When They Believed

I love the lyrics and music of the band U2 and have always been fascinated by their history as a band who has successfully survived 3 decades.

Back in the late 70s and early 80s when the boys of U2 openly professed faith in Jesus Christ (they were influenced by The Vineyard movement), they penned a powerful song from Psalm 40. Like Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys and other artists, it seems they were inspired by this new found faith and the word of God for a little while. Like the farmer in the book of Mark who sowed the seed on rocky soil though, it seems from looking at U2 in the last decade or more that their faith and passion for God was weak and only for a little while. Yes they may still say they believe in God and Bono does some humanitarian work but from an article I read in Rolling Stone last year as well as numerous other articles and even a lecture I’ve listened to, it seems they live the typical debauched life style that is being in a hot rock band.

God is the ultimate judge of a man’s heart of course but after reading about their lifestyle over the last decade, it is difficult to imagine they are really “living the life”. How awesome though that God can bring Himself glory through any and every means. Here is “40:”

“I waited patiently for the Lord
he inclined and heard my cry.
He brought me right out of the pit,
out of my miry clay.
I will sing a new song,
How long to sing this song?
He set my feet upon a rock,
and made my footsteps heard.
Many will see,
Many will see and fear.
I will sing, sing a new song.
How long to sing this song?”

I will admit though that Bono and U2 are a bit of a mystery when it comes to their faith and I think this is how they like it to stay to a large extent. They can draw the Christian and secular crowd alike as long as they leave their beliefs in a sort of neutral, ambiguous realm. I for one hate to feel fooled though so while I will always love their music, I am hesitant to be taken in by claims that they are a Christian band.
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6 Responses to When They Believed

  1. Mella says:

    I agree, it’s always disappointing to read (or hear about)the stumblings of celebrities who claim to have (or have had) lived in faith. Though, I shudder to think what a contradiction my life would look like in print if it were only built of paparazzi snapshots or quips and blurbs taken as direct quotes. I really don’t follow U2 – I love their music, but I’m not one to read interviews about the band. I did know that Bono was a Christian when they started out, but I didn’t realize that they considered themselves to be a Christian band. I recently read this post on another blog – it’s pretty much a direct quote of Bono’s address to the Presidential Prayer breakfast. It was touching, I thought. http://jeremydscott.blogspot.com/

  2. bchallies says:

    Aunt Liz saw them last year. You should ask her what she thought…Has bee a commited Bono fan for years.

  3. Susanna Rose says:

    Mella-very true about the whole paparazzi snapshots thing and blurbs…my life would look a whole lot different as well so that’s a good point! I read the article you linked to…thanks for sharing that. I appreciate Bono’s honesty and passion for Africa but he still leaves me feeling a little fuzzy about where he actually stands spiritually. It seems he embraces a lot of religions as true, etc. I’m going to read up some more when I get the chance. No matter what, I’ll always love their music and unique style. Whether their Christians or not does not come between my appreciation for the band and other bands like them.mom-I will have to speak to Aunt Liz…she’s always the pro on subjects concerning pop culture!

  4. Mella says:

    Oh, I agree, Susanna, the speech he gave was hardly a statement of faith. Like I said, I haven’t done much research on him or the band at all (ok, I haven’t done any research – I only have fuzzy memories of hearing that he was, at one point, a self-professed Christian…)

  5. Susanna Rose says:

    Mella-I sometimes wonder…Why do politicians, celebrities…anyone in the limelight have to be so darn confusing when it comes to where they really stand?!:) I guess I like to feel as though I have people or situations all figured out but I guess that can’t always happen!! As to what you said earlier about not knowing U2 considered themselves a Christian band, I think it is more Christians that have put that label on them assuming they are a Christians since they once claimed to be…I should have made that more clear. I get the feeling they, like many other famous people, shy away from labeling themselves in any specific category.

  6. Rick says:

    People are infatuated with celebrity. They want SOOO bad for their favorite star to be a Christian, because it would make their own faith seem more “cool.” So they will ignore all the evidence of a persons life and upon a few lyrics declare them Christian. I still remember a friend of mine wanted to think Nirvana had Christian tendencies because in one song they sing “Mary, Mary” They were shattered when I informed them the line is actually “married, burried”

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