I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

I remember when I was a kid (in the late 80’s) that people liked U2 as a ‘Christian band’, but that gradually a lot of Christians seemed to think they were not Christian anymore. The confusing Zoo-TV tour must have been a major factor in that. The darker, psychedelic and much more sexual and twisted shows must have been a shock to a lot of Christians. Maybe rightly so, I don’t know, and I cannot judge that from this point in the future where the Zoo-TV has already become a part of the history of media and performance…

But even without achtung baby some were also quoting older songs, like the classic ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’ to prove how unchristian the band was. These words could in no way be sung by a Christian according to some, even if Bono called it ‘a gospel song for a restless soul’, and sings a very clear Christian creed directed at Jesus himself in the second verse:

I believe in the Kingdom Come
Then all the colors will bleed into one
Bleed into one
But yes I’m still running

You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Oh my shame
You know I believe it

But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for
But I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

But you see, how could anyone who calls himself a Christian ever say he hasn’t found what he’s looking for? Isn’t becoming a Christian an insurance of salvation, and isn’t that all you need? Salvation being mostly not going to hell after this life, but in a pentecostel environment it also meant that God would be with us and intervening when we prayed with enough faith… If you haven’t found what you’re looking for there must be something seriously wrong!

Now I think it’s a beautiful piece with a lot of theological significance. But my theological worldview may have shifted a lot in between those years and now. When I was a teenager my parents started to attend vineyard churches to eventually do a vineyard church plant themselves, but I wasn’t able to see the full consequences of the ‘already and not yet’ Kingdom theology that I encountered there. I was too young anyway to see the differences anyway I think.

Now that I’m older I see the differences between an “enacted inaugurated eschatology viewpoint” and the ‘pre-trib pre-mill dispensational eschatology’ that the pentecostel movement for some reason had borrowed from another tradition (which was really anti-charismatic to begin with anyway).

But to not stick with long expensive words. I think Bono in this song beautifully describes the Kingdom of God like Jesus Himself preached it, and the tension between the already and not yet of the Kingdom: Even if ithas been anounced, and is present among us, it will only be completed at the end of this age, when Jesus returns. And untill that moment that the Kingdom has come in fullness, we will not have found what we’re looking for! And we should not be sitting in our seat like we have already earned our salvation and can await to go to heaven now… That’s horrible theology!

Like Jesus Himself taught us to pray:
Let your Kingdom come,
let your will be done on earth
as it is in heaven

We can only look forward to the completeness of the Kingdom of God, but we need to be looking realistically at this world, and see that it’s not how it should be. We are being saved into the Kingdom of God, but then Jesus sends us to the ends of this world to be the good news. This means that we have to partake in the bringing of the Kingdom of God, wherever we are.

And I feel like I’m still nowhere when it comes to that. It would be utter foolishness to not say that I still haven’t found what I’m looking for…



5 responses to “I still haven’t found what I’m looking for

  1. @brambonius I also think his conclusion is a result of a discrepancy between being in Christ and actually increasing in holiness.

    At least that’s what I feel at times.

  2. amen. Beautifully stated.

  3. Hi, I am from Australia.
    Please check out an essay titled The Secrets of the Kingdom of God (as taught by Saint Jesus of Galilee)

  4. @instantypo: I know what you mean…

    @josh: thanks

  5. Pingback: Musical fridays 1: I still haven’t found what I’m looking for (U2) | Brambonius' blog in english

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