Sinner's Creed

Sinner's Creed

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by Scott Stapp

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Sinner’s Creed is the uncensored memoir of Scott Stapp, Grammy Award–winning leader of the multiplatinum rock band Creed. Raised by an abusive stepfather, Scott was always aware of God’s presence, but it wasn’t until years later, amid a life punctuated by sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll that Scott began to feel a need for


Sinner’s Creed is the uncensored memoir of Scott Stapp, Grammy Award–winning leader of the multiplatinum rock band Creed. Raised by an abusive stepfather, Scott was always aware of God’s presence, but it wasn’t until years later, amid a life punctuated by sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll that Scott began to feel a need for God in his life.

During Creed’s decade of dominance and in the years following the band’s breakup, Scott struggled with drugs and alcohol, which led not only to a divorce, but also to a much-publicized suicide attempt in 2006. Now clean, sober, and in the midst of a highly successful solo career, Scott has finally come full circle—a turnaround he credits to his renewed relationship with Jesus Christ.

In Sinner’s Creed, Scott shares his story for the first time—from his fundamentalist upbringing, the rise and fall of CREED, and his ongoing battle with addiction, to his recommitment to Christ and the launch of his solo career. The result is a gripping memoir that is proof positive that God is always present in our lives, despite the colossal mess we sometimes make of them. Tyndale House Publishers

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Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2012 Scott Stapp
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-6456-8

Chapter One


As a young kid I wanted to fly like Superman, so I'd put a towel around my neck and jump off the roof of my house. I thought I was indestructible. I was born with a burning desire to be a superhero.

For the longest time I thought this was confidence. Now I see it as a complex. Whatever you call it, I had a drive to be great at all things—athletics, academics, music. Everything was a competition, and I wanted to win.

My mother said that even as a baby, I was fearless. In a way, I suppose the circumstances of my life required me to be. My father left my mother, my two baby sisters, and me when I was a kid. From that moment I decided I would be my mom's protector and my family's savior.

We were dirt poor, living in a tiny two-bedroom, one-bathroom house in a low-income community. Like everyone else in our neighborhood, we lived off food stamps. I was going to save my family from poverty.

I remember when I was only about six years old and we were all in bed—Mom, my sisters, and I—and Mom started to cry.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I don't know how we're going to pay our utility bills," she said.

I stood up on the bed and made a declaration: "When I grow up, I'm going to be bigger than Elvis and pay all the bills and buy you a fancy house and a fancy car. I'm also going to become president of the United States like President Reagan."

"You can't be both," Mom told me.

"Yes, I can. I'll be Elvis during the week and the president on the weekends."

Mom laughed, but she saw I was serious-minded. She knew she could trust me. By age seven, I was cooking food on a stove for my two young siblings since Mom didn't get home from her job at JCPenney until 8 p.m. I loved my mother more than life itself. I'd do anything for her. I wanted to be a big boy and fix everything for her and the rest of my family.

* * *

I was born Anthony Scott Flippen on August 8, 1973, at Orlando Regional Medical Center. My biological father was Richard Flippen, whose family had emigrated from Ireland. Richard was in the printing business, and he was also a Marine. I remember him as a man's man-tall and strong, with big muscles, and very funny. Richard worked out with free weights in our carport. I wanted to be just like him, so I'd follow him around, picking up weights and saying, "I strong, Daddy."

He mentored the football players at Lake Brantley High, and he would let me watch their practices. Seeing the athletes throw and tackle, block and kick, I would constantly tell him, "I can do that. I'm tougher than that. I'm not scared, Daddy."

My memories of the man are few, but I cherish the ones I have. For those first few years of my life, my father made me feel happy and safe.

Then came the day I was sitting in my dad's lap watching a Road Runner cartoon. Dad and I were laughing and having a great time, but I wanted to get closer to the television. So I lay on the floor, as close as I could get to the screen. At one point I turned back to my father to share another laugh and say, "Wasn't that funny, Daddy?" But he was no longer in the chair.

I ran to Mom.

"Where's Daddy?"

"He's not home."

"When's he coming home?"

"He'll be back soon, Anthony."

But he wasn't. He never came back at all.

Mom had nothing to say about Dad's disappearance. No further explanation was given.

I can't remember any fights between my parents. Mom married him when she was eighteen years old, half his age. Later I learned he had been married to someone else before Mom and had two sons. I never got to meet my half brothers. Many years later I learned that his younger son, Ricky, died after a long battle with alcohol and drugs. An overdose. For my entire life, nearly everything about my father's past was shrouded in mystery.

After Dad left, my sisters, Amanda and Amie, and I were sometimes taken to his tiny home in Clermont, Florida, not far from Orlando. We were told to watch television and not move from the couch. We watched The Gong Show while he and Mom talked in the bedroom with the door closed.

When it came to his interactions with me, Dad was distant. He didn't seem particularly enthusiastic about our visiting his place. He put up with us, but he didn't act like the dad I had loved or the dad who had once loved me. I never asked what happened between him and Mom. I just wanted Dad to move back home with us. He never did. Soon those infrequent visits stopped entirely, and just like that, he was out of my life.

With Dad gone and Mom working, I was unsupervised and free to roam the streets. I was a daredevil, and I wasn't afraid to try things other kids wouldn't do. I especially liked to impress the older kids. If one of the big kids wanted to break into a house but could only pry open a window slightly, he'd dare me to slip in. I was never one to pass on a dare. I'd sneak right in and open the front door for him.

At school, other kids made fun of me for not having a dad. They teased me for having to go to the school counselor twice a week for my misbehavior and my radically changing moods. Some of the bullies labeled me as one of the slow kids. I compensated by being the class clown who jumped on top of the desk and cracked jokes whenever the teacher left the room. I loved the attention. In my mind, the only way to win approval and acceptance from my classmates was by acting the fool.

Early on, there were divisions in my behavior—on one hand, the dutiful son wanting to please and protect, and on the other, the rebellious wild child. Even as a kid riding my bike to 7-Eleven to play Pac-Man, I thought I was the head of my household. This ego would haunt me throughout my life—an attitude that said, There's nothing I can't do; there's nothing too big for me; I can be all things to all people.

And yet, in the midst of this premature self-reliance and artificially pumped-up self-regard, I was introduced to a force far greater than myself. During this difficult period—before, during, and after my mom and dad broke up—I met God.


Excerpted from SINNER'S CREED by SCOTT STAPP DAVID RITZ Copyright © 2012 by Scott Stapp. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Sinner's Creed 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 49 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always been fascinated with Creed and especially Scott Stapp. I connected to their lyrics and now I know why. This book was amazing.
Terri76 More than 1 year ago
Never have I read a book in less than a week. This book was so amazing,it was hard to put down.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well done and heart felt. We all have our demons to fight. Doing it in the public's eye is quite a different beast. May Mr. Stapp continue to lead us to healing as he embarks on his own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are a Creed fan and love Scott Stapp this book is a must read! I read it in the course of 2 evenings as I could not put it down. Very well written and really lets you inside Scott's journey and provides insight into Creed's song lyrics. Love, love, love this book! Now listening to my favorite Creed songs will be even more meaningful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im a huge Creed fan and to read about all the struggles that he and the band have gone through helps me gain a better understanding to their music. I absolutely love that he added the lyrics to the songs.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed the music of Creed, but I would not consider myself a die hard fan or anything, just the music that was on the radio and stuff. But I really enjoyed this book. I recommend it for anyone, not just the die hard fans. I admire the courage it takes to write a book like this when you have to be so vulnerable, and I loved how God gets the glory in the end. I hate to see how some people (like a person in the book) use God as a way to control others, and completely portray God as a dictator. Praise God that Scott was able to eventually see the real person of Jesus Christ and God the Father. Loved it, recommend it!
JTNJ More than 1 year ago
Painful truths about the life of one of our biggest rock stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dive into the world of Scott Stapp. From a troubled drug problems as an adult, that led up to a near death accident. And the bands troubles. See how a sinner who looses it all, begins on the long road to recovery. I found it very difficult to put this book down. A must read for all creed fans!!! Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm not even sure how to describe my perspective of this book.  As a story, it was very interesting.  The writing was well done.  Scott had a bad home life and I feel sorry for anyone raised in an environment where God is viewed as Someone who demands perfection.   That is not the God I know.  But neither am I completely comfortable with the idea of God being tolerant of anything and everything.  I'm not sure how much I would recommend this book.  Scott did overcome a lot of hurdles with his addictions, but where to from here?  It left a lot of unanswered questions as well.  I didn't make it through all the lyrics at the end of the book.  It's not really my style of reading and they were quite depressing.  
Rekab More than 1 year ago
Scott Stapp did a good job of involving me, the reader, in his story and his emotions. I found myself angry,to the point of blame, even when he was not bitter. Also, I found myself often crying out for him not to go the direction he was headed in certain situations. I wondered if he would ever get it right. Stick with the book...the last 30 pages are worth the ride!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this book down. Loved reading all of the lyrics of the songs but the story was riveting.
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Jski8 More than 1 year ago
While this might not be the best written book, the topic and history of Stapp was definitely worth my time to read. I enjoy memoirs and historical non-fiction, so this book was a genre I truly enjoy. If you are into those areas, I definitely recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pouring out his heart so others can find faith in the mist of their darkness ....this book is as amaxing as the songs Creed sings. Thank you Scott for your testiminy to Jesus Christ our LORD and savior.
Danny_G More than 1 year ago
He had it all: fame, fortune, possessions, loyal fans. Then it all came crashing down like a house of cards. Scott Stapp was at the pinnacle in the rock and roll world but the mountain had an earthquake and that earthquake was Scott Stapp. In his memoir, Stapp recalls his childhood and formative years with two fathers: one who left and one who controlled. Wanting so bad to be accepted and praised, Stapp worked hard at school, sports, and church. Yet, he felt that performance was the only way to be accepted. Enter rock and roll. Stapp found an outlet for his frustrations and anger. The lyrics and music reached into a part of his soul, a dark part that he wished were not there. As the music spoke to Stapp, he wanted so much to express himself that he formed a band. That band would later come to be known as Creed. Working hard, touring, and performing, eventually brought about what Stapp wanted: acceptance. However, he realized that his acceptance was based on his performance yet again. Struggling with all the "benefits" that came with being the front man of a hugely successful band, Stapp started to cope with alcohol and drugs. These addictions led to an out-of-control person who tried, more than once, to end the pain; permanently. Yet, through it all, Stapp continue to seek God. He desperately wanted to be free of his past, his fears...his demons. He struggled and struggled but soon he found grace from a God who Stapp thought had abandoned him. Still a "work in progress", Stapp's book is a breath of fresh air for those wanting to find acceptance and freedom from a performance-oriented life.
UrbanaPam More than 1 year ago
So poorly written, I kept thinking ... this is high school level writing. The story left me with so many questions ... like, Where was his mother? How could she allow this behavior in her new husband? Glad I read it because it answered a lot of questions I had about the group Creed, but would have preferred Tyndale's editing to raise the level of the writing.
m_duncan1 More than 1 year ago
Although I have not listened to a lot of Creed's music, I know a little about them and Scott Stapp's story and since I enjoy reading memoirs and biographies, this book caught my attention Although this book it written from his perspective alone and we don't know everyone else's story or perspective, Stapp does take responsibility for a lot of what has happened and has owned up to his actions. He did have a difficult childhood, and while he does talk about that and how it may have affected his life later on, he doesn't seem to place blame on any of that. I enjoyed reading about his life from early childhood through now and everything he has been through along the way. I love the fact that he always acknowledged God was there, even in his darkest days. I applaud Stapp for overcoming all that he has been through to get where he is now. This was a good book that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys reading about how God can change lives. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Honest, eye opening and raw. Loved it all. Thanks Scott, for sharing your life-lessons learned, mistakes, joys and sorrows with the world.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
amybooksy More than 1 year ago
Sinner’s Creed is surprisingly a good read. I checked it out at the local library but kept putting it off. Finally, I reluctantly picked it up and started reading it. Scott Stapp was quite candid in this book. He discusses his growing up years and his admiration for his grandfather. He tells of wanting a father and happy to welcome his mother’s new husband as his father, whom even adopts Scott. His step father becomes abusive and quotes scripture to make himself seem as though what he was doing made him a good Christian. Scott tells of his struggles with his faith with God through the years. Then getting kicked out of college and then ultimately starting a band that eventually became the successful Creed.  Scott becomes addicted to prescription drugs, attempts suicide, and becomes an alcoholic. He becomes a single father and discusses how he managed that on the road touring with his band. The band breaks up that causes many hard feeling between members. He continues to struggle with his faith through it all. After years of prayers, he meets and marries his lifesaver. What an inspiring, faithful, and amazing woman. The book, also, includes song lyrics that Scott had written. He really does have a gift with words. I think this book is a good book to recommend to others. 4 ½ stars.
Miss_CindyH More than 1 year ago
I will admit I have never listened to Creed.  I read this book as part of Tyndale's Summer Reading program.  Therefore, I am reviewing it simply on the basis of the story.  The book starts with Scott Stapp being in a paranoid state of inebriation.  Then it rewinds to his early childhood and builds until we are back to the scene the book started with.  There are many factors that contributed to Stapp's addictions and confusion of God.  He is raised in an abusive home.  His father abandons him.  He finds God.  Mom founds a new husband in the church where he finds God.  The man seems to be heaven sent for a lonely, hurting boy.  However, the following years prove that this man is physically and emotionally abusive.  He drives Scott to be perfect and beats him when he isn't.  God and dad become one and the same to the hurting preteen boy.  The drive to be perfect, so he is worth of love, creates bitterness, anger, guilt and shame.  Believing his father's lies he does what he is told.  Then more Christians act unlike Christ, and Scott rebels.  Throughout the story we see a young man who is still that hurting boy.  He is driven to be a success, at all costs.  He doesn't want to be thought of as a Christian, because he knows he isn't living like one.  Yet, deep down he can't outrun the Word that's been planted in him.  His message is filled with questions and doubts about God and who he himself is.  For every "victory" Scott loses a piece of himself.  When he achieves what he wants, he finds it sorely lacking.  As a reader we are reminded that we can never outrun God.  His truth, love and mercy will still be there no matter how far we run.  He remains faithful, when we are not.  Our actions have consequences, whether good or bad.  Instead of judging others, we should strive to be Christ like in all ways, thus allowing God to work His Will and His Way.
rlighthouse More than 1 year ago
Sinner's Creed. Sinner's Creed is the honest heartbreaking story of Scott Stapp from childhood to present.  Scott suffered greatly during his life including his birth father walking out, physical abuse from his step father, alcohol abuse, being wanted only for his money and depression.  The book tells his life story including the formation of Creed and how he is trying to get his life back in order. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the band and now know the story behund those haunting lyrics.