A big part of the appeal of heavy metal has to be it's rebellious nature. While metal initially rebelled against Christian values, more and more, we are seeing heavy metal used to rebel against sinning and be used to promote religion. Earlier this week, we spotlighted seven Christian black metal bands, or "unblack metal bands" and we've looked at religion in black metal before, but this is something relatively new.
Vice recently posted a profile on The First Heavy Metal Church of Christ, a community in Dayton, OH that welcomes "prostitutes, drug addicts, bikers, gang members, metalheads, felons" and anybody else who is willing to accept Jesus as their lord and savior.
There was also this amazing flyer for the church of Jesus on a Harley:
As for the sermon, it was described a bit like this:
"This is truly a cross-section of what the body of Christ should look like," says Pastor Brian, referring to the crowd. If you squint, the long-haired, bearded bikers do look sort of like old-timey biblical characters. There are roughly 300 people packed inside the auditorium; there are bikers and bikers' girlfriends, but there are regular-looking folks too, and little kids. There are tons of people wearing black FHMCC T-shirts, which are sold at a merch table near the back.
"We're going to have healing, redemption, salvation, and deliverance take place here today," says assistant Pastor Ron, from the front of the auditorium. Pastor Ron is a bearded guy who, if he were in a motorcycle movie, would probably be nicknamed "Tiny."
"Woo!" goes the crowd.
Then the music starts. It's a head-thrashing, blood-pumping tune, with decidedly Jesusy lyrics: "I believe / How about you / I believe / It's true / I believe in him!" We bang our heads.
"Get your hands clapping! Come on!" says the guitarist wearing black who plays Judas Priest–style guitar with his combo.
"Woo!" goes the crowd, throwing their hands up.
"WE SAY HOLY, HOLY, HOLY!"
When the opening act is over, Pastor Brian takes to the black pulpit, which is adorned with a large red heavy metal cross. The self-proclaimed "Rebel for Christ" makes an Angus Young reference about the guitarist and mentions that FHMCC is forming a house band and they're currently looking for a drummer.
And then: "Last Sunday, four confirmed people came to Jesus for the very first time in their lives," Pastor Brian says. "We've had three hundred baptisms in seven months. There are churches that don't get three hundred baptisms in a decade. Isn't that amazing? God rocks!"
The whole write up is certainly worth a read. Check it out at Vice.