For the last few days I’ve watched, read and listened with a mix of fascination, joy, and at times, (I’ll admit) skepticism, to stories about Kanye West’s conversion. I’ve engaged with a number of believers online, at times being encouraged and at other times very discouraged with some of their responses.
For those who might be interested, here are a few brief thoughts of mine on the matter.
1.) REJOICING IS THE APPROPRIATE RESPONSE TO SALVATION – In the New Testament when people gave a good profession of faith in Christ, the response was rejoicing. From all I’ve seen, read, and heard, Kanye has done that. Therefore I praise God and consider him a brother in Christ. It’s as simple as that.
2.) SANCTIFICATION IS A PROCESS – Do I think he’s articulating everything the way I would say it? No. Is all his doctrine nice and neat and “confessional?” Nope. Has he said some things that I thought were wrong? Yep. But repeatedly from everything he’s said, his testimony comes back to him putting his faith in Christ alone. New creatures in Christ have to grow, and all Christians are “in process” as believers, being conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29). Let’s pray for the man and allow God’s Spirit to grow him.
3.) CHRIST IS BEING PROCLAIMED – His music may not be everyone’s favorite style or genre, but again, from every interview I’ve seen, and when I listen to the content of his songs, the gospel of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone is being declared. And so again, I rejoice.
4.) HIS CELEBRITY DOESN’T MATTER…BUT IT DOES – No, he’s not more important or of more value to the Father than any of God’s other adopted sons and daughters. But the man is known around the world. And by his own profession he has lived opposed to Christ for decades. Now he’s speaking of repentance and faith in Christ. Paul was well-known previously because of his opposition to Christ, and by his conversion God made a public display of his grace in a way that had a broad impact in his time and beyond. So fame and celebrity do not determine one’s value to the kingdom, but God at times in his providence uses those of earthly renown to take his gospel to the masses. No one knows Thomas Slawson. Jimmy Kimmel isn’t going to invite me on his show to declare that “Jesus is King.” But he’ll invite Kanye. May the Lord bless that.
5a.) BE CAREFUL WITH VOICING SKEPTICISM – The Biblical command to “bear fruit” as Christians does not give us permission to question everyone’s salvation, nor does it give us permission to “wait and see” when someone professes faith. Again, I refer back to #1. In the New Testament the overwhelming response to conversion was rejoicing. If one gives a credible profession of faith in Christ (meaning according to an orthodox understanding of the gospel), I believe we accept that, rejoice, pray and disciple. “Falling away” (revealing that one was never truly converted in the first place) is real, but applies to ALL who profess faith in Christ, not just celebrities. In my lifetime now, I’ve sadly known many men and women about whom I would have said “They’ve shown abundant fruit,” yet they’ve now fallen away. At the same time, I know many Christians about whom I would have been skeptical at one point but who are still pressing on in the faith. The Biblical pattern in the NT when someone came to faith was never “Let’s wait and see if it sticks,” but rather it was encouraging those who believed to be baptized and follow Christ, welcoming them into the church as part of the family of God.
5b.) THERE’S ALWAYS A CHANCE OF FALSE CONVERSION…FOR EVERYONE . Could it be a false conversion? Of course, as it could be for anyone who professes faith in Christ. I believe what I’ve stated above holds true regardless.
1. Kanye has given a credible profession of faith in Christ and I praise God!
2. I trust the sanctifying work of the Spirit, and will not have a knee-jerk reaction to everything he says that I think might be off.
3. I pray for his perseverance, that he would grow in Spiritual wisdom, that God would surround him with mature Christians and teach him through his word.
4. As the man has a very public platform, I pray God would use him in a mighty way to speak the truth of the gospel to the masses.
Soli Deo Gloria