I’m working on a new novel set in the 90s Christian punk/hardcore scene (which I was heavily involved in), and I put together a few example scenes just for myself to help establish the language and feeling I want to use. In full disclosure, I’m just posting them here to keep myself accountable as I keep writing what may be a much longer and harder to write novel.
When the lead singer raised his arm on the stage, the house lights switched off on command. In the complete blackness, Caleb heard the growling guitar and bass start thrumming together and the entire room started moving together in anticipation of violent ecstasy. The mosh pit was no longer contained to a small circle, and it took only one guttural scream from the lead singer to launch the entire room into thrashing momentum. Caleb felt the big guy in front of him come flying back, and he pushed back even as he slid backward. From behind him, hands pushed him even forward, and he felt the whole room exploding in the euphoric experience as they all became one mass of arms and legs; pushing and pulling for survival, kicking and punching to feel alive. His parents could never understand this, and his old pastor could only shake his head when he tried to explain it, but this was his church. This was where Caleb finally belonged.
As the stage lights came up, the man they called Punk Rock Preacher stood at the edge of the stage. He had been one of them, but now he seemed like something more. The light fell on only him, and disappeared to nothingness where the band was still chugging and thrashing behind him. His bald head glistened in the light with fresh sweat from the mosh pit, and there was blood on his tattoos where his flailing arms must have crashed into other moshers. His voice was quiet, almost a whisper, but it only made every one in attendance strain more to hear it.
“For I am calling to you to start a new thing. You are to be alive in me, and dead to the world.”
He paused as he looked out across the dark room, and everyone felt that his eyes were landing on them and piercing into their own thoughts.
“The old religion is dead. It has failed us, but God has never failed us. He is calling out to each of us. He calls out to you, and He calls out to me, because I still fail him every day and crawl back to Him every night.
“He did not save me to teach you religion, but to show you what it is to be fully alive in Him. Are you ready to be alive only in Him? Are you?”
He screamed the last words as the lights came up to hit the band. He turned around and dove backward into the upraised arms of the crowd and surfed across the throng. Arms coming up unconsciously into a Christ-like pose, he rode back and forth across the crowd as they passed him around until he finally ended up at the front of the stage. With a push, a few of the bigger security men landed him back on the stage, and he just smiled out at the crowd as the lead singer stepped forward to start the song. The preacher laid hands on the singer, anointing him to scream the truth to his people, and stepped out of the light to the side of the stage.