From time to time I get a comment from a group of enlightened people who feels God has given them the mission to trash and insult U2 and prove that they blaspheme. They even have their Web site to trash them)
I am a pretty open minded guy for a Reformed Christian (lol) I grow up on my faith within the Peruvian chapter of IVCF among many different Christian movements. I, myself always felt close to Presbyterians and Reformed faith and philosophy. Yet in Canada, while I was a student I was kindly hosted by a Fundamental Baptists Church who I dearly loved. Later when I finished school, come to France and joined adulthood, I felt the need f to join the institutional body of Christ so I naturally joined the Evangelical Reformed Church of France.
Why am I telling you all this? Because through out time U2 music has given me companionship on my pilgrims progress. I discovered quite late "The Joshua Three."in 1993 It was my first year in Canada when I finally started to speak and understand a fair English. It was a major discovery on my Christian life. There it was this rock band that wrote about life, faith and Jesus without complex and using a non orthodox Christian language. I loved it!!! I was 22 years old and "I still haven't found " became my prayer. I was already a deeply engaged Christian, I knew Jesus died for me, I knew He had a plan for me, I knew the kingdom will come and all the colors will bleed into one. Yet I was still running, I still hadn't found what I was looking for. These and other songs inspired me through my Christian life full of struggles, contradictions doubts, love, hanger, passion, falls etc.
I have followed each U2 album and I have almost all his albums at home. I like all of them although I do not like all songs.
Many Christians left U2 after Achtum Baby and criticize very much the two techno-Pop albums; "Zoorope" and "Pop". Yet I find in them a smart and a very elegant critique of Post Modern society . If you have these albums you will notice that each one tells a story. They all start with a first song that sets the mood, the following ones evolve in this mood and aim a final song which set a conclusion and a paradox.
So Achtum Baby will start with ZOOstation, where U2 sings a Hymn to human nihilistic optimism " I'm ready!! Ready for the crash! I'm ready… " The album continues with wonderful and brilliant songs that explore nihilistic happyness and goes from happy and ecstatic moods to sad and depressive feelings full of contradictions and paradox. It ends with a confession of human powerless condition "love is blidness I dont wanna see"
Something similar happens in the other two albums who moved from a classic rock style to a electro techno pop rock style. They follow the same pattern filled of contradictions and paradoxes. Not easy to realize at first sight yet spiritual message is evident for bible readers.
Some times I wonder if "Zooropa "and "Pop" were written only for Christians who have really spent time reading and understanding their Bibles. When deconstructing these albums we find biblical truth everywhere.
The world tours that presented these albums where amazing too. Bono performed and showed how evil was rooted in humanity and in post-modern society."Watch more TV!!! Bono would cry in scene while lighted posters would announce "there is no truth" . Nihilistic cyber postmodern society was represented and performed brilliantly by Bono .
"Uncertainty is a guiding star" says one of Bono songs;… and
I feel numb
would answer the Edge song. U2 seemed to ask; "You want post modern relativism?" and his character "Macphisto" and the "Fly"would joyfully answer "..well , just have it baby !!!!!"
Again last songs will hide the answer to absolute relativity .
Zooropa album describes an absolute relative world, everything is nothing, and nothing is for sure. The only truth is that there is no one, and even this is not true. So the first song "Zooropa" starts
(what do you want?)
(what do you want?)
Zooropa...vorsprung durch technik (a step ahead through technology)
Zooropa...be all that you can be
Be a winner
After 9 songs of a pessimistic optimism, when every thing seem so irrelevant and so meaningless, the last song rises a voice of hope. Our good old Johnny Cash (his soul rest in peace) is the Wanderer, a cowboy who wanders on an apocalyptic post nuclear war city sings:
I went out walking
With a bible and a gun
The word of God lay heavy on my heart
I was sure I was the one
Now Jesus, don't you wait up I'll be home soon
In the middle of absolute relativity one voice rises, a very human voice, with the absolute certainty his faith gives him !!
5 years later an even more psicodelic electronic and awesome album "Pop"; U2 seems to surrender to a virtual and relative existence in a society that promises us to keep us all happy!!…. Yet the last song calls us back to reallity "wake up dead man"!!!….. "Jesus Jesus help me I'm alone in this world and Fxxx up world it is"
You see U2 are not prophets, neither tele-évangelists, nor a "happy happy joy joy" Christian group. They are contemporary post modern poets who happen to have a strong faith in Jesus! and they sing what they see, what they feel, what they fear and what they hope, what they pray. And if you are careful enough to read and understand their lyrics you will notice that they know more Bible than you may think.
So before accepting cheap "trashing U2", stop and spend some time to analyse and think for yourself.
Who may have ears to listen.....just listen baby!!!