Why Are Christians Of All People So Critical Of Kanye?
When Kanye West’s Jesus Is King album dropped, the reactions from many Christians were loud, forceful and unwelcoming.
It’s not surprising that some were initially skeptical. West’s path to his current born-again Christian status has been marred by controversy and questionable behavior — including his decision to blasphemously refer to himself as Yeezus back in 2013. However, if we’re being completely honest with ourselves, what self-proclaimed Christian hasn’t done things that would make entire congregations give them the side-eye if they knew? The only real difference between Kanye and the rest of us who claim to be followers of Christ is that the majority of us have had the luxury of doing our dirt in private and we didn’t have the entire world as a stage when were acting the complete fool. At the end of the day, we all have fallen short.
This doesn’t negate the fact that Kanye’s behavior over the years has been highly problematic. From his open support of Donald Trump to his comments about slavery being a choice, his decisions have rightfully made him the target of cancel culture. However, cancel culture doesn’t translate fully when it comes to Christianity. In fact, it goes against everything we believe in. Does that mean Christians have to run out and cop Ye’s Jesus Is King album? Nah. But we also shouldn’t be out here questioning his walk with God or challenging the validity of his worship simply because we don’t agree with the choices he’s made in the past.
The criticism first began with the rapper’s Sunday Services. Common rhetoric surrounding the services was rooted in the idea that these were not considered to be Christian services because there was no mention of Jesus. Cool. However, when it was later revealed that Kanye had accepted Christ as his personal savior in 2016 after being hospitalized and diagnosed with bipolar disorder, he was still met with criticism from the very people one would expect to be celebrating the fact that someone had just given their life to Christ. Apparently, his conversion was too dramatic for folks to actually believe it. This makes me wonder why we’re sitting up in church Sunday after Sunday if we don’t truly believe in the power of God or what we’re being taught?
From there the benchmark was moved and popular commentary went from questioning his walk to questioning his worthiness of creating a gospel album. Many made the argument that he needs to grow in Christ before attempting to reach the masses through his ministry of music. However, if music is his gift, who are we to tell him that he’s worthy and unworthy of using it? The Apostle Paul was out here killing Christians before encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus. Literally days later, he was preaching the Gospel. Even more troubling, was the number of church folks I saw on social media painstakingly combing through and dissecting every song lyric from the album looking for any reason to credit his born-again status.
If you choose not to support Kanye because of his poor choices and political stance, no one can fault you for that. His actions in the past have been hurtful, to say the least, but please don’t hide behind Christianity as your reason for doing so. When you do this, you discredit everything you claim to believe in. Christianity is not a highly selective club that only the elite are welcome to join. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to believe.