Friday, February 03, 2006

Leather cloth

I've just read that Bono has avoided organised religion for most of his life. He is not as he says, a man of the cloth unless that cloth is leather. There has always been speculation about Bon and his faith. U2's music is full of biblical allusions, but then so (apparently) is that of Nick Cave. He probably reads his bible more often than many Christians (me included?!) and even was invited to write an introduction to Mark's gospel in a series of introductions to biblical books in the King James Version (KJV), now found together in the book Revelations, which I have reviewed for Zadok Perspectives.

He calls for people of faith to "you see the flow of effective foreign assistance as tithing, which to be truly meaningful will mean an additional one per cent of the federal budget tithed to the poor" (Reuters). Yet what I find kind of disturbing is his disassociation with "organised religion". Most things in life are organised (perhaps unless you are an anarchist, but even they have collectives, or severely mentally disturbed, in which case life is incoherent). It is true that the ecclesiatical structure of many denominations is a far cry from the people that Jesus called to band together. However, as far as I read the New Testament (NT), Jesus was calling together a people, a city on a hill or an alternate polis as friend and scholar Gordon Preece would say. Cities are organised. To be Christian is to be a part of something. If Bono wants to live a do it alone faith, then he is cutting himself off from strength, support, vitality. I hope that his leather is a cloth, but that he serves God and not his messianic complex. Serving God is always done in the company of others.

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