I offer the following simply because I run into this issue so much. I have seen whole blogs devoted to this. There is no other artist, it seems, who inspires as much worshipful rapture as does Bono, lead singer for U2. Does his life mirror Biblical Christianity?
I have encountered myriad Christians who take it as the greatest insult if I express grave doubts about the 'Christianity' of Bono. The Bible tells us to "test everything; hold fast what is good." (1 Thess 5:21). Some people believe you aren't supposed to hazard any guesses about who is a Christian and who is not. To them I offer 1 John 3:10:
This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
Why would John give us a way to know who the Christians are if we are never supposed to know, if there is no way to tell?
"But you can't see his HEART!"
Jesus said that out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matt 12:34). What someone does has everything to do with where their heart is: our actions are connected to our life in Christ. Now, I don't claim that the 1 John passage is the only way to know--there are other scriptures that help us determine what it means to be a Christian, to claim to follow Christ. But my point here is that we are indeed able (and expected) to discern these things.
First, check out these lyrics. Everyone probably knows this song...what is it saying?
I have spoke with the tongue of angels
I have held the hand of a devil
It was warm in the night
I was cold as a stone
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
But 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...
The writer knows what Jesus did for him, but still hasn't found 'what he's looking for.'
I believe, based on observation and research, that Bono talks some of the talk and doesn't walk the walk. I don't take away anything from his good deeds; that's great. But what does he believe and say?
The following is taken from a Beliefnet interview.
"'I've successfully avoided talking about my faith for 20 years,' he said after we completed this interview, which he did by phone from Ireland."
What Christian avoids talking about his faith? The Bible says to always be prepared to give an answer for the hope you have. The goal of a Christian is to spread the faith, not avoid talking about it.
"During U2's Zooropa tour, you would often call prominent figures by phone from the stage. In London, you were dressed as the devil character you invented, MacPhisto, and, as you tried to call the Archbishop of Canterbury, MacPhisto remarked that religious leaders were some of his closest friends."
[Bono]"It's true. I often wonder if religion is the enemy of God. It's almost like religion is what happens when the Spirit has left the building.
God's Spirit moves through us and the world at a pace that can never be constricted by any one religious paradigm. I love that. You know, it says somewhere in the scriptures that the Spirit moves like a wind--no one knows where it's come from or where it's going. The Spirit is described in the Holy Scriptures as much more anarchic than any established religion credits."
This has an ecumenical, even universalist ring to it. And the Holy Spirit of God is not anarchic--God is a God of order, not chaos or confusion (1 Cor 14:33, James 3:16).
Now it gets even more interesting:
"For all that, U2 has often been seen as a Christian rock band.
We really f--ked that up, though. We really f--ked up our corner of the Christian market. I think carrying moral baggage is very dangerous for an artist. If you have a duty, it's to be true and not cover up the cracks. I love hymns and gospel music, but the idea of turning your music into a tool for evangelism is missing the point.
Here's where things should get very obvious. God commands us in His Word to be pure in our speech. One of the first things I knew, immediately after getting saved, was that the f-word had to go (for me, at the time, that word was used VERY OFTEN). If a baby in Christ knows that, why doesn't Bono? Could it be that he doesn't care about God's commands concerning our speech?
And what about music being used for evangelism? For a follower of Christ, how is that missing the point?
Another interesting statement: "The most powerful idea that's entered the world in the last few thousand years--the idea of grace--is the reason I would like to be a Christian." That's so full of pathos, to me. He would like to be? Why isn't he?
I like the anger of the blues--I think being angry with God is at least a dialogue. You know, [Robert Johnson's] 'Hell Hound on My Trail'--the blues is full of that. And [it runs] right through to Marilyn Manson.
These are big questions. If there is a God, it's serious. And if there isn't a God, it's even more serious. Or is it the other way around? I don't know, but these are the things that, as an artist, are going to cross your mind--as well as "Ode to My New Jaguar." [laughter] The right to be an ass I will hold on to very tightly. I just have to be allowed that."
Marilyn Manson is an avowed Satanist, an actual "clergy" member in the church of Satan. Bono claims to like the anger of the blues, and cites Manson as one of its agents of expression today.
Please do check out the links from Goodfight.org--they do a great job on video of showing Bono's MacPhisto character. In the video, Bono holds up an upside-down cross.
I am just really, really tired of the world mixing with Christianity, and I'm tired of Satan deceiving people into thinking that Bono actually represents a wonderful Christian. If he represents this to you, I urge you to take up your Bible like a Berean and really examine how a Christian is to live and speak. Let's pray for Bono to repent and be saved, but let's not pretend that he is a paragon of Christianity. To do so is to ignore the Word of God itself, and the holiness of life in Jesus.