Saturday, October 19, 2013

Is Alice Cooper A Christian?

Here is my analysis of this interview on the Harvest Show

The Interviewer asks Alice,  “Tell us how you came to the faith.”

This is where I get interested.  Alice replies by saying,  “I am the prodigal son. “  He goes on with his credentials.  His Father was a pastor.  His grandfather was an evangelist.  Heck, his father-in-law was even a BAPTIST pastor.    He grew up in the church.  All his friends were in the church.  He was there every Sunday, every Wednesday night, and every Friday night; it was a blast.  His entire social life was in the church.

So, by this time (after over two minutes into his "testimony"), I am still hoping to hear him answer the question.  After all, spending a lot of time in church doesn’t make one a Christian any more than spending time in a donut shop makes one a cop. 

He continues by stating that all of his songs have Christian bywords (his term) in them.  They have warnings about Satan.  The interviewer tries to lead him, “That is kind of the core message in your music, isn’t it?”

And the interviewer was right.  Alice mentioned Satan a lot.  But maybe I will hear something in the messages of his songs that might reveal his beliefs.

Alice Cooper responds,  “It always has been.”   He then expands his comments by asserting that all of his music had a common theme (even when he wasn’t a Christian).   That common theme was, apparently, the antagonism between good and evil or “God and the devil.”  To which he urges, “Don’t pick the devil.”

Once again, the interviewer tries to steer him back on point.   “We’ve all heard of the gospel according to Matt, Mk, Luke, and John.  What is the gospel according to Alice?

That is the right question.  That is what I still want to hear.  

Alice Cooper responds with an anecdote about how he believes in God because he believes the Bible.  From there He wanders by observing that God has put him in the camp of the Philistines (his metaphor for the ungodly world) and he has to live his life in front of them.   “I try to live my faith every day; that’s my testimony.” 

Good, Here is the part where I am hoping to hear his testimony.   But it never happens.  He talks a lot about the dangers of failing to live up to his faith but he never says what his faith is.  He never mentions anything about sin, repentance, salvation, or anything about Jesus’ atoning death on the cross for his sin.  In fact, throughout the entire course of this interview, he never once mentions the name,  Jesus.

The interviewer then gives up and turns the subject to a joint ministry, The Solid Rock Foundation, which Alice started with his pastor friend, Chuck Savelle.  His stated ministry purpose is to give underprivileged and at risk kids a place to go and opportunities to hang out and play in a safe environment under the oversight of Christian businessmen with no apparent, legitimate gospel purpose.  “Give the kids a safe place to go and a creative outlet.  That is the best way for them to see who we are.”

At the end of the interview I still don’t know who he is.  Is Alice Cooper is a Christian.  I believe he is a sincere and honorable man who tries to live a good life and do a lot of social good.  But in this interview, he failed to articulate any convincing understanding of the Gospel, Jesus Christ, or salvation.  In fact, the whole of his interview suggests a good works-based faith wrapped in the hope that he can ride through heavens gate on the coattails of his forefathers.

Actually Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, and Barack Obama have articulated much more convincing testimonies.  Each of them have clearly stated that Jesus Christ is their Lord and savior yet no Christians, I know, believe that to be true.  There may be other statements made by Alice in other interviews, but in my opinion, the conclusions propagated in this interview call for some cautious spiritual discernment.    I would be anxious to hear some further clarification from Alice Cooper.   

"Let the redeemed of the Lord SAY SO!”  Psalm 107:2

Thursday, October 17, 2013

God Doesn't Like Me

There is so much heretical happy-crap in this HuffPo interview with the master heretical happy-crapper himself, Joel Olsteen, that makes me weary just thinking about it.  Nevertheless, in the context of his drivel about how God loves and accepts those who practice homosexuality because He made them that way, this one short little statement particularly captured my attention:
“It doesn’t matter who likes you or doesn’t like you; all that matters is that God likes you. He accepts you; He approves of you,”  Joel Osteen  

I am quite certain that God doesn’t like me, period.   I know a few people whom I think might like me but if they really knew me like I know me, they wouldn't like me at all.  I think I know myself well enough to know that there is nothing about me that God could like.  In fact, if I thought for a moment, that God really likes me, accepts me, and approves of me, I would think that He either doesn’t know me at all or that He is easily deceived and not a very wise discerner of character.   

I would say that, because God is wise and knows all, He does NOT like me.  It is true that God loves me; that has been demonstrated by His grace in the fact that He sent His Son to suffer, and bleed, and die for the penalty of ALL my sin against Him thereby satisfying His righteous justice.  That is called mercy.

Sure, I am accepted.  But that acceptance is followed by the prepositional phrase, “in the Beloved.”  The basis for His acceptance of me is that I am in Christ and He is in me.  That is the only way the Holy and Righteous God of creation can even stand the sight of me.  Jesus Christ is my righteousness; He is my covering.  If you take away the covering, I am a just another dirty, rotten, putrid, low-life scumbag capable of murder, thievery, homosexuality or any other kind of evil or perversion and worthy of His terrible and righteous wrath.

But when God saves a repentant sinner, He cleans him up, turns him around, changes his behavior, and begins the process of making him fit to live with Him forever.  Furthermore, should any of us, who are saved, ever think too highly of ourselves, we have the constant, eternal reminder that Jesus Christ redeemed us with His own blood.     

This is one of several great hymns I love.  The author, Norman Clayton, very clearly steers us away from the self-esteem heresy of Joel Osteen and points us to the truth that...

My hope is in the Lord Who gave Himself for me,
      And paid the price of all my sin at Calvary.

No merit of my own His anger to suppress.
      My only hope is found in Jesus’ righteousness.

And now for me, He stands Before the Father’s throne.
      He shows His wounded hands and names me as His own.

His grace has planned it all, ‘Tis mine but to believe,
     And recognize His work of love and Christ receive.

For me He died, For me, He lives,
And everlasting life and light He freely gives.