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Old 05-09-2004, 01:23 AM   #1
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"We know Bono's Christian by his love"

From the Lexington Herald-Leader:

http://www.kentucky.com/mld/heraldle...ey/8609916.htm

Quote:
We know Bono's Christian by his love

By Rich Copley

HERALD-LEADER ARTS WRITER


Earlier this year, Christian musicians rallied behind U2 front man Bono's charge for the church to fight the AIDS crisis in Africa.

They put together a 13-song CD of covers of U2 classics such as Sunday Bloody Sunday and Beautiful Day, with proceeds going to World-Vision's efforts to combat AIDS. For someone who's followed contemporary Christian music and U2 for two decades, it was so cool to finally see the faith community embrace a band and a man who has walked the walk outside the mainstream church for most of his career. It was even cooler to see it happen in the name of doing the work Jesus called us to do: reaching out to help the sick and the poor.

Then I read the "Feedback" section in CCM Magazine this month and caught a note from a guy named Christopher Stone, who was upset that the catalyst for In the Name of Love: Artists United for Africa was Bono drawing attention to the AIDS crisis.

"Why did it take him saying something about it for us to do something?" Stone wrote. "Jesus said for us to help those in need long before Bono's grandparents were even thought of, and he's not a very good example of the Christian walk either. He promotes attention to the AIDS in Africa problem; yet with the same mouth, he proclaims profanities. Am I the only one who sees a problem with this?"

No, Christopher, you aren't.

I, too, think it's a shame that a rock star had to come in and guide the church into doing something ministers and evangelists should have been addressing long ago.

But moreover, I see a problem with your judgmental attitude toward Bono. But you aren't alone. Despite U2's numerous statements of faith and unflagging support of humanitarian efforts and social justice, the band members and Bono in particular have regularly been the objects of derision inside the church because some Christians don't like their lifestyles.

Look, can we get off this jag of downgrading a guy for some four letter words and a little drinking, when basically he's spent most of his life in the excessive world of rock 'n' roll standing up for bedrock Christian principles such as caring for the impoverished and oppressed.

OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that when judgment day comes, the Almighty will be a lot more interested in what we did for the least of these than how many times we dropped the F-bomb. The shame is that in the duration of U2's career, the band has done a lot more than the mainstream church has done to lead people to a concern for their fellow humans.

You say it shouldn't be that way?

You've got that right.

I'm not saying that there are not wonderful ministries to the poor and needy in churches in Lexington and in the United States. I was extremely proud to see the Faith Community Housing Foundation on the front of our City and Region section Wednesday, because it is one of the organizations in Lexington that is truly doing God's work. Around the world, groups such as Habitat for Humanity and Compassion International also do great work in God's name.

But all too often these days, the images we see of Christians are the faithful carrying signs with vicious slogans denouncing gays, evangelists on talk shows shouting down fellow Christians critical of The Passion of the Christ, and similar bile in the name of Jesus.

I have no idea what they think they're accomplishing.

They'll know we are Christians by our love?

You can stand up for your beliefs without being mean and ugly. I talk to people all the time who think Christians are basically about judgment and condemnation. In light of this, Christians really need to think about how they present themselves and their beliefs.

Here's something that stunned me. I just read a book by former CCM magazine editor Matthew Turner called The Christian Culture Survival Guide. In it, he talks about the many, many churches he has visited searching for the right one. In one section, he lists eight common areas for people to get involved in churches -- things like small group leader and worship team member -- and not once, not once does he mention missions.

I'm not going to fault Turner for that. The shame is that in the mainstream Christian church in the United States, a person could visit dozens of churches and not once be impressed that God commands us to care for the least of our society.

No. But don't say cuss words or drink alcohol, whether or not you're getting drunk.

Meanwhile, in the late 1980s, Bono was out there telling us we needed to care for starving people in Africa, that we needed to stand up against the cruelty of apartheid -- that we need to be the leaders in making this world a more just, fair and humane place.

So, you tell me, you Bono bashers who just cannot stand the fact that he occasionally uses profanity in public and likes his Guinness chilled: Who is modeling a Christian walk?

Our churches need a revolution to show the world that God is about compassion and healing. And if that revolution starts with a salty-tongued Irishman ... well ... God's used stranger characters.

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Old 05-09-2004, 01:48 PM   #2
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Quote:
Look, can we get off this jag of downgrading a guy for some four letter words and a little drinking, when basically he's spent most of his life in the excessive world of rock 'n' roll standing up for bedrock Christian principles such as caring for the impoverished and oppressed.
ya.. I can't say it much better then that at all.. well said

Quote:
So, you tell me, you Bono bashers who just cannot stand the fact that he occasionally uses profanity in public and likes his Guinness chilled: Who is modeling a Christian walk
ohh I like that .. I cant really think of a heck of a lot of other people who take the heast Bono does when he has never claimed to be or wanted to be an example of Chrisitanity.. He's one of the finest examples of a great humanitarian we have and he would be that even if no one was watching.. he is even when no one is watching..

I think says alot about the way the world is that ya it take someone like Bono to draw attention to his as he has.. do I think thats right .. no.. but am I glad Bono has the heart and guts to do that .. you bet I am because he gives it everything he has to make a difference.. thats a great example of living up to your potential..thats love for humanity working at it's best..


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I said Iíd have lunch with Satan if there was so much at stake. Iím uncomfortable being a rich rock star, doing this. Iím unhappy with that juxtaposition. I would love not to be doing this - for somebody else to do it who was not as compromised as me. That guilt has driven me to be a policy wonk. It makes me queasy to turn up just for the photo opportunity so I turn up for the briefing as well. I go to bed with World Bank reports. These issues are bigger than whether it makes me comfortable or not. So the band might cringe, I might wince, but I went to Washington to get a cheque and Iím going back to get a bigger one.Ē
-
Did I say how much I admire this guy..
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Old 05-09-2004, 03:06 PM   #3
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Very well said. These "Bono-bashers" are the exact reason the church has fallen behind on issues like the outreach to Africa. They focus way too much energy on judging others and trying to define what they believe a Christian should be and forget about the true teachings. I'm glad some people are seeing this and saying something about it, it starts to give me a little more faith in the church.
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Old 05-09-2004, 04:40 PM   #4
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Let's not be judgmental of the Bono bashers in the process. We all must realize that we cannot be known by our good actions alone. We must be mindful of the actions that may make another stumble.

I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:18
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Old 05-09-2004, 05:19 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Let's not be judgmental of the Bono bashers in the process. We all must realize that we cannot be known by our good actions alone. We must be mindful of the actions that may make another stumble.

I will show you my faith by what I do. James 2:18
I'm just stating what I've seen in the Church for years, but I agree with what you say.
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Old 05-10-2004, 10:23 AM   #6
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I like my gunniess chilled and the priest at my Catholic church use as many four letter words as Bono. Cusing and occassional drinking do not make you a bad Christian. Spirituallity, love filling your heart and helping others is what IMO makes you close to God.
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Old 05-11-2004, 01:07 AM   #7
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A very well-written article. And true about the need for missions which is often ignored.

It's interesting for me because (non-Christian) people tell me I'm such a good Christian because I don't swear, I don't drink, I don't smoke, I won't have sex before marriage ... but I've never done a missions trip and I don't often get involved in outreach activities. So Bono is a good role model for me in that way because he has shown no hesitation in helping people, which has been something that's been hard for me to do.

Of course there are plenty of other, more "traditional" Christians who do the same great work, and I applaud them as well! It's just extra special to see someone who so easily could have been swayed by the temptations of a plush rock'n'roll lifestyle to become completely egocentric, but hasn't. Yay Bono!
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Old 05-11-2004, 11:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


I'm just stating what I've seen in the Church for years, but I agree with what you say.
I've seen the same. If we could only achieve balance.....
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Old 05-11-2004, 06:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


I've seen the same. If we could only achieve balance.....
Balance would be nice.
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Old 05-13-2004, 01:16 AM   #10
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...
Maeve:

I am an admirer of the example that Bono sets in several areas as a Christian, and I think that people who entirely dismiss his life out of hand are misguided.

However, I'd like to qualify some of what you said in regards to how they relate to his life, as well as his personal habits and idiosyncracies if I can:

Quote:
Originally posted by Maeve
Spirituallity, love filling your heart and helping others is what IMO makes you close to God.
Our ultimate goal should be to seek God and grow closer to Him in a one-on-one personal relationship through Jesus.
All of these other things, such as love and helping others, are good, but we should keep in mind that our ultimate goal should always be drawing nearer to God through Christ, and then all of these nice spiritual traits will naturally flow out of that.

The danger is when a person makes such things as love, spirituality, humanitarian efforts, etc. their primary goal and desire rather than making God their number one focus. Love and good works apart from a close relationship with God through Christ is, quite frankly, pointless humanistic nonsense which simply deceives a person into believing that they're a "good person" rather than relying upon Christ as their only hope of being cleansed and made righteous.

Quote:
Originally posted by Maeve
Cusing and occassional drinking do not make you a bad Christian.
I would also like to point out that while it's true that God is a loving father, He is also a righteous judge who will see one day that justice is done towards all sin. This leaves each person with two options: either
1) they can rely on Jesus and the sacrifice that He made to exonerate them, or
2) they can spend the rest of eternity in Hell trying to pay for all of their sins but never fully being able to.

I bring this up because I would like to caution you that there is a very big difference between:
1) being in a state of repentance in which a person sometimes stumbles and asks for forgiveness, and
2) living in a state of sin in which repentance is lacking because they view some of their sins as being not that big of a deal.

God is a fully righteous judge, and as a righteous judge He cannot sweep any wrongs under the rug, regardless of how minor they seem to us, so in regards to such issues as cursing and drinking, I would just like to encourage you to study the Bible, pray about them, and be certain of what your heart, your conscience, and God's word say to you about these issues before you become fully resolved to make them a consistent part of your lifestyle.

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?
Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?" -- Romans 6:1-3
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Old 05-18-2004, 04:20 PM   #11
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"I, too, think it's a shame that a rock star had to come in and guide the church into doing something ministers and evangelists should have been addressing long ago.

But moreover, I see a problem with your judgmental attitude toward Bono. But you aren't alone. Despite U2's numerous statements of faith and unflagging support of humanitarian efforts and social justice, the band members and Bono in particular have regularly been the objects of derision inside the church because some Christians don't like their lifestyles.

Look, can we get off this jag of downgrading a guy for some four letter words and a little drinking, when basically he's spent most of his life in the excessive world of rock 'n' roll standing up for bedrock Christian principles such as caring for the impoverished and oppressed.

OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that when judgment day comes, the Almighty will be a lot more interested in what we did for the least of these than how many times we dropped the F-bomb."

.

The rest of the article was pretty good, too. .

Angela
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Old 05-18-2004, 07:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel

OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that when judgment day comes, the Almighty will be a lot more interested in what we did for the least of these than how many times we dropped the F-bomb."

.


Angela
Hallelujah!!!
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Old 05-21-2004, 12:21 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel
OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that when judgment day comes, the Almighty will be a lot more interested in what we did for the least of these than how many times we dropped the F-bomb
You make an interesting point here, but I guess what I would ask is, "What do you mean by 'interested'?" In other words, just exactly why would God be asking us about what we have done for "the least of these"?

If your answer is "Because he wants to determine how good of a steward we have been with what was entrusted to us", then I would say that you are right on target.

However, if your answer is "Because he's determining whether or not we were a good person and deserve to go to Heaven," then I would have to disagree, because the Bible makes it clear that no one, from Mother Teresa to Bono to whoever else...no one deserves to go to Heaven because of any good deeds they've done, because all of us have committed sin, our sin has separated us from God, and only the perfect sacrifice that Jesus made for us can acquit us of our guilt (wiping our rap sheet clean, so to speak) so that we are able to be cleansed and made holy in order to be reunited with God. This was done so that nobody can brag that they're in Heaven because they deserve to be there. They're only there by the grace of God ("For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God -- not by works, so that no one can boast." -- Ephesians 2:8-9).

We sometimes have a tendency to whitewash and turn a blind eye to the whole concept of judgement because our initial human reaction to it is that it sounds scary or mean, but the truth is that saving us on judgement day was the primary reason why God's son came to earth and died on the cross.
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Old 07-01-2004, 02:25 PM   #14
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"OK, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that when judgment day comes, the Almighty will be a lot more interested in what we did for the least of these than how many times we dropped the F-bomb."




This was the most beautiful article that I've ever read. My favorite part:

"Our churches need a revolution to show the world that God is about compassion and healing. And if that revolution starts with a salty-tongued Irishman ... well ... God's used stranger characters."

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Old 07-05-2004, 11:56 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by TheFirstBigW

We sometimes have a tendency to whitewash and turn a blind eye to the whole concept of judgement because our initial human reaction to it is that it sounds scary or mean, but the truth is that saving us on judgement day was the primary reason why God's son came to earth and died on the cross.
I think Jesus is our Saviour because he brought to us eternal life, not to save us on judgement day. I am not an expert on the Bible and did some reading last night in hopes to learn more about judgment day. I grabbed the Contemporary English Version that my Pastor gave to my son. I opened it up to flipped near the end and there was the heading "God Is Love". Since that's what I believe it's all about, I read it. The scripture reading I read was 1 John 4. It specifically says what I believe. God just loves you. The goal is to love one another - be tolerant of each other. It also says that if you follow Christ's actions that you wouldn't be worried about the day of judgment.

1 John 4 18
A real love for others will chase those worries away. The thought of being punished is what makes us afraid. It shows that we have not really learned to love.

1 John 4 19
We love because God loved us first.

1 John 4 20

But if we say we love God and don't love each other, we are liars. We cannot see God. So how can we love God, if we don't love the people we can see?

1 John 4 21

The commandment that God has given us is: "Love God and love each other!"


I don't fear judgment day because I believe that God already loves me and the goal is to follow Christ in deeds. Christ favored the poor and needy and assisted them. God says "Love thy neighbor" and I don't believe it means making yourself feel superior because YOU have the right belief about God and others don't. It means having the judgment of others, bigotry, racism and intolerance being washed clean from your heart.

TheFirstBigW, I don't mean "you" personally. I have a hard time understanding your belief and am truly just explaining my thoughts on the subject. I know it's hard not to feel personally attacked, as I do when I'm told that I don't have eternal life as I won't make it through judgment day with my beliefs. I donít believe that Bono and Mother Theresa aren't earning their path to heaven when they clearly believe in God and Jesus and follow Christ's path. I don't think they need to see their Christianity the same way that you do to be accepted into Heaven.
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