The Spirit Rocks - Bono on God

Thomas

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I picked this post from another forum, as it's self-contained and self-explanatory, I thought I'd post it here ...

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The interviewer, Mr. Assayas, begins by asking Bono, Doesn't he think "appalling things" happen when people become religious? Bono counters, "It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma."

The interviewer asks, What's that? "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," explains Bono. "And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that. . . . 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."

The interviewer asks, Like what? "That's between me and God. But I'd be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge," says Bono. "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."

Then the interviewer marvels, "The Son of God who takes away the sins of the world. I wish I could believe in that."

"The point of the death of Christ is that Christ took on the sins of the world, so that what we put out did not come back to us, and that our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death," replies Bono. "It's not our own good works that get us through the gates of Heaven."

The interviewer marvels some more: "That's a great idea, no denying it. Such great hope is wonderful, even though it's close to lunacy, in my view. Christ has His rank among the world's great thinkers. But Son of God, isn't that farfetched?"

Bono comes back, "Look, the secular response to the Christ story always goes like this: He was a great prophet, obviously a very interesting guy, had a lot to say along the lines of other great prophets, be they Elijah, Muhammad, Buddha, or Confucius. But actually Christ doesn't allow you that. He doesn't let you off that hook. Christ says, No. I'm not saying I'm a teacher, don't call me teacher. I'm not saying I'm a prophet. I'm saying: 'I'm the Messiah.' I'm saying: 'I am God incarnate.' . . . So what you're left with is either Christ was who He said He was—the Messiah—or a complete nutcase. . . . The idea that the entire course of civilization for over half of the globe could have its fate changed and turned upside-down by a nutcase, for me that's farfetched."

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Thomas
 
The interviewer, Mr. Assayas, begins by asking Bono, Doesn't he think "appalling things" happen when people become religious? Bono counters, "It's a mind-blowing concept that the God who created the Universe might be looking for company, a real relationship with people, but the thing that keeps me on my knees is the difference between Grace and Karma."

The interviewer asks, What's that? "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," explains Bono. "And yet, along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that. . . . 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."
This brings to mind Matthew 6:14-15 :)
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
 
Hi Seattlegal -

Thanks for that - I too picked up on the aspect of grace/karma in the simplicity of its expression, and this is a point which comes home to me with stark clarity as we're faced with the current escalating situation in the Middle East.

Unless we actually try to do something, which not only involves both parties in a dialogue but which involves an olive branch, an apology and a forgiveness, then karma will have its way with the inevitable tragic consequences.

But it is possible for man to say "I apologise" or "I forgive" and in so doing significantly alter karmic outcome going forward.

What man cannot do is undo the past, only God can, by relieving man of the karmic burden of his actions.

Is this why reincarnation is not a doctrine within Christianity (as the New Age would have it) - because the Doctrine of Grace supercedes the Doctrine of Karma?

It also occurs that without the aspect of Grace, and Divine Mercy, Christianity is then the toughest of all spiritual disciples, it's a one-chance-only shot at the highest goal (deification) whereas the reincarnationists say 'that's OK, get it wrong and you get another go.'

Thomas
 
But it is possible for man to say "I apologise" or "I forgive" and in so doing significantly alter karmic outcome going forward.

What man cannot do is undo the past, only God can, by relieving man of the karmic burden of his actions.

Is this why reincarnation is not a doctrine within Christianity (as the New Age would have it) - because the Doctrine of Grace supercedes the Doctrine of Karma?

It also occurs that without the aspect of Grace, and Divine Mercy, Christianity is then the toughest of all spiritual disciples, it's a one-chance-only shot at the highest goal (deification) whereas the reincarnationists say 'that's OK, get it wrong and you get another go.'
Yep. There is the aspect of "sinning against the Spirit" in Christianity to deal with...
Mark 3 said:
28 “Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; 29 but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation”— 30 because they said, “He has an unclean spirit.”
 
Thomas,

Is it possible to find the source of this interview? i would like very well to read the whole interview. I have no idea who Mr. Assayas is or the atmosphere surrounding the interview. I know Bono and the rest of the band have strong Christian roots, but this is the first time I've really heard Bono speak out so with conviction. I have been following his quest for ending world hunger and I find myself desiring to do much in the same manner. In the past, I had been content to just try to witness to people about Christ, but I lately I been thinking that we need to feed people more than just the spiritual message. Jesus feed and healed people everywhere he went. His compassion for people was shone in his actions more so than His words. His actions gave validity to His words, which gave His words authority.

It's nice to see someone like Bono with the same conviction. I feel in my heart the need to do more that just be a mouthpiece. I need to serve others as well as save them. Love in action speaks volumes.
 
Hi Seattlegal -

Thank you, that gives me some ideas to investigate.

Hi Dondi -

I did have a brief look, but couldn't find the source, so didn't attribute anyone specifically. I've had a further look round since:
http://21stcenturyreformation.blogspot.com/2005/12/bono-in-conversation-with-michka.html

There's another extract, which seems to cross lines with the above, at:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/music/interviews/2005/bono-0805.html

They're taken from:
Bono: In Conversation with Michka Assayas
Published by Riverhead Books, a Penguin Imprint.
 
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