Kanye West has spent most of his life making music that glorifies sex, materialism, and Kanye, idolizing himself in ways that have seemed downright shocking to most of civilized society. In a recent interview he called himself “the greatest human artist of all time.” Yet, in listening to Kanye’s new Jesus is King album, and in hearing pastor Adam Tyson’s account of the ways that God appears to be working in Kanye’s heart and mind, we should be cautiously optimistic that Jesus has radically saved Kanye West.
The skepticism that is permeating the online world among Christians is troubling in some ways. Many Christians seem doubtful that God could or would snatch a Kanye West from the pit of sin and death and set him on the solid foundation of Christ. Many seem eager to watch carefully, analyzing every move for evidence that Kanye is not, in fact, regenerate, but just another celebrity who is trying to make a buck. In fact, many Christians seem to be looking forward to seeing him stumble, as if they are hungry for proof that God has not rescued this man, that this is all a hoax, a ploy, or a sinister plot with politics at its heart.
The truth is that we have no way of knowing whether Kanye West is a Christian any more than we can know with certainty that our sweet little old neighbor lady is one. I have no idea what is in his heart or mind or what is going to come of all of this. But I do know that as Christians we should be hopeful. We should be rooting for him. We should be praying for Kanye West and thanking God for the opportunity to do so. Christians, of all people, should be excited about the prospect of this man influencing those in his very large circle for Christ. God doesn’t need Kanye any more than He needs us. Kanye can’t hurt God or the gospel. But, for all we know God had a plan from the foundation of the world to miraculously claim Kanye West as His own child. Are we really so quick to doubt that the creator of the universe would do such a thing?
It pains me to see Christians who are so cynical. I can promise you that if we are looking for displays of sinfulness in Kanye’s life, we won’t be disappointed. He will trip. He will stumble. He will sin in spectacular ways. But none of that necessarily means that this isn’t real. If we held ourselves to the standards that we expect this extremely newly converted, completely culturally brain-washed celebrity to keep, then we would all be running around constantly doubting our own salvation. Why are we so quick to believe that God can turn our wicked hearts, but not his?
Time will tell. I am all for taking a wait-and-see attitude. But, as we wait, let’s look forward to seeing more spiritual fruit. Let’s prayerfully and hopefully hold this man up instead of pessimistically holding out for a crash and burn. If we are more excited about being able to say “I told you so” than in seeing true salvation unfold, then we are sadly out of tune with the Spirit of God.