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About

"DAVID MIERS is reported to be in the top 10 cage fighters in Gosford. He has some serious dish washing skills and thinks that Elizabeth Bennet is hot. Although he thinks that his wife Rowena is hotter. David works in youth ministry for a great church. Likes to: speak in third person, watch and play soccer, eat food and surf the web. He has never watched Star Wars."

Bono's Acceptance Speech

What do you think?

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  • Blogger Guthers says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 11:48:00 am  

    I think...

    ...Bono is more concerned with Social Justice than Salvation.

    ...Bono just said a lot of things about Jesus, from Jesus, broadly in line with the teachings of Jesus without ever mentioning the word "Jesus" or the saving death and resurrection of Jesus.

    ...poverty is a HUGE problem and probably a direct result of our own sinfulness - the ROOT of the problem.

    ...The message I would have liked to hear him give - wouldn't have received a standing ovation. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 1:08:00 pm  

    guthers - do you think he's a Christian?

    i think that evangelicals are often seen to not do enough about social justice and looking after the poor - do you think that's the case?

    what ought the balance look like between social justice and salvation??? top

  • Blogger Guthers says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 2:38:00 pm  

    I've got no idea if he is a Christian Dave. He says he is doesn't he? That's all I can go off. Thankfully its not my job to decide whos in and whos out!

    I was just thinking through social justice a little bit over lunch actually - writing a study on Galatians 2:1-10. The Jerusalem apostles could add nothing to Paul's gospel, the only thing they asked is that he remembered the poor; the very thing he was eager to do.

    Jesus commandment (as Bono said) is to love your neighbour as yourself. So I would say that social justice (ie love) is crucial to the Christian life.

    As far as us Evangelicals go - I think it can be a cop out to say "The best way to love someone is to share with them the gospel" as an excuse to avoid the kind of love Bono wants to emphasise. Although, that is the best way to love someone!

    The balance? If we could all love selflessly like our Lord does there wouldn't be a balancing act. Pray for that love.

    As for Bono's message - I think the balance was off - as I said, he didn't mention Jesus or his death and resurrection. That's kinda important! top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 3:05:00 pm  

    what does it look like for you to achieve the balance?

    what ought it look like for sydney anglicans? it must be more than just giving a bit of money to anglicare?

    what does it look like at carlo? top

  • Blogger Guthers says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 4:02:00 pm  

    For me? I don't know to be honest. It's something that could take some thought.
    How do you define balance? I don't know if thats how i want to think about it - the two aren't mutually exclusive. I want to be ALL about the salvation of people for the glory of God AND I want to be ALL about demonstrating the love of Christ.

    How did Paul 'balance' it? Was his concern for the poor mainly for the poor churches in Judea or for anyone and everyone? Something I will look into....

    What does it look like for you Dave? top

  • Blogger SamR says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 4:04:00 pm  

    I thought it was a good speech.

    I'm glad that someone is speaking against the overwhelming tide of selfishness and complacency that renders our generation useless in terms caring for the poor.

    I can't think of anyone else who is doing anything like this.

    This might sound bad, but I don't think that Bono necesarily should have preached the gospel in his situation. At that conference his role was to inspire people to take action (probably mostly with their wallets). Yes we want the church to act, but Bono wasn't addressing the church. He was addressing a whole lot of rich, famous people who could help his cause, and he was shrewd. He won the crowd, and probably won a lot of support for his work - which was probably his goal.
    A good question to think about is: do we want non-believers to help the poor? Bono certainly does, and I think that was what he was aiming for here.
    Sorry for the long comment... top

  • Blogger Guthers says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 4:24:00 pm  

    (Apologies for my own long comments)
    I guess my question would be - is helping the poor and end in itself?
    doesn't it all come back to the gospel? top

  • Blogger SamR says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 4:50:00 pm  

    doesn't it all come back to the gospel?

    Of course it does, but at the same time there are still many people who do not know the gospel.

    Although the gospel is our central driving force, I think that there are some things that we should encourage simply because they are for the good order of society. Marriage for example - even if the individuals are not believers - is for the good of society. So is obeying governments - believer or unbeliever. I think that caring for the poor is one of these issues.
    Obviously greater than any of these things is God's good purpose for the world in the Gospel, but that doesn't mean that other good things must be negated until everyone believes the gospel.
    However, I would rather see people loving the poor because they love Jesus... top

  • Blogger onlinesoph says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 9:42:00 pm  

    I think Bono is right. Jesus did dwell with the poor when he was here - and the weak, sick and oppressed. He did show that we are all spiritually poor, but one doesn't necessarily negate the other.

    I think that someone who is all about social justice and no gospel is offering an immediate band-aid without the eternal solution, but at the same time, someone who offers the gospel without social justice demonstrates that they have totally misunderstood the eternal solution.

    Jesus saved us so that we would bear fruit and obey him. His greates commandment was for us to love one another. And Bono is right to say that if we dwell with the poor, we dwell with God. Doesn't 1 John say that God's love lives in us if we love one another? And doesn't Jesus say that those who helps a brother in need helps Christ himself?

    I think a christian who has the right balance will preach both: the gospel with their lips and social justice with their actions. For what is social justice other than love put into action? The gospel displayed in your life? But all this to give an account to the one who loved us first! top

  • Anonymous Andrew H says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 9:45:00 pm  

    I thought it was a fantastic speech. We need someone fired up about social justice. We need a campaigner. That is an important role.

    One question you have to ask is this: is the content of his speech advancing the work of God, and further, is it making full use of the opportunity?
    Now, suppose Bono had told that audience, the NAACP, who have seen suffering, seen poverty, seen and fought against injustice themselves, suppose Bono had told them that poverty and social injustice were the result of our sinfulness.
    Would that make his audience more, or less, receptive to Jesus' message?
    I don't know the answer, but I suggest that perhaps he might have had an entire auditorium tune out.

    By no means am I suggesting that we should tone down any offensive messages in the gospel. Is there a way to find a message that does not alienate listeners, but does not pick and choose from the Gospel?

    I found myself agreeing completely with Bono when he said:
    "God is with the mother who has infected their child with a virus that will take both their lives..."

    Yes, AIDS is not their greatest need. Yes, they need Jesus. But how can we possibly introduce them to Jesus if we do not show love - the action of love - and support them. Perhaps food, rather than tracts, are a better witness to a starving woman.

    This really brings us to something I think Bono does do well: witnessing by his actions. Perhaps he doesn't proclaim the Gospel with his words, but if he claims to be a Christian and his actions lead people to seek God, does this matter?
    He could talk more about Jesus, but then so could we act more like Jesus.

    it must be more than just giving a bit of money to anglicare?
    I am reminded of a part of C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, where he says that unless charity is sacrificial, unless you are giving up things you would like to be doing because you do not have the time or the money to do both it and your charity, you are probably not doing enough. If anyone has the book, chase it up - its a great section.

    As an aside, Dave, what do you think of the picture of Christianity presented in Mere Christianity? top

  • Anonymous Andrew H says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 10:03:00 pm  

    Another thought I had:

    Surely a consequence of a belief in living in a fallen world is the belief that the world cannot ever be put completely right by human efforts.

    Isn't it true that at every point in human history there has been suffering and injustice?

    So are we, and Bono, fighting a fruitless battle? If injustice can never be eliminated, surely we should focus our efforts on spreading salvation?

    My view is that, although we can never eliminate injustice in a fallen world, God has given us the power to make a difference, even if it is a small difference.
    We should be concerned with spreading the Gospel, but we should also be using our talents and resources to help wherever we can. There will always be injustice, but the acceptance of that need not lead to indifference. top

  • Blogger matt&kate says so:
    Monday, March 12, 2007 11:48:00 pm  

    After doing the 'Money Matters' series of Bible studies we were challenged to "remember the poor".

    I don't agree with mainstream child sponsorship as most of the funds go to the organisation's running costs and not to the individual.

    We started giving to ORAF (? - google it) which is the Sydney Diocese Overseas Refief Aid Fund. Check it out.

    Another question: Should we be giving "cheerfully" or "until it hurts" or both??? top

  • Blogger matt&kate says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:02:00 am  

    Great speech. My favourite line was: "Love thy neighbour is not a piece of advice it's a command". top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:06:00 am  

    so many great comments to respond to!!!

    here goes...

    GUTHERS

    How do you define balance? I don't know if thats how i want to think about it - the two aren't mutually exclusive. I want to be ALL about the salvation of people for the glory of God AND I want to be ALL about demonstrating the love of Christ.

    that's a great quote!

    How did Paul 'balance' it? Was his concern for the poor mainly for the poor churches in Judea or for anyone and everyone? Something I will look into....

    gal 6 would suggest doing good to all - but particularly to believers.

    What does it look like for you Dave?

    it's hard to argue with James!
    real faith will be worked out in real deeds. i think deeds do include preaching the gospel - but lots of the examples in james are to do with helping the needy and poor and not showing favourtism to rich etc... James has much more to say than just stuff on social justice... but it's hard to go past all the references in there. true religion!

    i think it's a tricky thing to think through in australia.

    i've been catching up with a dude desmond (not his real name). he's poor and in a bad way - but i don't actually need to give him any money or food. we have such a good welfare system - he can get momney and food and cheap accomodation... i do give him time... i do say that i pray for him... the time is significant in my week - it would be easier not to... but i also think that as i care for his physical needs - i want him to know Jesus - so we talk about Jesus. there is a soup kitchen a couple of minutes from my house... i want to think through how i can help there if not me - how i can encourage others to spend time with people - getting involved in their lives... but also reaching out to them with Jesus - they are more willing to hear the gospel than the uber-rich folks 2 minutes the other direction in pt frederick!

    what does it look like to do justice in australia?
    it's maybe less about money and more about a voice?

    but how can we use our money?
    we sponsor a child in uganda.
    we've been thinking about hooking up with the micah crew and giving more...

    let me finish by quoting a famous thinker:
    How do you define balance? I don't know if thats how i want to think about it - the two aren't mutually exclusive. I want to be ALL about the salvation of people for the glory of God AND I want to be ALL about demonstrating the love of Christ. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:15:00 am  

    SAMR

    I'm glad that someone is speaking against the overwhelming tide of selfishness and complacency that renders our generation useless in terms caring for the poor.

    we are so selfish... we all wlk past the world vision stands at the shops during Christmas - because we can't afford it!! - then go spend stupid qty's of $$ on presents... a big lunch... and then a little gift to spoil ourselves for such a 'tough' day!!

    Bono definitely won the crowd... and i'm sure got dudes to sign up lots of cash!! there's another video on youtube where chris tucker gets up straight after this and speaks about going to africa with bono and having his eyes opened. he has started his own foundation and said to all the rich black people at the event that they should start foundations too.

    A good question to think about is: do we want non-believers to help the poor? Bono certainly does, and I think that was what he was aiming for here.

    yes. i think Christians will always be the ones from the general population who will do it... but there are rich non-Christians who can wipe a 3rd world country's debt with their income from their last movie!

    i don't think i see myself as someone to rally the non-believers to action (bono is definitely doing that) - but i think we can do more to rally believers to action. i don't hear much at church. i have given a couple of hundred bible talks in the last number of years(mostly teenagers) - and i don't think that more than 5 sermons would mention this stuff...

    Sorry for the long comment...
    ditto top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:18:00 am  

    GUTHERS

    I guess my question would be - is helping the poor and end in itself?
    doesn't it all come back to the gospel?


    yes and no.

    ultimately what matters is that someone is forgiven of their sin... they can have their legs that are healthy - but Jesus' priority was spiritual (Mark 2).

    but i think it's still appropriate to help the poor without having an opportunity to speak the gospel. this dude desmond that i've been chatting to is stoked that i spend time with him - he knows i'm christian - and i don't always get in-depth conversations about Jesus. the homeless people who go to the soup kitchen down the road know that most of the people supplying their food are churches and Christians.

    point: i think helping the poor is an end in itself even when it doesn't lead to a presentation of 2 ways to live! top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:20:00 am  

    SAM
    great points on 'good order of society' and link to marriage etc...
    wholeheartedly agree.

    I would rather see people loving the poor because they love Jesus...

    stacks of great quotes happening here... where do you guys get this stuff!! top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:24:00 am  

    SOPH

    more great quotes!!!

    And Bono is right to say that if we dwell with the poor, we dwell with God. Doesn't 1 John say that God's love lives in us if we love one another? And doesn't Jesus say that those who helps a brother in need helps Christ himself?

    the problem with "dwelling with the poor = dwelling with God"... is that it's not totally the case - for there are plenty of people who do the social justice thing who profess that they are not Christian. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:33:00 am  

    ANDREW H

    great points... appreciate your input.

    i think that the platform that bono had at the above video - the aim may not have been to preach the gospel of Jesus' death and resurrection - but perhaps he could give some more insights into who his God is. The black muslim could stand and cheer with the black christian when he talks about god - the God that we need to talk about is Jesus... so without going into all the intricacies of salvation in Jesus - maybe it would have been good to refer to Jesus (yes he quoted Jesus... but didn't refer)

    ... getting late... now just rambling... sorry...

    mere Xty - haven't read... so can't comment... but appreciate the idea of sacrifical giving... and that is' not just money but there's an inconvenience of time etc...

    ANDREW H (your second post)

    i was thinking that very thing when watching the speech!!

    especially when you read revelation (which we're currently doing at night church) - it seems it will be pretty hard to escape the injustice and bad rule of these last days!! Jesus has conquered... and ultimately the only thing that will last is that which is done in Jesus. the big picture does keep driving us to people's greatest need - but i still think it's appropriate to do justice by helping the poor, by cancelling debt, by helping the sick, by educating people... but we Christians need to keep being the leaders in it... and hopefully we'll be able to point people to Jesus with out actions and words. top

  • Blogger David says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 12:36:00 am  

    MATT

    thanks for the tip on child fund stuff. might check it out.

    Another question: Should we be giving "cheerfully" or "until it hurts" or both???

    they're not mutually exclusive.
    i think it's both - the cheerfulness is the attitude while doing it.

    ---------

    there you go...

    hope people have still read this far... keep the discussion going...
    i might link to a tim keller sermon i listened to last year and am about to listen to again... top

  • Blogger Guthers says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 8:51:00 am  

    But all this to give an account to the one who loved us first!

    Well said soph!

    The black muslim could stand and cheer with the black christian when he talks about god - the God that we need to talk about is Jesus...

    Such insight so late at night dave! That was one of the key things I felt about Bono's speech - everyone could get excited about it because there was no mention of Jesus. Is it right for us to make the message more palatable (or maybe less impalatable) for the sake of social justice?

    Agree with you all - good on him for the work he is doing. top

  • Blogger Andy M says so:
    Tuesday, March 13, 2007 11:18:00 am  

    Only had time to skim this, but great discussion.

    Briefly:

    - I agree Bono didn't necessarily have to use this opportunity to preach the gospel. He made it clear his view of social justice is based on an understanding of Jesus' concerns.

    - having read the Bono on Bono book, I reckon Bono has a pretty good grasp of the gospel.

    - I agree that Christians should help the poor and not merely as a means to an end but as an end in itself to show love.

    - at our church, our minister raised this very issue recently in a sermon and asked whether we are doing enough in this area and what more could we do. Our church gives a small amount to Anglicare, but it's not publicised anywhere near as much as our support for CMS so it's not in people's minds. I reckon care for the poor should have more prominence from up the front in our churches. top

  • Anonymous Anonymous says so:
    Sunday, March 25, 2007 11:30:00 pm  

    What a geat assembly of hypocrisy.

    It isn't "love thy neighbor" it is "Love your enemy."

    And buying t-shirts, or selling them, (or wearing them) isn't going to help anybody.

    Bono doesn't love his enemy, and he is motivated by fame and greed and wallows in a sea of his own self-righteousness, as did most in the audience.

    -Steve top

  • Blogger Sam says so:
    Wednesday, March 28, 2007 10:13:00 am  

    I second the hypocrisy comment by Steve.
    Personally, I think it's painfully ironic to see someone dressed in money (eg. wearing a suit), and at the same time urging others to give to the needy. top