By now I’m sure you are aware that Kanye West has professed to giving his life to Jesus.
Such news is either fake or fantastic, depending on whom you ask.
He also released a gospel album. Some think it’s hot garbage while others put it in the same category as the Psalms. Since music is an issue of personal taste, we won’t veer off into that conversation.
However, I do want to share a few brief thoughts for consideration – and perhaps balance – in regards to his confession and conversion.
I’ve noticed two primary responses: the antagonist or the advocate.
To the antagonist, it’s all a show, a mere publicity stunt or flash-in-the-pan phase that will come and go in a few months…
But what if the antagonist is wrong?
What if God has deeply transformed this man from top to bottom and is at work in a profound way in his life and family? We must avoid at all costs becoming the religious hypocrite, the cynical curmudgeon who happily anticipates someone’s fall from grace.
What if there is a sort of barbarism lurching deep in the caverns of our soul that secretly hopes it proves to be a sham, only because someone’s weakness makes us feel stronger in a sort of self-serving, perverse way?
God help us not be the Pharisee in the temple, beating our chest and gloating in our own righteousness.
Next is the advocate – those who would promote him to “apostle” or “prophet” status after being saved for about 5 minutes (I’ve seen it on social media multiple times already).
But what if that is wrong, too?
Let’s tap the brakes a bit on handing out ministry titles and offices to the freshly converted. If he has truly been born again (and I have no reason to believe he hasn’t), then I know one thing for sure: he will need to be discipled.
He will need love, encouragement, and support; he’ll need room to fly and fail, grow and stumble.
Just like you and I did.
Kanye’s service at Lakewood has been equally viewed as praiseworthy or putrid – contingent upon one’s feelings toward Joel Osteen.
Side note: Every preacher you see hating on Joel would quickly become as giddy as a middle schooler over the opportunity to preach at Lakewood. It’s easy to be bold when you’re not invited, but one glance at the honorarium and they’d go from critic to fangirl quicker than you could say “Kim Kardashian.”
The entire conversation surrounding the Joel/Kanye situation – from comments hoping Osteen finally gets “saved” to suggesting Kanye is forever disqualified based upon his past – smacks of such religious elitism and criticism that it is downright ridiculous. Suffice it to say, the elder brother in the prodigal’s house is alive and well – perhaps more than we’d like to admit.
Let’s be honest: are we really in favor of parties for prodigals?
As far as I’m concerned, all I have to say is:
Kanye, I’m praying for you brother.
Stay on the path.
God has big things for you.