God, Drugs, and Rock and Roll: Greg Laurie sits down with Alice Cooper
“This week, we take a look at another Alice interview. In this one, entitled “God, Drugs, and Rock and Roll,” Alice sits down with Greg Laurie, Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship. The discussion is about an hour long and includes many topics.
As the conversation unfolds, it becomes evident that who Alice is matters, not just who he is now, but who he was in the past. This is something we’ve often been asked, “Why focus on albums and periods when Alice wasn’t a Christian or embracing that lifestyle?” It’s a valid point and has a rational answer.
Like all of us, Alice’s journey and transformation in Christ is a compelling narrative of God’s Love. His journey witnesses the power of our Lord’s Mercy and Grace. Using Alice’s entire catalog and career is significant; it points out the seeds of Alice’s faith.
Even though Alice had not fully embraced or accepted the Christian faith, seeds had already been planted. He had been taught and knew the Truth. He may have been wandering then, but he was not completely lost.
It’s often been stated that our past lives are an abomination to God. But stop and think about that for a second. Isn’t it an incredible testimony to Him? To see and discuss the contrast between who we were before and who we are now because of Him. Isn’t that a powerful witness?
Cooper and Laurie’s discussion is fascinating. It deals with topics that include the Christian faith, music history, golf, addiction, marriage, and many others. It’s worth watching from beginning to end.
While there are several avenues we could take in this post, we will focus on the following themes from the discussion: 1) Priorities In Your Life, 2) The Need for Human Interaction, 3) Marriage, Relationships, and Friendships, 4) The Formula for Salvation, and 5) Who He Is, Who You Are.
Priorities in Your Life.
One of the most essential aspects of the interview is found at the end. However, it is referenced throughout. Prioritizing and finding our life’s purpose is a significant part of any Believer’s life. A good portion of that is redirecting your earthly desires.
As Pastor Laurie and Alice both point out, “accepting Christ does not mean we become perfect.” It’s quite the opposite. Instead, we recognize the need for an intervention. We acknowledge that we are not equipped to walk this life alone nor equipped to reach our final destination without a covering for our sins.
Cooper notes that he respects the character he plays. However, it’s just a role. It’s not who he is or how he thinks. His treasures are found in his faith, his family, his friendships, and “The Rock” (the teen center he helped found, located in Phoenix, AZ). His heart lies with his life’s purpose.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Luke 12:34
We should ask ourselves some questions. What do we consider to be our treasures? Where do we spend our time? Are there addictions that keep us from fulfilling our purpose?
We aim to find ways to redirect our focus and energy toward Him and His Word (Philippians 4:6- 8). As we read and search for those things, our lives will change. Our spiritual eyes will open – revealing a whole new objective for our existence.
Ultimately, we start worrying less about the things of this world and more about advancing His Kingdom here on this earth (Luke 12:29-31). Our faith is a marathon, not a sprint. We are all “works in progress.”
The Need for Human Interaction.
The entire interview covers some pretty incredible stories and interactions Alice has experienced during his career, and two things that stood out most are the re-emergence of the vinyl record and his recollection of Elvis Presley.
The re-emergence of the vinyl record is an exciting development. It’s partially based on nostalgia, but there’s another element to it.
Music unites people – fans to artists, artists to fans, and fans to one another. It tells stories and stirs emotions – it touches the heart but leaves the other senses wanting more.
The music is intangible, but the music and album combine to satisfy more senses than just the auditory ones. It builds an association between the listener and the artist.
Owning a piece of that period (the record, the artwork, the printed lyrics, etc.) gives the listener something tangible. It gives them a sense of connection. To hold, smell, touch, and feel a record is something more profound – a form of relationship.
How often have we listened to an album while holding the cover, reading the lyrics, or looking at the artwork? It’s more than just an audio download filling the air. It’s an interactive experience.
Alice also tells some incredible personal stories throughout the discussion. One that stood out most was about Elvis. (Check it out near the 10-minute mark.)
It seems isolation and disconnection left Elvis a pretty broken man. Cooped up in Graceland and kept under strict supervision, Elvis most likely went down a self-destructive path because of such factors.
Alice points out that we are not meant to be isolated. We were created to be a part of society. We were intended to “carry each other’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2).
“Again, I saw something meaningless under the sun: There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. “For whom am I toiling,” he asked, “and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?” This too is meaningless—a miserable business! Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:7-10
When you read that passage and listen to the words of Alice, do those verses not define Elvis (and many others in the business)?
If there had only been someone willing to “help them up,” would some members of the “27 club (musicians and stars that died early in life)” still be with us today? Luckily, Alice had people willing to interject on his behalf – people ready to “help him up.”
Marriage, Relationships, & Friendships.
People are essential to Alice. He admits that he likes them – he’s a people person. It’s one of the things that makes him so relatable to fans, other musicians, and those he’s worked with – He’s genuine.
As the previous section discussed, human interaction is vital – to our health, spirit, and souls. Without it, there’s not much to live for.
For Alice, it seems a good portion of his identity, at least earlier in his career, came from the acceptance of his peers. Not only other Rock musicians such as Keith Moon, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, members of Pink Floyd, etc. but also his relationships formed with other members of the Friars Club.
Relationships are important. They often help us become better (or worse) depending on whom we choose to associate with and spend time with.
In our relationships, we should find others who peacefully lift us and strive to provide us with the same support (Romans 14:19). Loving them as brothers and sisters and showing them honor and respect (Romans 12:10).
We must keep the enemy out of our interactions with others by speaking truthfully to one another and not succumbing to anger (Ephesians 4:25-27). Our interactions with others are often a direct reflection of our relationship with the Lord (1 John 4:20).
Alice also references his wife, Sheryl, and, in general, marriage during the interview. He credits both God and Sheryl for the survival of their 43+ year marriage – stating, “Sheryl is a prayer warrior” and adds that God gave them each other to endure life together.
He and Sheryl have also credited going to church and keeping God first in their marriage as another factor for the longevity of their marriage. God, by design, gives us marriage and other Christ-based relationships to keep us grounded.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:12
Two being bonded together by His Love (the third strand). When Christ is placed in the middle of our marriages, relationships, and friendships, it’s hard for any man or circumstance to separate them. People merged or joined together by His Love can withstand anything.
Lastly, he also references the songwriting process as a marriage between the lyrics and the chord structure. What a beautiful analogy!
Think about our Father in Heaven as the composer of our lives. He places our spouses and other key people into the framework as His plan unfolds. As we mature and grow, we can see where He placed people vital to our walk and growth as Believers. For us, two of those people are Alice and Sheryl Cooper!
The Formula for Salvation.
Alice admits that the fear of God was the determining factor for his initial decision to accept Christ. He knew who Christ was, but he also knew he had been denying Him.
Alice also makes another interesting comment about the acceptance of Christ. He states, “When we accept Him as Lord, we are really recognizing the fact that He accepted us.” Despite our sins and faults, He chose to become death so that we become righteous and encounter life through Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).
As the discussion unfolds further, this is a recurring theme that has been covered many times in many different stories. We, as humanity, try to fit into the empty space in our hearts. The emptiness that we attempt to plug with sex, money, and the “thrills” of this world. The void that only our Creator can fulfill.
Satan has sold the world a lie. As Alice alludes to in the interview, Christianity has been judged based on the followers of Christ instead of God’s Word. The enemy has used Christians and their shortcomings as an argument against Christ, yet followers of Christ know they are imperfect.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
The quest of a Believer isn’t to achieve perfection – perfection is unattainable. Instead, His followers strive to become more like Him. We strive to live a lifestyle that represents Him – a life that produces fruit.
The lie begins with religion and ends with religion. Our goal is not to uphold or strictly follow certain creeds, rituals, or sacred practices. Instead, we follow Him and His Word – we accept Christ. He’s knocking on the door of our hearts – waiting for ALL of His children to receive Him (Revelation 3:20).
We must simply believe, acknowledge, and profess Him as Lord (Romans 10:9-10). As Alice confesses, it cannot be put into exact words – it’s a Supernatural experience.
The experience opens our eyes to Him and His Word. It’s an awakening – a rebirth. Once we begin to see who He is and who we are, real change starts to take place.
Who He Is, Who We Are.
Alice references an awakening – a discovery of knowing God and knowing ourselves. He references Christians as being “Agents for Christ.” For Alice, it means being a Rockstar without the Rockstar lifestyle.
What does that mean for and to you? Humanity desires to place ourselves first – make our own decisions – do it our way – acting as “our own God.” But for those who have chosen Christ, we are no longer “our own God.” We are no longer in charge.
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other so that you are not to do whatever you want.” – Galatians 5:17
We must consult His Word before making monumental decisions in our lives. It means we choose His Spirit over our flesh (James 4:1). This is a comforting thought. He is complete and whole – we are “works in progress.” His Word and the Holy Spirit are in place to guide us.
As we strive to be more like Him, our lives will be more fulfilled and happier as we walk His path. To become more like Him, we must know more about Him and His character.
He is Love (1 John 4:16), a Worker of Miracles (Galatians 3:5), All-Knowing (1 John 3:20), Our Deliverer (Romans 11:20), Healer (Isaiah 53:5), Light of the World (John 8:12), Living Water (John 4:14) and so much more. His nature encompasses all that supports life.
On the flip side, we, through Him, are Fulfilled (Colossians 2:9-10, 1 Corinthians 6:17), His Children (John 1:12), Free (Romans 6:6), Reborn (Colossians 3:1-3), Righteous (Isaiah 54:14) and again the list continues, but we must know that ALL of us are made new through Him (2 Corinthians 5:17).
All we need do is accept the gift freely given to us at the cross – the gift of life through Him.
In conclusion, this interview was a great reminder of many things. Each of the five key talking points within this post are principal factors for us to know and apply within our daily lives. As we journey through life with Him, it doesn’t have to be complicated. In many areas, it’s honestly just a matter of us “showing up.”
For instance, when Alice discusses the construction, development, and founding of “The Rock,” he states, “The Lord told us to do it! So, we did.” The same revelations will come to ALL those waiting upon Him and His Word.
As transformation occurs, the Lord will reveal His plan for our lives and His purposes for placing us where we are (Jeremiah 29:11). Are we willing to allow Him to work through us? Are we ready to “walk in freedom and serve one another through His Love” (Galatians 5:13)?
If so, we should expect and know that great things, even miracles, are yet to come! We need only believe and know that He keeps His promises (1 Corinthians 1:9).
That’s all for this week, catch you next Friday.
Keep Walkin’ in Faith and Rockin’ with Alice!
Have you accepted Christ as your Savior?
If you would like to accept Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, please pray the following prayer:
"God, I believe in you and your son Jesus Christ. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save me. Today, I invite Jesus into my heart to stay. I make you Lord over my life. Make me new. Wash me, Lord, and cleanse me. In Jesus Name, Amen"
If you have just prayed that prayer, we want to celebrate your new victory with you. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can welcome you into the kingdom. We don't want you to have to walk alone and we have some resources we would like the opportunity to share with you.
NOTE: We’d also like to share the following resources used by “Fridays With Alice.” Without these books and sites, this would be a much more complicated endeavor. So be sure to check them out if interested.
Click the images to learn more about these resources: