Thursday, September 28, 2023

Is U2 Bono Right About Christian Music Not Being Honest Enough?

April 30, 2016 by  
Filed under Christian Talk, Ent., Music, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( In a recent Huffington Post article, U2’s Bono was noted as contemplating why church music isn’t more like the Psalms of The Holy Bible, which displays a full range of human emotions from anger, irritation, sadness and bliss.

Typically, I skim through articles with such criticisms and briefly wonder about what anti-Christian sentiments are trying to be expressed by a particular writer or an artist.

However, to a certain degree, I think that Bono’s criticisms oddly present a challenge to contemporary Christian and Gospel music, as a whole.

Proponents of modern Christian worship music would certainly state 2016-u2-bono-christian-rightsthat we need more uplifting and inspirational songs that are focused on Jesus.  Furthermore, they argue that we have enough sad and worldly music already that focuses on the wide range of our emotional experiences.

Critics have noted that the referenced music has become mediocre, boring, repetitive, insipid and theologically flawed.  As noted in the Huffington post article, U2 Bono has gone so far as to question the honesty and realism in modern Christian music.

While I do agree with Bono on the shortage of topics in modern worship music in comparison to the Psalms, I wholeheartedly disagree with U2’s lead singer that Kingdom artists have to sing about a “bad marriage” or “being pissed off at the government.”  That’s certainly not Scriptural.

The centrality of U2 Bono’s arguments, although he did not articulate it, has to do with worshipping the only true and living God in spirit and in truth.  Contrary to popular thought, worship is not music, and it is not a place (John 4:20-24).

Worship is knowing God for who He is, adoring Him and obeying Him based on the realization of who He is and who we are.  In the context of knowing who we are, we definitely should hear more songs that cover sin, sadness, total depravity, brokenness, loving our enemies, etc.

The challenge of Kingdom songwriters today is to, in fact, worship God in spirit and in truth before penning songs.  The writers of our hymns understood the true nature of worship, and that’s why their music is timeless and more substantive.

Although somewhat misguided, U2 Bono’s criticism does bring forth the fact that there is a void in substance, doctrinal orthodoxy and creativity in today’s church music, which would certainly paint a picture of dishonesty and lack of realism.

Staff Writer; Anthony J. Nelson

This talented brother is also a published author, faith blogger over at, multi-instrument musician, composer, songwriter and producer.  He is also founder of the Billboard-charting contemporary Christian and Gospel ensemble, Anthony Nelson & The Overcomers.

One may also connect with him via TwitterSingOverComers, FacebookSingOC and Instagram; SOC.

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