Kanye West, Schooling Us in Evangelization
You know something's wrong when Kanye West is doing evangelization better than we are.
For those of you who don't know, Kanye West recently came out with an album titled Jesus is King. He has received both praise and censure from Christians for this.
Now, it isn't my style of music, I'll admit. I don't feel led to prayer by it. But that's because I'm used to beautiful hymns and even praise and worship music because I am a "church" person.
We as evangelists are always saying we want to reach the unchurched. Yet, here is someone who, in such a public way, is proclaiming Jesus, in an area with largely unchurched people, and all we can do is judge. "Well, what about this in his past?" "What about his wife?"
Can we all just chill for a second?!
I'm going to say something controversial here: You cannot be against Kanye's evangelism here AND say you want to reach the unchurched. Whatever you may think of the album itself, or his past, or whatever...this is completely, utterly, and entirely what is involved in meeting people where they're at.
It might make us church people uncomfortable. That's a good thing! We can't reach the unchurched by doing what makes us feel comfortable.
(As a side note, I really want to know what changed in Kanye's heart to make an album like this. Whoever was evangelizing to him was doing a fantastic job!)
I've seen some remarks that it is all for show or there are underlying intentions for his creating this album. Those accusations, true or not, remind me of a scene from Mark's Gospel:
"John said to him, 'Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us.'
"But Jesus said, 'Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us.'" (Mark 9:38-40)
Replace "man casting out demons" with "man who has a sinful past trying to evangelize," and we've got ourselves the Kanye situation.
Listen, do I hope and pray that his actions will follow his seemingly-newfound conviction? Absolutely. Is his music to my taste? Certainly not.
But even if his intentions behind this album are not what they should be, there are so, so many people (among his 600k+ Instagram followers, let's say) who are being exposed to Jesus for the first time in a way that reaches their level.
Whatever his heart may be, he is not against us. So he must be for us.
No matter your opinions on the subject, let us all pray for Kanye and all who are being exposed to God for the first time, that they may draw deeper into the mysteries of the faith. Let us ask God to allow this to be a first step that reaches the unchurched and for the courage to be able to go "into the wilderness" that is required of all evangelists.