There are some things that a Christian blogger feels almost obligated to comment on. The story revolving around Kanye West’s conversion and his subsequent album entitled “Jesus is King” is one of them. And there are no doubt people out there wondering what a self-professed “confessing millennial” has to say about the matter.
Luckily, plenty of confessional Christians have already done the hard work for me! Here are two articles that I think get the job done.
The first is by Anglican priest and professor at Wheaton College Esau McCaulley, who wrote an article on the Washington Post called “‘Jesus Is King’ and Kanye West is a tax collector.” The title says it all. In it he writes,
“As an African American Christian trying to make sense of West’s decisions, I have repeatedly reflected on the stories of Jesus eating with tax collectors that upset many of his contemporaries.
… West is a ‘tax collector,’ and Jesus is king.”
At the same time, he cautions,
“We shouldn’t expect someone new to this level of devotion to spark a sudden revival. We should not expect him to lead. We should instead give him space to learn, grow and be held accountable in a community of faith that will ground him and prepare him for a lifetime of service.”
The second article is by J.A. Medders who, speaking on behalf of a 1,600 year-old dead North African saint, writes,
” While reading Augustine’s Confessions, it struck me that Augustine would be encouraged to hear of Kanye’s conversion. Augustine would praise God for the news of a celebrity trusting Christ alone.”
In short, if I could condense by humble opinion to a few points, it would be…
- Kanye seems genuine.
- Only time will tell.
- His album is decent overall. But it definitely has some great biblical truths.
- His “conversion” may be a great opportunity to reach others.
- We should give him time to grow as a Christian and not expect too much from him, let alone giving him too big a platform. Evangelical Christianity seems to be enamored with “celebrity-ism.” Let’s not forget that Kanye is still a baby Christian.
- It’s pretty awesome to hear the words “Jesus is King” and “Jesus is Lord” (the last track of the album) as well as other biblical sentences coming from street people. And I’m convinced that God’s Word does not come back empty.
To conclude, I never thought about I’d be writing about Kanye West, let alone listening to his album. In some ways, we remain worlds apart. Kanye is an avid Trump supporter. I am not. Kanye is a black millionaire that writes rap music. I’m a nerdy, middle-class Asian American that writes backwater blog posts. But if his conversion is legitimate, then we have something more foundational in common: we are saved by grace, through faith. And because of that, we are in the same family. We are brothers in Christ. Because I am no less of a tax collector and “sinner.”
Only time will tell if his conversion was legitimate. In Romans 10:9, Paul says that ” if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Kanye has certainly confessed that “Jesus is Lord.” I believe that he also believes it in his heart as well.
Soli Deo gloria.