Bono on Grace Over Karma

Last night I went to my first U2 Concert, and it definitely lived up to the hype. Great show. I’ve been thinking a lot about it and plan to post some of the things I learned from the experience here soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share a quote and interview of Bono by Michka Assayas regarding the nature of the gospel and how it’s different from religion (I actually think his description might even be better than using the word “religion”).

Here’s an excerpt:

Bono You see, at the center of all religions is the idea of Karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, or in physics—in physical laws—every action is met by an equal or an opposite one. It’s clear to me that Karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “as you reap, so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good news indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.

Assayas: I’d be interested to hear that.

Bono That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep s—. It doesn’t excuse my mistakes, but I’m holding out for Grace. I’m holding out that Jesus took my sins onto the Cross, because I know who I am, and I hope I don’t have to depend on my own religiosity.

I’d encourage you to read the whole interview where Bono also clearly articulates an argument for the deity of Christ.

HT: Brian Ring

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  1. #1 by Tabatha on October 21, 2009 - 3:42 pm

    Wow, how interesting. Karyn and I went to the concert last night and it was incredible. We were wondering why Bono doesnt talk about Christ like he talks about South Africa. He does a lot of great “work” but I dont often hear him talking about the cross. This article is encouraging to me. I wish that he would use his “star power” to talk about Jesus more openly, who knows who he may “Talk into it” as he said in the article.

    I love many U2 lyrics and songs and to hear them live for the first time was so cool! I kept thinking as I looked around at all the people in the arena that mucisians and athletes are “worshiped” in areas like that all over the world but it will not even hold a candle to how we will worship Christ together in Heaven!

  2. #2 by lukesimmons on October 21, 2009 - 3:45 pm

    Yeah, it’s very interesting how he uses his influence and how there isn’t a lot that he is involved with that he doesn’t oversee or control. He’s an intriguing figure. I agree with your thought on Heaven.

    Any thoughts on why people sing far more passionately at a concert than the people of God do (as a whole) for Jesus on Sundays? That question has been haunting me all day.

    • #3 by Tabatha on October 24, 2009 - 6:58 am

      Maybe because the words are familiar at a rock concert and the music is so loud you cant hear if you are off key. I think people may be embarrassed to sing loud at church because they can’t sing well (pride) , but they may be shouting the words in their heart. It seems like the louder the music is the louder people sing. I think God isn’t impressed with how loud our voices are but how loud we are singing in our heart =)

      • #4 by Bari on October 26, 2009 - 9:51 pm

        I agree with you, Tabatha. My only issue with making the music louder is that it truly hurts my ears and causes me to stop singing because I’m in pain…lol. In my early years, that wasn’t an issue but as I’ve aged, so has my sensitivity to loud noises. I think God is pleased with my singing when my heart is truly in it. And last Sunday, after hearing the message, I was really having trouble singing through “I Will Lift my Eyes”. God knows that my heart was singing wildly, even if my mouth wasn’t open.

  3. #5 by Susan S. on October 26, 2009 - 10:15 pm

    What an awesome interview- I enjoyed it at your link. This part of what Bono said really hit Jeff and me:

    “There’s nothing hippie about my picture of Christ. The Gospels paint a picture of a very demanding, sometimes divisive love, but love it is. I accept the Old Testament as more of an action movie: blood, car chases, evacuations, a lot of special effects, seas dividing, mass murder, adultery. The children of God are running amok, wayward. Maybe that’s why they’re so relatable. But the way we would see it, those of us who are trying to figure out our Christian conundrum, is that the God of the Old Testament is like the journey from stern father to friend. When you’re a child, you need clear directions and some strict rules. But with Christ, we have access in a one-to-one relationship, for, as in the Old Testament, it was more one of worship and awe, a vertical relationship. The New Testament, on the other hand, we look across at a Jesus who looks familiar, horizontal. The combination is what makes the Cross.”

    That’s pretty profound.

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