By Mike Coles 11/98
HM Magazine is a Christian magazine dedicated in spreading the word of God, and of course supporting bands that do the same. If youíre looking for a magazine with a lot of good points and some interesting issues and different opinions, check it out. Here's a small chat with the man behind this world-known publication.
The Outcast: When did you become a Christian and how do you know that this is the path to walk in life?
Doug: In 1974, at age 11. I was convinced that God is real and that I was a sinner and needed His forgiveness to go to Heaven. I wanted to be sure I was "right with God" before the rapture happened, which seemed imminent at the time.
The Outcast: How do you know that this is the only path in life to walk to have a peaceful after life? What is your proof?
Doug: At the time? I guess I judged by the undeniable transformation on the inside and the peace and joy I felt.
The Outcast: If you havenít been a Christian your whole life, what was your life like before you became a Christian?
Doug: I only lived for and walked with Christ for about six months. Then I spent the next nine years in a "prodigal state", just living for myself and doing my own thing.
The Outcast: Why do you think people go from one extreme to another? (From a Christian to a Satanist and vise versa.)
Doug: Anger. Trying to hurt the one youíre rebelling from. "Iíll hurt you God for disappointing me," etc... itís a way of giving God the finger, so to speak.
The Outcast: Have you ever felt like giving up on your faith and living a different life?
Doug: Iíve felt like giving up on everything but my faith at times. Not so much so I could live another lifestyle, but just because of being wary or bummed.
The Outcast: What is your opinion on religion?
Doug: Religion is man trying to reach out to God. "Pure religion is this: giving to the poor, and taking care of widows." (Rough paraphrase there!!!)
The Outcast: Do you ever feel like a hypocrite?
Doug: Sure, when Iím short with someone, or treat someone with less than kindness and dignity.
The Outcast: Do you think that by "forcing" a child to go to church or by following "rules", that when they reach a certain age (16-whatever), they will rebel against it/God?
Doug: Not really. It depends on the person. Forcing can be done with open and mass quantities of communication and it can also be done with an iron fist.
The Outcast: Do you think that people have a right to voice their opinion about a religion, or a religious belief without actually experiencing it first?
Doug: Sure, wise people within hearing distance will probably discern the lack of experience in the criticsí voice.
The Outcast: Do you believe that evil can be used for good and good for evil?
Doug: In some sort of weird, ultimate, big perspective sense, I guess so. God uses evil people to do His will. He used evil people in the Bible. King Cyrus (sp?), I think, comes to mind, in the short-term. Immediate sense, absolutely not.
The Outcast: Have you ever had any bad experiences with Christians? If so, does that ever make you want to give up your faith?
Doug: Sure, we are all human. It shouldnít blow us away if they screw up. It sure can disappoint and surprise us, but we are all sinners, equal in our failure.
The Outcast: What makes an individual a Christian? Define Christianity in your own words.
Doug: Someone who believes in Jesus. "Believe" is an active word, a verb that means, "To trust in, cling to and rely on." God completes a transaction when this takes place. He gives His Holy Spirit to the believer as a "down payment" on his or her eternal salvation. God makes the believers spirit come alive.
The Outcast: Would you say that a lot of Christians and Satanist alike are very judgmental, critical, and closed minded towards each others beliefs? Do you think that is normal/human for a lot of people?
Doug: Some are, and some arenít. Itís normal to fall into a routine. In a routine, thinking and grace are easily forgotten. Rules and narrow-mindedness soon creep in. That is bogus.
The Outcast: Why do you think people deny God?
Doug: They donít want to surrender to someone else. They donít understand the depth of His love.
The Outcast: Do you think that by listening to band lyrics about death, destruction, hate, etc..., can influence someoneís state of mind? Maybe making their lives/moods/state of mind a bit negative because theyíre exposed to it everyday if theyíre heavily into a style of music that tends to talk about negative subjects?
Doug: Sure, it depends on how often you are listening to the same record, day after day, it is like meditation. It gets in your head, even if you are "resisting" it. It weakens you just by fatigue.
The Outcast: Who are some of your favorite bands?
Doug: Galactic Cowboys, Disciple, Brother Cane, Guardian, Kingís X, Stravesacre.
The Outcast: Do you think itís wrong, immoral, or against Christ to listen to secular music?
Doug: Itís all about frequency. Meditation or mild enjoyment?
The Outcast: Whatís one thing you struggle with in your faith, if anything?
Doug: Lack of hearing God, lack of fruit, lack of miracles.
The Outcast: Would you agree or disagree, that there are a lot of people that use Christianity for their own evil intentions? Do you think that is one of the many reasons why people canít accept faith?
Doug: A lot? I disagree. I think the wolf is truly few and far between.
The Outcast: When did you start doing HM, and what was the deciding factor to start this publication? How long have you been doing it?
Doug: There was a need. A disciple sees a need, and sets out to meet it.
The Outcast: Of course, HM stands for Heavenís Metal. What made you decide to change the logo for HM?
Doug: Because "metal" became a word or label that hindered us in the eyes of the industry, (both Christian and mainstream), and it became limiting in a sense. We had already started using the subtitle, "Your Hard Music Authority" for about a year prior to the name change; and people were already abbreviating it as HM anyway. It was the only logical name change for me.
The Outcast: What has been your greatest accomplishment with HM?
Doug: Gosh, I donít know. Having Star Song and CCM try to buy it at different times. Having Star Song release the "Heavenís Metal Collection" box set. Having Interrsound sign Heavenís Metal Records. Writing a tough story on the Rage of Angels cover story (HM 21). Having a couple different people tell me that the magazine impacted them in such a way as to help lead them to Christ. To be able to quit my temp agency job in October of 1989 and start receiving a salary of $400 a month from the magazine and go "full time." Having a tent/stage at Cornerstone. One of the definite highlights was the Heavenís Metal party at Foundationís Forum in 1994, with Mortal, Deliverance, and Precious Death.
The Outcast: Who came up with the idea to do the section: "What" "Sez?" What do you hope to accomplish with this section?
Doug: I did. I was inspired by Cornerstone Magazine, who does the same thing. They had interviewed Ozzy Osbourne and many others over the years.
The Outcast: Any closing words?
Doug: "Therefore, since we have such a great high priest, Jesus, who has gone before us and has been tempted in every way, yet was without sin, let us then approach the throne of grace with boldness, for we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses." (Rough paraphrase, to be sure!) Seek God. Flee idolatry. Tell the truth. Well, thanks again.