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Preaching U2?

This morning I came across a book entitled Get Up Off Your Knees which is subtitled Preaching the U2 Catalog. It is a collection of sermons based on the songs of U2 that was compiled by authors Raewynne J. Whiteley and Beth Maynard. Eugene Peterson wrote the foreward. Here is a description of the book:

A thoughtful and provocative collection of sermons by a group of preachers from across the international church spectrum who have been moved to theological reflection on the art and work of U2. This book will appeal to fans of U2, students of homiletics, and everyone interested in the intersection of art, popular culture, and religion.

RAEWYNNE J. WHITELEY is vicar of Trinity Episcopal “Old Swedes” Church in Swedesboro, New Jersey. She is the author of many articles and published sermons.

BETH MAYNARD is rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Fairhaven, Massachusetts and past president of Gathering the NeXt Generation, the Episcopal Church’s network for postmodern ministry. Her publications include books, pamphlets, sermons, and several articles.

Does anyone else see a conflict with this? How can a pastor preach on this:

Jesus, Jesus help me
I’m alone in this world
And a f****d up world it is too
Tell me, tell me the story
The one about eternity
And the way it’s all gonna be
WAKE UP WAKE UP DEAD MAN
WAKE UP WAKE UP DEAD MAN

Jesus, I’m waiting here boss
I know you’re looking out for us
But maybe your hands aren’t free
Your Father, He made the world in seven
He’s in charge of Heaven
Will you put in a word for me
WAKE UP WAKE UP DEAD MAN
WAKE UP WAKE UP DEAD MAN

Listen to your words they’ll tell you what to do
Listen over the rhythm that’s confusing you
Listen to the reed in the saxophone
Listen over the hum in the radio
Listen over sounds of blades in rotation
Listen through the traffic and circulation
Listen as hope and peace try to rhyme
Listen over marching bands playing out their time
WAKE UP WAKE UP DEAD MAN
WAKE UP WAKE UP DEAD MAN

Jesus, were you just around the corner?
Did you think to try and warn her?
Or are you working on something new?
If there’s an order in all of this disorder
Is it like a tape recorder?
Can we rewind it just once more?
WAKE UP WAKE UP DEAD MAN
WAKE UP WAKE UP DEAD MAN

I have no idea if that particular song is covered in the collection. It is well-documented that the members of U2 have long had a pretty bad case of potty-mouth. Just recent Bono got in trouble for using the F-word during a live broadcast. Now I do not mean to be legalistic and suggest that people who swear cannot be Christians, but should be holding up such people as examples of great Christians? Should our pastors be basing their sermons on such songs? It seems to me there is a pretty serious conflict here.

I guess I just do not understand why so many Christians hold up U2 as being the poster boys of Christian music. It seems to me that they have done very little to prove that they have true, living faith. Now I realize that these are fighting words for many believers! I would love to be proven wrong, so if you have links to resources that would prove me wrong, please leave a comment with a link.


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