Bono: No Respectability for the Church

September 13, 2004 by

Bono, the lead singer of U2 and the patron saint of culturally aware Christians, has made his views on AIDS and the church clear. He hates the idea of the church being uninvolved in something he sees as right in line with the church’s mission:

“Christ’s example is being demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy, which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here. If it wakes up to what’s really going on in the rest of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn’t, it will be irrelevant.”

He goes on to attack the status quo in the church:

“To some people the church is their ticket to respectability, a certain bourgeois point of view, a safety net for when they go to bed. My idea of Christianity is no safety net, a scathing attack on bourgeois values, and a risk to respectability.”

Clamoring for better church marketing isn’t about respectability, it’s about being authentic and effective. The church has a role to play, whether it’s fighting AIDS in Africa or standing up to genocide in Sudan. In some sense the actions of the church can be our most effective advertising.

Besides, the respectable church is out of touch — none of us are respectable. Even Bono is quick to say as much, countering his high-minded talk about the church with this admission:

“By the way, I don’t set myself up as any kind of Christian. I can’t live up to that. It’s something I aspire to, but I don’t feel comfortable with that badge. It’s the badge I want to wear.”

(Quotes from the Chicago Sun-Times, December 3, 2002)

Post By:

Kevin D. Hendricks

When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998, runs the hyperlocal site West St. Paul Reader, and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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