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Hey Bono: WAR

October 19, 2009

We went to see U2 in concert Sunday night in Norman, Oklahoma. I have always loved U2 music and so my wife and I decided to take the plunge and see them in concert. It was a great show and while there are always songs you wished they had performed, all in all it was worth it. With that said I think Bono is a little misguided in some areas and since we didn’t get a chance to talk to him, I thought I would place that information here.

Bono sounds in many ways just like Shane Claiborne and Chris Haw in the book Jesus for President. There seems to be this notion that ending war as we know it should be the mission of believers around the world. While I hate war and what it brings I don’t understand the idea that this should be the mission of Christians or that this attempt will make the world a better place.

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Christ, and will deceive many. You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Matthew 24:4-6

I guess I can tell Bono that he will fail in his efforts to rid the world of wars. I can actually tell him that not only will there be wars there will even be a lot of talk about more wars. Jesus seemed to think that the idea of wars shouldn’t alarm us. He even says that “such things must happen.”

Why take on a cause or effort that in the end is pointless? I’m not saying support wars or pray for them. I believe that is equally wrong and misguided. No, I’m simply saying that to focus as Christians on stopping wars is to focus on the wrong thing.

The beauty of the Christian faith is that it works anywhere. Loving your neighbor doesn’t depend on a world without war. Loving your neighbor comes in good times and bad, times of peace and conflict. The beauty of God’s Kingdom is that it functions no matter what the situation. I just see a very misguided mission when people like Bono talk about ending war in the world.

It also misses the fact that the world we live in is broken and will always be broken until Jesus returns. Jesus is the salvation of the world, not you and I getting together deciding we don’t like war and spending the rest of our life in protest.

The reality is some times war is needed. Peter tells those earlier followers that God sent governments to punish those who do evil (1 Peter 2:14). Surely no one contends that they carried out this punishment without some form of power and force?

Certainly nonviolent protests can be effective but you will notice that the only times they have are in places that have a Judeo-Christian ethos. So it worked for Gandhi because he was protesting against the British Empire shaped by a Christian ethic. It worked for Martin Luther King Jr. for the same reason.

It did not work against Hitler and there are many places around the world where it hasn’t because there rulers have not been influenced by the Christian faith. They simply kill the person and move on. The reason you have not heard of them is because they were dead before their nonviolent protest ever got off the ground.

No, Jesus Christ is the answer to war. War simply gives His body the opportunity to be his hands and feet. In war torn areas it should be the church binding up the brokenhearted. It should be the church sharing the good news that Jesus Christ is the answer. I’m just not sure how people wearing paper masks of the imprisoned dissident Aung San Suu Kyi does any real good for the world. In fact I think it can be harmful becuse the people with the paper masks may actually leave thinking they have accomplished something with their efforts.

Do we really think that the imprisoned Paul would sit around hoping someone somewhere was wearing a paper mask for him….

3 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2009 9:30 pm

    I really enjoyed the concert. I don’t usually go to them looking for what is wrong. Glad I didn’t sit by you. 😉

    I guess the good done by the paper masks is that there are still a lot of very young people at their concerts, some of them may for the first time wake up to the injustices around the world.

  2. October 20, 2009 1:44 am

    Funny. I certainly wasn’t there looking for anything wrong. I just found a couple of things unfortunate.

    I enjoyed the concert as well. I hear you about the injustices but most probably won’t have to travel around the globe and my concern is they may actually think a paper mask is a great response that shows one cares instead of actually working to do justice where they are.

    I know, just enjoy the show…

  3. October 20, 2009 2:27 pm

    I’m jealous! 🙂
    I am the hugest u2 fan. Always have since the beginning.
    I went to see U2 in San Antonio a couple years ago and they are incredible live. It was a big sing-along.
    I am glad you got to go to the show brother.
    Thanks for this great post and hope you have a wonderful day! 🙂

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