Films & music, Recommended books

Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma

Bono_on_Bono_Cover“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…

You see, at the centre 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 opposite one.  Its 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 will you 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.

That’s between me and God. But I’d be in big trouble if Karma was going to finally be my judge. I’d be in deep shit. 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.

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….its not our own good works that get through the gates of heaven…

If only we could be a bit more like Him, the world would be transformed.  All I do is get up on the Cross of the Ego; the bad hangover, the bad review. When I look at the Cross of Christ, what I see up there is all my shit and everybody else’s. So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man?  And was He who He said He was, or was he just a religious nut?  And there it is, and that’s the question.  And no one can talk you into it or out of it.”

All text taken from Chapter 11 of Bono on Bono: conversations with Michka Assayas, 2005 (Hodder).  Buy the book.

  • Sign up to receive an email for every new R&R post – see right hand tab 
  • ‘Like’ the R&R facebook page

177 thoughts on “Bono on the difference between Grace and Karma”

  1. “Grace: a thought that changed the world”. That’s the text on my home-made stole, a feature of Anglican personal haberdashery that usually feature fish, rainbows or icons. For me, the words of Bono pretty much sum it up.

  2. In Ireland Bonos home country little is thought of Bonos rantings. He has long been exposed as a fraud with a big ego. He always makes sure that his good works are know about and published on local newspapers, where is God in all this ? Didn’t Jesus say you must do everything in My name to enter the gates of heaven. He also gave us the parable of the rich man and the poor woman, gues who was giving from their heart and not from their wallet, Bono if full of shite and people in Ireland know this, he even freely admitted one time that people wish he would shut up. All Bonos “good works” will I am sure bring all the celebs to his funeral and give him a big send off,—- where does he go then!!!!

    1. But surely Bono is admitting to being full of ‘shite’, so therefore *isn’t* a hypocrite, except in the sense that we all are. I.e. we all have our pretences, and that’s why we need the cross of Jesus Christ, as Bono has said. Isn’t that the whole point? That Bono acknowledges his imperfections and need of grace, rather than boasting of any good works? Isn’t that what we all need to do? I know I do.

      1. I agree. He maybe famous and have an ego(he admitted), but he is acknowledging his need for and trusting in the grace of the cross of Jesus Christ and Christ’s finished work available to all who choose to believe and trust. It’s called Amazing Grace for a reason. Amazing Grace: Undeserved Unmerited Favour.

      1. Bono, is no prophet. I am sure he would tell you that himself. So, not sure what your point is in relationship to that scripture.

    2. In my 32 years of walking with the Lord, I’ve learned to deal with “the church’s” garbage. And unfortunately, your incorrect translation and then application of the scriptures indicates that you are the product of such. Fortunately, for those who have truly trusted Him as your Lord and Savior, there is grace!

      1. Be careful, Steve, to judge another man’s heart. Your last comment can be interpretted as you deciding who is a true believer.

    3. Gerard, Jesus didn’t say …” you must do everything in My name to enter the gates of heaven” … at all. He said that you had to believe on Him.
      John 6:40
      “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

      The parable of the poor woman giving compared to the rich was to demonstrate the attitude one should have when giving to God’s work. It is not evil to be rich as it is God who blesses and gives wealth.
      Ecclesiastes 5:19
      “Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God.

      Bono is doing just what God requires when someone is blessed with wealth – to advance the cause of the poor and defeated in this world.”
      1 Timothy 6:18
      “They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share,”
      Proverbs 19:17
      “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
      It is a misunderstanding to think that Christians shouldn’t be rich and that such abundance is evil. There is a fine balance here between the love of money and doing good with it, and there are many in the world who are exceedingly rich and give nothing of their wealth and time to the poor. I don’t believe that Bono falls into the latter category at all. It is also a misunderstanding to think that we are saved by “good works”, for we are not, instead we are saved by our faith in Jesus Christ.
      Ephesians 2:8-9
      “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
      Romans 10:9
      “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

      I don’t think it is fair to disparage Bono because of the good works he does and question his salvation because he is rich, for we are commanded by God to provide for the needs of others as a demonstration of our faith.
      James 2:18-26
      “18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”

      So I put it to you, Gerard, that your criticism of Bono’s wealth and good works is unjustified as he is being obedient to God in helping the poor and standing up for righteous causes such as raising awareness and response to the crises currently swamping Africa: unpayable debts, the uncontrolled spread of AIDS and unfair trade rules that keep Africans poor. He also champions causes to fight TB and malaria, and lobbies world leaders to give more. He has been a persistent and often-successful lobbyist, persuading Republicans and Democrats, presidents and lawmakers, to provide millions to help end the scourge of AIDS, eliminate poverty in Africa and forgive Third World debt. In 2000, Bono lobbied to get $115 million for debt relief in the foreign operations bill. A year later, there was $435 million. More lobbying resulted in the AIDS initiative of $15 billion over five years and double the U.S. assistance for Africa.

      Bono is only admitting what all of us Christians know, that we are saved only by God’s grace alone, and that we are all sinners, for there is none perfect in this world, except Jesus Christ our Lord.
      Romans 3:23
      “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”
      1 John 1:8-10
      “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

      Why do you hold a higher standard for Bono, than what you hold for yourself? Is it because he has more money than you? The fact that Bono has more money and status than you is between him and God alone. Without doubt, he is doing far more charity work than any other celebrity in such a privileged position and I am humbled by his activism.

      From reading the article, I was left with the impression that Bono is acutely aware of his need of God’s grace in his life as am I, and I don’t do even half of what Bono does on behalf of the poor. What about you? What do you do for the unfortunate in this world? Is it enough and do you think you could do more?

      As for him making sure … “his good works are known about and published in local newspapers,”… Perhaps it is meant to serve as inspiration to the rest of us to get off our bums and do something to help and not sit around moaning about others so much. I know he has inspired me.

      1. @don Even demons believe…if you asked them they would acknowledge Jesus as who he is, It’s about surrender imho….Seems as though Bono is living a life of surrender. I’ll take a brother at his word.

      2. Coralie, I agree with all you said. We should not judge anyone unless we have anything right with GOD ourselves. After that JESUS told us the warn others who are doing wrong. HE said if we did not warn them, HE would hold us accountable for them going to hell. After we warn them it is up to them who they pick to serve and HE will not hold us accountable. Jesus also said by their fruits you will know them. If Bono is using his money for to help others, then I think he is showing good fruits. I had a friend who was very rich, but he only lived on 10% of what he made. He give 90% to help others.

    4. Obviously, you completely missed what Bono was saying. Please re-read the article AFTER you put your prejudices aside. Maybe you could show some grace.

      1. @Penny–maybe I am not understanding the context of your comment– Please forgive me if this is the case. I have to ask how do you know Bono’s not saved?

    5. Good works do not get you through the pearly gates(like Bono stated). Only faith that Jesus is our Saviour who died on the cross for our sins. Bono admits he has done a lot of stupid stuff(who hasn’t). Grace is given in spite of our human mistakes. God knows his heart and will judge accordingly.

    6. Much of what Bono does is through his business and band, U2, and he is the representative for those causes. Not all the members of U2 are Christians which is why U2 doesn’t do. However, he does quite a bit of personal charity that we don’t know much about.

    7. I cannot speak to Bono’s salvation. Only he and God knows that status. However, your position about Bono having issues with deception and ego actually supports his point. Grace is a difficult concept to fathom, especially since it flies, not only in the face of all religions, except Christianity, but because it is the antithesis of our meritocratic upbringings. It appears that you don’t grasp it, either. Only someone who can make the claim that ONLY Jesus could and did pay the penalty for sin (and Bono did) can have salvation. It is about faith alone in Jesus. It says that quite clearly in the Bible. The Word of God is also clear that we are still sinners…it doesn’t go away. And doesn’t the world love to call out Christians for their “less than Christian” behavior. Yes it does.

    8. That is mighty high pedestal you live on! What’s it like to speak for all of Ireland? Must be cold up there.

    9. I believe since he was in the public eye before he was saved, and now still is, that has given him the opportunity to talked about his faith in Christ and the cross. Yes, we are saved by grace, and once we are we should do everything for God’s glory. We should do good works, just as Christ went about doing good for all people. At times what we do can be seen as given glory to ourselves, but if he is given God the glory, that is awesome. There are always people who will misread our actions, that should not keep us from doing good.

    10. I agree. His ranting above sounds like an excuse to continue being a hypocrite, but get into Heaven simply because Jesus forgave his sins before he was born.

    11. Gerard, you have missed the (Grace) point by a thousand miles. Obviously you do not understand Grace AT ALL.. It’s sad, really. For your own sake in this life and especially for your eternity’s sake, please reconsider your view. “Let the one with no sin, throw the first stone”. I hope you’ll allow the Holy Spirit to enlighten your heart and mind.

    12. I do not think that’s what everyone thinks in Ireland im from Ireland! souldnt the only person judging bono is god?? not people! that’s why bono said the things I have don’t is between me and god!!

      1. I do not think that’s what everyone thinks in Ireland im from Ireland! souldnt the only person judging bono is god?? not people! that’s why bono said the things I have don’t is between me and god!!

    13. Yes, Jesus does say all of that. I don’t know Bono personally & have never been to one of his concerts. One thing I DO know is Jesus also said, “Judge not, lest you too be judged.” Just something to keep in mind when bashing someone like this.

    14. Isn’t Bono doing the works in Jesus Name? Bono is His son…Jesus said, “I only do what I see my Father doing.” The fact that he wrote this article is a good indicator of his heart; Bono is doing exactly what he was created to do: impact culture. Grace has given him the power to achieve beyond what he could have imagined. This is God’s will for ALL His children. We are created in His image, after all 😉

  3. I guess Gerrard is accusing Bono of hypocrisy. I seem to remember that Jesus said this of the Pharisees in Mathew 23:3 “Therefore, pay attention to what they tell you and do it. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.” So, does that mean the message is bad?

  4. Its not Bono or anyone lese who is going to0 get you to heaven so why waste time analysing other peoples thought, accept Jesus as your saviour and I will see you there.

    1. Hi Glen – I know what you mean but the ‘doctrine’ of Karma is a belief in judgement according to how you have lived. Judgement of how you have lived lies at the heart of reincarnation and what you will come back as next.

  5. At least he is brave enough to put his beliefs out there.
    Thank God for grace. We can put our mistakes behind us and move on.

  6. Bono when you say that “our sinful nature does not reap the obvious death” it is because the sinful nature of humanity was crucified with Christ so that all can live a new life. Love you man!

  7. To all who are sitting on your perch, or in your foxhole, judging Bono for brave and honest talk, think about what this: Who are you to judge the servant of another? Mercy always triumphs over judgement, which is so easy to do. So, you’re not judging; oh,I see, you’re just critiquing-right!!!!!!!

  8. Grace, it’s a name for a girl…it’s also a thought that can change the world. And when she goes to work, you can hear the strings… Grace makes beauty out of everything

      1. Sigh. Gender Bias. Cringe cringe cringe. Typical. Grace can also be the name for a boy. And I love my family without your permission or instruction…a family of my own choice and definition, unlike yours, I expect.

    1. U2 Lyrics – Grace
      She takes the blame
      She covers the shame
      Removes the stain
      It could be her name

      It’s a name for a girl
      It’s also a thought that changed the world
      And when she walks on the street
      You can hear the strings
      Grace finds goodness in everything

      Grace, she’s got the walk
      Not on a ramp or on chalk
      She’s got the time to talk
      She travels outside of karma
      She travels outside of karma
      When she goes to work
      You can hear her strings
      Grace finds beauty in everything

      Grace, she carries a world on her hips
      No champagne flute for her lips
      No twirls or skips between her fingertips
      She carries a pearl in perfect condition

      What once was hurt
      What once was friction
      What left a mark
      No longer stings
      Because grace makes beauty
      Out of ugly things

      Grace makes beauty out of ugly things

      Music: U2
      Lyrics: Bono
      Synthesizers/programming: Brian Eno
      Additional Guitar: Daniel Lanois
      Produced by: Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno
      Engineered by: Richard Rainey and Alex Haas
      Assisted by: Chris Heaney
      Mixed by: Brian Eno

  9. For those concerned: God loves you. All of you. Judgemental, ironic, sarcastic; those loving and cherishing the artist’s thoughts and belief; those in doubt; those who shouted “Halelujah!” after reading… Be blessed with (t)(H)is true fact. In whatever state of belief, emotion or opinion you are residing, even totally ignoring the other’s point of view or feeling: He loves you. Period. And in Him -Jesus- you ARE and will remain my loved brother and sister, no matter what. Be blessed.
    Btw fyi: I was blessed with Bono’s heart.

  10. Jude 1:4 (NIV)
    For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

      1. Meaning people who say they are Christians, and appear so,come among your congregation or group,and bring ideas myths etc. that are contrary to what the Bible teaches, the Bible talks about being on the look out for them. Test everything by the Holy Spirit.

  11. The Law of Love is Higher than the Law of Cause and Effect. If this is Universal Law the only question is how does one live their life? I try to centre my concsiousness around my heart, speak forth love and look for the perfection in every moment. Easier said than done.

    1. Sigh…
      The teachings of christianity (small c) are racist, misogynistic, homophobic and hateful.

      1. JD I hear ya…hypocrites galore–I being one of them. I encourage you to look at Jesus and not his followers. Peace k

      2. I have looked at Jesus. Im Irish.
        Jesus was a sexist narcissist.
        And besides, it doesn’t matter what Jesus was or wasn’t. He is the source of all Christian zombieism and for that reason any good he brought to the planet in his time has been greatly out shadowed by the ongoing Evil of religion. Its time for people to stop all this blind following of ideology, to think for themselves and to form their own spiritual connection to Creation. Christianity is clouded in Shame and Abuse and has no place in the modern world. We have outgrown religion and religious leaders, dead or otherwise. i don not need to look at Jesus, Kot, dude. I have looked at Jesus and Jesus is LACKING. It takes courage to live your own life, it takes cowardice to subscribe to collective religious ideologies, when history shows that we no longer need them and that they are detrimental to our survival.

      3. @JD: I think Jesus would probably agree with you in regards to religion and ideology… He wasn’t much for them either. I wish you peace–KOT

      4. Jesus was definitely not a sexist but a liberator of women!
        That does sound an awful lot like clique, misconstrued ideas there. For you yourself have ascribed to a particular belief system after having listened to or having read so many types of certain ideas and theories, which does not seem to be in keeping with your point of thinking for yourself. If it was about me I could stay on this topic all day but its not its about him….But really you don’t seem like your heart is full of love??? I pray Jesus meets with you and loves on your heart… I think Martin Luther sums it up best though with this
        ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’
        Martin Luther King, Jr.

      5. How patronising. You think my heart is not full of love, because I don’t subscribe to your view. Very passive aggressive. And very wrong. I pray that YOU meet Jesus and he slaps you across the face for being so stoopid. The problem with you jesus freaks is that you keep shoving it down our throats and we don’t want it. Screw your bible quotes. Jesus is obsolete and so is your brrrain!!

      6. @JD I think you are headed the right way, if you can get over your anger. It’s not that the anger isn’t justified, it’s that *it doesn’t work*. All it does is polarize arguments and make everyone (on both sides) blind to each other. Most people instinctively know that truth is a calm, sane, place. So bitching and hating can’t be the road there, can it? And neither can anyone take up meaningful residence there through guilt or shame. You have to be bright and you have to be there before you can take anyone else there, which means getting over the mess. So stop reacting to it – find a place where it no longer makes you sick. Only then can you deal with it. Peace!

      7. I’m sorry, I didnt mean to sound patronising or passive aggressive. JD Kelleher its not that I perceived your heart not to be full of love because you dont agree with me, not everyone is meant to agree and thats ok, its because you came on here vehemently attacking Jesus and people in general… but I do think there is a reason you are on this page as well…
        Re your comment saying all men are sexist pigs that is clearly not true of all men! I dont know what your dad was like? surely you like him?
        and the apostle argument needs to be looked at in the context of the day, 2000 years ago womens rights were very different… I mean women only just got the freedom to vote the end of the 1800’s, would love if you could reserve your view on this area until you have checked out a few more people/ ideas that you may have not seen..
        Bless you
        p.s I genuinely love Irish people… us kiwi’s rate them x

  12. The ending of karma is important at the threshold of faith. But then perhaps we should move on. There is no life without Christ, so how could karma be relevant any more?

  13. In the beginning many became believers because someone influenced them, either in their actions or their verse. Many on here are acting like a Roman Govenor trying to discredit or cast doubt. Poor is not always a financial status. Sometimes poor refers to ones soul that is without compassion or forgiveness. Grace is a gift of promise and hope. Try to be better and accept the gift!

  14. Coralie Allan and other Bono worshippers, You challeneged me to get off my bum and do something, may I suggest you don;t judge me. The parable of the poor woman and the rich man is a challenge by Jesus to give up all you have , this is something Bono refuses to do. Does Jesus not challenge another rich man who said to jesus ” Jesus I have given my big house and “some” of my wordly goods to the poor, the “claims” he made go on and then asked will I have a place in heaven. Jesus told him to go sell everything he has kept and then come follow me, the man turned his back and walked away. Did jesus not say ” it is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven”. Be very careful here this does not mean that we poparise ourselves to live in Jesus’s good books. He makes it very clear that He will provide all we need “if” we have Faith in Him (not Religion) This i can testify to in my own life. (To detailed to go into here) trust me I do know what I am talking about at a very personal level and I will always proclaim Him as my Lord. Bonos problem is he gives what he thinks will not damage his very affluent lifestyle. Don’t worry about Bono he is a very rich man however you won’t see him riding around on camels.

    1. Love your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and your neighbor as yourself. Thus begs the question is Bono our neighbor? Now I must leave to remove this plank that is embedded in my eye… Peace-k

    2. I really take exception to you calling me a Bono worshipper because I defended him against your accusations, mate. The Devil is the “accuser of the Brethren” and you are doing exactly what he does by accusing Bono of all manner of things. Be careful you are not playing his game. The Brethren overcome the Devil by “the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony”. That’s it. Not on how righteous they are. ie. You believe on Jesus, that His blood has cleansed and saved you, declare that He has risen from the dead and that He is Lord –
      John 12:42
      “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

      From where I sit, I will accept what Bono says about his relationship with Jesus and really, who am I to doubt him? Who are you? I worship Jesus Christ who is God, not Bono. You sound very religious and legalistic to me with a whole list of do’s and don’ts that are supposed to get you into Heaven. I made it pretty clear in my last post that you are saved by faith alone and that this is a free gift from God based entirely on His grace. It is not dependent on how rich you are/nor on how much you give up either. Your examples of the rich people that Jesus talks about are taken out of context and are completely out of balance with the heart of God. If it is so evil to be rich, then why does God bless people with wealth? It is God’s plan that His servants should prosper, not just scrape by as you seem to suggest.
      Psalm 84:11
      “For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favour and honour. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.”
      Psalm 128:2
      “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”
      Psalm 1:1-6
      “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”
      Just from those three verses alone I can see that Bono has received favour, honour, plenty of good things, the work he does is blessed and he eats the fruit of it. In the interview he talks of his need for redemption and the grace of God.
      ” 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.”

      It sounds to me that you are not preaching the Gospel of Christ at all because all of your arguments against Bono, are that he doesn’t give enough and that he is a fraud with a big ego. If our salvation was based upon none of us having big egos, being frauds and not giving enough, then none of us are going to heaven, including you – because what you are advocating is Karma – exactly what the article was comparing Grace to. Karma isn’t Grace and has nothing to do with salvation and the finished work of Christ on the Cross. If you understood this, you wouldn’t be accusing Bono of this and that, but instead be talking about the power of Grace and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives to bring us closer to God.

      Romans 3:20-24
      “For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,”

  15. Bob Geldof gave all he had to the cause of the cause of world poverty Remember ” Everyone who is born is an original but many die as photocopies” I think this is what happened to Bono, he is trying to copy Bob.

    1. I don’t think so flycessnas. I think he believes in himself and I believe he is driven by a desire to be ‘famous’ and a name. By the way Bono is a neckname he gave himself yet another example of self promotion and self importance. I wonder how many Bono worshippers on this site would know his proper name (without googling). He is gone so far in his disillusionment that he actually believes in his own importance. But to be fair top marks to his wife Ali. Ali does a lot more work for charity and the under-priveleged and you would NEVER hear a word about it and she is very humble about it

      1. Bono is an artist. As an artist, he has to wear the hat of a businessman in order to do well financially. Not using your birth name as your performing name/artist name has absolutely nothing to do with his heart. Bono is the part of the product he sells. It’s as simple as that. Also, we can like artists without being “worshippers” of them.

        I guess, I don’t need to defend anyone here. It really is just sad and actually disappointing to see a fellow believer cut down and be cynical of someone, whether a believer or not. All I see is negative, negative, negative, negative in your words about Bono. Examples:
        “don’t, believes in himself, driven to be famous, self promotion, self importance, Bono worshippers, his disillusionment, believe in his own importance”.

        Gerard, you likely have good intentions. Maybe you’re trying to expose someone you feel is “bad” or “deceptive”. I only hear you condemning and judging someone who is making a positive difference in the world and who is saying that the Grace of Jesus trumps Karma. He is promoting the good news of Christ. Maybe not up to your standard though, but from the understand he has at this point. I just do not see the benefit that this condemnation brings to anyone. Is there a benefit?

        Perhaps you judge yourself with the same criticism. Do you know Bono’s heart? Likely you don’t know him personally at all. It’s not your place to criticize his giving and judge him for not living with less than he does. That’s God’s role. If you’re a believer then your best use of your efforts would be to pray for Bono that he would grow in his understanding and his relationship with Jesus, to bless Bono, and to pray God’s will over his life. Only God knows Bono’s heart, what Bono needs to learn, and God’s will for Bono. You don’t, brother.

        You and I are not in Bono’s shoes. We are not responsible for Bono and his actions. However, you are responsible and accountable for your actions as am I with mine. We have all missed the boat and non of us hit the target spot on.

        I encourage you to use your understanding of the Word and of God’s love for you to love God with all you have and to love Bono and all us neighbours of yours as Jesus loves the sinners saved by grace. We’re all at different places and stages in our journey of life… Please remember mercy and grace are vehicles to extend the truth of God’s Word.

        May God’s unmerited and undeserved favour be upon you, Bono, and everyone’s life, Gerard. We don’t deserve it.

      2. Thanks for the comment Shane. It seems that the very nature of internet discussions lean towards the negative so I am not surprised at people’s sniping comments which are inevitable when someone is so famous and something is shared so widely. I am glad that I did not offer any commentary on what Bono said -I personally like U2’s music but I actually do not want to get into a debate to judge the man himself. As you say (and he says) that is between him and God. The key thing is not to worship or adore Bono – he is a flawed person (as he says himself) like we all are – but we can appreciate and be inspired by the passion and clarity with which he articulates Christian truth.

      3. Paul Hewson. Any U2 fan would know that. I am staying out of the rest of the debate. I choose not to judge. I know where I stand and that’s all that counts to me.

      4. I can’t understand why you are doing such a character assassination on this celebrity. I do not personally know of him, I live in my own world. You are not in his head, so how do you know what he is thinking, or his motives. Unless you are Bono and walked in his shoes you do not know, neither do I for that matter. If one does not choose to take on a positive perspective that is up to you. God Bless you.That is, God has given us all free will. That is Love to allow us to choose our own path.n This path being one of perspective. The path has consequences. I hope for you sake that you have the consequence finally of peace. You seem to need it, in this matter. When something gets me so riled, I often have to look at what in the other person is really something shown up in myself that is wanting…that perhaps is required, that perhaps effects ones own identity. Some say that a criticism is really a self complimenting for the critic and has more to do with the critic than the criticized. On an intuitive basis your conversation seems to scream that you feel unacknowledged for your good works. It is not important that others see these, because God misses nothing. It is really only between you and God, what you think about Bono and his motives. Truth being that I pray peace be with you and praise God that you exist and that you have put your point of view across so that others can reaffirm their perspectives and show their true caring about you, in trying to energetically engage you in their perspective. That is Grace, God and Jesus choose to understand and acknowledge our perspective as valid to us, in our shoes. God understands Bono and he understands you too. God bless.

  16. Seems Bono can do no wrong by christians as long as he waffles on about Jesus and grace. Remember that this is the man who filters most of his money through tax havens so he doesn’t help the poor and destitute in his own country. There is more to charity and goodness than self-serving statements and grand gestures

    1. Hi Adam- Do you know him? You may ask if I do–(which is a fair question) and my answer is no.. I choose to error on the side of believing the best in people.

  17. To accept life just as it is is to accept God.
    The desire to change circumstances is human and God accepts that about us.

  18. Reblogged this on HER NAME IS GRACE and commented:
    “…along comes this idea called Grace to upend all that “As you reap, so will you 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.”

  19. Dear Bono,
    Those who new Jesus and become his servants, had a supernatural experience with him.
    Apostle Paul sais:
    “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer”. (II Corinthians 5:16 NKJV)
    Now, there’s this chance to met Jesus Christ in a heavenly way, will I have to stop in front of his humanity?
    About him his servants say:
    “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ”. (I John 1:1-3 NKJV)
    Need a revelation to meet Christ in his nature, and when this happens IT’S MADE!
    On the cross, if you meet Christ, you die and you old nature his giving access to the King of Kings, you born again and have contact with the Father.
    It’s not you who discovered God, is him who wants to meet you.
    As In the book of Romans it’s written:
    “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the SpiriFor the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit”. (Romans 8:2, 4 NKJV)
    In You God will complish the law of his Spirit

  20. For by grace (unmerited favor) you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast….Ephesians 2:8 & 9

  21. Sigh…Was good, but knew I shouldn’t have wasted time skimming through the comments section. So disappointing. Argue argue…scripture scripture….judge judge…argue argue.
    *cringe cringe cringe cringe*
    Arguments are useless people. Useless. Let it die. Close the screen and go out and love your families instead.

    1. I to loved the article, then it saddens me so, to read all this fighting and bickering. Think I will take your advice and close this screen, perhaps after reading Bono’s thoughts once more so I leave with my heart in a happier place.

  22. Isn’t it possible that Bono is thinking more about his own mortality as we all do as we age. Some don’t get the chance to reach an age where it begins to seem more important. Just trying to focus on the good in this and what seems sincere.

    1. We all contemplate our mortality. What is more possible is that poor auld Bono is as brain-washed, as psychologically abused and as zombefied as any Irish catholic. And he has gone from the frying pan into the fire.

      1. i have been accusing others for years of things that i find wrong with them, and since coming to know God and seeing Him answer my questions i have been humbled by the very clear and evident fact that the things was accusing others of i was guilty of myself. it has been so hard for me to let Him speak to me because i tend to push the people away that He is trying to use to speak me , but with gentleness He has been able to reach me, thank you Lord for seeing past my extreme rebellion over the many years.

  23. If there is something else out there let’s just focusing on looking for it. As a scientist I would say that we should let the science do its job and stop believing anyone’s random interpretation of events that happened (or not) 2000 years ago with facts that have had their accuracy most likely been altered… Coming from a western European, form the so-called old continent that has since moved away from all the religion non-sense (I said western europe). Progress is on the way, it just seems to take much longer to get to this continent… If it helps some of us to balance their life it’s a great thing. If you preach it to me as the truth we’ll have to talk. I like Bono’s idea about karma, but it stops right there. Grace is a human made concept. And which to choose within the 2 major religion in the world, is one the truth and the other one not?

  24. Way to go, Bono!!! I know seminary graduates and serving clergy who can’t express, acknowledge, and live with that difference. Sadly, they also don’t want to address the ultimate question, “Who is this man?” that each of us must individually ultimately wrestle with–not just once but several time a day.

  25. Reblogged this on Navigating by Faith and commented:
    Just yesterday a professing Christian brought up the subject of Karma. I thought it odd, but I think Bono hits it on the head. Karma does exist, but Grace trumps it. Karma is not just an Eastern religion thing. The Bible describes it as an “eye for an eye”. God is a just God, but He desires mercy over justice! He gives it freely if we will take it.

    1. A better place that’s for sure. One’s grace is seen as good – but god’s grace is unseen. Any claim that god has a plan, desire or love for humans over squid (he protects all living forms the same…we are not ourselves in death. Thank god. Free from forms, and our awareness of being, in eternity is a great deal. No hurt. No nothing. A good deal since heaven is now and us never were in hell.

  26. My good will never be good enough. Thank you, Jesus, that You gave Your all, and Your all is perfect.

    Someday, I’ll be in Heaven with Jesus and Bono… because I am redeemed.

  27. Reblogged this on Stephen C. James and commented:
    “So I ask myself a question a lot of people have asked: Who is this man [Jesus]? And was he who He said He was, or was he just a religious nut? And there it is, and that’s the question. And no no one can talk you into it or out of it.”

      Christmas is the time we celebrate the birth of the CHRIST, Jesus of Nazareth who lived in Israel. The nation of Israel had been looking for their Messiah, the one who would save them from their troubles. For many years, God had been promising to send Him. But, sad to say, when Jesus came, His own people turned their back on Him.
      Jesus, who was born in a barn, yet His birth caused the Angels in Heaven to rejoice and spread the word to men on earth. They sang “Glory to God in the Highest; ON Earth Peace to all men.” The angels knew Jesus before He came to earth as a little baby, because He was the brightness of Heaven, the creator of the world, who came to earth as a human being to take people out of the mess that the devil had made of the world. Kings and wise men from the East saw His star rising and they knew the prophecies which told of the coming of the SAVIOR KING, and they came from 500 miles away to worship this savior. But, the people of Israel mostly rejected Him.
      Therefore, God called men like Paul to take the Glorious Gospel to everyone! This is good news which takes people out of satan’s kingdom and places them into the Kingdom of the Most High God and God gives them the benefits of being a King’s Kid when they accept the Leadership and Lordship of their King Jesus. It is wonderful to live in the awesome LOVE of our Lord Jesus Christ. He has provided every good and perfect gift for those who Love him and accept him as their Lord, and walk in His ways.
      Give Glory to God. The Savior is born. He Rules on High.

    1. Frank you hit it right on the head, I follow Jesus not Masonic Bono ” For such are false profits, and deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. and no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light”

  28. this is just another form of exceptionalism or the ego acting out. Karma can be cleaned and improved by actually doing something to improve the situation your actions created. you don’t need an imaginary friend on a cross or another one in the sky to do your job. You need to accept the ripples caused by the stone you threw and then do something about them.

  29. One who believes in Jesus (holds the belief that Jesus is lord and savior) but does not practice his message of love is spiritually adrift. Jesus shows us (not saves us) by his perfected example; spirit transcending form (by acts). A parent willingly suffers and labors for their child but a true parent sacrifices themselves (love’s ultimate act) to save a child’s life.
    Be in his spirit – do acts of god’s love – praise or prey to god not in the sight of other men.
    All, as from god eternal, is love.
    You have to love and acts of love call for suffering, not giving – not believing, only than can spirit defeat the body.
    Thank you for reading.

  30. I find it interesting that so many of you have such a strong opinion against Bono’s concept of Grace. Most likely you also have problems with something called Mercy, but for the grace of God where would we all be?
    His Mercy is what brought us to a saving knowledge and something called pride is far more questionable that the concept of grace, for as my bible reads God hates Pride!
    I have lived in this life and I have reaped most of what I have sown,but better yet, I have grown from those experiences not felt them as judgement . I found the error of my ways and kept my eyes on the cross not looking at those walking along side me or looking behind me.The Word clearly states that God saves to the uttermost, How can you, as believers underestimate the goodness, grace and mercy of God? I would suggest that maybe Mr Bono knows him better than some of you . Maybe your problem is more a question of your tradition and perception as opposed to the actual character of God, which is love and Love Never Fails. ❤

    1. Goodness and mercy of God? The beauty is GOD as one’s unadulterated (no phony dogma, beliefs, untruths) consciousness… no different from man or animal, timeless and nothing in spirit separates us from our creator. Man uses words (symbols) to describe what he does not know….god is beyond knowing – man has to know himself first before giving god a job description like moral flypaper. If God is love, than any concept of God holding opinions as to who deserves mercy or why it should matter is anathema to the full universal creation (whereas all and everything must come to pass….not just good happy love – equal measures of jealous passive love. Love is love – like water. Love works equally, love does not pick hearts to invade or bless. Love compels men to commit acts, acts one sees as righteous but another sees as evil. God does not judge – he created us in his image for us to do as we like. Love is like the sun, it shines on flowers and crap without discrimination. The ‘love’ of money is as real as the love for one’s sibling or love of music…but, love does not fail, for it is not defined, always present, incorruptible,…perfected with no comparisons…no stepping stones…no preliminary stages. Just love, more love, less love….what you think does not matter. What you feel affects everything.
      Does it not?

      PS…no karma but for those lost in shadows and letters.

    1. imho Bono was not actually talking about Karma specifically, but rather using it as a word to represent a set of beliefs where you have to be good to receive good things. I don’t claim to know much about Karma, but to my understanding it works as an incentive to be the best you can be and make up for your past wrongdoings, and I have no argument against striving to improve oneself. Heavenly Grace, on the other hand, means that we believe in a loving God who is forgiving and accepts all people, regardless of what past crimes or mistakes they may have made. To my understanding, Bono is simply making the point that it is a wonderful thing that when we do bad things, God won’t bring bad things back upon us in eternity; all he asks is that we accept this gift of forgiveness.

      1. We always do bad things thinking its the right thing – and in reverse do what we think is good but learn later was bad. Nothing in god’s creation can be out of place or wrong. The world was created perfect – but man corrupts it not knowing himself in it.

  31. GRACE>>GOD’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. If not for the death of Christ Grace could not abound for all.

  32. Pingback: Grace and Karma
  33. Err… it’s a shame Bono can’t pay his tax fair and square. Can you ever trust a person who steals money from the poor?

  34. Jesus is my Lord and Saviour, we all put HIM on the cross, but today as I look at the cross I see the Love beyond all understanding. HE is who HE says HE is and we cannot get to the FATHER except through the SON. We can do nothing without HIM, those who think they can will find out when HE returns who HE really is and will cry out in grief but those who know them as their personal Saviour will cry out in joy of HIS coming. Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega. This I know and this is what I stand on! Bono open the WORD and learn who Jesus Christ is, you will see HIM in every book of the Bible and HE is the only God who defied death in the grave.

  35. I’ve known Bono was a Christian since I first heard his music decades ago. I knew he was a Christian before I knew I was a Christian. The Spirit of God is there. Yet there are many in the church who criticize Bono for his apparent refusal to take a firm and clear stand for the Good News of Jesus Christ.

    It bothers me as an artist and a Christian when my beloved brothers and sisters exhibit a need to be spoon-fed neat spirituality in bite-sized, single-wrapped chunks. Jesus didn’t teach that way. Paul didn’t either. Go and read Paul’s address to the philosophers of Athens at the Areopagus. How many times does he use the Name?

    U2 is so amazing for the very reason that their songs don’t say the name of Jesus.

    They shout it out.

    Take for instance this classic:

    “I believe in the Kingdom come
    Then all the colors will bleed into One
    Bleed into One
    Well yes I’m still running!’

    You broke the bonds and You
    Loosed the chains
    Carried the cross and
    All my shame, All my shame!
    You know I believe it.

    -I still haven’t found what I’m looking for.”

    Someone might say, “yeah, but see! he still hasn’t found what he’s looking for.” I would reply that that person doesn’t know what it means to have Christ and yet still need Him desperately, to experience the Now and the Not Yet simultaneously. This is the experience and life blood of artists through history seeking to live out their faith in the public eye.

    Not only that, but Jesus said “You shall know them by their fruits.” What fruits will God be looking for in the end? Church attendance? No, helping the poor, visiting the sick and imprisoned, caring for widows and orphans, forgiveness of one’s enemies for the sake of Christ. These are the evidences of true faith. Bono is a champion in these arenas on an international level.

    “I was there when they crucified my Lord
    I held the scabbard when the soldier drew his sword.
    I threw the dice when they pierced his side
    But I’ve seen love conquer the great divide.”

    -When Love Comes to Town

    The Apostle Paul could have written as much.

    Millions have heard the music of U2. Millions of people whom the Gospel according to J Vernon McGee would never have reached. Millions of seeds were planted by U2’s music and lyrics. And millions of people experienced a level of worship that is seldom seen behind stained glass on the brightest Sunday morning.

    Speaking of opportunities, here is a man with a platform in the culture that is nearly unrivaled in its visibility to the unchurched, unsaved, disillusioned, agnostic, atheistic, confused and oppressed masses and he just used it to give one of the most succinct and penetrating presentations of the Gospel I have ever read. And should we criticize him for his past choices, artistic and otherwise?

    I wonder how many of us would stand under the white-hot scrutiny of our own pharisaical standards if our lives were broadcast in every continent from our teens to our death.

    More than that, I wonder how many of us would still be proclaiming the Gospel after years of repeatedly being rejected and condemned by the Church of the Savior we love. One top of that, I have read much of what Bono has had to say over the years and I have never heard a cross word about the Church once.

    I think a rebuke would be better placed in the Contemporary Christian Music arena, where the great Name of Christ is named in every song but too often scarcely visible in the life.

    I don’t know everything about Bono, and I don’t agree with everything I do know about him, but the part that’s out there for everyone to see is a great example in this world full of power brokers, money lovers, self-worshipers and armchair warriors.

    Bono could have made any music he wanted to, sang of any subject in the world, made a zillion dollars and lived out his days in the lap of luxury, never lifting a finger to help another soul. But he chose to sing of and live within the struggle of faith. Faith in Christ. A struggle and faith he continues to proclaim.

    Perhaps if he would have waited until he had all the answers lined up in a neat row he could have joined the ranks of the mediocre rank and file Christians who use their life up and ultimately do nothing, say nothing and are nothing for the Kingdom of our God.

    The assertion that Bono somehow missed an opportunity to shine the light of Christ in the world confirms the laziness and two-dimensionality that sadly characterizes the church in the eyes of the world.

    It’s like handing Gospel tracts to the bloody soldiers of God’s own army as they stumble wounded from the front lines, criticizing them for not taking a firm stand.

    Faith and life are not neat, and answers are hard to come by. Questions often produce questions and the seeker has to make peace with unknowing. This is what faith is. The tidying up of all the loose ends is the Lord’s job alone. He will sort it all out in the end. In the meantime, God has servants everywhere, and the saint and sinner are two sides of the same redeemed coin in the Kingdom of Christ.

    Rock on till the Kingdom comes, Bono.

  36. I just love how Christians rip each other to shreds. It’s no wonder why so many stained glass windows are being boarded up. Jesus said the world would know that we belong to Him by how we love each other. Epic fail.

  37. I think its appropriate to make Dan’s comment the last one on the thread. I completely agree with him that the way some Christians slate each other with such venom on the internet is one of the saddest things to witness and its all the more ironic when discussing grace.

    So thanks to all who gave thoughtful comments and the re-blogs but lets stop them there and go out and try and put this grace into practice.

Comments are closed.