For the last several months, Kanye West has been showing up at churches, with little advance fanfare, and preaching the Gospel while worshipping. While he’s always mixed Gospel-style with secular music, last week West announced that he’s done with secular and is sticking with Gospel only.
Good for Kanye.
From a purely Christian perspective, this is about a man who made a decision, and that decision was to be Kingdom-Minded about Jesus Christ. From the world’s perspective, it’s not as cut and dried.
Kanye is a divisive figure. We lauded him for his “George Bush doesn’t care about black people” comments on national television. I think he was brave as one of the early people in hip-hop to stand up for LGBTQ+ people. His sonic genius is unquestionable. He single handedly charted the sound of hip-hop for 10 years, but he has also worn a MAGA hat and defended Donald Trump. And, to top it all off, his last album was, well, not great. This album, we hope, will be a return to form for him, but what caught my attention was not the delay—we expect that from him by now—but instead what he said leading up to the release.
Kanye is a free-thinker, and has apparently given himself freely to his Savior and Lord. “I ain’t never made a decision only based on my color. That’s a form of slavery, mental slavery,” he said from the stage in Salt Lake City (a venue filled with Mormons, which is all the more intriguing, as we’ll see).
Salt Lake City is the headquarters of the Mormon church, and has elected a Mormon, Mitt Romney, as Senator. Sen. Romney has of late (and before) been the target of the Trump’s insults (the latest calling him “a pompous ‘ass'”), while Romney has never been shy expressing his own criticisms.
There are problems in America. Great problems, and some of these are racial problems. Kanye said “there’s one in three African-Americans in jail in this country.” In the Kingdom of God, these things are solved by spreading the Gospel and the life-changing power of God in Christ.
In the kingdom of the world, they are dealt with as structural injustice, salved by modifying history to fit a narrative, and corrected by guilt, punishment, and reparations.
Jesus forgives without any conditions, free for the asking.
I don’t care if President Trump is trying to take credit for a “Christian revival bigger than any in history.” Politics is simply we mortal people trying their best to choose among sinners to govern ourselves. Donald Trump is a big sinner who says outrageous things. But he is not showing himself, by words and actions, to be an actual enemy of Christians.
Kanye has only spoken his mind, that among those running for President in 2020, only Trump is the least bit friendly to Bible-believing Christians. And it’s not blasphemy to think differently than people who share your skin color, or your racial parentage.
Being Kingdom-Minded gives a much larger perspective than that.
The dividing between sheep and goats, wheat and tares, is continually happening, and when it touches mega-stars like Kanye and Justin Bieber, it serves as a stark reminder to the world that there is another Kingdom not of this world.
Preach on, Kanye.