When Kanye West Proclaimed Jesus is King

“Everything that I felt, praise the Lord. Worship Christ with the best of your portions.”

This was the first lyric I heard off of Kanye West’s new album, “Jesus is King.” Six months ago, if you would have told me I would be listening to a Kanye West hip hop/gospel album, I would have thought you were insane. But that is exactly what I was doing with my beautiful fiancée, Lindsay, last Sunday afternoon on our way to church. A few minutes prior to our arrival, Lindsay turned to me and said, “Do you want to hear Kanye West’s new album?” I hadn’t gotten the chance to listen to it yet, so I definitely wanted to check it out. With only a few minutes left before we arrived at church, Lindsay quickly picked up her phone and turned on the track: “God Is”. Upon hearing the verse, every hair on the back of my neck stood up. A soft and soulish voice flooded our car, singing: “Everything that I felt, praise the Lord. Worship Christ with the best of your portions.” We were listening to a man who in times past professed to be a god, now profess the one True and Living God. I couldn’t believe my ears. Lindsay and I turned to each other, tears streaming down our faces, with hearts of skepticism washed away and with hearts renewed with hope. There was no overarching emotionalism from the song itself. While the beat of the song was beautiful, and his voice powerful, that was not what caused our emotions. Had this been another gospel artist, I doubt there would have been any tears because we would have expected what we were hearing from a seasoned worship artist. Our tears of joy were brought forth from hearing the genuine brokenness for Christ in this man’s voice and song. We were hearing a man who used to rap about himself being a god, now singing about Jesus Christ and pointing his listeners to worship Him. As we continued to listen to the song, we continued to weep. We wept because Kanye West was worshipping Christ in his music. This was beautiful, and it melted any form of pride we once held onto in our hearts. We wept rejoicing over the one that was lost, that God had left the 99 to find— (and no, that is not a Reckless Love reference.) We pulled up to the church and restarted the song and cried even more. We were both in absolute shock and awe, listening to Kanye West lift up genuine, heartfelt praise and adoration to the Lord Jesus Christ.

After listening to the rest of the album, we shared it on social media, joining many brothers and sisters who were doing so, encouraging other believers to support Kanye, not as a teacher or leader in the faith, but as a brother in Christ and a new convert. I had been following Kanye’s journey for the last few months, but I chose not to comment on it until recently. Once I learned of Kanye’s mentor and that Kanye was in good hands, I really began to take this more seriously. I am not exactly sure when Kanye began experiencing conviction of his sins, but his mentor and pastor Adam Tyson, a graduate of John MacArthur’s Masters Seminary, gave insightful details to a conversation he had with Kanye on Apologia Studios interview with him. Tyson said, “Kanye, what happened five weeks ago?’ He’s [Kanye] like, ‘I was just under the weight of my sin. And I was being convicted that I was running from God. And I knew I needed to make things right. So, I came to Christ. I came out of darkness into the light.’” Kanye West, under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, confessed with his own tongue that he was under the weight of his sin. And what did he do in response to this conviction? He threw himself at the foot of the cross.

Upon sharing our endorsement of the album and Kanye’s new profession of faith, we were met with vitriol and a rather aggressive backlash. (For the sake of civility, I will not be sharing screenshots or names.) Professing believers came out in droves to tear Kanye West down and to destroy the validity of his profession of faith. We saw many comments from professed believers attempting to connect his profession of faith to an illuminati conspiracy, freemasonry, deception, and even blasphemy. Professing believers came to point out every sin Kanye has ever committed, every blasphemy he has ever uttered, and how this was all just a big publicity stunt. Professing believers (do you see what I am getting at here?) suggested my fiancée and I and everyone who were rejoicing in Kanye’s conversion were deceived.

My intent is not to be divisive, but I want to be as straightforward as possible. I really do not have it in me to unleash a scathing rebuke of everyone who vehemently rejects Kanye’s recent confession of faith in Christ. Honestly, it is not even worth it to me at this point. I am no longer going to go back and forth or continue to read numerous conspiracy theories rooted in unfounded speculations and hearsays. My reasoning for this approach stems from my interaction with those who held to the conspiracies. These individuals absolutely refused to consider any opposing viewpoint. I am not saying they had to believe what I was saying— but they did not even give it a moment of consideration before the accusations against Kanye continued.

What do the Scriptures say about laying accusations against each other?

“This is the third time I am coming to you. Every fact is to be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses.” -2 Corinthians 13:1.

Paul is deriving this from Deuteronomy 19. This is our standard of witness. If you want to level an allegation of sin against a brother or sister, there is to be two to three lines of independent witness. Sharing abstract theories and spewing unfounded accusations is not using discernment, nor is it even remotely biblical. This is not independent witness. At best, conspiracy theories specifically about Kanye West’s conversion are a form of worldly eisegesis, reading and imputing something into a situation that simply is not there. Jesus is King was trending worldwide and was displayed in Times Square for millions to see and yet this was a part of some big conspiracy orchestrated by Satan to get people to proclaim Jesus is King? Come on. Use some logical thinking, brothers and sisters.

I believe we are honestly seeing the heart condition of many professing Christians amongst us. I believe what we are seeing on social media is revealing what was already there: a cold heart that has forgotten what Christ saved them from. I do not have an issue with people wanting to test all things, but I do have an issue with prideful hearts suggesting Kanye’s profession of faith is fake or a publicity stunt. I have a problem with people tearing Kanye down and bringing up the sins of his past. Can you imagine what would have happened to you if a Christian did that to you when you were first saved? How broken would you have felt? Alone? Devastated?

Anyone reading this knows that you are the worst sinner you know. I will testify to that before Christ myself. I am the worst sinner that I know, (the chief of sinners, as Paul stated.) And He still saved me. If God can save me, then He can save anyone He so chooses to save. For that, I am grateful. I am grateful that there is nothing in me that can save me. This is why I have assurance in my salvation. It’s not because I saved myself, it’s because God saved me. And I know that nothing can snatch me from His hand (John 10:29).

Kanye is a new believer and I do not expect Kanye to have everything correct right now and neither should you. Growing in knowledge, wisdom, and sanctification is a lifelong process. I am not going to nitpick Kanye’s sanctification. Now is not the time for that. How many of you embraced heresy or deception upon your conversation? I know I did. How many of you held to doctrines in the past that you no longer embrace? I can name you many doctrines that I used to hold to that I now categorically reject.

Brothers and sisters, give Kanye some grace. Let him grow. Fruit does not grow on a tree the same day the seeds are planted. If you want to see a new plant grow, you give it water and sunshine. You do not trample on it and call it a fake when it does not look like what you expect. You did not plant the seeds in Kanye. You were not a part of the watering or nurturing of Kanye. But you could be. Stop trying to uproot him. Stop rambling about conspiracy theories. Stop holding him to a standard that no Christian held you to upon your conversion. I am okay with you remaining skeptical, or wanting to wait a little longer, but please stop tearing him down. Pray for him. Do you act this way when someone you know comes to faith in Christ? I would certainly hope not. If you do not have anything good to say, pray for him instead of tearing him down. Kanye may not see it, but others will.

We need to remember where we came from. We need to remember we were once dead in our trespasses and sins, and Christ made us alive! I believe a lot of us have forgotten that. Pride is a destructive sin that puffs up our ego and tramples anyone that gets in our way. The attitude I am seeing reminds me of the pharisee in Luke 18: 10-14.

“Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

 

I will end with this from Kanye’s song:  “Hands On.”

“Told God last time on life

Told the devil that I’m going on a strike

Told the devil when I see him, on sight

I’ve been working for you my whole life

Told the devil that I’m going on a strike

I’ve been working for you my whole life

Nothing worse than a hypocrite

Change, he ain’t really different

He ain’t even try to get permission

Ask for advice and they dissed him

Said I’m finna do a gospel album

What have you been hearin’ from the Christians?

They’ll be the first one to judge me

Make it feel like nobody love me

They’ll be the first one to judge me

Feelin’ like nobody love me

Told people God was my mission

What have you been hearin’ from the Christians?

They’ll be the first one to judge me

Make it feel like nobody love me

Make you feel alone in the dark and you’ll never see the light

Man, you’re never seein’ home and you never see the domes

I can feel it when I write, point of livin’ in the right

If they only see the wrongs, never listen to the songs

Just to listen is a fight, but you booked me for the fight

It’s so hard to get along if they only see the slight

From the love of religion

What have you been hearin’ from the Christians?

They’ll be the first one to judge me

Make it seem like nobody love me

I’m not tryna lead you to Visas

But if I try to lead you to Jesus

We get called halfway believers

Only halfway read Ephesians

Only if they knew what I knew, uh

I was never new ’til I knew of

True and living God, Yeshua

The true and living God

(Somebody pray for me)”

Pray for Kanye West.

Pray for his family. He has admitted that he has a burden for them.

Pray that millions hear the gospel through him.

Please do not be the “Christian” to fulfill the fear of Kanye’s heart: to be unloved, not believed and not embraced. Do not make him “walk this walk alone,” as he feared in “Closed on Sunday.”

I pray we see him in heaven one day. I hope you pray the same too.

If you do not, that reveals the depraved condition of your own heart— and in that case, you should pray for yourself.

 

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