So as you’ve probably heard, Kanye West put out a Christian album last week called “Jesus Is King”. After listening through several times, reading and watching several interviews with Kanye, watching portions of recent Sunday Services, and praying about it, we have decided that we are going to play songs from “Jesus is King” on WAY Now – starting with the song “On God”.
You may have questions about why we’d play the songs (or maybe, like me, you’ve been following Kanye’s journey and you’ve already embraced his music and where he’s at yourself). I wanted to share just a little with you why we’ve decided to play his music on WAY Now.
For the last few months – and especially in the last week since his album dropped – Kanye has been boldly been sharing about his new found faith in Jesus; he’s shared all over the place from interviews on blogs and magazines, during the Sunday Services he’s put together, and on national television.
Many, especially initially, have been skeptical, chalking it up to it just another example of Kanye being Kanye. If I’m honest, that was my first reaction too, but then I started researching and listening and watching I found myself excited for what God has been doing in his life.
What I’ve seen from him has been refreshing, honest, and so bold; I’ve seen him display a true passion for his faith. Here are some direct Kanye quotes from a recent Sunday Service:
“If you believe that Jesus died for your sins, that’s the Gospel…It’s simple!”
“The Gospel saved my life.”
“When I was chasing the fame and my name, all that I wrought was pain and shame. But through Christ God has made things come alive.”
“He’s kept my family together. He’s brought my mind back. He’s brought back my sanity.”
“God has already won the victory. Jesus Christ has already won the victory.”
That’s just from his Sunday services. You may have seen him on Jimmy Kimmel or James Corden, just smiling away and sharing about the deep life change he’s found in Jesus.
Past all that, the lyrics on EVERY song on the “Jesus Is King” album are so representative of life change, of the Gospel, and are so very biblical. He’s quoting verses and even “throwing shade” at his past self and talking about how Jesus has changed his life!
I’ve listened to his album several times and have read through the lyrics over and over, and it may be one of the clearest statements of faith I’ve heard on an album in a long time.
Still have doubts and reservations? You’re not alone. My friend Mike shared these thoughts that were so well written, I want to share them with you.
Let’s work through a couple of those doubts:
- People are saying even if Kanye is genuine, he’s a “baby Christian.” (Kanye has said as much himself.) What if it wasn’t a two dimensional celebrity, but somebody you fully knew personally? A close friend or family member perhaps. When somebody first comes to Christ, they’re often zealous and exuberant in sharing their testimony. When it’s somebody we know and love, most of us are inclined to celebrate their eagerness. Why should Kanye be any different? Of course, it’s his platform that scares some of us. What if he does more harm than good for the cause of Christ? I have great news on that front: God is bigger. Bigger than Kanye’s inevitable missteps. Bigger than Paul’s when God called him away from his life as Christian-killing Saul. Bigger than MY mistakes. God will prevail, and is prevailing.
- If it’s not a gimmick, it’s just a new chapter in the life of same old unpredictable Kanye. Philippians 1:18 speaks to this:
“But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this, I rejoice…”
God’s track record of using unexpected people to deliver His redemption message didn’t end with Noah (a drunk), King David (adulterer and murderer), Rahab (a prostitute), or any of us.God’s track record of using unexpected people to deliver His redemption message didn’t end with Noah (a drunk), King David (adulterer and murderer), Rahab (a prostitute), or any of us. Click To Tweet
I’ll admit, we could be wrong on all of this – or at the very least, you may strongly disagree with our take and the idea that we’d play Kanye at all. That’s okay.
At worst, we’re playing a song that speaks truth about God from someone who is flawed like the rest of us.
At best, his testimony and his conversion experience may encourage and uplift you in your walk – and perhaps will have a huge impact outside of Christian radio and help many evaluation their relationship with God.
Either way, I ask that you pray for us as we make the decisions we do and to pray for Kanye and his family in their walk and God may protect him and uplift him as I’m sure there will be moments of doubt from friends, families, and other Christians.