The Congregation (Welcome 2 My Nightmare, 2011)

The Congregation (Welcome 2 My Nightmare, 2011)

“The Congregation” Lyrics:

Now you’re here, so have no fear; I’m just your friendly guide
So come along coz you belong, you joined us when you died
From your birth until your final breath
I’m proud to say you finally entertained yourself to death

Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
A little tiny pinch of deviation

We understand what you had planned goes by another name
Where bluebirds sing and church bells ring, well isn’t that a shame
Your application sadly was denied
But let’s be clear, we love you here; you’re on the other side

Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
We promise it won’t stain your reputation

The Guide:
Ah, as you can see over here, the broken glass chamber are the boys from wall street. Let’s hear it for the boys. And here in the eternal mariachi room for the defrocked priest and telemarketers. And the totally fiery pit of boiling death the lawyers, pimps, and mimes…

Welcome to the congregation
Welcome to the congregation
Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
So thanks for dropping by here
We’re really gonna try here
But in the end, you know you’re gonna fry…. fry…. fry… here

Umm.. excuse me, sir, is there a bathroom here?

This week we revisit the Welcome 2 My Nightmare (W2MN) LP, released in 2011. The album is a continuation of Steven’s dreams and nightmares found on the original Welcome to My Nightmare LP, and it is also related to Alice Cooper Goes To Hell as well. W2MN is a combination of those albums, but these nightmares are different.

“What would be a nightmare for (Alice) in 2011? Well, technology would be a nightmare for him. Disco would still be a nightmare for him. We just started writing down things or ideas. Things that would really bother Alice.” – Alice Cooper

These songs are the things that would haunt Alice today, not the Alice of the 70s, but the millennial Alice. Songs like “Runaway Train,” “I’ll Bite Your Face Off,” “Disco Bloodbath Boogie Fever,” “When Hell Comes Home,” and “Something To Remember Me By.” Those songs shed light on multiple scenarios and dialogues about tragedies, terrors, and things that not only disturb our slumber but, for many, they are real.

Also, hints of the original Welcome To My Nightmare LP are scattered and mixed throughout the music and layout. Bob Ezrin produced the album. Together, he and Alice masterfully connect the dots between the original Nightmare and W2MN.

“The Congregation,” a song that introduces Steven to a group of unlikely characters, is this week’s focus. Like Steven, many of these folks never expected to be trapped in eternal demise – some convinced they were bound for Glory yet wound up in Hell.

Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
A little tiny pinch of deviation

We understand what you had planned goes by another name
Where bluebirds sing and church bells ring, well isn’t that a shame
Your application sadly was denied
But let’s be clear, we love you here; you’re on the other side

Welcome to the congregation
I hope we meet your expectation
We promise it won’t stain your reputation

The road to Hell is littered with nice guys with good intentions.It’s as if those Alice’s song, “It’s Much Too Late,” are coming true for this “congregation.” But in the end, indeed, our actions and deeds aren’t the basis for our eternal destination.

Alice adds in some tongue in cheek lines about those on Wall Street, sexual predators, lawyers, pimps, and mimes, yet the truth is some likely and also unlikely souls will populate Hell. Therefore, it’s paramount that we discover and understand what sets each place’s occupants apart and why they ended up down below.

The very question of our existence and eternity – Why are we here? Where do we go after this? – and other burning questions have plagued humanity for thousands of years. However, God so eloquently provided us the answers to these questions and more.

Where we go wrong is by placing ourselves as the subject in life’s narrative and puzzles. Instead of asking who we are, what do we want to be, or where are we going? We should change our perspective. The proper way to look at things is through His scope and focus – Who does He want us to be? What can we do to please Him? Why has He placed us here?

As the world spirals out of control and looks to the government and worldly organizations for answers, stop and ask yourself some questions. A new year is always the best time to take inventory of your life. What are you living for, and are there any adjustments you need to make?

There are only a couple of points to take away from this narrative, and we’ll be brief about them.

Hell is not easily or readily discussed. However, it seems God’s Word is relatively straightforward about two things, in particular: 1) We must accept Christ, and 2) We must battle against our flesh.

Accept Christ.

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”Romans 10:9-10

The simplicity of transformation is beautiful. There’s no need to be in church, use a training manual, or attend a conference. Salvation is merely a declaration of your mouth and belief in your heart.

With that, a transformation begins to take place – for some; it’s an overnight awakening. For others, it’s a slower process. Either way, it’s a journey, not a destination. As we transform, His will replaces ours. Our old self is crucified with Christ, and we are reborn in Him (Galatians 2:20).

Battle Against Flesh.

“The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

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. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking, and envying each other.”Galatians 5:19-26

Accepting Christ means we willingly enter the battle; we join the war – the war against evil, the fight against our flesh. In the above-listed verses, Paul spells out the difference between the flesh and the Spirit. Now before you go down the avenue of “it’s impossible” to only live by the Spirit. Check out this summary of verses 19-21 from the Life Application Bible.

“We all have evil desires, and we can’t ignore them. For us to follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we must deal with them decisively (crucify them – 5:24). These desires include obvious sins, such as sexual immorality and witchcraft. They also include less obvious sins, such as selfish ambition, hatred, and jealousy. Those who ignore such sins or refuse to deal with them reveal that they have not received the gift of the Spirit that leads to a transformed life.”

It’s a tough pill to swallow, but it seems that the above summary does a decent job explaining verses 19-21. Stumbling is inevitable, but wallowing in sin and refusing to redirect your focus leads us further into darkness.

We must allow His Light to radiate in those darker areas of our life. Darkness will NEVER conquer the Light – Light ALWAYS consumes the night (John 1:5). We must not forget that. Let us focus on the Light and diligently work towards replacing our worldly thoughts with His fruit.

Wrapping this up, “The Congregation” is about a group of folks that chose to accept their evil desires. As the summary and verses above point out, we have a choice to make. Hell, whether we know it or not, is a chosen destination. But is there more than one Hell?

It seems Hell is not only eternal. It resides here on Earth as well. Think about it. Is Hell really just an actual place, or is it also a mindset? Is Hell only a void? Is Hell life, whether physical, spiritual, or eternal, without Christ? It sure seems that way.

Christ is the one that brings us together. He calls us to Love. He calls us to more than just living for ourselves. He calls us to Love God and Love one another as we do ourselves. Christ is the key that unlocks the door to Heaven.

In this new year, we hope that you will embrace Him. We hope that you come to see that you are more than flesh. You are more than evil desires. You are more than what the world claims you are. You are one of His Creations. You are loved, and you were bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20).

In conclusion, Steven’s tour of Hell is an interesting one. Many songs and scenarios paint the darkness and despair that resides there. However, “The Congregation” might be the most thought-provoking of them all.

It’s easy for humanity to look at others and decidedly point out where everyone else’s failures and shortcomings reside. For some, it may help them cope with their own desires and inadequacies. However, that’s not how we were designed.

In the New Year, let us all worry more about ourselves and less about others. That being said, let us heed these words from Galatians 6.

“Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.” – Galatians 6:4-5

As we live our lives and pay more attention to our walks, there should be no surprise in eternity. We should know our destination based on the choices we make daily.

Have you accepted Christ? Are you waging war against the flesh? After taking an inventory of your life, which congregation do you reside in – the Light or the dark?

That’s it for this post! We look forward to spending another year of “Fridays With Alice” with you! See you next week!

In the meantime, 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 prayers@oceanfloorministries.com 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.