U2 on Letterman

Steven Koster posted this link at Think Christian under the heading “Magnificent God on Letterman.” He goes on to say (and ask):

I guess I’m surprised first at the explicitness of the religious praise. I’ve known for years that U2 has something of a Christian background, but this regular, full-throated God praise still stands out as highly unusual in the media marketplace.

I’m also surprised at the non-reaction, even acceptance, such music gets in mainstream media. People stand up and dance regardless of what the song is about.  Would people act differently if U2 said this is a song praising God we’re going to play for you?

Rachel and I were in the audience Wednesday night at the Ed Sullivan Theater to hear U2 perform “I’ll Go Crazy If I Don’t Go Crazy Tonight.” While not as much a psalm as Magnificent, this song deals honestly with life in a way that connects with people of faith as well as those without.

While I agree that U2’s praise of God is “hghly unusual in the media marketplace,” it is clear that U2 has earned the right to be heard. There are plenty of arguments about whether or not the band, or its members, are christian.  I don’t think there can be any doubt that the message conveyed in their music, their lyrics, and their work over the past couple of decades has been to further many causes which Jesus would (and did) further.

Perhaps a better question than “is U2 a christian band,” or, “how does U2 get to sing things like that on shows like Letterman,” is “how do people who follow Jesus earn the right to be heard by people who have no desire (and too many for good reason) to hear more God-talk from self-professed Christians?

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5 thoughts on “U2 on Letterman

  1. I will say that the song “Magnificent” (that just randomly played on my ipod, btw) is currently my favorite song to “rock out for Jesus” to right now… Absolutley the best song on the new album, in my opinon…

  2. I go out of my way to talk to people who aren’t quite connected to their faith, or have turned away, or are struggling with doubts. Some of the best response seems to come from listening rather than trying to fix.

    It’s not that I don’t try to help them through whatever they are experiencing. But it does take some earning to get to a place of trust. Part of that is sharing my struggles and the reality of my shortcomings.

    My life currently reflects more of the teachings of Christ than in the past. It’s pretty tough to quantify, but if I look back a year or two, I can feel a difference. If I stretch back 10 years, it’s dramatic, significant, & visible to many who knew me then or before. But still, at times, I’m just a decision or two from debauchery.

    There is a certain danger to being in a place that you can be of use to those who need help.

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