Bono1For the fifth year in a row CCC is hosting a site for the Leadership Summit.  Every year the Willow Creek Association does the a great job of bringing in the best of the best on the topic of leadership.  And one of the highlights of this year was an interview with Bono of U2.  If I still have heroes I think Bono is one of them.  I’ve seen U2 in concert three times and each time it was like a worship experience and Bono was the worship leader.  He is absolutely the most engaging and charismatic performer I have ever seen.  Crowds of thousands literally hang on his every word and gesture.  It’s an amazing gift.  Perhaps even more amazing than his concert performance was his interview with Bill Hybels that covered everything from celebrity to Jesus to Africa and more.  The following are just a few of the quotes from the interview (I was typing as fast as I could so they are probably 95% accurate).  If you saw the interview or are moved by any of the following I would love to hear your comments.  I now give you Bono…

  • “The most rewarding part of this past year?  Selfishly, it is to wake up with a melody in my head and heart.  But beyond my music it is the work we are doing with the ONE campaign.”
  • “I never had a problem with Christ…it was Christians that gave me problems…they seemed completely disinterested culturally and politically…they seemed very strange to me.”
  • “The world works on the principle of Karma; what you put out comes back to you…but then enters the story of grace in the person of Christ and it turned the world on it’s head.”
  • “Duality is the mark of really great art and it’s what is missing in Christian art.  It’s missing the tension that is missing…the attempt to wrestle truth to the ground is often absent.”
  • “Much of gospel music seems fake to me…pretending that everything is o.k…I relate more to the blues…that sounds like the song of David to me.”
  • “Jesus was either a Charles Manson – a nut case or he was who he said he was.  I’m fascinated by a child born into straw poverty.  The Christmas story is a remarkable story that never ceases to amaze me.”
  • “How in a world of plenty can people be left to starve?  We think, ‘it’s just the way of the world’.  And if it is the ‘way of the world’ we must overthrow the ‘way of the world.'”
  • “Redemption is an economic term.”
  • “What else are you going to do with thing called ‘celebrity’…it’s absolutely ridiculous that it is valued more than being a teacher or more than being a mother…but it is currency and I decided that I was going to spend mine.”
  • “God has made me an opportunist.”
  • “Great ideas are like great melodies…they are memorable and a moral force whose time has come…and there is movement behind them.”
  • “The reason the church has been slow to respond is that the church has historically always been behind the curve:  civil rights, apartheid…the church is afraid of politics.  The second reason the church has been so slow is less palatable..the church has been very judgmental about the AIDS virus…it believes that it is about people living irresponsibly.  Only 6% of evangelicals felt like they were to act in response to the AIDS epidemic.  But the Christ will not let the church walk away from the AIDS emergency…it is like a car crash, we have to act.  AIDS is the leprosy of our age.  But then something tragic happened…the church woke up and began to act…and they ruined it for me…I couldn’t hate the church anymore.”
  • “Love your neighbor is not advice…it’s a command.  Should an accident of longitude and latitude really decide whether you live or whether you die?  There are 2003 verses in scripture about the poor, second only to personal salvation.  Jesus speaks of judgment only once and that is the passage in Matthew where we are asked:  ‘who clothed the naked?’ and ‘who fed the poor?’ and ‘who visited those in prison?’  That defines whether you are a part of the Kingdom or not.”
  • “If the Christian church can lead this movement it can eradicate malaria in 10 years…and then AIDS.”
  • “Stop asking God to bless what you are doing…find out what God is doing – it is already blessed!”
  • “This generation could end stupid poverty…we really can fix that in our generation.”
  • “‘Thy Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven’ is a phrase that grabs me…in every detail of our lives we need to seek that.”
  • “The world is more malleable than you think.”
  • Bill has convinced me of the importance of the church as the moral force and practical infrastructure for solving the worlds problems.  Open the doors of your church and make them an AIDS clinic.  Your charity is important, but your passion for justice is needed.  I’m asking for your voice and for you to give permission to fix these problems that are fixable.  It’s not a burden, it’s an opportunity…it’s an adventure!”

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