Actually I have listened to them, time and time again. A guy in my band is a huge Big Star/Alex Chilton fan.
Your thesis - at least so I thought - was that Christian references kept them from making it big. In fact it is the title of this thread. If we find other bands that also make Christian references AND they have made it big, it does speak to your thesis, don’t you think?
Here’s my final statement on the subject. I too have listened to Big Star and slowly uncovered their entire discography, including reading the lyrics, over the last two years. Their first album is all that is important here, because it was their best overall, and it was for better or worse the most likely launch pad for a career. I didn’t expect to find solidly conservative christian orthodoxy. “Jesus is just alright” yes, but what from my perspective was channeled from a Southern Bapist hymnal? Not. Regardless, I was surprised, pleasantly, but did not think it was a reason for their stunted success at that point. As I continued to uncover what I considered to be solid lyrical and melodic material I became more and more amazed, and confused. Could I be wrong, of course, because it’s obvious that I don’t quote any sources. It is simply my conclusion. Sorry it upsets you so much.