Going Mano a Mano (metaphorically) with Bono
I saw a link to a Washington Post story about Bono, and the link was titled “Get Real“. Below the link I saw a description saying that was Bono’s message to Christians…to “get real”. So, I clicked the link and read a short article. I wasn’t a Bono fan, and the article only helped cement my opinion of him. That’s why the title of this article of mine is called “Going mano a mano with Bono”. For those of you not familiar with that expression, it’s based on the Spanish interpretation which literally means “hand to hand”…as in combat. This, of course, is not my attempt to call Bono out for a little put-up-your-dukes. Instead I’d just like Christians to see him for who he really is. And that ain’t a trust-in-Jesus-as-the-only-way-to-eternal-life Christian. Watch this video, and I’ll share some more with you below…
Bono believes he knows how God wants Christians songwriters to write. Bono is wrong. Look and listen closely, and you’ll see a man deeply entrenched in the human experience. So deeply, in fact, that he can never stray far from those things which God does not hold in high esteem.
On one level, I do agree with Bono. So much of the so-called “Contemporary Christian” music is merely sugary sweet pop music. Mantra music about feelings and earthly experiences. Many songs could be played on a top 40 station, and the listener could easily mistake them for just another love song. I agree that Christian music could be more real. But I don’t agree with Bono’s idea of what “real” is. Just because he thinks it has to be about gritty things doesn’t make it so. He lifts up King David as real. In David’s Psalms you can see a lot of emotion…and not just positive thinking. But when you read the Psalms through, you’ll notice David always comes back to the positive reinforcement of God’s enduring love. Yes…love.
And why does Bono single out Christian songwriters in his suspicion? Why didn’t he mention his suspicion of all the other genres out there who either hate or ignore God outright? Why didn’t he take them to task? Why are lyrics to some of his own songs completely upside down to God? How real is that? So, here’s where I go mano a mano with Bono.
I’d like to share some of my lyrics, and you tell me if they’re real or not…
Do you want to change the way
Public servants act today…Say Yeah! Say Yeah!
How many laws have to be passed
Before we’re obscured in the shadows they cast
And how many plans must we invent
Before we can step beyond mere intent (from “Say Yeah” in my “Do Right” collection)
Or how about this excerpt of lyrics from “Cliché”?
We lend our money to so many nations, and
Still we struggle to pay off our own debts.
We hope for world peace and ending the hunger,
But will we ever do what no one has done yet?
We train ourselves and prepare for the future, but
Each day the future takes on a new look.
We might do better to look inside our own hearts, and
We might discover it’s not in some law book!
Is it just melodrama for me to feel this way?
I wonder…is it just me…or does it all sound so cliché?
Does it sound that way…so cliché?
I hope you’ll take this in the spirit it’s given, Bono. I’m taking issue with your claims…in the name of love. I love you enough to tell you how wrong you are. Millions of adoring fans do not love you like that. I hope my metaphorical mano a mano taps you into a realization of who Jesus truly is. Possibly you’ll never see or hear this, but there are plenty of others who would be willing to tell you the truth, too. Are you willing to listen?
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