Bono Found What He Was Looking For

U2 has Christian references in some of their music. It always seemed like Bono was a seeker more than a believer, though. "Pride in the Name of Love" is a song about Martin Luther King, but has what seems to be a cross-reference to Jesus. Then it spins right back to the other king. In "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," Bono has a verse describing the work of Christ, but the chorus starts with a "but." Anytime you say you believe something and then add a "but," there is a qualification that implies doubt. I'd always figured that Bono's quest for meaning and faith was still open, or at least broader than mere Christianity.

A couple things struck me when I watched this video (which my brother Clay posted on his Facebook page). One thing that is clear is that this man, whatever his exact theology, is a follower of Jesus. With Bono's notoriety, you don't appear on Christian television and proclaim your beliefs unless you have had a profound experience.

I also notice how he edges into a profession of faith, not directly answering the question about who Jesus is. I don't blame him for a little caution; delivering a 10 second sound bite that wraps up your beliefs is something that would make a lot of celebrities nervous. It's hard to express your faith publicly when you know that people who don't share your beliefs are going to label you as a fanatic or some kind of religious nut. There are a lot of religious people who express their faith in ways that are not what Jesus was about, and people who don't understand the difference may associate you with those people. There were plenty of religious people in Jesus' day that he had problems with -- people who were not correctly representing God's priorities. People who bomb abortion clinics and take shots at the doctors who work there are not living in a manner consistent with the teaching of the New Testament, but non-Christians may not understand that.

Some non-Christians regard faith in Christ with animosity. In parts of the world, Christians are still being burned alive for their faith. In our culture, principles of tolerance protect us, but if you're a celeb like Bono, you may alienate a few million fans with one religious remark. I think he's reached the point where he isn't too worried, but the same doesn't apply to regular working people who make their living in show business, or really any business that isn't Christian.

I admire Bono's willingness to state his beliefs. He clearly isn't at the point I thought he was when Joshua Tree was released. His words give evidence to something. If you have had the kind of transforming experience that he has had, you eventually reach a point that you can't keep quiet, whatever it costs you.

Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Eph 6:19-20; NIV)
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