibles were purchased from a bible company. They were pocket sized New Testaments, New International Version (NIV). Every bible got a large label with the Stryper logo placed on it. I still have a few of those lying around the house. We threw out to the audience between fifty to a hundred bibles every night.