A church in South East England has merged Christianity and the love of heavy metal music.
The church known as “Fire and Blood” was created when metalhead friends Rob Byrne, Roger Kiralfy, and George Papachristodoulou decided to incorporate their love of Jesus with their passion for the crushing power of heavy metal music, the BBC South East reports.
“I was exploring metal and the Christian faith and how they can work together,” Papachristodoulou says. “I think that God placed me in the area to start a metal community based on the Christian faith. Everything the metal culture stands for is very close to the Christian ethos.”
Now obviously “Fire and Blood” can’t just hold a regular church service like other parishes. This following gathers in a nightclub called ‘Tap N Tin’ in Chatham, Kent, on the first Sunday of each month.
The congregation also use what they call the “Metal Bible” during their services, which is an edition of the good book designed for metalheads.
The book contains the New Living Translation’s version of the New Testament along with testimonies from popular Christian heavy-metal musicians like KORN guitarist Brian “Head” Welch, STRYPER frontman Michael Sweet, TOURNIQUET’s Ted Kirkpatrick, and IRON MAIDEN drummer Nicko McBrain.
Members of the parish are focused on challenging the false belief that heavy metal music is strictly “the devil’s music”, which in of itself is a completely juvenile statement.
“If you encounter music that you feel, for whatever reason, is leading you away from God, then I’d discourage that person from listening to it,” Byrne told the BBC. “But that’s always going to be a personal thing and I can very easily find a lot of that in pop music rather than heavy metal specifically so I think it’s not a genre-specific thing.”
Members of “Fire and Blood” have received criticism from Christians and non-believers over their unique, headbanging approach to Christianity. “We were expecting to have issues with Christians judging us,” Papachristodoulou says. “The atheists were the ones that tried to fault us more.”
“This is really my opportunity to talk to people with similar tastes to me … maybe the same sort of attitudes,” says cofounder Roger Kiralfy. “It’s somewhere I can be myself.”
This isn’t the first church to adopt the heavy metal view of Christianity, with Dayton, Ohio’s “Heavy Metal Church” providing a similar view in North America.
Founded by Senior Pastor Brian Smith in 2011, the first Heavy Metal Church of Christ (FHMCC) welcome any and all people who wish to worship despite musical taste, sex, beliefs etc. The congregation says on it’s official Facebook page that “it is a safe place of refuge for all the people out there who would never step foot into a traditional church building.”
Complete with a tattoo clad pastor who commonly wears shirts adorned with band logos, Smith says “It should never be about what you wear. It’s about Jesus.”
After all, on the 6th day, God created metal, and he turned it up loud. For it was good.
“I think that God placed me in the area to start a metal community based on the Christian faith.”https://t.co/6C23oJJYEk
— BBC South East (@bbcsoutheast) November 10, 2021