Most "Spiritual" Songs?

OK, someone asked, and I'm finally getting around to answering: How would I argue with the list of "U2's Most Spiritual Songs"?

I would argue on several fronts. First, the category itself already puts us into a worldview which isn't very Biblical. The Christian life involves not segregating flesh from spirit, but presenting our whole selves to God as a living sacrifice (Rom 12). Thus, there are no non-spiritual U2 songs, and the fact that their work reflects that kind of healthy integration is one of the main secrets of its appeal. "Big Girls Are Best" is a spiritual song just as much as "Yahweh" is.

The category also tends to perpetuate a stereotype that a spiritual song is one which focuses on stating positive and comforting ideas about God or makes a lot of Bible references. No way. Even if we were to retitle the list "U2 songs in which religious issues are central," I'd certainly put "Wake Up Dead Man" and "The First Time" on there before I'd put something as generally uncharacteristic of their overall work as "When Love Comes to Town."

The list completely misses out U2's second or third most religiously-themed album, "Pop," as well as mostly neglecting the social justice vision that has been so central to their catalog in material like "Sunday Bloody Sunday," "Pride," "Bullet the Blue Sky," and "Peace on Earth."

One more tangential comment: I was disturbed to see Aung San Suu Kyi cited as representing a "Christian" ideal (in fact, I objected to that concept when the reporter floated it to me, but that didn't get in.) Let's let her have her own religion, please?

I of course have no idea how the list was compiled; perhaps readers were asked to name songs they found personally inspirational or something like that. And sure, the songs on there are uplifting, but Christian spirituality is about a lot more than just getting uplifted.

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