6 Things Christians Shouldn’t Say When Kanye’s New Album Drops…

Kanye’s new album Jesus is King will drop this Friday along with an IMAX movie. If you’re like me, you might be tempted to hide your inner excitement behind an outward shield of cynicism. To be honest, Kanye’s 180 degree power slide of a life change first struck me as either Damascus-style miraculous or totally unbelievable. But I’ve never known Kanye. I just know of Kanye. I loved his track, “Jesus Walks.” But I’ve treated the rest of his music with absolute indifference.

Ten years ago, I gave up on Kanye and rap music in general because most of it was either positive and cheesy, or it was inventive and insulted women/overtly glorified the sex, money, drugs lifestyle. In the last few years though, thoughtful rappers with a Christian worldview made me believe in hip hop again. I hope Kanye’s new album further reinforces my leanings.

Regardless of how his album sounds or what message it conveys, I think it’s a mistake to make any judgments that condemn or glorify Kanye as a person. For me, Kanye West could easily be just a conversation starter or a Facebook post. To Jesus, Kanye is a human- a human worth all of God’s love, blood, and sacrifice. For that reason, I want to share 6 ways I’ve been tempted to respond to Kanye’s conversion in order to help you avoid the same pitfall. It’s easy for me to try to act as the judge and the jury, but in those moments, I hope I always remember Kanye’s new album title, Jesus is King. And fortunately for Kanye and everybody else, I’m not.

1. “Well, we’ll see if this sticks.” 
  • When the prodigal son came home, the Father did not say, “Well, we’ll see if this sticks.” The Father ran to His son, embraced him, and threw a huge party. Whenever someone comes home, instead of protecting myself with cynicism, I want my reaction to be, “Let’s throw a party.” The kingdom of God is one big, continual party of sinners coming home. It’s not a Father who’s watching and waiting for us to mess up.

Read “What You Can Remember When Christian Celebrities Fall”

2. “Kanye’s making it cool to be a Christian!” 
  • Kanye can’t validate or invalidate Christianity. He might make it more acceptable in pop culture, but pop culture is like shifting sand. If I live by the trends recycled by Kanye or any other famous or non-famous human, my life will constantly crumble in earthquakes of bipolarity.

Read “Why Justin Bieber & Kanye Matter to God”

3. “But his wife…” 
  • I won’t go there. God knows Kim. I don’t. Like me, like the rest of us, she’s a prodigal our Father has or gladly will welcome home. It’s not up to me to swing the gavel and sentence her to “godlessness.” No matter what she says or wears, I’m not her judge. Remember, Jesus is King.
4. “Praying for Kanye”
  • Am I? I have a hard enough time remembering to pray for my family and friends. Chances are I’m probably not spending very much time praying for Kanye. I don’t want to say, “Praying for __________” unless I actually am praying. “I’ll pray for you” is like a church version of “Let’s do lunch.” Unless I write it down right then, it’s probably not going to happen.
5. “If God can forgive and use Kanye, I guess there’s hope for all of us.” 
  • Kanye needs God’s forgiveness exactly as much as I do. Not more. Not less. We’ve all fallen way short of God’s glory. If Kanye needs more grace in my mind than I do, I’m severely underestimating the depth of my own depravity.
6. “I think I heard a swear word. I knew his conversion wasn’t real.” 
  • First of all, a swear word doesn’t disqualify me or anyone else from God’s love or from being an active follower of Jesus. Whether or not I use the “S#!+,” “D@=~,” or “F^(#” when I stub my toe or write a song lyric doesn’t provide others with enough evidence to condemn or exonerate my soul. It only shows whether or not I’ll be considered for Christian radio.

Read “Swearing and the Church: What We’re Missing”


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October 29, 2019 11:24 am

Awesome read! I teach faith-inspired fitness and I use all types of Christian Artists for my playlist which includes Christian Rappers. We live in a big world and there is room for God to use anybody and in any way to prick someones heart to want to know Him! I also enjoyed Jesus Walks but overall I am not a Kanye fan. Nonetheless, I end with–Judge not!

P.S. I rarely comment on things but truly enjoyed this article! 🙂

November 5, 2019 9:18 am

I was immediately guilty of #1. Thanks for bringing me back to God’s way.

November 6, 2019 1:13 pm

Thanks for the talking points for my teen son, especially #4, as I have said… “well we need to be praying for him because he will be attacked by the evil one”. Should have just stopped there and prayed with my son immediately! And no Kanye might not be on my everyday prayer list, but it is ok to pray at the moment we are discussing him.

Nate Brown
Nate Brown
October 25, 2019 4:23 pm

There’s a lot that could be said, but I’ll just hit on #6:

Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
James 1:26

This extends to more than swearing, but swearing is like the bare minimum here.

Reply to  Nate Brown
October 28, 2019 10:51 am

I don’t take this scripture to mean profanity. Our tongues are a creative force. We either let Jesus work through us with our words or we let the devil work through us with our words. However, if Jesus thinks profanity is a problem I trust Him to deal with the persons heart on the matter. If you desperately love Jesus you’ll naturally do things that are pleasing to him. As time goes on Jesus and the Bible change you for the better.

Erik Hoyt
Erik Hoyt
Reply to  Nate Brown
November 1, 2019 9:53 pm

Ephesians 5:4 says “Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.” also see: Ephesians 4:29, Proverbs 4:24, James 3:10, Matthew 12:36, Deuteronomy 5:11, and 1 Peter 3:10. thank you

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