Around April this year (2019), intriguing rumors flew around, speculating that popular American rapper Kanye West was experiencing some sort of spiritual evolution that had led him into conversion to Christianity.
According to some, his sudden quietude and change in approach towards life, family, and career asserts to his newly found religious stand and convictions. However, it remains unclear and incredulous to many. Could it be real or is it just a well-planned hoax? In such a dispensation of gimmicks and media stunts, you certainly wouldn’t throw jibes at anyone exhibiting a ‘Thomas’ reaction at the news of his sudden switch (would you?).
If Kanye West is sincerely a changed man as he and numerous reports claim, it would certainly be a global shocker. For a man who has publicly stated that his soul has been sold to the devil and has lived all his life (for as long as we know, until the recent conversion tale) overtly blaspheming God and Jesus Christ, repentance into the Christian faith is the least any individual could expect.
Due to gross uncertainty surrounding the authenticity of his claims to have accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ, his fans and Christians worldwide have reacted and are still reacting based on their assessment of the situation. Their reactions have had them categorized by us into three major camps; the CELEBRATORS, the SKEPTICS, and the CRITICS. Based on public opinion, the views of these most common groups and the reason(s) behind their views would be divulged below.
“There is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.” This is most likely the motto of folks in this category. To them, Kanye West’s conversion should be celebrated as a major victory for Christians all over the world. They have chosen to believe the best of men and not the worst of them. Their rationale for believing Kanye’s conversion rests on four major reasons:
• Kanye deserves to be loved and accepted into the fold regardless of his terribly grotesque past. The love of God that looks past the iniquities of men is able to make even the most sinful men change.
• Do not ‘judge’ anyone. You just might not understand God’s dealings with them. Just like in the case of Paul in the bible, any man can have life-tranforming encounters that would eventually change them forever. Although Paul was the chief of persecutors, his fervour for annihilating Christians came to an end when God brought about a drastic change in his heart.
• His way of life and his confessions are glaringly different now. He has abandoned profane/ungodly music for decent music and his convictions and general approach to life has changed.
• He has released a ‘gospel album.’ This is proof that he now truly desires to serve and glorify God and not himself and Satan like it was previously.
The Celebrators claim to feel nothing but delight at the news of Kanye’s change of life. For them, it is God at work, helping his children triumph over darkness by bringing a notable figure in the world into his fold.
The Skeptics on the other hand posit that it is way too early to celebrate the news, as it could be a major stunt in the ever growing list of celebrity gimmicks. Although they are glad about people changing for good, they aren’t in a hurry to conclude that Kanye has genuinely accepted the Christian faith. They present the following points as the reasons behind their chosen view:
• If Kanye is truly a believer now, he should find a good church to attend where he can be indoctrinated and groomed to spiritual maturity. It’s utterly insane for a fresh convert to begin his own religious services/meetings as he has been doing. The Bible teaches that a leader in the Christian faith must not be a recent convert, lest they become puffed up and fall since they aren’t yet thoroughly equipped for ministry (1 Timothy 3:6). Why then should Kanye begin to hold his own services right after his conversion? It makes the Christian faith look like a joke (don’t you think so?)
• Celebrities can pull off crazy stunts just to trend. Kanye could only be putting up the whole drama of a conversion to Christianity with the aim of giving the public, especially his fans and Christians what to talk about.
• This could be another dimension of blasphemy from Kanye West. Since he is known for blasphemy and mockery against God and Jesus Christ, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if this is just his new way of making mockery of the Christian faith.
Although the skeptics hope it’s all true, they aren’t yet convinced that Kanye has accepted Jesus as the Messiah and son of God, who died for man’s sins and was raised by God for the justification of man.
The critics are somewhat like the skeptics. The major distinguishing line between the duo is that while the skeptics are unsure of what to believe or what not to believe, the critics in this subject have concluded already that the whole story of Kanye West’s conversion to Christianity is a well-schemed hoax.
They are expert record keepers and analysts. They know in details all the blasphemous words ever spat out by Kanye and they explain that they understand Kanye well enough to know when he is up to one of his audacious games.
They identify with the points postulated by the skeptics. However, unlike the skeptics who are unsure, they believe strongly that for those reasons, it is impossible that Kanye has been saved.
With the most popular views expounded above, it appears to be justifiable while each of the three major camps have reacted the way they have. No one can be completely certain of the content of Kanye’s heart amidst all these. Thus, it will keep on sparking controversies until time reveals the truth of the matter (if such ever happens eventually).
The public therefore remains free to speculate and hold any opinion they deem right until the ‘real story’ is unveiled.
Are you a celebrator OR a skeptic OR a critic?
Kindly comment your view below ☺.