Looking for the Lord's Homies
October 15, 2007 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Help me find the "best" fundamentalist / evangelical Christian websites geared toward youth.

I'm trying to develop a story line involving characters who are members of a Christian rock/hip-hop/whatever music group. So to research these characters, I'm looking for web resources dedicated to this subculture, more specifically its more extreme niches. The more fundamentalist, literalist, and exclusionary the better! And definitely Protestant (i.e., not Catholic) only!

I've done the Google and YouTube things, searched on MeFi, and read this post, but they're not hitting the nail quite on the head for me. I'm not so much looking for good bands or music labels as "portal" type websites that (either sincerely or critically) point me toward where Jesus meets Cool on the web (which would certainly include music, but not focus solely on it).

Bonus points for sites that try really, really hard to emulate mainstream (e.g., MTV) youth culture and push the envelope (relatively speaking), but that hold fast to "traditional family values" like homophobia, abstinence, patriotism, and teetotaling. Stuff that would strike non-Christians as glaringly ridiculous, but that would be offered to 16-year-olds who were raised in church as "just like what your friends enjoy, but compatible with your faith."

If it matters, as an ex-fundie myself (but years out of the fold), I am fairly fluent in the lingo and biblical points of reference found in this subculture, so sites "too obscure" to the non-believer would not be an issue for me. In fact, the more obscure, perhaps the better (makes for good details that ring true).
posted by Rykey to Society & Culture (13 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If I were doing this, the first places I'd start are websites that engage in criticism or observation of this sort of thing, so for me that's websites and journals like Salvo, Touchstone, Christianity Today, GetReligion, and The Revealer. The last two are more focused on media coverage of religious matters, but I bet a search of any/all of the above could uncover what you're looking for.

I'd also dig around Zondervan's website and probably visit the local Christian bookstore, most of which are pretty exclusively Protestant. Websites of megachurches might be a good jumping off point, as would be the myriad parachurch organizations out there.
posted by jquinby at 12:24 PM on October 15, 2007

PS: A bit of clarification: fundamentalist does not necessarily mean evangelical, though the two terms are used pretty interchangeably. I mention it because to members of these groups, these words carry specific meanings that may (or may not) affect your research results.
posted by jquinby at 12:43 PM on October 15, 2007

Oh I hate myself for passing this on as I think he's terrifying, but here's Steven Baldwin's Breakthrough Ministry.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:52 PM on October 15, 2007

Here's an article Salon did on him in 2006.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:53 PM on October 15, 2007

Mars Hill Church in Seattle might be what you are looking for. Salon wrote a pretty critical piece on them last year.
posted by Alison at 1:16 PM on October 15, 2007

More on Mark Driscoll, the founder of Mars Hill and the controversy over his blog posts endorsing traditional roles for women.
posted by Alison at 1:20 PM on October 15, 2007

Relevant Magazine might be a place to start.
posted by fallenposters at 2:13 PM on October 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Great suggestions so far! Keep em coming!
posted by Rykey at 2:30 PM on October 15, 2007

Best answer: fstdt.com links to the forums that they pull their quotes from.
posted by Tixylix at 4:12 PM on October 15, 2007

Check out HM Magazine. (It currently says "The Hard Music magazine", but it used to be called Heaven's Metal back in the day.) I'm not seeing anything too outlandish right now, but you might if you poke around a bit. They feature bands doing the rock/punk/hardcore/goth/nu-metal/whatever thing, most of which [evangelical] Christian, and all of which "from a Christian perspective".

In the feature "So and So Says", they interview a "non-Christian" band and ask them questions about their spirituality.

I used to be a subscriber ~10 years ago, in my angsty high school days of really needing to get out of the fundy thing. In that context, HM was a breath of fresh[ish] air. (Oh funny - MxPx is still around.)


Oh wow - check out the Urban Dictionary listing for Christian Goth. Quote:

OK like, you believe in Jesus is the only way to get saved and you aren't like a hypocrite or anything and You have the same religion as other true christians and you can still keep the blue hair,safet pins, trenchcoat, spikes,chains, dog collar,hot topic's apperal, boots, peircings,eyeliner,white make-up...etc!


Rock for Life
The Call
posted by puddleglum at 4:23 PM on October 15, 2007

I'd need to know more about what you are trying to do before I would be inclined to help you out.
posted by konolia at 5:57 PM on October 15, 2007

Response by poster: I'd need to know more about what you are trying to do before I would be inclined to help you out.

As I said in the OP, I'm writing characters (for a script, which I didn't mention--sorry) who are in a Christian band.

In the interest of fairness and honesty, I should also mention here that the story will be decidedly non-Christian, but not necessarily anti-Christian. It would be fair to say, though, that it "makes fun" of Christian popular culture.
posted by Rykey at 6:49 PM on October 15, 2007

Best answer: I don't know how much time you have, but the book Body Piercing Saved My Life: Inside the Phenomenon of Christian Rock would probably be useful for you. It's by a writer for Spin, so it has that outside-looking-in feel to it, but he manages to get a pretty intimate look inside the movement. As someone formerly in that scene, I found it an honest portrayal of the wackyness, yet sincerity, of the extreme[ist] Christian music domain.
posted by puddleglum at 7:13 PM on October 15, 2007

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