I know this is kind of old news, but I wrote this a week or so ago and it still felt relevant.
If you’ve been on social media at all you would have seen numerous posts and videos about Kanye’s declaration of faith that came out when his new album Jesus is King was released. Now I try not to talk about super controversial things on this blog. I’m a people pleaser by nature and do not care for conflict. But this is a topic I simply cannot ignore.
Please understand that these are my own personal opinions. You are under no obligation to share them. I’m simply trying to direct your attention to something that could potentially impact you.
Why I Believe It
His Claim. Kanye says that he has been saved by Jesus. To me, that is the first piece of evidence that this may actually be true. Look at the language he uses. Not “I found God” but “God saved me.” This is a man who believed he was everything, a man who felt he needed nothing and that he was living his best life. He certainly had no reason to believe he needed to be saved from anything unless the Lord convicted him of his sins. If you have time, you should watch this video. It’s about 20 minutes long but you get to hear Kanye address his beliefs and talk about being a “new man”. This was the video that did it for me. The way he talks is not some superficial “I’d like to thank God and my family for getting me here” like we seen in Youtube soundbites of award shows. No, instead he talks about being humbled and experiencing the grace of God. But don’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself.
His Risk. I know a lot of people refuse to believe this to be true and attribute Kanye’s claims to be nothing more than a publicity stunt. But hear me out. He is arguably one of the top five secular rappers in the world. He was not lacking for fans and, thanks to the (I guess) popular show “Keeping Up with the Kardashians (never watched it, never will), he was not in need of publicity (in my opinion). Why would he have to make some massive publicity stunt? Furthermore, if the goal was publicity to build his following, there are probably other ways, ways more in line with his (I guess former) reputation. By declaring his salvation, Kanye risks losing so much. He risks losing fans. I highly doubt many people who enjoy Kanye’s “music” will enjoy hearing about God. He could lose his status. Fewer fans, fewer downloads equals the ending of a music career. He could lose his marriage. Kim Kardashian West, Kanye’s wife, has made it clear that two of them are on “separate journeys”. While that doesn’t mean their marriage is for sure doomed, it is a possibility as many marriages have ended over lesser issues.
His Mentor. I don’t this mentor’s name, but I did read that Kanye has had a former student from Master’s Seminary disciple him. If you are unfamiliar with Master’s Seminary, it’s the Bible college headed up by John MacArthur. A school that, as far as I know, has produced only good, faithful men and women of God.
In short, Kanye has too much to lose in earthy terms by living as a child of God and his claims, though unexpected, don’t seem shallow.
Why I’m Concerned
While I’ve chosen to believe that Kanye’s claims are genuine, the cynic in me still has doubts and concerns.
It wouldn’t be the first time a celebrity has openly proclaimed the name of Christ then walked in a way that is contrary to Scripture. Obviously, a little part of me fears that is the case here. But honestly, this is not my buggest concern.
One of my big concerns is that he took this leap of faith without weighing the cost. Like I said, he could lose everything. His fans, his marriage, his career because he chose to follow Christ. My concern is that this will happen and he will become undone, blaming God for all of his troubles.
My second big concern is that he will fall victim to false doctrine and begin to draw others into said doctrine. He already had a following. But we need to remember that he is a “baby Christian”. We should not look to him when seeking to understand a theological point. While he is in the limelight, he is, at the moment, far from being a strong spiritual leader. But once he reaches that point, I know he will be used by God in ways that I can’t even fathom.
What this Means
What does all this have to do with us? More than you might think.
A Reminder of Our Job . We should be praying for the salvation of people from every nation, tribe, and tongue (I’m not the only one who thinks rap is a language of it’s own right?) Kanye has the ability to reach a group of people who might turn away from church and contemporary Christian music. His talent as a rapper may be a vital tool God will use to expand His kingdom.
A Reminder of our Hope. Kanye is 42 years old (Thanks Google). That means that God waited until this man had lived 42 years of his life before He saved him. How many people had been praying for him throughout his life? How many longed for the day where Kanye would humble himself and bow the knee to the God of Heaven? They never ceased to pray for him and after 42 years, there prayers we answered. This reminds us of the hope we have in God: we are never far from him and He will always hear our prayers.
A Reminder the we serve a powerful God. This miraculous conversion should serve as a reminder of the awesome power of our God. He saved Rahab the Prostitute, Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon (who probably has the most in common with Kanye), and even Saul/Paul who was responsible for the murder of hundreds of Christians. This God never changes. So if He had the power to save these people along with others from the Bible, He can certainly save someone like Kanye West.
Only God Really Knows
In Mark 9 we read of a brief conversation between John and Jesus.
“John said to Him, ‘Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried stop him, because he was not following us.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will soon afterward be able to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us. ‘” (Mark 9:38-40)
Notice, Jesus didn’t address their motives. His only concern was that the name of God was being glorified.
Ultimately, we will never know for sure if Kanye is genuine or if he’s just really good at faking. AND THAT’S OKAY! We are not the ones he will have to answer to. We are not the ones that will be passing judgement. But here’s the thing. Even if it is a hoax, a perfectly executed publicity stunt, we should still rejoice because a very prominent figure is speaking the name of Jesus. A man who has millions of fans worldwide is declaring to them, and anyone else who will read posts like this, that Jesus is KING!
And that’s all that matters!