What are we to make of the conversion of Kanye? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
A few weeks ago there was a lot of conversation going on about Kanye West’s new album “Jesus Is King” and his appearing on various talk shows. I did hear some of the album. Some of it is catchy, but it’s really not my style of music.
I was also pleased to hear him make statements such as denouncing pornography on his staff. This is a very bold claim to make in our day and age. When I see statements like this, it makes me more inclined to treat the conversion seriously.
I also do love the idea of the message getting out there that Jesus is king. We often hear of Jesus being savior, what a friend we have in Jesus, and sometimes Jesus as Lord, but even Lord can seem like a distant term at times. King is one we do understand. Jesus has a position of authority as king. Saying Jesus is king is a challenge to all of us out there who want to be the kings of our own lives, which is everyone of us.
On the other hand, he did get to speak recently at Lakewood Church, the church of Joel Osteen. We can say on the positive that he is probably more informed than their regular preacher. I also have heard that he has said we all believe the same gospel and included Mormons in that, which if so, I flatly disagree with.
So what are we to think about all of this?
First, as great as it is that Kanye has a platform if he is real, we have to remember that new Christians are not to be put in positions of authority. Even Paul after his conversion spent three years in the wilderness working out his theology. He had to earn the right to be the gentile to the apostles even after his calling by Christ Himself.
Second, we need to get past the mindset of the celebrity Christian. It’s great if we have some Christians in the public eye who are excellent examples of Christianity, but we should never base our faith on them. If your Christianity depends on them or even someone like William Lane Craig, Mike Licona, Edward Feser, Gary Habermas, Ravi Zacharias, or anyone else, then insofar as it depends on them, it does not depend on Jesus.
That’s also why saying that you aren’t a Christian because of all the hypocrites is really a flimsy reason. All Christians, myself included, could bear to act better, but we are not the basis of Christianity. Yes. They will know we are Christians by our love, but they will know Christianity is true by Jesus.
With celebrity Christians, we can put too much pressure on them and they are often not ready for that. There are a number of younger stars, think of Disney kids for example, who get famous at a young age and become addicted to that fame and do not know how to handle that fame. When it leaves them, life becomes meaningless to them. Sometimes, this has resulted in suicide.
We also think that because someone is a great singer, they should be a brilliant theologian. I won’t deny that someone who is traveling and singing Christian music should take their theology seriously, but I don’t expect them to be a scholar either. They have their own craft. I do hope they make their songs theologically deep, but I can’t control that.
So in my opinion, at this point, Kanye should not be given a pulpit. You can have him come to your church and sing some songs and maybe give a testimony even, but I wouldn’t have him give the message. Kanye, if a true Christian, needs to be discipled like any other Christian would be.
This gets us to something we can all do. We should all pray for Kanye. If you think he is fake, then pray that he comes to Jesus. If you think he is real, then pray that good Christians who can lovingly disciple him will come into his life and pray for the impact he can have and that he will stand strong at the onslaught that is going to come to him.
But remember, the only Christian you can really directly influence is you. Don’t spend so much time on Kanye that you neglect your own house. Build that the best you can.