Bono Versus Osteen

I saw this article a couple of years ago, and I found it again today to use an illustration out of it. Its an excerpt from an interview between Michka Assayas, who is, from what I can tell, a humanist, and Bono of U2.

Bono talks about the difference between karma and grace.

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.”

“But I love the idea of the Sacrificial Lamb. I love the idea that God says: Look, you cretins, there are certain results to the way we are, to selfishness, and there’s a mortality as part of your very sinful nature, and, let’s face it, you’re not living a very good life, are you? There are consequences to actions. 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. That’s the point. It should keep us humbled… . It’s not our own good works that get us through the gates of heaven.”

I’ve heard a lot of Christians claim that Bono is a Christian and a lot claim that he isn’t… but I think he understands the gospel more clearly than most Christians… I read a transcript of Larry King’s interview with Joel Osteen.

“Well, I think, Larry. It’s just an attitude we’ve got to get up and make a decision every single day. I mean, what so many people today do, they focus on what they don’t have instead of what they do have. They focus on what’s wrong instead of what’s right. And I believe that all of us, if we want to, can be happy right where we are. We may not be laughing our heads off but we can get up and say, you know what, I’m in a tough situation, but this is where God has me and I’m going to make the most of it. And I think that that’s where so many of us miss it today. We’re waiting to be happy one day.”

And this is from a video of Osteen that was played during the interview:

“And there’s nothing the enemy would love any more than for you to go around thinking about your faults and weaknesses, all the mistakes you made last week and all the times you messed up last month. No, don’t even go down that road. Quit dwelling on what you’ve done wrong and start dwelling on what you’ve done right. You may not be all you’re supposed to be, but at least you can thank God you’re not what you used to be. And we all make mistakes. But you know what? You need to learn to just be quick to repent. Say God, I’m sorry, forgive me. Help me to do better next time.”

The most popular pastor in America stumbles around and never really says anything about the gospel… the lead singer of one of the best, definitely the most long-lived rock band ever clearly articulates the gospel. Whats going on here?


3 thoughts on “Bono Versus Osteen

  1. I sincerely hope that Joel Osteen is truly a Christian himself. I’m not a “false prophet” accuser; that’s between him and God, but his lack of concentration on the Gospel is incredibly disappointing. He has such an opportunity to truly teach the Gospel, but my exposure to him indicates that he fails to do a good job of that.

  2. I don’t think that it is as much of a “lack of concentration on the Gospel”… there are tons of preachers who need to concentrate on the gospel more… its that he seems to have no comprehension of what the gospel is… he replaces it with a “positive attitude” gospel… thats my problem…

  3. I think Bono has seen a world in need of grace; I think Osteen has seen lots of pomp and high priced cars.

    I don’t know either of them personally, but that’s what I gather.

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