In Defense of Kanye West
Kanye West sent the Christian and secular world into complete confusion with his seemingly sincere conversion to Orthodox Christianity.
We have all seen celebrities convert to Christianity before. Still, it’s usually to a more “progressive” version of Christianity that doesn’t require repentance and has a very blurry view of sin & God’s authority.
Athletes, Musicians, and Politicians have been using Christianity to grow their base for as long as we can remember. But this seemed different.
Kanye wasn’t just singing his praises, but boldly proclaiming that Jesus was Lord. For those who don’t speak “Christian-ese,” Jesus is Lord means that Jesus is the master of his life and that he is willingly becoming a bond-servant to the triune God (Father, Son, & Spirit). Ultimately meaning that he is willing to do whatever God commands. He is unashamed of his new affiliation with Christ, and he makes that very clear in his interviews. Take a look for yourself.
Cordon: “So she watches Dateline, and you’re not really watching anything, you’re straight to sleep.”
Kanye: “I read the Bible.”
Cordon: “For real?”
Cordon: “Seriously. You sit and read the Bible?”
“I’d say [to those who don’t believe] when you go to sleep, would you agree that you’re asleep? And that when you wake up, would you agree that you’re awake? Would you agree that those are two different states? People who don’t believe are the walking dead. They are asleep, and this is the awakening.”Kanye West
“Thank you for saving me, for replenishing me, for delivering me. When I found out about you … I got closer to my children. I got closer to my family … It’s God inside of us. It’s God inside of family.”Kanye West
Asked by Lowe whether he has a desire to convert people, West responded, “It’s not a desire. It’s my only mission and calling to spread the Gospel. When I make a song, it’s to spread the Gospel.”Kanye West
I’ve been a missionary since 1999, and I have seen many conversions. It’s kind of part of what we missionaries do. And Kanye’s conversion seems 100% genuine to me. In fact, it seems to mirror the Apostle Paul’s very dramatic transformation in many ways.
Paul, who was a well-known Jewish scholar and famous Christian hater, went from persecutor of the church to propagator of the Gospel. When Paul met Jesus, that is when his life changed forever, and with that, his vocabulary changed as well.
Paul’s first post-conversion words recorded in the book of Acts are, “He is the son of God.” Interestingly enough, Kanye’s first album after conversion was called, “Jesus is Lord.”
Though the language is more contemporary, Kanye is letting the world know his allegiances have changed. Just read some of the lyrics from “Jesus is Lord.”
All my idols, let 'em go. All the demons, let 'em know. This a mission, not a show. This is my eternal soul. Every knee shall bow. Every tongue confess. Jesus is Lord. Jesus is Lord. I bow down to the King upon the throne. My life is His, I'm no longer my own.
After Paul’s conversion, there was a lot of doubt and fear as people thought this was just a trick. But two things convinced the church of his sincerity.
First, He couldn’t seem to stop telling people about Jesus, even when people were trying to capture him and kill him, he escaped and kept preaching Christ. This is what we have seen so far, in Kanye’s life.
Frankly, it is also a challenge to modern Christians and especially the doubters today. I have one question for all of you. When was the last time you told someone about Jesus? When was the last time you proclaimed publicly at your workplace, that “Jesus is Lord!”?
Secondly, Barnabas was a good man, full of the holy spirit and faith. And Barnabas believed in Paul, and he stood for him and vouched for him.
Barnabas stood before the elders of the Jerusalem church and told Paul’s testimony to them word for word, while Paul stood silently. That is a good friend! And that is how all Christians should act because this is what Jesus does for us before His Father!
Barnabas became Paul’s mentor, his older brother in Christ, and because Barnabas was willing to stick his neck out for Paul, the church accepted him.
So, I’m sticking my neck out. Maybe you should too.
Kanye, I’m with you brother. I believe you. I’m proud of you. My prayer is that you grow in faith and good deeds. If you need me, I’m here.
To those of you who are still doubting, I will let Kanye’s own words from “Jesus is Lord” speak to you:
To sing of change, you think I’m joking. To praise His name, you ask what I’m smoking. Yes, I understand your reluctancy. But I have a request, you see. Don’t throw me up, lay your hands on me, pray for me.Kanye West