Skip to comments.Is Kanye West really a born again Christian or is it just another publicity stunt?
Posted on 10/22/2019 8:09:34 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Kanye West brings Sunday Service to Salt Lake City outside of Gateway Center, Oct. 5, 2019. | Screenshot: Youtube/PARIS WORLD
Hip Hop artist Kanye West declared himself a born-again Christian while visiting Washington, D.C. on October 12. Im not here for your entertainment, West said during Howard Universitys Homecoming. Were here to spread the Gospel.
In a video published by the entertainment site TMZ, West is heard directing the audiences attention to Philippians chapter 2 before adding, Excuse me if I mispronounce anything, Im a recent convert. Means I recently got saved within this year. One clip shows West reading Ephesians 4:9 and in another, he is heard discussing Mark 1:15, which he called one of his favorites verses.
Likely few readers of this blog regularly listen to Wests music. To be frank, Im not hip enough to write much about West. Im the mom of two babies. My car stereo blasts Wheels on the Bus on repeat. I tend to be skeptical whenever I hear celebrities talking about Jesus.
Still, Ive thought about how the clips of West at Howard University certainly sound different from other celebrities who thank God in one breath and mock Him the next. There is an excitement, awe, and wonder in his voice familiar in new saints whove just met their Savior personally. On fire for God, is a term we Charismatics might use and I find myself excited for him.
Maybe this is some sort of publicity stunt. If so, its a pretty convincing ruse detailed down to the spiritual leaders surrounding the hip hop artist and his most recent professional and personal transformations.
Who is influencing Kanye?
This year, West began what he calls Sunday Services, a type of worship gathering with a choir belting out Gospel music and Christianized popular songs at his home in Los Angeles. These events began as private, invite-only events that have expanded to gatherings in Chicago, Atlanta, Detroit, and New York that are open to the public and sometimes held in church sanctuaries.
While music is the focal point, short sermons are often delivered by a young Reformed pastor named Adam Tyson. Christianity Today ran an interesting profile piece on Tyson, who is the senior pastor of Placerita Bible Church, in Santa Clarita, California. The Bible church has an average Sunday attendance of 350 and focuses heavily on discipleship and outreach to students at a nearby conservative Christian college, The Masters University.
Tyson is a graduate of The Masters Seminary, whose leadership, until recently, included pastor and author John MacArthur (now chancellor emeritus). Tyson also teaches biblical counseling at The Masters University and leads an evening Bible study with West and his employees.
I want to be faithful to a new brother in the faith, Kanye, Tyson told Christianity Today. I want to help him be connected to the Word of God. I told him, As long as youre exalting Christ, Im 100% behind you.
I watched a recording of Wests Sunday Service at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Honestly, I heard the Gospel preached more here than I did at the Red Letter Christian Goldsboro Revival that I attended two weeks ago.
At one point during worship, West said, Lets not be concerned with the validation of men at all. Only the validation of God. To hold each other accountable to be radically in service to Christ is the only culture I want to know about. He also talked about transformation and miracles and catch this the devil and sin.The road to Hell can be paved with Im just a good person,' West declared in between singing Gospel praise.
Wests audience was more racially and age diverse, too. The entertainers platform is an undeniably, nearly limitless sphere of influence within popular culture.
I know for a fact that I am a strong member in pop culture, West said during his Howard University appearance. I worshiped the idea of labels, brand names. I worshiped cars. I worshiped the city I grew up in. I probably said Chicago more in my career than I said Jesus.
This is an opportunity to reach pop culture and America for Christ. Tyson expressed to CT, Im fired up.
How has Kanye changed in recent years?
Skeptics will point out that West has displayed signs of mental instability. After all, this is the man who famously said, George Bush doesnt care about black people and inappropriately swiped the mic from Taylor Swift at an award show. The rapper sparked more controversy with his favorable support of President Trump and a bright red Make America Great Again hat. He has even opened up about his struggle with bipolar disorder.
So could his Sunday Services be aimed at wider publicity or more bizarre antics? Or is his Christian faith rooted in something deeper? In Matthew 7:15, Jesus said, You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
Wests music career certainly seems to have transformed into an effort to glorify Christ. Reportedly, West will no longer record secular music. His new Gospel album, titled Jesus is King, is expected to release October 25. CBS News reported that his latest album contains no explicit language and addresses themes of salvation through Christ. West is also set to release an IMAX film under the same name later this month.
In the video clip of West at Howard University, you can hear Kanye rapping the lyrics, Dont let them indoctrinate. Closed on Sunday. You my Chick-fil-a. This aint game-day. Get your house in shape. Train your sons. Raise them in the faith. Okay, its a bit comical to hear Chick-fil-a mentioned in a rap song. But considering Wests previous lyrical content, Ill gladly hear the fast-food chain reference.
More recently, outlets like the Christian Post reported that Kanye West dislikes seeing pictures of his wife Kim Kardashian dressing too sexy in public, now that he is a born-again Christian.
In a video clip from his wifes television show, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, West recognized that he previously urged his wife to be just like the other girls showing her body off. During the exchange, the hip hop artist shared, You are my wife and it affects me when pictures are too sexy.
Wests wife Kim is of Armenian Orthodox heritage. But in an uncomfortable scene to watch, Kardashian tells her husband that she is not on the same journey of transformation with him. It is saddening to watch West simply reply, Okay before walking out of the room.
This exchange all unfolds in front of a camera, which you would think fuels the nagging skeptic in the back of my head. In this case, it doesnt. Maybe my ignorance of celebrity culture makes me naïve, but Im hopeful Wests faith is sincere.
While I dont know the ultimate motives of West, heres what I am unquestionably convinced of: Jesus Christs mercy extends to celebrities, to rappers, to people who struggle with bipolar disorder, to people who unintentionally get theology wrong, to registered Republicans and Democrats alike, and to people who make mistake after mistake after mistake.
A celebrity of Wests status is under tremendous global scrutiny. Skeptics will want to see him stumble and fall in his walk with Jesus. And he probably will. Just like the rest of us daily sanctified through the Holy Spirit. In my opinion, all the scrutiny surrounding Wests Christian conversion simply means he could use our prayers.
(You can watch Wests Howard University appearance below.)
Like many others here and elsewhere, I fervently hope that his conversion is real. However, I am skeptical and wait to see the true fruits of his faith over the long term.
history would say the latter but who knows
That’s between him and the man upstairs.
I am not a fan, and would not recognize his music, but I understand it is typical, with foul language and themes. I tend to believe his conversion. A celebrity would not risk alienating the majority of his fan base by expressing a sincere love for the Lord. In the past it seemed from news reports that West fancied himself a bit of a diety, so I hope his salvation is real.
How long did Bob Dylan’s Christian phase last?
I remember reading that GA’s Jimmy Carter was a great admirer of Dylan.
Pray for Kayne, his wife, his kids and the extended family.
The over and under is a year.
Before opening our mouths about others, try to remember what you were like when you first accepted Jesus as Savior. I've changed my mind a thousand times as new Revelation fills my life. You can't open a "How To" book and know the depths of God's heart on the first day. I've read certain verses a thousand times and get something deeper each time. It's easy to look down our noses at newbies and see error. That doesn't nullify our Salvation however.
One of the biggest problems the church has today is no one will disciple a new believer. West, coming from the deepest depths of worldly living, will have a hard time giving up his flesh and staying with the life of Jesus. He may be able to, but experience says he probably won't. It's not a good idea to beat him up every time he messes up. God will give him grace but will we? I've found giving grace to others will help them come to you for advice instead of deciding we are all hypocrites and walking away. Much of what we think about people's actions come from denominational dogma, called "traditions of men" in Scripture.
What we do and say to West will have much to do with his ability to stay with his personal walk with God. If we will encourage him, maybe he will stay in the Word and dig deeper. He has enough birds of the air trying to eat the seed just planted without us picking it up and putting it back in the sack. Our job is to water it and keep the weeds from choking it off.
RE: One thing I’ve learned over the years is to not judge people’s salvation
I know that ultimately God is the one who judges one’s eternal destiny.
However, as church members, we MUST make some judgment too. Who do we support for ministry? Who is going to be the Pastor, Elder or Deacon, etc.
You can’t make decisions like these without “judging” ( for want of a better word ) whether or not a person is REALLY a born again Christian.
There has to be some criteria ( albeit not perfect ) by which we make such judgment, or we might as well not ordain anyone at all.
Where is the Like button when you need it?
We need to understand "Holiness" to see what West is going through right now. Being Holy means being separated out for God's use only. Everybody seems to think holiness means being "good". Jesus said no one was good, so can no one be Holy? God said "Be Holy for I am Holy."
What we must remember to figure out this riddle is all of us are still sinners. God just forgives our sin under grace but remembers the unholy person's sin. Being holy does not mean being good. If we read something negative about West, that doesn't mean he has lost his salvation, it just means he is still working on his sanctification. We all sin every day. If God could make us all sinless in a short period He would, but while on earth it just means He gives grace for our faults ans the lost don't have access to this grace. I didn't stop cussing immediately after Baptism, but was eventually given power over it in the power of the Holy Spirit. That's what we call "being delivered". You won't be delivered of every sin right away. If we point out every failing he has every day, we have become the "Accuser" and doing his work. This is where the advice Jesus gave us comes in about "the log in our own eye". Yes, He was talking to us, not someone else in another church.
Honest Prayer for him and family is what is called for, not criticism.
To predict his fall back into the world and even taking pride in predicting his fall if it happens is "Speaking Death" over him. Our job is to speak life over him and encourage him to stay with his learning and sanctification. If he stays with it, just think of the young lost people he has access to that we cannot reach.
Two words describe this article: doubting Thomas
Will he dispose of any ill-gotten gains he or Kim have?
If real I am glad for him, but remain cautiously skeptical. I think he’s not right in the head. I wonder if he will proclaim himself Jesus before this is over.
Jesus told us, we would know them by their fruit. I’m seeing more fruit in West than I’ve seen in Jane Fonda, who claimed to be a Christian.
I think it’s just another publicity stunt. He’s aging out of the Rap World, not ready or able to start producing movies, and his clothing line is not expanding as quickly as had been predicted.
While I say it’s just him professionally reinventing himself, I’m okay with it. He’s not hurting anybody. If he wants to chose a platform of Christianity, love and compassion to others, I say ‘Bully for him!”.
Everyone wins. Better he attracts followers to The Lord than to Islam, get what I mean?