Bono, U2 and Christianity

April 19, 2007 at 8:42 pm 24 comments

U2From the first time I heard “I will follow” on the radio, I was a U2 fan. As a Christian, I would buy a U2 album and quickly read the lyrics to see what creative way Bono used to get “Jesus” in at least one of the songs. I would search for the Christian message in the songs and U2 rarely failed to deliver.

Then came “The Joshua Tree.” I was crushed. How could Bono say “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for?”

I believe in the kingdom come/ Then all the colors will bleed into one/
Bleed into one/ Well, yes I’m still running/
You broke the bonds and you loosed the chains/
Carried the cross of my shame/ Of my shame/
You know I believed it/ But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

However, it was no long after this, I too began to feel a discontent with Christianity. As time went on, I could more and more identify with this song. I believed in my faith but could not explain why I still felt like there was so much missing.

By the time, “All You Can Leave Behind” was released, I was in step with Bono. The song “Peace on Earth” contained the very questions I was asking myself.

Jesus can you take the time to throw a drowning man a line/ Peace on Earth
To tell the ones who hear no sound/ Whose sons are living in the ground/
Peace on Earth
Jesus in the song you wrote/ The words are sticking in my throat/
Peace on Earth
Hear it every Christmas time/ But hope and history won’t rhyme/
So what’s it worth/ This peace on Earth

One of my favorite lines was in the song “When I look at the World.”

I think of you and your holy book/ When the rest of us choke

Yeah Bono!

However, their recent album contained a tribute to “Yahweh.” It’s one thing to embrace the teachings of Christ but Bono was now directly addressing a God which the Bible declares directed his children to kill babies, take young virgins for themselves, kill women, old men, and animals.

Here’s a U2 video from YouTube:

(at least watch the first couple minutes and last minute)

- The de-Convert

Entry filed under: The de-Convert. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Do Christians worship the Bible as God? Practicing the Presence of God

24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Alexander  |  April 19, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    Thank you so much….I needed that!

    “I / We can do all things through Christ, who strengthen us!” –Phil. 4:13

  • 2. HeIsSailing  |  April 19, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    U2 is okay, but I have never been crazy about them. I think my favorite musician, who goes both Christian and Secular ala U2, is probably Kerry Livgren. The band Yes, though definitely not a Christian band, has done some things that are absoultely transcendent!

    I guess I am showing my age here.

  • 3. agnosticatheist  |  April 19, 2007 at 10:54 pm

    I too liked Livgren in Kansas, solo, and AD.

    My favorite bands were all the pseudo spiritual bands like The Alarm, Simple Minds, The Call, & Mister Mister.

    I have to confess that I still listen to Christian Rock and my wife shoots me dirty looks constantly :)

    aA

  • 4. Rebecca  |  April 20, 2007 at 8:35 am

    I don’t see Bono as backsliding towards Christianity as much as I see him on a journey. The same journey all of us are on. We don’t know where the journey will take us. Christians may be comforted by the reading of the scriptures in his music or his speeches about the poor. They may say, “there, see even Bono believes” and they may feel fortified in their own belief as a result. Thing is, Bono may himself one day deconvert. Then what? Maybe Bono is “stuck in a moment” and he “can’t get out of it.” One day perhaps he will be unstuck and h will end up on the other side. What then?

    What will the Christians say of him then? That he never believed? That he was a wolf in sheep’s clothing? That satan deceived him?

    Interestingly enough, in the Christian world that I was a part of, that’s exactly what most believed about Bono anyway.

    I don’t blame Bono for the ups and downs in the journey. I don’t blame him for reaching out to a god to comfort him or to comfort the starving. It is understandable in my opinion to look outside ourselves for more or to plead/preach a sermon begging Christians to feed the hungry. Preach to the nations for god’s jubilee. Certainly, it fits if you are preaching to so-called Christian nations. He’s on a mission. One can’t blame him. It is noble, honourable and precious that he fights for the down trodden.

    The thing is, we don’t need a god to do that. If it’s a person’s choice fine. But, humankind doesn’t have to have a god in order to feed the hungry, bind the wounds of the sick or to love their fellow human beings.

  • 5. Karen  |  April 20, 2007 at 11:55 am

    My favorite bands were all the pseudo spiritual bands like The Alarm, Simple Minds, The Call, & Mister Mister.

    Oh boy, I am really going to date myself here!

    Anybody remember Second Chapter of Acts, Lovesong, Mustard Seed Faith, Debbie & Ernie (who moved into entertaining the preschool set), Keith Green … ?

    Lotta good memories at those concerts!

  • 6. HeIsSailing  |  April 20, 2007 at 3:05 pm

    Debbie, I know all those acts except Debbie and Ernie – never heard of them. I still have lots of Maranatha music on cassette in a box somewhere, including 2nd chapter of acts, Keith Green, Terry Clark, … um and some other folks from another time. Most of my Jesus music was from hippie musicians that came to our town with cheap recordings on local independent labels. Most of these characters were pretty controversial in their day – incorporating Gospel lyrics with the Devil’s Music of electric guitars and drums after all.

    OK, nostalgia mode is off.

  • 7. inwardtruth  |  April 21, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    I think the answer lies here: http://www.needgod.com
    Once we understand sin, we can be thankful for grace

  • 8. Dan Barnett  |  April 21, 2007 at 7:01 pm

    “…but Bono was now directly addressing a God which the Bible declares directed his children to kill babies, take young virgins for themselves, kill women, old men, and animals…”

    WHere does God direct his people to kill babies? I’m not sure we’re reading the same Bible. Also, what I see here, and I am just reading into it as I don’t know your whoe story, is you and others who were once Christians being shoved aside and neglected by the church. Thus, you lack the true knowledge of the Bible from not being discipled(taught) and are interpretting it to fit your beliefs. Nobody deconverts as one reader put it. It’s impossible. Either you never were converted or you are misled. I commented your life purpose without God post about a couple books. Please read “Case for Faith” by Lee Strobel. You have my email, email me if you want it. I have it and will give it to you for free. I am so disappointed in the church in general for neglecting its own and turning out nothing more than naive “Christians.”

  • 9. agnosticatheist  |  April 22, 2007 at 9:18 pm

    WHere does God direct his people to kill babies? I’m not sure we’re reading the same Bible.

    Dan,

    Is this a serious question?

    If so here are a few samples:

    1 Sam.15:2-3 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “I have decided to settle accounts with the nation of Amalek for opposing Israel when they came from Egypt. Now go and completely destroy the entire Amalekite nation–men, women, children, babies, cattle, sheep, camels, and donkeys.”

    Ezekiel 9:5-7 As I listened, he said to the others, “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter old men, young men and maidens, women and children, but do not touch anyone who has the mark. Begin at my sanctuary.” So they began with the elders who were in front of the temple. Then he said to them, “Defile the temple and fill the courts with the slain. Go!” So they went out and began killing throughout the city.

    Psalms 137:8-9 O daughter of Babylon, who are to be destroyed,
    Happy is the one who repays you as you have served us!
    Happy is the one who takes and dashes
    Your little ones against the rock!

    Should I go on?

    Thanks for the offer of the book. I actually read it and enjoyed it quite a bit particularly the chapter on hell. What did you think of that chapter?

    aA

  • 10. agnosticatheist  |  April 22, 2007 at 9:39 pm

    Anybody remember Second Chapter of Acts, Lovesong, Mustard Seed Faith, Debbie & Ernie (who moved into entertaining the preschool set), Keith Green … ?

    Karen,

    That is dating you quite a bit :) At least you didn’t mention Larry Norman & Randy Stonehill.

    aA

  • 11. Karen  |  April 23, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    At least you didn’t mention Larry Norman & Randy Stonehill.

    OH, be still my heart!! Two of my absolute faves. I saw them both in concert several times at the height of their popularity, and they were sooooooo cool! :-)

    A few years ago I googled Larry Norman and came across some unhappy news about him being ill and destitute. I don’t know what became of him. Randy Stonehill is alive, apparently well and still touring. Whaddaya know!?

  • 12. Dan Barnett  |  April 23, 2007 at 9:36 pm

    Aa (comment #9)

    Most of my knowledge of the Bible is the NT. I appreciate you reminding me of those passages. Yet, I still do believ that in the context of those situations, God is completely within his own rights. The OT is mainly about God’s relationship with his chosen nation, Isarael. When they walked with him, he handed their enemies over to them and prospered them. When they turned from him(and still do today) he handed them to their enemies to show his power and control. I’m not going to deeply argue this one with you, but I have made my point.

    On the book, I haven’t gotten to the ‘Hell’ chapter yet. I’m interested to discuss it when I do. I loaned the book to a friend who is returning it this week. I just enjoyed seeing an atheist journalist exploring and finding answers and seeing him come to Christ thorugh it.

  • 13. John  |  May 25, 2008 at 11:48 am

    In the Old Testament, it was an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. But in the New Testament, Jesus says “That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Matthew 5:39.

    And in Hebrews 13; “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.”

    The new teaching replaces the old…

  • 14. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For « U2008  |  June 15, 2008 at 9:17 am

    [...] or Without You” and “Streets”. It’s also the song that seemingly baffles the Christian community and believers, or at least is divisive; cue plenty of “are U2 really [...]

  • 15. Steve  |  March 14, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    I think you’re misinterpretting U2. Here’s a link to excerpts of a 2005 interview with Bono in which he is very obviously witnessing to the interviewer:
    http://www.worldmag.com/articles/10892

    My interpretation of “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for,” is that we should keep striving for union with God Almighty even though we can’t achieve it in full in this life.

    I’m not as familiar with the other songs, so I can’t speak to those lyrics in context. I certainly wouldn’t doubt Bono capable of criticizing hypocrites who exploit in the name of the church.

  • 16. Jeff Perry  |  August 27, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Come on guys. Use your heads. There is no god and it’s time to grow up. Theology has held us back as a species and this message board concerns me. Hopefully, evolution will select for the enlightened among us.

  • 17. Lynx  |  September 12, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Well Jeff, perhaps evolution will select the best for the planet’s sake and totally eliminate men. It’s men who have the thirst for power and control that have held us back as a species. God is just another excuse men have used to put us on the brink of extinction. Instead of the Atheists pointing fingers at the Christians and Muslims who in turn point their fingers back, why don’t we all work to come together for the common good of everyone. I think Bono is a good example of what the spirit of Christ means to most Christians. People only see the celebrity and forget this is a man who went to Africa in the mid 80’s where he shoveled dung and helped carry the bodies of children who could not be saved. He’s seen the worst of Humanity and still strives to better the World. He believes in God which puts him in the “unenlightened” crowd the militant Atheists would put him in. Tell that to the lives of Africans he’s helped. The true evil of religion is those who use it destroy and suppress.

  • 18. Isabelle  |  October 25, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    Why does anyone even think Bono is a Christian? So he used Jesus in a few lyrics and quotes scripture?? I went to their last concert recently and didn’t hear anything about Christ or the Gospel! How can you have a huge audience hanging on your every word and not use that as an opportunity to witness?? I don’t see it.

  • 19. phyllis  |  November 19, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    @Isabelle,
    think about where Bono is from. He is from Ireland where people have a faith that runs deep, but is is also divided by religion. It has been a bloody and violent history. Some people, myself included, don’t like to talk about it because it’s private. I’ll talk if asked, but I don’t want to shove it down anyone’s throat or have it be shoved down my throat.
    So he isn’t a Christian if he isn’t doing what you think a Christian should do?

  • 20. rick  |  May 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm

    being a christian is different to being religious. Not all christians are religious for example they do not conform to the churches religious idiology but they believe that Jesus is the son of God. To be a christian is to live in a Christ like manner serving others and treating everyone as family. Bono is a christian he is not religious.
    look into it

  • 21. Bono atheism | Imageyoo  |  May 22, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    [...] Bono, U2 and Christianity « de-conversionApr 19, 2007 … Entry filed under: The de-Convert. Tags: agnostic, atheism, Bible, Bono, christianity, faith, freethinking, religion, skepticism, spirituality, theology, … [...]

  • 22. Tracy  |  March 22, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    I’ve been wondering for years why Bono would say,’I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.’ It’s always bothered me & I’m finally looking for the explanation, still don’t get why he would say that to the people that may not believe. I know it’s not perfect & easy for us believers but why would he tell the world of unbelievers that he(we) still haven’t found what we’re looking for? God(Jesus) is our only hope. Will continue to try to reach Bono to ask him what he means.

  • 23. cag  |  March 23, 2014 at 12:46 pm

    Tracy, why would anyone believe that an imaginary character in an ancient book of fairy tales is our only hope? How can anyone accept as true that the stars, including our sun, are placed in a firmament surrounding the earth? Most of us know that the universe is not geocentric. Why does the bible not know that the earth is not the centre of the universe? Could it be that the bible is just a collection of wrong answers?

    Your god does not exist. There has never been any evidence for your or any other god. Check out this list for the gods you do not believe in. All these gods had believers and yet you reject all but one of them. Throughout history, humans have created gods. Every god has been shown to be imaginary, including yours. The gods of the Hindus are no less believable than your god. Do you accept Ganesha? How about the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Japanese_deities&quot; Shinto gods, do you accept them?

    There is a difference between belief and reality. In reality, there are no gods, they have, all thousands of them, been debunked. It is time for you to challenge your assumptions and accept the reality of a god free universe.

  • 24. cag  |  March 23, 2014 at 12:50 pm

    That should be

    How about the Shinto gods , do you accept them?

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