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Who is Kanye West, and why is everyone on the internet talking about him? In short, Kanye West is one of the most influential rap artists in modern history. He’s also married to a Kardashian, in short, super-duper wealthy and famous.
On October 21, West released his latest album “Jesus Is King” to a mixed reaction. Many celebrate the album as a fantastic Gospel rap work, long time non-religious fans criticized the overt Christian message and skeptics, well, were skeptical. I skeptically enjoyed the album. What happened in Kanye’s life that led him from the semi-erratic narcissist who referred to himself as “Yeezus” and “The greatest human of all time” to release an album proclaiming Jesus is King? The more reports I read, the hot takes I listened to, and interviews I watched led me to believe Kanye got saved. Great news, the good news changed another life.
Still, the skeptic in me persists. “Did it really?” I thought to myself. As if the power of the Gospel wasn’t strong enough to overcome the ego. Ridiculous. Why do I, as a Christian, go straight to skepticism when we hear unexpected news like this? Does Kanye’s history not match up to my standards of living? Self-Check, my history didn’t match up to God’s either. Whoops… For a group of redeemed, regenerated people who have been forgiven of much, we sometimes lack faith in God’s regenerative power.
Did Kanye meet Jesus Christ? I believe he did. Is he saved? I believe he is. Is this a “good get” for God? Well, no Kanye West adds nothing to God because God is not lacking. The salvation of Kanye West is no more celebrated by God than the salvation of your neighbor, your sister, your cousin. But like all those cases, it is to be celebrated.
Good get or not, I believe God will use his platform for good. “But what if it’s not real?” or “What if he makes Christians look … yada yada yada.” All these “what ifs” may come to pass, or they may not. It doesn’t matter. Paul, in the book of Philippians, was in prison. Meanwhile, well-meaning and antagonistic believers were preaching the Gospel to serve God and stir up trouble for Paul. What are Paul’s thoughts on this?
“It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill.  The latter do so out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the Gospel.  The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.  But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.”
Philippians 1:15-18
No “what ifs,” just rejoicing. Here are the facts. Since October 21, multiple millions of people have heard that “Jesus is King.” They have heard the Gospel preached in “their own tongue.” They have heard about the heart-changing power of God. How many people have you told about Jesus since then? For many of us, that stings.
What does this mean should Kanye become a standard for believers? No, he’s a baby. Will he always say theologically correct things? No, do you? Kanye is at the beginning of a journey many of us have taken. We have all needed guidance, grace, patience, and rebuke, he will to. All part of that Spirit-led progressive sanctification.
So step up Christian and pray. Pray for Kanye that this Gospel work will take root, and he will remain stable. Pray for those who may have heard the Gospel for the first time that they will respond. Pray that you can overcome your skepticism and revel in the power and majesty of our God. The God who uses broken people to do mighty works.